‘Demon Slayer: To The Swordsmith Village’ is a cash grab
Caitlin Brannigan | Monday, March 27, 2023
It is a major stretch to call “Demon Slayer: To The Swordsmith Village” a movie.
The latest installment in the popular action anime functions more to excite fans about the new season than to deliver good cinema. The film is the last two episodes of season two combined with the first episode of season three, which will not be released until April 9th. This renders the movie entirely inaccessible to non-fans, as it has no discernible story arc of its own. Though the filmmakers acknowledged this before the movie’s release, it was misleadingly marketed as if it were like the last “Demon Slayer” movie, “Mugen Train,” which featured entirely new content.
Mashing all these episodes together and calling it a movie could’ve been an enjoyable experience for fans if there were literally any edits made to the original material to adapt it to cinema. Instead, viewers were thrown right into the climax of season two with very little exposition as to what happened leading up to this. The not-so-exciting end credits of each episode played in between the action, which was awkward to watch in a theater. The same scene played twice at one point because it was in the end of one episode and the beginning of another episode.
The last straw was that the transition between season two and season three content was incredibly unsatisfying. It felt like catching the end of one movie and immediately watching the beginning of a completely different one. The pacing, characters, setting and plot understandably change between seasons, but with the amount that changed there was no way this could have conceivably been made into a coherent movie without making controversial changes to the source material.
Many people saw this to watch the beginning of season three. It was disappointing. It starts with an amazing scene in the infinity castle, but quickly moves to a much slower-paced introduction of the season’s new setting and characters. Though the setting is somewhat intriguing, the characters are boring so far.
The one good thing about this movie was the eye-catching animation. “Demon Slayer” is known for its stellar action scenes, which jumped out at the viewer on the big screen. The animation is bright and loose, and the combination of CGI with traditional animation was so well done I barely noticed the change. The characters come to life and the fast-paced action is easy to follow. I was blown away by the infinity castle scene in particular. Although it’s a relatively calm scene without any head-turning action, it’s just as captivating because of its spectacular animation and music. I felt like I was totally immersed in this scene because of its striking presentation of detailed scenery and vivid characters.
I can’t recommend this movie to anyone who isn’t already a fan of the “Demon Slayer” series. There is no point to seeing it otherwise. Having seen season two already, I was still very confused. I had no idea what was going on in the first ten minutes of the movie. I also wouldn’t recommend watching this to get a sneak peek at season three because the movie solely provides exposition, which won’t be worth watching until new episodes start coming out and the new characters (hopefully) become more fleshed out.
“Demon Slayer: To The Swordsmith Village” is a great immersive experience of amazing animation, but not worth watching otherwise.
Title: “Demon Slayer: To The Swordsmith Village”
Directed by: Haruo Sotozaki
If you like: “One Piece Film: Red”
Shamrocks: 2 out of 5