At the time of his debut during the Final Selection, Genya was a short, young man with large, inward-slanting eyes. The space where his eyebrows would've been is constantly furrowed, which gave him a permanently angered appearance. His hair is styled into a buzz cut, with only a small clump of messy black hair left to grow on the top of his head. He also possessed a large, jagged scar that ran over his right cheekbone from his ear and to over his nose.
During his first appearance, Genya is seen wearing a purple, sleeveless yukata over a plain black shirt with long sleeves.
Later on, when seen again in the Butterfly Estate, Genya had a much more feral appearance, having undergone a growth spurt that put him at almost six feet tall. His hair is also much longer, worn in more of a mohawk style, the strands much longer and visible around his neck. It is also noted that he became more muscular and gained many more scars all over his body.
After becoming a Demon Slayer, his outfit changed to a dark olive-green version of the Demon Slayer uniform, over which he still sported his old purple yukata.
Genya is a foul-mouthed and ill-tempered individual; a "lone wolf" who refused any help from others and did not show any interest in being polite or having any manners. During the Final Selection, he roughly handled Kanata Ubuyashiki by grabbing her hair and yelling at her despite her being a child. His ill temper and brash way of speaking heavily resembles that of his older brother, Sanemi.
He became more open to cooperation during the battle against Hantengu, an Upper Moon Demon, where he worked alongside Tanjiro Kamado, Mitsuri Kanroji, and Nezuko Kamado. After some time, he learned to become more sociable and less ill-mannered towards others, particularly towards Tanjiro and his friends.
Sanemi's refusal to acknowledge Genya also made him insecure as he came to realize just how weak he is compared to his companions. Nonetheless, he did whatever he could to help his allies, even if it got him horribly maimed in the process. Despite his brother's harsh rebukes, he bore no ill will towards him, a belief reinforced by Tanjiro and eventually by Sanemi himself.
Genya belonged to a family of seven children with a hardworking mother who never slept and an abusive father who would beat her and his children. His father is hated among the villagers and is eventually stabbed to death by an unknown assailant. After that, Sanemi and Genya vowed to protect their siblings and mother.
One day, their mother went missing and Sanemi left to find her. As suspicion and worry began to cross the minds of the children, alone and unprotected, a loud knock is heard from their door. Four of his siblings ran to the door despite Genya's protests that it might not be their mother, but before he could react, the door is sliced open and they were cut down immediately. In the ensuing panic, Genya watched helplessly as the figure—which he assumed to be a wolf—attacked them. Before it could attack Genya, however, Sanemi tackled it out of their window to the streets below and ordered Genya to run away.
Seeing his bloodied siblings, subconsciously aware that they were already dead but unable to fully process it, Genya set out for a doctor but soon stumbled across Sanemi, with their mother lying dead at his feet. Genya, in his confusion and panic, labeled Sanemi a murderer and cradled their mother's body in his arms as she dissolved in the rising sunlight.
Later on, Genya realized his mistake and decided to join the Demon Slayers to try and reconcile his relationship with his brother. Although he found he had no talent for Breath Styles, he discovered that he could eat Demons and gain Demonic abilities. He is discovered by the Stone Pillar, Gyomei Himejima. Since Genya couldn’t use Breaths, Gyomei didn’t make him his Tsuguko, but he still decided to train him. At some point, he reunited with Sanemi and tried to apologize, but Sanemi rejected him and said he had no brother. After this, Genya decided to become a Pillar as a way to regain some connection with his brother.
Genya participated in the Final Selection exam, managing to survive the seven-day trial. He impatiently inquired about receiving his Nichirin Blade, angrily hitting both his Kasugaigarasu and Kanata when his demand went unfulfilled. Tanjiro intervened, threatening to break his arm if he didn't immediately let go of Kanata. When Genya instead dares him to, Tanjiro obliges, leaving the irate youth to nurse his broken limb. Kiriya Ubuyashiki, undeterred by the rough treatment his sister received, simply continues with his instructions.
Later, at the Butterfly Estate under unknown circumstances, Genya intentionally bumped into Tanjiro, ignoring his greeting afterwards. While training with Gyomei, he later received the report of Kyojuro Rengoku's death via Kasugaigarasu.
Genya later appeared at the Swordsmith Village, ignoring Mitsuri when she asked for his name—though out of shyness rather than spite—and is found by Tanjiro in the hot springs. Before realizing Tanjiro is present, the scarred youth ripped one of his teeth out and discarded it, accidentally hitting Tanjiro with it. He turned when his name is called, angrily told his fellow Demon Slayer to drop dead, and plunged his head into the hot water when he persisted in talking with him. Genya also did not show up for any meals, having told the villagers he wouldn't eat at all. When Tanjiro went to bring him some leftovers, he isn't in his room.
