The Nine Hashira are the most powerful swordsmen in Murderer of demons, and each has their own reasons for training to get to their unique position. Although most, if not all, have lost someone considered family along the way. Throughout the anime, severe loss and trauma affect all characters and, for some, can make or break their development.
Shinobu Kocho, the insect Hashira, took her older sister Kanae’s title after the previous Hashira’s death in battle with a superior moon. When the character of Shinobu was first introduced, she was shown to be bright, caring, and almost too nice. It’s easy to take in her personality instantly, but every now and then her kind exterior cracks and Shinobu’s original nature is revealed.
Shinobu used to be outspoken and cheeky.
The bug Hashira hasn’t been explored in much depth in the anime thus far, but a flashback provides insight into his youth. Episode 25: “Tsugoku, Kanao Tsuyuri” delves into the childhood of Shinobu’s adoptive sister Kanao, but the demon hunter’s unrecognizable demeanor is hard to miss. Shinobu is with his older sister Kanae when they meet Kanao, tied up with rope and about to be sold.
When Kanae confronts the man escorting Kanao into a dark future, her attitude is familiar. She is soft-spoken and kind, and despite being upset by the state the young woman is in, she maintains an approachable demeanor. However, Shinobu stood behind her sister, visibly angry and frowning. She even opposes the adult when she tries to get Kanae away from him, telling him not to touch her sister. This is an arrogant and assertive Shinobu that fans have never seen before.
Shinobu has Kanae’s kindness but seeks revenge
It’s clear that at some point, Shinobu transformed from an assertive teenager into an optimistic Hashira. After Kanae’s death, he picked up his sister’s personality and positive attributes from him, but with a sinister thirst for revenge. He is always seen with a placid smile, portraying one of hers because it is what he liked her late sister, but her assertive side hides behind this.
It’s almost shocking when Shinobu, who is always kind and forgiving to his teammates, talks about demons. Despite being one of the few swordsmen unable to decapitate a demon with his Nichiren blades, Shinobu developed his own method of killing the enemy. He created a concoction from Wisteria, a poisonous plant that can cause a painful death to demons. With this, Shinobu can kill his opponents in seconds, using his agility to torment them before they die.
Shinobu is disappointed by his exasperation.
Unlike Murderer of demonsThe main character of Tanjiro Kamado, who fights to protect his loved ones and often pities demons, Shinobu fights for revenge. She believes that her hatred of demons is the only true part of herself, the only part she didn’t adopt from Kanae. Because of this, Shinobu makes sure that her late sister can rest easy, as Tanjiro is driven by something she could never do.
Shinobu has an unquenchable revulsion towards demons and is not proud of that part of her. Her memories of her sister are filled with images of Kanae being warm and caring, and while she may act that way, she knows it’s exactly that: an act. Hashira is well aware of her negative feelings towards demons and how that prevented her from getting the revenge or justice she wanted for Kanae. She never learned to forgive like Tanjiro did, she just acted like she could.
Shinobu is the smartest of the characters in the series. She is a doctor, scientist, and demon hunter who created a new sign language to communicate vital information to Kanao in a very short time. While her drive may not be as noble as Tanjiro’s, Shinobu Kocho’s impact on the characters in Murderer of demons it is immeasurable.