Demon Slayer | Character Analysis | Hantengu | The Emotional Demon
Meet Hantengu, the Upper Rank Four Demon Moon! Explore his inner turmoil and the battle between his emotions in Demon Slayer!
August 07, 2023
By: Prince Lammy
Please stop it! Please stop tormenting me! It hurts!
- Name: Hantengu
- Demon Moon Rank: Upper Rank Four
- Status: Dead
- Hair Color: Black
- Eye Color: Black
- Anime Debut: Episode 45 (Season 3, Episode 1)
- Voice Actor: Toshio Furukawa
Who is Hantengu?
Hantengu is one of the demons in the Demon Slayer: Swordsmith Village Arc. He is also the Upper Rank Four Demon Moon of the Twelve Kizuki, serving and reporting directly to Muzan Kibutsuji. Though always appearing weak and scared out of his wits, Hantengu contains a power to summon powerful demons which represent his many emotions.
Nothing is known of Hantengu’s childhood, but in the later years of his life as a human, he was marked as a delusional and notorious criminal. He would often go from place to place thieving and murdering innocent people, but yet claim to be innocent whenever accused of a crime.
How Did Hantengu Become A Demon?
As a human, he was arrested, found guilty of his crimes, and sentenced to death by decapitation. While he was awaiting his execution in prison, Muzan Kibutsuji heard his story and approached him.
After listening to Muzan’s proposal to help save his life, Hantengu was quick to accept Muzan’s blood and become a demon to avoid death. Immediately after his transformation, Hantengu escaped from prison and immediately went to kill the magistrate that had passed the death sentence on him.
Effect of His Origins on His Current Abilities
Hantengu's ability to create four other demons is connected to his troubled past and fragmented identity. His demon ability is thought to be a result of his past experiences and the emotions he carries within him.
His past trauma and inner struggles have influenced his ability to develop multiple personas, each representing a unique aspect of his personality and emotions. This ability represents the fragmented nature of his past, where he encountered many difficulties and obstacles that led to his psyche breaking apart.
As A Human:
Hantengu is a physically small man with a bony frame. He appears frail and has veins and wrinkles on his body, along with a slender face and a pointed chin. He is usually crouching and has a prominent bump on his head.
He always looks scared and anxious, with a noticeable brow ridge but no eyebrows. His eyes are narrow and often seem to be squinting, without any visible pupils.
His hair is dark, and wavy, and reaches his shoulders. His hairline is also receded, owing to the bump on his head, so his hair grows out from the back of his head and ears.
As A Demon:
Hantengu's appearance isn't particularly different from his human form, with the exception of several distinct features. These differences include two curved horns, a unique coloration, and his tongue, which bears the etching of the kanji for "Fear." Additionally, his ears are sharper and longer than those of ordinary humans, and his nails are long, yet square in shape.
His attire consists of a split dark kimono. The right half is adorned with a floral and lined pattern, while the left is plain. He also wears black hakama pants and zori footwear.
As A Human:
As a result of his deluded mind, fears, and psychological conflict, Hantengu always believes he’s innocent of any crime he’s accused of, and instead blames his hands as being the culprits. He had a knack for deflecting any and all responsibilities away from himself.
As A Demon:
Unlike other demons, Hantengu always appears timid and scared out of his wits at everything that happens around him. During the meeting in the Infinity Castle, he fidgeted at the mention of the number of years the Hashiras had held their last meeting and also at Akaza's altercation with Kokushibo.
He is often found cowering on his knees, barely moving, and crying all the time. Even in battle, he still exhibits extreme cowardice and paranoia, and even weeps whenever anyone attempts to attack him. Also, he’d sometimes ask to be pitied, as he views himself as a weakling.
Hantengu has six emotions living in him, which are:
- Voice Actor: Yuichiro Umehara
Sekido is a muscular young man, with shoulder-length wavy hair and small, deep red eyes. His eyes are etched with the Japanese characters for “Upper Rank” and “Four”. He has two curving horns on either side of his forehead, and marks under his eyes which makes his face appear to have cracks. His tongue has the “Anger” kanji etched on it. He also has pointy ears and sharp fingernails, just like Hantengu.
As the manifestation of Hantengu’s anger, Sekido is always visibly angry and irritated by just about everything. He demonstrates a high level of dominance among the other emotion clones, assuming a leadership role by issuing orders and taking charge of their acts, and keeping others in check.
- Voice Actor: Kaito Ichikawa
Karaku appears as a tall young man, with a slim muscular build. He has short hair which just barely reaches his shoulder. His eyes are green, and bear the engraving of the daiji symbols for “Upper Rank” and “Four”. He looks just like Sekido, as he also has horns, and shares other physical attributes like nails, face, and ears. His tongue carries the kanji for “Pleasure”. But unlike Sekido, his attire consists of hakama pants and zori footwear. He always carries a Uchiwa which is like a fan in the shape of a fatsia leaf.
Karaku is Hantengu's most relaxed emotion. He only seeks to derive pleasure from battles, other than actually killing his opponents. This made him a prime target for criticism from his other clones, especially Sekido, who harped on him to take things more seriously in combat, and Aizetsu, who couldn't understand why it was taking him so long to kill Nezuko.
- Voice Actor: Soma Saito
Aizetsu also looks just like Sekido and Karaku, with the only difference being that his tongue has the kanji for “Sorrow”, and he’s always looking dejected. He is the manifestation of everything sorrowful and is the only one that acts only after meticulously planning.
He is the calmest and most negative of the emotions. He wears a black kimono designed with white lines well placed and laced around it. He also has two rope-like accents tied around his shoulders. In addition, he wears hakama pants and a pair of zori. He’s always carrying a Jumonji Yari at all times.
