How dare you cut through my pot... my art! You uncultured swine! You pigs have nothing but muscle in those brains. You lack the intelligence to appreciate my art!
 
Gyokko in Airs of an Artist

Gyokko ( (ぎょ) (っこ) Gyokko?) is the secondary antagonist in the Swordsmith Village Arc of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. He is a Demon affiliated with the Twelve Kizuki's Upper Ranks, holding the position of Upper Rank 5 ( (じょう) (げん) () Jōgen no Go?).[1]

Over a century ago, he was a human by the name of Managi ( () () () Managi?), who lost his parents as an early age. Gyokko lived in a fishing village and had an unhealthy obsession over collecting dead fish carcasses. One day, he killed a child and stuffed his body inside a jar, which the child's parents responded to by killing Gyokko with a two-pronged fishing fork, leaving him to die. As he was bleeding out, Muzan Kibutsuji passed by and decided to turn him into a Demon.

Appearance

Gyokko's design takes the form of a pale white, abstracted, grotesque humanoid figure with an upper torso that has no arms and resembles that of an armless statue growing from a porcelain pot; similarly to a djinn.

He has multiple infant-like hands that line his back. Gyokko's face is somewhat even more distorted. Large green mouths displace the position of where one would expect eyes, and his actual eyes are located vertically from one another on his face; one eye appearing in the constantly open bottom mouth and the other is seated at the center of his forehead. As Upper Rank 5, the Kanji for Upper Rank ( (じょう) (げん) Jōgen?) is engraved on his forehead eye and the kanji for Five ( () Go?) is engraved on his mouth eye.

Personality

Gyokko is depicted to be short tempered, shallow and arrogant, especially when it comes to things regarding to his "Art" as he seen when he was easily angered and enraged by Muichiro when he began to insult and make fun of the quality of his art and through his conversation with the Hashira, constantly praised himself as "beautiful" and his work even more so, further reinforcing his arrogant and narcissistic personality.

He has also shown himself to be incredibly shallow, petty and jealous, as seen when he attacked and mutilated Hotaru Haganezuka due to his jealousy of the latter focus and dedication to his work, surpassing his own zeal when working on his own art and made him want to instead make the latter lose his focus and waste time on the swordsmith due to this petty jealousy.

He is also shown to be incredibly morbid as when Doma told him he placed a human head on top of his pots like a plant, Gyokko immediately saw it as more inspiration for his "Art", the extent of this morbid and violent inspiration for his "art" is shown even more when he brutally murdered several swordsmiths and used their corpses to create a "beautiful" piece by stitching their bodies together along with sticking several swords into them, this extreme sadism is shown even further when he built in the feature of them to scream when a sword is shoved deeper into his "artwork" implying that they were still alive.

Synopsis

Entertainment District Arc

Having been summoned to a gathering of the Upper Ranks, Gyokko greeted Akaza, asking him how he was after ninety years and barely hiding his disappointment of the idea of his colleague's survival along this years. The potted Demon also greeted Doma, exchanging small talk about the pot he had given his fellow Upper Rank as a gift. Shortly after this, Gyokko listened as Muzan Kibutsuji informed the group that Gyutaro had died and berated them for their uselessness. The Upper Rank informed his leader that he had information that would get him closer to achieving his goals, only to have his head ripped off due to the information being unconfirmed. He was then ordered to head over with Hantengu once he corrected his mistake, leaving him bemused. The potted Demon was then approached by Doma, who asked him about the information he had and if he could tag along, and was shocked as Akaza destroyed Doma's head from behind.[2]

He witnessed Kokushibo cutting off Akaza's hand,[3] and asked the Biwa Demon to transport him and Hantengu to their destination.[4]

Swordsmith Village Arc

Gyokko emerges from his pot.

At the swordsmiths' village, Gyokko devoured an unsuspecting villager and spat him right back out, stating that it wasn't edible. He then noted that destroying the swordsmiths' village would severely weaken the Demon Slayers.[5]

When Muichiro Tokito and the two villagers come upon the shed looking for a new sword, Gyokko ambushes them from a ceramic pot. He introduces himself and asks if Muichiro would like to see his art. He then presents "Death Throes of the Smiths" a morbid piece consisting of multiple swordsmiths' bodies stitched together with swords sticking out of them.

