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The Twelve Kizuki ( (じゅう) () () (づき) Jūnikizuki?) was a group of twelve very powerful Demons who were under the direct command of the Demon Lord, Muzan Kibutsuji.

Overview

The Twelve Kizuki are the 12 strongest combatants among Demon-kind, second in strength and authority only to the Demon Lord himself, Muzan Kibutsuji. Each member of the Kizuki has received a larger portion of Kibutsuji's blood than other Demons, greatly augmenting their powers.[1]

Explanation of the Twelve Demon Moons

The Twelve Kizuki are divided into two groups, the six Upper Ranks ( (じょう) (げん) Jōgen?), numbered one through six, and the six Lower Ranks ( () (げん) Kagen?), also numbered one through six. The number signifies their ranking among the Kizuki, determined by each member's level of strength, Upper Rank 1 being the strongest and Lower Rank 6 being the weakest. The Lower Ranks have their numbers and ranks engraved only into one eye, whereas the Upper Ranks have their numbers in one eye and the kanji for "Upper Rank" ( (じょう) (げん) Jōgen?) in the other.

While the exact relationships between the two groups are unclear, it is said by Muzan himself that the Upper Ranks despise the Lower Ranks.[2]

The Upper Ranks each possess a level of power that far surpasses that of the Lower Ranks; as proof of their strength, the strongest of the Demon Slayer Corps, the Hashira, have killed numerous Lower Ranks over the years, while the Upper Ranks have killed (and eaten) many Hashira. Kagaya Ubuyashiki states that it had been a hundred years since an Upper Rank has been killed following the defeat of Gyutaro and Daki.[3] While the Lower Ranks have been replaced countless times, the Upper Ranks did not change over the course of 100 years.[4]

Blood Battle

According to Kokushibo, if there is any dissatisfaction between the say members of the upper moons, the lower ranked challenger must invoke the rite to kill or defeat their desired target in order to change their position in the hierarchy. Any that defying the rules will face retribution as seen in when Akaza attack Doma who were a higher rank than him and later have his arm sliced off by Kokushibo as a warning for disregarding the hierarchical order.

The Twelve Kizuki have been given three tasks to complete by Muzan's command:

  • To find the Blue Spider Lily (the key ingredient of the experimental medicine that made Muzan a Demon), but since Muzan's discovery (via Hantengu) that Nezuko Kamado is sun-proof, he has decided that the Upper Ranks' first focus is to capture her and bring her to him.
  • The destruction of the Demon Slayer Corps.
  • After over a thousand years of failing at these two tasks, Muzan has decided that Demons should serve him with suicidal devotion to ensure success.

When a member of the group is kicked out and removed from the Twelve Kizuki, Muzan Kibutsuji demotes these members by slashing the pupils where the number signifying their rank is located, creating an "X" shaped scar over the digit, signifying that they are no longer part of the Twelve Kizuki. The only example of this happening is Kyogai, who had already reached his "limit" and could no longer consume human flesh. This gradually led to Kyogai losing his appetite for humans and beginning to lose the ability to evolve and become stronger. Therefore, he was deemed too weak to remain in his position of Lower Rank 6.

After their most recent failure with the death of Rui (Lower Rank Five), Muzan decided to dismantle the Lower Ranks completely. He then proceeded to kill all of the Lower Ranks, sparing only Enmu, Lower Rank 1, giving him a chance to redeem himself by killing a Hashira.[5] With Enmu's death by the hands of Tanjiro, the Lower Ranks are functionally disbanded with all of their members dead,[6] and with Nakime's death by the hands of Muzan himself, the Upper Ranks are also functionally disbanded with all their members dead.[7]

Members

Anime Status

Click the 'Manga' tab to reveal the statuses of members as of this chapter. Beware of spoilers.
Upper Ranks
No Image Available
No Image Available
No Image Available
No Image Available
No Image Available
Upper Rank 1 Upper Rank 2 Upper Rank 3 Upper Rank 4 Upper Rank 5
No Image Available
Upper Rank 6
Lower Ranks
Enmu Anime Profile
Rokuro Anime Profile
Wakuraba Anime Profile
Mukago Anime Profile
Rui Anime Profile
Lower Rank 1
Enmu
Lower Rank 2
Rokuro
Lower Rank 3
Wakuraba
Lower Rank 4
Mukago
Lower Rank 5
Rui
Kamanue Anime Profile
Kyogai Anime Profile
Lower Rank 6
Kamanue
Former Lower
Rank 6
Kyogai

Manga Status (Spoiler Warning)

