In his role as an upper Three demon, Akaza is among the most dangerous villains in Demon Slayer. However, is he truly an evil character?
Demon Slayer is a shonen with a focus on action where humans battle powerful demons for their survival. Since there are certain methods to fight demons successfully normal people are unable to effectively fight them. That’s the reason why the Demon Slayer Corps have spent centuries in secret to cleansing the world of all demons. In the top position among the numerous dangers that are featured in the show, there’s one group of demons even the most powerful of Demon Slayers, the Hashira, cannot defeat alone. Akaza the Upper Three Demon with twelve Kizuki is one of this kind of demon.
Because of his terrifyingly powerful and hateful part in the demise of Rengoku, Hashira, Akaza is among the most hated characters from Demon Slayer. Akaza is, however, an incredibly deep character with a tragic history.
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Akaza’s Values and Personality
Akaza is a demon who is stubborn is awed by the strong and despises the weaker ones. This is why the demon will go out of his way to take on the most powerful demon slayers and fighters. In the Infinity Train Arc, Akaza soon took a liking to Rengoku, begging Rengoku to turn into a demon so the two could keep fighting forever. Whenever Akaza was battling those he considered worthy opponents to fight, he’d ask their names and even introduce himself as a sign of respect. He could recall the names of his opponents throughout his time as an undead.
Though he is part of the Twelve Kizuki, he doesn’t get along with his peers. He regards them as rivals and is extremely hostile toward Kokushibou, the Upper-Rank One demon, and Doma two, the upper-rank demon. Despite being one of the strongest demons, Akaza is a man of values who adheres to regardless of what the situation. Unknown reasons, demons in Demon Slayer gain greater strength when they eat females, than they do by eating males. However, Akaza has never eaten women or caused harm to the women. Doma once said that If Akaza was willing to eat women, he would be strong enough to surpass him. His humanity is apparent in his refusal to sacrifice his humanity for power.
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In-depth Analysis of Akaza’s Duel with Rengoku
The strength of an Upper Moon Demon is far beyond what any human can ever comprehend. Akaza the first Upper Moon to be officially introduced in Demon Slayer, was battling the Hashira. The first move he made was to attack Tanjiro who was downed by the Hashira, but Rengoku jumps in to save him. Akaza answers the question of why he would attack someone who has already been defeated. Tanjiro would hinder their discussion. Akaza was determined to make Rengoku to be a demon, which would allow them to battle for many years so they could both become stronger. Akaza was truly amazed by Rengoku’s strength and admiration for his skills.
He knew Rengoku was not able to defeat him as a human, even though he was able to regenerate in only a few seconds. Akaza can regenerate in just a few minutes, while Rengoku’s injuries are bound to overwhelm him. The fight between the two was fair, Akaza never swore off Rengoku and did not use sly tactics.
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Tragic Backstory of Akaza
As a human being, Akaza was known as Hakuji. He was raised in the streets with his father who was sick, whom he loved deeply. Hakuji was in financial difficulty purchasing medicines, so he swindled the citizens in the town. He would be caught repeatedly. The magistrate would punish him by beating him down and inflicting criminal tattoos on him. After returning home from his third beating the victim was informed of his father’s suicide. In a letter written by his father, he said that he desired Hakuji to live a long and fulfilling life. He also told Hakuji he didn’t want a medication that was gained through immoral activities.
Eventually, Hakuji is banished from Edo and starts picking random fights with strangers. Hakuji encounters Keizo who is the local dojo’s owner who will take the student under his wing and teach him martial art. After two years of staying in the dojo, his skills increased, and he became a fan of Keizo’s daughter Koyuki. Sadly, his blissful days did not last long, as one of the rival dojos poisoned the drinking water in his home. Keizo and Koyuki passed away shortly after drinking the poisoned drink when Hakuji was out of the country. Hakuji was informed of the incident and then fought the dojo’s sixty-seven members barehanded by slamming their bodies. Muzan learns of this incident and proposes to transform Hakuji into a demon.
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The death of Akaza reveals his true Nature
Akaza’s final fight in Demon Slayer was against Tanjiro, Giyu. He is impressed once again by the strength and determination of Hashira. Giyu requests Rengoku to transform him into a demon. Giyu doesn’t think twice about the idea. Even with the combined power of Giyu and Tanjiro fighting Akaza was extremely difficult. Even though both were seriously wounded, Akaza was strong. As the fight went on, Akaza witnessed Giyu protecting Tanjiro who was unable to breathe due to his injuries.
Though Giyu was also severely injured, he was intently focused on defending Tanjiro, even at the risk of losing his own life. Akaza has vague memories of his past as a human, and also his relationship with Keizo. As Akaza prepares to unleash a devastating attack against Giyu and Giyu, he is interrupted by the spirit of his deceased fiance crying and pleading with him to not do it. He began to think about his past as a human, and it became too overwhelming for him. At this moment, Tanjiro awakens to be aware of Giyu at risk. When Tanjiro took action to help Giyu, Akaza questions his actions and regrets the lessons Keizo gave him. He smiled with gratitude as he left and resorted to his last strength to sacrifice his own life.
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Akaza was not an antagonist with a bad character. Akaza is a well-written enemy, and his tragic backstory enhances the character. Although he had forgotten his past as a human, his feelings of empathy and remorse were present.
The reason he was obsessed with fighting and becoming stronger was a trait of his personality. Also, Akaza’s unwavering affection for his wife has contributed to the fact that Akaza never hurt or killed women. Though subtle, these traits suggest that Akaza was an antagonist with empathy, morally sensitive, and ambiguous instead of being evil.