Somehow I feel the people I care for and those important to me will still be alive tomorrow. But that's just my hope and there's no way I can promise that with any certainty. Why do people... believe such things?
— Kanao Tsuyuri to herself in Wrath
Kanao Tsuyuri (
Kanao is a young girl with large, gentle eyes of a pink-lilac color that are framed by thick eyelashes. She has thin black hair, worn tied into a ponytail on the right side of her head and fastened by a pink and green butterfly ornament that once belonged to her adoptive sister, Kanae Kocho. She has a straight fringe and two loose, chin-length strands that curve downwards from above each of her ears.
Kanao wears a slightly purple-tinted version of the standard Demon Slayer uniform, just with a knee-length pleated skirt in place of the usual hakama pants. Over this, she wears a short white cloak, fastened on one side by a dark pink triple knot, also sporting knee-high lace-up white boots with tan soles, heels and toes.
Sometime between then and her next appearance in the Infinity Castle Arc, the color of Kanao's hair changes as the ends now appear tinted slightly purple before fading to a neon pink around halfway down her ponytail. After her battle with Doma, Kanao begins to wear Shinobu Kocho's hairpin rather than Kanae's as the latter's shattered as a result of her battle. She also loses the ability to see out of her right eye due to her using Flower Breathing's final form to take out the Upper Rank, with her eye gaining a defined pupil with a dark ring around it and becoming deprived of its gradient.
When Kanao is first introduced, she is an indecisive and quiet girl due to the abuse she endured in her past before meeting the Kocho sisters. She became unable to make decisions by herself and repressed her emotions as a defense mechanism. In order to help rectify this, Kanae gave her a coin to flip to decide which path to follow when she didn't know what to do.
For many years, Kanao continued to show little emotion or desire. Despite this, after seeing what Demons did to Aoi, Kiyo, and Shinobu's loved ones, Kanao developed a strong hatred against Demons directly from her own will.
Initially, Shinobu instructed Kanao to simply cut off Demon heads without thinking, since Kanao had no will of her own. However, Kanao also eventually developed her own desire to fight.
Despite her perceived lack of emotion or desire, Kanao defied Shinobu and Kanae's wishes and took the final selection of her own volition, which would imply that her will had been strengthening all along.
Between Kanae's death and the Rehabilitation Training Arc, she recovers slightly but still relies on her coin to make decisions. She displays a somewhat mechanical response in conversations; when Tanjiro Kamado approaches her to bid to her farewell, she repeats "goodbye" when he attempts to continue the conversation. However, he eventually manages to start bringing her out of her shell, and she starts to make more of her own decisions. She also gains the ability to speak unambiguously.
Kanao gradually becomes able to express her emotions and wants more openly, as seen when Tanjiro recovers from his injuries and she displays relief, when she tells Shinobu that she wishes to train alongside her, and when she expresses shock and distress at Shinobu's plan to defeat Doma.
In her battle against Doma, Kanao takes uncharacteristically sadistic glee in pointing out his own lack of emotions. Fueled by hatred and spite due to her sisters' deaths by his hand, she attacks him verbally to the point where he drops his normal carefree demeanor. Kanao also demonstrates extreme determination and a deep care for her family, crying for the first time in the wake of Shinobu's death, and expressing that she had wished to go home together with her elder sister. Kanao has also now been shown to express a greater sense of camaraderie and care for her fellow Demon Slayers other than Shinobu, as seen when she becomes visibly angry and sympathetic on Inosuke's behalf when Doma begins gloating about his mother's death. She shows immense rage at the Demon's taunts, insulting him and telling him to shut up, which is a complete step up from the original emotionally distant relationship she had with her comrades.
Later, during the final battle against Muzan Kibutsuji, Kanao was shown to have completely regained the ability to properly express her emotions and make her own choices. Over the course of the battle, Kanao shows visible feelings of anger and terror towards the Demon progenitor as her and her fellow Demon Slayers take him on. Even after the battle is over she continues to show emotion, proving herself to genuinely love and care for both Tanjiro and Nezuko after watching the latter's desperate attempts to reach out to her now Demonized brother, which even reached the point of her sacrificing her one remaining eye to inject Tanjiro with Tamayo's humanization drug in an attempt to save him.
Overall Abilities: Kanao is the Tsuguko of Kanae and Shinobu and has been personally trained by the both of them in the art of combat. As such, Kanao possesses superhuman physical skills, abilities and prowess that potentially marks her as a future member of Demon Slayer Corps' Hashira. Tanjiro, another promising candidate, even states that, during their first meeting together, he could already sense that Kanao was the closest to the Hashira out of the existing Demon Slayers, just by smelling her scent and feeling her aura, which further confirms her skills.
Enhanced Strength: Kanao has attained incredible physical strength through harsh training. She can jump extremely high distances incredibly fast, showing her incredible leg strength. In terms of arm strength, she can swing her katana at subsonic speeds incessantly without tiring.
Immense Speed and Reflexes: Kanao is extremely fast. In the Rehabilitation Training Arc, she can outspeed Tanjiro Kamado, Zenitsu Agatsuma and Inosuke Hashibira all at once before they mastered the Total Concentration: Constant (
Immense Stamina and Endurance: Kanao has incredible stamina and endurance, albeit not as incredible as her peers. During her fight with Doma, she survived very long exerting herself to her limit.
Enhanced Senses: Like any skilled Demon Slayer, Kanao possesses incredible senses, being able to detect demonic presences and have overall great perception, her eyesight and vision in particular.
