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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – To the Hashira Training

Content Caution



In Theaters


Home Release Date




Bob Hoose

Movie Review

Note: The distributor Crunchyroll is screening an English-dubbed version of this film, as well as a Japanese-with-English subtitles version. This review is based on the English-dubbed version.

Tanjiro Kamado’s struggle to save his beloved sister, Nezuko, has driven him to many unbelievable extremes. There was a time—seemingly forever ago—when he was just an average boy selling charcoal to help support his family.

But then that family was attacked by a blood-thirsty demon. Tanjiro came home to find his family members all butchered and, in some cases, eaten. All except for Nezuko, who had been made into a demon herself.

Tanjiro realized, however, that it wasn’t too late. He could see some shred of his sister was still there, behind those demonic eyes. She no longer spoke, her mouth was sharp-toothed and deadly, but she listened to him, followed him, helped him. And so, the boy protected her. He trained his body and mind. And he sought for a demon cure. And in all that self-sacrificial effort, he was becoming a man.

Now, all these years later, Tanjiro has worked his way up to joining an elite group. They are the Hashira, the highest-ranking killers in the Demon Slayer Corps. And currently they are battling a demon far trickier than any other they’ve faced.

This creature may be the key to something. It may open Tanjiro to new understanding. But it may well cause him—in the course of fighting for and saving others—to choose between the death of an entire village of people and the death of … his sister. That is choice too painful to face.

Positive Elements

Tanjiro’s love for his sister, Nezuko, is on display. He has fought tirelessly for years in pursuit of her salvation and kept her shielded from harm with his own broken body. In fact, when he’s faced with the necessity to either save his sister or a village of people, he is literally frozen by the weight of that impossible decision. (Then Nezuko makes the decision for him.)

[Spoiler Warning] Despite Nezuko’s continuing physical decline into demon form, her love for her brother continues to shine through. She fights for him, willingly spills her own blood for him, and at one point even decides (in an emotionally moving sequence) to sacrifice her life for him and other innocents. (A special transformation takes place that keeps that from happening.)

Members of the Demon Slayer Corp. fight side-by-side, sacrificing and bleeding for one another. A positive bit of humanity peeks through in other demons as well. A female demon doctor, for instance, has given years of her life to save others suffering with demonic affliction.

Spiritual Elements

As you’ve probably gathered by now, there are a lot of spiritual elements in play here. And the spirituality on display is not a biblical variety, but something more fantasy focused.

Humans can be transformed into powerful and deadly demonic entities here. (There is one powerful progenitor who has infected and transformed thousands.) And the film uses some demon backstories to illustrate the point that foul human choices—murder, theft, lying and manipulation—can open the door to the possibility of becoming a demon as well.

The demon slayers are humans who use body and spirit-focusing “forms” to empower themselves while in battle. Some in the Demon Slayer Corp. manifest a special marking on their bodies, known as a Demon Slayer Mark. These seemingly spiritual marks bestow great power, but they’re said to “come at a price.”

Sexual Content

Several female characters wear low-cut, cleavage-baring outfits. A large group of young men train without shirts.

Violent Content

From the beginning of the film onward, we’re immersed in a story of powerful battling and bloodletting—presented in an artfully stylized manner. An early scene proffers a flashback to battles where humans and demons are slashed and stabbed. We see limbs sliced and ripped off, heads lopped, blades hacking through torsos and blood splashing about in copious amounts. And that type of carnage continues on throughout much of the story.

A demon’s arms get ripped off, and it bleeds profusely from its stumps, for instance. The creature then has a blade lodged in its neck. Bodies are hacked open. A mother’s head is forcefully smashed off her body through a quick blow. Another woman has her arms ripped out of their sockets. Someone’s skin sizzles and fries with great heat. Bodies crisp and burn to ash. A headless corpse stumbles forward in an attempt to (somehow) devour a group of people.

Battles result in wounded legs, feet and torsos. A demon slices open her own arm and splashes her fiery blood on other demons. A guy is stabbed in the head by a sword, and he falls forward into a pool of blood.

Demons are rapidly cut up into large fleshy chunks. Large groups of people and demons are quickly butchered with blades (in one such case leaving scores of corpses in a small lake of gore, in another causing a large shower of blood.)


Crude or Profane Language

We hear a half-dozen or more uses each of the words “h—.” “d–,” and “b–tards” in the film’s dialogue. The word “crap” also shows up, along with the suggestive Yiddish insult “schmuck.”

Drug and Alcohol Content


Other Negative Elements



Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a very popular fantasy-action anime series that’s been streaming in the U.S. since 2019. Fans have been drawn to this serial by its rousing sword-fight choreography, heartfelt drama and dynamic artwork, as well as its ultraviolent and stylized demon pureeing.

All of those elements show up in the new movie feature Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba—To the Hashira Training. And well they should, because this pic isactually two standalone anime episodes from the series that have been tacked together.

The film starts with the climactic action of Season 3 of the TV series and then transitions into the first episode of the yet-to-be released Season 4. That makes for a very odd-feeling presentation, if you’re simply stepping in for a movie experience.

The heated, swirling action peaks about halfway in, and the rest of the film simply sets up an impending conflict that we never actually see resolved. In fact, the show’s hero spends the last half of the movie in a recovery bed.

Strange structure aside, though, viewers will also be in for quite a bit of graphic blood-splashing and demon-gutting violence, some fairly course language and buckets of dark, demonic spirituality. I mean, the movie does focus on foul creatures that yearn for a mouthful of bloody human flesh, after all.

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Bob Hoose

After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.