Demon Slayer is a series that by nature lends itself to evil, ruthless antagonists who love to punish humanity. Primary antagonist Muzan Kibutsuji is a perfect example of this, having killed Tanjiro’s family mercilessly in chapter and episode 1.
There are plenty of examples of vicious characters besides Muzan as well. Many demons display a sick and brutal side, whether through physical force or mental manipulation. In fact, some of the most ruthless characters in Demon Slayer aren’t even antagonists.
Here are the 10 most ruthless characters in Demon Slayer.
WARNING: DEMON SLAYER ANIME SPOILERS BELOW
Demon Slayer's 10 most ruthless characters for both humans and demons alike
1) Muzan Kibutsuji
As previously stated, Muzan Kibutsuji is the embodiment of ruthlessness in Demon Slayer. Fans often ask did Muzan kill Tanjiro’s family and did Muzan kill his own family. While we get a canonical answer of yes to the first question, the latter is never directly addressed. As the progenitor of demons, however, it’s safe to assume that Muzan’s initial transformation led to the death of his family and friends who knew him as a human.
Zenitsu’s ex-classmate in the way of Thunder Breathing, Kaigaku certainly deserves a spot on this list. While Kaigaku didn’t directly kill his and Zenitsu’s master Jigoro, Jigoro did commit seppuku as a result of Kaigaku’s defection. In addition, Kaigaku was also the orphan from Himejima’s flashback who led the demon into the temple that night. Clearly, Kaigaku was ruthless both as a demon and as a human.
While Tamayo is indeed a hero to the story, she’s still one of the most ruthless characters in all of Demon Slayer. Her entire life's goal is to kill Muzan Kibutsuji, to the point where she sacrificed herself to ensure Muzan’s demise. Tamayo exemplifies the tenacity and dedication needed to be truly ruthless, being focused on one goal and one goal only.
Primary antagonist of the Mugen Train arc, Enmu’s ruthlessness shines more through his sadism and mental games than physical pain. During the Mugen Train arc, we saw Enmu use his Blood Demon Art to lull everyone on board into sweet dreams of the past. While this doesn’t physically hurt anyone, Enmu is emotionally toying with these people by showing them long-lost family members or friends. One can be ruthless in emotional manipulation as well.
Although she’s one of the first powerful demons we see, Susamaru displays much ruthlessness in her little screen time. She’s shown to have no regard for human or demon kind, treating Nezuko, Yushiro, and Tamayo just as lowly as she does Tanjiro. Susamaru’s battle skills and technique are also somewhat ruthless in nature, acting as bringers of indiscriminate destruction.
Hailed as one of the strongest demons and Demon Slayers of all time, Kokushibo truly embodies the definition of ruthless. He shows no compassion whatsoever for human and demon kind alike, likely stemming from his envy of his older brother Yoriichi. Kokushibo was so envious of his brother Yoriichi (eventually hailed as the single best Demon Slayer of all time), he relinquished all human emotion and attachment and became a demon. Truly ruthless indeed.
Kyogai had one of the sadder backstories in Demon Slayer, which also emphasized just how ruthless he was. Kyogai becomes a demon and kills an unnamed associate after the associate critiques and disrespects Kyogai’s writing by stepping on a page. Afterwards, Kyogai eventually lost the ability to eat human blood and resorted to capturing those with rare blood. Kyogai even captures little children, showing just how ruthless and merciless he is.
Rui was easily one of the most ruthless characters in all of Demon Slayer. Growing up as a sick boy, Muzan gave Rui a chance to be healthy and spend time with his loving parents. However, Rui had to sustain himself on human flesh as a newly formed demon, much to his parent's dismay. As a result, Rui ends up killing them and denying they were ever his parents in the first place. While obviously a lie, Muzan incessantly reminds Rui of this to pull him into demonkind further.
Akaza truly displays his ruthlessness in both the Rengoku fight and the Giyu and Tanjiro fight. During the Rengoku fight, viewers see Akaza laughing and smiling maniacally despite being literally sliced to ribbons by Rengoku. During the Tanjiro and Giyu fight, we see Akaza destroying the Infinity Castle with no regard for Muzan’s belongings, property, or the other demons inside.
10) Sanemi Shinazugawa
Sanemi’s initial introduction unquestionably showcases his ruthlessness. His attempted baiting of Nezuko into attacking a human and eating human flesh shows his lack of compassion for how others feel. In addition, he disrespects the head of the Demon Slayer’s wishes by doing this, all just to prove his own point. Combined with the later reveal of his treatment of brother Genya, Sanemi truly embodies ruthlessness during Demon Slayer.
Note: The article reflects the views of the writer.