- Voice Actor: Shunsuke Takeuchi
Urogi looks just like the other emotions, but has long wavy hair that extends beyond his shoulders, and narrow gold eyes that carry the daiji for “Upper Rank” and “Four”. His tongue carries the kanji for “Joy”, while the rest of his face, and upper torso are the same as the others. His facial expression is typically one of overwhelming joy, resembling that of Karaku.
In contrast to the other humanoid manifestations of Hantengu, Urogi is a half bird, half demon. This includes the presence of two large wings on his back and raptor-like feet equipped with sharp talons, which serve as his hands and legs. Urogi's choice of attire consists of hakama pants, which are secured by a chain made of large round pearls.
Urogi is Hantengu's happiest clone because he represents Hantengu's happiness. Like Karaku, he thought that the whole battle against the Demon Slayers was just a game or something fun to do. This was clear when he happily praised Tanjiro for being smart and for figuring out that none of the four emotions were the "true" body and kept saying that the whole fight against Tanjiro was fun.
- Voice Actor - Koichi Yamadera
In simple mathematics, Sekido + Karaku + Aizetsu + Urogi = Zohakuten, as he is a fusion of the other four emotions. He was a lot like Sekido in that he was quick to anger and filled with spite and loathing for those he saw as evil, especially for abusing the weak Hantengu. He, too, was highly foul-mouthed, as seen when he continually insults his opponents.
Zohakuten looks like the other clones, with a few minor differences: he has spiky hair, his eyes have a golden hue and he has the kanji for “Hatred” on his tongue. And he keeps a furious expression on his face. As a combination of the other four clones, his attire seems to contain bits of the other clones as well, but he also wears a golden breastplate like that of Aquaman.
He has five interconnected drums that hover behind his back, each bearing the kanji for “Hatred”. He also wields a pair of bone-like daggers, one in each hand.
Urami shares a striking resemblance to Hantengu, with the notable difference of being significantly larger, surpassing the height of both Tanjiro and Genya. Additionally, Urami's tongue bears the kanji for "resentment" on it. In contrast to Hantengu, he displays an expression of disgust and anger rather than one characterized by terror and fear. Urami appears to have a noticeably stronger and more developed physique compared to Hantengu.
Urami is Hantengu’s Resentment, and as such, exhibits traits of hypocrisy and delusion, much like Zohakuten and Hantengu. He also easily gets frustrated and owes his resentment to the punishments and persecution they’ve faced for crimes they claim to be innocent of.
Hatengu's Strengths And Abilities
Hantengu himself always runs away or avoids fights, but can still conceal his presence even from skilled demon slayers. And his reflexes are very impeccable, as well as his ability to become as small as a rat, with a body as hard as stone, which makes it hard for demon slayers to behead him.
Whenever one succeeds in beheading him, two clones of his emotions manifest out of the separated parts of his body, and even upon beheading those, other emotions also manifest, making a total of six emotions. But out of those six, Zohakuten is the only one that is a fusion of four others, while Urami is Hantengu’s last emotion.
Each of these demon manifestations has unique abilities that mirror the emotion they are, and their respective blood demon arts and attitude to battle are also reminiscent of the emotions they represent. These abilities are the main reasons Hantengu is a hard demon to kill.
Without the manifestation of his emotions, Hantengu cannot fight or fend off enemies. One could say an encounter with Shinobu Kocho, the Insect Hashira who uses poisons instead of beheading demons would be very disadvantageous to him, as he would not be able to bring his emotions to life.
Another weakness he has is sunlight, which is the one common natural enemy of all demons.
Symbolism And Themes
Hantengu in "Demon Slayer" is an intriguing illustration of the complexities of human emotions. As a demon composed of six emotions — joy, sorrow, rage, fear, love, and loathing — he embodies the various facets of the human psyche. Each of his manifestations represents a unique aspect of the human emotional spectrum.
Hantengu serves as a reminder that emotions are interconnected and can symbolically influence one another. His constant struggle to maintain a balance between these emotions parallels the inner conflicts that humans experience. The anime examines the profound impact emotions have on behavior and decision-making through his character.
In addition, the embodiment of these emotions by Hantengu enables the show to explore deeper themes, such as the duality of human nature and the consequences of unchecked emotions. His existence compels the Demon Slayers to confront physical dangers and also intangible aspects of their enemies.
Interaction With Other Characters
Hantengu rarely ever relates with anyone, as he’s always cowering in fear. But he does have a tremendous amount of fear of Muzan and is also deeply loyal. He acts very shy and frightened when among the twelve Kizuki demons, and has only a little bit of positive rapport with them. His emotion clones also interact with each other in direct accordance with their respective personas.
How did Hantengu become a demon?
After being sentenced to death, Hantengu accepted Muzan Kibutsuji's proposal and became a demon to avoid death.
What are Hantengu's emotions?
Hantengu has six emotions living within him: Sekido (Anger), Karaku (Pleasure), Aizetsu (Sorrow), Urogi (Joy), Zohakuten (Hatred), and Urami (Resentment).
What are Hantengu's strengths and abilities?
Hantengu can conceal his presence and has impeccable reflexes. He can become as small as a rat with a hard stone-like body. Upon beheading, his emotions manifest as separate demons.
What are Hantengu's weaknesses?
Hantengu is unable to fight without his emotion manifestations. He is also vulnerable to sunlight, like all demons.
How does Hantengu interact with other characters?
Hantengu is deeply loyal to Muzan and fearful of him. He rarely interacts with others and cowers in fear, while his emotion clones act in accordance with their respective personas.