The third episode of the Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc, “Should Have Been,” finally starts diving into the meat of the story, taking us through the idyllic dreams each of the main cast have been put into by the demon Enmu.
This is a slower episode that is once again made up entirely of footage from the Mugen Train film, and there weren’t any new notable scenes that I could notice. Still, it’s an emotional episode that takes us through each character’s dream; from Zenitsu’s fantasy with Nezuko to Tanjiro’s gut-wrenching reunion with his family.
Zenitsu and Inosuke are, of course, the comic relief of the show, but one of my only complaints with Mugen Train, the film, was how little development both characters get. While the two character’s dreams are hilarious, in this format it feels especially strange to open with their comical scenes and then move into hugely emotional ones with Rengoku and Tanjiro. The stinger at the end of the episode, like with the previous episode, continues to be a meaningful way to add to the story, and I was especially surprised at what they chose to show this week.
The one thing I can say is that the episodic format really does a lot for making cliffhangers, and this episode ends on one of the most horrific scenes of the film, to great effect. I’m definitely enjoying the way the format ratchets up the tension of the overall story, and I can’t imagine having to wait a week to see what happens next if you didn’t already know this story.
Overall, Episode 3 could have done with some revamped pacing, as events this time around seem to drag on a bit. In the film, it wasn’t as big of a deal because things simply moved into more action without missing a beat. Like I said previously, I do enjoy the more dramatic sense of the episode’s ending, but it’s a more subdued experience this time around.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 6 equates to “Decent.” It fails to reach its full potential and is a run-of-the-mill experience
Disclosure: The critic watched the episode on Funimation for ComingSoon’s Demon Slayer Mugen Train Arc Episode 3 – Should Have Been review.