- Inosuke- The basics
- What is the meaning of Inosuke Hashibira’s name in Japanese?
- Inosuke’s first appearance in Demon Slayer
- Inosuke’s relationship with other characters
- Inosuke & Tanjiro Kamado
- Inosuke & Zenitsu Agatsuma
- Inosuke & Aoi Kanzaki
- Inosuke & Aoi’s first meeting
- Aoi tending to Inosuke’s wounds
- How Aoi & Inosuke began to become close
- Inosuke & Aoi as lovers
- Inosuke & Kyojuro Rengoku
- Inosuke & Shinobu Kocho
- Inosuke’s Abilities and Powers
- Notable Inosuke quotes
- Notable scenes
- Character traits
- About Character’s clothing
- Inosuke – In Conclusion
Inosuke must be one of the most pig-headed anime characters out there. See what I did there? That’s anime-punning gold.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves (I couldn’t help it). In this article, we’ll take a look at the basics, and not-so-basics, of everyone’s favorite porcine-head-dressed-wild-man, Inosuke Hashibira.
Inosuke- The basics
Inosuke Hashibira is one of the main protagonists of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. He is the fiery travelling companion to Tanjiro Kamado, along with the somewhat less, sometimes more, fiery Zenitsu Agatsuma, and the fiery-in-a-demonic-sense Nezuko Kamado.
Inosuke is perhaps the most wild member of the Demon Slayer Corps.
Fitting into a long line of “People raised by wild animals’ ‘ in literature, Inosuke was raised by Mountain boars for most of his life. In this way, he is perhaps somewhat akin to the character of San in Princess Mononoke.
before the Final Selection.
Inosuke’s family & origin story
In the manga, Inosuke is born into a family with an abusive father.
Kotoha, Inosuke’s mother, escapes and finds refuge in the demonic character of Doma’s Paradise Faith Cult.
Kotoha again flees, with her son, when she finds out that Doma is eating his worshippers. Not a good place to be.
Kotoha runs and ends up at the top of a cliff, with nowhere to go. She makes a last-ditch effort to save Inosuke by dropping him into the river below the cliff.
Alone and with no escape route, Doma kills and devours the unfortunate Kotoha.
What is the meaning of Inosuke Hashibira’s name in Japanese?
Gotoge Sensei tends not to give names that overly directly reference the character. The names generally tend to suggest things in a roundabout way, as can be seen with the meaning of Nezuko’s name.
So there is no simple answer to the question of what “Inosuke Hashibira” means. The most basic explanation is that boar in Japanese is “Inoshishi” and “Inosuke” takes that word and makes it sound like a name. As to the kanji that are used in Inosuke’s name and their meanings, see our article on the topic.
The “Hashibira” part is also hard to explain simply. The characters in the word actually mean something like “flat-beak”. There is a theory that says that Inosuke has such a bird-like name because he may be partly based on the God Agoda, who is associated with birds. Once again, for a longer discussion of the meaning of the “Hashibira” part of “Inosuke Hashibira”, see our article on the topic.
Inosuke’s first appearance in Demon Slayer
- Anime debut: Episode 11
- Manga debut: Chapter 21
Inosuke first appeared in the anime and manga of Demon Slayer during the Tsuzumi Mansion Arc. Inosuke was stuck inside the mansion for three days because of the Blood Demon Art of legendary Drum Demon, Kyogai. The same technique made Zenitsu and Shoichi get separated from Tanjiro and Teruko.
As Zenitsu and Shoichi were looking for the exit from the magical house of drums (sounds like somewhere John Bonham might like), they stumbled across the room that Inosuke was in. In the scene, Inosuke immediately hurtles out, knocking down doors before running down the open corridor. Zenitsu gasps loudly and is left shaken. Shoichi only sighs, looking like he is at the end of his tether with Zenitsu.
Inosuke’s relationship with other characters
Inosuke & Tanjiro Kamado
Inosuke sees Tanjiro as a rival. Inosuke is fiercely competitive and likes to test his mettle with those stronger than himself. Indeed, competing with Tanjiro seems to have a positive effect on Inosuke.
Through relating and competing with Tanjrio, Inosuke becomes more open-minded about things. He starts noticing things that he never had when alone. Inosuke develops his ability to think and analyze his opponent’s abilities.
While Inosuke continues to think of Tanjiro as a rival, he still cares for him, and the two become close friends.
