Demon Slayer: Every Upper-Rank Demon’s Death

The ultimate villain of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Muzan Kibutsuji, didn’t become personally involved in the battle with the Demon Slayer Corps until the manga’s final arc. Before that, the Lower and Upper Ranks of the Twelve Kizuki served as the primary antagonists for much of the story. The defeat of Enmu, Lower Rank One, during the Mugen Train Arc marked the last time Tanjiro Kamado would fight anyone other than the strongest demons.



However, considering the Upper Ranks were no more than Kibutsuji’s henchmen, it should come as no surprise that none of them lived to the end of the series. Not even the most powerful of Muzan’s Upper Ranks was spared from the Demon Slayers. However, before his death, Kokushibo did manage to wipe out some pretty powerful Hashira. Let’s look at each Upper Rank’s fate by the end of the Demon Slayer manga, some of whom went out with a bang.

Updated on January 30, 2024, by Ajay Aravind: The Demon Slayer manga might have ended in May 2020, but anime fans are in for a treat. Only four of the Upper Moons have been killed as of Season 3’s Swordsmith Village arc, and there are still four remaining (two of whom are replacements). As such, we’ve updated this feature article with some more relevant information.

This post contains spoilers for the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga.


Upper Rank 6: Gyutaro & Daki Were Simultaneously Slain

Last Appearance: Episode 44 “No Matter How Many Lives”

Powers & Abilities

Blood Manipulation (Gyutaro)

Obi Sash Manipulation (Daki)

Shared Biology (Gyutaro & Daki)

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During Demon Slayer‘s Entertainment District Arc, Gyutaro and Daki fought against Tanjiro, Tengen Uzui, Inosuke Hashibira, Zenitsu Agatsuma, and Nezuko Kamado. Although Iguro Obanai referred to them as the “lowly” Upper-Six, the battle to defeat them still decimated an entire city. The outcome even forced Tengen, the Sound Hashira, into early retirement after losing his left hand and left eye.

Gyutaro was decapitated by Tanjiro with an assist from Tengen, while Daki was beheaded by a joint attack from Zenitsu and Inosuke. Both fights went on for quite some time, and nearly ended in the heroes’ deaths. Like most demons, however, the siblings’ impending demise returned the memories of their lives as humans. As such, Gyutaro and Daki reaffirmed their love for each other as brother and sister before walking into Hell together.

Upper Rank 6: Kaigaku Refuses To Acknowledge His Own Death

Last Appearance: Chapter 146 “Pride”

Kaigaku unsheathes his sword in the Demon Slayer manga

Powers & Abilities

Thunder Breathing

Electrokinesis

Flesh Katana

Kaigaku is mentioned long before his actual appearance in Demon Slayer. He was originally the human student of Jigoro Kuwajima, the former Thunder Hashira, which made Kaigaku and Zenitsu peers. Kaigaku had already hated Zenitsu for his cowardice — however, when he met Kokushibo, he immediately begged to be spared and transformed into a demon. Meanwhile, Zenitsu had never borne any ill will toward him.

Kaigaku’s powers allowed him to replace the recently slain Gyutaro and Daki, making him another Upper Rank 6. During their battle in the Infinity Castle Arc, Kaigaku is shocked to see Zenitsu behead him with the Thunder Breathing Seventh Form: Honoikazuchi no Kami. He mistakenly assumes it to be a secret technique obtained from their master, only to realize that the Seventh Form was a completely original creation by Zenitsu. Even in death, Kaigaku refuses to acknowledge his defeat.

Upper Rank 5: Gyokko Nearly Managed To Kill The Mist Hashira

Last Appearance: Episode 53 “Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito”

Powers & Abilities

Flesh Manipulation

Molting Transformation

Porcelain Vase Spells

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Gyokko was one of the Upper Rank demons who attacked the titular village in Demon Slayer‘s Swordsmith Village Arc. Facing off against the Mist Hashira, Muichiro Tokito, Gyokko was the only Upper Rank in the series who 1v1’d a Hashira and lost. Gyokko was an artist whose pride in his grotesque creations using corpses of those he’d killed ultimately led to his own demise. That said, he also had access to macabre and overpowered techniques like Molting Transformation.

As a fellow artist, Gyokko became distracted by Haganezuka’s dedication to sword-polishing and opted to hold off on finishing off a wounded Muichiro. Tokito then manifested his Mark and effortlessly decapitated Gyokko with Mist-Breathing, Seventh Form: Obscuring Clouds. Unlike other demons, Gyokko didn’t have time to lament his actions or regain his human memories, as Muichiro split Gyokko’s decapitated head in half to get him to stop talking.

Upper Rank 4: Hantengu’s Death Turned Out To Be Muzan’s Victory

Last Appearance: Episode 55 “The Connected Bonds: Daybreak And First Light”

Powers & Abilities

Size Alteration

Emotion Manifestation

Superior Stealth

Hantengu attacked the Swordsmith Village alongside Gyokko and battled against Tanjiro, Nezuko, Genya Shinazugawa, and Mitsuri Kanroji. Hantengu was unique in that being decapitated only made him stronger. An abject coward, Hantengu could split his consciousness into seven different bodies, each of which was overwhelmingly strong. Tanjiro and the others struggled to find the real body while fending off attacks from his “emotional aspects.”

