Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train was a smash hit release around the world – and for good reason.
The blockbuster movie showed our favorite Demon Slayer characters on the big screen for the first time. And one of the most memorable scenes, the fight between Kyojuro Rengoku and Akaza, will go down as one of the most epic fight scenes in anime history.
But what happened to Rengoku? Did Rengoku really die?
Since you are here, we’re going to go ahead and assume you have already watched Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train. If you haven’t but are curious to know what happened, expect big spoilers up ahead.
In this simple guide, we detail who Rengoku Kyojuro is, what happened to Rengoku, and whether Rengoku is really dead.
We also go through what Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train is about and how it sets up what we can expect from season two of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
So, with all of that said, let’s jump in.
What Is Demon Slayer Mugen Train About?
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train is an anime movie released in 2020 as the direct sequel to the first season of the anime television series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, based on the manga of the same name.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train picks up exactly where season one left off, following main characters Tanjiro Kamado, Inosuke Hashibira, and Zenitsu Agatsuma.
Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu, accompanied by Kyojuro Rengoku, are tasked with investigating a train on which many passengers have mysteriously died. As the story of Demon Slayer typically goes, the perpetrator is believed to be an evil demon.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train marked the first time Demon Slayer fans saw one of the illustrious Hashira Demon Slayers (Rengoku) in action. The movie was also a huge success, becoming the highest-grossing anime film of all time.
Who Is Rengoku Kyojuro?
If you don’t know who Rengoku is, or are curious to know more about Rengoku after finishing Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train, we go into detail about Kyojuro Rengoku’s background here.
Kyojuro Rengoku is one of the Hashira – the most powerful demon slayers in the Demon Slayer Corps, tasked with ridding the world of demons. The Hashira have gone through intense training to earn the title, each displaying incredible strength, speed, and fighting skills.
Each of the Hashira has their own Breathing Style, a unique power that can be summoned and infused with their weapon of choice, typically a Nichirin Blade.
Rengoku is the Flame Hashira, with the Breathing Style Flame Breathing.
While Rengoku Kyojuro is not the strongest of the Hashira, he ranks near the top. As shown in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train, Rengoku has fast decision-making skills, outstanding sword mastery, and lightning-quick agility and reflexes.
Rengoku is also courageous, compassionate, and strong-willed.
Is Rengoku Really Dead?
So, is Rengoku really dead?
The simple answer is yes – Rengoku died in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train due to suffering fatal injuries.
Despite putting up one hell of a fight, protecting Tanjiro and Inosuke in the process, Rengoku Kyojuro was unable to best the demon – one of the Twelve Kizuki – in the final showdown of the movie.
It could be said that Rengoku was tired after all his efforts to save the passengers from Enmu, the demon and primary antagonist of the movie that was terrorizing the train.
Still, Rengoku gave it his all and managed to gravely injure the final demon of Mugen Train, but was not able to protect himself.
Who Killed Rengoku?
After Tanjiro and Inosuke dealt with Enmu, the demon terrorizing the train, another demon appeared – one of the Twelve Kizuki – for the final showdown of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train.
This demon, named Akaza, was the one that fought with Rengoku and eventually killed him.
As one of the Twelve Kizuki (Twelve Demon Moons), Akaza is one of the most powerful demons under Muzan, the main antagonist of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. The Twelve Kizuki are a direct match for the Hashira in terms of speed, strength, and unique powers.
Akaza, specifically, is the Upper Moon Three – one of the upper-ranking demons of the Twelve Demons, split into Upper and Lower Moons.
Both Rengoku Kyojuro and Akaza were gravely injured from their long-winded battle with each other. Despite this, Rengoku suffered greater injuries that led to him dying slowly in the final scene of the movie.
What Happened with Rengoku and Akaza
So, what happened between Rengoku and Akaza in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train?
After Enmu was beaten and Tanjiro, Inosuke, Zenitsu, and Rengoku had saved as many passengers as they could from the train, Akaza arrived to confront them.
At first, Akaza recognizes Rengoku’s strength as a Hashira, and tempts him to become a demon, which Rengoku declines and continues to decline throughout their battle.
