The silence of Nezuko in Demon Slayer is definitely one of her most well-known and defining traits in this demon-themed anime, but the reason behind her keeping quiet is far more complex than many might expect. Considering how complicated this character already is, many fans have begun wondering if Nezuko can talk as a demon at all.
Nezuko can speak in Demon Slayer – in theory. Her stick muzzle physically prevents her from talking, but it also stops her from attacking and eating humans at the same time. There have been times when she has spoken few words as a demon, and her moments of optional silence may stem from her Monk-like training.
Although it’s easy to assume that Nezuko is simply mute, there are plenty of factors that influence her ability to speak. Stick around to find out about Nezuko’s complex situation with speaking – as well as the shocking moment when she actually did talk in the anime!
Why Does Nezuko Have a Stick In Her Mouth?
Nezuko is undoubtedly one of Demon Slayer’s most well-loved characters, and she has been adored by countless fans for her cute nature for ages. While her sweet and innocent charm can turn ruthless really quickly, surely she should be able to chat just like anyone else – in theory.
Starting off with the basics of why she can or cannot speak in Demon Slayer – Nezuko’s iconic muzzle. Nezuko is constantly wearing a stick-like object in her mouth, which physically prevents her from using her mouth for pretty much anything – including simple conversation.
It was a really interesting choice for an important character to be made ‘mute’, but it’s possible that this is far more than a quirky trait – it gears fans up for a super deep and intricate character arc as well. Demon Slayer initially opens up with a rather tragic scene, specifically the massacre of Tanjiro’s family.
He desperately attempts to save his sister, Nezuko, who is the sole survivor, but she quickly attacks him revealing that she has been transformed into a demon. Giyu, the demon-slayer, then saves Tanjiro and tries to kill Nezuko, but Tanjiro promises to keep her out of trouble.
Giyu doubts this vow, but Nezuko makes him question this perspective by trying to protect her brother. Instead of attacking, he knocks them both out and places a stick/muzzle in her mouth. While it does prevent Nezuko from speaking, the purpose was to primarily prevent her from feeding on humans or attacking.
Why Doesn’t Nezuko Speak In Demon Slayer?
The main reason why Nezuko never speaks is as a direct result of her muzzle, which quite literally stops her from talking. This is of course the most obvious reason, but there have also been a handful of moments when Nezuko could have possibly spoken if she wanted to.
It may all seem confusing at first, and many fans have begun wondering if she can speak and simply won’t – or perhaps if there’s something more complicated going on. Based on numerous fan theories and shreds of evidence throughout the anime, it’s safe to say that there could be a couple of deeper reasons for the ‘mute’ yet loveable character we all adore.
According to quite a lot of Demon Slayer fans out there, the anime has taken inspiration from the Buddhist culture in various areas – extending to far more aspects of the anime than just the characters. But, although it may require reading between the lines, there are a variety of similarities between spiritual Buddhist practices and Nezuko herself, specifically when it comes to behavior.
Nezuko and her silence, as well as her ‘diet’ or lack thereof, could be compared to the attitude and strict spiritual practices followed by Buddhist monks, who take great care when it comes to their actions, mindfulness, and world views. Some of the most notable similarities specifically in terms of silence and fasting have been described as follows:
|Buddhist monks are known for training themselves to abandon worldly pleasures and desires that are enjoyed by the majority of humans.||Nezuko vows to not consume humans, committing to a permanent fast by instead training her mind and spirit.|
|Monks are well-known for getting themselves through extremely long periods of meditation, suppressing hunger, and vows of silence.||Nezuko is in a deep slumber for the first 2 years to help suppress the desire for human flesh, similar to the extended meditation monks undergo.|
Her muzzle may act as a physical representation of her spiritual and physical sacrifice or vow, over and above the everyday side effects of wearing it. The fact that she spent such a long time in slumber trying to fight the demonic urges does give insight into the mindset she may have been confined in due to her condition.
She may have come to a point where speaking simply wasn’t worth the risk of hurting innocent people, and decided to remain in a state she could mostly control. That being said, she still tries her best to communicate as much as possible – typically done in the form of groans, grunts, and an array of odd yet situation-appropriate sounds that may make her one of the cutest anime characters ever!
Can Nezuko Talk In Demon Slayer?
Now comes the pressing question – can Nezuko in demon form talk at all? There have been moments where her muzzle has been broken off in her full demon mode, and yet she still hadn’t broken the silence. So, is the muzzle really the only thing stopping her from speaking?
Plenty of Demon Slayer fans have wondered why Nezuko does not speak in muzzle-less demon form at times, especially since there are many less powerful demons that can speak just fine. But, the truth is that Nezuko can technically speak – it’s more ‘beneath the surface’ than it may seem.
Does Nezuko Ever Speak?
Following on from the fact that Nezuko can actually speak, there has been an iconic moment when she has said a few words. Although it’s super rare, it’s assumed that she might have generally only formed a sentence when she had no other choice, or when it was really important.
In the Swordsmith Village arc, Nezuko spoke to Tanjiro so that she could convince him she was safe. After Tanjiro sacrifices Nezuko, he runs to see where she would have been. But Nezuko was standing in front of the sun smiling, without wearing a muzzle.
Some fans think she managed to survive the sun due to Nezuko turning back into a human, but that’s an entirely different discussion. Nezuko then said that she was fine and that the Onicha didn’t have to worry – just, in her own way. This was the very first-time Nezuko spoke as a demon throughout the entire anime, and it had fans gripping their hair with simultaneous confusion and excitement.
All things considered, it has been debated that since she started wearing the muzzle at a young age, it may have influenced her cognitive ability to practice speech in the usual, fluent way. Still, it’s also possible that she may simply be lost for words in moments where she has had the opportunity to speak, or it may link back to her getting used to her silence over time.
Those are the key points on the theories surrounding Nezuko’s silence so far. Regardless of whether or not we’ll ever see Nezuko hold up a normal conversation at some point in her life, she’ll definitely remain one of the most loveable and unique anime characters out there!