Zenitsu Agatsuma: Demon Slayer character analysis

Zenitsu Agatsuma: Demon Slayer character analysis

Zenitsu Agatsuma: Demon Slayer character analysis

Zenitsu Agatsuma: Demon Slayer character analysis

Over the years, we’ve seen many anime characters that classify as annoying characters that are too loud or obnoxious, or idealistic to the point of irritation. Sometimes this is done for no reason or for comedic attempts that just don’t work. Sometimes we can see where those characters are coming from, but we still hate them because of what their role is in this story.

Yet, only once really have I seen an annoying character that I can not only relate to, but be inspired by – a character that not only faces a problem I’ve faced many times in my life, but also has something in him that I wish I had. A character that may be frustrating to watch on the surface, but as you learn more about him, you realize that he has a lot more depth than you think.

There is a purpose to his personality, and once you come to understand that purpose, you kind of want to root for him. Not only that, he also taught me a lesson that stuck with me and helped me a lot in my own life – a lesson that I would say is Demon Slayer’s greatest. Of course, I’m talking about our scaredy-cat Demon Slayer, Zenitsu Agatsuma.

When we’re first introduced to Zenitsu, he doesn’t seem all that capable. He keeps craving attention, crying, and is scared of anything that pertains to his job – demon slaying. He is quite the contrast to our main character, Tanjiro, who is willing to go through extremely dangerous situations in order to accomplish his goal.

However, I think this was done on purpose. Zenitsu was meant to be underestimated by not only the characters in the show, but also us, the viewers. And not just underestimated, I think Zenitsu was written so that he would get under our skin. We were supposed to think of him as a loser, a crybaby who couldn’t accomplish anything. I think the mangaka wanted to explain to us a certain idea that Zenitsu’s character was a victim of, and that would be the idea that most people will only see you for what’s on the surface.

They don’t know or care about what goes on on the inside. That’s exactly what Zenitsu had to deal with as a child, and I think the author was trying to get us, the viewers, to treat him exactly like that for the large part of season 1 – by giving us only his annoying side, by only giving us what’s on the surface. But before we get to that part of his character, let’s talk about the more obvious reason for which we’re supposed to underestimate Zenitsu.

It’s something we find out halfway through season 1 when a little kid’s life is endangered. There is no one around but Zenitsu, and he’s scared out of his mind. And so, he passes out from sheer shock as the demon approaches the child, all hope seemingly lost. We find out why we were meant to underestimate this guy, because Zenitsu is ridiculously powerful.

He utilizes the Thunder Breathing style, but more importantly, only seems to be able to activate it when he’s asleep. And so, until now, the guy we believe to be utterly useless is suddenly the strongest of the three protagonists. These types of switch-ups are something I absolutely enjoy, and it’s just a trope that personally appeals to me. I like Zenitsu ever since this reveal.

However, it’s understandable if people were still annoyed by him even after this, because at his core Zenitsu still seemed to be a whiny kid, and we really didn’t know why. Later on, in episode 17, as Zenitsu is facing off against the spider demon, we finally get an introspective look into his character.

This fight single-handedly made me go from liking Zenitsu as a quirky member of the crew to being inspired by him. Once again, as the battle begins, Zenitsu is cowering in fear and constantly complaining about having to fight demons. Obviously, the spider mocks him for this and doesn’t take him seriously.

As the fight progresses, Zenitsu is poisoned and is told by the demon that he will turn into one of his minions. Zenitsu doesn’t take that well and breaks down, causing him to go into his badass sleep state. However, the battle isn’t really going his way, and here we actually get to see what Zenitsu thinks about himself. And obviously, he doesn’t have a positive outlook. Rather, he hates himself and knows exactly what he needs to change, but it’s not that easy. And this brings us to the idea I mentioned a little while back, which is how Zenitsu was treated as a child by almost everyone he came across.

Being an orphan and having no one around him that cared about him was not a good mix for someone with Zenitsu’s personality. Whenever he would be scared or got clingy because he just wanted someone to be there for him, he would get chewed away. Often when you act a certain way that’s annoying on the surface, the people around you who don’t understand your circumstances will treat you terribly or just leave you.

It’s not what you’d want them to do, but life is cruel sometimes, and that left Zenitsu not only alone but constantly hating himself for what he’d become. People around him were calling him useless, crybaby, and all these horrible things. People were annoyed by him, just like how we were annoyed by a little child who had nowhere to go and no one to turn to.

Zenitsu Agatsuma: Demon Slayer character analysis

This made him believe that he was useless. Imagine being alone your whole life, not being taught how to deal with fear, much less be confident, while people also constantly on you. That’s who Zenitsu is at his core. He is aware of his weaknesses, he knows that being scared is not the way he should approach things, but he’s known no other way to live. No wonder being asleep is when his powers awaken because that’s the only time when he has no fears, no nerves. He’s quite literally detached from the real world when in that state.

