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The Most Disturbing Demons In Demon Slayer Explained

With more than 150 million copies of the manga sold, a hit anime series, a record-breaking film and a planned second season, "Demon Slayer" is one of the most popular manga and anime franchises in the world.

It was created by Koyoharu Gotouge, serialized in Shōnen Jump in 2016 and then collected in 23 volumes. In 2019 the anime premiered in Japan with the English dubbed version dropping on Netflix in 2021. The sequel film, "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train," became the highest-grossing anime of all time when it dropped in 2020 in Japan.

"Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba" follows Tanjiro Kamado and his demonic sister Nezuko Kamado in Taisho-era Japan (1912-1926). The story begins with Tanjiro returning to his rural home after a day of selling charcoal to find his entire family slaughtered. Nezuko, however, is still "alive" but has been turned into a demon.

As Tanjiro keeps his sister close (and muzzled so she doesn't eat anyone), he sets out to find a cure for her and joins the Demon Slayer Corps. Through years of training, Tanjiro becomes a powerful demon slayer and is tasked with helping rid the world of demons.

While Tanjiro and Nezuko's story is captivating, some of the most fascinating characters in "Demon Slayer" are the demons themselves. They are ruthless and bloodthirsty, and many have heartbreaking backstories. Most of the demons have frightening powers and even more horrifying physical features. These are the most disturbing of them all.

Temple Demon

In the second episode of "Demon Slayer," Tanjiro and Nezuko encounter the Temple Demon while traveling to Mt. Sagiri. The Temple Demon is the first Tanjiro sees after finding his family slaughtered and his little sister turned into a demon, and it teaches the future swordsman some valuable lessons in demon slaying.

The Temple Demon has mostly human features, but with pale skin and spiky dark green hair. When Tanjiro finds him feasting on two dead men inside a temple, the demon warns the two are trespassing on his turf. When Tanjiro slashes the demon's throat, it heals, confirming the creatures' quick healing. Though Nezuko has been distracted by the scent of blood, she comes to her brother's rescue by kicking the Temple Demon's head off.

But the Temple Demon doesn't die — his head regrows two arms out the side while his body pummels Nezuko into the nearby forest. The demon's body is eventually tackled off a cliff, splattering on the ground below, and the head is knocked unconscious and pinned to a tree with Tanjiro's hatchet.

When Tanjiro hesitates to finish off the demon, a man in a red Tengu mask appears and says the boy can't kill a demon with a simple knife. Fortunately, the sun begins to creep up, burning the Temple Demon to ash.

Swamp Demon

On his first mission with the Demon Slayer Corps, Tanjiro faces the Swamp Demon, who can divide himself into two more demons. The Swamp Demon is named as such because of his Demon Blood Art ability to drag kidnapped young girls into his inky black swamp dimension.

Right before Tanjiro arrived, another teen girl, named Tokie, was taken from her bed. The demon slayer was able to rescue the girl from the demon's bog by tracking the creature's scent and grabbing Tokie's kimono from the murky waters after forcing the portal open. A young man named Kazumi, who had been accompanying Tanjiro after the disappearance of his fiancée, watches in horror as the demon divides himself and shows off his "souvenirs" from the girls he's eaten. One of those trinkets is Kazumi's fiancée's hair ribbon.

The battle between Tanjiro and the Swamp Demon sees the demon slayer faltering on Water Breathing moves before plunging into the swamp dimension. While the clothing of the demon's victims floats around him, Tanjiro harnesses the Whirlpool move underwater and destroys two of the demon forms.

On the surface, Nezuko is overpowering the final demon when Tanjiro emerges. The slayer tells the defeated demon that he smells terrible, and the demon says he killed the girls so they wouldn't age and taste "rotten." When the Swamp Demon tries to strike, Tanjiro quickly lops his head off.