A few days later, Genya listened with impatient anger as Tanjiro explained the situation with Hotaru Haganezuka and the rusted Nichirin Blade, exclaiming that he didn't care and that Tanjiro shouldn't talk to him as if he were his friend. He reminded his companion that he had broken his arm, told him not to call him by his first name, broke the rice cracker Tanjiro offered him, and told him to get out. He fell silent when Tanjiro pointed out his regrown tooth, telling him that he must be seeing things, but is disgusted when his companion showed him the tooth in question. Telling him to throw it out, the scarred youth kicked Tanjiro out of his room.
Genya appeared during Tanjiro and Nezuko's battle against Hantengu, aiming his gun at the Upper Moon's staff-wielding form, Sekido. He shot a cluster of bullets, which completely decapitated Sekido but failed to completely do so with Karaku. Moving in to finish the job with his Nichirin Blade, Genya ignored Tanjiro's advice, proceeding to complete Karaku's decapitation. The two Demons became four, and Genya is stabbed through the chest by the spear-wielding Hantengu, Aizetsu.
Aizetsu attempted to pull the spear out of Genya to attack Nezuko, only to be unable to do so. Genya shot at the surprised Demon, blowing his head to bits. He noted that the headless Demon is starting to pull his spear free, getting a horrendous slash wound across his chest as a result. Genya began to pray, avoided another attack from his opponent, and attacking the Aizetsu from behind. However, Sekido intervened using his electricity and Aizetsu attacked him once more, this time managing to smash him into a wall. Undeterred, Genya began to pray again, answering his opponent's question of what he is by introducing himself, promising to kill Aizetsu.
Genya manages to defeat his opponent, spearing him to a tree and ripping his head off. He turns to face Tanjiro, his appearance now resembling a Demon's, then grabbed him and told him not to push his luck, as he would kill the Upper Moon. He goes on to deny Tanjiro's defeat of Upper Moon Six and states that he will become a Pillar before him. When Tanjiro happily agrees to this, even offering his support, Genya tries to call his bluff, only to see in his comrade's eyes that he is telling the truth. They were then interrupted by an electricity attack from Sekido, with Tanjiro heading off to find the Upper Moon's fifth body, telling Genya not to attack Nezuko.
Genya heads northeast at Tanjiro's instruction to find the fifth Hantengu, noting with frustration that he still couldn't see him, only to finally notice him: A small version of Hantengu's original form, only about the size of a rat. He shot at his tiny foe, then attempted to cut his head off with his blade, only for it to break. After firing another shot at the tiny Hantengu, he discovers his tactic would not work. Sekido ambushes him from behind and Genya only has time to apologize to Sanemi in his mind for "what happened back then", noting that he only wanted to become a Pillar so his sibling would accept him.
Luckily, he is saved at the last second by Tanjiro and Nezuko, but after Hantengu’s hatred forcefully combines with his fellow aspects into Zohakuten, he attacks Tanjiro. Before Genya can shoot the Demon, Zohakuten uses his Blood Demon Art to turn the trees into dragons. When Tanjiro proclaims his hatred for the Demon and his mentality—that Demons were protecting themselves from humans that hunted them down, even though they regularly attacked and consumed humans—Genya is shocked that the kind boy had any anger in him.
When Mitsuri arrives and starts fighting Zohakuten, he goes to protect her when the Demon stuns and nearly kills her. Mitsuri decides to hold off Zohakuten while Genya, Tanjiro, and Nezuko pursue Hantengu's main body. When they get constricted by the wood dragons, Genya simply eats the dragon to free themselves and absorb its Demonic abilities. After they finally destroy the wood dragon and get to Hatengu's protective orb, they find that the wooden sphere is empty. When they spy the small demon, Genya throws a tree at the demon in his anger. He misses, however, so the three give chase once again. Tanjiro, emulating Zenitsu Agatsuma’s Breath of Thunder, rushes at the demon with blinding speed.
However, Hantegu's resentment causes him to split again, creating a larger body around himself, while he is hidden inside its heart. When Hantengu grabs Tanjiro, Genya goes to his aid. He pries the demon's hands off and then rips off his arms, while Nezuko shoots fire at him. Due to becoming a partial demon as a result of consuming them, the flames start hurting him, forcing him to retreat so the fire wouldn't spread to him. Hantengu, Nezuko, and Tanjiro fall off a cliff. Genya, heavily injured, is unable to help further in the fight. After Tanjiro finally slays the demon and Nezuko reveals her resistance to the sun, everyone celebrates and even Genya cracks a smile.
