Tanjiro Kamado (竈門 (かまど) 炭 (たん) 治 (じ) 郎 (ろう) , Kamado Tanjirō?) is the main protagonist of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. He is a Kanoe-ranked member of the Demon Slayer Corps, who joined for the sake of hunting down the one responsible for the murder of his family and his sister’s transformation into a Demon.
Tanjiro is a young man with rather tanned skin and an athletic physique. He has ruffled, black hair with burgundy tips, combed back to expose his forehead, and wide, dark red eyes with white pupils that appear lighter around the lower section of his irises. He also has a scar on the top left of his forehead, which he received when he protected his younger brother from a falling brazier. The scar originally looked somewhat like a graze until his fight with the Hand Demon during the Final Selection, after which it develops into his Demon Slayer Mark. It is noted that his hands are visibly rougher for someone his age, as a result of his rigorous training under Sakonji Urokodaki. Tanjiro looks remarkably similar in appearance to his ancestor Sumiyoshi, possessing the same facial structure, eyes, and hairstyle as him, although Sumiyoshi’s hair was longer, about shoulder-length and would be tied in a ponytail behind his head.
Tanjiro first appears wearing a checkered, black-and-sea-foam-green haori over a white robe and black pants. He occasionally sports a turquoise scarf and is seen with circular, white bands looped around his calves. He also wears a distinct pair of hanafuda earrings, with the image of a white-and-red flower. His hair is also kept tied back in small ponytail or bun; as he trains with Sabito and Makomo, his hair grows to his shoulders.
During the Final Selection, Tanjiro wears a blue, cloud-patterned jinbei-styled kimono and black pants, nearly identical to Sakonji’s outfit. He still wears his hanafuda earrings, but his hair is cut extremely short and remains the same length since. Similar to the rest of the apprentices that were trained under Sakonji, Tanjiro wears a hand-carved fox mask crafted from his master on the left side of his head. The mask has red accents on the eyes, ears, and spots on each corner of its mouth. On the upper right corner of the mask, there is a sun-shaped design that likely symbolizes the scar on his forehead.
After becoming a Demon Slayer, Tanjiro wears the standard Demon Slayer uniform, a dark-brown gakuran jacket, a white belt, baggy pants that extend into tabi socks, a pair of zōri with red straps, and bands of white cloth wrapped tightly around his calves, all beneath his signature checkered haori. He carries a large wooden box on his back (which was a gift to him from Sakonji Urokodaki), where his sister sleeps as they travel during the day.
Tanjiro is kind by nature and has been described by others as having very gentle eyes. He exhibits a great deal of determination and will not give up once he has a goal to achieve; the best example of this being his relentless quest to find a cure for Nezuko. Even though he is relatively strong on his own, Tanjiro isn’t opposed to asking others for help when he needs it. He is very protective of his friends and even more so of his younger sister. However, despite his kind and understanding nature, Tanjiro does have a limit to his tolerance and has a distaste for rudeness and cowardice as he easily becomes annoyed by Zenitsu Agatsuma’s constant whining, and angered by Inosuke Hashibira’s barbaric actions.
Tanjiro’s most notable attribute is his ability to empathize with anyone, even Demons, which often makes him hesitate before delivering the final blow. This moment of hesitation has a downside, as it has allowed some Demons to take advantage of Tanjiro’s understanding nature to recover and continue the fight on rare occasions. However, as Tanjiro gains experience over the years of his service, he becomes more calculating and strict in his decisions. His courage to protect the weak commits him to face his enemy with respect and dignity, whether versus good people or evil Demons.
Under Tanjiro’s rather kind and friendly shell, is a person with a growing fire of rage and vengeance inside of them. This side of him leaks out when Tanjiro first confronts Muzan, ready to take out his sword and attack him. When Muzan escapes, Tanjiro releases his frustration and declares he will be the one to kill Muzan. In another event, when the Demon Slayers have their necks snapped by the Mother Spider Demon’s threads, Tanjiro shows noticeable anger that even Inosuke senses. This side of Tanjiro fully comes out after Muzan’s speech where he compares himself to a natural disaster. Tanjiro responds to that by calling Muzan “a being that should not exist.”