While an injured Tanjiro and Inosuke watch in awe, Rengoku shows formidable fighting prowess as he parries all of Akaza’s attacks, cutting off Akaza’s limbs several times, despite them growing back instantly.
At one point, Rengoku uses his Fifth Form: Flame Tiger Breathing Style to attack Akaza. And while it is effective, he suffers an injury in the process, but continues to fight.
Later on, the battle comes to a close as Rengoku and Akaza come together in a final, epic clash, revealing Azaka to have punched straight through Rengoku’s stomach.
As Tanjiro and Inosuke continue to watch from afar, still helpless, an injured Akaza flees from the rising sun while Rengoku succumbs to his wounds.
Before dying, Rengoku places his trust in Tanjiro as the two main characters weep and mourn their loss.
How Powerful Was Rengoku?
We saw Kyojuro single-handedly take on Akaza, one of the Upper Moon Demons, in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train, but just how powerful was Rengoku?
There is no doubt that Rengoku matched Akaza throughout their battle in terms of speed, agility, reflexes, and power. Both Rengoku and Akaza parried each other’s attacks and wounded each other several times.
Despite this, Rengoku was the one who suffered the greatest injuries, eventually leading to his death. And as mentioned above, Rengoku could have been at a disadvantage from being tired after all his efforts to save the passengers on the train.
In terms of ranking, Kyojuro Rengoku is one of the powerful Hashira. While perhaps not as powerful as fellow Hashira, Muichiro Tokito, Sanemi Shinazugawa, and Gyomei Himejima, Rengoku is without a doubt a formidable opponent and one of the most powerful demon slayers to have held a Nichirin Blade.
Against his peers, Rengoku is one of the more skilled in terms of swordsmanship. His Breathing Style, Flame Breathing, also gives him the ability to conjure up devastating fire-infused attacks that can wipe out demons in a single maneuver.
Even during the fight with Akaza, Tanjiro and Inosuke – both highly skilled demon slayers – were in awe with Rengoku’s blinding speed, so much so that they felt they would only get in a way if they joined the fight.
Similarly, Akaza himself remarked on Rengoku’s incredible fighting skills, and even tried to persuade Rengoku to join the demon ranks for that very reason.
Who Will Become the Next Flame Hashira?
With Rengoku no longer in the picture, who will take Rengoku’s place as the Flame Hashira?
In his final dying moments in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train, Rengoku gave Tanjiro Kamado advice, specifically on how to find out more on Sun Breathing, a rare, legendary Breathing Style considered to be the original Breathing Style that led to all other Breathing Styles.
While Sun Breathing is considered the original Breathing Style, it is also clear to see that there is a relation between Sun Breathing and Fire Breathing – the two Breathing Styles being fire-based.
Tanjiro, in one notable scene in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, used Sun Breathing without trying or even realizing at the time.
Due to this, many fans have speculated that Tanjiro will eventually become the successor to Rengoku, if not the next Flame Hashira.
What Comes Next?
With the events of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train perfectly setting up season two of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, what can we expect next story-wise?
Season two of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba continues directly where Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train left off.
Due to Rengoku’s death, Tanjiro and Inosuke will be more driven than ever to become strong members of the Demon Slayer Corps, hell-bent on avenging the fallen Flame Hashira. Many of the Twelve Demon Moons still remain, including Muzan, the leader of the demons and strongest demon in existence.
In terms of actual plot, it’s adapted directly from the Demon Slayer manga, which starts with Tanjiro tracking down a demon in Japan’s red-light district.
Overall, both the main characters and the demons themselves will get stronger as they continue to hunt Muzan in what will eventually be an explosively epic anime showdown.
In short, the fatal injuries Rengoku suffered in his battle with Akaza, Upper Moon Three, led to his eventual death in the closing scene of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train.
Despite giving the fight his all and gravely injuring Akaza in the process, Rengoku met his match and died due to his injuries, but not before placing his trust in Tanjiro Kamado as one of the world’s next most powerful demon slayers.