Updated on January 17, 4:12 p.m. (GMT+8): Added images, improved relevancy.

In the Swordsmith Village arc of the Demon Slayer anime, Tanjiro Kamado and his group faced significant challenges and dire circumstances.

Readers familiar with the manga are aware that the storyline takes on a more intense and ruthless atmosphere as stronger demons enter the fray.

The two main villains in the Swordsmith Village arc are Hantengu and Gyokko, two Upper Rank demons that have cruel and heartless personalities. Before we discuss these two mysterious members of the Twelve Demon Moons, let’s recap what happened in the previous arc and understand why these characters are important villains in the series.

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Warning: Major spoilers if you have yet to watch the Demon Slayer Entertainment District arc or for those who haven’t read up until Chapter 96 of the manga.

Why are Hantengu and Gyokko joining the battle against the Demon Slayers?

Demon Slayer Season 3 villains Hantengu and Gyokko Twelve Demon Moons
Credit: ufotable

The epic finale of the Entertainment District arc saw the anime’s protagonists Tanjiro Kamado, Zenitsu Agatsuma, and Inosuke Hashibira, with the help of the Sound Hashira Tengen Uzui, defeat and behead both Gyutaro and Daki, the Upper Rank Six demon siblings.

Funko POP Animation: Demon Slayer - Muzan Kibutsuji
Credit: Funko
GET YOURS TODAY: Muzan Kibutsuji Funko Pop! Figure

Before the events of the Entertainment District arc, the leader of the Demon Slayer Corp, Kagaya Ubuyashiki, explained that for a hundred years, they’ve never been able to defeat an Upper Rank demon.

Even the Hashiras, humanity’s most powerful warriors and the last line of defense against demons have only defeated Lower Rank demons.

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Demon Slayers have proven to the anime’s main antagonist, Muzan Kibutsuji, they’re finally a real threat to him and his Upper Rank demons.

Who is Gyokko in Demon Slayer?

Banpresto - Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba - Gyokko vol. 10 (ver. B), Bandai Spirits Demon Series Figure
Credit: Banpresto
GET YOURS TODAY: Gyokko Bandai Spirits figure

The rankings of the Twelve Demon Moons indicate their strength, with the Upper Moon One being the strongest. 

Gyokko holds the title of Upper Moon Five, just a rank above demon siblings Gyutaro and Daki.

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Of all the demons in Muzan’s soldiers, Gyokko is the most monstrous and unsightly with infant-like hands cradling the side of his head as seen in the season 3 poster and promotion reel.

He also has a disfigured face with his mouth and teeth located where his eyes are supposed to be. One of his eyes with the Upper Demon Five marking can be found where the mouth is supposed to be, and his other eye is on his forehead.

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Gyokko sees himself as an artist with a sadistic personality. He easily gets offended when people don’t appreciate his art.

Before he was turned into a demon by Muzan, Gyokko lived in a fisherman’s village. He was always fascinated by death and started collecting fish carcasses as a child. Even when his parents drowned, he didn’t display any sadness and was more intrigued by their lifeless bodies.

Who is Hantengu in Demon Slayer?

Banpresto - Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba - Hantengu vol. 11 (ver. B), Bandai Spirits Demon Series Figure
Credit: Banpresto
GET YOURS TODAY: Hantengu Bandai Spirits figure

The Upper Rank Four demon Hantengu is the second villain in the Swordsmith Village arc.

Hantengu was previously a thief who committed heinous crimes in his past life. Even when he turned into a demon sporting two horns and a giant bump on his forehead, he still looked frail and weak.

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He was a mentally unstable person who murdered innocent civilians but still believed that he was innocent. Even when he was caught, he would blame others for his crimes.

He was eventually captured by a high-ranked law official magistrate and sentenced to death. While Hantengu was locked up, Muzan approached him and offered to help, taking pity on his situation.

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As a demon, Hantengu retained his human traits — a fearful and cowardly character who will always find a way to save himself.

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