- Enhanced Vision: Kanao possesses extremely sharp eyesight, being able to accurately predict her opponent's next attack and movements by simply observing the subtle shifts of their muscles, joints and the slight movements of their eyes. This allows her to make effective counterattacks and dodges and stay ahead of her opponents. The Upper Rank 2, Doma, comments on this feat and remarks that due to this skill, Kanao may be more skilled than Shinobu. This ability is enhanced with the Flower Breathing: Final Form - Equinoctial Vermilion Eye.
Indomitable Will: Like all Demon Slayers, Kanao possesses an undaunted will and spirit, refusing to give up and die when fighting even the most formidable foes that defeated her master, Doma and later on, the Demon King, Muzan Kibutsuji.
- Second Form: Honorable Shadow Plum (
弐ノ 型 御 影 梅Ni no kata: Mikage Ume?) - A defensive techniques that deflects attacks using rotating sword slashes.
- Fourth Form: Crimson Hanagoromo (
肆ノ 型 紅 花 衣Shi no kata: Beni Hanagoromo?) - A single sword slash that curves and twists.
- Fifth Form: Peonies of Futility (
伍ノ 型 徒の 芍 薬Go no kata: Ada no Shakuyaku?) - A graceful flurry of nine consecutive attacks that flow and weave in on themselves.
- Sixth Form: Whirling Peach (
陸ノ 型 渦 桃Roku no kata: Uzumomo?) - A technique used after or during evasion, the user spins around moving with their body weight to deliver an attack.
- Final Form: Equinoctial Vermilion Eye (
終ノ 型 彼 岸 朱 眼Tsui no kata: Higan Shugan?) - A focusing technique that raises the users kinetic vision to its maximum, while using this technique the user perceives the world as if it were in slow motion. Usage of the technique however is highly dangerous, as the tremendous strain caused to the eyes ruptured blood vessels and could cause partial or complete blindness. After her battle against Doma, Kanao lost usage of her right eye due to the strain of this technique.
- Standard Nichirin Katana: Like the majority of Demon Slayers, Kanao harbors a standard Nichirin Blade. Her katana has the words Destroyer of Demons (
惡 鬼 滅 殺Akki Messatsu?) engraved on the side, in a light pink color. Her hilt is circular shaped with a light pastel blue center and border, filled 3 red five-leafed flowers and a winding pattern that is light green in color.
- Kanao's surname contains the kanji for "chestnut" (栗 tsu?), "flower, blossom" (花 yu?) and "fall" (落 ri?).
- Kanao herself decided on her own last name from multiple candidates. Aoi Kanzaki wanted a sister so she was fiercely pestering her to choose her own last name from the side.
- The options for Kanao's first name were first made by Shinobu and were Suzume (スズメ Suzume?), Hakobe (ハコベ Hakobe?), Kamasu (カマス Kamasu?), Tanago (タナゴ Tanago?) and Tobiko (トビコ Tobiko?). When Shinobu gave the paper having said names written on it to Kanae, the latter's face froze making an "Eh?!" sound.
- The options for Kanao's surname were Kocho (
胡 蝶Kochō?) (Kanae and Shinobu's last name), Kanzaki ( 神 崎Kanzaki?) (Aoi's last name), Kuze ( 久 世Kuze?), Motomiya ( 本 宮Motomiya?), and Tsuyuri ( 栗 花 落Tsuyuri?).
- Kanao's rankings in the popularity polls are as follows:
- Kanao ranked 8th in the first character popularity poll with 712 votes.
- Kanao ranked 10th in the second popularity poll with 5305 votes.
- Kanao's birthday was decided to be May 19th, the day Kanae Kocho and Shinobu Kocho adopted her, since her actual birthday is unknown.
- Kanao's main hobby is blowing soap bubbles. She also enjoys buying sweets and accessories with her pocket money for everyone at the Butterfly Mansion, squishing cat paws and helping with the cooking.
- Kanao is the only explicitly stated Tsuguko in the series.
- Kanao's favorite drink is Ramune, and she enjoys all of Aoi's cooking.
- According to Goto, Kanao has been slaying Demons since childhood.
- Kanao keeps the coin given to her by Kanae in a memory box, which was also made by Kanae.
- On the Volume 18 cover, Kanao was mistakenly drawn with her sword on the right side of her waist. Koyoharu Gotōge made a statement apologizing for this after the volume's release.
- Her rank during the events on Natagumo Mountain was Tsuchinoto, by the end of the series she rises up to Hinoto, detailed in the 2nd Fanbook.
- It was implied that her original uniform was open chested like Mitsuri Kanroji's, but Shinobu gave her oil and matches to burn it.
- (To herself, about her struggles) "Somehow I feel the people I care for and those important to me will still be alive tomorrow. But that's just my hope and there's no way I can promise that with any certainty. Why do people... believe such things?"
- (To Doma) "People born into this world can feel joy, sadness, rage and other emotions so strongly they tremble. But that's all a mystery to you isn't it? You've never felt happiness. Felt enjoyment. Felt pain. Felt bitterness. In fact, you're nothing but an empty shell. It's quite comical, it's so stupid. Why were you even born?
- (To herself, in regards to Shinobu Kocho) "I wanted to protect her. I wanted to risk my life for her. I wanted to go home together."
- (To Tanjiro Kamado) "You can't do this Tanjiro. Hurry up and go back. How can you make Nezuko cry..."