Who are the best Demon Slayer characters? Ever since the manga burst onto the scene back in 2016, fans have become enamored with the adventures of Demon Slayer Corps. The fictional organization, which is said to have been established back in ancient times, consists of master swordsmen who have dedicated their lives to protecting humanity from demons.
The horror anime, which is considered to be one of the best anime series of all time, follows Tanjiro Kamado on his quest to become a Demon Slayer and save his sister’s humanity after the Demon King, Muzan Kibutsuji, massacres his entire family except for Nezuko.
Since debuting on our small screens in 2019, there’s been plenty of anime characters introduced in the Demon Slayer — but who comes out on top? Here are our picks on the 15 best Demon Slayer characters of all time.
Akaza is one of Muzan’s top henchmen and is the Upper Moon 3 in the Twelve Kizuki. He is also one of the most hated villains and complicated demons in the entire series because, yes, his writing is just that good. If scary evil foes were ranked by intimidation, Akaza would easily top the list. He has killed many Hashira, is a close combat expert, and is loyal to Muzan without a fault.
What many fans overlook about Akaza is how human he appears to be compared to his other demon peers. Akaza is the only demon of the Twelve Kizuki who refuses to eat and kill women. Also, despite his loyalty, he never truly worships Muzan – instead, he treats his orders like a general. Throughout the anime, he shows regret, frustration, and brief flashes of humanity. Love him or hate him, Akaza is special and always steals our attention when he is on screen.
14. Muichiro Tokito
When we first met the cold and aloof Muichiro, no one expected that the Mist Hashira would steal our hearts. But after Demon Slayer season 3, I think we can all agree that when it comes to lore reveals and heart-wrenching backstories, Muichiro takes the cake. Muichiro is the youngest Hashira in the Demon Slayer Corps and is a calm but vastly powerful fighter.
He may seem arrogant at first, but it turns out that his expressionless mask is due to memory loss and a huge amount of trauma. Muichiro used to be optimistic, but he tragically lost his twin to demons, and had to watch his brother rot in front of him. Along with that revelation, Muichiro is also a descendant of Kokushibo – a former Demon Slayer who is now the highest-ranking demon under Muzan. You can’t help but feel for Muichiro and gasp at all the complicated and traumatic reveals surrounding his character.
13. Yoriichi Tsugikuni
Every good story needs a legend, and when it comes to mythical fighters who steal the spotlight, Yoriichi Tsugikuni takes the cake. He was the strongest Demon Slayer to ever exist. He invented the first Breathing Style and is one of the only humans to survive years after receiving a Demon Slayer Mark. We may only see him in flashbacks (since he did die 500 years before Tanjiro joined the Corp), but his memory still haunts Muzan.
So yeah, as you can tell, Yoriichi is not only one of the most important Demon Slayer characters in terms of lore, but he is also one of the strongest. To make us even bigger fans, he also has a tragic backstory. All he ever wanted was a quiet life with his family – a dream that was stolen by demons. Seriously, it’s heartbreaking how his strength couldn’t save those who mattered most to him, and we are still crying.
12. Hotaru Haganezuka
Who doesn’t love a hothead? Let’s be honest, everyone already loved Hotaru Haganezuka, and then after we saw his pretty face in Demon Slayer season 3, he fully cemented himself into our hearts. Unlike the blades he creates, here is a Demon Slayer character who is rough around the edges. But, despite his brash and often misunderstood personality, Hotaru is one of the most dedicated and passionate anime characters you’ll find.
He takes great pride in his work, cares about his friends, and, despite having a few problems when it comes to connecting with others and expressing himself, is a decent guy all around. Seeing Tanjiro trust him to make a sword despite his reputation is heartwarming, and personally, we just love seeing Hotaru continually trying his best.
11. Genya Shinazugawa
Genya is one of those rare characters who you can’t stand when you first meet them, but as their backstories unravel and they grow as individuals, you can’t help but love their journey. The foul-mouthed and brash younger brother of Wind Hashira, Sanemi Shinazugawa, Genya, is constantly trying to prove himself to his older brother. Despite his stand-off attitude, he will do anything to protect his allies.
If you watch Demon Slayer season 3, you’d also know that Genya has a habit of eating demon flesh, which has let him develop his own Blood Demon Art. In combat, his control of bullets and sharpshooter skills is intense to watch. So yeah, he is just pretty cool all around. We also are rooting for him and his brother to have a heart-to-heart in the upcoming Hashira Training Arc before it is too late!
