As a human Kaigaku was a fit young man with black hair and turquoise eyes. As a demon he gained black, flame-like markings on his face, fangs, and pale skin. As an upper moon, he gained kanji on his eyes.
He usually wears a black kimono over his demon hunter uniform, that has yellow markings on it.
Kaigaku is very prideful and self-serving, seeing morality as something based on whether people agreed with him ("right") or not ("wrong"). He values his own life over all others, easily abandoning the Demon Slayers when he comes face-to-face with Kokushibo's strength and begging him to make him a demon.
Because he easily learned to use the Second through Sixth Forms of the Breath of Thunder, he sees himself as Jigoro's rightful heir and resents Jigoro's decision to make both him and Zenitsu his successors. However, this only serves to highlight Kaigaku's impatience and hubris; his inability to use the First Form, the basis of all the others, meant his technique in the advanced Forms could only go so far. This proves to be his undoing, as while he could only augment his abilities after becoming a demon, Zenitsu was able to develop a completely new Seventh Form through dedicated training.
Kaigaku was an orphan and a thief, who had to eat scraps and steal to survive. He was one of the orphans Gyomei Himejima cared for at his temple. After he was caught by the other children for stealing temple money, he was chased out at night and encountered a demon, which he then let in to the temple in exchange for having his life spared.
Kaigaku developed the belief that strength and survival were the only things worth respecting, and was willing to grovel and beg for his life if it was what it took to survive. Eventually, he taken in by Jigoro Kuwajima along with Zenitsu, and learned the Breath of Thunder style. He became determined to become Jigoro's successor and the new Thunder Pillar. Jigoro, however, insisted that both he and Zenitsu would become his successors, despite Zenitsu's weakness and timid nature.
Although Kaigaku isn't seen in-person, Zenitsu remembers him in a flashback, where Kaigaku threw a peach at him for daring to call Jigoro "grandpa".
During the Pillar Training Arc, Zenitsu received word that Kaigaku had become a demon and, out of shame, Jigoro committed seppuku to atone. Kaigaku had fought against Kokushibo and, upon witnessing the other's immense power, kneeled before him and begged to become a demon. As a demon, Kaigaku ate a multitude of people and became abnormally powerful, enough so he filled Daki and Gyutaro's vacant position as Upper Moon Six of the Twelve Demon Moons.
Inside the Dimensional Infinity Fortress, he and Zenitsu seek each other out. Kaigaku was ultimately beheaded by Zenitsu's Breath of Thunder Seventh Style : Flaming Thunder God. Kaigaku mockingly commented that their master do favor Zenitsu more for teaching him that style, until Zenitsu admitted that Flaming Thunder God was his own making, in order to fight alongside Kaigaku as equals, had him not turning into a Demon. Kaigaku notes that Zenitsu was going to die from severe exhaustion only to be saved by Yushiro in the last seconds. Ultimately, Kaigaku head screams in anger as he disintegrated.
Abilities and Powers
Enhanced Breath Techniques: As a demon, Kaigaku's Breath of Thunder techniques have been reinforced and increased in strength. However, he was still being attuned to his newfound demon abilities at the time of his death. Yushiro commented that given another year, Kaigaku's strength would have crushed Zenitsu on the spot.
Breath of Thunder Style (
- Second Style: Lightning Ball (
弐ノ 型 稲 魂Ni no kata: Inadama?) - A series of five straight attacks all performed in a single moment.
- Third Style: Swarming Mosquito Thunder (
参ノ 型 聚 蚊 成 雷San no kata: Shūbun Seirai?) - A spinning wave attack in all directions.
- Fourth Style: Distant Thunder (
肆ノ 型 遠 雷Shi no kata: Enrai?) - A ranged strike at a distance.
- Fifth Style: Heat Lightning (
伍ノ 型 熱 界 雷Go no kata: Netsu Kairai?) - A slashing attack that cracks skin and burns flesh.
- Sixth Style: Electric Lightning Shower (
陸ノ 型 電 轟 雷 轟Roku no kata: Dengō Raigō?) - A series of strikes that crack the target's body.
- Kaigaku is the second known Demon Slayer to have become a Demon, the first being Kokushibo.
- Kaigaku and Tengen Uzui are the only Demon Slayers shown to hold their swords behind their backs.
- Because of the movement pattern of the Breath of Thunder's first style, it can be speculated that one reason he had difficulty mastering it was due to the way he holds his sword.
- Kaigaku received a kimono from Jigoro Kuwajima, the same one that he wore, but Kaigaku never wore it once.