“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: the Mugen Train”‘s release celebration stage talk had been held at Toho Cinemas Hibiya in Tokyo on Oct. 31. Hanae Natsuki (playing Kamado Tanjirou), Hino Satoru (playing Rengoku Toujurou), and Ishida Akira (playing Akaza) attended the event.

The casts entered the stage with a great round of applause. This movie has continued to gain wide support from the fans even 2 weeks after the release, and Hanae commented, “I have already watched the movie on the 1st day of the release and watched one more time at IMAX. The quality of the movie, music, and everyone’s acting matched perfectly and feel like in dream while watching it, although I play the character in the movie”. He seems to grip the love toward “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” as a fan.

This event invited Ishida for the first time, and also had a conversation about Rengoku and Akaza’s fierce battles, which continues to receive great attention from the fans. Hanae started the talk session, “Hino-san and Ishida-san’s acting was so tense that I felt like I cannot make even a slight sound while watching them act behind them, and it was full of pressure when Tanjirou enters the scene. I felt that fierce battle is going on even at the recording session”. He looked back at the recording session as they also had the battles which risked their lives.

Hino continued with his feeling of playing Rengoku during Akaza’s battle, he thought about, “providing Rengoku with the characteristic of strength as a human being and of toughness of the heart. Moreover, since Akaza is the “Upper Rank 3”, I thought I have gone above the “Upper Rank 3″ with toughness of a heart, so I played Rengoku to be noble and calm”. He explained how he borrowed the sense of justice and strong mentality of Rengoku when he acted.

He also commented on co-play with Ishida that, “It was a really energetic moment. Since we recorded before the lockdown, I could play the character in the same room with Ishida-san, Hanae-kun, and others, and that helped me a lot. I relied on Ishida-san to accept everything of Rengoku while I played him”. He revealed that he also acted strongly as Rengoku fought with Akaza in the movie.

In contrast, when Ishida got asked about Akaza, he spoke, “When I received the lines of Akaza, I thought Akaza is such a unique character that his persistence toward toughness is not normal and tried to create a contrast between Rengoku-san”. He seemed to value the irregularity of Akaza toward toughness and played it with his full ability. He continued, “As I talked on the first stage talk, Akaza appeared on the anime series for the first time with the movie. There was pressure on playing and giving them uniqueness to the first-appearing character on the movie, while the opponent, Rengoku, received the opportunity to show his characteristics during the TV anime. I did not have much energy to help him”.

This battle focused on the comparison between Rengoku, who believed that life is beautiful because it has a limit, and Akaza, who seeks unlimited power with unlimited life. Hino mentioned, “Rengoku’s toughness comes from the belief that he wants to help everyone in the trouble, including his family, underclassman, colleague, and others. The fact that his belief makes him stronger also works as his charm. Akaza is also strong because he seeks the perfect toughness through battles. I thought that they may become great friends if they encountered at the better moment”. While Hino believed that they have something in common with great power, Ishida reacted, “Akaza’s toughness is different from Rengoku’s because Akaza wants to become stronger for himself only, and there is his toughness on the part where he tries to eliminate everything else expect for something that makes him stronger in the future. His belief is not suitable for leading others to become better at something, since he only believes that no one can get stronger for someone else; the greater power comes to him when he works for himself. His power is not for justice”.

Hanae explained his thought during the acting on Tanjirou by saying, “After I had watched the acting of Hino-san and Ishida-san, I tried to prioritize more of emotion than logical thought when playing Tanjirou’s bitterness that comes from the powerlessness of him. “.

Dynamic expressions and beautiful drawings are also the factors that this movie has been loved by many people for a long time. Hino and Ishida talked about the movie, “I was so astonished that we had forgotten to breathe. The battles, facial expressions, breath, music, and up to the end roll, I felt empty when I finished watching it. “(Hino) “As you know, there is no sound added when we record the lines, but I knew that the complete work will be so wonderful. There were things that I could not anticipate during the recording session, and I now want to make it better, although I recorded with 100% of my ability” (Ishida). They both praised their battles scenes, which sometimes even hard to chase their moves. Hanae continued, “I cried because it was so cool. Akaza’s super moves were beautiful. Akaza and Rengoku’s battle is worth watching on the big screen and it makes you feel like going it again because you never can understand everything of the battle only watching once”.

There was an “announcement” from Hanae. “‘Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: the Mugen Train'” was released on Oct. 16. It has recorded 10 million visitors as of today because all of you came to the screen! (Calculated the numbers from Oct. 16 to 31-16 days total)”. Hino praised it “Yomoya Yomoya da!” (Surely it cannot be!) There was a great round of applause after they delivered such nice news and smile appeared on the faces of the casts and the audience.

They summarized at the last, “As you have watched it, the Mugen Train Arc has ended in that way. Please calm down because many of you are still in a panic because Rengoku experienced ‘that’ event. Enma was gross, wasn’t it? Tanjirou’s dream made you think, ‘Ah, I wish this dream continued forever’, don’t you? Please visit the theater one more time to retrieve this feeling.” (Ishida) “Everyone involved in the Mugen Train Arc did their best to produce this movie. Please accept the message of the movie, that we must take a step forward by accepting the difficult reality we are currently in now, together with the love of the family and how we should live. “(Hino) “I am happy to see many of you enjoyed it. I will continue to do my best with the happiness of having this opportunity to play Tanjirou and with the message from Rengoku-san”. (Hanae)

(C) Gotoge Koyoharu/ Shueisha, Aniplex, ufotable