「前へ！」 (Mae e!)
This week’s Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Ressha-hen places us into the heat of battle as Enmu tries his hardest to keep his stranglehold on the Mugen Train. But while Tanjirou, Inosuke, and the others fight hard to gain a foothold on the train, Enmu isn’t preparing to let his guard down just yet.
THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN
It is one of the symptoms of breaking down a film into an episodic TV series to have an episode like this that is far more action-heavy than the rest. It helps that the animation is cool, flashy, and engaging, but sadly, it does feel like time moves so quickly throughout the action scenes. By the time I knew it, I only had five minutes left of the episode before it was all over. In a way, it’s the nicest complaint I could have since it means that the episode was entertaining enough to make time fly so easily.
The stakes rose even higher as Tanjirou and Inosuke advanced towards Enmu’s core. Things go from bad to worse for Tanjirou when he has to force himself to wake up while Enmu’s eyes continue to cause him to fall asleep and wake back up. It was pretty crazy how he’d jump between falling asleep and waking up to the point that, as he fights his way out of sleep, he starts to hallucinate and almost slashes his neck as if he’s still in Enmu’s dream world. It doesn’t help that, by this point, Enmu mutated himself into a freaky Resident Evil villain who’s gonna need a lot more than acid rounds and boulders to take out.
It was also awesome to see everyone in action since it’s the point in the film where it gets to showcase what each of our main characters excels at. Seeing Zenitsu in his serious mode is always a treat as is watching Nezuko actually kick some ass as she shreds through Emnu’s flesh tentacles. And because it’s Rengoku’s time to shine, we weren’t not going to see him slash flames across the screen as he tears into Enmu.
Now, this is the part of the analysis where I fanboy over Hashibara Inosuke, one of my favorite characters in this series. There was a point in 2019 where I wrote a piece on Matsuoka Yoshitsugu being my choice for the best male VA of the year because of his performance as Inosuke. Hearing him in the movie and in this episode alone brought back these memories because of the sheer joy I get from hearing how much of a blast he puts into the character’s undying enthusiasm to fight.
Whether it’s being pumped up about slashing through tentacle after tentacle or being angry that he hasn’t been designated as a leader for the simple reason of being so charged up he can’t think of anything to do but fighting, his infectious enthusiasm is hard not to laugh at. Zenitsu might’ve been intended as comic relief, but Inosuke is awesome because he’s hilarious even while he’s chopping up his opponent and belligerently cackling about his desire to fight.
As an addendum, I didn’t expect to see a random Tanjirou nightmare where he saw Nezuko looking like the muscular joke characters from Pop Team Epic. Wasn’t sure if it was the same art style as PTE, but it would be a pleasant surprise after they did their ad for .