Demon Slayer: 10 saddest backstories ranked

Tulisha srivastava
Demon Slayer Hashira movie

Demon Slayer has its fair share of heart-wrenching moments as the story sheds light on the tragic backgrounds of the characters. Here are the 10 saddest backstories among them.

Demon Slayer is one of the world’s most popular dark fantasy anime shows. The story begins with Tanjiro’s entire family falling victim to a demon attack. Nezuko, his sister, is the only survivor, turned into a demon by the attacker. Tanjiro joins the Demon Slayer Corps to turn Nezuko back into a human, which is nearly impossible.

The series has lovable characters, intriguing villains, action, comedy, and an incredible story. The world is full of tragedies as it features the characters trying to overcome their obstacles for the greater good.

Demon Slayer lives up to its reputation of dark shonen as it features gruesome backstories. Warning: This article contains spoilers from the manga!

10. Giyu Tomioka

Giyu Tomioka

The ongoing Demon Slayer Season 4 will reveal Giyu’s tragic past. Giyu’s sister died while protecting him from a demon, leaving him with immense guilt. Additionally, Giyu trained along with Sabito under Urokodaki.

Giyu was knocked unconscious while fighting the hand demon. He wakes up to find out Sabito died while fighting the demon, which is why he never felt he was worthy of being a Hashira. He wears his half-half haori to remember the two most important people in his life.

9. Muichiro Tokito

An image of Muichiro Tokito Demon Slayer Season 3

Muichiro was suffering from insomnia after what happened in his past. He regained his memory during his fight with Gyokko. He and his older twin brother, Yuichiro, only had each other when their parents died. Kagaya and his wife Amane offered to take them to the Demon Slayer Corps since they were both descendants of Michikatsu Tsugikuni (Upper One Kokushibo).

However, Yuichiro refused them to protect his brother. Not long after that, another tragedy struck when the brothers fell victim to a demon attack. Yuichiro died while protecting Muichiro, while the latter lost all his memories. This is why Muichiro’s eyes always looked empty before he regained his memories.

8. Yoriichi Tsugikuni

Demon Slayer Yoriichi Tsugikuni

Yoriichi Tsugikuni, the Progenitor of Sun Breathing, is the strongest character in Demon Slayer, and also has one of the most tragic backstories. He was born the younger sibling of twins in a noble family and was shunned by his father for the mark on his face. Additionally, twins were considered a bad omen at that time.

Yoriichi was born with special talents, which made his older twin brother Michikatsu inferior until he eventually joined Muzan and became a demon. Yoriichi was criticized by the other demon slayers, and his world fell apart. Things only became worse for him when his pregnant wife died at the hands of a demon when he wasn’t home.

Despite all his strength, Yoriichi lived a life of solitude and regret. When he was around 85 years old, he met his demon brother again. Yoriichi felt pity for him and tried to fight him. However, he instantly dies from old age, leaving Kokushibo regretful of his choices.

7. Kanao Tsuyuri

Kanao in Demon Slayer

Kanao had to suffer through extreme poverty and abuse because of her parents. They would abuse her and her siblings and even try to drown them for the smallest mistake. She would sometimes wake up only to find out her siblings passed away during the night.

Kanao stopped talking or crying and eventually lost the will to think of herself. Her parents had sold her as a slave. Luckily, she was rescued by Kanae, who raised her as her sister. However, her inability to think for herself or show her emotions stayed with her for a long time.

6. Gyomei Himejima

Strongest Hashira in Demon Slayer

During the Hashira Training, Gyomei tells Tanjiro about his past. He raised orphans in a temple, but one of them broke the rules and encountered a demon. That child lured the demon to the temple in hopes of saving his life and didn’t hesitate to sacrifice Gyomei and the other children.

Four children died immediately as Gyomei tried to protect the others, but they ran away except one who was too young to walk. He felt that because he was blind and had a weak body, the kids didn’t trust him. They eventually ended up dying, and Gyomei somehow killed the demon to protect the remaining child.

