When you’re the most powerful character in an anime, like Yoriichi, and you’re suddenly killed, it raises a lot of alarm bells. I mean, who could possibly be powerful enough to challenge someone like the strongest Demon Slayer out there and finish the job? Well, that’s the intrigue of shows like Demon Slayer, isn’t it? To see who is strong enough to take on some of the most formidable people in the series? And with someone like Yoriichi Tsugiki, that curiosity is ten-fold.
So, who managed to land the final blow on a legend like Yoriichi? Unsurprisingly, it was his own twin brother, Michikatsu Tsugiki, who was the very first Demon Slayer to become a Demon himself. The two fought when they were 85, with Michikatsu now going as Kokushibo. Despite his Demon Marks damning Yoriichi to die by age 25, he still stood his ground and fought. The only reason he died was because of natural exhaustion at his age mid-battle.
Kokushibo even admits that he waited for his brother’s sword to plunge into him, only for the attack to never happen. Yoriichi died, still standing, completely unscathed. And when you consider that Yoriichi was past his prime by decades at this point, you get a true grasp of the power he held. Which makes sense, considering he’s the reason Demon Slayers exist as they are in the current storyline. Like, despite him dying more than 500 years ago before the main series, his strength is still the stuff of legends.
Now, it doesn’t take rocket science to see the parallels between two brothers becoming a savior and a monster, and the story of Tanjiro Kamado and his sister, Nezuko. But today, let’s discuss how the tragic tale of Tsugiki brothers came to being, and how it impacted many of the most feared characters in Demon Slayer. What could’ve prompted Michikatsu to kill Yoriichi in the first place? That’s what we’re going to look into in another segment of Lore Analysis!
Yoriichi Tsugikuni: The Legend Of the First Demon Slayer!
Brothers becoming enemies is, quite literally, a tale as old as time. It’s not the first time we’ve seen it happen in anime either. The entire saga of Naruto basically boiled down to the same setting. However, with Demon Slayer, it was more than just bad blood, or a self fulfilling prophecy.
Yoriichi was not only the first Demon Slayer, but also the strongest in history. However, he started out idolizing his brother, Michikatsu, who was the older twin. Since Yoriichi was of a much calmer disposition than his brother, he adored Michikatsu’s ambition and supported him in his dream of becoming the strongest Samurai in all of the land. However, things changed when his brother ran away and left Yoriichi to pick up the pieces. But finding his own strength amidst adversity, Yoriichi went on to become a fierce warrior and laid the foundations for the Demon Slayer Corps.
And strength he did have in spades. Yoriichi later went on to create the Breathing Style techniques that we know today, becoming a mentor for budding Demon Slayers and ushering in a Golden Era of Demon Slayers during the Sengoku era. Though Yoriichi was a reserved individual, always humble to anyone he met, he hid an enormous amount of power and skill. To the point where even Muzan Kibutsuji, the Demon King, barely survived in a one-on-one battle with him.
Alongside the Demon Slayer Mark, Yoriichi was also born with Transparent World, a supernatural technique that enables Demon Slayers to look at the inner workings of living beings, and Selfless State, an ability that puts a warrior at their peak.
Not Even Aging Could Kill the Legend Of Yoriichi:
The problem with the Demon Slayer Mark is that while it indicates that an individual holds immense potential, that very potential could lead to their death. Anyone that has the Mark, doesn’t live for very long due to how taxing it can be.
And yet, Yoriichi’s resolve was so strong, he persevered. With a physique that was near monstrous to upkeep and his calm disposition, he managed to live well into his old age. And it’s not even like the battles didn’t take their toll. Of course, fighting his own brother was taxing for him, both physically and emotionally. But he had such a strong conviction in his own morals and wanting to do good, that he simply refused to stop.
And so, it’s only fitting that when did meet Kokushibo on the battleground for the final time, he didn’t go quietly. He fought and fought, their blades clashing but only Yoriichi gained the upper hand. He almost slit his own brother’s throat, without any attacks landing on himself. But old age did get the better of him, quietly passing away before he could land the fatal blow. That’s the only reason Kokushibo lived, nothing more.
And death couldn’t take away his reputation. Considering this was the same man that Muzan still talked about with a healthy amount of fear, showcased how his conquests in battle still made him an icon to Demon Slayers everywhere. It’s no wonder that he’s still the strongest Demon Slayer to have ever lived, and that no one has come close since.