Mitsuri Kanroji is my favorite character in Demon Slayer and I refuse to explain why. Okay, all joking aside, Kimetsu No Yaiba is doing pretty good for a Shounen since it actually gives its female characters their flowers by expanding them from side props to actual complex characters. Instead of being pigeon holed into niches and tropes, characters like Mitsuri Kanroji get their time to shine.
So, when I say that I adore the Love Hashira, it isn’t an understatement. Mitsuri Kanroji is one of the supporting characters in Demon Slayer, a very powerful member of the Demon Slayer Corps who holds the position of the ‘Love Hashira’. Not only is she one of the most skilled swordsmen in the series, but she also happens to be the only female Demon Slayer to unlock her Demon Slayer Mark. To reduce Mitsuri Kanroji to simple ‘sex appeal’ in an anime that has 0 time for any for that nonsense is, well, very much nonsense.
Look, that isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy Mitsuri Kanroji for who she is, which is a lovely mix of bubbly, cute and genuinely terrifying on the battlefield. Because honestly, that is what made me get so invested in her character. She is the heart of the Demon Slayer Corps. Something that ends up making them more humane than the superhumans that they actually are. It’s her femininity while still being strong that gets me.
And so, it also got me curious over how character designs are sometimes used to define a character’s entire personality. But a good mangaka would usually subvert the tropes while still retaining authenticity, and I think Mitsuri encapsulates when that is done best. So today, let’s discuss how Mitsuri Kanroji is one of the most loveable female characters in Demon Slayer, and why it has little to do with her looks, in yet another segment of A (Not-So) Wiki. Let’s get right into it!
|Character Name||Mitsuri Kanroji|
|Affiliation||Demon Slayer Corps|
|Relevance||Main Supporting Character/Love Hashira|
|Occupation||Demon Slayer//General Baddie|
Who Is Mitsuri Kanroji?
Mitsuri Kanroji is one of the main supporting characters in Demon Slayer who makes her debut in Chapter 44 of the manga. Her backstory is about as normal as you’d expect for a Hashira, one of the Pillars of the Demon Slayer Corps. She was born during the Meiji Period, with 5 siblings. However, with her absurd strength and even more absurd hunger, she was definitely the odd one out.
And that oddness only got worse as she got older, with her features becoming more surreal and leading to the breakdown of her engagement when she was 17. But after a few more stints of trying to make herself be more ‘normal’ and going for marriage interviews, she slowly realized this wasn’t a life she could sustain. So, when she comes across Kagaya Ubuyashiki and he tells her to embrace her strength instead of siphoning pieces of herself away, that’s all the push she needed. She ends up joining the Demon Slayer Corps, and even completes the Final Selection training within 6 months.
However, she did have a selfish reason for becoming a Demon Slayer, and it was to find a husband possibly stronger than her. However, when you’re Mitsuri Kanroji, there’s not a lot of people out there who can match you in power. So while she doesn’t find a husband, she does make it to the rank of Hashira. And hey, that counts for something, right?
Pink Is Mitsuri’s Aesthetic:
You’d think with the job she has, Mitsuri Kanroji wouldn’t have the time for something as superfluous as her looks and style. But despite that, she is one of my favorite character designs in the series. I mean, you take a look at that lime and pink ombre hair (Apparently a result of eating too much Sakura Mochi as a child.) and tell me I’m wrong.
But it’s not just about her sweet pigtails or even her pistachio green eyes, with beauty marks underneath. Everything about her is ultra feminine, from the pink tinge that her Demon Slayer uniform has, to her lime green leg warmers and pink strapped zōri. She even wears a pleated skirt instead of the traditional hakama pants.
However, her most deadly feature isn’t her deceptive build or her beauty. But it’s actually her Demon Slayer Mark, shaped like two hearts with wings in the middle. And as pretty as it looks against the fair skin of her neck, it is a sign of the truly awe inspiring power that only a few can boast.
