Unlike some other fictional universes, Demon Slayer doesn’t really have a concept of the “Chosen One” in the traditional sense. Still, some characters do sport the so-called Demon Slayer Mark and that makes them more special than others; the Demon Slayer Mark is not a prerequisite to becoming a Demon Slayer, but it does signify stronger characters, as does the mastery of the Sun Breathing Style. In this article, we are going to discuss whether Tanjiro is a “Chosen One” in the series.
Tanjiro Kamado is a Sun Breathing user and he also has the Demon Slayer Mark; in that aspect, he could be considered as a “Chosen One” in the context of Demon Slayer. Seeing how he is the only known user of the Sun Breathing Style, he was predestined to defeat Muzan Kibutsuji, who was afraid of the successors of Yoriichi’s Breathing Style.
In the continuation of this article, we are going to elaborate on Tanjiro’s role in the story as well as on the role of the “Chosen One” in Demon Slayer. You’re going to find the exact background of the “Chosen One”, after which we are going to explain how Tanjiro fits the role and how the whole concept fits him.
What Is the Story of the “Chosen One”?
The story of the “Chosen One” in Demon Slayer is actually related to the Demon Slayer Mark. The most talented Demon Slayers in the Demon Slayer Corps have a chance of obtaining a mysterious tattoo, scar, or birthmark. That mark resembles the crests possessed by demons and are called Demon Slayer Marks.
The Demon Slayer Mark looks a bit like a tattoo, scar, or birthmark and each demon slayer mark is unique, tied to the wearer’s Breathing Style. The true origin of the Demon Slayer Mark is unknown. However, the first recorded occurrence of these marks was in the Sengoku Era, as shown by the one possessed by the first person with a Demon Slayer Mark, who was none other than the first Breathing Style user, Yoriichi Tsugikuni, who for unknown reasons was born with a demon slayer mark.
Virtually all other Sengoku Era swordsmen have awakened their Demon Slayer Marks due to the catalyst effect of the Mark. It is said that the mark of the Demon Slayers has resonated since then and been awakened by other Demon Slayers, who would later lay the foundation for the “Golden Era” of the Demon Slayer Corps, a time when the Demon Slayers were inches away from killing Muzan Kibutsuji.
The Demon Slayer Marks disappeared for a long time, due to the countless times the Demon Slayer Corps was almost annihilated, until it reappeared on Tanjiro Kamado, and subsequently, the Hashira that Resonated with this mark. The mark can only appear on Demon Slayers who have survived the life-threatening conditions, thus having a heart rate above 200 bpm and a body temperature above 39° Celsius.
The precondition in unlocking it is that an individual directly related to Sun Breathing has been born with it. The Mark also has the ability to act as a catalyst and spread from the original user to other powerful Slayers, such as the Hashira, through Resonance, granting them their own Slayer Marks.
Having the Demon Slayer Mark has a cost, though. It is said that demon slayers who have awakened the Demon Slayer Mark will die at the age of 25. Kokushibo mentioned that despite the increased power, it reduces their lifespan due to the strain on their body as previously stated by Shinobu, who stated the conditions as unlocking it alone was lethal even for a Hashira.
In a conversation Muichiro Tokito had with Gyomei Himejima, Gyomei describes the effect of the curse as “paying one’s lifespan in advance in the exchange for a greater physique”. There are ways to avoid death by this curse, as shown by Yoriichi and Kokushibo.
By unknown means, Yoriichi was able to live to be 85 years old, however, this could be due to him being born with it unlike others who had to wake it up. Kokushibo, on the other hand, avoided dying from the curse by becoming immortal as a result of his transformation into a demon.
However, it’s still possible to awaken the mark after a slayer is over 25, which is evident in Gyomei who was able to reap its benefits without immediately dying. Kokushibo assumed that due to this unique situation, Gyomei would die within a few hours. Due to the inconsistency of the curse, it is possible that it is simply superstition. However, there’s nothing that completely disproves it, so it’s just as likely that the curse really exists.
Is Tanjiro a “Chosen One”?
We have already said that Demon Slayer doesn’t really have a “Chosen One” in the traditional sense. For example, Anakin Skywalker was said to be the “Chosen One” in Star Wars, someone who’d bring balance to the Force. Demon Slayer doesn’t really have one such character that would make a difference, but it has, as we have explained, a number of characters marked with the Demon Slayer Mark, a mark that makes them inevitably special.
So, in that aspect, as someone who carries the Demon Slayer Mark and is also directly related to the Sun Breathing Style (well, technically, every Breathing Style is related to Sun Breathing indirectly, but Tanjiro’s connection is direct), Tanjiro definitely could be described as a “Chosen One” in the context of Demon Slayer, but he is one of several such characters.
Sure, he is probably the first among equals due to his role in the story, but on a conceptual level – he is one among several “Chosen Ones” in Demon Slayer.
Is Tanjiro a Sun Breather?
Tanjiro Kamado started off his story as a user of the Water Breathing Style, taught to him by Sakonji Urokodaki. But, as the story progressed, he remembered that his father had also taught him a dance known as Hinokami Kagura, which was actually a way of activating the Sun Breathing Style. Namely, Yoriichi Tsugikuni, the creator of the Sun Breathing Style, passed on his knowledge to Sumiyoshi, his friend, and a distant ancestor of Tanjiro’s.
Tanjiro is certainly the only living Sun Breathing user, which fits his role of the “Chosen One”. But, as we have explained, that is not the only prerequisite to be a “Chosen One” in Demon Slayer. What Sun Breathing does to Tanjiro is the following – it makes him exceptionally strong and it makes him the only character able to truly defeat Muzan Kibutsuji, which ultimately happens at the end of the manga.
Is Tanjiro’s Mark the Mark of a Sun Breather?
Now that we know that the Demon Slayer Mark is directly related to the Breathing Style of a particular, we can confirm that Tanjiro’s Demo Slayer Mark is actually that of a user of the Sun Breathing Style.
If you compare the two pictures above, one of Yoriichi (left) and one of Tanjiro (right), you’ll notice that their Demon Slayer Marks are very similar in shape and color. This is due to the fact that both were actually Sun Breathing Style users and that their Demon Slayer Mark actually reflects that exact fact.