Kamado Nezuko is a character from Kimetsu no Yaiba. She isn’t the main character. However, she can be considered one of the main characters. Regardless, Nezuko is one of the more memorable characters to emerge from manga and manga-adjacent media in recent times, not least because of Kimetsu no Yaiba’s excellent reception. For context, the manga is the eighth best-selling manga ever released with approximately 150 million sales.
1. Is a Character in a Fictional Version of Japan
It isn’t uncommon for fictional settings to be based on real sources of inspiration. After all, that is a very efficient way of communicating information about the setting because interested individuals can fill in the details using what they know about its source of inspiration. However, while the Kimetsu no Yaiba setting is Japan-like, this isn’t because it is based on Japan. Instead, this is because it is a fictional version of Japan.
2. Is a Character in a Fictional Version of Taisho-Era Japan
To be exact, the Kimetsu no Yaiba setting is a fictional version of Taisho-era Japan. The era is named thus because it is based on the reign of Emperor Taisho, which started up on July 30 of 1912 and lasted until December 25 of 1926 because said individual was a sickly man. Often-times, the Taisho era is overshadowed by both what came before and what came after. This is because it was preceded by the Meiji era, which saw Japan transforming from an isolated society in danger of being colonized to an imperial power that went about colonizing. Similarly, it was followed by the Showa era, which included World War II.
3. Is a Demon
Demons are very important in the Kimetsu no Yaiba story. Generally speaking, these are immortal, human-eating monsters that possess super-human capabilities. However, demons have some serious weaknesses as well, meaning that they are far from being invulnerable. Nezuko is a demon.
4. Not Quite a Stereotypical Oni
Of course, demon is a translation. The original Japanese term is oni, which has been translated as ogre, demon, and other western monsters. Demons do possess some similarities with stereotypical oni, as shown by how they are human-eating monsters with superhuman capabilities. However, demons can also be quite different from stereotypical oni, meaning that the comparison is of limited usefulness.
5. Reminiscent of Modern Vampires
In a lot of respects, demons are more reminiscent of modern vampires. They are humans turned into human-eating monsters. Furthermore, demons are vulnerable to sunlight, so much so that exposure to sunlight can kill them within a matter of moments. Besides this, they are also vulnerable to wisteria flowers, which can be used to create a poison capable of hurting and even killing them. The last is reminiscent of both oni and modern vampires. This is because oni are often depicted as being vulnerable to roasted soybeans, which comes from a Setsubun custom. Meanwhile, garlic is one of a number of plants that are said to be harmful to vampires.
6. Doesn’t Sleep
Demons can’t exactly go out during the daytime. As a result, they are active during the nighttime. However, since demons don’t sleep, they remain active during the daytime even though they are seriously restricted by their vulnerability to sunlight.
7. Started Out Vulnerable to Sunlight
Initially, Nezuko started out vulnerable to sunlight in the same way as other demons. This is the reason that she was carried around in either a box or some other container because she would have died if she had been exposed to the sunlight.
8. Became Invulnerable to Sunlight
Eventually, Nezuko became invulnerable to sunlight. This was extremely uncommon, so much so that she was the first demon known to have become invulnerable to sunlight. Thanks to this, Nezuko was able to spend more time interacting with others, which unsurprisingly, had a positive effect on her personal wellbeing. However, the rarity of her invulnerability to sunlight also brought about a major shift in the story.
9. Became the Target of Kibutsuji Muzan
To be exact, Nezuko became the target of Kibutsuji Muzan, who would be the main antagonist of Kimetsu no Yaiba. Background-wise, he became the first demon after receiving medical treatment for a terminal illness. However, he was left vulnerable to sunlight because he killed his own doctor out of frustration before the medical treatment could be completed, with the result that he set about doing one of two things. One, Muzan sought out the blue spider lily in the hope that it could be used to complete his medical treatment, thus providing him with true immortality. Two, Muzan created demons in the hope that one of them would eventually discover a solution for their shared vulnerability. Nezuko’s invulnerability to sunlight meant that his goal was in sight. As a result, Muzan’s motivation changed to finding her and then absorbing her, which would have granted him the same invulnerability to sunlight. Personality-wise, this character possessed an overwhelming desire to live forever, which overrode every other consideration.
10. Associated with the Demon Slayer Corps
The demons are opposed by the Demon Slayer Corps, which are not officially sanctioned by the Japanese government. However, they are hundreds-strong. Something that is perhaps unsurprising considering the nature of their task. After all, demons kill a lot of people, which in turn, means that demons are hated by a lot of people who knew the victims. As for the Demon Slayer Corps leadership, said role is filled by the Ubuyashiki family, which has very good reasons for opposing Muzan and the other demons. Apparently, Muzan was once a member of the family, with the result that the family has been cursed to die young ever since. The Ubuyashiki family would have died out but they received priestly advice that they would survive so long as they dedicated themselves to defeating Muzan. The truth of this advice can be seen in how they are still around in the Taisho era even though Muzan came from the Heian era, which went from 794 to 1185. In other words, the Ubuyashiki family have been around for approximately a millennium even though none of them survive past the age of 30.
