Akaza’s demon slayer he is perhaps the best-written villain in the series. Akaza’s personality has numerous complexities and contradictions that define him. He is uniquely polarizing in the fandom. Anime fans hate Akaza because he killed Rengoku during the Mugen Train arc. However, a single incident is not enough to fully judge his character.
Despite the misconceptions of fans who haven’t read the manga, his backstory explains what motivates him, even after he became a demon. He is, perhaps, the most tragic villain in all of Demon Slayer. He is undeniably strong, making him the top third rank in the Muzan militia.
Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for Demon Slayer: Koyoharu Gotouge’s Kimetsu no Yaiba!
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10 His Name Was Hakuji Soyama And He Grew Up In The Slums
Before he became a devil and changed his name to Akaza, his name was Hakuji Soyama. As a human, he was a martial arts prodigy who had a daughter named Koyuki. He trained in martial arts under the supervision of a man named Keizo. He grew up in a poor neighborhood.
Hakuji’s father was sick, so Hakuji resorted to stealing from the townspeople so his father could pay for medicine. However, due to this behavior, the magistrate called him a “demon child” and marked him with tattoos to indicate that Hakuji was a criminal.
9 He Became A Demon At 18
One day, a student from the same dojo Hakuji attended informed him that a rival dojo had poisoned that water. As a result, Koyuki and Keizo were poisoned and died soon after. This absolutely infuriated Hakuji, who slaughtered the other sixty-seven members of the dojo with just his fists in retaliation.
Of course, this got Muzan’s attention, and at first he thought it was a demon! Muzan turned Hakuji into a demon, one of his Twelve Kizuki, to be exact. Hakuji had nothing more to lose at the moment, so he just accepted it.
8 Akaza’s Relentless Quest For Strength Has Much Deeper Implications
If Akaza’s needs were analyzed through the lens of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, his physiological needs would consist of one thing: the absolute need to get stronger. This goes beyond a simple goal or even a complex desire; Akaza’s existence thrives on being strong.
Even after being decapitated, Akaza clung to life, continuing to swear that he would become the strongest no matter what. He was able to defeat the Nichirin Sword thanks to his unwavering determination. However, this need for strength stems from his eagerness to cure his father’s ailments and protect his loved ones, especially Koyuki and Keizo.
7 Akaza sincerely despises having once been a human
Anything that reminds Akaza of his former humanity is an instant psychological trigger for him. He passionately declares that his humanity is worthless. He despises any memory of her. For example, he was deeply affected by Tanjiro’s belief that the strong are obligated to help the weak. Akaza was also furious when he realized how similar Giyu was to Keizo.
Despite his complete disregard for his former humanity, he seems to have retained many of the traits he had as a human. Above all, he is still quite stubborn and determined.
6 Akaza Cared Deeply For His Loved Ones
It may be hard to believe that Akaza once had a family that he cared deeply about. However, while he was human, he was willing to go to desperate measures to ensure the well-being of his family. For example, he resorted to pickpocketing to pay for his father’s medicine, something for which he was scolded, as his father said it was not worth it if he didn’t get the medicine honestly.
He was also desperate to cure Koyuki of her ailments when she fell ill. As a result of Akaza’s desperate measures, he received countless blows that would have paralyzed anyone else; however, his determination allowed her to recover quickly.
5 The compass needle technique inspired by Koyuki Akaza
Akaza’s Compass Needle technique is a martial arts method he uses. There are various inspirations from Koyuki that Akaza used to craft this technique. First of all, the attacks are inspired by fireworks. Akaza once promised to take Koyuki to see a fireworks show after recovering from her illness. The design is also inspired by a hairpin that she wore.
Another reference in the Compass Needle technique is that the style of martial arts that Akaza uses while performing it is a style that Keizo taught him.
4 Akaza Is Very Regretful That He Didn’t Respect His Father’s Wishes
Akaza began to feel remorse for his past as his life flashed before his eyes. In particular, he deeply regrets not having respected his father’s wishes for him to lead an honest life. For example, he used the style of martial arts taught to him by Keizo and killed countless people.
Akaza even regrets engaging in criminal activity while he was a human, although his heart was in the right place. Ultimately, Akaza deeply regrets the monster he has become.
3 Akaza’s Memories Of Humanity Influence His Decisions As A Demon
Although Akaza truly hated his past life as a human, the parts of his memory that he kept continue to influence his decisions. For example, Akaza believed that it was wrong for him to consume a woman, even though he recognized that it would have made him a stronger demon.
Furthermore, his Darwinian beliefs come from his human memories corrupted by the ideals of a demon. All of his decisions as a demon are the result of not leaving behind the pain of his past life as a human.
2 Akaza Respects Those Who Are Strong
Although Akaza’s actions are hopeless, he has shown himself to be an honorable warrior. He will praise Demon Slayers if his swordsmanship and breathing techniques impress him. He also demands to know the names of strong people. He will not rest until he learns their names, and when he does, Akaza will make sure to remember them forever. He stores his names in the back of his mind as a salute to his strength.
As seen during his fight with Rengoku, it seems that Akaza believes that the best way to show how much he admires someone’s strength is to invite them to become a demon. He believes that such tremendous strength should be preserved rather than discarded and forgotten once the individual dies.
1 Beneath His Bloodlust Hides The Realization That The Person Akaza Wants To Kill The Most Is Himself
Akaza realized that his actions as a demon stemmed from the fact that he legitimately hated himself. Akaza subconsciously believed that he was weak for never protecting the people he cared about. He couldn’t properly process that he wasn’t there to save the people he loved most.
Therefore, he committed atrocities as unspeakable as a demon because he never came to recognize that the people he wanted to protect had already died. Akaza’s most important realization was that the person he most wanted to kill was himself, and so he did.