'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train' Ending Explained: How film sets up Season 2
The movie doesn't just offer a gateway to the next season but marks the events that will come into play during the series finale
While season 1 of the anime sets up the 'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba' universe, 'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train' can easily be considered as the turning point of the story, seeing it's here that Tanjiro and the gang begin facing their true opponents, the Upper Moons. As the series goes on, the battles only continue to get more brutal as the crew makes their way towards defeating the big bad, Muzan.
If you're looking for more anime like 'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba', consider checking out -- 'Yasuke', 'Record of Ragnarok', 'The Seven Deadly Sins' and 'Castlevania'. Season 1 of 'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba' is also available on Netflix if you want to binge-watch it before the movie.
In season 1 Tanjiro discovers that his entire family was massacred and that Nezuko, the lone survivor, is now a demon. While Tanjiro trains endlessly to join the Demon Slayer Corps, Nezuko goes into a hibernation period of sorts, where she conserves her energy by sleeping rather than feeding on humans, causing a physical metamorphosis where she has retained her humanity in a vague sense.
Tanjiro also meets Zenitsu and Inosuke, who then become his partners on this journey, seeing that they have also had family (in Zentisu's case, adopted family) taken away from them by Muzan in some capacity. Muzan's murder of the Kamado family is not a random act of violence but a deliberate move.
The Kamado family is the keeper of the Hinokami Kagura; a 12 step breathing style taught in the form of a dance to each generation, passed from father to son. Hinokami Kagura is also known as Sun Breathing, which happens to be the original sword form. All the other styles in the 'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba' universe are derived from it. To be a hashira or a truly powerful demon slayer, it is essential to master at least one of these forms.
The Hinokami Kagura or Sun Breathing does not directly come from the Kamado family, it was created by Yoriichi Tsugikuni, the first demon slayer and the only man ever to come close to killing Muzan. While's Yoriichi original breathing styles took on many forms; he had no lineage of his own to pass down the original to. So he taught this technique in the form of a dance to Tanjiro's ancestor, who had become a close friend, thereby protecting this technique along with a pair of hanafuda earrings, seeing that the only ones who now knew how to perform it were the Kamados, a family of lowly coal sellers.
In 'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train', Rengoku Kyojuro recognizes that there might be more to Tanjiro than meets the eye and encourages him to take up flame breathing, even though he trained in the water style. Rengoku informs him that he seeks more information on the Hinokami Kagura back at his estate and even agrees to take Tanjiro, Zentisu and Inosuke under his wing as his apprentices.
Tanjiro has his dreams invaded by Enmu, who makes him relive the fact that he was unable to save his family, which weighs heavy on Tanjiro. The night his mother and his four other siblings died, Tanjiro happened to go into town and stayed the night at the foothill of the mountain instead of making the climb back up to his home. For Tanjiro, revealing that fateful day holds power to break him and destroy his spiritual core.
But Tanjiro's mind subconsciously reminds him that it is all a dream, through hints of Nezuko's box in which she travels and his demon slayer uniform. Nezuko is the one who helps him exit this trance through her demon blood art. Although the gang successfully takes down Enmu, it's Upper Moon Three Akaza's entry that takes them all by surprise. The Flame Hashira, Rengoku Kyojuro, goes up against him in battle, and while he manages to hold his own, Akaza is considerably stronger.
Seeing that Rengoku realizes that his only possible way to win is by waiting for the sun to rise since demons burn in the sun, he uses his last ounce of energy to lodge his sword into Akaza's neck and holds him in a death grip. Akaza manages to escape by the skin of his teeth but is gravely wounded. Rengoku dies shortly after, and his death takes quite an emotional toll on Tanjiro. However, their meeting was truly fated; seeing that it is from here, Tanjiro realizes that maybe the flame breathing style is the one he was meant to discover all along, seeing that it could be vital in defeating Muzan.
The movie sets up perfectly for season 2 of the anime. Season 2 introduces yet another hashira into the picture, the sound hashira Tengen Uzui, along with the Upper Moon Six, Gyutaro and Daki. It sets the ball rolling, seeing that the team starts facing off against upper moons and eventually Muzan himself.
'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train' is now streaming on Funimation. You can also watch season 1 of the anime on Netflix.