Tanjiro and Kanao: Love in the Time of Demons

In this blog, we will talk about the love between Tanjiro and Kanao. Demon Slayer is already an amazing story that also doesn’t lack in the love department, thanks to this couple. So, let’s find out everything about their romance.  

The love between Tanjiro and Kanao: a Review

Tanjiro and Kanao first meet

Tanjiro Kamado and Kanao Tsuyuri meet each other for the first time in the final exam to join the Demon Slayer Corps in the sixth chapter of the Final Selection Arc. After passing the test, they all assemble in one place to listen for the following guidance.

Kanao, Genya, Zenitsu, Tanjiro

Only four out of twenty people remain when the challenge finishes. They are Genya, Zenitsu, Tanjiro and Kanao. In this scene, we also see the different personalities of these four characters.

Zenitsu Agatsuma is shy, cowardly, and lacks confidence. Genya Shinazugawa is hot-tempered, hasty and partly likes to use violence to solve things. Meanwhile, Tanjiro is the opposite of Genya; he is kind and just, always looking after weak people. Finally, Kanao is cold, absent, and lives in her world. She doesn’t care much about what is happening besides herself. She plays with her new raven and butterflies all the time. She only focuses when she must pick the stone to make her sword.

With that said, Kanao and Tanjiro did not have any particularly impressive interaction with each other in the first meet, except they could become an opponent in the future.

Tanjiro and Kanao meet the second time

They don’t meet each other again for a while until the epic fight with Lower Moon 5 Rui. When the mission to kill Nezuko gets approved, Kanao takes it. When they meet again this time, they fight for two different reasons.

One is to kill a demon, and one is to protect it.

Unfortunately, Tanjiro is now so weak after the fight with Rui. He couldn’t do much to protect Nezuko from Kanao. She even kicks Tanjiro on the head before chasing the demon. 

While chasing her future sister-in-law, Kanao wonders why the demon doesn’t attack her. Instead, Nezuko only dodges her attacks and runs from her.

Kanao attacks Nezuko

However, a command is always a command. Kanao must follow it. Luckily, the death penalty for Nezuko temporarily stops. If not, Kanao might have killed Nezuko already.

After they get back to Demon Slayer Corps, the case of Tanjiro and Nezuko is accepted. Next, Tanjiro gets healed and jumps into training with Kanao. It creates the chance for them to become close, and it is also where the love story between Tanjiro and Kanao begins.

At first, Tanjiro needed help to follow the flex-and-chase game of Kanao. But Tanjiro doesn’t give up: it is his nature. Instead, he trains harder and looks for a way to win Kanao’s challenge.

Finally, he is able to use Full Focus Breathing. After applying the technique, he gets to catch Kanao in the chase game and becomes faster than Kanao in the flex game as well. 

Until the end of the training, Tanjiro and Kanao are equal with the same score. Then, before leaving to take the next mission from Demon Slayer Corps, the two talked. And this is the moment Kanao feels something different, something that will change her forever.

Tanjiro and Kanao hold hands during coin toss

After knowing Kanao decides to do by tossing a coin, Tanjiro takes that coin and helps her do it. He says, “Whether or not, you’re going to listen hard to the voice in your own heart from now on! If it comes up heads, you’re going to follow your heart, Kanao!”

And Tanjiro tosses the coin. It’s heads. Tanjiro is cheerful, but Kanao is surprised and speechless. She has always relied on the coin to make a decision. And now she has to do that by herself. Tanjiro even holds Kanao’s hand, making her embarrassed.

Before he left, she asks Tanjiro a question: “How did it come up heads?” 

Tanjiro replies with a smile: “Just by chance. And if it was tails, I was going to keep tossing it over and over until it came up heads!”

His answer touches Kanao. Something inside her changes; Tanjiro’s silly somehow opens a whole new life to Kanao.

The Origins of Kanao Tsuyuri

Kanao’s Family and Childhood

Kanao used to live in a small village before becoming a Demon Slayer. However, her village was terrible. In the memory of Kanao, we can see how poor it is. That village was built with many run-down houses standing beside the river.

It looks like an abandoned village more than a place where people live. And Kanao came from that village. Her family was even worse than that village. Because besides of poverty, they even didn’t have humanity or the minimum ethic of humans.

Kanao as a child

Kanao used to have some brothers. Yup, used to. But they all were treated like animals. Her father beat and let them starve every day. Kanao and her brothers had to suffer as children: a dirty environment, ragged clothes, and violence.

At first glance, we can’t identify whether they are still alive or already dead. Those kids were just like a doll of human size. There was no will in their eyes. They lived detached from the people, and no one can help Kanao and her brothers. 

To be honest, that life is even worse than being killed by the demon. 

Because if Kanao and her brothers were killed by the demon, they would be free from that family. A life without purpose, a future, or passion like that will take them nowhere. 

In fact, some of her brothers died, and sooner or later, Kanao’s turn will have come. 

So, the more they lived in that family, the more miserable they got. Until they died, they wouldn’t have a nice memory of their family.