Once attacked by Muichiro, he retreats inside his ceramic pot and reveals he can transport himself from pot to pot at will. He explains that the pots are his pride and artwork, and becomes very upset when they are damaged. He then summons many fish from a pot and uses his Blood Demon Art: Thousand Needle Fish Kill to attack Muichiro, who lets himself be hit. Gyokko wonders what art he should make for Muichiro, but is rebuked and told he is worthless by Tokito. Upset again, he traps Muichiro with his Blood Demon Art: Water Prison Pot, commenting that death by suffocation is "stylish and beautiful."[6]

While Muichiro struggles to escape the Water Prison Pot, Gyokko advanced upon the shed. He enters and sees Hotaru Haganezuka working on the blade extracted from the training doll. Hotaru doesn't notice Gyokko's entrance behind him, enraging Gyokko at the prospect of another artist more concentrated on his craft than he. He summons a fish to attack Hotaru, breaking the sword-smith's mask but not his concentration. Hotaru's dedication to the blade incentives Gyokko to force him to break his concentration rather than straight-up murdering him.[7]

Muichiro beheading Gyokko.

Muichiro escapes from the Water Prison Pot with help from Kotetsu, surprising Gyokko and causing him to unleash Octopus Vase Hell. Muichiro's Mist Breathing: Fifth Form - Sea of Clouds and Haze nicks Gyokko, and he ducks back into his pot, reappearing in a different pot.[8] He argues with Muichiro about the beauty of his pots, becoming enraged after an insult to their balance, and unleashes his Blood Demon Art: Ten Thousand Gliding Slime-Fish. After Muichiro deflects two of his attacks, Gyokko reveals his true form and becomes more serious about killing him. Gyokko's true form has the ability to turn anything he punches into fish, and has heightened speed and strength. Muichiro uses the Mist Breathing: Seventh Form - Obscuring Clouds to decapitate Gyokko, killing him.[9]

Abilities and Powers

Overall Abilities: As Upper Rank 5 of the Twelve Kizuki, Gyokko is a powerful Demon with several unique fish-based powers and techniques revolving around his pots that allows him to easily outclass the average demons and give him the necessary edge to overwhelm and kill the Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps, as seen when for the majority of his battle against the Mist Hashira, Muichiro, he managed to easily hold the advantage over him and would have likely killed him if the latter had not awakened his Demon Slayer Mark, regained his original Nichirin Blade along with receiving oxygen from Kotetsu.

Physical Abilities

  • Immense Speed & Reflexes: Gyokko displayed incredible speed and reflexes as seen when he was able to easily evade and prevent himself from being cut by Muichiro Tokito despite the latter using his Mist Breathing techniques to hinder and throw off Gyokko's senses.
  • Immense Durability: After molting, Gyokko's skin becomes layered in thick and hard scales that are extremely durable, making him extremely fortified.
  • Limitless Stamina & Endurance: Gyokko possesses absolute and infinite stamina and vitality, never tiring and always remaining in optimal physical and mental condition all the time as well as being able to endure waves of onslaught as if it were nothing.

Mental Abilities

  • Immense Thinking Speed:

Supernatural Abilities

  • Immense Regeneration: As a Demon he possess powerful regenerative abilities that were augmented even further upon being given more of Muzan's blood. He was able to survive being decapitated by Muzan and later was able to reattach his severed head without much difficulty. He also displayed the ability to quickly heal injuries inflicted by Nichirin Blades without difficulty.

