Demon Slayer | Character Analysis | Akaza
Explore the might of the deadly demon Akaza in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba! Learn about his transformation, powers, and influence in this incredible anime!
July 09, 2023
By: Prince Lammy
“The sight of a weakling makes my skin crawl”
- Name: Akaza (Hakuji as a Human)
- Gender: Male
- Demon Moon Rank: Upper Rank Three
- Species: Demon
- Hair Color: Pink
- Eye Color: Blue sclera with yellow pupils
- Anime Debut: Episode 6, Mugen Train Arc
- Voice Actor: Akira Ishida
As a Demon:
- Tall and strong young guy with greenish-white skin
- Short, flamboyant pink hair puffed out on his head
- Yellow eyes slanted inward, framed by pink eyelashes and a blue fractured glass-like pupil
- Irises with the kanji for "Upper Rank" (Jogen) and the daiji for "Three" (San)
- Blue line extending from the middle of his forehead to the bridge of his nose
- Two additional lines running around his neck, with three others branching from the lower one to his torso
- Lines curling around his eyes from under his ears to over his temples
- Torso displaying a distinct pattern of three lines, with one running vertically down the center of his chest
- Lines on his arms starting from the front of his shoulders and continuing down to his wrists, interrupted by two additional lines around his biceps
- Dark blue fingers and toes with orange fingernails
- Short sleeveless haori in a dark purple-pink hue, cut off at the waist, revealing his chest like an under-sized waistcoat.
- Loose-fitting white pants rolled up just below the knee, secured with a blue rope belt.
- No footwear, but adorned with a chain of large round pink pearls around each ankle.
As a Human:
- Same hairstyle as Hakuji, but black instead of pink
- Pale blue eyes and strangely colored pink eyelashes
- Muscular build with three criminal-looking tattoos in black on each forearm
- Previously wore a dark blue Yukuta before becoming a demon.
Who is Akaza?
Akaza is one of the demons in the manga and anime franchise Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. He is a demon who operates as a direct subordinate to Muzan Kibutsuji. Presently, he is the Upper Rank Three Demon Moon within the Twelve Kizuki. Akaza’s origin story involves a transformation from human to demon, which was carried out by Muzan, over a hundred years ago. Before his transformation, Akaza was known as Hakuji.
He initially played a supporting antagonist in the Mugen Train Arc. Over time, he developed a strong hatred for Tanjiro, after his master reprimanded him for not being able to kill Tanjiro as he’d been ordered to, despite having killed a Hashira. His last battle was against Tanjiro and Giyu in the Infinity Fortress, where he took his life after some recollections of his past life as a human made him regret his current actions, and then decide to commit seppuku as penance.
Akaza’s Origin And Demon Transformation
Hakuji (now Akaza) was born in the slums of Edo (now Tokyo) to an ailing father. To help procure medications for his father, Hakuji resorted to a life of crime, petty thieving, and pickpocketing, thereby earning himself the nickname “Demon Child”, as despite all the punishments meted out to him, he never stopped stealing.
As the shame got too much to bear, his father committed suicide and left a note for Hakuji, where he expressed his wish for his son to live a normal and crime-free life, and not have to bother about taking care of an ailing father.
After losing his father, he was banished from Edo, and fell to a life of meaningless rage, often bullying and beating up people, to the point of nearly killing some seven men he found in a village. It was then that he met Keizo, who took him in and introduced him to his ailing daughter, Koyuki.
Using his experience nursing his father before his demise, Hakuji helped nurse Koyuki back to health, so much so she was able to help around in the dojo. Already one of Keizo’s best students, Keizo asked Hakuji if he’d like to take charge of the dojo, and also marry his daughter, Koyuki, to which Hakuji agreed.
His greatest anguish came when he heard that Keizo and Koyuki had been poisoned by a rival dojo. Hakuji, however, went over to the Kenjutsu dojo and gruesomely killed sixty-seven of their members, an act that caught Muzan’s attention. Muzan then offered to give him some of his blood, and make him an Upper Moon demon so he could get stronger, and live forever.
