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Nezuko Kamado

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Nezuko Kamado
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba character
Nezuko Kamado, as illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge
First appearanceDemon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba chapter 1: Cruelty
Last appearanceDemon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba chapter 204: A World Without Demons
Created byKoyoharu Gotouge
Voiced byJapanese
Akari Kitō[1]
English
Abby Trott[1]
In-universe information
Fighting styleBlood Demon Art (pyrokinesis)
FamilyTanjuro Kamado (father, deceased)
Kie Kamado (mother, deceased)
Tanjiro Kamado (brother)
Takeo Kamado (brother, deceased)
Hanako Kamado (sister, deceased)
Shigeru Kamado (brother, deceased)
Rokuta Kamado (brother, deceased)

Nezuko Kamado (Japanese: 竈門 禰豆子, Hepburn: Kamado Nezuko) is a fictional character in Koyoharu Gotouge's manga series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Nezuko and her older brother Tanjiro Kamado are the sole survivors of an incident through which they lost their entire family due to the Demon King, Muzan Kibutsuji, with Nezuko being transformed into a demon, but unexpectedly still showing signs of human emotion and thought. After an encounter with Giyu Tomioka, a demon slayer, Tanjiro begins his quest to help his sister turn back into a human and avenge the death of his family.

Nezuko's character was created to make Tanjiro's character more complex, as he struggles to reconcile with his sister being a demon.[2] Critical response to Nezuko has been positive due to how unconventional it was for the narrative to have her kind of character as a demon, as well as how her fighting abilities adapt and grow as the series progresses.

She has also been a very popular character within the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba fanbase, appearing in an issue from the Weekly Playboy magazine.

Creation and development[edit]

Early sketches of Nezuko and Tanjiro

Nezuko's character was created by mangaka Koyoharu Gotouge to make the main character of Tanjiro Kamado more unique. Due to Nezuko being a demon, Tanjiro cannot bring himself to hate the demons he faces and instead finds himself in a gray zone of black and white morality. The author's editor and other assistants said that, thanks to this, the manga took a more innovative narrative that easily engaged the readers.[3]

Anime producer Yuma Takahashi said that while Nezuko is silent ever since the first episode, the staff could express intricate changes in the character's facial expression and humanize her emotions. Through those advantages, they were able to give more depth to her. Takahashi claimed that he wanted viewers to look forward to the development of Nezuko and the wide range of emotions she could show.[2] The anime uses an insert theme song titled "Kamado Tanjiro no Uta". It expresses the determination of Tanjiro, who stands up from despair and struggles to protect his younger sister.[4]

Akari Kitō, the Japanese voice actor of Nezuko, said Tanjiro's voice actor, Natsuki Hanae, is like a big brother to her at the studio as he is supportive and if there are parts that she has difficulty recording, Hanae would stay and wait till she finishes even though he has done his part. Hanae said he also thinks of Kitō as a younger sister.[5] For the English dub, Abby Trott described Nezuko as "a sweet, caring sister to her many siblings," even when she becomes a demon as she often aids her brother in battles. This kindness displayed by Nezuko was found relatable by Trott.[6]

Appearances[edit]

In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba[edit]

Nezuko grew up on a mountain alongside her older brother, Tanjiro, and the rest of her siblings and mother, as the eldest daughter of the Kamado family. She presumably took care of her younger siblings as an assistant to her mother, as is briefly witnessed prior to her family's death, Unlike Tanjiro, who was responsible for selling firewood in town, Nezuko would usually help out around the family home.

The family was somewhat poor and, as a result, Nezuko sometimes had to go without things like new clothes in order to ensure that the rest of her siblings had enough food to eat, She did not appear to view this as a burden, and instead was simply just content with helping her family

After a Demon attack kills almost her entire family, Nezuko is turned into a Demon by the orchestrator of said attack, Muzan Kibutsuji, At first, she is rather wild and even attacks her single remaining brother, however she quickly comes to her senses and swiftly jumps in to defend him from Giyu Tomioka when the Hashira tries to harm him.