Click the 'Anime' tab to reveal the current statuses of members as of where the anime is currently up to.
Upper Ranks
Kokushibo UM profile
Doma UM profile
Akaza UM profile
Nakime UM profile
Hantengu UM profile
Upper Rank 1
Kokushibo
Upper Rank 2
Doma
Upper Rank 3
Akaza
Upper Rank 4
Nakime
Former Upper
Rank 4
Hantengu
Gyokko UM profile
Gyutaro UM profile
Daki UM profile
Kaigaku UM profile
Upper Rank 5
Gyokko
Former Upper
Rank 6
Gyutaro
Former Upper
Rank 6
Daki
Upper Rank 6
Kaigaku
Lower Ranks
Enmu colored profile
Rokuro profile
Wakuraba profile
Mukago profile
Rui colored profile
Lower Rank 1
Enmu
Lower Rank 2
Rokuro
Lower Rank 3
Wakuraba
Lower Rank 4
Mukago
Lower Rank 5
Rui
Kamanue profile
Kyogai colored profile
Lower Rank 6
Kamanue
Former Lower
Rank 6
Kyogai


History

The first of the Twelve Kizuki that was encountered in the series was the former Lower Rank 6, Kyogai, who is slain in battle by Tanjiro Kamado. Tanjiro and his companions would shortly thereafter embark on the Natagumo Mountains to face-off against Lower Rank 5, Rui, who was manipulating a group of demons to forcibly act as his family and to assist him in the killing of Demon Slayers. Tanjiro almost managed to behead Rui, but the demon outwitted him by using his threads to cut off his head. He is later saved by the timely arrival of the Water Hashira, Giyu Tomioka, who swiftly beheads Rui for good. Rui's death would later prompt Muzan Kibutsuji to lose his entire faith in the faction's ability and proceeded to dismantle the remaining Lower Ranks by coldly annihilating all members except for Lower Rank 1, Enmu.

Enmu is then given an additional injection of Muzan's blood and tasked with killing the Hashira and Tanjiro as a last chance offer to save his life, with the promise of even more blood if he were to complete his mission. Enmu later intercepted Tanjiro with his companions on a train. He planned to feast on the 200+ passengers by combining his body with the train and using his Blood Demon Art to trap them in their dreams. Through the joint effort of Tanjiro Kamado and Inosuke Hashibira, Enmu is soundly defeated, only for their short-lived victory to be interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Upper Rank 3, Akaza. Akaza would commence battle with the Flame Hashira, Kyojuro Rengoku. After a lengthy battle, Akaza would emerge victorious, claiming the life of Kyojuro.

Daki, Upper Rank 6, is the next high ranked demon encountered. After receiving word of a demon claiming its feeding ground in the Red Light District, Tengen Uzui (Sound Hashira) sets off with the aid of Tanjiro, Nezuko, Inosuke, and Zenitsu. The group manages to locate Daki and slice her neck off, only for her to reveal her older brother and the true Upper Rank 6, Gyutaro. Gyutaro and Daki, are then revealed to be sharing bodies and were finally both defeated after their simultaneous beheading.

Immediately following the deaths of Gyutaro and Daki (Upper Rank 6), Muzan summoned the remaining members of the Upper Ranks and gave Hantengu and Gyokko (Upper Rank Four & Five, respectively) a mission to exterminate the Swordsmith's Village, to reduce the power of the Demon Slayer Corps by removing their ability to fight on par with the demons without swords. Both Hantengu and Gyokko were slain, but not before Hantengu witnessed (before dying) Nezuko standing in the sun and telling Muzan. This shifted Muzan's main interest in devouring Nezuko to attain perfection.

After his attack on the Ubayashiki Manor, Muzan escaped into the Infinity Castle thanks to Nakime. It's revealed that Nakime has replaced Hantengu as the new Upper Rank Four and that Kaigaku (a former Demon Slayer and fellow apprentice and brother through adoption to Zenitsu Agatsuma) became the new Upper Rank 6 after an encounter with Kokushibo, thereby replacing Gyutaro and Daki. It is unknown who the new Upper Rank Five was, or if Muzan was even able to find a replacement.

Shortly after arriving in the Infinity Castle, Shinobu Kocho would stumble upon Upper Rank 2, Doma, feasting on his female cult followers in his chamber. A single woman survived, only to be mercilessly mutilated by Doma despite Shinobu's hasty efforts to save her. The battle commenced between the Hashira and Upper Rank. However, Shinobu's assortment of poison proved to be useless against Doma's might. The demon would then proceed to promptly defeat and absorb the Hashira, only for Kanao Tsuyuri to arrive just too late to save her.

Zenitsu later ran into Kaigaku and had a duel to the death with his former brother, resulting in Kaigaku's death and Zenitsu almost dying. Elsewhere in the castle, Tanjiro and Tomioka are located by Akaza. Akaza proved to be a fearsome opponent, nearly killing the two. Even after having cut off his head, Akaza through sheer willpower was able to keep his body from fading. Only through memories of his previous life and name as a human (Hakuji) and seeing visions of important figures of his past was he finally sedated and passed on.