After accepting Muzan’s offer and being transformed, he forgot all about his former human life, and would often go on killing sprees, but would never hurt women or girls. And as one of the twelve Kizuki demons, he was also tasked with finding the Spider Lily for Muzan, and also sometimes gets sent on other missions.
What is Akaza’s Personality Like?
Akaza is a determined and resolute individual who could have been likable, if not for his excessive passion for combat, particularly against formidable demon slayers. Not only does he appreciate strength and skill in his opponents, but he even praises his opponents when showing great swordsmanship, as it gives him joy. Furthermore, he always remembers the names of the strong individuals whom he battled with in the past.
Whenever he comes across a strong opponent, he always offers to transform the person into a demon so that they can keep fighting for eternity – to brighten his already-dull existence. If anyone refuses his proposition, he’d end up killing them, as he did with Kyojuro Rengoku.
Conversely, his actions towards his fellow Upper Ranks, Doma, and Kokushibo, reflect a profound psychological need to become stronger, as he harbors some hatred towards his superiors. He is jealous of Doma becoming his superior, especially since it was he (Akaza) who transformed Doma into a demon.
As a human, his quest for power and strength was birthed from his desires and need to fend for his ailing father and safeguard the well-being of his loved ones, specifically his fiancée Koyuki and mentor, Keizo. But after becoming a demon, he despised his former life as a human, saw it as one without value, and also resented anyone or anything that would remind him of it.
But despite his demonic disposition, he has a rule he’s always stuck by – never to devour women or children, despite the fact that consuming them would enhance his strength..
In his final moments, Akaza showed that he was capable of remorse and compassion, and deciding to do what was right, even if it meant going against the notions of his current existence, and also his orders. His motivations and quest for power and strength diminished upon realizing that all those who had mattered to him were already dead, and so he decided to take his own life, to atone for his sins.
What Are Akaza’s Abilities?
Overall Abilities: As the third in the Twelve Kizuki and the fourth strongest demon overall, Akaza possesses exceptional power. He defeated and killed Kyojuro Rengoku, multiple Hashira, and numerous Demon Slayers on his own. He is highly skilled in martial arts and can surpass even the best Demon Slayers in swordsmanship. Even as a human, he was able to kill sixty-seven trained swordsmen bare handedly, which was what drew Muzan Kibutsuji to him.
Sensing Fighting Spirit: this ability enables him to anticipate his opponent's strikes and identify their weaknesses, leaving them practically unable to defeat him in battle. He could also use this to sense his opponent’s murderous intent, strengths, and weaknesses.
Extrasensory Perception: Akaza has mystically refined sensory abilities that allow him to sense things that others can't see. In addition to being able to detect the auras of humans and demons, he can also detect the auras of animals.
Immense Durability: As a Demon Moon of the Upper Rank, Akaza's body is incredibly resilient, as he has ingested an exceptionally large amount of Muzan's blood.
Immense Regeneration: He could rapidly heal from slash wounds, no matter how terrible they are, and even grow back severed limbs in split seconds.
Immense Speed & Reflexes: Akaza moves at an astonishingly fast pace, vanishing from the view of others. Even the Hashiras frequently struggle to match his speed, as he appears to teleport effortlessly. His swift reflexes enable him to easily evade enemy strikes, prompting Kyojuro Rengoku to comment, "He can move faster than the blink of an eye."
Tactical Intellect: Akaza can quickly evolve and adjust to any form of attack his opponents.
Unlimited Stamina & Endurance: Akaza’s endurance is on another level, as he could withstand series and streaks of attacks and blows without seeming to be affected by them. It’s almost like saying he’s attack-resistant.
Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Akaza is highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, as he’s shown even when he was a human. And by becoming a demon, this ability of his only became amplified, to the point that he could finish off demon slayers without using even his Blood Demon Art.
Blood Demon Art
- Destructive Death: His blood demon art allows him to combine the Soryu martial arts with deadly shockwaves which appear as balls of energy, invisible direct force, or missile-like spikes. He could generate these from any part of his body. This often enhances the fatality of his strikes, which usually seem accompanied by a trail of small blue light.
