Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba | Gyokko | Character Analysis | The Upper Rank Five Demon Moon
Explore Gyokko, the Upper Rank Five Demon, and one of the primary antagonists in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Season 3's Swordsmith Village Arc!
“Hyo! Hyo! Hyo! That look of fake stoicism. How very sublime it is!”
Gyokko is one of the demons in the popular Demon Slayer anime and manga series. Since it premiered in 2019, the anime has showcased a variety of demons, but season three finally debuted Gyokko in the Swordsmith Village Arc of the storyline, where he (if he could be referred to as that) was introduced as one of the primary antagonists in the arc.
Owing to his appearance, Gyokko could very well be said to be one of the top 5 grotesque demons in the series, and he isn’t number five! This piece aims to analyze Gyokko and provide a better understanding of his backstory, abilities, personality, and all other facts that his vase hid from us😉.
Daki the Upper Rank Five Demon Moon:
Name: Gyokko (Demon), Managi (Human)
Demon Moon Rank: Upper Rank Five
Eye Color: Honey Brown
Voice Actor: Kohsuke Toriumi
Debut: Episode 45 (Season 3, Episode 1) – Anime, Chapter 98 – Manga
Who is Gyokko?
Gyokko is a demon character in the anime and manga series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. He is the Upper Rank Five Demon Moon among the Twelve Kizuki, who are the strongest demons in the series. He is one of the primary antagonists along with Hantengu in the Swordsmith Village Arc and Season 3 of Demon Slayer, but was eventually killed by Muichiro Tokito, the Wind Hashira.
Gyokko’s Backstory: Life as the Managi the Human
An image of Gyokko as a human was never shown
Not much was revealed about Gyokko as a human, but what is known, is that he was known as Managi and lived on the outskirts of a fisherman village. He lost his parents after they drowned; this likely messed with his head, as he began to perceive tragic events and situations as beautiful.
When he saw his parents’ bodies, he was rather gleeful and remarked at how beautiful the swollen and battered bodies were. His madness only began growing at that point as he began taking interest in animal carcasses, deforming objects around him, and proclaiming himself an artist. All of these made the other villagers start stigmatizing and shunning him.
How Did Gyokko Become a Demon?
One fateful day, a passing kid mocked Managi for being weird, which greatly angered him. He begame so angry that he stuffed the child into a jar. In vengeance, the child’s parents retaliated by continuously stabbing Managi and then left him to die. While in the throes of death, Muzan Kibutsuji passed by, saw him, and offered to make him a demon to save him from imminent death.
Manahi accepted the offer, took Muzan’s blood, and with his transformation changed from being Managi the human to Gyokko the demon. Subsequently, he developed a pattern of targeting human beings, particularly children, and altering their physical form, all to have fun.
Appearances: As a Demon & Gyokko's True Form
Gyokko’s appearance is weird and nearly indescribable, irrespective of how you look at it. Most of his body is pale white, and the upper body resembles that of a human who works out but lacks arms. It’s almost like he’s an armless statue emerging from a porcelain vase, with stumps where the arms would’ve been. However, he has several small arms that resemble those of an infant arranged in a row along his head and back.
Gyokko's face is also rather distorted, with large green mouths where his eyes should be. His actual eyes are positioned vertically on his face, with one eye situated within the constantly open bottom mouth and the other positioned at the center of his forehead. The daiji character for “Upper Rank” is engraved on his forehead’s eye, while “Five” is engraved on his mouth’s eye.
To get into his true form, he molts out of his vase entirely and looks like a half-man, half-serpent (more like a merman’s appearance). His upper body maintains the same muscular look, except that now he is covered in transparent scales resembling those of a fish. He also seems to have grown bigger, and his real form has hair resembling a fishtail. He also has black markings on different areas of his body, along with webbed hands and a lengthy tail resembling that of a serpent.
Gyokko is often easily excited, and is always on the lookout for ways to express himself through his art. He is always flattered, rather coy whenever he’s in Muzan’s presence, and has a knack for creating vases, deforming people and objects, all in the name of “art.”