Hand Demon

The Hand Demon is one of the oldest and most disturbing demons in "Demon Slayer." During Tanjiro's participation in Final Selection for the Demon Slayer Corps, he learns the Hand Demon was captured by his trainer Sakonji Urokodaki and imprisoned on the wisteria-covered mountain, where he's been trapped for so long that Tanjiro is the one who tells him it's no longer the Meiji Period but the Taisho Period.

The Hand Demon is a massive, monstrous creature with a body composed of dozens of hands and arms and a gaping mouth full of jagged teeth. This demon gleefully tells Tanjiro of all the humans he's eaten over the years to gain his size and strength. He's notably most proud of all the apprentices of Urokodaki he's eaten, mocking the fox "warding masks" they all wore.

After Tanjiro battles and slays the Hand Demon, we learn he was transformed into a demon by Muzan Kibutsuji and cemented his demonhood by killing and eating his older brother. His hand and arm-wrapped body harkens back to his life as a human when he used to ask his older brother to hold his hand. Before the demon disintegrates, he reaches out a hand to Tanjiro, who holds it and prays the man will not become a demon again when he is reincarnated.

Tongue Demon & Horned Demon

Both of these demons played minor parts in Tanjiro's mission at the Drum House, where he and the anxiety-riddled demon slayer Zenitsu face the room-altering demon named Kyogai. The Horned Demon's appearance in particular was short-lived, but his hulking presence and ability to rip one of Kyogai's implanted drums from his body was still brutal.

The Tongue Demon likewise had a short story arc before Zenitsu, in a trance, used a Thunder Breathing form to kill it. This demon was gray-skinned and muscular and slithered around on the floor instead of walking upright. Its most disturbing attributes were its two sets of eyes and its long, blade-like tongue, which it used as an extendable extra limb.

Like the higher-level demon in the Drum House, Kyogai, the Tongue Demon and Horned Demon were after the young boy Kiyoshi's rare "marechi blood." Before Tanjiro and Zenitsu arrived to help Kiyoshi's two siblings rescue their kidnapped brother, the three demons brutally fought over who would get to eat the boy. All three were eventually killed, but not before Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and the three siblings were terrorized and chased about the house by the bloodthirsty demons.


Kyogai is also called the Drum Demon because of the tsuzumi drums fused to his body. He uses those drums for his Demon Blood Art powers that allow him to flip and transform the rooms of the Drum House.

Kyogai is tall and muscular with grayish skin and razor-sharp teeth. A bloodthirsty but quiet demon, Kyogai used to be a member of the Twelve Kizuki's lower ranks, but alpha demon Muzan Kibutsuji deemed the Drum Demon too weak to stay in the ranks of the most powerful. His excommunication is shown with the slash mark on his right eye, which used to show the Kanji number six for Lower Rank 6.

After that, Kyogai became obsessed with eating humans with rare "marechi blood," believing it would make him strong enough to be reinstated in the Kizuki. His desire to prove himself stemmed from his life as a human who was consistently torn down by those who didn't like his writing. 

In a dizzying, room-shifting battle with Tanjiro, Kyogai is finally defeated by the demon slayer. Like with some other demons he slays, Tanjiro is able to recognize a bit of Kyogai's past traumas and how they influenced his demonic curse. In the end, Tanjiro recognizes Kyogai's skills, letting his soul finally be at peace.

Susamaru & Yahaba

Susamaru and Yahaba — also known as the Temari Demon and Arrow Demon — are childlike demons and followers of the nearly all-powerful Muzan Kibutsuji. These two are sent by Muzan to find and kill Tanjiro during his mission to Asakusa, Tokyo.

Susamaru is a carefree demon who clearly enjoys the hunt and a good battle, but she and Yahaba are also desperate to please Muzan and join the ranks of the Twelve Kizuki. Her signature moves all include her temari balls — sprouting two more pairs of muscular arms from her chest in order to hurl them at top speed at her opponents. At the home of Lady Tamayo and Yushiro (two of the few "good guy" demons), Susamaru all but obliterates the building trying to lure them and Tanjiro out. She also throws a temari ball so hard that it takes Yushiro's head clean off.

