It is the Taisho Period. Tanjiro Kamado is living a modest but blissful life in the mountains with his family. One day, when he returns from selling charcoal in town, he finds his family slaughtered in pools of blood after a demon attack. Tanjiro rushes down the snowy mountain with the sole survivor, his sister Nezuko, on his back. But on the way, Nezuko suddenly snarls, turning on Tanjiro.
Tanjiro Kamado, a young boy with a gifted sense of smell, leaves his family in their mountain home and departs to a nearby town to sell charcoal. His family has struggled financially since the death of their father but they are happy nonetheless. When Tanjiro arrives at the town, they welcome him and does small tasks to help the townspeople. By the time he has sold all the charcoal, night time has already fallen.
As he heads home, Saburo, an elderly man who has lost his family, sternly instructs Tanjiro to spend the night in his home. He warns Tanjiro to never travel at night, since there are man-eating demons roaming the land.
When Tanjiro returns home the following morning, he smells blood and discovers his entire family has been massacred. He finds that his younger sister, Nezuko, is still warm to the touch and he tries to take her to the town for medical treatment. Tanjiro slips and falls into the snow back, but when he tries to carry Nezuko again, she transforms into a demon and attacks him.
While Tanjiro tries to fend her off, a demon slayer -- whose name is later revealed to be Giyu Tomioka -- arrives and attempts to decapitate Nezuko, only for Tanjiro to pull her out of the way. He pleads with Giyu that Nezuko would never harm anyone, and that there was an unknown scent at his home who might've been the culprit. However Giyu dismisses his excuses, and explains that Nezuko had transformed into a demon after her wounds were contaminated with demon blood, and that she is hungry demon who will eat humans. Tanjiro says that he will cure Nezuko and begs to have her life spared, but this infuriates Giyu and he berates Tanjiro for his weak demeanor and resolve.
Giyu stabs Nezuko which causes Tanjiro to take action, he tries his best to attack him but is ultimately knocked unconscious. When she sees Tanjiro lying unconscious at her feet, Nezuko escapes from Giyu's grasp and runs to him, Giyu looks on in despair as he believes that she is going to eat him, but is stunned to see that she's protecting her brother from him. Nezuko attacks Giyu but he questions her odd behavior, and ends up knocking her unconscious instead of killing her.
Tanjiro dreams of his family apologizing for leaving him, and his mother entrusting him to look after Nezuko. When Tanjiro awakens from his dream, Nezuko is returned to him, and Giyu tells him to see a man named Sakonji Urokodaki at the foot of Mt. Sagiri. He instructs Tanjiro to say that he was the one who sent them, and warns him to make sure that Nezuko is never exposed to sunlight before vanishing. The siblings return home to bury the rest of the Kamado family, and leave hand in hand to embark on their journey.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Tanjiro Kamado
- Nezuko Kamado
- Kie Kamado
- Shigeru Kamado
- Hanako Kamado
- Takeo Kamado
- Rokuta Kamado
- Giyu Tomioka