It's the highest-grossing anime film ever and the highest-grossing film of 2020. Not just animated. That's all films, including live-action, in any language. Fans were angry that it wasn't Oscar-nominated, but they're wrong and it's dreadful. The world had been in COVID-19 lockdown. People had been missing cinemas. This film happened to come out at the right time, so everyone went to see it.
Kimetsu no Yaiba stars two adorable siblings (Tanjirou and Nezuko) and the most annoying supporting cast I've seen in years. Zenitsu is the mirror twin of Scrappy Doo, often yelling that he's terrified but never translating that into meaningful action. Inosuke is a pig-headed (literally) fighter who's so macho and stupid that I think there's probably something diagnosable about him. His utter lack of consideration for his fellow passengers here is so autistic that he annoys Zenitsu (which is like being hotter than the sun). Then, near the end of Season 1, we met the super-strong but super-stupid Hashira, one of whom is the flame-haired Kyojuro Rengoku. The majority of his dialogue is sensible, but he delivers it all while grinning, staring forwards and apparently ignoring the person he's talking to.
The show's best character is Nezuko. She's got demon superpowers and could easily hold her own with the others in fight scenes. The show keeps sidelining her, literally shutting her in a box while the boys do everything heroic. Her involvement in this film is:
- 23:00 = she's in the boys' dream sequences
- 35:00 = the real Nezuko leaves her box for the first time in the film and wakes up her brother.
- 61:00 = she gets a fight scene... and has to be rescued by Zenitsu. This only lasts two minutes.
That's it. That's all your Nezuko.
You can skip the film's first 25 minutes. It has Tanjirou (hurrah), but also Zenitsu (kill me now), Inosuke (almost as bad) and Rengoku (in comparison not that bad, actually). The boys ride a steam train and meet demons, one of whom can control dreams. Unsurprisingly, Tanjirou's dreams involve his murdered family.
Rengoku's dreams involve his negative, demotivated father who used to be a superhuman demon fighter like him. This is presented more seriously than Zenitsu and Inosuke and we're meant to care.
You can then skip the film's last hour, which is just HEROES FIGHT DEMONS!!! I was in despair at the halfway point, because we'd just met the dream demon and I'd assumed we were near the end, only to look at the clock. I was sort of right, though, because the second half is all fights with no meaningful plotting. Fight fight fight fight, the end. Admittedly, a certain character gets (SPOILERS) killed, which isn't badly done, but I still regarded it as "one down, two to go".
Don't watch this film, even out of curiosity. You'll see a poo tentacle monster and (briefly) Nezuko, but otherwise it's just more of the same. (The big boss Muzan doesn't appear, by the way.) If you'd been wondering if this record-breaking film had perhaps rescued a bad franchise... nope, sorry. It's a continuation of what went before. Fans, though, will undoubtedly enjoy this film.