Demon Slayer’s protagonist Tanjiro has a scar on his forehead from the very first episode – so why does this scar change shape as the show goes on?
Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Demon Slayer Seasons 1 & 2 and also Demon Slayer issue #129
Demon Slayer presents a subtle question to viewers in the form of what seems to be a scar on Tanjiro’s head, which transforms in season 1 to another mark entirely. Unlike the evolution of Tanjiro’s physical abilities – which are routinely explained throughout the series as he embarks on a series of tasks aimed at improving his fighting prowess – Demon Slayer‘s Tanjiro mark isn’t fully addressed. However, it should gain more clarification and importance in the anime’s upcoming arcs.
So, how did Tanjiro get his scar? Initially, it’s explained as an injury he received as a result of saving his brother from a falling boiling kettle. As such, the fact that his scar changes in episode 4 after being smashed into a tree by the Hand Demon would mean that the mark changes because this incident makes the scar worse – as blood is shown dripping from this spot. But this doesn’t make sense either visually or logically. The burn scar wouldn’t be changed into a line of scars by Tanjiro’s shattered mask, nor would it change in surface area. It also wouldn’t make sense for a scar to become further scarred.
Instead, it’s worth considering that Tanjiro’s mark was never actually a scar, and instead always a Demon Slayer Mark – something similar to the marks seen on various demons in the series. These are similar in that they denote significant power in those marked with them, although for the demons this power is often gained through means not their own, such as being given any amount of blood from the series’ major villain Muzan Kibutsuji. In the show, Tanjiro’s father Tanjuro is shown with the exact same head “scar” as his son – and it seems unlikely that the explanation for this is that they both had the exact same scarring incident with a boiling hot kettle. As such, it’s clear this is an inherited trait, and not the result of an unfortunate accident. With this in mind, his battle against the Hand Demon makes better sense, as this is the first more powerful demon Tanjiro fights in Demon Slayer – even if it does pale in comparison to his later opponents.
The Manga Goes Deeper Into Demon Slayer’s Tanjiro Mark
In the manga, far more light is shed on Tanjiro’s mark – especially in explaining how the Mark manifests. Chapter 129 reveals that the Mark appears on those whose bodies go through specific superhuman circumstances – with their heart rate reaching or going over 200 BPM, and their body temperature going to or exceeding 39 degrees celsius. This would perfectly explain why the incident with the kettle triggered Tanjiro’s Mark, as both the temperature of the kettle and the heightened heart rate brought on by concern for his sibling (and pain) would likely result in both of these circumstances being met.
Should Demon Slayer season 3 and beyond continue to follow in the footsteps of the plot of the original manga, not only will this be made more apparent, but the Mark will become a far more important aspect of the plot for several reasons. For now though, to avoid spoilers, it’s worth noting only that it’s more important than just a scar that looks cool – as Demon Slayer‘s visual appeal and attention to plot details tend to go hand in hand.
Will Tanjiro’s Scar Keep Changing In Demon Slayer Season 3?
Demon Slayer season 3 will follow the next storyline from the manga: the Swordsmith Village Arc. With the Mugen Train and Entertainment District Arcs now completed, Tanjiro’s journey to face Muzan Kibutsuji in battle and defeat the demon lord once and for all is fast nearing its end, meaning Tanjiro will soon learn more about himself and his scar’s true meaning. Demon Slayer season 2 revealed Tanjiro’s sun breathing, a technique inherited from his father in a similar fashion to the Mark. With this new information in hand, Tanjiro will eventually learn the same secrets from the manga about what his scar really means. This could be addressed in the Swordsmith Village Arc of Demon Slayer season 3, but the manga covers most of this in the later chapters of the Infinity Castle Arc. Therefore, Tanjiro’s scar might not change again in Demon Slayer season 3, but he’s getting closer to learning the whole truth.
Next: Demon Slayer: Why Tanjiro’s Earrings Were So Controversial
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