Following her awakening after their short fight and her brother receiving instructions from Giyu to find a man named "Sakonji Urokodaki," Nezuko is taken by Tanjiro to first bury and pay their respects to their deceased family. She then hides in a nearby cave, since the sun has risen, and waits for her brother to find something to carry her in so they can travel by day.

The two begin to travel towards Sakonji's home, but run into a Demon, who has just killed and is preying on a family, on their way. Tanjiro attacks the Demon, hitting it in the jaw with his axe, but it swiftly heals the wound and boasts about its regeneration abilities. Angered, the Demon pounces on Tanjiro, but Nezuko swiftly kicks its head off, also kicking its body away as it continues to attack. The pair manage to fend off the Demon, pinning its head to a tree and throwing its body off a mountain, until Sakonji suddenly appears and informs them that they cannot kill a Demon through these methods.

Tanjiro hesitates to deliver the final blow, and, eventually, the sun rises, causing the Demon to disintegrate and Nezuko to flee to the safety of the house, After a short lecture and test of strength, the siblings are taken in by Sakonji, who then begins training Tanjiro in the Water Breathing Breathing Style.

Nezuko then sleeps for the full two years Tanjiro spends training, not even awakening after he leaves for the Final Selection. Sakonji keeps her in check the entire time, until Tanjiro successfully passes the Final Selection, because it is only then, when he returns to them, that Nezuko awakens, She greets Tanjiro, embracing him and relieving him of his fears. It is during this time we learn that Sakonji used suggestive hypnosis on Nezuko while she was asleep to reinforce a simple mindset; that all humans were members of her "family" and therefore she should protect them, and also to kill all demons.

Nezuko accompanies Tanjiro to his first mission, where she emerges from her box to fight a copy of the Swamp Demon. She falls asleep after the Demon is defeated ,Nezuko spends most of this arc in her box, as it takes place during the day. Inosuke tried attacking her box because he could smell her demon blood, but Zenitsu protected her box with his body.

Nezuko takes part in the battle against Lower Rank 5, Rui. She helps her brother at first using herself as a shield against Rui's threads but then is captured and tied up by him to the top of several trees upside down, falling asleep as a result of blood loss. Her mom's spirit asks her to wake up and help Tanjiro for saving him from Rui. She wakes up for a moment and deal the killing blow with her newly awakened Blood Demon Art, thanks to her blood that stained on Tanjiro's sword previously and through the same threads that Rui used to tie her up for defending against Tanjiro last attack instead.

After that fight, Shinobu tried to stab her with poison but her attack is blocked by Giyu. Tanjiro tried to escape with Nezuko from the scene, but he fails after Kanao (without being seen by him) stomps on his back.

Tanjiro asks Nezuko to run and his jaw ends broken after a kick on his head. Nezuko proceeds to turn into a small child and make a run for her life. Before Kanao cuts a cornered Nezuko's head off, a crow appears ordering to bring the Kamado siblings to Demon Slayers' headquarters. She decided on getting to headquarters inside her box.

She awakens to her berserk-like Demon Transformation ability during the fight with Daki, the female half of Upper Rank 6. After almost consuming a human in her animalistic state, she is subdued by Tanjiro and is sidelined for the rest of the fight.

She proves instrumental in saving several Demon Slayers from the brink of death by using her Exploding Blood ability to burn the lethal poison of Gyutaro, the male half of Upper Rank 6, out of their blood, Nezuko almost disintegrates in the sunlight, but then suddenly becomes a Demon immune to the sun, something which Muzan had tried so hard to find.

She assists Genya as they fight the Upper Rank 4, Hantengu, During this time, Nezuko took Tamayo's medicine and was under the care of Sakonji Urokodaki, before taking the medicine, Nezuko was delighted to see Urokodaki.

Nezuko, appearing to have sensed something, gets up. As Sakonji asks the girl whats wrong, she dashes into the forest, seemingly aware of and drawn to Tanjiro's impending death. Kiriya, worried and wondering what to do, yells for her to be retrieved. Kiriya then remembers his father's words to let Nezuko do as she pleases, allowing her to leave. Urokodaki still chases her but Nezuko is far too fast for him. She then leaps off of a cliff, landing safely in the forest below. As Nezuko rushes towards the city, she begins to undergo drastic changes. Her right eye becomes that of her human self, and her hair has returned to being solely black. Nezuko remembers Muzan slaughtering her family, and becomes enraged.

