Tanjirō Kamado is the protagonist of the Demon Slayer manga and demon-themed anime. A young boy struck by tragedy, Tanjirō overcame his horrid fate and became a Demon Slayer, but not to avenge his family – he did it to find a way to return his sister, Nezuko, to a human once again. Tanjiro and Nezuko had an extremely close bond, as they were the only surviving members of the Kamado family after it had been attacked and slaughtered by Muzan Kibutsuji. In this article, we are going to talk about Tanjirō’s life as we are going to tell you why he did not die at the age of 25, as he was supposed to because he activated the Demon Slayer Mark.
It was never explained why Tanjiro managed to live past the age of 25. The most likely reason is the fact that the Curse has never been proven to exist. The Curse of the Demon Slayer Mark supposes that anyone who activates it will die at the age of 25 because the price of activating it is a person’s lifespan. Still, this curse has never been officially proven (nor disputed), and several known Demon Slayers lived past the age of 25 (including Yoriichi and Gyōmei), which is why it is not a surprise that Tanjirō did too, although it was never explained how it happened exactly.
The rest of this article will focus on Tanjirō’s life in the story of Demon Slayer. We have now provided you with the answer to the question you were looking for, but we will expand on it by talking a bit about the Demon Slayer Mark and the supposed curse. This article has spoilers, but only for those who haven’t seen or read any Demon Slayer episode or chapter.
The Demon Slayer Mark supposedly had a curse attached to it
The Demon Slayer Mark is a mysterious mark that can be obtained and appear on the body of a powerful Demon Slayer, most usually his head, but it can also appear on other parts of the body. The Mark looks a bit like a tattoo, scar, or birthmark, and each Demon Slayer has a unique pattern, probably connected to the Breathing Style they use; because it resembles symbols seen on Demons, it has often been compared to them.
It remains unknown how and why such a Mark appears on the body. Still, the first recorded possessor was Yoriichi Tsugikuni, who was also the first Demon Slayer and the creator of the Sun Breathing Style, the first Breathing Style in history. It was relatively common during the Sengoku Era. Most records detailing it were lost. After the Golden Age of Demon Slayers, it became very rare, both because it was difficult to activate and because Muzan managed to decimate the Corps over the centuries. It appeared once again during the main timeline when Tanjirō and some other characters managed to activate it.
In order to activate it, a user must have survived a life-threatening state, which includes having a heart rate above 200 bpm and a body temperature above 39° Celsius. Such conditions usually kill a person, but if a user manages to survive it, it means they are worthy of the Mark, as Muichiro explained.
But, the activation comes at a cost. Maintaining the Demon Slayer Mark is a complex process that requires a lot of energy, and prolonged use seems to drain the body. This is why many Demon Slayers with the Mark died young, which gave birth to a theory that the Mark is actually cursed and that each possessor will die when they reach the age of 25. In the next section, we are going to explain if that is true or not while also revealing Tanjirō’s fate.
The curse could very well be a simple myth
Now that we have explained the Demon Slayer Mark, we can discuss the supposed curse. Before we begin, allow us to confirm that the curse has been mentioned in the series, but there has been no evidence to support it or refute it. It just exists as a fact, as some characters mentioned its existence, but we’ve never actually seen a Demon Slayer die at the age of 25 to be able to confirm it empirically.
We know that Yoriichi lived well into his 80s, but it could be because he was born with the mark, so he did not have to activate it and therefore lose his lifespan. We also know that Gyōmei activated it when he was 27 and did not die immediately, although he died some hours later, as Kokushibo suggested, but it has to be noted that he could’ve simply succumbed to his injuries. Kokushibo, on the other hand, avoided this by becoming a Demon.
So, based on the facts we have from the canon works, no one really died “on-screen” from the curse, as far as it is known. All those that have supposedly died of it were only mentioned and never seen. Based on this, we assume that Tanjirō did live after the age of 25. Although this was not really confirmed officially, it does somehow seem unlikely that he would’ve gone through all of the trouble of eliminating Demons just to die at the age of 25. Plus, the epilogue had no mention of it.
It is highly possible that the old Demon Slayers from the Sengoku Era actually did die at the age of 25, not because there was a curse, but because they overused the Mark until they exhausted themselves completely. Using the Demon Slayer Mark takes a toll on the user, which means that overusing it might lead to physical exhaustion, which is a valid cause of death. The curse, if it even exists, does not account for either Yoriichi or Gyōmei, and Kokushibo’s example clearly shows how inconsistent it is. Based on all of that, we really think that the curse is only a myth and that Tanjirō lived into old age, although the author never officially confirmed it.