Though they worked together to please Muzen, Yahaba and Susamaru couldn't be more different. Yahaba is also sadistic and bloodthirsty, but openly scorns Susamaru's immaturity and messiness. Yahaba's notable features include orange and green eyes protruding from the palms of his hands with arrows as pupils. He uses these Koketsu Arrows as his Blood Demon Art to predict his opponent's moves and even change them by manipulating vectors. Yahaba also uses his arrows to direct Susamaru's temari balls for maximum damage.


One of the most disturbing demons in all of "Demon Slayer" takes the form of a young boy with a spider-like haircut. A brutal and manipulative creature, Rui is part of the Twelve Kizuki as a Lower Rank 5. He's also the primary demonic villain in the Natagumo Mountain arc that saw young slayers Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu reach their limits.

In the decades after he was turned into a demon by Muzen Kibutsuji, Rui longed for a family. He created a Spider Family, painfully making lesser demons change their physical forms to match his (pale, white skin and hair, red eyes) and brutally punishing those who went against him by leaving them strung up outside to burn in the sun.

Like the rest of the "family" he created, Rui has spider-like abilities. Being part of the Twelve Kizuki, Rui's strength and durability surpasses many other lesser demons. His Blood Demon Art consists of using steely threads to slice humans to pieces and even cut through a demon slayer's Nichirin sword.

In one of the most intense battles of the first season, Tanjiro is exhausted and bloody from Rui's slices, but is unable to defeat the demon. Even when Rui is beheaded after Nezuko unlocks her own Blood Demon Art, the Spider Demon is still too powerful for Tanjiro. As Rui goes to unleash his Murderous Eye Basket on the siblings, Hashira demon slayer Giyu Tomioka arrives and finishes the demon using Water Breathing: Eleventh Form – Dead Calm.

The Spider Family

The Spider Family was a family of "related" demons with similar spider-like features created by Lower Rank 5 demon Rui. Before being destroyed by the Demon Slayer Corps, the Spider Family lived together on Mt. Natagumo.

Five demons comprised the group. At one point there were other "siblings" in the family, but the series explained it's likely these demons were disposed of by Rui. Though labeled a family, the Spider Family was anything but a loving unit of related members.

The Father Spider was the most monstrous, with a horrifying giant spider face and nine beady eyes. He was also able to molt using his Blood Demon Art, gaining strength and size, larger spider mandibles, green skin, and double the amount of eyes. The Spider Mother's Blood Demon Art of web puppetry is truly disturbing. She can produce spider threads, latching onto her victims and turning them into corpse marionettes. Some of these puppets are still alive, forced to fight other demon slayers and experience excruciating pain.

The Spider Daughter hated her family, but still used her Blood Demon Art to slaughter dozens of humans. She can also produce and manipulate webs, using these soft yet durable threads to create cocoons filled with acid to dissolve her victims. The Spider Son is literally a giant spider with a human head. Along with his spider physiology and web-weaving, he also can spew deadly poison and turn his victims into human-headed giant spiders. 


The most sadistic of the lower rank demons is also the only lower rank left alive at the end of the first season of "Demon Slayer." Enmu, Lower Rank 1, is the main villain of the Demon Slayer movie "Mugen Train." His disturbing Blood Demon Art powers and ruthlessness were on full display on the Mugen Train, where Muzan Kibutsuji sent him to kill Tanjiro and the Demon Slayer Corps Hashira.

When Kibutsuji gives him more of his blood, Enmu develops the Blood Demon Art of dream manipulation, which he uses to fuse his body into the Mugen Train and torture the sleeping passengers. Enmu is essentially a demonic Freddy Kreuger without the blade fingers.

In the "Mugen Train" movie, Enmu literally becomes the fast-moving steam engine, using his flesh extension and manipulation abilities in his plans to eat more than 200 humans on board. Along with his dream manipulation ability, Enmu can also put someone to sleep instantly through his blood or by summoning flashing eyes with the Kanji for "dream" etched on the irises.

