Confused about there being both a Mugen Train movie and anime adaptation? I was too. That’s why I gathered info and watched both. In this article, I bring clarity to the matter.
Mugen Train the movie tells the same story as the first arc of the anime adaptation. The material in both is essentially the same, with the only notable exception being the first episode of season 2, which is not in the movie. Other differences are rather minor.
Maybe you were just looking for a short answer to “what should I watch.” That answer is, “Either is fine, but you may want to also watch the first episode of the anime if you choose the movie.” However, if you’re looking for a more in-depth overview of the differences, we have you covered below. This article is largely spoiler-free and gives advance warnings where they do appear.
The Differences Between the Mugen Train Movie and the Season 2 Episodes Are Minor
Looking at the Mugen Train episodes announcement on Anime News Network, we get the following information:
- The anime adaptation of Mugen Train will be 7 episodes long
- The first episode will be a new story; the other 6 episodes are re-edited from the movie
- There will be new background music, a new trailer and about 70 new animation cuts in the anime
New music is always nice, definitely when performed by LiSA, but it’s a far cry from the “extended and retooled” advertisements some sources state. Watching both versions myself, I can confirm the differences are minor. The movie is a little under 2 hours long, while the anime arc (not counting the first episode which is an original story) is 6 x ~25 minutes = 2.30 hours. Take away the opening, the ending, the recaps and the previews of each episode and the difference is even smaller.
Anime-exclusive: Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku
As mentioned before, the first episode of the second season does not appear in the movie. It features the Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku and his activities before boarding the Mugen Train. It gives some insight into his personality and a first glimpse of his abilities. We also learn a little bit more about his father’s activities 20 years ago. Last but not least, we receive some basic information about the Mugen Train itself.
All in all, this episode has nothing that is vital to the overall plot. That means you will not have any difficulties following the plot if you decide to skip it. That being said, for most Demon Slayer fans it’s definitely worth a watch. It’s a very solid episode, even if it is unlikely to become your favorite.
Anime-only Mugen Train Ending Scenes
In general, with the difference of the first anime episode, changes between the movie and the anime are fairly minor. There is one big exception to this, though: the added ending scenes of each episode. A short summary of these ending scenes follows below along with minor spoilers phrased in a non-obvious way.
- What the other Hashiras think of Kyojuro Rengoku (end of episode 1)
- The revelation of why Rengoku has no students despite seeming eager to take some on (end of episode 2)
- A slight extension of the conversation shown between Tanjiro and his father (end of episode 3)
- A pretty wholesome scene between Tanjiro and Inosuke. We also get some more information about Inosuke’s crow (end of episode 4)
- We get to see a fairly cursed image of Nezuko here. Luckily it’s only a dream (end of episode 5)
- The gang is encouraging Rengoku in his ongoing fight (ending of episode 6)
- The end of episode 7 has no added ending scene
Other Mugen Train Anime vs. Movie Differences
Other differences are rather minor, mostly small added scenes and extended scenes in the anime. Most of note are (medium spoilers):
- The scenes in which Tanjiro’s subconsciousness and his incarnations of the soul help the invader of his dream are extended. This helps explain why the kid is later a lot less aggressive towards Tanjiro than his companions are. The anime is more faithful to the manga in this regard (see below).
- The leader of the Demon Slayer Corps’ visit to the graves of previously killed slayers is more prominent in the movie.
Apart from this, there are also some scenes that appear earlier or later depending on if you watch the anime or the movie. Some examples include:
- The subconsciousness of Inosuke and Zenitsu appears earlier in the movie than in the anime.
- The conversation between Inosuke and Tanjiro on top of the train is cut off in one anime episode but is shown at the start of the next.
By making it this far, you are now up to date about all the main differences between the anime and the movie. If you want to go even more in-depth and would like to also see details on extended scenes, you can do so by viewing Registry’s video below:
Is It Worth Watching Both the Mugen Train Movie and Anime?
The anime adaptation of the Mugen Train arc is of similar quality as the movie. To watch both is a bit excessive, though, as the content is almost the same. Just watching the first anime episode and the extra scenes at the end of each other episode should be enough. Negative comments on the anime are almost always from those who already saw the movie and were hoping to see new content in season 2 of the anime.
Still, considering that the differences are minor and it’s fun to watch the whole thing in one sitting, it’s a nice thing for fans to have. You can buy the movie at Amazon here (affiliate link).
Differences Between the Mugen Train Manga and the Mugen Train Anime / Movie
The Mugen train manga arc takes place from chapter 54 to chapter 66. Apart from the obviously extended fighting scenes, here are some notable differences in the manga (slight spoilers):
- The gang doesn’t almost miss the train and as such doesn’t need to chase it.
- The initial interactions between Rengoku and the gang are much briefer in the manga.
- Nezuko has a much smaller role in Zenitsu’s subconsciousness.
- The manga extends the scenes with Tanjirou’s dream invader even further. It is stated that one of the incarnations of Tanjirou’s soul is now part of his heart and is still keeping him warm. This gives additional meaning to the “Thank you” he gives Tanjirou.
- The manga clarifies why Enmu does not enter any dreams himself. If Demon Slayers were to sense him, there is a possibility they can break out of his spell.
- The manga also clarifies that it are Tanjiro’s instincts that make his father appear and have a conversation with him. Tanjiro instinctively feels “something” is off, but the conversation helps him connect the dots.
- There is more gore when Tanjiro awakes from his dream.
- Tanjiro’s instinct to not use his sword on the ropes is clarified to be correct. If he would have done so, the persons connected to the dreamers would never wake up again.
- Zenitsu’s dream state feats are a bit less prominent in the manga.
- Tanjiro does not save the train engineer but simply knocks him out. This makes the attack by the engineer a bit later seem less out of place.
- Tanjiro needs to wake himself up significantly fewer times in the manga.
- Quite a bit of Rengoku scenes are extended in the anime and movie when compared to the manga.
The above offers a good overview of the main differences. If you want a more in-depth discussion on the differences, feel free to watch the below video by Kidoroku:
If you want to get your hands on the manga yourself (and support the author at the same time), you can do so by using the affiliate links below:
- Click here to buy Volume 7 (the start of the Mugen Train arc, which continues in Volume 8).
- Click here to buy the complete Demon Slayer (Kimetsu no Yaiba) series.
New Content in Kimetsu No Yaiba Season 2
You have already seen the movie and don’t want to see the same content again in the anime? I recommend you watch the first episode anyway, as it’s anime-only. After that, you can skip straight to episode 8, which is the start of the next arc: the Entertainment District arc. The first episode of this arc came out on December 5, 2021. On Crunchyroll, the episodes of the new arc are in a different section from the Mugen Train episodes. If you’re struggling to find it, you can search for the title of the first episode of the arc: Sound Hashira Tengen Uzui.