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Demon Slayer's Zach Aguilar Focuses On One Specific Trait When Voicing Tanjiro

In 2019, "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba" took the world by storm. Based on an already-popular manga of the same name, "Demon Slayer" captivated audiences with the beautiful brutality of a world overrun by demons. Fans are immediately thrust into the harsh reality of the universe, as they're forced to bear witness to Muzan Kibutsuji's (Greg Chun) inhumane slaughter of Tanjiro Kamado's (Zach Aguilar) massive family.

After the slaughter of his family, Tanjiro comes face-to-face with Nezuko (Abby Trott), his only surviving sister. Although she has been turned into a demon by Kibutsuji, Tanjiro finds himself unable to kill her. Still seeing the humanity in her, Tanjiro not only spares her but also begs multiple demon slayers to do the same throughout the series. His relationship with Nezuko is just one prominent example of Tanjiro's kindhearted nature.

Tanjiro goes on to train and become a demon slayer himself, but there are certain aspects to his character that never fade away. His training leads to friendships with fellow demon slayers, Inosuke (Bryce Papenbrook) and Zenitsu (Aleks Le), two complex individuals who have their own trauma and difficulties to overcome. No matter how tough things become for Tanjiro, he always stops to focus on his friends and helps them in any way he can.

Traumatized but never cruel, Tanjiro stands out among similar anime protagonists. Although he has chosen to become a demon slayer to hunt down the demon that killed his family, he approaches most opponents with respect. Despite being a warrior, he never seeks to cause harm. His sword is a tool for protection, not a means to cause more pain.

Zach Aguilar emphasizes Tanjiro's unending kindness

A focal point of Tanjiro's character, and something that differentiates "Demon Slayer" from other anime, is that he is kind, almost to a fault. Despite all the tragedy he's experienced and the training that he goes through afterward to become a demon slayer, he stays warmhearted. Always giving second chances and rarely resorting to violence unless he has no other choice, Tanjiro is a surprising take on the tragic protagonist trope. Zach Aguilar, the English voice actor behind Tanjiro, wanted his heart to shine through.

During an interview with TheGamer, Aguilar elaborated on his approach to voicing Tanjiro and his personal connection to "Demon Slayer," too. "When I first got the opportunity to audition for the role, I knew that I wanted to focus on imparting his sense of kindness in my performance," Aguilar answered when asked about the pressures of voicing such an important character. "That's what sets him apart as a protagonist in my eyes — so, I wanted to make sure that this could be felt under every line." 

Aguilar's performance as Tanjiro speaks for itself. There isn't really a moment where fans don't get the vibe that Tanjiro's worldview is still hopeful. He believes everyone is deserving of kindness. Even when he is forced to kill (after all, he is a demon slayer, and slaying is part of the job), he often approaches the finishing blow with a gentle nature that brings about his enemy's end as peacefully as possible.

Although Tanjiro is overly generous, even in situations where he likely shouldn't be, his soft heart never takes away from his strength.