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Tanjiro’s Most Important Fights in the Anime

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Demon Slayer stands tall as one of shonen’s best and most popular series right now, mainly because of the smash-hit anime and its stellar animation and music. Fans are eager for the “Swordsmith Village” arc’s debut in 2023, complete with new characters and battles. Until that arc airs, it’s an ideal time to look back on the battles protagonist Tanjiro Kamado has already fought.


Tanjiro has come a long way in just two years, going from an innocent coal seller in the snowy mountains to a battle-hardened, sword-slinging demon slayer who has earned the respect of multiple Hashira. Tanjiro has experienced many challenging but formative moments in Demon Slayer so far, and he was reforged in each fight to become a wiser, stronger, and even kinder monster hunter than ever.

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When Tanjiro Desperately Fought Nezuko With Giyu Tomioka

Muzan Kibutsuji (left); Tanjiro Kamado (center); Nezuko Kamado in demon form (right)

Tanjiro’s very first fight in Demon Slayer pitted him against his own little sister-turned-demon, Nezuko. He returned home to find nearly his whole family slain by Muzan Kibutsuji’s hand, and as Tanjiro carried Nezuko away, she awoke in demon form and attacked. Tanjiro desperately tried to hold her off until the water Hashira, Giyu Tomioka, arrived and helped subdue Nezuko without killing her.

This brief but life-changing battle established Demon Slayer‘s combat system and Tanjiro’s personal stakes as well. He was made tragically aware of demons’ existence and true nature, and has spent the rest of Demon Slayer‘s story so far trying to restore Nezuko’s humanity.

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When Tanjiro & Nezuko Fought the Temple Demon & Watched It Burn

Tanjiro Kamado is simply shocked

Tanjiro’s second battle also took place before he received demon slayer training, and it helped reinforce the brutal lessons from his first fight. On the road one night, Tanjiro and Nezuko visited a remote temple, where a fairly ordinary demon attacked them. Tanjiro injured it and trapped the demon with an ax on a tree, but he didn’t have the resolve to finish it off. The masked Sakonji Urokodaki arrived and watched, and he realized that while clever and protective, Tanjiro was filled with too much fear and compassion to kill demons.

Then the demon burned away in sunlight, and Tanjiro was asked what he would do if Nezuko killed and ate someone. In this fight scene, Tanjiro had to face the tough questions and figure out his own resolve and strategy as a budding demon slayer, or he would get nowhere. After that, he was finally ready to follow Urokodaki and prepare to train for real.

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When Tanjiro Slew the Hand Demon & Saw Its Original Human Self

tanjiro praying for hand demon

Tanjiro’s first fight with a real sword involved the multi-armed Hand Demon, a creature that had slain dozens of demon slayer candidates in the past — including several former students of Urokodaki’s. This fight taught Tanjiro on the fly how to battle and defeat a powerful demon, but there was more.

On a personal level, Tanjiro learned that even the nastiest-looking demons had their human side buried deep, and he began to view these creatures as tragic victims. He recognized the Hand Demon’s long-lost humanity and wept for it as it dissolved.

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When Tanjiro Learned Hinokami Kagura While Fighting Rui

Tanjiro is able to beat Rui by doing the Hinokami Kagura in Demon Slayer.

In the spider forest, Tanjiro and his new sidekicks Zenitsu and Inosuke faced the mighty spider clan, a twisted found family led by the Lower Moon 5, Rui. Tanjiro stood no chance against Rui with his Water Breathing moves, but then his sister Nezuko helped him unlock a new move: the flame-based Hinokami Kagura.

Based on Tanjiro’s Sun Breathing style, this powerful technique allowed him to power up and deal a serious blow to Rui. It fell to the Hashira to finish the fight, but even so, Hinokami Kagura helped save Tanjiro’s life and gave him an essential new technique in his arsenal.

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When Tanjiro Mastered Hinokami Kagura to Fight Daki

Tanjiro gains better control over the Hinokami Kagura against Daki in Demon Slayer

The Demon Slayer protagonist’s new move put a massive strain on both his body and his Nichirin sword, so he set aside his Water Breathing technique to train with Hinokami Kagura exclusively and learn to use it more than once per battle. This intense regimen paid off when Tanjiro and the sound Hashira, Tengen Uzui, faced the Daki/Gyutaro demon duo in the Entertainment District.

While Tengen fought Gyutaro, Tanjiro took the fight to Daki and pushed her to the limit with his new and improved Hinokami Kagura, being able to use it several times and remain on his feet. It still took a heavy toll on him, but Tanjiro proved that his use of Hinokami Kagura against Rui wasn’t just a fluke.

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