Understanding the Character of Akaza in Demon Slayer

The true nature of Akaza, a character in Demon Slayer, has been a topic of curiosity for many fans. His death in the final arc of the series raised questions about whether he was truly good or evil. Initially portrayed as a villain in the Mugen Train arc, Akaza’s past in the Infinity Castle arc shed light on a different aspect of his personality.

The majority of Demon Slayer manga readers are likely acquainted with Akaza’s past, when he was still human and known as Hakuji. His life was filled with tragedy, from the loss of his father to the brutal murders of his surrogate father and his soon-to-be wife. These experiences heavily influenced Akaza’s character, making him a tragic figure. However, it is important to acknowledge that this does not excuse his actions in the larger context of the story.

Please be aware that this article contains spoilers for the series.

Akaza’s Life as a Human Explored

Originally named Hakuji, Akaza was brought up in Edo by his ailing father. Hakuji resorted to theft as a means to afford his father’s medications, which ultimately resulted in his apprehension and the infamous tattoos that have earned him the label of a “demon child.”

After his father’s death, Hakuji became bitter towards the world and frequently got into fights with adults. However, everything changed when he crossed paths with Keizo, a skilled martial artist who defeated Hakuji in a fight. Impressed by Hakuji’s determination, Keizo took him in as a student at his dojo. Hakuji then became the caretaker for Keizo’s sick daughter, Koyuki, and over time, the two developed strong feelings for each other. They eventually got married after several years.

Despite some disagreements with a competing dojo, Koyuki and Keizo succumbed to death after consuming poisoned water given by the latter. Fueled by anger, Hakuji single-handedly killed all members of the rival dojo, grabbing the attention of Muzan and being offered the opportunity to become a demon.

Akaza’s Life as a Demon in Demon Slayer

Akaza in the anime (Image via Ufotable).
Akaza in the anime (Image via Ufotable).

As Hakuji transformed into a demon, he left behind his human memories and took on the persona of Akaza, a name known to many. He rose to the rank of one of Muzan’s Upper Moons and displayed unwavering loyalty to his leader, a trait that Muzan seemed to value based on their interactions.

According to Doma, Akaza is not interested in fighting or consuming women. Instead, he constantly seeks out formidable opponents to engage in battles, a recurring aspect of his personality. This was evident in his confrontation with Rengoku, the Flame Hashira, where he suggested for Rengoku to turn into a demon so that they could continue their fight indefinitely.

Despite proposing it to numerous Hashira, Akaza was met with rejection as they failed to comprehend why the Hashira refused to become demons.

Is Akaza’s Alignment Good or Evil, Explained

Akaza fighting in the anime (Image via Ufotable).
Akaza fighting in the anime (Image via Ufotable).

Many fans of Demon Slayer, including those who have read the manga, continue to question whether Akaza is a hero or a villain. This uncertainty stems from the tragic nature of his backstory, where most of the events were beyond his control.

Despite Akaza’s tragic past, it is important to acknowledge that he made the conscious decision to take the lives of potentially thousands of innocent people for both Muzan’s agenda and his own enjoyment. Regardless of the unfairness he may have faced in his life, it is highly probable that the majority of his victims in Demon Slayer were not responsible for his suffering, solidifying his reputation as an inherently malevolent individual.

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