Demon Slayer Season 4 Could Be the Worst Yet for a Simple Reason

demon slayer hashira training arc wind hashira
Credit: Koyoharu Gotouge / Ufotable / @kimetsu_off

demon slayer hashira training arc wind hashira
Credit: Koyoharu Gotouge / Ufotable / @kimetsu_off

Demon Slayer is one of the hottest properties in anime, with years of chart-topping series and money-spinning movies. However, now onto its fourth season (or fifth year), the Hashira Training Arc already feels like the weakest installment yet.

Demon Slayer has been something of a trailblazer for the extended season premiere.

Ever since its hugely successful Mugen Train movie release, it has tried to repeat the trick with compilation films encompassing the end of one season with an early look at the extended premiere of the next.

Last year’s To the Swordsmith Village was a solid if unremarkable watch. Due to their nature as premiere episodes, these compilation films don’t deliver the same satisfying conclusion as Mugen Train did.

However, that irritating sense of dissatisfaction felt even stronger this time around with the TV premiere of the Hashira Training Arc.

Demon Slayer Season 4’s Premiere Is Off to a Slow Start

Many aspects of the Hashira Training Arc’s premiere will be hugely satisfying for fans who’ve been waiting for more episodes since June 2023.

This premiere sees a lot of the story’s popular characters come back together. After being split up for the Swordsmith Village Arc, Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke are back as a trio.

All the Hashira are back, too, from last season’s favorite Mitsuri to the first season’s stars Giyu and Shinobu.

As with previous extended premieres, season 4’s first episode does a lot of traveling and talking.

We see the Hashira discover the Infinity Castle before discussing the climax of last season and setting up the training-based story to come.

If you wanted to sum up the premiere in a sentence, it might go like this: characters come back together, have some fun, and then discuss what to do for the rest of the series.

In some respects, that’s perfectly fine – Zenitsu and Inosuke are funny, and the Hashira are cool to watch being all dramatic. The problem is, does it need to be 45 minutes long?

The episode wasn’t boring in itself; it was nice to see everyone together again and enjoy the incredible production of this Ufotable gem. Yet, as the credits rolled, I couldn’t help but wonder what had happened.

Ultimately, the reason the Hashira Training Arc premiere felt a bit meh is obvious: there’s just not much story to work with here.

Short Hashira Training Arc Raises Issues for Season 4

Demon Slayer Hashira Training Arc Hashira
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Credit: Koyoharu Gotouge / Ufotable / @kimetsu_off

According to the show’s wiki, the Hashira Training Arc runs for just nine chapters. For comparison, the Swordsmith Village Arc is 30 chapters, more than three times as long.

In reality, the Hashira Training Arc is a setup for the mammoth conclusion to Demon Slayer, which spans nearly 70 chapters.

Many shonen manga have lighter arcs between heavy moments, particularly late in their runs.

Creators need an opportunity for scarred characters to heal and previously neglected characters to get attention before setting up the next big adventure.

A comparison could be made between the Hashira Training Arc and My Hero Academia (MHA)’s Remedial Course Arc.

In MHA, this arc takes place after some of the first majorly dramatic moments in the series, including the first major death, and sees characters honing their skills while big discussions about future events happen in the background.

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The difference is that MHA’s Remedial Course Arc, with a similar length of 10 chapters, took place over three episodes near the end of season four, not as its own season.

An episode count for Demon Slayer’s Hashira Training Arc is yet to be confirmed. However, most rumors suggest around eight episodes, which would make sense in terms of scheduling within the spring 2024 season.

No matter how detailed a manga might be, stretching nine chapters across eight episodes is asking a lot of the source material. Given the stopgap nature of this particular arc, it might be stretched to breaking point.

Hashira Training Arc Could Be Saved by Final Episodes

It's worth remembering that Demon Slayer has been an incredibly well-produced and marketed series up to this point.

It would be surprising if they didn’t have some surprises prepared given how threadbare this season could be.

If there is a saving grace to this season of Demon Slayer, we’ll likely see it in the final episodes.

Without spoiling what happens next, the Hashira Training Arc almost seamlessly transitions into a major fight that begins the final arc. A big question, therefore, is where will this season finish?

I think this season is likely to include at least a few chapters from the beginning of that final arc.

Both in terms of dramatic energy and sheer source material requirements, that decision seems to make the most sense.

If that is the case, while the Hashira Training Arc’s first episodes could be underwhelming, the series could have a monumental finish that sets up the big events to come.

Personally, I keep my fingers crossed for an Infinity Castle movie announcement at the end of this season. However, for now, we will just have to see what unfolds!

What have you made of the Hashira Training Arc so far? Let us know in the comments and follow us on Facebook for more anime news.

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