It’s only been a matter of days since Demon Slayer wrapped up its fourth and final season. Over the course of eight episodes, the Hashira Training Arc has ramped up, with Nezuko’s newfound freedom posing a threat to the success of the Hashiras altogether.


Sure enough, Muzan is intent on finding her to become immortal, while all active Hashiras have been trapped inside the Infinity Castle.

It’s a fantastic cliffhanger that seamlessly blends one story arc with the next. However, there’s a catch: Instead of watching the rest of Demon Slayer play out in a familiar and accessible season 5, the Infinity Castle Arc will be entirely packaged for film, with the series announcing it will draw its conclusion through an upcoming trilogy.

On the face of it, a trilogy of movies feels like an odd choice. Fans were largely left unsatisfied by the release of this year’s Demon Slayer movie, Kimetsu No Yaiba - To the Hashira Training. Instead of giving viewers a fresh take, the 2024 release replayed scenes from the previously-aired season 3, combined with the first scenes from season 4… which we later saw air on TV anyway.

Where anime such as Haikyu!! and Spy x Family have instead recently released films with entirely separate stories - meaning that even someone who has never watched before can follow along - Demon Slayer is starting to stick out like a sore thumb. By meshing film and TV together, the end product is not just messy, but not really doing much of anything… and that’s a huge concern for the new trilogy.

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Demon Slayer still showing two soldiers clashing wooden swords
Demon Slayer. Koyoharu Gotoge _ SHUEISHA, Aniplex, ufotable

However, that doesn’t mean the Infinity Castle film trilogy is all doom and gloom. The news has only just been announced, and there are plenty of ways the anime can go out with a bang and make all of its three films pull their weight. After all, there’s a reason we’ve all become so invested in the dynamic, unique and action-packed series that has taken the world by storm.

Before what happens in the films can even be touched on, the Demon Slayer trilogy will first need to look at its accessibility. It’s no secret that Western fans often get releases months after Japan, meaning any well-kept secrets or explosive twists will lose their impact if each of the three films has globally different release dates.

We don’t know yet when the movies will hit screens, but one solid international release feels like the sensible call.

On top of that, the trilogy will need to be worth the price of its cinema tickets. By essentially putting a higher paywall between anime fans and the content they’re waiting for, moviegoers will now be defined by who can afford to attend. If fans are going to invest in three separate films, there better be a really worthwhile pay-off.

Then there’s the question of what will actually happen over the course of the three films. The existing manga gives us a good idea of what we can expect, but when it comes to adaptations, it’s all about timing. Aside from the obvious complaint - please, Demon Slayer, no more recaps! - the Infinity Castle Arc can’t afford to reveal too much too soon.

If the first instalment of the series tells us what will become of the trapped Hashiras or Nezuko’s fate too soon, fans won’t exactly be queueing up to see the second and third. Ideally, the first film will tease us and leave us wanting more, the second will drop an anime-altering bombshell, and the third will be the answer to any outstanding questions.

It’s the content of the Demon Slayer trilogy that’s arguably the most concerning. The anime doesn’t have the best track record with the art of satisfying surprise (just look at its most recent film), and having source material means there’s an extra sense of expectation from a fan base who are truly invested in what’s to come.

The Demon Slayer Infinity Castle trilogy has a lot to get right, but with effective planning and considered storytelling, it can easily give fans what they want and deserve. Satisfying the existing fan base while appealing to brand new moviegoers is an extra challenge the anime has given itself, so let’s hope the series is ready to learn from its mistakes in the past.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Infinity Castle is coming soon to cinemas. Stream episodes on Crunchyroll. Sign up to Crunchyroll today for as little as £4.99 or start your 7-day free trial.


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