But despite his disappointment with having to collaborate with Hantengu, he justified their partnership by reminding himself that since Muzan had mandated it, he would carry out his assignment. He also gave off a derisive and condescending vibe, as seen when he first sensed Akaza's presence in the Infinity Castle and was almost spilling about how overjoyed he was when he thought Akaza had been killed.
Much like the artist that he is, he never likes it when someone criticizes his creations. He flared up at Muichiro in the Swordsmith Village when Muichiro insulted him and called his art “worthless”. In the latter parts of their conversation, he constantly complimented himself, as though he was the most beautiful being in all existence, further reinforcing his arrogant and egocentric personality.
How Does His Personality Mirror His Abilities?
Gyokko’s personality and abilities mirror one another. His obsession with disfiguring living organisms in the name of art expresses his demented personality. His new demon abilities simply express his twisted mind, allowing him to create “art” as he sees fit, no matter how disgusting it is.
His fluid-like mannerisms and ability to easily adapt and slip through situations also mirror his ability to create and manipulate water, create water-borne creatures, and disfigure the creatures as he sees fit.
Motivation Behind His Actions And Behavior
Gyokko’s actions are motivated by a perverted sense of pleasure that he gets from inflicting pain and suffering on others. This sadistic disposition is made clear in the way he interacts with his victims, as he takes pleasure in their anguish and finds joy in their despair. His strange and unsettling physiology is a mirror of the evil that resides inside him as well as the twisted pleasure he derives from inflicting pain on others.
As an Upper Rank Demon Moon, Gyokko has a professional relationship with other members of the Twelve Kizuki, especially the Upper Moons. He particularly fears Kokushibo, just as much as some of the other demons do. While he’s barely acquaintances with the others, he hates Akaza, the Upper Three Demon Moon, to the point where he is surprised to see that Akaza is still alive when they get summoned to the Infinity Castle. As a loyal subject of Muzan, he does have a weird fetish-like aspiration for his master and follows his orders without question.
His relationship with his victims, however, is a deathly one. He doesn’t always kill them immediately, but rather, derives joy in twisting their bodies in practically impossible ways, beginning by sucking them into his vase. In the Swordsmith Village, he recounted that although the blood of the swordsmiths tastes bitter, he likes it regardless, as it gives him a splendid joy.
Role In The Swordsmith Village Arc
Gyokko played a pivotal role in the Swordsmith Village Arc of Demon Slayer; his main goal in the arc was to eliminate all of the village's swordsmiths to deprive the Demon Slayer Corps of their primary source of weapons, the Nichirin Swords. He murdered several swordsmiths and wreaked havoc upon the village.
In addition, he contributed to the growth and development of Muichiro Tokito's character and helped him recall his past and upbringing. He didn't really interact with the main character, Tanjiro, in the entire season 3.
Strengths & Abilities
Gyokko is the Upper Rank Five Demon Moon, making him the sixth most powerful demon in the Demon Slayer series, hence, he’s expected to be stronger than demons like Gyutaro, Daki, Enmu, etc. Below are some of his known abilities.
Fluid Infinite Space: Gyokko can create small vases, which is able to hold objects or people that are much larger than the vase itself.
Teleportation: Gyokko can teleport to any of his vases; he uses this ability by hiding vases everywhere during battle, and then just disappearing from the one he’s inhabiting, and reappearing in a different one.
Obscene Art: Gyokko is the only genuine artist among the high-ranking demons, which is one of the reasons why Muzan likes him despite his gross artistic sensibilities and lack of tact. The artistry he displays in designing his vases is always extraordinary.
Flesh Manipulation: Gyokko can instantaneously create vases out of his flesh, and can also alter his physical appearance by growing tiny arms on the sides of his head and torso, or completely transforming himself into a merman type of form.
