Warning: This article contains spoilers pertaining to all Demon Moons that appear in the Demon Slayer manga, including the ones revealed during the Infinity Castle arc.
The hugely popular Demon Slayer anime is about a boy named Tanjiro Kamado who is on a life-saving mission to restore his sister’s humanity after an attack that kills their entire family. Nezuko is made into a demon by Muzan Kibutsuji, the main antagonist of the series, the oldest and most powerful demon who’s the only one capable of turning humans into flesh-eating monsters. After a chance encounter with the Water Hashira Giyu Tomioka, Tanjiro decides to join the Demon Slayer Corps to avenge his family and find a cure for his sister.
As the first of his kind, Kibutsuji is the progenitor of all other demons. While all demons came from Kibutsuji’s blood, not all of them are created equal. Depending on how much of Kibutsuji’s blood they have consumed, some of the demons are stronger, with the 12 strongest demons being known as Kizuki, or Demon Moons. They’re divided into the stronger Upper Ranks and the weaker Lower Ranks, with each demon possessing different skills and abilities. There are changes in the ranks in the latter arcs of the manga, hence, these will also be included in the following list. Anime-only fans be warned: there are mentions of characters that have yet to be revealed as Kizuki.
12. Kyogai and Kamanue – Lower Moons 6
Kyogai, the Drum Demon, is defeated by Tanjiro in Season 1 at the time when he had already been demoted from his position as Lower Moon 6. Kamanue had been the demon who replaced Kyogai, however, we never get to see him in action as he is killed after scoffing in his mind at the Demon King’s demands, unbeknownst to him that Muzan could read his thoughts.
11. Rui – Lower Moon 5
When he was alive, Rui was a young, sickly boy from a well-off family. Despite his parents’ love and devotion for him, when Kibutsuji offers to turn him into a demon, Rui accepts. He is guilt-ridden after killing his real family and wants to replace them by creating one made of demons, but when a member disobeys him, he punishes them severely, even killing some of them by stringing them up and leaving them to be burnt by the morning sunlight. As a demon, Rui uses a spider web that is strong enough to cut through almost anything, be it flesh or blade.
10. Rokuro, Wakuraba, Mukago – Lower Moons 2, 3, 4
All three of these demons are killed by Muzan in the last episode of Season 1, mainly due to the rule of demons’ disappointment at having Rui, another Lower Moon, lose to the demon slayers.
Rokuro is killed by Kibutsuji for begging for the Demon King’s blood in order to become stronger. Kibutsuji takes his pleading as an order and quickly puts him in his place, killing him on the spot.
Watching Kibutsuji kill two of the other Lower Moon demons in front of him, Wakuraba attempts to flee, showing his great speed and agility. Despite this, he was no match for Muzan, who chops his head off in an instant.
As a demon, Mukago has red stripes on her face and white horns on her head. She is cowardly and prior to being swiftly executed, she was accused of running away from the Hashira instead of facing them directly as Muzan wants and expects.
9. Enmu – Lower Moon 1
In Season 1, Episode 26, Enmu, Lower Moon 1, is the only surviving of the 5 remaining Lower Moons after Kibutsuji slaughters the rest. After demonstrating his sadistic side and undying devotion to their leader, Enmu is granted more blood by Muzan and tasked with killing the demon slayer who wears the Hanafuda earrings – whom we know to be Tanjiro. Enmu has the ability to put people to sleep, manipulate their dreams, and kill them while they slumber, capable of turning the most blissful dream into a terrifying nightmare.
8. Kaigaku – Upper Moon 6
Like Zenitsu, Kaigaku was also once trained in Thunder Breathing by the former Thunder Hashira Jigoro Kuwajima. But as opposed to Zenitsu, who can only use the First Form, Thunderclap and Flash, Kaigaku can use all the other forms except the first. He’s the one we see bullying the cowardly blond demon slayer during a flashback scene in Season 1, Episode 17. Kaigaku is later turned into a demon and the one to replace Daki and Gyutaro as Upper Moon 6 after their defeat at the end of the Entertainment District Arc.
