The Demon Slayer series continued to take on the theatrical stage with another film—which had much success with their first movie, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train. While the last film offered a deep display of a whole new arc between season two and the upcoming season three, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – To the Swordsmith Village almost felt like a cheap money grab from the ufotable studio and the other executives of the franchise.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – To the Swordsmith Village pretty much showed the entire tenth and eleventh episodes from season two, the Entertainment District arc. Eventually, it got to the first episode of the Swordsmith Village arc. Sure, a recap from last season was good, but this was just a straight copy of the episodes adapted to the big screen.
While I enjoyed the action scenes from the Entertainment District arc, I would have loved to see a better theatrical cut in a more condensed format. It was a lazy move because it also played the credits and commercial break animations in between episodes, and in the middle of episodes.
To The Swordsmith Village could have been more original and authentic if it had a great action montage of all the fights that happened in the Entertainment District, but no, the film decided to cover even the emotional backstory of the Upper Ranks demons who served as the antagonists for the season—sibling demons, Daki and Gyutaro. This flashback was a nice touch to the story upon a first viewing on TV, but did not serve as a better experience in a theatrical version.
“To The Swordsmith Village could have been more original and authentic if it had a great action montage of all the fights that happened in the Entertainment District…”
As cute as Nezuko could be and the jokes were enjoyable from season two, the choice to straight copy the last two episodes of season two was uninspiring, especially to its last film release, Mugen Train. It took over an hour for the film to get to the new content! The only saving grace to the movie was the inclusion of the first episode of the Swordsmith Village arc, even though the first episode tease seemed like it was dragging out content for time too.
There were literally almost a hundred snapshots of the Infinity Castle where the Upper Ranks demons’ HQ was, and of the demon, Lord Akaza. I get it tried to add some kind of tension when the Upper Rank demons finally met up, but why do I need countless shots of one guy’s face, a weird version of the shifting staircases from the Harry Potter movies, and other demons’ faces.
Once I got through these nonsensical shots, I enjoyed the introduction of all the Upper Ranks demons because some of them looked like creepy creatures right out of Elden Ring. This scene and a few later scenes also revealed some major plot points that will impact the protagonist, Tanjiro Kamada, in future episodes. This was also another point to what sort of saved the film.
“…To the Swordsmith Village almost felt like a cheap money grab from the ufotable studio and the other executives of the franchise.”
The rest of the film/episode offered a wonderful look at the Swordsmith Village itself, along with more scenes involving Tanjiro, Nezuko and the Love Hashira, Mitsuri Kanroji. It also had a small tease of the Mist Hashira, Muichiro Tokito. Aside from this, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – To the Swordsmith Village was almost a waste of time. Even more so, the Swordsmith Village arc will be airing worldwide on Crunchyroll on April 9, 2023—pretty much a month away.
Japan had an earlier release date for To The Swordsmith Village, on February 3, 2023. While this was a hyped way to get fans back into the Demon Slayer series, I felt like they missed the mark with the timing of its release being so close to the Swordsmith Village arc airing on TV. If you want to see the action scenes from episodes ten and eleven of season two on the big screen, sure, this could be worth the audiences’ time.
I think To The Swordsmith Village would have worked better in the format of an Original Video Animation (OVA) instead, on Crunchyroll or Netflix, rather than a full theatrical release. Personally, I would just wait for the series to air in a month.