Rapid Regeneration: Like all other ranked demons, Gyokko’s regeneration is very swift. He gains back whatever part of his body is cut off almost immediately, which does nothing to slow him down in battle
Resilience: Gyokko’s body is highly durable, and could almost be considered to be resistant to beheading (as seen in his battle against Muichiro). While his regular body was very durable and could withstand sword slashes, his real form (his merman appearance) was even harder and slimier to deal with.
Speed and Reflexes: Gyokko is extremely fast; he easily avoided Muichiro's assaults and launched attacks that Muichiro could barely avoid. Moreover, Gyokko was able to respond to Muichiro's surprise attack after he activated his Demon Slayer Mark
Blood Demon Art
Blood Demon Arts are special abilities that some demons in Demon Slayer possess. These abilities are unique to each demon and are a reflection of their personalities and desires. Gyokko's Blood Demon Arts are:
Water Prison Pot: Gyokko uses water to construct a water prison in the shape of a vase, which may be used to capture an opponent. Water suffocates the victim, making it impossible for them to use any breathing techniques to free themselves or fight back.
Thousand Needle Fish Kill: Gyokko is able to spawn poisonous-needle spitting fishes. The paralyzing qualities of the poison render the victim helpless.
Killer Fish Scales: Gyokko, in his true form, unleashes a flurry of physical blows that are amplified by his incredible speed and odd body composition. Due to his scales, he can adjust his movements and attack at unusual angles making his hits incredibly unpredictable.
Octopus Vase Hell: Gyokko can create very strong and long tentacles from his vases, and use them to hold and/or crush objects and people.
Demon Fish Army: Gyokko can create several different fish monsters of different sizes. These monsters possess arms and legs similar to humans, with forearms resembling those of a scorpion; however, instead of pincers, they bear curved blades.
Ten Thousand Gliding Slime-Fish: Gyokko creates multiple pots, from which he summons a thousand slimy carnivorous fishes that eat the flesh to the bone of any organism they come in contact with. Even when cut, these fishes give off a cloud of poisonous dust that can easily be absorbed by the skin of anyone close by.
Symbolism and Themes of Gyokki in Demon Slayer Season 3
There are some themes and symbolism associated with Gyokko. One such prominent theme is water. Gyokko’s blood demon art is based on water, and he is often associated with water-related imagery. This is likely a reflection of his adaptability and fluidity.
Another theme associated with Gyokko is vanity. He’s often portrayed as being obsessed with his image, and even his abilities reflect this obsession. Finally, his affiliation with darkness and shadows is likely a reflection of his malicious and destructive nature.
Gyokko is a complex and fascinating character. His adaptability, vanity, and destructive nature make him a formidable opponent. However, his ultimate defeat at the hands of a child (Muichiro Tokito) shows that even the most cynical demons can be overcome. Although he is gone, his legacy and impact on the Demon Slayer Corps will live on.
What does the name Gyokko mean?+
Gyokko’s name contains the kanji for “jewel, ball” as in (gyoku), and “vase, jar, pot” as in (ko)
Who killed Gyokko?+
The Mist Hashira, Muichiro Tokito, killed Gyokko by swiftly beheading him, after engulfing him in a mist and confusing him.
In what episode did Gyokko die?+
Gyokko died in episode 9 of Season 3 of the Demon Slayer anime series.
How did Gyokko find the Swordsmith Village?+
Several theories address this query, with the most widely accepted suggesting that a vase made by Gyokko was sold to a swordsmith who carried it to the village. Gyokko later teleported into the vase and emerged in the village.
Why is Gyokko defeated so easily?+
Gyokko's defeat stems from his overconfidence and repetitive strategies. Underestimating opponents and failing to adapt led to his vulnerability despite his power.
Why did Gyokko become a demon?+
Facing imminent death, Gyokko accepted Muzan's offer to transform into a demon, escaping mortality and gaining twisted powers in return.
Why is Gyokko Muzan's favorite?+
Gyokko's favored status by Muzan arises from his unique artistry, twisted sensibilities, and alignment with Muzan's interests, making him a prized and loyal follower.