Doma continues his fight against Kanao, who is unexpectedly assisted by Inosuke Hashibira. He initially overwhelms the two with his ice attributed Blood Demon Arts, but was unexpectedly weakened by the lingering effects of Shinobu's wisteria flower poison after having absorbed her body. The two through their combined efforts were then able to detach Doma's head, putting an end to him.

Love Hashira, Mitsuri Kanroji and Serpent Hashira, Obanai Iguro confront the newly appointed Upper Rank 4, Nakime. The demoness outwitted the pairs' attempts by the usage of her Blood Demon Art that warps and controls the entire infrastructure of the Infinity Castle as she sees fit. Simultaneously, the Mist Hashira, Muichiro Tokito was separated from the Rock Hashira, Gyomei Himejima by Nakime's ability, falling into the location of the highest-ranking demon, Upper Rank 1 Kokushibo.

Kokushibo instinctively sensed the blood relation between him and Muichiro. Impressed by Muichiro's proficiency with his Breathing Style, Kokushibo unsheathed his sword and revealed his Moon Breathing form. The attack would sever Muichiro's left arm and he is swiftly defeated with minimal effort. Instead of killing the boy, Kokushibo decides that he will transform Muichiro into a demon due to sentimentality in their blood relation and respect for his fighting ability. Genya Shinazugawa, waiting for an opportunity to ambush Kokushibo from behind, fires off his shotgun in an attempt to save Muichiro. Faster than Genya can follow with his eyes, Kokushibo immediately dismantles him; both arms are sliced off and he is bifurcated at his waist. Kokushibo mentions having encountered a Demon Hunter with a very similar physiology about 300 years ago, and prepares to kill Genya via decapitation. Before he could administer the final blow, Genya is saved by the timely arrival of his older brother and Wind Hashira, Sanemi Shinazugawa.

Sanemi manages to exchange blows against Kokushibo, albeit only for a short moment. After receiving a brutal injury from an attack, Sanemi reveals that he has "rare blood". He intended to use the intoxication of his premium blood as a distraction when fighting, and while Kokushibo is momentarily caught off guard by the scent, it has little to no effect thereafter. Using everything he could manage to think of and at his wit's end, Sanemi is almost killed by a barrage of blade swings. The Hashira is saved by the intervention of his comrade, Gyomei Himejima, the Stone Hashira and strongest Demon Slayer in the Demon Slayer Corps.

A difficult battle ensues between the Upper Rank 1 and the Hashira with the demon exploiting his extraordinary eyesight abilities along with his blades made of flesh. As he is pushed further into a corner, Kokushibo's blade grows far longer developing multiple smaller blades, further increasing both his already massive range and attack power, slowly overpowering the Hashira. A weakened but still alive Genya, manages to recover and remembering Tanjiro's words that being weaker gives him the unique advantage of being unnoticed by their enemies, uses the element of surprise to shoot demon bullets into Kokushibo who is immobilized and weakened by Muichiro's blade thrust into the demon's abdomen along, the bullets growing trees inside Kokushibo, further depriving him of his movement and strength. He becomes increasingly more desperate in his desire to win, and Gyomei seizes the chances to smash his head into the ground. This does not end the Upper Rank 1 who regrows its head and hungry for victory develops flesh blades on his own body, becomes far more aggressive and monstrous. The demon, however, has an internal conflict after witnessing his ugly form through his blade's reflection, and how what he has become contrasts significantly with what he wanted to be one. As his thoughts of seeking to avoid defeat and resentment towards his self heavily conflict on him, his body begins to decay, exactly at the point where Muichiro stabbed him, struggling for a final time, the Upper Rank 1's body crumbles away, as he realizes that all he wanted was to be like his younger, more talented brother, signifying the end of the highest-ranking member of the Twelve Kizuki.

Obanai and Mitsuri are later shown to still have great difficulties with reaching Nakime's position; constantly being thwarted in their attempts by her Blood Demon Art throughout the entire duration of the Demon Slayer Corps' battles with the Upper Ranks. The two shortly thereafter are able to reconvene with Tanjiro and Giyu with the helpful assistance of the recently slain Demoness Doctor, Tamayo's assistant, Yushiro. Yuishiro manages to ambush Nakime using his Blood Demon Art: Blindfold while she was distracted and assumes control of her body by altering her vision. Yushiro declares his intention of vengeance against Muzan for killing Tamayo; vowing to use his Upper Rank's ability against him to disassemble the castle and bring him to the light.

References

  1. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 16, Page 14
  2. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 52, Page 1
  3. Kimetsu no Yaiba MangaChapter 97, Page 16
  4. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 51, Page 19
  5. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 52, Page 10
  6. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 62, Pages 9-14
  7. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 183, Pages 13-14

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