When I heard Demon Slayer Season 2 was going to be split into two cours and the first one would be a retelling of the Mugen Train Arc I was disappointed. It feels lazy. It’s also unnecessary. Why waste the first seven episodes? Sure maybe some fans haven’t seen the movie, but release the film on the streaming services if you want fans to see it. For those that don’t know a “cour” is, it’s an “essentially one production block of episodes that may or may not have a break in between it and the next block.” Anyway, the first cour is called, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Mugen Train Arc. The first episode is brand new and focuses on Kyojuro Rengoku hunt for a demon prior to boarding the Mugen train.
The first episode adds greater context for the Mugen Train Arc. Rengoku is altered to a demon attacking people at night. In Demon Slayer most of the people are ignorant of the existence of demons. This means society doesn’t respond to demons at all, instead people assume that people just disappear. It’s convenient to the plot as well. If humans avoid demons, then there might not be much conflict in the series. However, in this episode the people are aware of the demon presence. Fuku is the exception at first. She doesn’t believe demon exists even though her grandmother does. Rengoku buys all of Fuku’s bento and pretends to be a salesmen to get close to the Mugen train. In the maintenance station, he finally encounters the demon.
Referred to as the “Slasher,” the demon is bald and gray with a body covered in blue tattoos. When he uses his Blood Demon Art these tattoos glow. The Slasher has sharp dark blue nails and moves quickly due to his Demon Art. The Slasher claims that he’s “the fastest demon,” and taunts Rengoku as he holds a boy hostage. Rengoku warns him not to get too cocky. Before the Slasher can harm the boy further, Rengoku rushes forward and cuts off both of the demons hands. The Slasher flees, as Rengoku treats the boy. Once the demon detects the scent of Fuku and her grandmother, he uses his Demon Art to give chase.
Echo’s of Shinjuro Rengoku
Leaving the boy in the care of other demon slayers, Rengoku follows Slayer using his Total Concentration Breathing. With the headstart, Slasher terrorizes Fuku and her grandmother before Rengoku appears. The arrogant demon challenges Rengoku’s speed. Rengoku turns out to be faster and quickly decapitates Slasher with his Flame Breathing, First Form: Unknowing Fire. Watching from behind, Fuku’s grandmother is reminded of the moment when Shinjuro Rengoku saved her and Fuku’s mother. She initially mistakes Rengoku for his father, as the latter has the same clothing and mannerisms his father does.
It’s a moment that reminds us that each demon is a threat to innocent people. This series epic fights with demon can focus to much on the action. We should remember that the Demon Corps have a noble cause and they have profound effects on the lives of humans. I remain disappointed in the retelling of the Mugen Arc, but appreciate the new episode. Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 1 perfectly blends in with the movie already covered. I not an impressive episode but one that adds to the arc.