11. Came from a Charcoal-Selling Family
Nezuko came from a charcoal-selling family. Historically speaking, charcoal burners weren’t held in particularly high regard. They performed fairly specialized work. However, charcoal burners needed to maintain the right temperature at all times as well as under all weather conditions in order to make their product, meaning that their work was also lonely and laborious. Even now, German has a phrase that translates to “charcoal burner’s faith,” which means blind faith because pre-modern charcoal burners wouldn’t have had a lot of opportunities to learn more about their own religion by going to church.
12. Second Oldest of Six Children
Speaking of which, Nezuko was the second oldest of six children. She and her older brother Tanjiro survived a demon attack. However, the rest of their family perished during the incident. It was common for pre-modern families to have a lot of children for the purpose of making sure that at least some of them survived. This was necessary because something like half of all pre-modern children died before they reached adulthood, with the first year of life being a particularly dangerous time. Not coincidentally, a wide range of cultures are known to have delayed giving permanent names to their children because it was considered inauspicious or otherwise problematic.
13. Unusual Because She Retained Some of Her Human Emotions and Thoughts
Demons were once humans. However, they lose much of what made them human upon their transformation. As such, Nezuko is extremely unusual because she retained some of her human emotions and thoughts. She is capable of showing joy, sadness, and other human sentiments, but even so, she is often depicted as being more detached than human characters. On the plus side, Nezuko is calmer than other demons. Moreover, she is nowhere near as malicious.
14. Lost Most of Her Memories
There is a considerable difference between the personalities of pre-transformation Nezuko and post-transformation Nezuko. To an extent, this is because she is now counted among the demons, which might have started out as humans but are definitely not humans anymore. However, Nezuko has also lost a good portion of her memories. Something that tends to change people’s personalities for obvious reasons.
15. Got Targeted By Subliminal Messaging
Nezuko’s brother Tanjiro was trained by Urokodaki Sakonji. Besides that, he also targeted her with subliminal messaging for the purpose of strengthening her unusual behavior for a demon. This consisted of two main points. One was that all humans were her family. The other was that all demons were bad. Curiously, the process seemed to have worked to some extent because there are moments in which Nezuko does see humans as members of her family, though it is unclear how much of this is just a product of basic empathy. Unsurprisingly, Tanjiro wasn’t very happy about this, though he eventually went along with this anyways because he thought that this might have been for the best.
16. Can Change Size
It is interesting to note that Nezuko acquired the ability to change her size after she became a demon. For example, she could become smaller so that she could be carried around by Tanjiro during the daytime. Similarly, she could became bigger so that she could contribute more in fights.
17. Eventually Develops the Ability to Change Age
Later, Nezuko acquired the ability to turn into an awakened form, which was not just older in appearance but also more demonic in appearance. Initially, she lacked control over this form, with the result that she couldn’t return to normal until Tanjiro sung her a lullaby. However, Nezuko eventually gained control over this form, thus enabling her to reap the benefits of even better regeneration and even more superhuman capabilities without eating the costs.
18. Doesn’t Need to Eat Humans to Replenish Her Power
In a lot of respects, Nezuko is an exceptional demon. The invulnerability to sunlight is a very notable example. However, she has other exceptional characteristics as well. To name another example, she doesn’t need to eat humans to replenish her power. Instead, Nezuko can do that by just going to sleep, which explains why she often does so after she has exerted herself. This doesn’t mean that she completely lacks the need to feed on humans, just that it is much more difficult for her to reach that point.
19. Showed Abnormal Growth
Similarly, Nezuko also shows an abnormal rate of growth. She is capable of going up against older, more experienced demons even though she is very young by their standards. Moreover, Nezuko is capable of growing so fast that she can start out a fight being outmatched by her opponent and then finished it having completely reversed the situation. That kind of thing happens a fair amount in shonen series. However, Nezuko is very clearly unusual in this regard.
20. Said that Her Ideal Man Is Like a Rook
Before Nezuko turned into a demon, she once said that her ideal man is like a rook. This references to a piece in shogi, which can be considered a Japanese version of chess. After all, the general belief is that chess-like games originated from the Indian chaturanga, which spread both northwards and westwards. Northwards, it led to the Chinese xiangqi, the Korean janggi, and then the Japanese shogi. Westwards, it led to the Persian shatranj and then the European chess. In any case, the piece isn’t literally called the rook in the original Japanese. Instead, it is called that because it can move any number of squares in either a horizontal direction or a vertical direction. In any case, it is very common for people to interpret the comment as foreshadowing for the character that Nezuko eventually got together with.