10. Tomioka Giyu
As the first Hashira to appear in Demon Slayer, Giyu ended up really making waves (get it?) when he was first introduced. The current Water Hashira, Tomioka, has a strong sense of justice, but as we’ve seen throughout the series, he is still willing to break some conduct codes for the greater good.
He might’ve started off as a bit of an anti-hero when he first appeared (giving Tanjiro some tough love), but he’s now also become something of a comic relief with his highly-strung, tsundere attitude.
9. Muzan Kibutsuji
As the Demon King, mass murderer, and main anime villain, not a lot of people are exactly rooting for him — but you can’t deny that his powers are kind of badass.
He can literally absorb demons into his body, turn humans into demons, and control pretty much every demon (apart from our protagonists) through his blood. Whatever you think of him, his final face-off with Tanjiro is bound to be epic. Also, since the Demon Slayer season 3 ending, we learned how Muzan became a demon, and now we have a greater appreciation for his evil intentions, too!
8. Hashibira Inosuke
Above all, I find the fact that Inosuke wears a pig mask funny, but once you get past that, you come to appreciate how his upbringing in the forest has made him an extremely skilled fighter.
He’s so powerful that he created his own breathing style, Beast Breathing Technique, without any former training, while his affinity with his animalistic instincts has also made him an especially good Demon Slayer.
7. Uzui Tengen
Uzui is a Demon Slayer that truly ‘slays’ in both senses of the word. The retired Sound Hashira has the strength and agility that matches the Upper Six Moons and does it all with maximum flair and with no less than two swanky swords at all times.
Also, if you have seen the Entertainment District Arc, you would know just how righteous and dang likable he is. When it comes to style and consistency, Uzui just can’t be beaten.
6. Zenitsu Agatsuma
Zenitsu has probably had one of the better redemption arcs throughout his appearance in Demon Slayer, and is still hilarious. When we first meet him in the anime, we see that he is a notorious self-involved coward with a habit of falling in love with every girl he meets.
But as the show went on, he became more noble and likable, and his true unconscious potential and power were revealed when the character showcased his Thunder Breathing Technique. It is a joy to see just how far he has come as a Demon Slayer since traveling with the others (even if he still runs screaming at the first sign of danger).
5. Mitsuri Kanroji
Mitsuri Kanroji is the Love Hashira in Demon Slayer and just all around nice gal. She is bubbly, very wholesome, and unlike most of her comrades, actually doesn’t have a majorly tragic backstory. In Demon Slayer season 3, we learn that she has always been incredibly strong, causing her to struggle with finding a marriage partner.
After years of hiding her true self, Mitsuri decides to join the Demon Corps to do good, letting her skills shine and be appreciated instead of hiding her abilities. Yes, she is still searching for a husband, and thanks to her enduring demeanor, we can’t help but root for her in her quest for justice and love.
Tamayo is the modest MVP of Demon Slayer. Like Nezuko, Tamayo has managed to keep her humanity despite being a demon and uses her powers to help others. She is a skilled doctor who is hell-bent on defeating Muzan and is a massive ally for the Demon Slayer Corps.
Tanjiro would be pretty hopeless without Tamayo, as she is the one who is actively trying to develop a cure to save his sister. So yeah, Muzan better watch out. Besides her value in a practical sense, Tamago is also gentle, wise, and considerate. Basically, she must be protected at all costs.
3. Nezuko Kamado
Without Nezuko, there simply wouldn’t be Demon Slayer. It is her unfortunate transformation into a demon that spurs Tanjiro’s journey in the first place, but she’s far from a damsel in distress.
She’s funny, loyal, and warm, and despite being a demon, she has still somehow managed to maintain her humanity and spirit. When it comes to protecting those she loves, nothing can stop her, not even her new demon nature and urges. Name a stronger and more selfless anime character; I dare you.
2. Kyojuro Rengoku
I’m not crying; you are. Rengoku’s time in the show was brief, but the impact he had both on the anime and our protagonist Tanjiro is something none of us will forget anytime soon.
The Flame Hashira served as Tanjiro’s friend and mentor, quickly establishing himself as the heart of the group with his warm demeanor. His heroic exit (we won’t spoil it here) only made us love him more.
1. Tanjiro Kamado
Who else could top this list but Tanjiro himself? He has all the hallmarks of a shonen legend: not only is he incredibly powerful (he’s the only Demon Slayer alive able to use Sun Breathing), but everything he does is driven by compassion, empathy, and loyalty — especially for his beloved sister.
And before you go, be sure to peruse our guide to some of the best new anime coming your way this year and the best anime movies of all time. Or, for more releases, here are all the new movies heading our way in 2023, and everything we know about the Dragon Ball Super season 2 release date.