Tanjiro’s scar certainly isn’t inconspicuous as it plays a defining role in his appearance. And I’m sure, your keen eye has probably caught the fact that Tanjiro’s scar keeps evolving subtly in the series.
Without much ado, one can’t rest until they know why Tanjiro’s scar changes. It’s certainly a mysterious phenomenon intended to pique intrigue in the story.
With the manga completed, Koyoharu Gotoge has answered our questions and given life to a few theories that were going around the community forums.
We’ve been able to figure out the whys and hows of Tanjiro’s supernatural scar. The answers ahead are spoilers for anime fans, but the heart wants what it wants! Satiate that curiosity.
The marking on Tanjiro’s forehead as it is now is referred to as the ‘Demon Slayer Mark’. It’s a tattoo-like mark or a birthmark in some cases that bestows incredible powers in the Demon Slayer possessing it.
The Mark is directly associated or originates in individuals that practice the Sun-Breathing technique such as, (spoiler alert), Tanjiro Kamado.
The Demon Slayer Mark
Tanjiro’s Demon Slayer Mark is no mere birthmark or an accidental scar anymore as he still believes. It’s a mysterious marking that appears on the bodies of an exceptionally strong Demon Slayer.
You can call it a tattoo, scar or a birthmark, or even a Demon Slayer insignia! as it looks like all of them however its main attribute is its association with power.
Each Demon Slayer is unique in its appearance and is tailored to the Breathing Style of the bearer.
The true origin of this mark is unfortunately unknown and may never be known to readers. However, it is seen that certain individuals were born with the mark.
For example, the first Sun Breathing user, Yoriichi Tsugikuni was born with the mark. As stated in Chapter 177 by his brother, Kokushibo, the mark was so disturbing or unusual that their father was ready to kill Yoriichi. It is astonishing that it was already assumed to be a curse.
But what’s even more astonishing is that Amane Ubuyashiki states earlier in the manga that the swordsmen that brought Muzan to the brink of his death all possessed the mark. Curious, isn’t it?
On how Tanjiro receives this mark, the interesting fact is that it originally wasn’t a mark. It was merely a scar born out of an accident where he saved his brother out of the way of a falling brazier.
But soon, as Tanjiro ventures into his journey to become the strongest Demon Slayer, his scar transforms into a mark. Other than power, one of the other associations of the mark is with Sun Breathing users such as Yoriichi and ostensibly, Tanjuro Kamado.
Just as Shinjuro Rengoku claims, the mark is linked with Sun Breathing users. Tanjiro’s direct association and as a practitioner of the Sun Breathing technique, he can access the Demon Slayer Mark. Amane Ubuyashiki herself states that the first one to have the mark is Tanjiro (presently).
But with great power comes great responsibility, well, in this case, a curse. Those who awakened their Demon Slayer Marks passed away upon reaching the age of 25.
As per Kokushibo’s speculation, the enhanced powers come in exchange of their lifespan. Though, two people do bypass this curse.
Kokushibo opts of out of mortal life to become an immortal demon while Yoriichi, through means unknown, lives to the age of 85 years old.
Why does Mark Change?
The key to this answer is Tanjiro himself. The mark has an ability to develop and resonate. Originally, the scar on Tanjiro’s forehead was merely a burn he received from saving his brother from a falling brazier.
But gradually as Tanjiro keeps gaining powers and growing strong, we see the scar developing into a mark spreading across his forehead.
We see four prominent forms of the mark through the storyline. The first form was his original frayed patch of skin. His second form marks the transformation of his scar after his fight with the Hand Demon.
The evolution of the third form happens during the fight with Rui and is more prominent. Finally, Tanjiro awakens his Demon Slayer Mark for the first time against the Upper Moon 6, Gyutaro and once again with Hantengo.
It is revealed that the mark is awakened after meeting certain criteria, i.e, persisting over life-threatening conditions such as heart rate over 200 bpm and body temperature of 39 degree Celsius.
Another precondition and the most important one is, direct association with Sun Breathing technique. Once he awakens his Demon Slayer Mark, we see him access otherworldly powers such as Transparent World during his fight against Akaza.
The mark serves as a booster to the bearer’s physical abilities, it allows hyper perception (termed as Transparent World) and turns their Nichirin Blades red that interferes with the regenerative abilities of a demon.
The power-up is enough to enable them to fight on par with the Twelve Kizuki.
Another interesting detail of the Demon Slayer Mark is its capacity to resonate.
Just like in the Sengoku Era, where multiple Demon Slayers were able to access the Demon Slayer Mark, a similar incident takes place where the Hashiras who have no direct association with the Sun Breathing technique awaken their Demon Slayer Marks.
The original mark can act as a catalyst and spread to other Demon Slayers who’re able to meet the criteria through what’s called resonance.
This ability marked the fate of Muzan Kibutsuji and the Twelve Kizuki. The Hashiras resonate with Tanjiro’s marks and access abilities that rival the Twelve Kizuki’s.
Other Users of Demon Slayer Mark
In the Sengoku Era, Yoriichi Tsugikuni and a few swordsmen that established the Demon Slayer corps possessed this mark. It is implied that Tanjiro’s father, Tanjuro Kamado also accessed the mark.
As per the main storyline, Tanjiro Kamado and the Hashiras – Giyu Tomioka, Mitsuri Kanroji, Obanai Iguro, Sanemi Shinazugawa, Gyomei Himejima and Muichiro Tokito awakened their Demon Slayer Marks.
Is Tanjiro the strongest of all?
If the question was phrased differently, such as ‘Is Tanjiro the strongest demon slayer of all time?’ then the answer would be no because Yoriichi Tsugikuni could totally smoke Tanjiro in a fight.
But Tanjiro doesn’t disappoint because he surely is the strongest demon slayer of his time – the Taisho period. Tanjiro undergoes a gradual yet dynamic transformation throughout the show. By the end of the manga, he defeats Muzan.
At that point, Tanjiro possesses enhanced physical capacities and great mental fortitude. Prior to the battle with Muzan, Tanjiro masters the Hinokami Kagura and accesses the 13th form of the technique which helps him prolong his abilities of Selfless State, Transparent World and the Crimson Blade.
And not requiring further explanations, he awakens his Demon Slayer Mark placing his abilities at peak level.
About Demon Slayer
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotoge. Its publication in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump began in February 2016 with 19 collected tankōbon volumes released as of present.
In a world filled with demons and demon slayers, Kimetsu no Yaiba follows the lives of two siblings Tanjiro and Nezuko Kamado after— the murder of their family at the hands of a demon. Their hardship does not end there, as Nezuko’s life is spared only for her to live as a demon.
As the oldest sibling, Tanjiro vows to protect and cure his sister. The story traces the bond of this brother-sister or better yet, demon slayer and demon combo against the odds of an arch antagonist and the society.