'Kimetsu no Yaiba' achieves box office and critical success in its first week
Japan's most successful new anime follows similar critical and box office fates in Mexican and U.S. markets.
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train is the hit anime that has grossed $19.5 million in its first weekend in the United States and Canada, earning the new top spot for best foreign film debut, more than other cult classics such as Hayao Miyazaki's films.
The original manga tells the story of Tanjiro Kamado who must protect his demon sister from demon hunters as well as search for the hellish leader responsible for the death of his family. The movie Mugen Train follows Tanjiro and his friends the Demon Slayer Corps to investigate a series of disappearances on an infinitely long train.
The triumph was foretold by the huge reception in the Japanese market, which in the midst of a pandemic broke all its records. Expectations had been slightly dissolved by the R rating not suitable for minors "for violent images" that it received upon its arrival in the US, but in the end it has not kept people away from movie theaters.
In Japan, since its release in October 2020, it has already grossed $400 million but it also helps that it received the PG-12 rating and no one was excluded from theaters.
The impact has not only been commercial since various types of critics have endorsed the quality of the film: perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes with 100% of specialized critics and 99% of audiences; along with an average of 8.4 on IMDb with the ratings of more than 6000 users.
— Konnichiwa! (@KonnichiwaFest) April 22, 2021
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train is a direct fantasy-horror sequel to the 2019 anime series Demon Slayer, directed by Haruo Stozaki and produced by Ufotable. The series was based on the Kimetsu no Yaiba manga by Koyoharu Gotoge marketed from 2016 and reached 150 million copies in circulation, one of the best-selling manga series in history.
The movie is 117 minutes long and covers the next story line of the manga series after the end of the anime, translated as El Tren Infinito and already available in most Latin American countries along with the United States and Canada.
The key to success seems to lie in the many wise combinations of supernatural horror with adventure, or the comic story with the sentimental that give depth to the characters and make them endearing.
It also helps an impressive final battle with the unexpected twist that anime viewers love so much and a soundtrack that includes songs by LiSA, one of the most recognized Japanese pop singers.