Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba THE MOVIE Mugen Train, directed by Haruo Sotozaki, has been absolutely killing it in the Japanese box office—it has broken several records, earned more than 10 billion Japanese yen in the first 10 days of opening, and has surpassed Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away to earn ¥32.12 billion in just 59 days since its October release.
But Mugen Train’s number one spot on the charts— which it held for a jaw-dropping twelve weeks—was not to last. Gintama: THE FINAL, released on 8 January 2021, has taken over the first position during the weekend it was released. Despite a state of Emergency declared in the Tokyo area on the 7th by the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga—which began on Friday—leading to strict restrictions, the anime movie has still gone on to top the charts. Mugen Train, of course, is only second.
“Gintama” is a sci-fi historical comedy set in the Edo period, which was occupied by aliens called Amanto. It depicts the samurai Gintoki Sakata, who runs a shop for and goes around solving difficult problems. The manga was serialized in “Weekly Shonen Jump” (Shueisha) in December 2003. The cumulative circulation of comics is over 55 million. In addition to being made into a TV anime, a live-action movie starring Shun Oguri was also a hit.
Gintama: THE FINAL is the third and final movie adaptation of the series. Of the 704 chapters that the manga has, this movie has adapted from chapter 687-704—this includes the remainder of the Silver Soul arc; but new content is also featured.
Seeing the success of both these franchises, exclusive illustrations of Demon Slayer by the Gintama creator Hideaki Sorachi were given away at screenings to promote the latter. In the first week, they featured Hashira and Tanjiro; and by the fourth week of the film (by which time Tokyo’s Emergency will be over), mini-posters including all the demon slaying characters will be given away.