SPOILER ALERT! This article contains spoilers. If you only follow the series, don’t read it !!
Whether it is his fighting style, his way of expressing himself or his appearance, Hashibira Inosuke is a particular slayer. He enjoys fighting and is very responsive. Unlike the other Slayers, he does not wear the uniform. He is bare-chested and wears a boar mask that never leaves him. This mask has several functions. It is both a tribute to his adoptive mother, but also a means of protection and intimidation.
Two mothers for one child
When he was just an infant, Inosuke was thrown off a cliff by his mother. She tried to save him from Doma, the second upper Moon. She left him as a souvenir a cloth on which was embroidered his name. Doma after killing Inosuke’s mother, believed the child to have died from his fall. Inosuke will later be taken in by a boar, who raised him as his own son until his death. As a tribute to his only parental figure, he will wear this mask, and will never part with it.
In addition to emotional value, the mask is a kind of security for Inosuke. The Slayer very rarely removes it. He keeps it constantly whether it is to discuss or to fight. After their first battle with Zenitsu and Tanjiro, he had removed his mask during his recovery, but put it back on to sleep. During the Infinity Castle Arc, Inosuke was enraged when Doma took his mask from him against his will.
In addition, having lived in the mountains and being raised by a wild boar influenced his personality. Living with other animals means surviving among the strongest. Having grown up in such an environment, Inosuke exports this attitude in his human interactions. Wearing an animal mask allows him to intimidate his opponents. He likes to measure himself against others. Like a wild animal, he strikes very low, as Tanjiro will point out.
Inosuke a special character
Inosuke’s weirdness isn’t limited to wearing a boar mask. Indeed, under his mask the slayer hides feminine features. Having taken him for a monster at first, Zenitsu will then take him for a girl when the mask falls. As for Tanjiro, he finds his face very small and attractive. In addition, he has a habit of damaging his katanas to make them sharper.
In his human interactions, Inosuke behaves like an animal. During his first exchanges with Tanjiro and Zenitsu, he will fight for things like food or the best place to stay. But like any wild beast, he remains sensitive to kindness. Tanjiro’s friendliness often catches him off guard and frustrates him. Even Zenitsu who found him wild when they first met, finds him less scary since he saw his face.