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Why Demon Slayer Fans Have Questions About The Weakest Hashira

While "Demon Slayer" is a fantastic anime and manga series that feels like a refreshing take on blending heartfelt moments, gruesome fights, and comforting laughs, there are still ways the series safely plays within its Shonen genre playground. From Goku to Naruto, power is always a big deal within the genre. The main villain already has it, while the hero needs to get it. And as the hero often continues to push themselves to unlock new levels, there's always another character or two that serves as a benchmark for the hero to reach or strive past eventually. By the end of Season 1 of "Demon Slayer," protagonist Tanjiro Kamado gets introduced to nine of these living and formidable measuring sticks.

The Hashira are the Demon Slayer Corps' elite group of warriors, whose unique Breathing Styles would make any lesser demon quiver with fear. Throughout the series, fans witness many of the Hashira grow and become even more powerful as the battle against Muzan and his forces turns dire. Even among their ranks, the Hashira already have their strongest fighter in the crying Gyomei Himejima. But if we have the strongest, that means there must be a couple of Hashira who are considered the weakest, right? Well, as some fans on Reddit have made it known, the subject of which Hashira are the least powerful has led to much debate and many questions.

Fans are questioning why Rengoku and Tengen are seemingly the weakest

Kyojuro Rengoku, both the metaphorical and literal bright spot of the Demon Slayer Corps, and Tengen Uzui, the skillful ninja with multiple wives, are two top Hashira members. The characters provide the series with some of its most memorable moments, primarily as they deal with Muzan's Upper Rank Demons. But because the two never reach the heights of their comrades, some have considered them low among the Hashira. And it's stirred a lot of debate among some fans on Reddit. In a post focusing on the two, many pointed out how unfair it is to consider them the weakest out of the Hashira. "They died/retired before they could unlock their Shonen a**pull powerups, which the other Hashira achieved," u/Better-Solution-7410 posted.

The special power-up the poster is referencing is the Demon Slayer Mark, a marking that, when activated, can grant a strong demon slayer enhanced abilities. It's a game-changer for the Hashira who go on to achieve it, but as many noted, it's unfair to use it to rank Rengoku and Tengen. Rengoku never gets to unlock the mark as he dies in his battle against Akaza in the "Mugen Train" film. And after the Entertainment District Arc events in Season 2 of "Demon Slayer," Tengen is so wounded he seeks retirement from the Hashira. Never mind that both battle against two of Muzan's strongest without gaining the marking.

The other Hashira still struggle despite their strength

Rengoku and Tengen may technically get left behind in terms of power compared to the other marked Hashira. Still, fans also noted that an additional power boost doesn't really make anything easier. In fact, if anything, the power scaling throughout the rest of the series feels balanced as the remaining Hashira continue to struggle. "It ['Demon Slayer'] doesn't suffer from power creep like typical Shonen, u/Dadarian wrote. Perhaps the best example is the battle against Kokushibo during the Infinity Castle Arc in the manga. The Upper Rank Demon more than holds his own and nearly obliterates three Hashira who have unlocked the Demon Slayer Mark (via Viz). We're talking about the greatest generation of Hashira at their absolute best, and even their fight against their foe takes its toil.

The battle is a testament to Kokushibo's terrifying strength, but it also suggests that the marked Hashira aren't exactly god-tier swordsmen compared to Rengoku and Tengen. "Demon Slayer" explores many themes, but at its core is a story about a true challenge against evil to the bitter end. Wins don't come easy for Tanjiro and the Hashira. And if there is victory, it's usually at the high cost of serious wounds or death. Besides, "Demon Slayer" might not ask who is the weakest but instead, question what the word "weak" actually means. As u/ImJustSpider posted, "Weakest doesn't mean weak. Their generation of Hashira were the strongest since the golden age. Even the weakest of them is still stronger than most previous Hashira."