Have you ever heard about Demon Slayer? It’s a pretty niche anime, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you had no idea what it was. There was something earlier this year that may’ve caught your attention, the Demon Slayer: To the Swordsmith Village World Tour! This special theatrical event combined the last two episodes of Demon Slayer season 2 with the hour-long episode one of season 3. Now, what if, by chance, you’ve already seen season 2 of the series? You might be asking yourself, what’s the point? And to that, I say, who wouldn’t want to see that final fight again on the big screen!? And you get a sneak peek at what’s to come in season 3, even if you have to sit through three sets of credits.
Ok, so I may have been a tad sarcastic when I called Demon Slayer niche. At this point, who hasn’t seen at least an episode? It’s a worldwide phenomenon. Being one of the most popular anime on the planet means many people have seen the first two seasons, which makes half of this theatrical event a recap. Half of the runtime of the special is the last two episodes of the Entertainment District Arc, which is the tail end of the big fight of the season. Even though I’ve already seen this fight, seeing it on the big screen was awesome.
The animation and choreography of the Demon Slayer fights are one of the high points of the series. Seeing Tanjiro and Tengen teaming up to take down Gyutaro is always a spectacle. I can’t forget about Zenitsu and Inosuke taking on Daki, which has one of my favorite moments. Inosuke claims he can move his heart’s location (it’s so dumb, and Bryce Papenbrook sells it so well). There’s not much else to say; it was literally episodes 10 and 11, so if you’ve already seen season 2, you know how this goes. I was expecting them to edit the episodes into one continuous episode. I can’t complain too much because I got to listen to Zankyosanka by Aimer in a cinema. After the 50-minute recap, we finally got into the new stuff.
The second half of the theatrical event was the first episode of season 3, which was an hour long. It picks up where the end of season 2 left off, which makes the recap somewhat justified. The plot of this episode (and season 3) is Tanjiro’s journey to get a new sword (what number is this? 5?) Unlike the previous season, it looks like we’ll be following Tanjiro and Nezuko for most of this arc. With Zenitsu and Inosuke off doing their own thing, the focus is squarely on the sibling duo that started it all. I’ll miss my anxiety lightning bolt and ADHD boar, but I’m sure they’ll be back.
Compared to the massive fights of season 2, this new season seems to have fewer explosions. I’m not opposed to this change because it looks like we’ll get some more comedy this season. From this first episode, I can already tell that even if this new season has serious moments, they’ll be plenty of laughs. It’ll be a blast whether it’s the oblivious Mitsuri, the overly serious Genya, or the short-tempered swords smiths. It won’t all be fun and games, especially because we get to see the rest of the Upper Moons, including Upper Moon 1 Kokushibo, voiced by one of my new favorite voice actors Jonah Scott. One thing that’s certain about the new season is that the amazing animation the series is known for won’t be going anywhere.
Being a limited-time event that has come and gone, you either have already seen it or missed out (to be fair, it was only on for a weekend in Melbourne). If you missed out, you might be worried you’d missed crucial information for season 3, but you haven’t. As I’ve already mentioned, the event was just three episodes, one after another. That’s probably my biggest problem with this “film.” It didn’t feel like one. They did say this is what we were getting when they initially announced the tour, but all the marketing afterward said otherwise. If you were a casual fan, you would’ve assumed this was like the previous film, Mugen Train.
They could’ve done a better job of explaining what To the Swordsmith Village was. When I was in the cinema, a group of people got up and left during the recap, and if I didn’t know about the second half, I might’ve left as well. This isn’t a knock on the content itself, the animation is still drop-dead gorgeous, and the sound design is immaculate. I would’ve liked it more if they had edited the episodes together to be more cohesive. That season 3 opening did slap, though.
Demon Slayer: To the Swordsmith Village was an enjoyable enough experience for fans of Demon Slayer. It was a treat to see the final battle of season 2 on the big screen, and episode 1 of season 3 has already got me hyped. I wish the event marketing had been a little clearer for the casual audience. I also hoped it would be edited together instead of a series of episodes, even if the openings are amazing. If you didn’t get to see it in cinemas, don’t worry, you didn’t miss much. Especially because the new season is just around the corner, most likely streaming on Crunchyroll (not yet confirmed, but they’re the most likely).
Were you able to catch the Demon Slayer World Tour? What did you think about it? Did it get you excited for season 3? In the comments below, let us know about all things Demon Slayer!