Nezuko is the talk of the anime community in recent months. And it doesn’t seem like the conversation will “die down” any time soon.
She’s become a popular character with the male AND female portion of the anime community for different reasons.
Never has a female anime character gotten so much love before in a short space of time (in the Shounen genre).
Let’s get into why that’s the case.
1. Brother-sister relationship with Tanjiro Kamado
Brother-sister relationships aren’t anything new in anime. They’ve happened for years at this point.
BUT, they haven’t been too common in the shounen genre of anime. Usually it’s two rivals or a male protagonist with a female protagonist who “falls” for or gets into a romantic relationship with the protagonist.
That’s where Demon Slayer steps in and introduces something a little different and refreshing.
In the beginning of Demon Slayer – Nezuko is human. She’s a caring character and all her siblings are a happy family.
It’s clear that the family bond is what keeps them together.
Until sh*t hits the fan
Then Tanjiro discovers his family’s been MURDERED. Later finding out that demons are responsible.
It’s at this moment that Tanjiro and Nezuko’s bond and story begins.
Even when Nezuko becomes a demon she still retains some of her humanity, protecting Tanjiro from danger.
This is the starting point of what makes Nezuko so likeable as a character. And why the brother-sister relationship is loved so much.
- There’s never been a Shounen series to highlight this relationship in this way.
- The desperation of an older brother fighting for his sisters survival is relatable.
- Despite Tanjiro being a demon slayer, he still commits to protecting Nezuko because it’s his little sister.
The demon sister and human brother relationship is a strange one, but it’s welcomed with open arms.
No anime, especially not Shounen has written a story in this way before. Mixing tragedy, pain, purpose and morals all into one cooking pot. And dishing out a brother-sister story almost anyone can relate to and understand.
It’s the ONE thing that makes Demon Slayer shine as a Shounen series.
2. Nezuko is CUTE
We might as well get this out the way and put it out there. Nezuko is cute which is obvious, but it’s a good reason for why she’s liked.
The strange abilities she comes with like being able to “shrink” her body, and her personality in general has “cute” written all over it.
This scene is one example where Nezuko shrinks her body to fit inside a Bamboo basket.
Tanjiro carries Nezuko around in this basket in the early episodes of Demon Slayer.
Or THIS episode where Nezuko headpats this guy because he reminds her of her own family.
Even as a demon – Nezuko is “still” human on the inside. And that’s part of the “cute” appeal she has in the Demon Slayer series
A lot of episodes make this point obvious.
3. Nezuko’s a capable character who doesn’t “need” saving
In episode 2 of Demon Slayer, Nezuko surprises everyone by kicking the demons head off out of nowhere.
Tanjiro was in trouble at this moment, and Nezuko stepped in to lend a helping hand.
In a lot of anime with siblings, the older brother will protect the little sister. That’s normal, right?
But Demon Slayer takes it further.
Instead of portraying the little sister as “weak” and not capable of fighting her own battles, or having the courage to do so, Nezuko is different.
The way Demon Slayer swings between brother protecting sister and sister protecting brother is unique.
It’s balanced and at no moment do you get the sense of one character being “more important or superior” compared to the other.
Nezuko and Tanjiro need each other equally. And most fights in Demon Slayer show this as they struggle for their survival.
4. Nezuko’s kind and caring nature
Even as a demon, Nezuko is still the kind and caring character she once was as a human.
The impossibility of someone being turned into a demon, and still managing to keep all their caring traits. Not to mention the ability to think about others before giving into her demonic tendencies – this is what makes Nezuko’s role special.
She’s not able to speak or say too much because of the muzzle, but I guess that’s what makes her differences fall into place.
You could call it childish or daft, but it all adds to Nezuko’s character and the sometimes subtle differences compared to other characters. Or other anime with a similar concept or plot.
There IS no other character like Nezuko
I can’t think of a Shounen anime with this type of relationship and bond with a story that’s based around it. And especially not an anime better than Demon Slayer for the way it handles itself.
The “demon” aspect makes it even more bitter-sweet and emotional I guess.
A weak brother willing to give up his life to protect his sister who’s become a demon. It has a good ring to it.
Besides – the anime wouldn’t be the same without Nezuko. Both of them are the bread and butter of the story and where it leads.
Nezuko makes the anime “cute” and sometimes lighthearted.
Tanjiro on the other hand makes the anime “deep” with other elements that make it entertaining.
Featured image source: Nezuko