Inosuke & Zenitsu Agatsuma
Though almost diametrically opposed in terms of personality, Zenitsu and Inosuke go on to have a brother-like bond and a strong relationship.
Inosuke & Zenitsu’s first meeting
From their first encounter, it was clear that Inosuke and Zenitsu had very different personalities.
Inosuke has a wild, raging personality and is always ready for a fight. In contrast, Zenitsu, in his everyday form, tends to be a coward and prefers to avoid confrontation.
Inosuke & Zenitsu’s way of relating to each other
Inosuke tends to look down on Zenitsu because of his lack of courage. Inosuke also insults Zenitsu’s stupidity. In spite of this, the two manage to overcome their initial dislike for each other.
They eventually team up to defeat powerful Demons like Daki in the Entertainment District Arc.
Inosuke & Aoi Kanzaki
Inosuke and Aoi are the classic “hate each other at first, but come to fall in love” character couple that you see so often in various stories.
Inosuke & Aoi’s first meeting
Inosuke and Kanzaki met each other for the first time at the Butterfly Mansion.
In the beginning, Inosuke struggles to keep up with Aoi in completing various tasks they have been set. He just doesn’t have the same strong will as her. Eventually, he is able to adapt to the circumstances and beat her. In contrast to Inosuke’s “wild-man” image, this shows that Inosuke is actually able to adapt and reflect on his situation.
Inosuke is harsher to Aoi than Zenitsu and Tanjiro are. But he is also one of the Demon Slayers who volunteer, in Aoi’s place, to go on a mission with Tengen. This is a clear demonstration of Inosuke’s chivalry.
Aoi tending to Inosuke’s wounds
After Inosuke fights the Upper Moon Six demon, he’s carried one more time to the Butterfly Mansion. Aoi is incorrigible when she sees Inosuke’s terrible condition. He has poison all through his body and Aoi thinks it is too late to stop the bleeding. Her worries disappear when Inosuke suddenly jumps up and swings off the ceiling!
Aoi reverts back to seeing Inosuke as a bit of pain and goes straight back to arguing.
How Aoi & Inosuke began to become close
In another episode at the Butterfly Mansion, Inosuke goes out of Tanjiro’s room and heads to the kitchen to get some food. He tries to steal food behind Aoi’s back, but she notices him. Aoi hands him over a tray of food, a whole tray that is for Inosuke all alone! She tells him that he can eat however much he wants from the tray.
Inosuke & Aoi as lovers
They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and this gesture by Aoi certainly seems to be a case in point. Inosuke starts to see Aoi in a much better light from her on.
Aoi and Inosuke Hashibira go on to marry and have a great-grandson named Aoba Hashibira.
Inosuke & Kyojuro Rengoku
Like Tanjiro and Zenitsu, Inosuke immediately looks up to Kyojuro as a mentor and a great leader. During Kyojuro’s death at the hands of the Demon Akaza, Tanjiro and Zenitsu fall into the depths of despair. It is in this darkest hour that Inosuke becomes the one to pick his comrades up. Inosuke tells his friends that Kyojuro would want them to keep fighting and, ultimately, to live. This scene demonstrates that Inosuke is capable of being more than just a rampaging boar. He is also capable of deep empathy, understanding, courage and, indeed, love.
Inosuke & Shinobu Kocho
Upon Inosuke and Shinobu meeting, Shinobu almost immediately learns to manipulate Inosuke. She has had practice in this, as can be seen the way she is able to get Tanjiro to react to her every bid and call.
Shinobu convinces Inosuke to undertake any and every task. She does this by manipulating him into second-guessing his ability to complete whatever task is at hand.
For his part, Inosuke shows his usual abrasive and disrespectful attitude towards Shinobu. At one point, after feeling insulted by her second-guessing, he even threatens to rip her breasts off! That’s not holding back.
After shinobu cares for Inosuke when he is injured, Inosuke even comes to harbour affection for her.
He later vows to avenge Shinobu’s death when he learns that Doma has “absorbed her”. Shinobu’s “pinky promise” with Inosuke makes him recall deep subconscious memories of his mother.
It is also noted in the series that Shinobu is one of the few Demon Slayer female characters, or people more generally, whose names Inosuke never gets wrong.
Inosuke’s Abilities and Powers
Inosuke is flexible, flexible to the point where he can bend backward and make his head reach between his feet.
Inosuke can also dislocate his arm to extend his reach. Indeed, he can dislocate any of his joints at will.