In the movie, he mixes his blood with the ink on the passengers' train tickets to put them all to sleep and invade their dreams. Once in their dreams, Enmu typically lets them live out pleasant memories or fantasies before turning them into nightmares and killing them by destroying their "spiritual core."


Akaza is the secondary antagonist in the "Mugen Train" movie, going head to head with the flame Hashira, Kyojuro Rengoku, in one of the most intense battles in the franchise.

As an upper rank demon, Akaza is extremely strong, durable, and fast. Besides defeating Rengoku, he claims he had bested many other Hashira demon slayers. Akaza is very hard to injure or kill, and even when Rengoku manages to slice off a limb, the demon instantly regenerates.

Akaza's Blood Demon Art is a brutal one: Destructive Death. This skill is a style of martial arts that he learned as a human and retained as a demon, along with the ability to unleash deadly shockwaves through his punches and kicks. Akaza's Blood Demon Art may not be as grotesque as other demons', but his resiliency makes him an almost impossible-to-beat opponent.

Throughout their battle, Akaza exclaims the impressiveness of Rengoku's skill and tries to convince him to become a demon. In the last moments, Akaza and Rengoku are deadlocked — Akaza's arm clean through the human's torso and Rengoku's sword about half-way through the demon's neck. It's unclear if Rengoku would have beheaded the upper rank demon, but Akaza escapes into the nearby woods to avoid the rising sun.

The flame Hashira dies shortly after as Tanjiro screams into the forest that Rengoku was the rightful winner of the fight.

Muzan Kibutsuji

The big baddie of "Demon Slayer," Muzan Kibutsuji is the originator of all demons. Kibutsuji has all the best and worst demonic traits: narcissism, brutality, ruthlessness, intelligence, and obsessiveness. He's a master manipulator and is obsessed with becoming a perfect, all-powerful being.

Being the original demon, Kibutsuji is the most powerful in existence. He can face several Hashira swordsmen and other slayers at the same time without breaking a sweat. His skill set consists of anything he wishes — from form manipulation and immeasurable senses to absolute regeneration and near-immortality. He's one of the few who don't look like a demon, apart from his plum-colored eyes and sharp nails.

In his combat form, his hair turns white and a blood-red mass of branch shapes grows all over his body. Numerous mouths with sharp fangs also pop up along his limbs. In another form, Kibutsuji appears as an elegant young woman before the lower rank demons in the Infinity Castle. In one of his final forms, Kibutsuji turns into a giant demonic baby in an attempt to slow down the sun destroying him.

Kibutsuji became the first demon a thousand years ago when he tried to cure himself of a terminal illness. His obsession with immortality and strength stems from his life as a sickly child. Despite living and eating humans for thousands of years, Kibutsuji is unable to recall anyone he's killed.

Nezuko Kamado

Tanjiro's demonic little sister isn't disturbing in the traditional ways. She's not physically frightening nor does she have scary abilities. However, her story is tragic, as she became a demon after being bitten while trying to protect her youngest sibling. In the beginning of "Demon Slayer," Tanjiro returns home to find his entire family massacred, including a blood-soaked Nezuko, the only person left alive at the home.

Their relationship is heartbreaking — Tanjiro is convinced that he can "save" Nezuko and turn her back into a human. He's also fiercely protective of her, despite her demonic strength, but still puts a bamboo muzzle on her mouth so she doesn't try to bite him or anyone else.

Over the course of the anime series, it becomes clear that Tanjiro and Nezuko aren't your typical demon slayer and demon. Beyond the fact that Tanjiro continues to keep Nezuko close to him, he also has a unique, keen sense of smell that comes in handy when tracking down demons. Nezuko, unlike other demons, retains a bit of her humanity and becomes protective of Tanjiro and people he encounters. That's thanks to the influence of Sakonji Urokodaki, who watched over Nezuko during Tanjiro's two years of training.

Though one of the "bad guys," Nezuko quickly becomes a quiet but powerful heroine in her own right.