‘Demon Slayer’ voice actors share how the pandemic impacted their work on Mugen Train

Demon Slayer

The English voices of Demon Slayer’s tritagonists—Tojiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke—shared a stage together for the first time at Anime NYC this year. During a panel about the franchises recently released film and video game, the actors shared what it was like recording Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train, the sequel film to the fantasy horror anime’s first season.

Zach Aguilar, the voice Tojiro himself, brought a characteristic enthusiasm to the conversation. When asked about what it was like behind the scenes of the film, he reminded fans that voice actors don’t usually record together. However, he shared how working on anime during pandemic times adds another degree of separation for the actors.

Usually, voice actors can see each other between sessions at their studio, and they working closely with a director and engineers during the session. That’ wasn’t the case for Mugen Train, though.

“I did the entire movie from my house, as well as the video game. So we recorded it all at home remotely not seeing people’s faces.”

The voice behind Inosuke’s boar mask, Bryce Papenbrook, works from a studio in his home now. But the actor shared he hadn’t yet built it for the recording of Mugen Train.

For the movie, I actually hadn’t bult this studio yet. So, I had to very quickly adapt when the pandemic hit to continue the project I was working on. So I built a booth inside my closet at home. So go back, watch the movie again, and imagine me screaming and going crazy as Inosuke inside my closet.

“My Neighbors love me,” Papenbrook added.

Aleks Le, voice of Zenitsu, shared a picture of his booth, complete with a small shelf holding up his laptop and that’s it. “Shoutout to IKEA,” the actor said.

Landon McDonald, the voice of Mugen Train‘s antagonist Enmu, made an appearance in a recorded message to panel attendees. While sharing his favorite scenes to work on, McDonald praised Bang Zoom! Entertainment, the agency through which the film was cast, and voice director Steve Staley.

Our director, Steve Staley, and the wonderful folks over at Bang Zoom! and Aniplex, made the process so easy — even with the added challenge of remote recording during Covid. I actually performed all of Enmu’s dialogue from my bedroom, which seemed appropriate given his unique skill set.

And Mark Whitten, voice of Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku. appeared in a recorded message as well. He had nothing but positive things to say about production, sharing how he felt during his first remote recording session working on the film.

It was amazing, it was cathartic, it was funny, it was weird, it was all those things…it was perfect.

Aguilar then said:

Just the Demon Slayer anime alone was already pushing the limits of what anime can do…so when the movie came out it was unreal to see that pushed to the next level.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train is streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

The panel concluded with the reveal of an English trailer for Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Entertainment District Arc, streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll Dec. 5.

About the author


Autumn Wright

Autumn Wright is an anime journalist, which is a real job. As a writer at We Got This Covered, they cover the biggest new seasonal releases, interview voice actors, and investigate labor practices in the global industry. Autumn can be found biking to queer punk through Brooklyn, and you can read more of their words in Polygon, WIRED, The Washington Post, and elsewhere.