Mitsuri Kanroji's first action sequence in Demon Slayer's "Swordsmith Village" arc was a beautifully animated expression of her character. Probably the most eye-catching feature of her entire sequence is her unique weapon, which takes the form of a ribbon-like extendable blade.
Mitsuri isn’t the only Demon Slayer to employ a different weapon than the standard Nichirin katana -- fellow Hashira Tengen Uzui used nunchuck-like dual blades, while Genya Shinazugawa, a main cast member for Season 3, employs a gun in battle that fires Nichirin bullets, in combination with a traditional Nichirin katana. While most Demon Slayers in the series equip the katana as their main weapon, it's clearly not the only acceptable outlet for killing Demons. Here's why some Demon Slayers use alternative Nichirin weapons and what it reveals about their personalities.
Mitsuri Kanroji's Sword Whip Shows Off Her Artistic Sensibility
The Love Hashira is one of the main characters in Demon Slayer's "Swordsmith Village" arc. Mitsuri Kanroji created a name for herself with her one-of-a-kind sword-whip weapon. This blade is most likely inspired by the real-life Indian sword whip known as the urumi, and it is one of the most distinct weapons utilised by any Demon Slayer thus far in the series. Mitsuri's blade is flexible, mobile, and can stretch several feet while being constructed of the same Nichirin metal as regular Demon Slayer katanas. Because of its bendy nature, it may be rolled up into its sheath and easily unravelled.
The urumi is regarded as one of the most difficult weapons in the world to master, and Mitsuri's specialised blade is no exception. She claims in the anime that she is stronger than almost every male she meets, and her mastery of the sword whip demonstrates this. The fact that she uses such a rare and challenging weapon proves her competence, but also that she must have trained and worked hard to reach the level of a Hashira.
The flexibility of the sword's whip also perfectly fits Mitsuri’s fighting style. She moves with grace and elegance, using the whip as an extension of her body much like a dancer or an artist would, yet somehow maintains the power and effectiveness expected of a Hashira in Demon Slayer.
Tengen and Inosuke's Distinct Blades Highlight Their Diverse Backgrounds
Unlike Mitsuri, the swords of the other Demon Slayers are a product of their individual and unique backgrounds as well as their personality. Take, for example, Tengen Uzui, a former Sound Hashira who appeared in Demon Slayer's "Entertainment District" arc. Tengen carries two separate, dual-bladed Nichirin swords linked together by a single chain. While this weapon can be employed as a sword in various situations, its large blade and connectedness make it a particularly eye-catching weapon that, when combined with his small bombs, fits his colourful nature.
Beyond this, Tengen's dual blades represent his past as a former shinobi who underwent rigorous combat training. The sword's base resembles a nunchuck, and this connectivity makes it one of the most difficult and complex weapons seen in the series. Tengen's skill and shinobi path are both displayed in his choice of sword, while also reflecting his showmanship and desire to leave a flashy imprint with all his moves.
Inosuke Hashibira's jagged katanas fulfill a similar purpose. While his swords mostly align with the traditional Demon Slayer katana design, they are known for their jagged edges that can aid him in cutting and sawing. On one hand, Inosuke's jagged edges do provide an additional function for his weapons, as seen during his decapitation of the Upper Moon Daki. However, they also reflect his own wild and rough-around-the-edges nature from his lonely upbringing in the mountains. Inosuke's swords almost resemble the teeth of a wild boar, demonstrating that how no matter how much stronger he gets or how much higher he rises in the Demon Slayer ranks, he'll always hold on to his wild, untamable side.
Genya and Lady Shinobu Use Different Weapons to Make Up for Weaknesses
While Demon Slayers like Tengen and Mitsuri utilize unique designs, their weapons still fit the general mold of being a sword. Genya Shinazugawa breaks that mold completely with his use of a gun, which almost seems like it was popped in from a whole different anime. Genya does carry a traditional Nichirin katana, but the gun seems to be his first choice when it comes to combat.
It does reflect his explosive temper, but unlike the previously mentioned Demon Slayers, Genya's alternative weapon usage has more to do with overcoming limitations. Genya has stated he's unable to use Breathing techniques -- the primary method for a Demon Slayer to enhance their strength and speed. Genya's Nichirin bullets are meant to compensate for his inability to fight with a blade at full potential.
Lady Shinobu Kocho, the Insect Breathing Hashira, does use a katana. However, unlike any other katana in the series, she laces her weapon with a variety of poisons and venoms meant to immobilize or even kill Demons. According to Shinobu, her lack of physical strength makes her incapable of cutting most Demons' heads.
To compensate for this weakness, Shinobu is a functional chemist who can whip up different concoctions on the fly to adjust to different combat situations. Her unique fighting style and choice of weaponry make her one of the most deadly Hashira to face, depending on the matchup. Whether it be out of choice, their backgrounds or even to compensate for weaknesses, the Demon Slayers who utilize weapons other than plain katanas all see their individual personalities and traits reflected in their choice of blade, thus enhancing the audience's view of their character.