Demon Slayer is known for its tragic moments and characters. In the story, demons roam the earth slaughtering families and sowing misery wherever they go. Yet despite the series’ pain and sadness, the bond between Sakonji and his students brings a sense of familiar affection to Demon Slayer. Their relationship is much more than that of teacher and students. Each of the users of Breath of Water sees the other as a kind of family that they wish to protect, even at the cost of their own lives. In a tragic world, the users of the Water Breath are a united and powerful family.
Sakonji was the former Water Hashira of the Demon Hunter Corps and taught many individuals the art of Water Breathing. Although Sakonji seems stern and a ruthless coach, he cares deeply for each of his students. He considers all of them as his own children and cares for their safety. When Tanjiro returns after completing the Final Selection, a test that resulted in the deaths of thirteen other Sakonji students, Sakonji cries openly, glad that Tanjiro is alive and proud to have succeeded. Sakonji fully believes in Tanjiro’s goal of returning humanity to his sister and is willing to do whatever it takes to help him achieve it. Sakonji is a father figure to his students and, like all good parents, he wants the best for himself.
Although Giyu maintains a stoic and cold image most of the time, he continues to behave like a protective older brother towards Tanjiro. As a member of the Demon Hunter Corps and current Water Hashira, Giyu had the responsibility to kill Nezuko once she turned into a demon. Instead, he chose to inspire Tanjiro to fight for his sister and guide him on the path of becoming a Demon Hunter. Even after years apart, Giyu was willing to break the rules again and fight another Hashira to protect Tanjiro and Nezuko. Giyu’s belief in Tanjiro and his goal reaches such a point that he was willing to commit suicide as regret should Nezuko kill a human.
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Sabito y Makomo
Sabito and Makomo were two of Sakonji’s students who died during the Final Selection. Unable to return to Sakonji, his father figure, their souls could not rest in peace. When Tanjiro starts his training, Sabito and Makomo help him a lot. Sabito trains his body through his duels while Makomo improves his form and technique. The two students are heavily involved in Tanjiro’s training because they want to see him succeed where they failed, and they want to ease Sakonji’s pain over their deaths. They are two children who want their little brother to do well and for their father to be happy again.
Tanjiro plays the role of a younger brother in this found family. He is excited to learn all he can from Sakonji, Giyu, Sabito, and Makomo. In turn, Tanjiro strives to earn their respect and is very grateful for the training and protection they provide. During the Final Selection, Tanjiro is motivated to defeat the Hand Demon, not only to save his own life, but because he has killed many of Sakonji’s other students. Once Tanjiro defeats the demon and returns to Sakonji, the spirits of the deceased students can finally rest. This is a gift that Tanjiro can give to the found family that has done so much for him.