|“||Once you decide to defeat a Demon, defeat it. Once you decide to win, then win. Win, whatever the cost.||”|
Kanae Kocho (
Kanae was a girl of a slender build, much like her younger sister, who was rather tall for her age and had notably red lips in contrast to her pale complexion. She had long, straight hair of a very dark gray color that reached just below her waist, worn down with two shorter clumps over her shoulders, and arched, ear-length bangs on either side of her face. Her eyes were a pale violet and slanted towards the sides of her face, bright and bug-like, with many notable white sparkles reflecting light off of them.
Kanae wore a purple-tinted version of the standard Demon Slayer uniform, as well as a piece of black fabric around her calves and sandals with pale straps. She also sported a pair of green and pink butterfly hairpins that she wore adorned on either side of her head - one of which was later used by her adoptive sister Kanao as a memento. She also wore the white, cyan and pink butterfly-patterned haori that Shinobu Kocho now wears in the present.
Kanae is shown to be a kind girl with an easygoing personality; in Shinobu and Kanao Tsuyuri's flashbacks, she is almost always seen with a gentle smile on her face. When Sanemi Shinazugawa lashed out against their leader, Kagaya Ubuyashiki, she displayed concern for Kagaya and gently informed Sanemi how Kagaya truly cares for the Demon Slayers under his charge. Kanae also had a dream of someday being able to live peacefully alongside Demons despite all the suffering and death they have inflicted on humans, which inspired Shinobu to aspire to do the same.
However, Kanae had a much stricter side, as shown when Shinobu was on the verge of defeat during her battle with Doma. Kanae's spirit ordered her to stand up and face her opponent, brushing away the excuses forming in her mind that she was too delicate to take on Demons. Kanae was also keenly observant, seeing through Doma's acting and lies, and deducing that he was in fact emotionless and empty. According to Kanao, Kanae felt sorry for him due to his emptiness, even though he mortally wounded her.
The Kocho sisters lived a peaceful privilege life together with their wealthy loving parents, who continuously dotted and cared for them, with the sisters wanting for nothing and were truly content with their simple life together. However, this all came crashing down when a Demon attacked their home. Their parents were brutally killed right in front of them as they tried to protect them, and they themselves were barely spared from death as they where saved right in the nick of time by the arrival of Gyomei Himejima, who killed the Demon immediately before it could kill either of them. After these traumatic events the two sisters made a promise to both join the Demon Slaying Corps themselves and swore to stop the Demons from inflicting the same horror and pain they experienced on others. Both of them soon became successful Demon Slayers after completing their training and mastered their own Breath Styles.
At some point down the line, Kanae became the Flower Pillar. She was present at Sanemi's first Pillar meeting, looking at him in alarm when he rudely confronts their leader. When Kagaya mentions Masachika Kumeno by name, Kanae informs the surprised Sanemi that Kagaya made a point to memorize the names and backgrounds of each demon slayer who died in combat.
One day, while traveling through a village, Kanae took notice of a little girl being dragged along by a leash by a man. Even though the girl was nameless, dirty, covered by fleas, and didn't speak, Kanae approached her and attempted to convince the man who purchased her to let her go. When he demanded money in compensation, Shinobu flung money in the air, grabbed the rope he released, and ran off with the girl. They took her to the Butterfly Estate, adopted her, and named her Kanao. When the girl proved unresponsive without orders, Kanae gave her a coin to flip to help her make decisions until she could stand on her own.
Some years later, Kanae ran into the Upper Moon Two of the Twelve Demon Moons, Doma. She was fatally wounded during the encounter, but he was forced to flee from the rising sun before he could devour her. As she lay dying in Shinobu's arms, she tries to convince her sister to leave the Demon Slaying Corps to live out a normal life, but her sister is set on avenging her. With the last of her strength, Kanae described Doma to Shinobu before dying.
Shinobu chances on Doma, Kanae's killer, in the Dimensional Infinity Fortress. He eventually recognizes Kanae's haori and recollects how he missed out on eating her, enraging Shinobu. When she is on the bring of defeat, Kanae's spirit commands her to continue fighting.
After Doma's death at Kanao and Inosuke Hashibira's hands, Shinobu and Kanae are seen in kimonos, running towards their parents as they all go to heaven.
Her younger biological sister and only surviving relative, the two of them shared a strong and loving sisterly bond. Kanae's death becomes Shinobu's main motivation for becoming stronger in order to avenge her death; she even goes as far as turning herself into living poison with the intent of being devoured to weaken Doma from the inside so that Kanao can complete their vengeance.
Her younger adoptive sister after saving her from slavery and adopting her. Kanae did not reprimand her for her inability to make decisions for herself, and instead gave her a coin to flip to help her make decisions. Kanao continued to use this coin up until a chance interaction with Tanjiro Kamado—the person who opened up her heart.
Although Kanao was unable to cry at Kanae's grave due to her past trauma, the Pillar's death affected her greatly. She agrees to be part of Shinobu's plan for revenge against Doma, and his hand in both her sisters' deaths causes her to display a strong emotion for the first time; hate.
Despite being fatally wounded by the demon, Kanae pitied him for his lack of true emotions. Doma, after being reminded of her by her haori that Shinobu now wears, commended her strength and was regretful that he was forced to retreat before he could devour her.
Abilities and Powers
During her time as a Demon Slayer, Kanae was a Breath of Flower user that was skilled enough to hold the position of the Flower Pillar, a place only reserved for demon slayers who have slain one of the Twelve Demon Moons or have successfully battled and slain at least 50 demons, further implying to her immense skill and natural born talents. Unlike her younger sister, Shinobu, who lacks the strength to cut off a demon's head due to her small body and thus compensated by using a uniquely-designed Nichirin Blade to mix her poisons and created a sword style focusing on stabbing and inflicting multiple wounds in her targets to fatally poison them, Kanae wielded an ordinary-looking blade. A further testament to Kanae's strength is that she was able to battle Upper Moon Two, Demon, until sunrise, showing that although she was incapable of defeating him and was fatally injured in the end, she was at least able to battle him to a standstill.
- Kanae's name is spelled with three katakana characters; which differs from Shinobu, her biological sister, and is similar to how Kanao's name is spelled.