Relationships And Interactions
Akaza showcases a host of varying relationship patterns with different characters, including demons. While he regards Muzan Kibutsuji as his absolute lord and despises getting reprimanded by Muzan, he regards the other demons with a level of disregard, or even disdain. Amongst the Upper Moons, he particularly hates Kokushibo, the Upper-Rank One, and even promised to one day kill him.
His relationship with Doma, the Upper Two demon is also strained, as despite his animosity towards Doma, Doma never takes it to heart, and always jokes about Akaza’s acts, as he suspects that Akaza is only mad and jealous of his position since it was Akaza who made him a demon in the first place, yet Doma has risen the ranks ahead of him.
His relationship with members of the Demon Slayer Corps isn’t too different from how other demons regard them. But more than seeing them as mere adversaries, he assesses them based on the strength and skills they showcase in battle and even went as far as proposing to Kyojuro Rengoku, the former Fire Hashira, to become a demon. He acknowledged Kyojuro’s skills, strength and resilience, and saw his mortality as a constraint on maximizing his potential.
When he was a human, he showed great love and care for his father, to the point of committing crimes and enduring the accompanying punishments in a bid to take care of his ailing father. And despite his troublesome nature, he showed he was capable of developing feelings for another when he started loving Koyuki, and her father, whose deaths put him in so much anguish and anger.
Growth And Development In The Story
In terms of both his physical essence as a demon and his emotional development as a character, Akaza undergoes a significant ride of transformation throughout the series. This transformation influences his actions, beliefs, and, ultimately, his position in the story.
Physical Transformation: His transformation from human to demon marked a turning point in Akaza's life. As a demon, he acquires enormous power and abilities, such as enhanced strength, agility, and regenerative capabilities. This physical transformation signifies the end of his human existence and sets the stage for the development of his character.
Change in Beliefs: Initially, Akaza has a distorted value system that places strength above all else. However, as he confronts formidable opponents, especially the members of the Demon Slayer Corps, his perspective progressively changes. He acquires a deeper comprehension of concepts such as honor, compassion, and the worth of human life, which are values he'd lost the moment he became a demon.
Emotional Development: Throughout the series, Akaza undergoes significant emotional development. Initially motivated by rage, retribution, and a desire for strength, he confronts his prior traumas and regrets gradually. This emotional exploration enables moments of vulnerability and self-reflection, resulting in a gradual character transformation. His emotional development manifests itself in his interactions with other characters, as he shows empathy and even regrets.
Theme And Symbolism
One of the themes that Akaza embodies in the anime is his tremendous strength and his profound reverence for strong people. Akaza is depicted as an exceptionally strong demon, renowned for his formidable combat skills and abilities. His physical power is complemented by his unwavering determination and indomitable will.
The search for second chances and personal growth is another central subject surrounding Akaza. Once a ruthless and murderous demon, Akaza now struggles with the weight of his crimes and their repercussions. He sets out on the path of atonement, hoping to make up for his wrongdoing and discover inner peace via his conversations with other people and his introspection.
Akaza's personality also features very contrasting aspects. As a demon, he represents all that is nasty and evil in human nature. His human history, however, demonstrates a potential for compassion, love, and the pursuit of a better existence. This ambiguity highlights his inner turmoil and the fight between his demon and human nature.
Impact On The Story
The significance of Akaza in Demon Slayer cannot be denied. As a demon from the Upper Moon, he is a formidable adversary who challenges the protagonists to their limits, aiding in the development of each of the characters he came in contact with, especially Tanjiro, Rengoku, and others. His struggles and desire for fortitude reflect with other characters, demonstrating the possibility of change. Akaza's interactions with other demons cast light on the hierarchy and dynamics of the Demon Moon ranks. He influences and defines the actions of other characters, contributing to the narrative's larger dynamics.
Akaza in Demon Slayer is a total package of strength, determination, and personal growth. His transformation and captivating personality make him a multi-dimensional character with a significant impact on the storyline. And his social life? It isn’t as bad as you’d think, as he always tries to make friends with even his enemies.