I think the author intentionally wanted to make us feel like those people who poorly treated Zenitsu, unknowing of the nature of his situation. I don’t know about you, but I certainly felt guilty after learning about his past and understanding how he feels about himself, how he is aware of his weaknesses. I truly felt bad about my presumptions of him, particularly because I could relate to him to an extent. I know this feeling of having a fear of something, knowing that it’s not that bad, but not knowing a way out. It becomes a habit, a lifestyle, and before long, you just don’t know how to fix it.

However, in life, there might be a handful of people that you come across that see you for more than what’s on display. After a long time of being alone, Zenitsu meets a man named Jigoro, the man who sees Zenitsu as more than a crybaby, the man who sees a lonely child looking for someone to be his friend, someone to give him a purpose for once in his life. The man who is a former Hashira, who makes Zenitsu his student and teaches him the most important lesson in demon slayer.

As we find out in Zenitsu’s current battle against the spider, he only knows one technique, the first form of thunder breathing. He’s still really powerful, even being able to react to his opponent in mid-air. However, the effect remains. Zenitsu only knows one attack, and how far could that take him, especially with that poison continuing to hurt him? Would it be enough to win the fight? And here we start to see flashbacks of Zenitsu’s training.

Zenitsu is working really hard even after training sessions are over because now he finally has someone that cares about him, someone that has expectations of him. But even here we see him running away and being afraid of the old man’s harsh training a lot of the times. Unfortunately for him, though, one of the other students does not like him. He says that Zenitsu is wasting Jigoro’s time, he says that Zenitsu is useless because he can only do one attack.

Even here, Zenitsu just can’t catch a break from this constant attack on his self-esteem. This guy is probably his first-ever classmate, and even he makes him doubt himself. One day, Zenitsu had had enough and he climbed up onto the top of a tree and said he was done with training and that he was useless because he could only perform one attack. Even after all this time, he still feels this way, just for a different reason now.

Like I said, it’s not easy to completely change so quickly, especially because he’s still being harassed. And honestly, it’s much more realistic this way because healing does take a lot of time. And this is where we get Zenitsu’s ultimate lesson. Jigoro sits him down and tells him something that inspired not only Zenitsu but also me. Yes, Zenitsu only knows one move. However, that alone is cause for celebration. The fact that you learned one thing is proof that you can learn another.

But it’s fine, even if you don’t just master that one move to its utmost limit, perfect it beyond perfection, master it beyond mastery, and become the most durable blade of them all. It’s only one technique, but it’s all you need. And this hit me hard. For the longest time in my life, I never had that one thing I was an expert at, that one thing I was specialized in.

Zenitsu Agatsuma: Demon Slayer character analysis

I never did anything consistently. Whenever I started a new hobby or activity, after a week or two, I would hit a ceiling, a level of skill I just couldn’t get past. And instead of pushing on and continuing to practice or learn, I would get impatient and simply stop doing it. I just didn’t know the bliss of mastering a skill like Zenitsu. I’d gotten used to this lifestyle, knowing that it was wrong. No one really told me otherwise, so I kept going, trying new things, and then giving up when I started losing. It was a horrible mindset, and I was aware of it. I just didn’t know how to fix it.

I kept running away, although I didn’t realize it at the time. Master Jigoro’s philosophy was exactly what I needed when I finally started to try to change my lifestyle around. I was reminded of this journey, Zenitsu’s journey particularly. I was reminded of a few words that inspired me, the words that taught Zenitsu, as well as me, an invaluable lesson. [Music] Using this advice, Zenitsu charges up an insanely powerful first form attack and finishes off his opponent in a single move.

Zenitsu’s story shows us the importance of mastering a skill, of honing a single aspect till you know it like the back of your hand. It teaches us the value of hard work as well as dedication towards a single purpose, and most importantly, his story teaches us that there’s more to a person than what’s on the surface.

Not everyone is annoying for the sake of being annoying, and the way you treat them might even make matters worse. However, even though he’s a scaredy-cat, a crybaby, and constantly complains, the fact is that Zenitsu always sees it through to the end. After watching that episode, Master Jigoro’s lesson really resonated with me. It’s a philosophy I constantly try to live by to this day, and anytime I feel like giving up, those words come back to give me a push.

It’s okay to run away, it’s okay to try, but keep believing and don’t give up, because god damn, you will get rewarded for all your hard work. If you enjoyed this blog, consider liking, subscribing, and all that good stuff. I’ve been wanting to make a blog on Zenitsu for a while, and I thought this would be a good time to try it out. He’s one of my favorite characters in Demon Slayer, and I’m excited to see more from him in season 2. Comment down below who you think is the best character in Demon Slayer and why. Other than that, I guess I’ll see you on the next one.

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