Demon Slayer's nine Hashira are humanity's last line of defense against the vicious demons that rule the night. It's not an easy job, and only the best of the best can become one. The only way to become a Hashira is to kill at least 50 demons or defeat one of Muzan's Demon Moons.
A Hashira can also choose their successor, or Tsugoku, by carefully selecting them from the Corps' most skilled members. Unfortunately, many fan-favorite characters met brutal, untimely demises in Demon Slayer, and the Hashira certainly weren't an exception. Some of their fates, however, were much sadder than others.
Manga spoilers ahead!
8 Tengen Had To Retire Early, But He Still Lived His Best Life
Following the Entertainment District arc, Tengen was forced to retire early because of his injuries while fighting Daki and Gyutaro. He lost an arm and an eye in the battle. Still, this didn't prevent the flashy Sound Hashira from living his best life with all three of his wives.
Tengen was the first to help out the younger Corps members during the Hashira Training arc. He even helped out during the final battle at the Infinity Castle by keeping watch. He continued looking out for Tanjiro and the gang. Plus, one of his ancestors became an Olympic gold medal gymnast.
7 Giyu Protected Tanjiro Until The Very End
The battle at the Infinity Castle was one of the series' most devastating. Many fan-favorite characters met their demise during this fight, but Giyu persevered despite losing an arm and getting his sword broken. He protected Tanjiro until the very end, even after he became a demon. Giyu ensured Tanjiro never killed anybody so his soul wouldn't become even more corrupted.
Though he was cursed to die by his 25th birthday because of his Demon Slayer Mark, Giyu still made the most out of the time he had left. He spent time with his friends and attended the Corps' disbandment ceremony.
6 Shinobu Killed Doma By Consuming A Massive Amount Of Wisteria Poison
Shinobu's death was brutal. Doma, the Upper Moon Two, quickly overpowered her during their fight. However, Shinobu got one over on him by thinking ahead. Before arriving at the Infinity Castle, the Insect Hashira consumed roughly 81 pounds of wisteria poison.
Even though Doma killed her, he died just as quickly because of the sheer amount of poison he ingested after eating her. After the time skip, the story reveals that descendants of Zenitsu and Nezuko passed by two young students on the street. Those two turned out to be reincarnations of Shinobu and her sister, Kanae.
5 Sanemi Was Saved Because His Father Wouldn't Let Him Die
Sanemi almost didn't survive the Infinity Castle arc. He took on Kokushibo with Genya, Gyomei, and Muichiro. He and Gyomei worked together to deal the finishing hit to Kokushibo. He passed out, but woke up and saw his brother fading away.
Though Sanemi survived, he nearly died. In fact, he passed out again during the fight against Muzan. He was faced with a choice of going to Heaven or Hell with his mother. He chose the latter, but his father's spirit visited and forced him back to life. Though he'd still die on his 25th birthday like all Demon Slayers who got their Mark, he still made the most of the time he had left.
4 Gyomei Took On Kokushibo Even Though He Knew He Was Running On Borrowed Time
Before facing Muzan, the Hashira started training to receive their Demon Slayer Marks. However, those who receive the Mark die by their 25th birthday. This put Gyomei in a tough situation since he was already 27. He realized that he was running on borrowed time, but still took on Kokushibo and defeated him. Then, Hyopmei joined forces with the other Hashira to defeat Muzan.
Gyomei's death scene was one of the series' most heartbreaking. He peacefully died after losing his leg during the fight against Muzan. He passed away while imagining the spirits of his foster children surrounding him.
3 Kokushibo Knew That He Was Distantly Related To Muichiro But Still Killed Him
Muichiro's spacey personality contradicts his impressive fighting spirit. Fans were devastated by his death during the Infinity Castle arc. He joined the fight against the Upper Moon one, Kokushibo. He instantly recognized his distant relation to the Mist Hashira, but nonetheless killed him. In fact, he made a spectacle of killing him in the most brutal way possible.
Kokushibo ripped Muichiro apart. He stabbed him in the chest, cut his arm and legs off, and made sure to blow his other arm to smithereens during the fight. Muichiro didn't give up on fighting until he had no choice but to succumb to his wounds.
2 Rengoku's Death Changed The Series' Overall Tone
Rengoku died at the end of the Mugen Train arc. He succumbed to his wounds and realized that he didn't stand a chance against Akaza, who cowardly fled the scene as soon as the sun came up. Rengoku died smiling, but not before giving Tanjiro some words of encouragement.
He told Tanjiro to keep living with his head held high and told him that time wouldn't stop just because he was grieving. Rengoku reminded Tanjiro to set his heart ablaze and keep fighting. He also acknowledged Nezuko as a member of the Demon Slayer Corps.
1 Mitsuri & Obanai Died Together After Confessing Their Love For One Another
It was pretty obvious for most of the series that Obanai and Mitsuri were in love, but they never confessed until they were dying by each others' side after the final battle against Muzan. Mitsuri had already entered the battle with grave injuries, so Obanai forced her on the sidelines so she wouldn't get hurt anymore.
Obanai and Tanjiro defeated Muzan. Unfortunately, the Serpent Hashira succumbed to his injuries. He and Mitsuri confessed their love and died together shortly after. They promised to meet again in their next lives, which they did. Their reincarnations run a bakery together. Though they got a happy ending in the next life, it feels bittersweet after considering how they died in their previous lives.
NEXT: 10 Happiest Anime Characters With The Saddest Backstories