*This review will contain spoilers for the “Mugen Train” movie and the second season of “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.”
Sundays are no longer for “Demon Slayer” now that the series wrapped up its second season on Feb. 13 with the conclusion of its Entertainment District arc and the announcement of season three.
“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” follows the story of Tanjiro Kamado, a 15-year-old boy who joins Japan’s Demon Slayer Corps after returning home to find his family murdered and younger sister Nezuko transformed into a demon.
Later accompanied by fellow corps members Zenitsu and Inosuke, Tanjiro and Nezuko battle various demons across Japan in an attempt to exact revenge on the demons’ leader, Muzan Kibutsuji, and find a way to cure Nezuko. The four are often joined by at least one of the nine Hashira, or Pillars, a group of swordsmen and women who have mastered a specific elemental breathing style used when fighting.
The show, adapted from Koyoharu Gotouge’s popular shonen manga of the same name, stunned audiences during its 2018 debut with beautiful animation and a cast of seasoned actors. This combination gave a refreshing feel to a show filled with classic shonen tropes. The franchise’s animated movie, “Mugen Train,” also surpassed director Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” by earning a cumulative $313 million in December 2020.
Viewers were given a recap of the Mugen Train Arc in the first seven episodes of the second season, where the three slayers and Nezuko board a train with Flame Pillar Kyojuro Rengoku to take on the demon Enmu.
The second half of the second season covers the Entertainment District Arc. Viewers are introduced to Sound Pillar Tengen Uzui and the main antagonists of the season, demon siblings Daki and Gyutaro.
Unlike the first season, the Entertainment District Arc proceeds with little time to breathe. The first episode presents the aftermath of Rengoku’s death, then immediately switches to the main cast of four joining Uzui’s mission to infiltrate the Red Light District of Yoshiwara and retrieve his three wives that went undercover shortly before.
Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke rush to collect information on the demon siblings who are terrorizing the entertainment district, and continuously move the plot forward by jumping right into the fight by episode four.
By incorporating shadowy backgrounds and brightly-colored attacks with their fluid animation, the production studio Ufotable designs a final battle that is as flashy as the Sound Pillar himself. The season ends with the death of Daki and Gyutaro after revealing their backstories, which seek sympathy from Tanjiro and the audience.
Season three, which is scheduled for 2023, will delve more into the Love Pillar, Mitsuri Kanroji, and Mist Pillar, Muichirou Tokito, during the Swordsmen Village Arc. Viewers can catch up with the first season on Netflix, Crunchyroll or Funimation.