Abilities and Powers
From the start, although not a part of the Demon Slayer Corps, Tanjiro was able to catch Giyu Tomioka, the Water Hashira off guard. After starting his training in the Water Breathing, he has become also to take on multiple demons including a former Lower Rank 6, Kyogai. After recalling the Hinokami Kagura, he learned from his father as a child, he would’ve defeated Rui, Lower Rank 5, if Rui hadn’t cut off his own head prior. After awakening his Demon Slayer Mark and training even further, Tanjiro has proven to be able to hold his own against even the Upper Rank like Akaza, with Giyu even comparing his strength to that of a Hashira. After getting poisoned by Muzan and having a mysterious vision of his ancestors, Tanjiro was able to fight against Muzan by himself, who had just single-handedly defeated all five remaining Hashira, Zenitsu, and Inosuke. Muzan expressed feelings of unease towards Tanjiro due to the similarities between him and Yoriichi.
- Enhanced Sense of Smell: Tanjiro has had a heightened sense of smell even before he underwent sword training. It is strong enough for him to smell the ‘line of interval’—the slight pause in an enemy’s movement which allows him an opening in which to strike—and distinguish between species, as well as their approximate position. After training this skill during his time as a Demon Hunter, Tanjiro has acquired the ability to smell emotions as well as track objects, humans and demons over long distances. During his training with Yoriichi Type Zero, Tanjiro awakened the ability to predict movements from his opponents through smell, which can be detected faster than the ‘line of interval’.
- Fighting Ability: This trait of Tanjiro’s was pointed out by Giyu during their first encounter, in which Tanjiro skilfully laid out a plan to attack Giyu by surprise by charging towards him, not showing the Demon Hunter that he was unarmed, and bring down Giyu with an ax he had thrown in the air beforehand. The attack failed, but Giyu was still very impressed by Tanjiro’s plan, especially considering he was a rookie at the time.
- Enhanced Strength: After his training at Sagiri Mountain, Tanjiro has gained enhanced strength and speed and has demonstrated a great use of it, as seen when he jumped twice his height over the Hand Demon, who killed Sakonji’s disciples, during Final Selection. His forehead is noted to be unusually sturdy as well since he’s able with it to injure Sanemi Shinazugawa, the Wind Hashira and even momentarily stun Gyutaro, an Upper Rank 6.
- Immense Speed: Tanjiro can keep up with Akaza, Upper Rank 3 and an incredibly fast Demon, during their second encounter. After awakening his Demon Slayer mark, Tanjiro’s speed increases even further.
- Immense Reflexes: After awakening his Demon Slayer mark, Tanjiro gains extremely sharp reflexes. He becomes capable of easily dodging and countering Daki’s attacks while she is in her weaker form, without Daki being able to injure him at all.
- Crimson Red Nichirin Blade: During his second battle against Muzan, Tanjiro gains the ability to dye his Nichirin Blade in a crimson red color, giving it the ability to hamper the enhanced regeneration of Demons.
- Transparent World (透 (す) き通 (とお) る世 (せ) 界 (かい) , Sukitōru Sekai?): Like his father, he gained the ability to foresee the opponent’s attack while showing no battle spirit and sense of blood-lust, gaining immunity from anyone who can sense these. In this state, his movement intuition and evasion speed increase dramatically.