This flexibility even extends to Inosuke’s internal organs! In one scene Inosuke is able to shift his heart to avoid a fatal blow in a fight against Daki and Gyutaro.
Inosuke’s cual Nichirin Katana swords
Unlike most Demon Slayers, Inosuke wields not one but two Nichirin katanas. The blades are made distinctive by their chipped blades.
During this fight in Mount Natagumo, Inosuke breaks his swords fighting a demon. Afterwards, during his stay in Butterfly Mansion, he receives a new pair of blades. But Inosuke prefers his swords chipped! Inosuke uses rocks to crack away at the new blades.
Inosuke’s dual blades are indigo-gray in color. Unlike his fellow Demon Slayers, Inosuke doesn’t have a hilt or a sword sheath. Instead, he uses bandages to improve his grip.
One last distinguishing feature of his blades don’t have words engraved on them.
Beast Breathing (獣の呼吸 Kedamono no kokyū)
Inosuke uses a Breathing Style originally derived from “Wind Breathing”. Inosuke creates his own “Beast Breathing” after living in the mountains. This technique takes its inspiration from the wild boars that he grew up with.
Inosuke’s Beast Breathing style consists of 10 different striking techniques. Here is a list of techniques tas listed from “Kimetsu no yaiba fandom”:
First Fang: Pierce (壱ノ牙穿抜 Ichi no kiba: Ugachi Nuki) – The user stabs the target’s neck with both blades.
Second Fang: Slice (弐ノ牙切裂 Ni no kiba: Kirisaki) – The user unleashes a double slash with two blades in an X-shaped cut.
Third Fang: Devour (参ノ牙喰裂 San no kiba: Kuizaki) – The user releases simultaneous horizontal slashes towards the target’s throat to decapitate them.
Fourth Fang: Slice ‘n’ Dice (肆ノ牙切細裂 Shi no kiba: Kiri Komazaki) – The user delivers multiple diagonal double slashes with both swords.
Fifth Fang: Crazy Cutting (伍ノ牙狂裂 Go no kiba: Kuruizaki) – The user slices everything in all directions while in mid-air.
Sixth Fang: Palisade Bite (陸ノ牙乱杭咬 Roku no kiba: Ranguigami) – The user releases simultaneous slashes with two swords from both directions in a saw-like movement.
Seventh Form: Spatial Awareness (漆ノ型空間識覚 Shichi no kata: Kūkan Shikikaku) – The user utilizes their sense of touch to identify the position of enemies and their weaknesses by feeling small disturbances in the air. This technique was so strong that Inosuke Hashibira could sense all the demons spread out through a whole mountain.
Eighth Fang: Explosive Rush (捌ノ型爆裂猛進 Hachi no kata: Bakuretsu Mōshin) – The user charges towards their opponent at blinding speeds while swinging both their swords.
Ninth Fang: Extending Bendy Slash (玖ノ牙伸・うねり裂 Ku no kiba: Shin – Unerizaki) – The user dislocates the joints of their arm to increase the range of their attack, and then unleashing a fast swinging forward strike.
Tenth Fang: Whirling Fangs (拾ノ牙円転旋牙 Jū no kiba: Enten Senga) – The user rapidly spins their swords in a circular motion, deflecting enemy attacks such as projectiles.
Sudden Throwing Strike (思つきの投裂 Omoitsuki no Nagesaki) – The user throws both of their blades in a spinning motion at an enemy.
Notable Inosuke quotes
(First on-screen words) “Better watch out! Cause’ ready or not, HERE I COME!!”
Now, that’s how you make an entrance!
(To Tanjiro Kamado and Zenitsu Agatsuma) “Don’t cry even if you have regrets! No matter how pathetic or humiliated you feel, you still have to go on living!”
Here we see that, far from being a two-dimensional character only capable of “wild impulses”, Inosuke is actually capable of great empathy and deep care for those around him.
(To Doma) “Fate bringing us together really is a miracle. After all, the demon who killed… my mother and my friend… is right before my eyes!! You have my gratitude for making me remember. Just cutting off your head won’t be enough!! I’m gonna send you to hell!!”
In this quote we get a combination of both Inosuke’s ferocity and his ferocious love for family and friends.
(To Doma) “If Hell doesn’t exist, I’ll create it for you!! That’s enough of your crap!! Don’t say my mother was miserable, you bastard!!”
Offering to create a hell to send someone to is a new level of damnation!
