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Demon Slayer characters guide: Who are the most important heroes - and villains - of the hit manga and anime

Beware, for there are some major spoilers ahead.

Demon Slayer Characters
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There are so many characters vying for our attention in the Shonen anime genre – how do manga creators make sure that their heroes and villains stand out? The best way is to give us memorable characters, which is something Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has done remarkably well at. From the members of the Demon Slayer Corps that protect the innocent to the deadly demons they battle against, there are plenty of great characters in Demon Slayer that you need to know before the next season comes out.

Be warned that we’ll be covering some spoilers for the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba anime and manga up ahead.

Demon Slayer's Tanjiro Kamado

Tanjiro in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

One of the main characters of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Tanjiro’s life changed forever when he returned home one day to find his family slaughtered and his sister Nezuko turned into a demon. Unable to kill her, he sought to find a way to cure her. He is kind and gentle, always giving his enemies a chance to reform before he is forced to kill them. His love for his sister is the emotional core of the series and his journey to join the Demon Slayer Corps eventually leads to the destruction of all demons in the world. He originally uses Water Breathing techniques but eventually masters the explosively powerful Sun Breathing, making him one of the most powerful characters in the show.

Demon Slayer's Nezuko Kamado

Nezuko in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

The younger sister of Tanjiro, Nezuko was turned into a demon in the opening moments of the anime. With the help of her brother, she is seeking to become a human again. While her demonic nature gives her enhanced strength, speed, and regenerative abilities, Nezuko is only a moment away from killing all of her friends if she loses control of her bloodlust. She can change the size and maturity of her body at will, allowing her to become physically older and more powerful while still being cute enough to serve as the harmless mascot of the series.

Demon Slayer's Inosuke Hashibira

Inosuke in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

Inosuke was raised by a wild boar in the mountains and wears his adoptive mother’s head on his head through most of the series. This certainly makes him memorable, as does his ability to contort his body in seemingly impossible ways. In classic Shonen fashion, he is hyper-competitive with Tanjiro and insists on recklessly throwing himself into battle at any opportunity. Using his Beast Breathing technique, he is capable of sensing any movement or sound around him, while his serrated swords are perfectly suited to his unorthodox fighting style.

Demon Slayer's Zenitsu Agatsuma

Zenitsu in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

At the start of the series, Zenitsu is one of the most irritating main characters in Demon Slayer. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get much more appealing as the series progresses. He is lecherous, particularly toward Nezuko, and cowardly. However, while he is sleeping or otherwise unconscious, he is capable of using the powerful Thunder Breathing technique. This makes him one of the most powerful characters in the show.

Manga Spoilers: Eventually, Zenitsu fully masters his abilities and is able to fight while awake. This leads him to be able to kill an Upper-Ranked demon single-handedly and even hold off a severely weakened Muzan for an hour during the manga’s climactic final fight.

Demon Slayer's Muzan Kibutsuji

Muzan in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

The demon king himself, Muzan is the main antagonist of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. He is the first demon and the one who all others by sharing his blood with them when they were humans. He is stronger, faster, and smarter than any enemy in the series. His ultimate goal is to become immune to the sun and achieve true immortality, something he will stop at nothing to achieve.

Manga Spoilers: Muzan was born over 1000 years before the start of the manga and became a demon during an experimental treatment for his incurable disease. He has lived numerous lives and taken countless identities to walk among humans for a time but his goal remains the eventual annihilation of humanity.

Demon Slayer's Urokodaki Sakonji

Image credit: Ufotable

Urokadoki was one of the first mentors that Tanjiro had in his journey to join the Demon Slayer Corps. He found the young man shortly after Nezuko had been turned into a demon and taught her to fight her demon instincts. He is a former Water Hashira who trained Giyu Taomioka and Tanjiro in the technique.

Demon Slayer's Kagaya Ubuyashiki

Kagaya in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

The head of the Demon Slayer Corps, Kagaya is seen as a sickly man whose face is slowly being consumed by an incurable disease. He sees the Demon Slayers as his family and is totally focused on his goal of defeating Muzan and ending the demon menace for good. Despite that, he is also caring and merciful, allowing Nezuko to live as a demon under the stipulation that she never takes a human life.

Manga Spoilers: Kagaya is the last scion of the Ubuyashiki family, each of whom was cursed to die before their thirtieth birthday due to sharing a bloodline with Muzan himself. However, upon Muzan’s defeat, he is freed of his sickness and eventually becomes the oldest living person in Japan.