- Demon Slayer Mark: Tanjiro awakened his mark for the first time while fighting Gyutaro, an Upper Rank 6, and once again while fighting Akaza, Upper Rank 3. This state increases his strength, speed and reaction time drastically. In his fight with Akaza, after gaining access to the Transparent World in addition to his Demon Slayer mark, he’s able to move fast enough to cut off Akaza’s head without giving him any time to react, a move which would’ve killed Akaza if it wasn’t for him overcoming his weakness to Nichirin Blade decapitation. However, it should be noted Akaza’s compass detection ability relied on him sensing battle spirit from his opponent, and Tanjiro was able to show no battle spirit while performing this attack. The only drawback is that Tanjiro can only enter this state on rare occasions, and can only use it for a very short period since it causes exhaustion to his body, as shown in his battles against Akaza and Daki.
Water Breathing (水 (みず) の呼 (こ) 吸 (きゅう) , Mizu no kokyū?): Taught to him by Sakonji, the Water Hashira before Giyu. The user can increase the amount of oxygen in one’s blood by controlling his breathing pattern, which increases his strength and agility to equal that of a Demon. Tanjiro has now learned to do Total Concentration Breathing at all times, further increasing his base strength, speed, and stamina. By focusing on accuracy breathing, he is capable of stopping bleeding from injuries. With this enhanced strength and ability to find the ‘line of interval,’ Tanjiro can utilize ten different moves:
- First Form: Water Surface Slash (壱 (いち) ノ型 (かた) 水 (みな) 面 (も) 斬 (ぎ) り, Ichi no kata: Minamo giri?) – The swordsman generates enough momentum to create a powerful single concentrated slash.
- Second Form: Water Wheel (弐 (に) ノ型 (かた) 水 (みず) 車 (ぐるま) , Ni no kata: Mizu guruma?) – The swordsman leaps and vertically spins forward in the air while releasing a flowing attack in a circular motion.
- Second Form: Improved – Lateral Water Wheel (弐 (に) ノ型 (かた) ・改 (かい) 横 (よこ) 水 (みず) 車 (ぐるま) , Ni no kata kai: Yoko mizu guruma?) – An alternate variation of Second Form: Water Wheel that uses a horizontal spin.
- Third Form: Flowing Dance (参 (さん) ノ型 (かた) 流 (りゅう) 流 (りゅう) 舞 (ま) い, San no kata: Ryūryū mai?)  – The swordsman swings his blade at his opponent in a way that mimics the movement of waves on the surface of water.
- Fourth Form: Striking Tide (肆 (し) ノ型 (かた) 打 (う) ち潮 (しお) , Shi no kata: Uchishio?) – The swordsman makes multiple consecutive slashes while twisting their body in a flowing fashion similar to a harsh tide.
- Fifth Form: Blessed Rain After the Drought (伍 (ご) ノ型 (かた) 干 (かん) 天 (てん) の慈 (じ) 雨 (う) , Go no kata: Kanten no jiu?) – A “sword strike of kindness” that kills the target with little to no pain. Used when the enemy surrenders.
- Sixth Form: Whirlpool (陸 (ろく) ノ型 (かた) ねじれ渦 (うず) , Roku no kata: Nejire uzu?) – The swordsman fiercely twists his upper and lower body, creating a whirlpool that cuts anything caught in it. It can be used in a place without footing, and if used underwater can generate a large whirlpool that draws in anything nearby in addition to cutting them up like a large blade.
- Whirlpool: Flow (ねじれ渦 (うず) ・流 (りゅう) 流 (りゅう) , Nejire Uzu – Ryūryū?) – A combination of Third Form: Flowing Dance and Sixth Form: Whirlpool. The swordsman combines the footwork from Flowing Dance and the twisting aspect of Whirlpool, resulting in the swordsman to perform an attack around the user and conjure a twisting, swirling, vicious flow of water to redirect projectiles from multiple angles.
- Seventh Form: Drop Ripple Thrust Curve (漆 (しち) ノ型 (かた) 雫 (しずく) 波 (は) 紋 (もん) 突 (づ) き, Shichi no kata: Shizuku wa Mondzuki?) (Drop Ripple in English Dub) A fast and accurate stab. The fastest Water Breathing technique.
