Author: Koyoharu Gotouge
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: July 2, 2019
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy Manga/208 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★
Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
While recuperating at Mt Natagumo, Tanjiro seeks to learn about fire breathing techniques from Shinobu, but she suggests he ask someone who actually uses those techniques, such as Rengoku. As he and the others are leaving, Tanjiro encourages the shy, quiet Kanao to follow her heart, telling her she can do it.
Arriving at the train station, Tanjiro and Zenitsu discover that Inosuke has no idea what a train is when he furiously head-butts it! Tanjiro says they need to get on the Infinity Train so he can talk to Rengoku, who is already there. He suggests they put their weapons away and try to blend in. Zenitsu advises Inosuke to wear clothes, in that case.
In talking to Rengoku, they discover there is a demon on the train. Tanjiro smells something odd just before the conductor approaches to punch their tickets. Rengoku spots the demon and is immensely happy that he will be able to slay it. What none of them realize is that they are on the Train of Infinite Dreams, and they are asleep, at the mercy of this same demon. Tanjiro dreams he is back with his family and they are all alive and well, and nothing has changed. But his subconscious is sending him signals that he is asleep and dreaming, and he needs to figure out how to wake up and then wake the others or they will all die!
This volume of Demon Slayer is all about the Infinity Train, and it’s actually pretty interesting. Everyone loves to dream, but not all dreams are good ones. And you can get so lost in the good ones that you don’t want to come back to reality. That is what the demons on this train count on, which makes the dreamers easy prey. It’s their misfortune that some Demon Slayers chose to ride the train. They are the only hope the others have.
Along this journey, we get to see backstories for some of the characters, which are interesting. Still not sure about Inosuke, but I imagine his story will emerge at some point. The demon who is invoking the dreams doesn’t seem completely evil, and that is something I like about this series. There is no clear-cut delineation between good and evil, and sometimes it’s just a small step or a minor circumstance that causes someone to cross from one side to the other. Tanjiro’s situation is heartbreaking in that of course he wants to be with his family, and the demon uses them to guilt Tanjiro into staying asleep. Nezuko performs admirably in this volume. Go Nezuko!
Another great volume, looking forward to more.