WARNING: This article contains major spoilers from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga, and Tanjiro’s character arc. Read it at your own discretion!
We all thought defeating Muzan would be the end of it, didn’t we? But we were all proved wrong with chapter 201, which showed us Tanjiro’s crappy fate!
Yeah, you read that right.
To answer in short; in chapter 201 Tanjiro turns into a demon! This was something that perhaps no one saw coming, and with Tanjiro being the most powerful demon the chances of him turning back seemed bleak!
Thankfully, our characters got the happy ending they deserved (but at what cost?).
With its final chapters, Demon Slayer again proved to us that it takes pride in its themes of understanding human emotions the most. So, why did Muzan turn Tanjiro into a demon in the first place? Was this a wasted opportunity for a darker sequel? Read on to know more!
Tanjiro turning into a demon!
Why did Muzan turn Tanjiro into a demon?
The concept of thoughts being a powerful weapon in their own right is consistent throughout Demon Slayer. Muzan himself, in his last moments, realises that this applies to him as well.
Now on the cusp of death, Muzan admits that feelings are eternal and undying. He acknowledged that the feelings of those whom he killed have finally caught up to him. This further highlighted the theme of just how powerful feelings are.
So, Muzan thought that it would be a good idea to practice this for himself!
Thinking that his own feelings for his ambitions would be enough to override those of an almost dead Tanjiro, Muzan starts to transfer his blood. Symbolically, he transfers his will onto the boy. Muzan wanted Tanjiro to continue his own selfish goal of taking down the Demon Slayer Corps. (If he were to survive this unusual blood transplant).
Tanjiro made the perfect candidate for becoming the next leader of demons, or, the “King of Demons.”
Firstly, he shared blood with Nezuko, which would allow him to stand in the sun. Secondly, he practiced Sun Breathing like Yoriichi, which would make him even more powerful. Therefore, Tanjiro as a demon would be the most powerful demon to have ever existed.
But, does Tanjiro remain a demon forever?
Does Tanjiro remain a demon?
The sequence of Tanjiro trying to return back to human further serves as a reminder about the strength of human relationships. Once turned demon, Tanjiro lost control.
He even attacked Nezuko, and getting a taste of her blood triggered his blood lust. Inosuke recalls the promises he made with Tanjiro and Zenitsu; how the three will always have each other’s back. Most attempts to strike him down went in vain, with Tanjiro now being the strongest demon. Even the crimson red nichirin blades failed to work against him.
Kanao finally manages to stab demon Tanjiro with the last vial of wisteria poison left.
From here on, Tanjiro seems to be teetering on the edge of life and death with Muzan trying his best to convince him to accept himself as a demon. Here, we see just how superficial Muzan’s understanding of emotions were.
He chides Tanjiro, trying to tell him that those who are dead would not be happy with him returning back when they’re gone. Furthermore, he keeps asserting that he is the inheritor of his will; a bleak attempt at using “feelings” to help still maintain authority.
Here, we learn that feelings that bind people together are strong, and are the result of many sacrifices; the joy of being a human being came in sharing your ups and downs with those you loved.
Slowly, Tanjiro regains his consciousness as he remembers both the sadness and happiness he encountered, admitting that even past feelings of happiness were enough for him to turn back.
In the end, the unconscious Tanjiro opens his eyes again, this time which were human! Therefore, Tanjiro managed to defeat Muzan and turned human again.
A wasted opportunity?
While Tanjiro’s turning into a demon was to further build upon a theme one last time and add more thrill after the climax, his stint as demon Tanjiro was pretty shortlived.
Perhaps due to many times seeing the protagonist turn into the non human antagonist species in their manga, Tanjiro’s 3 chapter demon-hood seemed awkward.
That being said, it was a beautiful show of love and courage which further showed just how much the characters love each other one last time.
It also serves as a moral for the readers; valuing your happy memories and the people you love can help you defeat the strongest of opponents. It sheds light on the selfish and brooding ways of demons, which contrasted with humans and was the fatal flaw of the former.
It would have been amazing to see a sequel to Demon Slayer with Tanjiro battling his demons (please laugh) and perhaps turning into an antagonist.
While Demon Slayer finished with an extremely successful run, I still feel that demon Tanjiro could have been a base for more Demon Slayer content that would further explore the working human relationships as opposed to the solitary behaviour of most demons.
Were you expecting more of demon tanjiro? Do you think the story ended at a good point? Let us know in the comments below!