Blood Demon Art ( (けっ) () (じゅつ) Kekkijutsu?):

  • Magical Pots: One of Gyokko's main abilities is his pots, these pots seemingly materialize out of thin air at Gyokko's will and he utilizes them for various purposes.
    • Aquatic Creature Manipulation: He can also summon non sentient, fish-like demons from these jars; though it is not clear whether he makes them inside the jars, or if he summons them from different locations. However, this is not limited to just fish as he can summon other creatures such as the tentacles of an octopus fashioned from his own cells. These summons could be related to the demonic creatures in Muzan's base. After summoning these grotesque fish-like demons, he can freely manipulate them to either consume humans to increase his strength or to attacks his enemies.
    • Cell Manipulation: Gyokko has displayed the ability to manipulate the cells of those he trapped in his pots, as shown when he mutilated the swordsmith he trapped and merged them together. He used this ability to mold his fish-like demons to various sizes and make them possess various unique properties. He can also use this ability on himself, when he changed his appearance or when he created tentacles from his flesh.
    • Water Manipulation: Using his pots, Gyokko can create and manipulate water to trap his opponents and suffocate them to death or use water as a medium for his fish-like demons to move easily.
    • Teleportation: Gyokko can teleport freely from one pot to another instantaneously.
  • Molting Transformation: In an emergency, Gyokko can molt in order to change his appearance. With his appearance changed, Gyokko gets a lot stronger. His body is covered in transparent scales that are harder than diamonds which were kneaded together inside his pot. Only three people have ever seen Gyokko in this state. Everything that he touches with his fists gets turned into sweet little fish. His appearance and strength changing after molding is similar to the Father Spider Demon's metamorphosis ability.
    • Merman Phsyiology: After molting, Gyokko's physical abilities skyrocket making him even more powerful and deadly. This also removes the boundaries that incapacitated him, allowing him to move at subsonic speeds while still being able to summon fish-like demons from his fists.
    • Fish Transmutation: In this form, anything Gyokko touches turns into fish he created in his pots, making him extremely deadly.

Miscellaneous Abilities

  • Talented Artist: Due to his obsession with pots, he has gotten quite skilled at painting and making them, so much so that Muzan Kibutsuji has taken a keen interest in them and even selling them for a high price, implying that it was made with amazing skill and craftsmanship.

Fighting Style

Techniques

  • Thousand Needle Fish Kill ( (せん) (ぼん) (ばり) (ぎょ) (さつ) Senbonbari Giyosatsu?)[10] - Gyokko emmits floating fish demons from his pots which spit out poisonous needles; The poison contains paralyzing properties which immobilize the target.
  • Octopus Vase Hell ( (たこ) (つぼ) () (ごく) Takotsubo Jigoku?)[11] - Gyokko creates from his pots giant octopus-like tentacles that he uses to destroy his surroundings.
  • Water Prison Pot ( (すい) (ごく) (ばち) Suigokubachi?)[12] - Gyokko creates a vase structure made out of water that traps the target; The water suffocates the target and prevents them from using any breathing technique, making it difficult for them to break free and escape.
  • Ten Thousand Gliding Slime-Fish ( (いち) (まん) (かっ) (くう) (ねん) (ぎょ) Ichiman Kakūnengyo?)[13] - Gyokko creates from his pots fish-like demons that feed on its enemy flesh, even if the opponent cut these fishes they will spread a poisonous liquid before the Nichirin Blade can turn them into dust. The poison is also percutaneous meaning it can be absorbed through the skin.
  • Killer Fish Scales ( (じん) (さつ) (ぎょ) (りん) Jinsatsu Gyorin?)[14] Gyokko's ultimate technique. He claims that the scales covering him make him a free existence which allows his attacks to become unpredictable.

— Gyokko's Blood Demon Art —

Battles

Trivia

  • Gyokko's summoned fish-like Demons are reminiscent of Junji Ito's fish demons from "Gyo."
  • Gyokko is Muzan's favorite Upper Rank. His pots are rather beautiful and sell for a high price.[15]
  • Gyokko is one of the only Upper Ranks (the other being Nakime) who does not have a back story mentioned in the manga regarding his past or his first meeting with Muzan. However, the official databook provides a brief summary of his past as a human.

Quotes

References

  1. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 98 (Page 3).
  2. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 98 (Pages 3, 7, 11-19).
  3. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 99 (Page 2).
  4. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 99 (Page 8).
  5. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 105 (Pages 15-18).
  6. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 111.
  7. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 117.
  8. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 119.
  9. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 121.
  10. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 111 (Page 10).
  11. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 119 (Page 7).
  12. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 111 (Page 18).
  13. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 120 (Pages 5-6).
  14. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 121 (Page 7).
  15. Kimetsu no Yaiba Databook.

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