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The Demon Slayer Characters With The Saddest Stories According To Fans

For all its beauty and striking details, there's a sadness behind "Demon Slayer." Many of its characters have experienced grief and heartbreak in various forms — some more so than others. This dynamic manga-turned-anime continues to win fans over with these complex figures while offering varying degrees of redemption, but which character has the saddest story? It's a difficult question that all depends on which fan you ask.

A Reddit community devoted to the series found itself faced with that same query, their responses echo the choices and topics many fans touch upon when discussing "Demon Slayer." In terms of the main characters, one commenter pointed to the tragic story behind Tanjiro. U/CommandoClone15 thought people were not getting enough credit for being tragic heroes. For them, the loss of his father at an early age and taking care of his family was just the start of his woes; it only gets worse for Tanjiro in the story. "The one night he isn't there, his entire family gets slaughtered, and his sister gets turned in to a demon," the user wrote. Their perspective on the character goes deeper, highlighting both survivor's guilt and the shame he exposes in "Mugen Train."

Akaza has a powerful backstory that culminates in Mugen Train

Tanjiro may be the hero of "Demon Slayer" but he is far from the only character with a painful backstory. Akaza's name often comes up in discussions. The villain wasn't always an Upper Rank demon — instead, he lived as a human before an unwanted transformation; he would become a hated figure due to his "Mugen Train" battle against Kyojuro. His insistence that Kyojuro joins him as a demon is both angering and ultimately understandable considering his past. Admitting his human life and the events which took it leads to Akaza's ultimate redemption during the arc.

Those events have stuck with fans as they've contemplated tragedies. "Akaza's gotta be up there. Got s*** on his whole life and the moment things started looking up for him, he lost everything," wrote u/He_Is_The_Chosen_One. It's a sentiment that other users were quick to pick up on. U/playcraft_smokegrass brought up the trauma Akaza endured at an early age. His father's illness and the subsequent crimes, under the human name Hakuji, to survive, leading to a dismal fate. For the user, having his memories taken and then failing to receive praise from other Upper Rank demons — Muzan and Kokushibo — was more than sad.

Of course, the subject of pain and grief can connect to viewers in unexpected ways. U/Uppermoon96 commented on how the storyline resonated in their own life. "Coming from a person who suffers from addiction and mental health issues it's hard to start over after traumatic events and it can cause all that progress you did for yourself to backslide," they posted. "...losing 2 families that never stopped loving you even at your lowest would break anyone."

Other characters' tragic stories resonate with fans

Both Akaza and Tanjiro are joined by a host of characters, so it only makes sense that fans would lock on to a variety of topics. For u/pejic222, the story of Obanai more than had its fair share of heartbreak. It's hard to forget this unique character, whose white serpent wraps delicately around his shoulders — his scars from his family's brutal past are on full display beneath his bandages. Taking on a great amount of guilt is what this user focuses on. "Him being alone most of his life and blaming himself for the death of his clan even though he was just trying to survive is tragic, what's even worse is how he convinces himself that's he's not good enough for the one person he loves and keeps telling himself he has to die fighting Muzan to redeem his bloodline," they wrote.

The reveal of his past was something that another commenter, u/Marwan990, also noticed. They wrote that Obanai was the MVP of the entire arc and the strength of his backstory is why it was disclosed last. "It's crazy how he went from background character to my favourite Hashira in the span of one fight," wrote u/pejic222.

The conversation touched on just about every main character in "Demon Slayer," but there were a few shocking selections. U/achavva went with a surprising pair — Zenitsu and Mitsuri. Their perspective comes with a breakdown of why each one didn't deserve to be overlooked. The user summarized Zenitsu's struggles of being left before getting married, giving up all his money, and being forced into slave labor. Mitsuri's problems stem from bullying, leading her to a very different destiny. "Again not crazy in your face sad to readers or viewers, but also not something to discredit," u/achavva commented.