So, you got into Kimetsu No Yaiba, aka Demon Slayer, aka one of the best anime in recent years. And with it comes a host of characters like Kanao Tsuyuri, Nezuko and more. And you simply must know more about these amazing characters, faster than you can read the manga. And yeah, a basic character wiki would have all the information you need, but would they be able to capture what makes said character so iconic?
I mean, sure we know the framework. Kanao Tsuyuri is one of the many supporting characters in Kimetsu No Yaiba, but she is important because she’s also the main love interest and eventual spouse of Tanjiro Kamado, the protagonist of the series. She happens to be a Demon Slayer, just like he is, and together we see them grow not only as individuals, but as two people that can trust each other in a world usually so violent. That’s, like, some of the base details we know.
But you can’t really understand the kind of person Kanao is outside of her role in Tanjiro’s life. Because that’s one of the things I appreciate about Kimetsu No Yaiba, it’s how it weaves this intricate story between all of its characters, and yet none of them feel like accessories to someone else’s story. Just like Tanjiro is the hero of his story, Kanao is the heroine of her own.
It just so happens that she stumbles upon love through this journey of self discovery.
Nothing reflects that fact better than when we first encounter Kanao, and she’s just another forgettable face. And yet now, she is one of the most important people to Tanjiro, and a strong fighter in her own right. So, welcome to A (Not-So) Wiki, where we jot down the details about characters in popular anime, but also dive into what makes them so particular to the story. Today, it’s Kanao Tsuyuri from Kimetsu No Yaiba.
Table of Contents
|Demon Slayer Corps
|Supporting Character/Eventual Love Interest
Who Is Kanao Tsuyuri?
The Kanao Tsuyuri we know today is elegant, a Demon Slayer more than worth her merit. But her serene demeanor betrays a turbulent past. Kanao was a child in an abusive home, with many of her siblings suffering under their psychotic parents. It grew to the point where she would find her brother’s bodies cold the morning after being beaten by their parents, leaving her a broken shell that was eventually sold into slavery.
But it is on the streets that she was eventually saved by the Kocho sisters, taken to the Butterfly Mansion to be raised amongst them. While one sister, Shinobu Kocho, thought she was too unstable to be of any use, the other, Kanae Kocho, believed that Kanao simply needed to learn how to make decisions for herself, leaving her with a coin to choose her fate. And it was at Butterfly Mansion she stayed, alongside four other girls.
These girls became her adoptive sisters as well, but unlike them, Kanao had no patience for house chores. Instead, she watched Shinobu and Kanae from afar, and learned the Flower Breathing technique through mere observation. She saw her own potential, and turned in an application to become a Demon Slayer without their knowledge. And while the sisters didn’t outwardly try to stop her from following in their footsteps, they didn’t like it.
This only became worse when Kanae died during a battle with Doma, a high class Demon and Kanao was left feeling emotionless. She wasn’t able to process her emotions, but it only hardened her resolve to become a better Demon Slayer, surviving the Final Selection with five others. Eventually, she was taken in as a Tsuguko by Shinobu.
Beauty As Delicate As A Butterfly’s Wing
The character designs for Kimetsu No Yaiba are one of its selling points, and Kanao Tsuyuri is no exception. But what I appreciate most about her is the fact that she is short. Like, at 5 ‘1 and a half feet, Kanao is nothing close to intimidating. Yet, her short stature hides a strength unlike any other.
Of course, her doe eyes don’t help. With swirling lilac irises lined by thick eyelashes, Kanao has a gentle look to her. And combine that with her jet black hair and diminutive build, and you’d swear she was a little doll. But, of course, she is her sister’s sister, after all. So she wears a similar Butterfly ornament in her hair, and the traditional Demon Slayer uniform, but with a slight violet coloring to it. She also wears a pleated skirt, adding to the feminine look.
From A Wallflower To A Warrior
As mentioned before, Kanao Tsuyuri barely stood out in her first appearance during the Final Selection arc. The most we saw her do was be aloof and interact with a butterfly, and nothing more. But then we see her during the Mount Natagumo arc, and it feels different.
She’s still quiet, following Shinobu’s lead as her Tsuguko, but she questions a Demon like Nezuko, the one she fights and subdues. Kanao is curious about why doesn’t just attack humans like the rest of her kind, and why she is protected at all. Kanao isn’t the kind of person to ask these things, but here we are now.
And really, that’s where we see her shift happen. Kanao starts out as a woman who is constantly perplexed by her role in life. She is indecisive and solemn, repressing her actual emotions all the time due to the trauma she had suffered through her life. It’s a coping mechanism, but one that could only last so long before she breaks.
However, after getting into the Demon Slayer Corps, we see a tinge of what Kanao could be, should she get the right encouragement. And that she does with Tanjiro, of all people. Tanjiro asks her to be more light-hearted in her life, to look at things in an optimistic way. Which is profoundly different from what she has trained herself to do.
This way, Kanao finally starts to gain more agency back in her life, questioning orders instead of blindly following them. She was always of strong conviction, it was just buried under layers and layers of trauma. But she has emerged from the chrysalis, a Slayer reborn.
Skills That Sting Like A Bee
Speaking of Kanao Tsuyuri’s strength, she is obviously a formidable foe to go up against. I mean, she was able to keep up with Nezuko right from the beginning, and hold her own in fights afterwards. A lot of that comes from the women that raised her, aka the Kocho sisters. But much of it is her own resolve, learning things even in adversity.
Kanao is a Tsuguko, which means that she is one of the most skilled combatants in the entire Demon Slayer Corps. In fact, her prowess over her superhuman abilities has put her up as one of the possible candidates to earn the title of Hashira. Tanjiro even says she’s the best option, despite being one himself. Because that’s exactly how strong the girl is, her speed and reflexes being light years ahead of anyone.
Surprisingly, one of her biggest assets is something that isn’t a physical attack. It’s actually her eyesight, which is sharp and keen. It allows her to perfectly monitor her foes and predict their attacks before they can even strike. In return, she is ready with the perfect counterattack. And this ability of hers is only heightened with the ‘Flower Breathing, Final Form: Equinoctial Vermilion Eye’ technique.
This helps her become a better Swordswoman as well, with Doma even stating that her sword skills are better than Shinobu’s. And for an Upper Two Demon to compliment you, like you know that’s solid praise right there. And while we could continue talking about her skills extensively, I think it’s safe to say that Kanao Tsuyuri is far from a damsel in distress.
A Girl (Worthy Of Fighting The Fight)
It is the fact that Kanao isn’t your usual shallow female character, that elevates Kimetsu No Yaiba. I’m not saying that Shounen anime and manga don’t have strong female characters for us to enjoy. But it is rare. Usually most mangaka fumble the bag between creating a realistic and powerful female character that isn’t vapid or overbearing.
But Kanao is genuinely a character that ends up coming into her own, with little to no interference from her supposed love interest. Again, you don’t see that happen very often. There is always that trope of a girl worth fighting for, but what about the girl that fights for you? And when Kanao took on Muzan Kibutsuji during the final battle, she proved exactly what that meant. She wasn’t going down without a fight.
And that’s what made Kanao so complimentary to Tanjiro. She’s quiet, but not timid. You can’t confuse her indecisiveness for cowardice. Kanao Tsuyuri is an evolving character, who made decisions and lived with the consequences. It’s that individuality that makes her, and the rest of Kimetsu No Yaiba, an immersive tale worth getting into.
If not for Nezuko, do it for best girl Kanao!