She then remembers how Tanjiro carried her through the snow, panicked and desperate, trying to save her life. She recalls every ally and friend she has made along the way and every tender moment she shared with them, including Sanemi stabbing her.

As her reversion continues, her hands have now become human. She envisions Tanjiro holding his hand out to her and his promise to protect her, as she becomes fully human once more, She is awakened by Sanemi, who stabs her in an attempt to provoke her and her brother.

Sanemi trying to prove that Nezuko is dangerous, uses his marechi blood as a bait. Nezuko recalls her family and refuses to drink it at the end. She ends up becoming furious at Sanemi after being awaken and stabbed. She is carried out to the Butterfly Mansion alongside her elder brother.

Nezuko spends almost the entire arc sleeping to recover her strength after she used her Blood Demon Art for the first time against Rui on Mount Natagumo. Zenitsu tells her about their breathing holding training and then promises her to take her at night where the flower he's holding was blooming. Moreover, he took the goldfish bowl from Shinobu's room without asking and shows it to Nezuko.

Later, Aoi found him and chewed him out thoroughly, Since Muzan is usually able to discern demons' location whom him has given blood to and thanks to Nezuko being taken into Ubuyashiki's headquarters, he'd normally knows where to find him out, however it is learned that, like Tamayo, Nezuko has unknowingly broken that bond.

Nezuko gets out of her box, only to get confused by Kyojuro Rengoku, whom is strangling a human while he's asleep. She tries to wake her brother up for a head pat and then proceeds to give him a headbutt in frustration when she is unable to rouse him. However, due to Tanjiro's comically hard forehead, she ends up splitting her own forehead open and starts bleeding. This causes her to cry and use her Blood Demon Art on his brother.

She uses it on the ropes of the Demon Slayers after they were put to sleep by Lower Rank 1, Enmu. She fights with her fingernails since she'll fall asleep pretty soon if she uses her blood.

She's helped by a sleeping Zenitsu whom declares he will protect her, which she looks on in awe. Her admiration is quickly dispelled however, as he pops back asleep mid sentence and begins to snore. Both of them defend three cars of the train from Enmu.

After the train is stopped and during the fight between Kyojuro and Akaza, she falls asleep on the arms of Zenitsu who is asleep as well. Before Kyojuro dies, he finally acknowledges Nezuko as a member of the Demon Slayer Corps since she protected the humans on the train.

Zenitsu gets her into the box to protect her from the sunlight, She awakens to her berserk-like Demon Transformation ability during the fight with Daki, the female half of Upper Rank 6. After almost consuming a human in her animalistic state, she is subdued by Tanjiro and is sidelined for the rest of the fight.

She proves instrumental in saving several Demon Slayers from the brink of death by using her Exploding Blood ability to burn the lethal poison of Gyutaro, the male half of Upper Rank 6, out of their blood.

Nezuko almost disintegrates in the sunlight, but then suddenly becomes a Demon immune to the sun, something which Muzan had tried so hard to find. She assists Genya as they fight the Upper Rank 4, Hantengu,During this time, Nezuko took Tamayo's medicine and was under the care of Sakonji Urokodaki, before taking the medicine, Nezuko was delighted to see Urokodaki,Nezuko, appearing to have sensed something, gets up.

As Sakonji asks the girl whats wrong, she dashes into the forest, seemingly aware of and drawn to Tanjiro's impending death. Kiriya, worried and wondering what to do, yells for her to be retrieved. Kiriya then remembers his father's words to let Nezuko do as she pleases, allowing her to leave. Urokodaki still chases her but Nezuko is far too fast for him.

She then leaps off of a cliff, landing safely in the forest below. As Nezuko rushes towards the city, she begins to undergo drastic changes. Her right eye becomes that of her human self, and her hair has returned to being solely black. Nezuko remembers Muzan slaughtering her family, and becomes enraged.

She then remembers how Tanjiro carried her through the snow, panicked and desperate, trying to save her life. She recalls every ally and friend she has made along the way and every tender moment she shared with them, including Sanemi stabbing her. As her reversion continues, her hands have now become human. She envisions Tanjiro holding his hand out to her and his promise to protect her, as she becomes fully human once more.