- Eighth Form: Waterfall Basin (捌 (はち) ノ型 (かた) 滝 (たき) 壷 (つぼ) , Hachi no kata: Takitsubo?)  – The swordsman cuts the target vertically.
- Ninth Form: Splashing Water Flow – Turbulent (玖 (く) ノ型 (かた) 水 (すい) 流 (りゅう) 飛沫 (しぶき) , Ku no kata: Suiryū shibuki?) – Minimizes the landing time and surface needed when landing, allowing the user to move without limits. Ideal when fighting in a place with no solid foothold.
- Tenth Form: Constant Flux (拾 (じゅう) ノ型 (かた) 生 (せい) 生 (せい) 流 (る) 転 (てん) , Jū no kata: Seisei ruten?) – A continuous attack that increases in power with each rotation, creating a strong slash.
Hinokami Kagura (ヒノカミ神楽 (かぐら) , Hinokami Kagura?): Taught to him by his father. A breathing technique that increases the user’s strength and endurance. The dance is composed of 12 segments repeated from sunset to sunrise. However, there is an unknown 13th form that is achieved if the segments are repeated one after another, as the techniques are meant to be connected like a circle from Dance to Flame Dance. It is later confirmed that the Hinokami Kagura is the same as Sun Breathing.
- Dance (円 (えん) 舞 (ぶ) , Enbu?): A single concentrated slash.
- Flash Dance (円 (えん) 舞 (ぶ) 一 (いっ) 閃 (せん) , Enbu Issen?): Tanjiro utilises Zenitsu’s Thunderclap Flash and combines it with his Waltz by pumping air through his entire body, focusing it on the legs, and releasing it all while ending with a flaming slash. The technique was capable of out-speeding Genya Shinazugawa and Nezuko, as well as the fleeing Hantengu, although it is still slower than Zenitsu’s Thunderclap Flash.
- Clear Blue Sky (碧 (へき) 羅 (ら) の天 (てん) , Heki-ra no ten?): A similar attack to “Water Wheel” in which Tanjiro spins his body to create a 360-degree slash.
- Raging Sun (烈 (れつ) 日 (じつ) 紅 (こう) 鏡 (きょう) , Retsujitsu kōkyō?): Tanjiro unleashes two horizontal slashes that defend him from attacks from the front or side.
- Fake Rainbow (幻 (げん) 日 (にち) 虹 (こう) , Gen’nichi kō?): Tanjiro uses this technique to evade techniques using high-speed twists and rotations. It works most effectively on enemies with good vision, as they will attack an afterimage of him and not his actual body.
- Fire Wheel (火 (か) 車 (しゃ) , Kasha?): Tanjiro uses this technique in quick succession with Parhelion Rainbow and attacks the enemy while they are distracted.
- Burning Bones, Summer Sun (灼 (しゃっ) 骨 (こつ) 炎 (えん) 陽 (よう) , Shyakkotsu en’yō?): A circular slash that defends from imminent frontal attacks.
- Sunflower Thrust (陽 (よう) 華 (か) 突 (とつ) , Yōkatotsu?): A single thrust attack with the sharp blade.
- Solar Heat Haze (飛 (ひ) 輪 (りん) 陽 (かげ) 炎 (ろう) , Hirin Kagerō?) – Tanjiro charges towards his opponent with a flame-cladded blade to slash them.
- Setting Sun Transformation (斜 (しゃ) 陽 (よう) 転 (てん) 身 (しん) , Shayō Tenshin?) – Tanjiro flips into the air to deliver an upended flaming sword slash.
- Beneficent Radiance (輝 (き) 輝 (き) 恩 (おん) 光 (こう) , Kiki Onkō?) – Tanjiro spirals into the air to deliver a powerful slash to those caught in it.
