Demon Slayer’s New Threat Breaks One Big Series Rule

One of Demon Slayer’s most foundational rules has been that there are only two ways to kill a demon: expose them to sunlight or chop off their head with a Nichirin sword. However, the Upper Four demon Hantengu has proven that at least one of those won’t always guarantee success.

Hantengu is introduced as little more than a sniveling worm, leading one to wonder just how such a pathetic creature has attained a high rank in Muzan’s hierarchy. His pathetic appearance even threw off Tanjiro and Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito for a moment, as neither was quite sure whether he was a threat at first. However, as Tokito drew his blade and proceeded to land a perfectly executed beheading with his Nichirin and the powerful Demon Slayer’s Mist Breathing technique, Hantengu’s head goes flying off from his body–and then both regenerate, leaving two new demons in his place.

Demon Slayer’s Hangetsu is Imunne to Beheading

Past demons who have been decapitated were able to speak and think for a short while after their heads were removed, but ultimately always died. The whole point of using one of Demon Slayer’s famous Nichirin swords to behead them is that the blade has the power of the Sun within it, disabling their usual regenerative capacities. How, then, has Hantengu managed to not only survive, but have both pieces of his body regenerate into new beings? And this wasn’t some one-time trick, either; another strike leads to the same thing happening again. If Tanjiro and the others aren’t careful, they could initiate an exponential growth situation, flooding the village with demons in mere minutes.
Since it’s not yet clear exactly how Hantengu has managed to survive, it’s almost impossible to formulate a working strategy for defeating him. The Lower Rank Five demon, Rui, was able to fake being decapitated, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case here, since the two halves remained separate, though it could still be some sort of trick. Holding out until morning is always an option, but the night is young, and the demons have a lot of time to wreak havoc before they’re even at risk of sunrise. Worse still, Hantengu wasn’t sent in alone, and Tanjiro and friends have yet to even lay eyes on Upper-Rank Five, Gyokko.
Things are looking pretty grim for the Swordsmith Village, so Tanjiro will have to think quickly if they hope to figure out Hantengu’s secret before it’s too late. Losing the village would mean an end to Nichirin blades, and thus an end to the Demon Slayer Corps, so the fate of the world may well be riding on this battle.

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