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|“||Life is a series of decisions. You never have unlimited options... or unlimited time to think, but... what you choose in that instant defines who you are... Warriors who strive to save other people's lives are precious. Their pure and single-minded dedication is separate from their natural talent. They don't risk their lives to earn praise. They simply feel that they must. What they choose in that moment, is a cry from the depths of their souls. Isn't that right... my friends?||„|
|~ Kyojuro Rengoku|
|“||Growing old and dying is what gives beauty to the fleeting span of a human life. It is precisely because we age and die, that our lives are unbearably valuable and noble. Strength is not a word that means much in regards to the flesh.||„|
|~ Kyojuro rejecting Akaza's offer to become a Demon.|
|“||Don't work yourself up like that. You would reopen your wound, and that would be bad. You dying my young Kamado would truly spell my defeat.||„|
|~ Kyojuro to Tanjiro.|
|“||Set your heart ablaze||„|
|~ Kyojuro Rengoku|
Kyojuro Rengoku (煉獄 杏寿郎 Rengoku Kyōjurō) is a major protagonist in the 2016-2020 fantasy horror manga series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and its 2019 anime television series adaption. He is the deuteragonist of the 2020 anime movie Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: The Movie - Mugen Train which adapted the Demon Train arc of the manga.
Kyojuro was one of the nine Hashira, a group of the nine greatest Demon Slayers in the Demon Slayer Corps. Specifically, Kyojuro was the Flame Hashira who made use of the Flame Breathing. While not having his life being directly affected by Demons like many other members in the Corps, Kyojuro household had produced Demon hunters for generations. Kyojuro, with his sense of duty instilled by his ailing mother since childhood, saw it as a duty to protect the innocent from Demons and entered the corps to serve humanity. During a mission, Kyojuro was killed in battle against Akaza, the demon who held the position of Upper Rank Three within the Twelve Kizuki.
He was voiced by Satoshi Hino and Mariya Ise as a child in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Mark Whitten in the English dub of the anime.
Kyojuro was a young man with bright yellow hair with red streaks, black forked eyebrows, and golden eyes. He was fairly tall by Japanese standards and possessed a relatively muscular build.
His outfit consisted of the regular Demon Slayer uniform along with a Hoari which had a white-yellow gradient pattern and red flame-like ridges at the end.
|“||I will fulfill my duty! I will not let anyone here die!||„|
|~ Kyojuro fighting Akaza.|
Kyojuro was greatly enthusiastic in regard to his duties as a Hashira and often cheerfully eccentric. He was incredibly charismatic and generous and was almost always seen with a jovial expression. He boasted extraordinary technique and swordsmanship stemming from strict practice and discipline.
Kyojuro was an honorable warrior who adhered to his code of morals and principles that was instilled into him by his mother during childhood, the most significant being that those who were born strong have a duty to protect the weak.
Kyojuro, along with the rest of the Hashira, was summoned to the Demon Slayer Headquarters for the semi-annual Hashira meeting and to enact a trial. The suspects in question were Tanjirō Kamado and Nezuko Kamado, the former of which was a Demon Slayer who had protected his demon sister (Nezuko) in clear violation of the Corp's code. The Water Hashira Giyu Tomioka was also guilty of the same crime, although his penalty was set to be decided at a later date.
While Shinobu Kochō wanted to understand the reasoning behind Tanjiro's violation of the code, Rengoku, and a majority of the Hashira, simply wanted to execute Tanjiro, and his sister on the spot. He respectfully voiced his disdain when Ubuyashiki decided to sanction Tanjiro's situation, and was shocked when the master revealed that Tanjiro had met Muzan Kibutsuji himself. Kyojuro watched on as Sanemi Shinazugawa attempted to coax Nezuko into consuming his nutrient-rich blood, and later admired Tanjiro for ambitiously claiming that he would defeat Kibutsuji.
In the evening after the trial, Kyojuro attended the Hashira Meeting. Ubuyashiki and the Hashira mostly discussed the potency of new recruits and the plans of Kibutsuji. Kyojuro expressed pride/hope towards Kamado for his encounter with Lower Five and that he desired to kill more of the Twelve Kizuki.
The night after the meeting, Kyojuro received word that a demon had devoured over forty people on a train, and that any Slayer that was dispatched met the same fate. Believing that the demon in question could be a member of the Twelve Kizuki, Kyojuro left Headquarters to deal with the threat.