(To Muzan Kibutsuji) “You’ve really done it now! And I won’t stand up for it! They protected us! The old guy with the rosary lost his leg! And the guy with the half-and-half haori lost his arm! All the bodies lying around here belonged to comrades I shared my meals with! Give them back! Their legs and arms! Their lives! Everything! Give them back! If you can’t do that… Then you’ll pay for it with a million deaths!!”
Once again, in this quote we get a sense of Inosuke’s humanity – in the most visceral, and physical, way.
(To himself about his friends) “We’re comrades… and like brothers so if someone starts to stray from the path, we all stop him. No matter how hard or painful it is, we walk the right path.”
Inosuke often takes on the role of “Cheerleader” or “Spirit Raiser” within the band of adventurers. “We all stop him” also shows us his deep sense of responsibility and comradery.
- The Mount Natagumo Arc is one of the most notable scenes for Inosuke. Inosuke yells at Tomioka to take him on in battle. Tomioka immediately declines and ties Inosuke to a tree. This scene becomes the first time Inosuke and Tanjiro team up for their first mission.
- Another notable scene Inosuke was in was in the Entertainment District Arc. Tengen forces Inosuke, along with Tanjiro and Zenitsu, to dress as Geishas to help with their mission.
Inosuke fits right in because, in stark contrast to his wild-pig outward image, he actually is seen to have a face that looks remarkably like a girl! Tengen tasks Inosuke with looking pretty and not saying a word! Inosuke then later teams up with Zenitsu to defeat Daki, the Upper Rank Six demon.
Inosuke is a short-tempered and proud young man. He likes to compete with others. He challenges most people he comes across, and wants others to praise him for his skill.
He tends to overestimate his abilities. The longest running rivalry he has is with Tanjiro Kamado. In this he is often thwarted, due to Tanjiro’s kind nature.
Inosuke is often shown to have little understanding of normal human interaction. This is because boars have raised Inosuke in the mountains, away from humans. Inosuke seems to assume that any person who approaches him wants to attack him.
Further, he doesn’t appear to understand the kindness others show him. He can’t read or write and struggles to say people’s names correctly. He says “Monchiro” instead of “Tanjiro”, or “Monitsu” instead of “Zenitsu”. He can be very rude, without intending to, and treat everyone as an enemy at first.
But as the story goes on, Inosuke learns more about how normal humans interact. The more people he meets along the way, he learns more about the nature of kindness and generosity.
As the series progresses, we actually see that Inosuke actually has an innate ability for empathising with others on a more fundamental level. He becomes the member of the group that can cheer others up when they are at their lowest ebb.
Although lacking social graces, Inosuke is in copious possession of qualities of infinite great value – those of courage, responsibility and comradery.
About Character’s clothing
Inosuke wears an altered version of the standard Demon Slayer uniform.
He wears gray-blue baggy hakama pants fastened around his hips with a fluffy brown deer fur.
Unlike his travelling companions, Inosuke does not wear a haori.
Instead of cloth leg wraps, Inosuke wears knee-high socks of bear hide that expose his heels and toes. These also fasten the sandal bases he wears on his feet
What does Inosuke’s clothing tell us about who he is?
Inosuke’s most defining feature is, of course, the gray, hollowed-out boar’s head that he wears as a striking, and fear-inducing, head-piece. He has fixed the eyes of the head to allow himself to see well enough to fight while donning the pig-like helmet. We later find out that the boar’s head belonged to his late adoptive boar mother!
Without the boar head, Inosuke actually has a pretty and feminine face. With large, wide eyes framed by long eyelashes. The irises of his eyes are dark to soft pale green.
He has thin eyebrows. His thick, black hair reaches past his shoulders, fading into blue at the tips.
Boars are the only parents Inosuke has ever known, at least prior to his remembering of his biological mother. Inosuke’s boar-head visually represents this origin in a bold way. His bulky, muscular body build represents how he has been surviving all his life. This can also be seen in his other accessories, such as his deer fur and bear hide.
Inosuke – In Conclusion
In conclusion, Inosuke is a great asset to the Demon Slayer Corps. He is selfless, always putting others before himself. He is also incredibly brave, never backing down from a fight. He is also very loyal to his friends and always sticks by their side.
He is strong and powerful, but also has a softer side that is revealed over time. He is a great example of how to overcome difficult circumstances and fight for what is right.
Inosuke is definitely someone you want on your team when fighting demons!
Article by Dhanie James Perez
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