ADAPTED from the Koyoharu Gotouge’s manga’s short story arc, a majority of the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba episodes from the latest Hashira Training Arc season is quite inconsequential, even if the episodes are fun, casual time wasters.

After the climactic battle in the last season led to Nezuko Kamado gaining the ability to withstand sunlight, Kagaya Ubuyashiki realises that series villain Muzan Kibutsuji will seek to capture her in order to gain her ability. If the demon lord overcomes his species’ weakness, the complete subjugation of Japan will be swift.

$!Already looking like Michael Jackson, the only thing missing from Kibutsuji’s big entrance is Thriller as its soundtrack.

High octane fun

Placing Kamado under the protection of the Demon Slayer Corps, Ubuyashiki enacts the Hashira Training regiment for the entire Corps members to strengthen them for the eventual battle against Kibutsuji and his demons.

The straightforward premise serves as the basis for the seven episodes in the season, in which the most promising Corps members and the regular members undergo training by the eight Hashira-ranked Demon Slayers.

Instead of the high octane fights and brutality from previous seasons, the episodes are much more lighthearted, featuring comedy and banter with cutesy animation of exaggerated shouting and bulging eyes that Gotouge’s manga is known for.

The episodes are fun and expand on character dynamics somewhat but by the fourth episode, the hunger pang for something meatier than non-stop jokes and for the story to expand quickly becomes overpowering.

$!Despite her importance, Tanjiro’s (second from left) sister Nezuko (middle) only appears briefly this season.

Setting up the finale

Viewers who choose to skip the first seven episodes will not miss a single thing as the story does not develop in any meaningful capacity. It is the final episode that is the most important in the entire season and animation studio Ufotable knows it.

Successfully locating the bed-ridden, almost dead Ubuyashiki, Kibutsuji confronts him, hoping by killing the leader of Demon Slayer Corps, the organisation will give up fighting against the demons.

Ubuyashiki then pulls an Uno reverse card and Ufotable dumps the entire season’s production budget into this single episode, blending high quality CGI and animation to deliver a great but somewhat short action set piece.

As the Hashiras and Tanjiro converge on the location of Kibutsuji, who has been trapped by Ubuyashiki’s plan, the Michael Jackson-looking demon pulls his own Uno reverse card, teleporting the Hashiras, Tanjiro, Zenitsu, Inosuke, Genya and the entire Corps into his demon-infested hideout and lair, which is the Infinity Castle.

The stage is now set for the final Demon Slayers arc, except there will be no fifth season. The series’ Infinity Castle Arc will be told in three feature-length films. As each season has followed a strict one season a year schedule, the first film is expected to release late next year.

Demon Slayer – Hashira Training Arc is streaming on Netflix.