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Tanjiro’s Scar: Meaning, Changing Shape & Evolution Explained!

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Kamado Tanjiro’s scar is one of his most defining physical traits. If you have a keen eye for detail, you must have noticed that it seems to keep changing its shape throughout the anime and manga. From a mere injury to symbolising just how powerful he can get, each new form of his scar has shown us that Tanjiro only keeps getting better and better! Questions surrounding Tanjiro’s scar are as prominent as the ones about his black nichirin blade and the hanafuda earrings!

If you are curious to know what the mark on his head signifies, and how important it is, then keep on reading!

How did Tanjiro get the scar

When we are first introduced to Tanjiro, he has a scar on the left side of his forehead. This is how it remains for the first few episodes of the story before he goes to attempt the Final Selection. This is the entrance exam one has to successfully complete to join the Demon Slayer Corps.

Tanjiro's scar is originally an injury he sustained while saving his younger brother.
Demon Slayer Anime, Episode 1

Tanjiro’s scar was actually the result of him saving his brother. When young, he saved his brother from a falling brazier. Brazier is a heater that consists of a stand to hold the charcoal inside. Well, being the amazing brother Tanjiro is, there’s no doubt he would be ready to take whatever comes his way to save his siblings!

With only one remaining, we see how his will to save Nezuko allows him to transform into an amazing swordsman.

The evolution of Tanjiro’s scar

Tanjiro vs the Hand Demon

The Hand Demon had had a long history with Urokodaki Sakonji’s students. Having already killed 13 of his disciples, he attempts to strike down Tanjiro. Much to his dismay, Tanjiro pulls through and manages to behead him. Here, we see Tanjiro bleed over his scar, which is probably a way of showing the “transformation”.

The next time his scar is revealed, it is no more a patch of healed skin. Now, Tanjiro’s scar is a deep red mark that seems to resemble crude flame marks. This is how his scar remains until the fight with Rui.

Tanjiro vs Rui

The fight that broke the internet, Tanjiro vs Rui sneakily managed to evolve Tanjiro’s scar. Previously, his scar, while being prominent, was still on the top right of his head. After the fight, his scar covers a bigger portion of his head; widening more.

Tanjiro's scar becomes wider after his fight with Rui showing his growth. 
Demon Slayer Anime Episode 20
Image via Reddit.

Why does Tanjiro’s scar keep changing?

There is no doubt that all versions of his scar we have seen up until now are demon slayer marks. However, they are not the final form. Actually, they seem to represent Tanjiro’s growth. Every time Tanjiro has been pushed into increasing his hear rate (more on this later), it has led to his mark changing. This shows us that his body is getting more accustomed to fighting with his capacity heightened.

Symbolically, the change of the scar just shows us how Tanjiro’s character keeps on evolving. From a young boy who had everything taken from him to a demon slayer with admirable skills and conviction, each change in the scar sets a milestone for Tanjiro. The scar represent his physical strength and mental fortitude with each change.

With that out of the way, let’s see what happens when Tanjiro fully activates his demon slayer mark.

Warning: the following section will contain BIG Demon Slayer manga spoilers. Read ahead at your own discretion!

Tanjiro awakens his demon slayer mark

Tanjiro finally manages to awaken his demon slayer mark, showing that now his physical and mental capabilities have been heightened. Moreover, as time progresses, his scar evolves to take its final form, only changing when activated.

Tanjiro vs Gyutaro

While fighting Upper Moon 6 Gyutaro, Tanjiro finally awakens his demon slayer mark. When Tanjiro realises that he needs way more power to overcome Gyutaro, who he managed to trap under himself, his mark starts to change. Gyutaro also takes note of the change; appalled.

Tanjiro's scar turns into his demon slayer mark as he fights Gyutaro.
Demon Slayer Manga, Chapter 94

Tanjiro’s scar changes into two marks that depict blazing flames. Both are on the left side of his head. One is on the exact position of his scar which ends at his eye, while the other is smaller and starts at the temple.

The final form of Tanjiro’s scar

Finally, Tanjiro’s scar (that seems to go back to how it was when he fought Rui) gets a complete design upgrade. After the Hashira Training Arc, we see the more crude design of his scar change into a flame. This mark then stays the same until the end of the story.

Tanjiro's scar is now a permanent flame mark.
Demon Slayer Manga, Chapter 140

However, that is not enough!

When Tanjiro turns into a demon after Muzan’s poisoning, his situation is a little similar to Kokushibo. Just like him, Tanjiro was a skilled swordsman who turned into a demon. Similarly, Tanjiro also gets more demon slayer mark- isque patterns onto him.

He gets three flames. The one on the left grows and goes down his nose, while there two smaller ones on the right side of his face. One is exactly at the opposite of where his scar usually is, while the smallest one starts at his jaw. While there is no conforming if they count as demon slayer mark, their resemblance is something note worthy!

Since we have discussed the marks so much, let’s run over what makes them so special.

What are Demon Slayer marks?

Demon Slayer marks are certain markings that appear on strong demon slayers. These marks grant the person added abilities that make them stronger. Their designs usually have signify the breathing styles of the user (you can read about breathing styles in this article).

The mark was first seen on Yoriichi Tsugikuni, who was born with it. Ultimately, the mark seemed to have been “passed on” to other strong swordsman around Yoriichi, and there was an era when most demon slayers had their marks awakened. This was only possible because of the existence of a Sun Breathing User. If a Sun Breathing user is not around, then the mark will not appear on anybody. While it is only mentioned that the birth of a “marked” one leads to the mark manifesting, the only known marked ones are Sun Breathers so we can assume that this breathing usage is a precondition.

To put it simply, the mark’s main operator is a Sun Breathing user. Once a Sun Breathing user unlocks it, the mark is only then able to pass onto comrades. This symbolically show how the comrades resonate with each other and their shared goals. The mark then quickly spreads through other users, showing that one awakening acts like a domino effect.

How is it awakened?

As mentioned above, the existence of a Sun Breathing user is needed. Since Tanjiro is the “marked one” (a Sun Breathing user), this generation saw the Demon Slayer Marks make a return.

To actually unlock the mark, one has to be in a situation where they are physically pushed right to the edge. The mark awakens itself when the person is in a life threatening situation. The user needs to have a heartbeat of more than 200 beats per minute. Along with that, their body heat should exceed normalcy and be around 39 degrees Celsius.

Demon Slayer Mark abilities

There are two big advantages one gets from activating their Demon Slayer Mark.

Firstly, it allows the user to see every living being down to its bones. This is called “Transparent World”. This ability to see the bones, blood flow and muscles of someone allows the user to predict their moves with ease. Additionally, it makes it easy for the user to understand the health of the opponent. The user starts to perceive the world faster; making them feel everyone is in slow motion.

Secondly, the mark allows the nichirin blade to turn crimson. This is an added advantage as crimson red nichirin blades hamper the regeneration of demons.

The curse of the mark

It is said that no person who has activated their mark has lived beyond the age of 25. There are exceptions to this, as we see both Kokushibo and Yoriichi live more than 25. Gyomei also manages to overcome the curse because he only awakens his mark at 27.

What do you think about the evolution of Tanjiro’s scar? Are the Demon Slayer Marks cool power abilities? Let us know in the comments below!

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