He was blamed for the deaths of those children because of a misunderstanding, but Kagaya managed to save him. Gyomei has lost faith in children since then. However, when he was at his death’s door, he realized the kids ran away because they wanted to get help for his sake. They thought he was weak so they needed to protect him.

5. Tengen Uzui

Demon Slayer Tengen Uzui

Tengen was born and raised in a Shinobi Clan where lives were undervalued. The training was gruesome, and three of his siblings died before the age of 10. Meanwhile, the rest of his siblings were forced to kill each other while being blindfolded.

Only Tengen and his younger brother survived the ordeal out of everyone. However, both his father and his brother believed killing innocent people was necessary for their clan to survive. Tengen abhorred this ideology and left the clan with his wives and became a demon slayer.

4. Sanemi Shinazugawa

Demon Slayer Hashira Sanemi power

Sanemi’s deep hatred for demons stems from his past. His abusive father was killed by someone over a grudge. As the oldest child, he looked out for his mother and siblings. However, his mother gets turned into a demon and starts killing her children.

Sanemi killed her to protect Genya, but the latter was already traumatized and blamed him for everything. Since then, the brothers parted ways, and Genya desperately tried to make things up with his older brother. However, Sanemi would always push him away.

He started killing demons on his own until he encountered Masachika and joined the Demon Slayer Corps. Sanemi thought Genya hated him. Sadly, the brothers don’t resolve their misunderstanding until Genya takes his final breath.

3. Gyutaro

Demon Slayer Season 2 featured both Tengen and Uzui’s backstories. Gyutaro was born in the Entertainment district, where he struggled every day due to his appearance. His abusive mother and bullies tormented him on a daily basis. Being unable to even get his basic necessities, he lacked hygiene and had to survive by eating vermin off the road.

His sister Daki, on the other hand, was beautiful, which made his life easier. Gyutaro also deeply cared for her. However, she was burned alive by one of her suitors. Douma found the siblings and offered to transform them. Knowing he had no other option, Gyutaro didn’t hesitate to take the offer, and both siblings lived as demons for about a hundred years.

2. Obanai Iguro

Obanai Iguro Demon Slayer Hashira power

The only Hashira who hates demons more than Sanemi is Obanai. He was born into a family who worshipped a snake-like female demon. They would sacrifice newborn babies and family members for money or other valuables.

Obanai was locked up in a cell from the day he was born since he was the first boy to be born in the family in years. The female demon was fascinated by him and planned to eat him when he was old enough. His family cut his mouth wider so he could resemble a demon.

Obanai eventually ran away, and the demon killed his family out of spite. The demon would’ve also killed him if the previous Flame Hashira, Shinjuro Rengoku, hadn’t saved him in time. However, Obanai’s fear of women remained, and he could only interact with Mitsuri without being afraid.

1. Akaza

Akaza in Demon Slayer

Unexpectedly, Akaza’s past is more tragic than all the other backstories in Demon Slayer. Akaza’s background is revealed in the Infinity Castle Arc. Before becoming a demon, he was called Hakuji, and he committed theft so he could afford his father’s medicines. Unable to see his son branded as a criminal for his sake, Akaza’s father took his own life.

He was banished from his village and eventually joined a dojo. He was engaged with the daughter of the dojo master. However, another tragedy struck when the dojo rivals poisoned the well and killed the dojo master and his fiancee.

Hakuji single-handedly defeated all of them, but he couldn’t bear the pain. Muzan sought him when he learned about the incident. Drowning with sorrow, Hakuji didn’t hesitate to lose his humanity and chose to become a demon.

If you want to know more about the franchise, we have what you should know before Demon Slayer Season 4, the Demon Slayer Season 4 episode schedule, and who is the strongest Demon Slayer.

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About The Author

Tulisha is an anime writer at Dexerto. In the past, she has worked for Comic Book Resources. She is most knowledgeable about Shonen series, particularly One Piece and Jujutsu Kaisen. You can contact her at