The Entertainment District Arc gave us our first taste of an Upper-Rank Demon. Daki and Gyutaro had some amazing abilities. They did not hesitate to place our protagonists on the backfoot. With the enemies only getting stronger, we are left with anticipation for what’s to come. For the impatient ones among you, I feel your pain! So, for this article, let’s spoil ourselves. In this article, we will be talking about the demons in Swordsmith Village Arc and learning which of them are going to be the antagonists.
1 The Demons in Swordsmith Village Arc: Upper-Rank Four and Upper-Rank Five
2 Swordsmith Village Demon: Hantengu
2.1 Hantengu’s Past
2.2 Hantengu’s Present
2.3 Hantengu’s Physiology
2.4 Hantengu’s Blood Demon Art – Manifestation by Division
2.4.7 Hantengu’s Weakness
3 Swordsmith Village Demon: Gyokko
3.1 Gyokko’s Past
3.2 Gyokko’s Present
3.3 Gyokko’s (Fish)iology
3.4 Gyokko’s Blood Demon Art – Vases and Pots Galore!
The Demons in Swordsmith Village Arc: Upper-Rank Four and Upper-Rank Five
With the death of Daki, the rest of the Upper-Rank Demons are called for a meeting. Once everyone gathered around, Muzan aired out his disappointment. He lamented the lack of progress toward the creation of the Blue Spider Lily. The one thing that will allow him to walk under the sun once more. After briefing his members on what was to come, Upper-Rank Four told Muzan that he had information. The information happened to be the location of the Swordsmith Village.
This set things in motion as Muzan redirected Upper-Rank Four to Upper-Rank Five. Together, the two would infiltrate the village to kill all swordsmiths.The names of these Upper-Rank Demons are Hantengu (Four) and Gyokko (Five).
Swordsmith Village Demon: Hantengu
Hantengu is among the strongest of Muzan’s demons. Boasting the Ranking of Four, this seemingly harmless Demon packs quite the punch. Unlike other Demons of the series, he is one of the few to almost cheat death. He has quite the past which helps to explain his current abilities. One that we will explore now!
Unlike some of the demons in the series, Hantengu doesn’t have a sympathetic past. If anything, it comes across as cowardly or whiney to some people. In his life as a human, he moved and lived like a criminal. He stole things from people and killed a few as well. Every time he would do these criminal acts, he would never take responsibility. Even in the cases where he killed his wife and children out of anger. In the end, He would always blame his “hands” for doing it.
His lack of control over his actions implies that he has some form of mental illness. Remember this as this will be important later!
Eventually, his crimes would catch up to him. He would be captured by a magistrate and then sentenced to death. Muzan took pity on the man and turned him into a Demon. Hantengu’s transformation had been monstrous. For his first act, he escaped prison and killed the magistrate. In the latter’s dying words, he cursed Hantengu. That even if he escaped justice now, he will soon in the future.
Hantengu lived a long life as a demon. He is at least more than 113 years old.His presence among the Upper-Rank Demons is nearly non-existent. He’d rather keep with himself and avoid any sort of trouble. This is evident as he would cower in fear every time Akaza, Doma, and Kokushibo came to blows. The only time he moves is when he receives a direct order from Muzan.
Other than these, we don’t have anything more on Tengu. Everything else is during the Swordsmith Village Arc. The events which I have written in a previous article!
As Muzan’s demon, Hantengu has capabilities stronger than most demons. He possesses immense speed and reflexes as he can evade the Mist Hashiro’s attacks. He could outrun Tanjiro and Nezuko when they were giving it their all.
If he is ever caught, he could still survive in three ways.First, he could change his size. By making himself smaller, it will be harder for them to find him. The second is his incredible durability. Even when Tanjiro tried cutting his head, the latter was unable to, even with Nezuko’s help. Bullets are also just as useless, making Hantengu one tough demon! Finally, the third method is his Blood Art. We will explain this more later.
However, it is in his stealth that Hantengu has the most use. Despite his strong abilities, Hantengu doesn’t own the tell-tale qualities of a demon. This lets him bypass the Mist Hashira’s sixth sense for demons and Tanjiro’s acute sense of smell. It was only by being spotted and careless that Hantengu was caught.
Hantengu’s Blood Demon Art – Manifestation by Division
Remember in the previous section where there is a third method for Hantengu to survive? This is it.
As with every Demon, Hantengu has his special form of Blood Demon Art. In his case, however, he carries something more. His mental instability is further amplified the moment he became a demon. These emotions became so vivid that Hantengu can manifest them. By cutting off pieces of his body, he can regrow them into these manifestations. This lets him cheat death. Demon Slayers would be surprised to see that the man didn’t die but multiplied instead.
On top of that, Hantengu’s manifestations will also not die on their own. However, this comes at a cost. The more Hantengu’s manifestations are divided, the weaker they become.
This demon is the manifestation of Hantengu’s anger. Sekido is constantly irritated even towards his fellow clones. He can absorb the other clones to become Zohakuten, Hantengu’s strongest clone. If not used for combination, he has the strength and speed of a Hashira. During a battle, he holds a Khakkhara which he uses to channel his Blood Demon Art. Lightning is under his beck and call and he has enough control to paralyze Tanjiro. He cannot be killed even with decapitation.