Other appearances[edit]

The character also makes an appearance in the video game Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles.[7]

Reception[edit]

Popularity[edit]

Nezuko's character has been very popular. She was ranked in third place in the first Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba character popularity poll with 3,319 votes.[8] She won the Newtype "Best Female Character" award for her role in the series, along with Akari Kitō also being awarded for her performance as Nezuko.[9] In February 2020 at 4th Crunchyroll Anime Awards, the fight of Tanjiro and his sister Nezuko against Rui won the "Best Fight Scene" category.[10] The 19th episode of the first season, "Hinokami", was cited by critics at IGN as one of television's best episodes in history, commenting on the build-up and exciting execution.[11] Manga.Tokyo enjoyed the build-up of this scene as Nezuko manages to assist Tanjiro thanks to being motivated by her late mother and the power she shows surprised the writer. Due to the emotional delivery of this scene, the writer looked forward to more interactions between the two siblings.[12] At the 8th Crunchyroll Anime Awards in 2024, Abby Trott was nominated in the "Best Voice Artist Performance (English)" category for her performance as Nezuko.[13]

She was voted as one of the five recipients for the "Best Girls of the Decade" at the Funimation's Decade of Anime fan poll.[14] IGN regarded Nezuko as one of the series's most popular characters and noted how her design elaborates the way she sees humans as good people as a result of hypnosis.[15] Siliconera made a similar article discussing her characterization and how compelling she is during the anime's first season due to how, despite her tragic backstory, Nezuko becomes a more heroic figure when fighting other demons.[16] In 2021, Nezuko appeared on the cover of the July issue of Weekly Playboy featuring an interview with Kitō.[17] In October 2021, Shueisha failed its appeal to trademark the clothing patterns for three of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba main characters including Nezuko.[18]

As a result, the internet has exploded with various cosplayers dressing up as Nezuko on TikTok;[19] and Instagram.[20] Many websites have also started creating content on how to do a Nezuko cosplay.[21] Even graphic designers and illustrators have taken to Pinterest;[22] with their own fan art and interpretations of Nezuko.

Critical reception[edit]

Response to Nezuko was positive. Rebecca Silverman from Anime News Network noted that Nezuko retained her humanity despite becoming a demon due to how she protects her older brother which makes Giyu allow the siblings to embark on a quest to find a cure to her state. James Beckett from the same site said that Nezuko's transformation into a demon was the pilot's strongest part which makes the narrative surprisingly unconventional, based on Tanjiro's reaction to it and Giyu's actions.[23] Manga.Tokyo also praised the development of Nezuko's actions because she manages to awake after two years as a caring demon to Tanjiro which makes their embracing emotional.[24] Comic Book Bin enjoyed Nezuko's portrayal as, while being a cursed character, she is still active and appealing to see, mostly due to how she develops supernatural strength to use in combat.[25] In a general overview of the series' first episodes, UK Anime News found Nezuko as the most compelling character for the depth she possesses and, like Comic Book Bin, noted she is surprisingly helpful to Tanjiro when it comes to fighting.[26]

Comic Book Resources regarded the duo as "the most likable male and female leads of the decade".[27] UK Anime News also liked how the two siblings are compared to the villains in a meaningful way.[28] Anime Inferno said, "Tanjiro and Nezuko make a great team and are two enjoyable protagonists, with the series at its best when the two siblings are working together."[29] In Jungian Dimensions of the Mourning Process, Burial Rituals and Access to the Land of the Dead: Intimations of Immortality, the writer Hiroko Sakata addressed similarities the Kamado siblings with the Forgotten God Hiruko, the Oni Katako and the child K, citing the Kamado' stories as modernized version of Japanese myths, comparing them with Yuta Okkotsu and Rika Orimoto from the manga Jujutsu Kaisen 0 as both aim to control the Oni element present in the narrative and become fighters in the process.[30]

