There’s no denying that the Hashira have a wide cast of characters who vary on their stance of demons and life in their own unique ways. Rengoku embodies absolute justice and the journey towards greatness. Muichiro Tokito, although passive and airheaded at times, personifies the genius and prowess that is the end goal for many characters in the series while only being a stepping stone for him. And, Sonemy represents a hardened exterior and the long history of suffering that all the fellow Hashira have shared.
But, what does the Sound Hashira Tengen Uzui tell us about life, and how does he fill the role of what I believe to be one of the best leader figures and overall amazing characters that we’ve seen in the series? If you feel the same way or want to know why, I’d suggest you stick around because this is gonna be a flashy one.
With the new arc of Demon Slayer focused on none other than the flamboyant ninja Hashida himself, it’s no wonder there’s a lot of buzz and conversation surrounding our boy Tengen. Of all the commentary about him, I rarely see people talking about him as a great leader, and I believe that’s something that’s massively overlooked about his character and even leads me to believe that he’s massively underrated as a result.
Through the Entertainment District arc, there’s no denying that we see Tengen as both a great and not so great guy morally at times. This is definitely undoubtable, but in this blog, we’re going to be taking a look at Tengen’s backstory feats throughout season 2 of the anime and the overall impressions that he leaves on the viewer as a result. Also, there will be spoilers, so if you haven’t seen Demon Slayer season 2, proceed with caution. You have been warned.
So, without delaying any further, let’s jump into the dual-wielding sound-slaying pillar himself, Tengen Uzui. What’s up, anime fanbase? Welcome back to Anime Analysis, a channel dedicated to discussing and analyzing the best characters anime has to offer. If you enjoy this blog and want to see more Demon Slayer analysis content or, as always, have recommendations for other anime you’d like to see me cover, make sure you hit that thumbs up button and leave your suggestions in the comments down below.
Tengen Uzui, born into a ninja clan where he was one of nine siblings, underwent rigorous training which cost many siblings their lives. And, by many, I mean literally seven of them. Their father’s training was so intense that they would each be told to kill one another while donning masks, leading Tengen to unknowingly kill two of his siblings, leaving himself and his younger brother as the sole survivors.
His father’s intentions behind doing this was to communicate the fact that the disposal of innocent lives was needed for the betterment of themselves only. Alongside this narrow-minded belief, he also believed that a wife’s purpose was to only bear offspring to spread the family name and sphere of influence.
While the younger brother adopted his father’s ideology, Tengen did not and abandoned his village with his wives peacefully, despite wanting to massacre the Uzui clan entirely. Severely opposing his father’s teachings, he would tell his wives to value themselves as individuals, completely breaking the code they were taught as kunoichi, instilling a sense of individualism that would become a core centerpiece to his character.
It is here that Tengen seeks out Kaguya Obiashiki, rises to the rank of Hashira and the Demon Slayer Corps, and invents his unique breathing style, highlighting his superhuman sense of hearing and ninja training.
So, while this boastful and braggadocious nature might be annoying to some, you have to take a step back and look at where Tengen is coming from. By acting this way, Tengen’s personality is a direct reflection of going against moral traditions and family ideologies, something that people in today’s society still struggle with to this day.
And while this juxtaposition towards his current and former life may be confusing to first-time viewers, I think it initially marks Tengen as someone who isn’t afraid to stray from a path that he doesn’t agree with and make critical decisions for himself, which I definitely believe to be an admirable trait.
Building on top of this, and as stated in my previous blogs, Gotoge loves to build her characters based off of extreme ends of the spectrum. For example, Inosuke is incredibly manly while having a feminine face, Sanitou is a crybaby while he’s awake but a complete badass while he’s asleep, and Tengen is a revered and powerful ninja, all while being a loudmouth who’s never afraid to take the limelight. With his first appearance being literally slapped in that booty, it was clear from the get-go that Tengen’s flashiness didn’t just stop with his looks.
But apart from the comic relief moments, what can we truly learn from Tengen when the stakes are at their highest and lives are on the line? Well, I believe that he, alongside best boy Rengoku, are some of the most inspirational characters we’ve seen in the anime thus far. Not only was it badass when he once shot Daki, but his leadership, which again, as I would argue to be his most underrated trait, saved the morale of Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke during the most daunting battle they have ever faced.
From feats like laughing in the face of Yutoro’s poison to purposefully throwing himself in the path of flying kunai to even saving Tanjiro’s life multiple times, there’s no doubt that Tengen’s confidence in not only himself but his comrades does not waver for a single second.
I believe that the Entertainment District arc served to highlight Tengen’s character in a multitude of ways, but ultimately, as a result, I came to the realization that I respected him so much more for his character traits that lie below the surface than his flashy exterior altogether. And symbolically enough, his character arc ends with him, similar to Rengoku, saving an entire village of people from demons that have been preying on them for decades, proving his family’s teachings wrong and saying that life inherently has virtue, meaning, and should be cherished.
So, is it true that Tengen believes he’s god incarnate? No doubt. Is it true that he’s demanding of others? Absolutely. And can he, at times, just be objectively annoying? 100%. But there’s no denying that underneath that flamboyant, flashy, and eccentric exterior, there lies a caring man with an unshakable sense of perseverance that I cannot help but look up to.
If we can take away anything from Tengen, it’s to follow your own paths in life despite morals instilled by family or whoever else, it’s to push through hard paths and not let trauma dictate your outlook on life. But whatever lessons you may take away from this ex-shinobi, I can say without a doubt that he garnered all my respect by the end of the Entertainment District arc.
With that being said, what are your outlooks and thoughts on Tengen’s character? Do you feel like he communicated these same interpretations or something different altogether? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below.
If you enjoyed and want to see more Demon Slayer analysis content like this, I’ll leave a link to my analysis playlist right here. Thank you all so much for reading, your support has been amazing, and I love your encouraging words in the comments. It’s truthfully and genuinely inspiring. So with that, take care everyone, and until next time, stay curious, anime fan.
That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.