It turns out that there is indeed a member of Twelve Kizuki named Enmu, the strongest of the Lower Moon batch with the ability to hypnotize people and manipulate dreams. The said demon struck, putting all passengers aboard while the train is running using Blood Demon Art. During the spell, four people under Enmu's employment attempted to infiltrate into Kyojuro's group's dreams and destroy their spiritual cores. When the girl managed to find Rengoku's core, in his subconsciousness, he may seem to be aware of what was going on as he thwarts the girl by nearly suffocating the girl under self-defense. Other hirelings of Enmu also failed to destroy spiritual cores of Kyojuro's group.
In scenes exclusive to Mugen Train, inside his dream Kyojuro defended the passengers from a twin-faced and multi-armed demons that made attempts to kill them before taking them down one by one alongside Tanjiro and the rest.
After waking up to discover the entire train taken over by Enmu and with Tanjiro already attempting to defeat Enmu, he asks him to go to the main part of the train that locates Enmu's neck while he goes from cart to cart protecting the passengers as he slashes away Enmu's embodied parts around the train alongside Zenitsu, Inosuke and Nezuko. While Tanjiro was doing this, Kyojuro fended off Enmu attempting to feed on passengers and defended the multiple sections of the train whereas Inosuke and Zenitsu were struggling to defend just one section of the train.
After Enmu's defeat and demise, he helps wounded Tanjiro to prevent his abdomen from bleeding by using his Total Concentration Breathing as he began explaining to him that he'll be able to achieve anything by tomorrow as he will grow stronger and doesn't need to force it.
That was when Upper Moon 3, Akaza, appears out of the blue.
Akaza, intending to kill Tanjiro (as was his mission), swoops down on the wounded demon hunter, but Kyojuro fends Akaza off in a nick of time. Akaza, realizing how strong Kyojuro is, offers Kyojuro to join the Twelve Demon Moons but the Flame Pillar declines, before or while fighting within their battle, they both began explaining their own respective views on life, Akaza is shown to hate humans for being weak while Rengoku began telling him that humanity has more to its beauty than just strength alone as the battle continues on. Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke, in addition to being ordered by Kyojuro to be on a standby, could only watch their battle as they knew they could become hindrances to Kyojuro.
Given how immensely strong Akaza is, Rengoku was still getting more determined to get up to fulfill his duties of protecting others around him. However, as mighty Kyojuro was, he is but a man whereas Akaza is a demon; as the fight dragged on, Kyojuro becomes increasingly more tired and received more wounds each injuries heavier than the last, while Akaza heals every wounds he gets inflicted by Kyojuro. Even if Akaza still tried to convince him to become a demon after his body is in too terrible a condition to go on fighting, Rengoku still refuses as he made his move to fully unleash the ultimate Flame Breathing technique just as Akaza unleashed his own powerful Blood Demon Art technique.
However, Akaza comes out triumphant by impaling Kyojuro's stomach, resulting in a huge wound that made him lose enormous amounts of blood, virtually sealing Kyojuro's fate. While that happened, he began remembering his mother during their final moments together before her passing. Before death, she cries and tells her son he was such a blessing a mother could ever ask for.
Back to the present, Akaza, meanwhile, begs Kyojuro to give up being stubborn insisting going on as weak human and become a demon. Kyojuro, began using what's left in his strength to swing his Nichirin Blade to cut open Akaza's neck as the latter attempts to punch him for the blowing kill before blocking it, the finishing end didn't last when the sun rises as Akaza attempts to make his leave. Rengoku pulls his hardest, determined to hold Akaza as he plans to sacrifice himself with him. But Inosuke tries to ready his First Fang - Pierce, Akaza manages to escape by severing his own arms. But as Akaza flees, the Upper Moon 3 demon is stabbed in the throat by Tanjiro's sword, the young slayer screams and calls him out for being a coward that ran away from a fight as he implies Rengoku won and he lost, thus meaning his fight with Akaza was to protect everyone back from the train. Having failed to kill what he came for and be mocked by his prey, Akaza was forced to retreat in disgrace as the sun rose to become morning.
During his final moments with Tanjiro and Inosuke, Kyojuro tells them that there are notes left saying about Hinokami Kagura and other things regarding the answers he needed, saying he is welcome to visit his home. He stats to Tanjiro that he is too weak to use his Breathing technique to heal the wound given by Akaza which was too severe to be healed by human means anyway as he accepts his impending fate. Realizing he has not much time left, Kyojuro says a few words to Tanjiro about telling his younger brother Senjuro and his father the many things he wanted to say to them and how he truly accepts Nezuko for her actions as he thinks of her as a member worthy of the Demon Slayer Corps. Then what came next was him saying to Tanjiro that he shouldn't continue mourning for him as it was natural for a Hashira to protect his or her junior, he uses his final words to Tanjiro that he, Zenitsu, and Inosuke will become the future for their generation as his encouragement to them.