Demon Slayer's Genya Shinazugawa

Genya in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

An angry young man who took the Demon Slayer Final Selection exam at the same time as Tanjiro. He is an excellent fighter who relies solely on his own strength and skill in battle, refusing to work with other Demon Slayers unless absolutely necessary. He is shown to be a capable fighter, wielding not just a typical Demon Slayer Corps blade but also a shotgun made from the same material.

Manga Spoilers: Genya is the younger brother of the Wind Hashira, Sanemi Shinazugawa.

Demon Slayer's Kanao Tsuyuri

Kanao in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

When she is first introduced, Kanao is a quiet, shy, and indecisive young woman who makes most of her decisions in life by flipping a coin. However, she is also a skilled fighter, as evidenced by the fact that she passed the Final Selection exam to join the Demon Slayer Corps and mastered Flower Breathing techniques by watching her older sister fight.

Manga Spoilers: Kanao’s gentle, shy exterior drops several times during the series. Most notably, she shows a sadistic and cruel side when she fights against the demon Doma. Her hatred of demons runs deep enough that she has an all-consuming drive to destroy them. Eventually, she regains the ability to express her emotions partially thanks to seeing the love between Tanjiro and Nezuko.

Demon Slayer's Kyojuro Rengoku

Kyojuro in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

The Flame Hashira who defended the citizens of the Mugen Train during a demon attack, Kyojuro was one of the most powerful members of the Demon Slayer Corps. He is boisterous, friendly, and passionate about protecting people. He was capable not only of using Flame Breathing technique to fight but also to heal his own wounds. However, there was a limit to Kyojuro’s healing abilities, as proven by his death during the fight against an Upper Ranked demon outside the Mugen Train.

Demon Slayer's Tengen Uzui

Tengen in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

The Sound Hashira, Tengen Uzui is the sole heir to a once-powerful ninja clan. Despite his background and training as a ninja, Tengen wants nothing more than to live a flashy life. He wears numerous pieces of flashy jewelry and has three beautiful wives who follow him everywhere. He initially recruits Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu to infiltrate the Entertainment District and find the Upper Ranked demon preying on young women there. Following the battle against Daki and Gyutaro, he loses an arm but recognizes that Tanjiro has the potential to become the next Hashira.

Demon Slayer's Mitsuri Kanroji

Mitsuri in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

Mitsuri is the Love Hashira and, thanks to her Demon Slayer Mark, is one of the most powerful members of the Demon Slayer Corps. Aside from the usual skills a Demon Slayer possesses, Mitsuri is physically strong beyond normal human limitations. Her intense musculature is often hidden beneath her loose-fitting clothing. She has mastered the Love Breathing techniques, which, when combined with her strength and flexibility, allows her to attack and defend in a wide area.

Demon Slayer's Tamayo

Tamayo in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

As a demon, you’d expect Tamayo to be an enemy of the Demon Slayer Corps. However, she proves to be an ally as she works with Tanjiro to develop a cure for his sister Nezuko and turn her back into a human. She is generally kind, peaceful, and caring towards others, with one notable exception – she will stop at nothing to defeat Muzan.

Manga Spoilers: Tamayo is instrumental in the eventual defeat of the demon king, having used Tanjiro to develop a drug that would drastically weaken his physical abilities. She gives her own life in order to inject him with that drug and allow the Demon Slayer Corps a chance to defeat Muzan.

Demon Slayer's Yoriichi Tsugikuni

Yoriichi in Demon Slayer
Image credit: Ufotable

A mysterious Demon Slayer who lived over 500 years before the start of the manga, Yoriichi is considered the most powerful Demon Slayer who ever lived.

Manga Spoilers: Yoriichi is the originator of the Breathing Art styles that Demon Slayers continue to use at the time of the manga. He once nearly killed Muzan single-handedly using his Sun Breathing technique, which would eventually be handed down to the Kamado family until it was used by Tanjiro to defeat Muzan.

Slay on, Demon Slayer. As we prep for new installments of the Demon Slayer anime, here's a survival kit to help you. First, a guide to all the major Demon Slayer characters. Second, recommendations for how (and where) to watch all of Demon Slayer. Third, context of why Demon Slayer is so popular. Fourth, when we think Demon Slayer season 4 is coming out. And also, how Demon Slayer ends (at least in the manga).

And as a bonus, you can watch the full NYCC Demon Slayer panel with the voice cast.

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