- Dragon Sun Halo Head Dance (日 (にち) 暈 (うん) の龍 (りゅう ) 頭 (かぶり) 舞 (ま) い, Nichiun no Ryū Kaburimai?): Resembling a dragon, the user moves in circles to avoid enemy attacks and slashes then multiple times at the target. This technique was first utilized by Tanjiro in conjunction with Nezuko’s Blood Demon Art Blood Burst to enhance the effectiveness. During his second battle against Muzan, he is capable of using this technique without Nezuko’s assistance.
- Flame Dance (炎 (えん) 舞 (ぶ) , Enbu?): A two-combo strike which starts with a vertical slash and then a horizontal one right after.
- Thirteenth Form – The user continuously performs all twelve forms of the breathing style in repetitive succession to increase the accuracy and agility of his movements. This form was created solely to kill Muzan since the repetition of all twelve forms aims to destroy Muzan’s twelve vital organs (7 hearts and 5 brains) that move freely inside his body thanks to his shape-shifting ability.
During his battle against Upper Rank 6, Gyutaro, Tanjiro was able to combine the breathing techniques of both the Water Breathing and the Hinokami Kagura, allowing him to boost his speed greatly for a short amount of time and to perform attacks that possessed the qualities of both Breathing Styles.
- His first name contains the kanji for “charcoal” (炭 (たん) , tan?), “to heal” (治 (じ) , ji?) and “son, male” (郎 (ろう) , rō?), which is also a common masculine name suffix. The first kanji of Tanjiro’s surname translates to a traditional Japanese wood or charcoal-fuelled cookstove/furnace (竈 (かまど) , kama?), while the second kanji means “door” (門 (ど) , do?).
- The second character could also reference (退 (たい) 治 (じ) , taiji?), which refers to the exorcism of Demons.
- Tanjiro was ranked in 1st place as of the first character popularity poll with 6,742 votes.
- Tanjiro shares his Japanese and English voice actors with Sieg, the protagonist of Fate/Apocrypha.
- When Tanjiro lies, he can’t make a normal face due to his honest nature.
- Tanjiro inherited his hard forehead from his mother.
- Tanjiro has been incorrectly dubbed as Gonpachiro Kamaboko, Gengoro Shakariki, Tontaro Itadaki, Kanjiro Anago, Tangoro Hamado, Jangoro Amado, Monjiro, Kentaro and Souchiro by Inosuke.
- Tanjiro is one of the few characters to have a Nichirin Sword change appearance.
- Apparently, Tanjiro is able to understand what birds are saying.
- (To Muzan Kibutsuji) “Muzan Kibutsuji! No matter where you go, I promise you won’t escape me! You can run as far as you want! I’ll follow you to the ends of Hell, and my blade will be the last thing you see! I’ll never forgive you for what you’ve done!”
- (To Kyogai) “I can’t forgive you for killing.”
- (To Rui) The bond between Nezuko and I, cannot be severed! Not by anyone!”
- (To Giyu Tomioka) “To dispel the regrets of those killed, to stop any more victims from appearing, I will relentlessly wield my blade against the Demons, and that’s a fact. But I will not trample on the pains of being a Demon. Nor on those who regret their actions. Because Demons were humans. Because they were humans like me.”
- (To Sanemi Shinazugawa) “If you can’t differentiate the good Demons from the bad ones, you should quit being a Hashira!!”
- (To Enmu) “Don’t thoughtlessly trample your way into people’s dream! I won’t forgive you.”
- (To the hatred Demon) “Stop playing the victim after killing and eating all those people!! You have a sick mind. Absolutely unforgivable. Evil demon…!! I will cut your head off right here!!”
- (To Akaza) “The strong protect the weak. Then the weak get stronger, and help those weaker than themselves. That is the law of nature.”
- (About Muzan Kibutsuji) “I have never felt so cold toward a living being before. My stomach is churning with hatred. This is the first time and it’s directed at you, Muzan Kibutsuji.”