Kanao as a child

There is a quote by Desmond Tutu, winner of a Nobel Peace Prize: 

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”

If it is true, God probably gave the gift named “family” to Kanao while he was sleepy because that “gift” was too much more than a young girl like Kanao could handle. And to her family, the gift named Kanao was just equal to the amount of money.

Kanao’s Rescue

After taking too much pain physically and psychologically, a nerve of Kanao got cut. She couldn’t feel anything. Finally, her family sold her to another guy. That guy even ties Kanao to a robe so she cannot escape. 

Shinobu rescues Kanao

But luckily, Shinobu and Kanae cross that place and realize the little girl is being kidnapped. 

They came to Kanao’s rescue, “bought” her from the man by throwing the money in the air, and ran away with the girl. At home, Shinobu allowed Kanao to take a shower and prepared new clothes for her.

Shinobu and Kanae rescue Kanao

But here’s the thing: Kanao couldn’t do ANYTHING without being told. She always needed orders or commands to take action. Even with the most basic needs like eating. If Shinobu didn’t realize it, Kanao could die because of hunger.

Kanae toss coin Kanao

So, Kanae gave her a coin and told her to toss the coin to decide what to do when alone. Kanae believed that one day, Kanao would change and open her heart, especially when Kanao likes a boy.

And, guess who changed Kanao?

Yup, it’s our coal-seller boy. From the moment Tanjiro and Kanao talk together, something changes inside the girl. Something did not come from her mind but from her heart.

If Kanae and Shinobu saved her physically, Tanjiro saved her soul.

From that moment with Tanjiro, Kanao starts to follow her heart. When Tengen comes to take Aoi, she tries to stop him without tossing the coin, even though it is against a Hashira. That is one thing Kanao probably never thinks about in her life. 

The power of love!

When she is close to Tanjiro, her feeling for him also gets stronger. After the fight with Upper Moon 6, Tanjiro sleeps for two months. Kanao takes care of him. A formerly emotionless girl who always followed the command, Kanao now knows how to care for and attend to others. Tears fall from those previously empty eyes when she sees Tanjiro wake up after a long time. Since the death of Kanae, Kanao hasn’t cried for anything or anybody. 

Tanjiro and Kanao’s Love Blooms

Kanao and Tanjiro in the Final Battle with Muzan

Everything gets pushed to the top in the final battle with the King of Demons – Muzan Kibutsuji. It is where Tanjiro and Kanao’s feelings start to grow after being long nurtured. 

But before going to the final boss, they must handle its guardians. Those are the three strongest demons of Muzan.

Kanao and Inosuke fought with Douma. It is the demon who killed two of her benefactors – Shinobu and Kanae. Like Kanao in the past, Douma is the demon that couldn’t feel anything.

Kanao taunts Douma

In the end, Kanao successfully defeats Douma. However, she loses an eye because of the side effect of the final form of Flower Breathing: Equinoctial Vermillion Eye. This form increases Kanao’s eyesight to the maximum so she can see her opponent’s attack. However, it could take the vision of the user forever.

Shinobu dies before her eyes, but there is no time to mourn. Instead, she quickly heads to the final battle with Muzan.

Another one that happens parallel is the fight between Tanjiro, Giyuu, and Akaza – the demon that killed Rengoku on the Mugen Train. 

With the awakening of the Transparent World, Tanjiro defeats Akaza and cuts his head off. Then, he and Giyuu join the other Hashiras to kill Muzan.

In this fight, Tanjiro saves Kanao from the dead. In turn, Kanao risks her life to save Tanjiro from becoming a demon.

When the sunlight engulfs Muzan, he gives Tanjiro all his cells. With that, Tanjiro revives from death, but he turns into a powerful demon. He even could against the daylight. 

Tanjiro attacks everybody around him crazily. Nezuko tries to stop him, but that isn’t enough. Kanao, with the dose of Tamayo in her hand, rushes toward Tanjiro and uses it on his body to turn him back into a human. 

Kanao heals Tanjiro

To dodge the attack of Tanjiro, Kanao loses another eye. Luckily, with the effort of everybody, Tanjiro turns back to normal. After the biggest battle with Muzan, the relationship between Tanjiro and Kanao becomes more durable. Under the cherry blossom tree, the couple enjoys the scenery.

However, the eyes of Tanjio only belong to Kanao. 

Immanuel Kant once said: “Beauty is not the eyes of the beholder.” 

After a long journey, they can live in a world without demons and finally figure out the missing piece of their heart.

Tanjiro and Kanao After Muzan

Tanjiro and Kanao

However, we couldn’t see their marriage or life after defeating Muzan. But in the final chapter of Demon Slayer, we can see their offspring in the modern day. They look exactly like Tanjiro and Kanao in the past.

With that said, Tanjiro and Kanao lived a happy life after fighting with Muzan.

They come from two different extremes of life. While Tanjiro was beloved by his parents and had a happy family, Kanao endured a lot of pain and lived in poverty in the past. However, fate has led them to meet in Demon Slayer Corps and end up in love. Finally, after all the challenges, Kanao and Tanjiro can stay together.