Demon Slayer: Does Zenitsu Ever Fight Awake?

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One of Demon Slayer‘s running gags is that Zenitsu is such a huge coward that he struggles to stay awake against any opponent. In fact, it is only when he faints and loses consciousness that he sleepwalks and fights with his full strength. As such, he is only effective in a fight whenever he is asleep, as that is when he can forget about his fear of demons and become a serious fighter. But will Zenitsu ever fight awake?

Zenitsu overcame his fear through sheer will and anger when he fought his former senior, Kaigaku, who became the new Upper-Rank Six. When he was awake, he could perform his strongest attack, Thunder Breathing Seventh Form: Honoikazuchi no Kami.

Even though Zenitsu is often seen as a comedy character, his storyline is one of the most interesting in Demon Slayer because he developed into a character that learned to overcome his fear for the sake of his friends and the people around him. As such, he became strong enough to keep himself awake, even against some of the strongest demons in the storyline.

Why Doesn’t Zenitsu Fight Awake?

The entire Demon Slayer storyline may focus more on Tanjiro Kamado. Still, it also includes a few secondary protagonists that also work alongside Tanjiro in his quest to kill the demon king and find a way to bring his sister Nezuko back to her human form. One such character is Zenitsu Agatsuma, who ranks as one of the most popular characters in the storyline because he plays the role of the comic relief of Demon Slayer. And the reason why Zenitsu is a comic relief is the fact that he always panics and is the biggest coward in the Demon Slayer Corps.

coward zenitsu

A running gag involving Zenitsu is that he always faints and falls asleep whenever he sees a terrifying and powerful demon. As such, he has never been awake in any important fights of the Demon Slayer anime, as he usually faints before getting a chance to fight a demon. 

But the thing is that, when he falls asleep, he becomes a powerful swordsman that has mastered the Thunder Breathing First Form down to its very core. That’s because Zenitsu starts sleepwalking upon fainting. He becomes an entirely different person when he is asleep, as this person lacks Zenitsu’s fear of demons and is so focused on the task at hand. 

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In fact, despite sleepwalking, Zenitsu is capable of seeing, fighting, and talking. He can even fight on par with the other demon slayers as he can match Daki in a fight and push himself to his very limit to enhance his legs and move faster than she can react. His blinding speed allowed him to kill Daki while he was asleep.

Of course, he doesn’t fight awake because he is such a big coward that he can’t keep himself awake before a strong demon. As such, when he falls asleep, his basic instinct takes over and moves his body to fight demons that he isn’t brave enough to fight awake. And he developed this sleepwalking habit because he mastered the First Form of Thunder Breathing to the extent that he can perform it in his sleep.

Will Zenitsu Ever Fight Awake?

Even though Zenitsu’s sleepwalking habit has always been a running gag in Demon Slayer, the fact is that he will eventually overcome his fear of demons as part of his character development. As big of a coward as he may be, he still has a big heart that wants to protect the people he loves and fight for those he cares about. That is why he continues to go on missions and is willing enough to train to become the best version of himself.

Through the training he underwent before the final arc of the storyline, he was finally able to overcome his cowardice. Specifically, he trained to defeat his former senior, Kaigaku, who took the opportunity to become a demon and the new Upper-Rank Six in his quest to become stronger. Because this was a personal fight for Zenitsu, as Kaigaku’s betrayal forced his master to commit seppuku, he was overcome with will and anger in his meeting with his former senior.

In the fight against Kaigaku, Zenitsu was wide awake and could overcome his fear of demons. That was when he finally developed into a real demon slayer that used his full power against a person that he used to admire and respect. In fact, Zenitsu also managed to stay awake in the final battle against Muzan even though he was already tired and injured.

Is Zenitsu Stronger When Awake?

One of the things that we noticed about Zenitsu is that he is seemingly more effective whenever he is sleepwalking. He abandons all fear and hesitation to fight demons whenever he is asleep. But is Zenitsu actually stronger when he is awake?

zenitsu sleeping

Even though Zenitsu is almost always stronger whenever he is asleep, the fact is that he is actually stronger whenever he is awake, as this is the only time that he can use his full power consciously. It is when he is awake that he can use his techniques to their full effect, especially in the fight against Kaigaku.

In fact, Zenitsu was so strong when he was awake against Kaigaku that it was hinted that he could have been able to defeat him from the very start. He hesitated in that fight against Kaigaku because his conscience played a role in convincing his former senior to return from the dark path. And it was that hesitation against Kaigaku that allowed the battle to drag out, although it is possible that he would have been able to defeat him almost instantly.

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Meanwhile, in the fight against Muzan, an awake Zenitsu was so fast that he could keep up with the strongest demon in existence. It can be presumed that an awake Zenitsu is at least at the level of a Hashira.

When he was awake, Zenitsu could use Thunder Breathing Seventh Form, which is his personal creation. He is the only Thunder Breathing user to use this technique, making Kaigaku resent him as he believed their master favored Zenitsu more than him and taught him this technique. But Zenitsu revealed that this technique he developed to match Kaigaku, who was always the better swordsman between them.

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