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regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 April 2024

Demon Slayer: To The Hashira Training sets the stage for Tanjiro and Muzan’s final showdown

Directed by Haruo Sotozaki, the film includes an hour-long recap of the season two finale and a preview of the upcoming season’s first episode

Urmi Chakraborty Calcutta Published 28.02.24, 03:03 PM
The protagonist Tanjiro Kamado in Demon Slayer.

The protagonist Tanjiro Kamado in Demon Slayer. X

Demon Slayer: To The Hashira Training, the third film in the popular anime franchise, has delivered a powerful build-up to its fourth season with its unique sword fight scenes, emotional resonance and new characters. Directed by Haruo Sotozaki, the film includes an hour-long recap of the epic finale of season two and a preview of the upcoming season’s first episode.

Set in Taisho era Japan, Demon Slayer follows the story of Tanjiro Kamado, who returns home one day to find that his family has been killed by demons and his sister Nezuko has been turned into one. Being the sole survivor, Tanjiro resolves to avenge his family and find a cure for his sister. Soon, he comes across the Demon Slayer Corps where he undergoes rigorous training to become a skilled swordsman and protect humanity from the vicious demons.

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As the name implies, Demon Slayer: To The Hashira Training follows elite demon slayers — known as Hashira — uniting and training to combat the demon king Muzan, who is likely to make his ultimate move. To the Hashira Training has set the stage for the final showdown between Tanjiro and Muzan in season four.

The recap on Tanjiro and Nezuko’s bond

The third season of Demon Slayer, which covered the Swordsmith Village arc, ended with the face-off between Tanjiro and Hantengu, an Upper Four Rank demon. Tanjiro chops off the demon’s neck with a clean strike, but as the sun rises he realises that his demon sister Nezuko will burn to death, having been exposed to the light.

Nezuko appears to be completely healed, thriving in the sunlight, though demons for over a thousand years have not been able to conquer it. After having lived in a box for years, Nezuko tries to regain her human attributes and talks to Tanjiro in broken sentences.

What makes the recap poignant is this highly-anticipated reunion between brother and sister following their family’s massacre. But the celebration does not last long as the demon king Muzan Kibutsuji learns about Nezuko conquering the sun and plans to abduct her.

Wind Hashira and Serpent Hashira steal the show

In the Demon Slayer universe, Hashira are the highest-ranking slayers led by Kagaya Ubuyashiki. The second half of the film begins with all the Hashira members coming together to train in order to fight Muzan and protect humanity. Among the nine remaining elite slayers, Sanemi Shinazugawa and Obanai Iguro are introduced as the Wind and Serpent Hashira, respectively, with their stellar battle techniques.

Demon Slayer is known for its vigorous battle scenes and in this film, we get a glimpse of new fighting styles, especially of the Serpent Hashira who slithers his way through fights effortlessly.

The Hashira get a glimpse of Muzan’s Infinity Castle

The Hashira Training arc marks the first time the Hashira get a glimpse of Muzan’s lair — an extra-dimensional space known as the Infinity Castle. The sequence begins with the Wind, Serpent and other Hashira chasing a demon who has abducted a human, and as the demon leaps from a building onto another one, the Hashira fall through a crack and are transported to the Infinity Castle for a split second. They witness the endless wooden rooms, halls and moving corridors before being pulled back to reality.

Tanjiro reunites with Zenitsu and Inosuke

Tanjiro, who is bed-ridden after his last battle, has a wholesome moment with his friends Zenitsu and Inosuke after reuniting with them. While the Hashira prepare for Muzan’s next move, Tanjiro enjoys his meals and chats with the medics at the Butterfly Mansion, which is inhabited by the Insect Hashira Shinobu Kocho and used as a healing base for injured demon slayers.

While Zenitsu gushes over the medic assistants in the mansion, Inosuke spends most of his time teaching Nezuko how to talk. The scenes indicate the calm before the storm, with the trio’s rib-tickling humour — Zenitsu’s paranoid self, Tanjiro’s level-headedness and Inosuke’s short-tempered nature — coming as a respite.

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