Demon Slayer: Does Zenitsu Agatsuma overcome his fear of demons? Explained

Zenitsu in Entertainment District Arc (Image via Ufotable Studios)
Zenitsu in Entertainment District Arc (Image via Ufotable Studios)

Demon Slayer has etched its mark in the anime and manga community, presently standing as one of the most popular Shounen series. Amid its array of diverse and well-written characters, the trio of protagonists—Tanjirou, Zenitsu, and Inosuke—stand out as particularly captivating.

While Tanjirou might be the most conventional of the three, Zenitsu and Inosuke have captured a place in the hearts of fans with their quirky and funny personalities. Zenitsu, in particular, is renowned in the fandom for his intense fear of demons and his reluctance to confront them.

It has sparked speculation among fans about whether he will ever manage to overcome his fear of demons.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from the Demon Slayer manga.

Zenitsu Agatsuma will ultimately conquer his fear of demons in Demon Slayer manga

Zenitsu Agatsuma is initially introduced as a rather cowardly demon slayer who’s terrified of demons. While his fear is often relatable and presented in a comical manner, it still serves as a hindrance to his job as a demon slayer.

Only capable of performing the first form of Thunder Breathing: Thunderclap and Flash, Zenitsu typically engages demons in a state of unconsciousness, passing out from fear. Despite this, his survival instincts push him into action, demonstrating his remarkable lightning speed and strength.

Zenitsu has employed this unique fighting style in various instances, such as his battle against Rui’s spider demon in the Mount Natagumo Arc and also in the battle against former Upper Moon six demons, Daki and Gyutaro, in the Entertainment District Arc.

Zenitsu vs. Kaigaku in the manga (Image via Koyoharu Gotouge/Shueisha)
Zenitsu vs. Kaigaku in the manga (Image via Koyoharu Gotouge/Shueisha)

Thus far in the anime's plot, Zenitsu continues to retain this approach for his fights. However, that changes during the Infinity Castle Arc in the Demon Slayer manga.

During Zenitsu’s battle against Kaigaku, the new Upper Moon six, he reaches a turning point, finally conquering his fears and achieving the ability to engage in combat while remaining conscious.

Zenitsu vs. Kaigaku marks Zenitsu overcoming his fear of demons

Kaigaku used to be a demon slayer and a joint successor to the previous Thunder Hashira, Jigoro Kuwajima, alongside Zenitsu Agatsuma.

However, this senior apprentice of Zenitsu always looked down upon him for being a coward. Since their master continued to favor Zenitsu despite his cowardice and refused to refrain from making Zenitsu a co-successor, it led to Kaigaku developing strong resentment towards their master too.

Following his encounter with the strongest Upper Moon, Kokushibo, Kaigaku chose to become a demon to evade the imminent death that awaited him as a demon slayer. Kaigaku then assumed the position of the Upper Moon Six, left vacant after Daki and Gyutaro’s deaths.

In chapter 144 of the manga, Zenitsu’s battle with his former peer and current sixth Kizuki, Kaigaku, catalyzes Zenitsu to break free from the chains of timidity that had constrained him in earlier stages of his life.

Zenitsu Agatsuma in the anime (Image vua Ufotable)
Zenitsu Agatsuma in the anime (Image vua Ufotable)

Fueled by the rage of losing his master, who committed seppuku and endured an agonizing death due to one of his disciples opting to become a demon, Zenitsu, for the first time, confronted Kaigaku without fainting or falling asleep. Importantly, throughout the entire fight, he exhibited no trace of fear toward the demon, an Upper Moon nonetheless.

To claim victory over Kaigaku, Zenitsu devised a new breathing technique during their showdown- the seventh form of Thunder Breathing, which he named Honoikazuchi no kami, also known as the flaming thunder god.

This fight marks the end of the old, timid Zenitsu Agatsuma, who quivered at the mere thought of demons. After this encounter, he emerged as a hero, a formidable demon slayer.

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Edited by Dev Sharma
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