Although Hantengu was defeated by Tanjiro, it initially seemed that Nezuko had been burned to death by the rising sun. That said, Nezuko surviving the exposure was the only time in Demon Slayer that Muzan enthusiastically praised one of his demons. Like Gyokko, Hantengu didn’t have much time to reflect upon his human memories as most dying demons do — his corpse was caught in the sunlight immediately after his beheading.

Upper Rank 4: Nakime Was The Last Of The Twelve Kizuki To Die

Last Appearance: Chapter 183 “A Clash Of Wills”

Nakime begins to play her instrument in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Powers & Abilities

Eyeball Detachment

Infinity Castle Manipulation

Portal Creation

Fans have already seen Nakime in Demon Slayer, although only manga readers know what this demon is capable of. As a testament to her power, Muzan chose her as the next Upper Rank 4 after Hantengu’s death. Nakime never really spoke that much, but her occasional remarks were consistently blunt and direct. She could not only manipulate the insides of the Infinity Castle, but also generate a wide range of portals.

Mitsuri and Obanai found Nakime before anyone else, though they were unable to attack her properly at first. To everyone’s surprise, it turned out that Yushiro had been manipulating Nakime’s vision, preventing her from retaliating. Muzan eventually decides to kill Nakime rather than lose control of the Infinity Castle. Although she wasn’t the strongest by far, Nakime was the last surviving member of the Twelve Kizuki.

Upper Rank 3: Akaza’s Remorse Ended His Life Forever

Last Appearance: Chapter 156 “Thank You”

Akaza smiles and gets into a battle stance with one palm facing outwards

Powers & Abilities

Incomprehensible Strength

Unarmed Combat Prowess

Destructive Death

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After his debut in the Mugen Train Arc, Akaza didn’t see action again until Demon Slayer‘s Infinity Castle Arc. Squaring off against Tanjiro and Giyu Tomioka, Akaza proved himself to be genuinely unbeatable. His Compass Needle ability allowed him to predict his opponent’s moves, and even when Tanjiro neutralized the Compass Needle and decapitated him, Akaza’s headless body continued fighting while his head regenerated.

The exhausted Tanjiro and Giyu would’ve died at Akaza’s hands if being decapitated hadn’t triggered Akaza’s memories of his human life. As a young martial artist named Hakuji, he lost his fiancée and teacher when a rival dojo poisoned their well. He became a demon when Kibutsuji came to investigate the demon-level carnage that Hakuji had inflicted on the rival dojo. When Akaza remembered his lost love, he became remorseful and obliterated his own freshly regenerated head, allowing himself to die.

Upper Rank 2: Doma’s Death Provoked His First Emotion

Last Appearance: Chapter 163 “Overflowing Heart”

Powers & Abilities

Biological Absorption

Tessenjutsu

Cryokinesis

During the Infinity Castle Arc, Doma was first confronted by the Insect Hashira, Shinobu Kocho, whom he quickly consumed after her poisons failed to kill him. Kanao Tsuyuri and Inosuke then teamed up to fight, but were no match for him until the 37 kilograms of Wisteria poison he’d inadvertently ingested by consuming Shinobu began to melt his body. In fact, attacking him from the inside was seemingly the only way to defeat the Upper Rank 2.

Doma was described by Kanao (accurately) as completely empty inside. Even as he was dying, Doma acknowledged that he didn’t feel anger at losing or even fear of dying, but rather he felt the same thing he’d always felt even as a human — nothing. After being decapitated by Kanao and Inosuke, Doma experienced the first emotion in his entire life when he met Shinobu in the afterlife and, despite her hatred for him, began to develop a crush on her.

Who Killed Kokushibo, Upper Rank 1?

Last Appearance: Chapter 178 “Even If You Reach Out Your Hand”

Powers & Abilities

Biological Absorption

Moon Breathing

Crescent Moon Blades

Kokushibo was the penultimate Upper Rank to die during Demon Slayer‘s Infinity Castle arc. Muichiro, Genya, Sanemi Shinazugawa, and Gyomei Himejima fought together against Kokushibo. Unfortunately, Muichiro and Genya were no match for him and were killed. Sanemi and Gyomei decapitated Kokushibo, but he successfully regenerated his head just as Akaza had. However, the wound from Muichiro’s burning red blade caused his body to disintegrate anyway.

As his body withered away, Kokushibo reflected on his human life as Michikatsu Tsugikuni, the twin brother of Yoriichi. Michikatsu always felt inferior to his brother because only Yoriichi could wield the all-powerful Sun Breathing Technique. He chose to become a demon so he could live forever and improve his admittedly Moon Breathing skills. Before he died, however, Kokushibo admitted that he’d just wanted to be as strong as Yoriichi.

Demon Slayer Anime Poster

Demon Slayer

When Tanjiro Kamado returns home to find his family was attacked and killed by demons, he discovers his younger sister Nezuko was the only survivor. As Nezuko slowly becomes a demon, Tanjiro sets out to find a cure for her and become a demon slayer so he can avenge his family.

Release Date
April 6, 2019

Cast
Natsuki Hanae , Zach Aguilar , Abby Trott , Yoshitsugu Matsuoka

Seasons
3

Studio
ufotable

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