Tanjiro Kamado slices a demon with a flaming sword as the Hashira and other Demon Slayer Corps members stand ready for battle | Agents of Fandom

‘Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training’ Turns the Tide for the Series

The high-ranking Demon Slayer Corps members take the spotlight in this new arc.

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training.

The award-winning and fan-favorite anime series, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba from Koyoharu Gotouge, is back with a new special. The show has taken the world by storm since its debut in 2019. With stunning visuals and action from the Japanese animation studio Ufotable to the series’ compelling storyline and characters, Demon Slayer has garnered critical acclaim across the anime world. The franchise’s first theatrical release, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, notoriously broke box office records and is currently the highest-grossing Japanese film of all time with over $453 million globally.

The critical and fan response to the film attracted new fans to the series. People could easily jump into the movie without context and still find it enjoyable. The same can’t be said for their next theatrical release, Demon Slayer: To the Swordsmith Village. Although billed as a cinematic event, the footage was a compilation of the last two episodes from Season 2 and the premiere of Season 3. It received positive reviews but made nowhere near the same amount of money as Mugen Train.

Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training unfortunately follows this format by compiling two episodes (Season 3, Episode 11, and Season 4, Episode 1). While the theatrical event provides a nice catch-up and an opportunity to see the series’ epic moments on the big screen, it may not be for everyone.

Does ‘Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training’ Work as a Movie?

Calling this a movie almost doesn’t seem right because of its format. There is no cohesion to the overall project as the two episodes included feel very separate from one another in terms of their tone. The special tries its best to cater to both new viewers and devoted fans by opening with a montage of the series’ major moments set to Gurenge by LiSA. LiSA’s strong vocals and its energetic melody always make the use of this song great, but without any dialogue or context provided, the montage doesn’t add much to the experience.

Most fans watching this film will have already seen all this footage by keeping up with the show. If the intent behind this is to provide context to new fans, Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training fails them because right after the recap, it cuts to the end of the climactic battle from the Season 3 finale without any explanation.

Hopefully, the next Demon Slayer theatrical release looks back at what made Mugen Train approachable for every viewer and sticks to that format. In a time of streaming content, deciding to go to the theater is a harder choice due to the cost and the amount of films being released. While the gorgeous animation may be worth the price of admission, fans need to temper expectations that they’ll be seeing a full movie of new content. Once viewers make it through the first hour, however, they will experience the new footage they came for.

The Wind and Serpent Hashira Showcase Their Power in ‘Hashira Training’

Wind Hashira Sanemi Shinazugawa and Serpent Hashira Obanai Iguro are on full display in 'Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training | Agents of Fandom
Seeing the Hashira display their special fighting styles in Demon Slayer is always a treat. Image Credit: Crunchyroll.

The Hashira Training arc opens with an action-packed sequence as Sanemi Shinazugawa (Tomokazu Seki/Kaiji Tang) and Obanai Iguro (Kenichi Suzumura/Erik Scott Kimerer) battle against a wave of demons. They both haven’t gotten much screen time since their debut at the end of Demon Slayer Season 1, so this marks the first time in the series that their powers are on full display.

Being a Hashira means being one of the highest-ranking members of the Demon Slayer Corps. With each member of this elite squad harnessing different breathing styles, it always makes for a visual spectacle. While most of the other Hashira rely on brute strength to even the odds, Wind Hashira Shinazugawa can move swiftly and attack with precision by controlling the flow of air around him. His Wind Style techniques translate well in animation by capturing just how graceful and immensely powerful his moves are.

Snake Hashira Iguro’s swordsmanship allows him to twist and turn like a serpent, striking in unpredictable ways. With his pet snake, Kaburamaru, he can curve his sword and decapitate many demons in one blow. It’s a fun, creative choice that during one of his attacks, the point of view switches to Kaburamaru as he quickly slithers from demon to demon decapitating their head — the series never disappoints when showcasing the Hashira’s fighting style.

The Hashira Are Front and Center in ‘Demon Slayer’ Season 4

Gyomei, Sanemi, Obanai, Mitsuri, Kyojuro, Muichiro, Shinobu, Tengen, and Giyu make up the Hashira in Demon Slayer | Agents of Fandom
The combined power of the most powerful Demon Slayers is unimaginable. Image Credit: Crunchyroll.

This arc is called Hashira Training because the Hashira decide it’s time to start personally pushing the lower-level Demon Slayers to be as skilled as possible to defend against the looming threat of Demon King Muzan Kibutsuji (Toshihiko Seki/Greg Chun) grows stronger. Initially, it seemed that with Tanjiro Kamado‘s (Natsuki Hanae/Zach Aguilar) recent victories against powerful demons, he would be the one training to be a Hashira. But this concept is much more interesting as fans have long awaited to see more of the Hashira.

The last time the Hashira were seen all together was back in Season 1, so it’s refreshing to see them interact with one another. The interrelationship between the Hashira is interesting because while they do all respect one another as fighters, there’s some animosity amongst them. With most of the Hashiras’ backstories already established, the series can now focus more on their character development and highlight their expertise as high-ranking Demon Slayers.

‘Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training’ Is the Calm Before the Storm

Tanjiro, Nezuko, and Mitsuri embrace one another as they're happy to see Nezuko out in the sun in Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training | Agents of Fandom
Our protagonists are overjoyed to see Nezuko overcome something they all thought was impossible. Image Credit: Crunchyroll.

Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training provides some fun and heartfelt moments for the audience to breathe after all the action. Reliving the Season 3 finale when Nezuko (Akari Kitō/Abby Trott) looks to be fading to ash in the sun doesn’t get easier after multiple viewings and watching Tanjiro and the rest of the characters react to her suddenly being able to be out in the sun as a half-demon is tearjerking. Scenes like this are a great balance of the light and dark tones of the series.

These moments with Nezuko’s revelation serve as the emotional crux of the two episodes and also act as a turning point for the series. Nezuko having the ability to withstand a demon’s one weakness, sunlight, has changed everything these characters have believed. What makes Nezuko so special? Can this aversion be replicated? These are just some of the questions that have been laid out in Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training.

‘Demon Slayer’ Season 4 Teases More Action

Tanjiro Kamado uses fire breathing style in Demon Slayer | Agents of Fandom
How much stronger does Tanjiro have to be before he’s considered a Hashira? Image Credit: Crunchyroll.

For those looking for a refresher on the series and are too excited to wait for it to return later this spring, Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training is a fun experience overall. If you haven’t rewatched the series since Season 3 ended last June, this theatrical special is a great way to jump back in.

Hashira Training‘s fight sequences are beautiful on the big screen, providing a sampling of what may come this season; the Hashiras will finally be getting more screen time after much fanfare. It’ll be interesting to see how their lessons affect our heroes’ fighting style, and how it’ll come in handy for future battles.

Subtitled and dubbed versions of Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training are now showing in theaters. Follow the Agents of Fandom socials for all the latest entertainment news and reviews.

'Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training' Review

'Demon Slayer: To the Hashira Training' Review
4 5 0 1
Total Score

The Good

  • The animation continues to be the series' best, especially during the action.
  • Seeing these characters back together again is heartfelt.
  • A great set-up for 'Demon Slayer' Season 4.

The Bad

  • If you're only watching for the Hashira Training portion, it might be better to wait for it on streaming.
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