This demon is the manifestation of Hantengu’s playfulness. I like to think of him as Hantengu’s inner Zaraki Kenpachi! What makes him different from Sekido is that Karaku has a high pain tolerance. He could keep fighting and feel excited at the prospects of new ways to be injured. Like his clone, he has his own unique Blood Demon Art. He can manipulate the wind using his Uchiwa which is shaped like a leaf. He can release strong winds that can pin Tanjiro and Nezuko on the floor.
This demon is the manifestation of Hantengu’s happiness. Urogi is the happiest of the bunch and likes to see the world through a positive lens. He likes to praise his opponents as seen in his battles against Tanjiro. He shares the same attributes as his clones but has a modified physiology. Unlike his brothers though, Urogi grew wings and talons! He used this to his advantage when he fought Tanjiro and was flying around him. His Blood Demon Art complements this flight ability. By screaming, he can injure his opponents through internal damage.
This demon is the manifestation of Hantengu’s sorrow. Aizetsu is the most negative of the group and easily the most depressing. However, this gives him the advantage to take every fight seriously. He possesses the same strengths and attributes as the other clones. His Blood Demon Art creates a spear instead. This allows him to attack from great distances.
This is Hantengu’s ultimate manifestation. Zohakuten is the embodiment of his hatred toward everything in life. This body holds the same attributes as the other clones but multiplied in strength. So much so that Tanjiro could feel his aura and it caused him to choke. He is also the most intelligent in the group. We see these capabilities when he held off the Love Hashira.
Fittingly, he also possesses the strongest Blood Demon Art among the clones. He can manipulate wood and flora in his area. Dragons seem to be the motif for Zohakuten as he created five dragon heads to kill Tanjiro. Additionally, he receives the Blood Demon Arts from the clones he assimilated. He can use wind, sound, lighting, and spears to attack his enemies.
For his weapon, he carries around the Juumonji Yari, a cross-shaped spear. He also carries a pair of daggers.
This is Hatengu’s last ace. When all other options are out, he brings out this clone to protect himself. Urami is just a bigger version of himself that represents his resentment. No, this is not the same as hatred! Apparently. This embodiment is supposed to represent his resentment of being sentenced to death. Zohakuten should be the same but think of Urami as a Gundam suit. A very fleshy human living Gundam suit. Why? Because Hantengu can hide inside Urami’s heart!
So, you might be wondering: how can Tanjiro and company beat this demon? The answer is surprisingly simple. If Hantengu, the original body, dies first, the rest will fall. Sun is also a weakness for Hantengu due to his nature as a demon.
Swordsmith Village Demon: Gyokko
This demon is among the strongest of Muzan’s Upper-Rank Demons for a reason! He possesses the ability to play around with his opponents due to his Blood Demon Art. Fanatical and loyal to a fault, he sees Muzan as the ultimate leader. He will do his best to meet the latter’s expectations even when being punished. He felt glee when his head had been cut off by Muzan!
Gyokko’s life as a human is anything but sympathetic. As you can see, there is a running theme for these Upper-Rank Demons. As a child, he lost his parents due to an accident in the sea. Seeing their washed-up corpses on the beach developed his morbid fascination for corpses. So much so that he viewed it as the ultimate “art”. This led him to be outcasted by the rest of the community.
However, all of that changed one day when a child had the balls to tease him! The poor thing couldn’t expect what happened next. Gyokko skewered the kid and stuffed their body inside a pot. This crime wouldn’t go unnoticed for too long. Karma would soon catch up to him as the parents would find the corpse. Gyokko was the one to be stabbed next and left to die. As he lay there dying, Muzan showed up and turned him into a demon.
Since turning into a demon, his fascination with corpses grew to higher lengths. He took the bodies of his victims and twisted them into grotesque sculptures. Most of the time, the victims would stay alive. His pursuit of the arts made him modify his body to resemble a fish and abandon his humanoid form.
Get it? It’s a pun between fish and physiology! Anyway, Gyokko’s pursuit of the arts made him the most unique demon to date. His appearance mimics one of a Genie where his body is contained inside a pot. He possesses many limbs and eyes, making him one weird demon to look at. In terms of transportation, he doesn’t have any legs. What he does is use other pots and transport himself in each one. However, his true form is one that of a merman.
Despite his appearance, he does have the same strengths and weaknesses as any other demon. He has enhanced strength and speed, reflexes, and durability.
Gyokko’s Blood Demon Art – Vases and Pots Galore!
There’s no real name that Gyokko uses for his Blood Demon Art. Still, I do think this works best. Gyokko’s ability relies on the use of the porcelain vases that he created. With each vase, he can teleport himself anywhere as long as the vase is there. He can create multiple pots at once and use them for other things.
For example, he can create fish creatures from within the pots and let them out. There is no limit to the fish creatures he created, or, at least, none to our knowledge. Each fish creature he created may have special characteristics. Some fishes can spew poisoned needles. He can create a whole group of piranhas to eat his foes to death. Other times he can just summon an octopus if he felt like it!
Another application for his vases is using them to draw water. Like a water bender, he can control and manipulate water at will. The best example is when he encased the Mist Hashira in a water pot to drown him.
These demons are incredible. The next arc will be action-packed with these two on the front!