My thoughts on Demon Slayer have shifted quite a bit recently. I’ll save the story of how my opinion’s changed and why for another day, but the short version is, I didn’t love Season 1 when I first watched it. I thought it was a fine show, but it didn’t wow me. After some fellow anime fans persuaded me to give it another shot, I recently caught up and finished Season 2. I enjoyed the subsequent arcs a lot (and in case it wasn’t obvious in the featured image, Kyojuro is far and away my favorite character in the series now). A big reason for why I started to come around to Demon Slayer is the Mugen Train arc’s opening, “Akeboshi.”
The Mugen Train arc starts off with a unique anime-only episode that focuses on the Flame Hashira, Kyojuro Rengoku. Tanjirou, Zenitsu, and Inosuke were tasked with assisting him on his investigation at the end of Season 1, but this episode takes the extra time to introduce Kyojuro’s character properly with more
dorkiness depth and show what he stands for. Not only that, but because this arc is basically just the Mugen Train movie reformatted for TV viewing, this opening is exclusive to the show as well. It doesn’t play until the second episode, but I remember being surprised by how GOOD it was when I watched it the first time.
“Akeboshi” isn’t as upbeat as the other Demon Slayer openings. It has more of an edge, which is appropriate for the story of Mugen Train. The visuals and the music complement each other throughout the entire opening, with visuals often matching the beat of the melody or harmony perfectly. The animation is gorgeous, taking advantage of its bright colors, high-quality and visually distinct art style, and dynamic camera angles to set up the Mugen Train story arc and get viewers excited. It also expertly balances moments of humor, sorrow, tension, and action throughout the entire opening sequence. Did I mention the song itself is extremely catchy? Because it is, and I’ve been blasting it in my car regularly ever since.
Hot take: I think “Akeboshi” is the best opening theme of the three so far. “Gurenge” is good, but it was EVERYWHERE a few years ago. Fans covered that song using every genre and instrument imaginable, so it got overplayed very quickly. I much prefer “Akeboshi” for its melody, tone, and stunning visuals. Listen to it below (note: it starts at the two second mark, but the little scene right before the opening offers a glimpse into Kyojuro’s goofiness that I mentioned earlier).
But how does this opening match up to the other Demon Slayer openings, do you like it more or less? Let us know in the comments!