Demon Slayer: How A Key Hero Could Have Become the King of Demons

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba #203, by Koyoharu Gotouge, John Werry and John Hunt, available now from Viz Media.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has been one of the most popular anime and manga series of the past few years, and as the series looks poised to release its final chapters, fans are bracing themselves for what could happen to the protagonist of the story in the end.

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Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba centers around Tanjiro Kamado, whose family are killed in an attack that also turns his sister Nezuko into a demon. Tanjiro joins the ranks of the Demon Slayer Corps to return his sister to human form and defeat the one responsible for what happened to his family. While many fans have speculated that Tanjiro might not survive until the very end, the series’ most recent manga chapters are already exploring one possible fate.

The “Sunrise Countdown Arc” of Demon Slayer has proved to be quite the final battle between the Demon Slayer Corps and the King of Demons, Muzan Kibutsuji. After Tanjiro and the remaining Demon Slayers were successfully able to keep Muzan at bay in the sunlight, it appears he is finally defeated as his body deteriorates. Refusing to go down smoothly, he unleashes a final ace up his sleeve: turning Tanjiro into a demon.

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Nezuko, who is a human again thanks to medicine created by the demon doctor Tamayo, arrives just in time to see her brother transform. Tanjiro’s mutated eye and his severed arm completely heal as he then begins to attack all of his former comrades. The already-injured and depleted Demon Slayer forces try to keep Tanjiro’s rampage contained, but they struggle to come to terms with his change. While Tanjiro’s death wouldn’t be a complete shock, the prospect of him becoming a demon and killing the friends he cares so much for is a dark fate for our hero to endure.

While Inosuke, Zenitsu and Nezuko all plea to Tanjiro to not give in, Giyu Tomioka, the Water Hashira, laments over whether or not he’ll have to kill his friend. Giyu notices that Tanjiro could have killed Nezuko many times over but hasn’t, meaning he is fighting back. With the help of fellow Demon Slayer Kanao Tsuyuri using her “Flower Breathing Final Form: Equinoctial Vermilion Eye,” they can administer the same medicine that cured Nezuko to Tanjiro. His turn into a demon, while in line with series’ tragic themes, would be a bleak end to Tanjiro’s journey, even if he’s able to succeed in his goal.

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Whether Tanjiro is able to become a human again seems dependent on the result of one final struggle within his subconscious. With Muzan having transferred his emotions into Tanjiro, he intends to turn him into the new King of Demons, claiming that, “You are the inheritor of my will.” Since Tanjiro has already become a demon who can survive in the sun, Muzan sees him as “the ultimate living creature.” As he tries to convince Tanjiro to let go of his old life, the Demon Slayer instead listens to the voices of his family and friends, who help lift him out of the darkness.

The final battle between the Demon Slayer Corps and Muzan was not without losses as we had to say goodbye to several major characters, but with the centuries-old conflict coming to an end, it appears their fight is over. While we don’t know the exact fate of the survivors, we can still look forward to the upcoming Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba movie in the meantime.

KEEP READING: Demon Slayer: Everything You Need to Know for Kimetsu No Yaiba’s Movie

The Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga looks set to come to an end soon, but one character has already suffered from a grim transformation.

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