Warning: The below review contains minor spoilers, such as content from official trailers and the manga chapters covered by the new episode.

Demon Slayer: To the Swordsmith Village made its way to theaters worldwide on March 3 with three back-to-back episodes that lead into the latest arc. Followers of the record-smashing anime can rewatch the hero Tanjiro and his flashy Hashira officer Tengen clash with the number six Upper-Rank demon Gyutaro. The movie ticket also grants early access to the hour-long kickoff to the next season before it officially streams on April 9.

Promotional poster for “Demon Slayer – To the Swordsmith Village”

Contrasting the 2021 predecessor Mugen Train, which structured the titular arc as a full-length theatrical cut, To the Swordsmith Village is a straight screening of the final two episodes from the 2022 Entertainment District arc plus one new episode, just as they would air on TV.

A 10-second text preamble—Tanjiro seeks a cure for his demon-turned-sister Nezuko following their family’s massacre by a mysterious evil—prefaces unnarrated montage played to opening themes Gurenge, Akeboshi, and Zankyosanka. Beyond the addition of this prologue, the editing seems bare, if at all existent. Theatergoers should walk in aware that the per-episode recaps, title cards, and even cutaways to commercial breaks remain pretty much untouched.

The minimal approach to a “movie adaptation” aside, To the Swordsmith Village still delivers some of the most ravishing artistry and continues to raise the bar for studio “ufotable”. Few visual spectacles compare to reliving the breakneck swordplay between Tengen’s dual cleavers and Gyutaro’s scythes akimbo on a wall-to-wall screen. Tanjiro’s bellows of determination during his most desperate moment shake to the core, this time in surround sound.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba -To the Swordsmith Village- | OFFICIAL TRAILER

For most fans, the real gem of the 110-minute runtime lies in the new third episode, which spans chapters 98101 in manga volume 12. This stretch not only summons the remaining five Upper-Rank demons but also peers into their increasingly tense dynamic with the Demon King Muzan. Weaving together hand-drawn cel animation with seamless CG, ufotable reimagines the nightmarishly Escheresque halls of Muzan’s Infinity Castle with a vastness far exceeding what comic pages could physically capture.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba -To the Swordsmith Village- | UPPER RANK DEMON TRAILER

The episode also ushers the audience into the Swordsmith Village, where Tanjiro journeys to replace his battered katana. He also meets two more elite Hashira Mitsuri and Muichiro, and fellow cohort Genya from the Demon Slayer Corps. Most scenes in the mountainside settlement, including the endearing banter between Mitsuri and Nezuko, play out like the manga shot-for-shot. Still, the breathtaking cinematography and vocal talents will astonish even the eager bookworm who has already read ahead and knows the scourge that looms around the corner.

Anime renditions of Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito (left) and Love Hashira Mitsuri Kanroji (right)

To the Swordsmith Village concludes with the duet Kizuna no Kiseki, the arc’s fresh intro music by MAN WITH A MISSION and milet. Although the credits sweep in well before the Slayer Corps warriors draw their blades, careful viewers will glimpse during the song which of the Upper-Rank demons begins to make its move. As such, casuals may feel fine to wait a month before the season rolls out on streaming platforms. On the other hand, Demon Slayer’s return to the big screen is a dazzling spark that sets hearts ablaze for serious fans across the world.


What are you all most looking forward to in the new Swordsmith Village arc? Let us know in the comments below!

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