Not only does he look like Charmander humanised, but his boisterous voice already became a fan favourite. Rengoku Kyojurou– the Flame Hashira, is one of the best examples of determination and grit in Demon Slayer. Now that Mugen Train has been released, there is no denying that Rengoku has definitely emerged as an important character that serves as an inspiration and guiding force for Kamado Tanjiro.
On our first acquaintance with Rengoku, we see a man who’s fully dedicated to his role as a Pillar, as seen with his eagerness to get rid of Kamado Nezuko. He, along with Himejima Gyomei, Obanai Iguro and Shinazugawa Sanemi reject the idea of accepting the Kamado siblings as part of the Corps. Immediately, it leaves a sour impression of the aforementioned males.
He refuses to agree with Urokodaki sensei and Tomioka Giyu’s condition, stating that them cutting open their stomachs in repentance for Nezuko ever killing humans will not bring the lost souls back. Naturally, we readers get so frustrated with how he was not ready to budge.
Then, what made him change his mind?
Not only was it Nezuko proving her stance with the humans, but the dedication Tanjiro showed for killing Upper Moon Demons.
The next time Rengoku get’s attention is at the start of the Mugen Train Arc- and that too in the most hilarious way! This establishes him as a character who can use optimism to pull through even the most ominous missions. Also, who doesn’t love a character with the most random entries into an arc?
Immediately, Rengoku does not hesitate to talk jovially to Tanjiro, and even educates him on the origins of the breathing styles. Rengoku dotes over Tanjiro, even asking him to become his tsuguko. This is heartwarming to see, as big brother Tanjiro is finally getting some brotherly love (please pass the tissues). In fact, Rengoku seems to be affectionate with even Inosuke and Zenitsu, saying he would like to look after all of them. Rengoku is the best aniki- and he would prove it in the most brilliant of ways.
We only appreciate him more here on.
With a peek into his dream, it’s understood that Kyoujurou has personal struggles that he comfortably hides behind his bright smile and enthusiasm. His “spiritual core” is brittle- something not expected from someone who seems so strong. Rengoku lost his mother at a young age, and has to deal with a father who lost his will to fulfill his duties, and a young brother burdened by the weight of his brother’s talent.
This shows another side of Rengoku- a boy who finds strength in positivity and is loyal to his brotherly duties.
What’s the most fascinating thing about him is his sheer determination, saying “the flames in my heart will never disappear.” Rengoku definitely gains everyone’s respect.
Rengoku proves his quick thinking skills and swordsmanship with the arrival of Upper Moon Three, Akaza. He doesn’t hesitate to get closer to Akaza, even if he knows that being close would increase his chances of dying. He forbids Tanjiro from helping, which again highlights just how protective he is of his juniors, which probably is a result of his brotherly instinct.
“Growing old and dying is what gives meaning and beauty to the fleeting span of a human life.” Doesn’t this quote by Rengoku send chills down your spine? Even when presented with the opportunity to turn into a demon, Rengoku shoots it down, showing his strong resolve. Rengoku truly embodies his mother’s words:
The desperateness in Tanjiro and Inosuke’s expressions once Rengoku is on his knees is definitely heart wrenching. In a world of survival and death, both find solace in one person, who is on his deathbed. Even in his final talk with Tanjiro, he never manages to lose his composure. We see Rengoku’s story come full circle: He happily accepts Nezuko as a member of the Corps, even complimenting the way she fought.
Rengoku passes away, but leaves a significant impact on everyone with his words.
No matter how weak or unworthy you feel, keep your heart burning, grit your teeth and move forward.Rengoku Kyojurou
It’s agonizing seeing a lovely character depart so soon; and it leaves the reader’s heart heavy. Kyoujurou cheered Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu, wishing they become pillars, and proving that he will never regret dying to save his juniors- till the end. His commitment to his values is definitely praiseworthy!
It is completely justified why Rengoku is insanely popular, and we all definitely have a soft spot for him. There is so much to learn from this nineteen year old Hashira, who unfortunately, left too soon. Gotege sensei truly managed to create a character that everyone got attached to, despite him not being around for too long.
P.S.: You can now delve more into Rengoku’s story with the spin-off, “Rengoku Gaiden.”