7. Daki and Gyutaro – Upper Moons 6
Daki and Gyutaro are a true two-in-one special. At first, it seems like the second Upper Moon the main gang encounter – with the first being Akaza – is only the snarky, mean-spirited Daki, who is pretending to be the top oiran Warabihime. However, when the Sound Hashira Tengen Uzui beheads her, she does not die. Instead, she whines for her big brother to come, and – lo and behold – Gyutaro sprouts out of her back to join her in the fight, very much complicating things for Tanjiro and the rest. The fight against the demon siblings stretches on for quite a while, appearing to be going to end in tragedy at multiple points. In the end, Daki and Gyutaro are defeated, but it is a close call for our group. Of the two siblings, it is also clear that Gyutaro is the most dangerous opponent.
6. Gyokko – Upper Moon 5
Gyokko is a deformed demon, with two mouths in place of his eyes, and two eyes in place of his forehead and mouth. The most grotesquely looking demon is also one of the most – if not the most – disliked by fans. Even if you can see some merit in his artworks – which you might not because they are not that great – you cannot avoid being disgusted by how sadistic this Upper Moon is. Although he’s ranked number 5, he actually takes less effort to defeat than Gyutaro. And that’s in great part because he was arrogant enough to underestimate a 14-year-old who also happens to be a gifted Hashira and who ends up easily beheading him while mocking him in the process. Well, at least, if nothing else, Gyokko somewhat contributed to getting Muichiro’s memories back.
5. Hantengu – Upper Moon 4
If Hantengu is not as morally twisted as Gyokko, he’s very close. In fact, this demon has the most infuriatingly hypocritical discourse of all of them. Besides that, Hantengu is a massive problem, way more so than the aforementioned Upper 5. That’s because when fighting Hantengu you don’t have just one target to focus on, but many, as many as five at the same time, and they all have powerful attacks, thus, it’s hard to imagine a lone demon slayer being able to beat him. It took the combined efforts of all the slayers featured in the Swordsmith Village Arc – even Muichiro who chucks the 300-year-old sword at Tanjiro for him to wield – to be able to beat him.
4. Nakime – Upper Moon 4
Nakime, also known as the biwa woman, is the demon who becomes Upper Moon 4 after Hantengu’s death. We see her as early as the final episode of Season 1 and that’s because her blood demon art is in fact the impressive Infinity Castle Muzan always summons his minions to. However, it isn’t until the Infinity Castle Arc that we truly see her in action and posing as the new Upper 4.
3. Akaza – Upper Moon 3
Despite having killed the lovable Flame Hashira, Akaza is often fans’ favorite Upper Demon Moon. That’s partly due to his tragic backstory, which also explains why his specialty is martial arts and hand-to-hand combat, a riveting fighting style to watch on screen. Akaza’s skill in martial arts when he was human as well as his love for the thrill of the fight may be the reasons why he grows to be so strong. But even then, he is surpassed by Doma, who becomes Upper 2 before Akaza, even though the latter has been alive for longer, something which vexes him.
2. Doma – Upper Moon 2
Don’t be fooled by Doma’s happy-go-lucky demeanor, this charismatic demon is ruthless. He’s a cult leader in every sense of the denomination, being worshiped while exploiting his human followers as he wishes, even using them to feed himself. Although he appears friendly, even unbothered when Akaza destroys half of his head, Doma has no real empathy. His cruelness in the past makes it so some of the demon slayers we know and root for have a justifiable grudge against him. To match his inner coldness, Doma uses ice as his demon art, and his weapon of choice is a tessen – a Japanese war fan – which he uses to cast his attacks.
1. Kokushibo – Upper Moon 1
Kokushibo is the oldest, most revered, and most feared Demon Moon in the entire series. Many centuries prior to the start of Tanjiro’s story, Kokushibo used to be a demon slayer who was extremely jealous of his twin brother. Even as a demon, he carries his former nichirin sword which he modified with his own flesh and blood. While he isn’t needlessly cruel like Gyokko or Doma, his presence instills respect even among the Upper Ranks. In the Swordsmith Village Arc, we already get the sense that, true to his rank, Kokushibo is not to be trifled with. However, proof of how brutal of an opponent he can be is only showcased during the Infinity Castle Arc.