Surprisingly Vulnerable For A Hashira:
One of the things that really got to me about Mitsuri Kanroji is how she behaves both in battle and outside of it. Because her most prominent personality trait is how open she tends to be with her feelings. Mitsuri is a caring and loving individual who knows what’s at stake, but still pushes through with grace. She knows her job isn’t easy, but she never lets it keep her down for long.
Honestly, Mitsuri is like a ray of sunshine, which is especially important in a series like Demon Slayer. Considering how violent and bleak things can get, seeing Mitsuri face some of the worst odds and still come out smiling is enough to put hope in most people that accompany her. Her passion and joy are almost contagious, making people feel at ease. There’s an innocence to her that you just don’t expect.
However, confusing her gentle nature for weakness is a huge mistake. Because this is still the same woman who got her accolades and praise from Kyojuro Rengoku, the Flame Hashira. Mitsuri is an absolute whirlwind of skill and strength, showing no mercy to her foes when they go up against her. She perseveres through the roughest of injuries, all to be useful in times of crisis. (gabapentin)
And it is that need to be loved that truly defines Mitsuri. Mitsuri entered the Demon Slayer Corps in the hopes of finding a man who would feel comfortable with her. However, her child-like openness and strength are what make her so easy to love. And it’s when she stopped looking for love that she realized she already had it, in the form of Obanai Iguro, the Serpent Hashira and the man who has always shown his devotion to her through actions.
Love Hurts: Mitsuri’s Legendary Fighting Skills
All of Mitsuri’s special abilities revolve around the theme of love, right? So think Breathing Style Techniques but with their own subsections. Mitsuri Kanroji was trained by the Flame Hashira, so her Love Breathing Techniques are adapted from the Flame Breathing Techniques. And that fierceness shows in the way she fights.
You see a glimpse of how fast she advanced during the Swordsmith Village Arc, where she was able subdue a group of Demons, including Gyokko. Likewise, she took on other Upper Rank Demons in the future as well, such as Nakime during the Infinity Castle Arc and even Muzan Kibitsuji, who was the King Of Demons.
Of course, to battle such prolific villains, you need to be packing some heat. And Mitsuri was always a strong little girl, with her unique muscle composition allowing her to lift way above her weight class and endure heavy attacks. This coupled with her extreme flexibility, means that she moves like a butterfly, but stings like a mountain wasp. Her reflexes and speed are simply unmatched.
Mitsuri Kanroji is an amazing swordswoman as well, truly working a specially crafted Nichirin Sword like an insanely sharp whip. The Nichirin Sword’s ability in Mitsuri’s hand is highlighted when she uses her Love Breathing Techniques, mixing the sword skills with Mitsuri’s overwhelming strength, which makes her an unstoppable weapon capable of taking down multiple foes in one go.
Mitsuri Proves That Being Girly Doesn’t Equal Weakness:
So, let’s have a conversation real quick here. I love characters like Mitsuri Kanroji, who are clearly planted there to attract attention with how they are drawn, but end up showcasing that it’s the least interesting thing about them. But instead of making it a ‘Pretty But She’s One Of The Boys’ situation, the writing leans heavily into her feminine nature.
Instead of making her emotional outbursts a source of contention, Mitsuri embraces her feelings and how vulnerable she can be. It doesn’t mean she is easily susceptible or dumb. As Demon Slayer has proven time and time again, Mitsuri is a perfectly capable individual when it comes to fighting Demons. But that doesn’t mean she loses her humanity in the process, that she stops mourning the friends she has been losing. She isn’t afraid of her own emotions, so to speak.
And that means she is free to give importance to things other people would consider frivolous, such as being fond of western style cooking or finding a husband who would love her for her. Mitsuri believes in fairytales despite living in a nightmare, and none of the horrors she faces could ever diminish the fire and love that she encompasses.
Mitsuri Kanroji makes her own in a cast that is already so colorful and impactful, which explains why she shouldn’t be reduced to her attire. And I think that it’s important to remember that being stylish and cute doesn’t take away from how terrifying you can be. Being a girl and being strong are not mutually exclusive, after all!