Anime News Network was surprised by Nezuko's heroic actions in the episode as well as the voice acting from Akari Kitō despite not having multiple lines in the series, being able to develop her character in the process.[31] The character's handling in the Entertainment District Arc was panned by Anime News Network for giving her sexualization despite her young age.[32][33][34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Nezuko Kamado Voices (Demon Slayer)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved October 21, 2021. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  2. ^ a b "INTERVIEW: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Producer Yuma Takahashi (Anime Expo 2019)". Anitrendz. August 13, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  3. ^ "The birth of "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba"". Manga Plus. Shueisha. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  4. ^ Toriko, Tomato (November 4, 2020). ""Kamado Tanjiro no Uta" Review". Real Sound (in Japanese). Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  5. ^ "「鬼滅の刃」とは?". Natalie. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  6. ^ "Press Release: Aniplex announces English cast for Demon Slayer". ToonamiFaithful. October 9, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  7. ^ "Play Report #2". Eagames. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  8. ^ "【鬼滅の刃】第1回人気投票結果!!気になる炭治郎、善逸、煉獄さんの順位は?". Jump Archive (in Japanese). Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  9. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (October 27, 2019). "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Promare Anime Win Top Newtype Anime Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  10. ^ Loveridge, Lynzee (February 15, 2020). "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Takes Home Anime of the Year at Crunchyroll's Anime Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  11. ^ "Kimetsu no Yaiba tiene uno de los mejores capítulos de TV según IMDb". IGN. August 15, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  12. ^ "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 19 Review: Hinokami". Manga.Tokyo. August 14, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  13. ^ Hazra, Adriana (March 2, 2024). "All the Winners of the Crunchyroll Anime Awards 2024". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 2, 2024.
  14. ^ "A Decade of Anime: Best Girls & Best Boys". Funimation - Blog!. December 27, 2019. Archived from the original on May 5, 2022. Retrieved October 18, 2023.
  15. ^ "Kimetsu no Yaiba: ¿por qué Nezuko lleva un pedazo de bambú en la boca?". IGN. August 11, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  16. ^ "Demon Slayer's Nezuko Is a Great Reason to Follow the Series". Siliconera. January 3, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  17. ^ "Kimetsu no Yaiba: Nezuko aparece en la portada de Plaboy en Japón". IGN. July 16, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  18. ^ Morrissy, Kim (October 4, 2021). "Shueisha Fails Appeal For Tanjirō, Nezuko, Zenitsu Pattern Trademarks". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  19. ^ "#nezuko Hashtag Videos on TikTok". TikTok. Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  20. ^ "#nezuko hashtag on Instagram • Photos and Videos". Instagram. Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  21. ^ Guha, Nirvana (May 1, 2022). "How to Do a Perfect Nezuko Cosplay (the Right Way)". Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  22. ^ "120 Nezuko ideas | anime demon, slayer anime, slayer". Pinterest. Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  23. ^ "The Spring 2019 Anime Preview Guide Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  24. ^ "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Episode 5 Review: My Own Steel". Manga.Tokyo. May 5, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  25. ^ Douresseaux, Leroy (September 9, 2018). "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Volume 2 manga review". Comic Book Bin. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  26. ^ "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – Collector's Edition Part 1 Review". Anime UK News. June 5, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  27. ^ Ashford, Sage (November 27, 2019). "10 Best Anime Series of the Last Decade, Ranked". CBR. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  28. ^ "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – Collector's Edition Part 2 Review". UK Anime News. August 12, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  29. ^ "Review: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – Part 1 (Eps 1-13) (Blu-Ray)". Anime Inferno. January 10, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  30. ^ Sakata, Hiroko; Buckenmeyer, Cécile (July 7, 2023). "The Katako syndrome: Japan's problem with youth suicide". In Brodersen, Elizabeth (ed.). Jungian Dimensions of the Mourning Process, Burial Rituals and Access to the Land of the Dead: Intimations of Immortality (1 ed.). London: Routledge. pp. 247–264. doi:10.4324/9781003313304-23. ISBN 9781003313304.
  31. ^ Beckett, James (August 12, 2019). "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  32. ^ Beckett, James (January 12, 2020). "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Entertainment District Arc Episode 7". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  33. ^ Beckett, James (January 10, 2022). "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Entertainment District Arc Episode 6". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  34. ^ "Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba: Entertainment District Arc". THEM Anime Reviews. Retrieved March 28, 2022.

External links[edit]