Sanemi is Genya's older brother and only living sibling. After a Demon attack befell their family, Sanemi and Genya were the only ones who survived the incident. However, after Genya branded his sibling a "murderer", their relationship began to worsen and decline until the two split and went their own ways. It is revealed during the battle with Kokushibo that despite the whole incident, Sanemi still heavily cared for his younger brother and actually wanted him to live a normal life without the threat of demons. Genya is moved to tears and apologized after hearing Sanemi's reasoning behind his rudeness. After their battle with Kokushibou, Genya apologized again for blaming Sanemi and thanked his brother for protecting him before succumbing to his wounds and crumbling into dust, leaving Sanemi stricken with grief.
At first, Genya treated Tanjiro like an annoying pest and wouldn't even talk to him. This didn't discourage Tanjiro who kept wanting to connect to Genya, pissing him off. However, throughout their fight with Hantengu, Genya started befriending Tanjiro and gains respect for him. Tanjiro also tried to mend Genya's relationship with Sanemi, although his actions earned him a mouthful from the higher-ups. Genya later taught Tanjiro how to do repetitive actions during Gyomei's Pillar training. Tanjiro cries when he hears of Genya's passing.
Abilities and Powers
Demonic Transformation: By consuming part of a Demon, Genya could temporarily gain demonic attributes from it. Depending on the strength of the individual, he could gain regeneration and physical strength equal to one. In this form, Genya is capable of overpowering Aizetsu briefly.
- Upper Moon Four Empowerment: After consuming the wood created by Zouhakuten, Genya had enough strength and speed to throw 3 trees in quick succession. In his battle against Kokushibo, the full extent of his demonification upon eating some of the Upper Moon Four's flesh is shown that despite Kokushibo viciously bifurcating him across his abdomen and cutting of both of his arms, he still did not die, showing that like a genuine demon, Genya could now only be killed by decapitation.
- Upper Moon One Empowerment: Upon eating the hair of Kokushibo, Genya's demonic abilities were further enhanced, as seen when he managed to reattach his severed body in mere seconds and is even able to intercept the telepathic communication of Muzan Kibutsuji. Upon eating a piece of the Upper Moon's Flesh Sword, Genya even began taking up several of Upper Moon One's physical characteristics such as his eyes and hair. Later, the full extent of his enhanced demon abilities is shown that even when he is bifurcated and half his head is sliced cleanly in half, Genya is not only still alive and conscious but still possessed the necessary strength to activate his Blood Demon Arts. However, upon succumbing to his severe wounds, Genya much like a genuine demon, disintegrated to ash.
- Flesh Gun: Genya displayed the ability to detach his cells and merge them with his gun, with the gun having the same characteristics of Kokushibo's sword of having multiple eyes on top of the barrel and muzzle, which presumably increases its accuracy and power.
- Demon Slayer Mark: Genya also gained access to his Demon Slayer Mark that appeared as a flame-like tattoo design on top of the right side of his forehead which presumably also increased all of his physical and mental abilities.
Blood Demon Art (
- Wooden Flesh Bullets - Due to eating the cells of Upper Moon One and Upper Moon Four, Genya had developed a unique technique where he merged his demon-transformed cells with his sun steel bullets, that, when fired, the direction and velocity of the bullets could be freely manipulated by Genya to easily move around obstructions between the bullet and the intended target, as seen when his bullets moved around Kokushibo's sword, directly burying themselves into his flesh. Once inside its target, the bullets can immediately grow into a gigantic tree similar to the tree creatures of Upper Moon Four's Zou Hakuten form and then entangle and wrap around the intended target, paralyzing them.
- Blood Roots - Genya could further alter his embedded Flesh Bullets by having them take root inside his target and suck the demons blood from inside their bodies, effectively preventing them from activating their own Blood Demon Arts.
- Genya is one of the few characters in the series who does not primarily use a sword and is the only Demon Slayer named so far who cannot use any of the Breaths.
- Generally, Genya is better at wielding a gun than a sword, as he's very good at hitting targets.
- It seems that Genya is shy around women, breaking out into a blush and losing the capability to speak with them. This is seen when interacting with the Love Pillar, Mitsuri, and the younger girls who work at the Butterfly Estate.
- Due to his unique Demon-eating powers, Genya regularly goes to the Butterfly Estate for health check-ups.
- (To Sanemi Shinazugawa) "You... had many... horrible memories. And I want you to be happy... I want you... to not die... because my 'Nemi is... the sweetest... person... in the world..."