Since its 2019 release, Demon Slayer has skyrocketed in popularity and has become one of the biggest anime franchises globally. The show’s storyline is a classic tale of good versus evil, where the heroes in the Demon Slayer Corp fight against their ultimate nemesis, Muzan Kibutsuji.

The show is centered around Tanjiro Kamado, whose family was brutally murdered by a demon, except for his sister Nezuko, who was turned into a demon. Tanjiro becomes a Demon Slayer to avenge his family and turn his sister back into a human.

The undisputed ruler of all demons has been the puppet master controlling the villains in the series so far. By watching the hour-long Season 3 premiere or the To The Swordsmith Village movie, you can gain a deeper understanding of Muzan’s motivations and ultimate objectives as the primary antagonist, which we will explain in full detail.

Warning: Major spoilers for those who have yet to watch until Season 2 or haven’t read Chapter 98 of the manga.

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Who is Muzan Kibutsuji in Demon Slayer?

Demon Slayer main antagonist Muzan Kibutsuji
Credit: ufotable

A millennium ago, during the Heian Era, Muzan was turned into a demon during an experimental treatment by his doctor, who attempted to cure his terminal illness. 

Unlike other main villains who seek world domination or godlike power, Muzan’s only goal since becoming a demon is to live without fear of death and become genuinely eternal.

Muzan considers himself imperfect and wants to rid himself of his fatal weakness to sunlight. To do this, he needs the Blue Spider Lily, which he believes is the key to becoming immune to sunlight.

But his search for the Blue Spider Lily has yet to go anywhere, so Muzan attempted to create demons strong enough to walk in the sunlight. He reluctantly utilized his demon blood to create as many demons as possible.

Muzan hoped that one day, there would be a demon that could walk in the sunlight without burning, and he could devour them to gain their day-walking abilities, allowing him to be immune to sunlight.

To aid him in his quest, Muzan created a group of powerful demons called the Twelve Demon Moons. This elite force is at the forefront of Muzan’s battle against the Demon Slayer Corp and the powerful Hashira.

The mighty demon king’s strength is unparalleled, and his skills include regeneration, shape-shifting, and telepathy. He is over 1,000 years old and has evolved his body constantly, making him an almost flawless entity.

Demon Slayer season 1 key art
Credit: ufotable

Muzan is genuinely obsessed with preserving himself and will do anything to ensure his survival. When Muzan was introduced in chapter 11 of the manga and episode 7 of Season 1, he walked the streets of Japan with his wife and daughter.

Despite considering himself and his demon minions superior to humans, Muzan understands the significance of keeping a low profile. To conceal his true identity and the extent of his dangerous nature, he employs various aliases, determined to keep his personal information a secret from humans.

The bond between Tanjiro and Muzan extends far beyond the events depicted in Demon Slayer, reaching back several years. Muzan bears a deep-seated grudge against practitioners of Sun Breathing. This resentment originated from his life-threatening confrontation with Yoriichi Tsugikuni, the legendary Demon Slayer whose mastery of the Sun Breathing technique inspired the development of numerous other Breathing styles showcased throughout the series.

Muzan remained unaware that years ago, Yoriichi had saved Tanjiro’s forefathers from demons, thus initiating the ill-fated relationship between Muzan and the Kamado siblings. The Kamado family’s practice of passing down the Hanafuda earrings of the strongest Demon Slayer, Yoriichi, every generation enabled Muzan to locate Tanjiro’s kin.

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