Demon Slayer: Why Is Hantengu Suddenly so Small?

Demon Slayer: Why Is Hantengu Suddenly so Small?
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The Demons of Demon Slayer are a truly fascinating lot. They come in all shapes and sizes, and while they are evil in their demonic form, their backstories and their lives while they were human usually contain a tragic note that makes you sad for them. But there are also exceptions, and one such exception is the protagonist of this article – Hantengu. The Upper-Rank Four of the Twelve Kizuki, Hantengu, was a very peculiar Demon who seemed to be a complete coward unworthy of his status but proved himself to be a very powerful enemy. In the most recent episode, we’ve gotten a glimpse of yet another one of Hantengu’s special abilities, which motivated us to write up this. In this article, we will explain why the original Hantengu is suddenly so small and how that relates to his powerful Blood Damon Art.

It is known that Hantegu’s Blood Demon Art enables him to split his emotions into several individual ones and create demonic entities that embody these emotions. At the same time, the cowardly main body transforms into a small, cowering version of itself, allowing Hantengu to hide somewhere and avoid death while being true to his original, pitiful self.

The rest of this article will focus on Hantengu and his Blood Demon Art in the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba series, i.e., how it enabled him to become so small and hide so well. Hantengu is a villain but an exceptionally important and very peculiar character. As we have said, his unique ability to multiply himself by dividing himself into several powerful emotion Demons was very intriguing, which is why we will discuss it in this article. This article will contain some spoilers from the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga, so be careful how you approach it.

Hantengu’s Blood Demon Art is quite specific

Hantengu, a Demon who resembled an elderly man, actually held the position of the Upper-Rank Four, only behind Akaza, Doma, and Kokushibo, despite his seeming frailty and harmless look. Muzan wasn’t always the most impartial, but he was cunning and intelligent, so giving Hantengu such a high rank had significance. And this is a fact that mustn’t be forgotten when talking about Hantengu.

Namely, we’re absolutely certain that Muzan would not have given such a cowardly Demon such a high rank for no reason, i.e., had Hantengu really been a cowardly lot and nothing more. During the Swordsmith Village arc, Hantengu demonstrates his strength and loyalty to Muzan and why he is so difficult to kill, i.e., how his powers help him survive. If you remember how Daki and Gyūtarō had to be killed at the same time for them actually to die, you might have assumed – just as Tanjirō did – that Hantengu would have to be killed similarly, but in his case, the method was completely different, and this is all due to his specific powers.

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Namely, Hantengu uses his Blood Demon Art to make four copies of himself, each of which is a powerful standalone Demon and a representation of one of his emotions. These clones were:

  • Sekido, the manifestation of anger, is constantly irritated and very aggressive. He is quite powerful and also has exceptional speed and reflexes, as well as the ability to fuse with Karaku, Urogi, and Aizetsu into Zohakuten.
  • Karaku, the manifestation of relaxation, is the most laid-back of all the clones but nevertheless very dangerous. He is also physically imposing but also has incredible stamina and durability.
  • Aizetsu, the manifestation of sorrow, is constantly depressed, negativistic, and cynical to everyone, which aligns with the emotion he represents. His most prominent feature is his durability.
  • Urogi, the manifestation of joy, is the happiest and most cheerful among the clones. He is also quite dangerous, though, as he can mimic avian creatures and use their abilities to his advantage in combat, which is why he is also the oddest one on the list.

As previously mentioned, each of these demons is a formidable independent entity. They are capable of fighting, and while Sekido does seem to be their leader, they are not directly connected in any way, which makes them so dangerous; this also confirms that beheading them at the same time doesn’t produce the same effect as did in Daki’s and Gyūtarō’s case.

It has to be added that the three other clones can be merged into Zohakuten, a manifestation of Hantengu’s rage, by Sekido. Sekido and the mighty Demon Zohakuten have a lot in common regarding their demeanor, and Zohakuten has such a potent aura that just being around him may hurt someone. Finally, there is Urami, a Demon that has the power to grow so large that Hantengu can conceal himself inside him. Urami is crucial for Hantengu’s survival if the offensive Demons fail to do what is needed.

Now, Hantengu shrinks and vanishes when these clones are present, employing his incredibly high stealth talents, which makes killing him more of a scavenger quest than anything else because he is so hard to spot. Even if a Demon Slayer can kill the clones, they’ll have a hard time finding the main body, which is why Hantengu is very difficult to slay (namely, if you don’t kill the main body, it will give Hantengu more than enough time to regenerate, which would also result in the regeneration of the emotion Demons, and that is why the whole situation is quite complex). But, during the Swordsmith Village Arc, the Demon Slayer Corps managed to do it.

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The small version of the original Hantengu is his main power

If you’ve been attentive, you’ll have noticed this small version of the original Hantengu in the recent episode. Gen’ya found him, but Gen’ya failed to cut his neck, as Hantengu is notoriously difficult to slay; Gen’ya’s gun also failed, and ultimately, his blade broke when he tried to cut the Demon’s neck. Hantengu used this moment to hide, and we would soon see him hiding inside a wooden “fort” created by Zohakuten. Namely, Hantengu’s original emotion is fear, and he is really good at hiding and avoiding death. He is useless in a fight – hence the other Demons – but he is excellent in defense, so he is so difficult to kill.

Hantengu27s ability to grow stronger the worser the situation CH116

In line with the fact that he is empowered by fear, we have to state that Hantengu becomes more difficult to kill as the situation is scarier. The fear, while it does cause him to cower away and cry, also makes him stronger.

He thus becomes small because it is a manifestation of his fear – as a small Demon, he is more difficult to find and kill than as a large Demon, and from that perspective, we can only confirm that this ability is in line with everything we actually know about Hantengu and his skills and abilities. This is actually a perfect way to represent him and show that the forte of his Blood Demon Art is – it is not the ability to create powerful copies of himself. He can hide somewhere and avoid being killed because he is, essentially, a true coward.

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