Before he dies, he sees his mother in a vision as he asks her if he did everything right, she says she was proud of what he did. Kyojuro smiles for one last time, before being finally expired.
News of Kyojuro having fallen in the line of duty came as shock and sadness to Demon Slayer Corps. Kanao was surprised, Tengen laments that someone as powerful as Kyojuro was no match for an Upper Moon demon. Mitsuri was horrified, Obanai refused to believe the obvious until he would see with is own eyes. Gyomei prayed for Kyojuro's soul, Sanemi steeled himself to eradicate demons. Kagaya Ubuyashiki praised Kyojuro for his gallantry and sacrifice, stating that he too, does not have long and would join the deceased Flame Pillar in the afterlife. While grieving, Tanjiro was frustrated that he overcame one obstacle to become stronger, only to run into even bigger and harder obstacle standing before him. Inosuke berates Tanjiro and Zenitsu not to grieve Kyojuro's death, declaring that he had merely returned to earth and all they can do is to fulfill the promise they made with Kyojuro by continue surviving and go on living. But as Zenitsu pointed out, Inosuke was grieving just as much as Tanjiro.
But as the series moves on, Tanjiro still remembers Rengoku with all of his heart as his encouragement and notes left to Tanjiro, who will make it his promise, will help him succeed in ending Muzan's expansion of the Demon race once and for all for the greater good. And when Tanjiro temporarily became a demon by Muzan Kibutsuji, Kyojuro's soul was one of the departed that helped saving Tanjiro's humanity.
Powers and Abilities
Flame Breathing (炎の呼吸 Honō no kokyū): This technique allowed Rengoku to increase the amount of oxygen in his blood by controlling his breathing pattern, which increased his strength and agility to equal that of a demon. Kyojuro had learned to do full focus breaths at all times, further increasing his base strength, speed and stamina. By focusing his breathing on specific points, he was capable of stopping bleeding from injuries. There are at least a total of nine styles that can be used with the Breath of Flames, although Rengoku only displayed five of these.
- First Form: Unknowing Fire (壱ノ型 不知火 Ichi no kata: Shiranui) - Kyojuro charges towards his opponent at high speed and decapitates them in one or multiple slashes that burns the flesh of his enemy. This technique had enough force to launch the entire Infinity Train off the tracks a short distance.
- Second Form: Rising Scorching Sun (弐ノ型 昇り炎天 Ni no kata: Nobori En Ten) - Kyojuro releases an arching slash attack upwards.
- Third Form: Blazing Universe (参ノ型 氣炎万象 San no kata: Kien Banshō) - Kyojuro swings his blade downwards in an arc.
- Fourth Form: Blooming Flame Undulation (肆ノ型 盛炎のうねり Shi no kata: Sei En no Uneri) - Kyojuro spin his sword in a circular motion, deflecting his enemies attacks.
- Fifth Form: Flame Tiger (伍ノ型 炎虎 Go no kata: Enko) - A series of sword slashes that took on the form of a tiger. Kyojuro used this technique to contest Akaza's Destructive Death: Disorder.
- Ninth Form: Rengoku (玖ノ型 煉獄 Ku no kata: Rengoku) - A devastating dashing slash that Kyojuro initiates from a high stance, the technique had enough power to carve a deep impression in the ground where he used it. Before using this technique he remarked to himself about "thoroughly hollowing out most of the area".
- His surname Rengoku means "purgatory" in Japanese.
- Kyōjurō was ranked in 7th place as of the first character popularity poll with 1,021 votes.
- Kyōjurō loved to watch sumo and wrestling.
- Kyōjurō's favorite food was sweet potatoes
- Kyōjurō's favorite side dish was salt grilled bream.
- Kyōjurō's birthday was on May 10
- Kyōjurō's zodiac sign was Taurus.
- Kyōjurō was 20 years old at the time of his death.
- Kyōjurō's zodiac sign was Taurus.
- Kyōjurō always wanted a pet, but he has never been able to have one because of his father's hatred toward animals.
- At the time of his death, Kyōjurō weighed 72 Kg and was 177 centimeters (5'10") tall.
- Kyojuro is one of only 4 Hashira that use a standard Nichirin Katana. The other 3 are Giyu Tomioka, Sanemi Shinazugawa, and Muichiro Tokito.