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|“||Yes, being weak is very sickening and such a retching thing.||„|
|~ Akaza expressing his clear disgust towards those he deems weak|
Akaza, born Hakuji, is a major antagonist in the 2016 dark fantasy manga/anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. He was the Upper Moon Three and the first demon to be promoted into Twelve Demon Moons by Muzan Kibutsuji.
He first appeared as the final antagonist of Demon Train Arc and considered Tanjiro as his personal rival and grew resentful towards him. Later, he fought Giyu and Tanjiro in the Dimensional Infinite Fortress to his death, but not before he managed to recall his past and took his own life as an act of remorse.
He is voiced by Akira Ishida in the Japanese version of the anime. Ishida's other villainous roles include Zeref Dragneel in Fairy Tail, Gaara in the Naruto franchise, Gabriel Miller in Sword Art Online, Regulus Corneas in Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World, Hyoga in Dr. Stone, Ryuunosuke Uryuu in Fate/Zero, and Hideo Shimada in Parasyte.
Akaza is a young-looking demon with medium build and chalk white skin, having pink hair and eyes with blue sclerae and orange irises, with "Upper Moon" and number "Three" written in both eyes. His body was covered in blue stripes.
When he was still human, as Hakuji, he had black hair and blue eyes. He also has three black criminal tattoo lines on each of his arms.
Akaza is a stubborn, harsh, short-fused and blood-thirsty fighter who desires to fight the strong, respects the strong and loathes the weak. He also shares ill feeling to his colleagues and sees them as his own rivals, being especially hostile towards Kokushibou, the Upper Moon One, and Douma, the Upper Moon Two, who both held higher ranks than him. He shows a particularly strong interest to powerful opponents and will try to figure out their name. As a result, he remembered the name of every opponent he fought as respect towards them.
In spite of his cruelty and wrath, Akaza had one special code; he never devoured any women, in spite of the fact that eating females would have actually made him even stronger, and Muzan gave him special permission to do so. He also showed a serious self-loathing tendency, valuing others above the good of himself.
All of his personality was influenced by his past life and the remnants of his own humanity, showing how dark and miserable his traumatic experiences were, to the point of being forced to become demonic and joined Muzan.
|“||Once again I sought strength after becoming a Demon. Although nothing I sought to protect was left. It was not like I wanted to live in this world where I lost my family. But for over a hundred years, I kept pointlessly murdering over and over again. Yet, at the end of the day, it's just a pathetic, comical, uninteresting story.||„|
|~ Akaza remembering his past|
Before he became a Demon, Hakuji was born and raised by his father who suffered from sickness. In order to pay for the medicine to cure his father, Hakuji pickpocketed the townspeople, three times, but sometimes get caught for his misdeeds. Beaten and given tattoos, they threaten to cut off his arms the next time he commits theft and was called a "Demon Child". Afterwards when Hakuji headed home after his third punishment from the town. a Villager informed him about what happened to his father, having heard about his arrest and later hung himself. In a letter his father to him, he stated that all he wanted was for Hakuji to lived a full life without worry and didn't need to take the medicine if it was earned by dishonesty and misdeeds.
With the loss of his father, his criminal tattoos, and no home to return to. Hakuji was banished from Edo for his Theft. Devasted by his father's death and enraged at society for how he lived and couldn't afford the medicine to cure his father, he ends up picking a fight with other people he encounters, later beats them up.
But one day later. He later beaten up seven men and nearly killed them off in a village, until he was soon appraoched by the Village's dojo owner, Keizo. Annoyed by the owner's cheerful demeanor, Hakuji challenges the owner to a duel, but during the fight, he was defeated easily.
After the Duel, Keizo took him in to his dojo then introduces Hakuji to his daughter, Koyuki. Koyuki suffered from a sickness, her mother drowned herself due to the stress she had as Keizo had to work as a Handyman to keep things at balance. Keizo would later tasked Hakuji with taking care of her. But reminders of how he had a problem tending his father, Hakuji had problems trying to tend Koyuki, He did however found this awkward at first but till Koyuki burst into tears, crying because of his sickness. But Hakuji would indirectly motivate her by telling her that "there's always next year to see the fireworks".
As Three years has past. Koyuki was finally in good health, now willing to do the chores and could stand again. Hakuji on the other hand, continued training as Keizo's pupil of the Soryu style at the dojo. One day afterwards, Keizo offered Hakuji to take over the dojo and marry his daughter, Koyuki. Being embarrased and surprised from this, Hakuji immediately agrees, now promising to protect both his master and his wife, even if the cost for it was his own life.
At the festival, He would later tell Koyuki about his troubled past and his father's dead, then she asked if he was alright with the proposal. which reaffirmed Hakuji's vow to protect her for the rest of his life.
However, this vow was short-lived. Hakuji then took a visit to his father's grave and informed him of his marriage, but then he would quickly realize something was amiss form his return. A student from the dojo informs Hakuji that their rivaling kenjustu dojo, which had sought to Keizo's land for themselves and had prevented him from getting any students, had poisoned the well as Keizo and Koyuki drink the water from it, The two died shortly, leaving Hakuji into despair, also causing his promise to protect them was broken.
Enraged from the despair, Hakuji then immediately picks a fight with the rivaling kenjutsu dojo. He has killed off 67 members of the dojo with his own bare hands, pulverizing them one by one to the point where their corpses were unrecognizable. Because of this, it brought Muzan Kibutsuji's attention, but he would later feel disappointed that a human rather then a demon would commit such a gruesome act towards what Hakuji had done. Muzan then offers Hakuji to become a demon and a Member of the Twelve Demon Moons, but as an Upper Moon. with nothing left to protect and had lost his will to continue living. Akaza now accepts Muzan's offer to become the demon he now was, Akaza.
After becoming a Demon, now known as Akaza, he lost all of his memories when he was once a human, but now with only one desire to become stronger, but despite never knowing why he wanted to become stronger in the first place. But as said by Doma, Akaza has refused to let himself harm and eat women or girls. Due to the strength he has now, Muzan would dispatched him for special mission on finding the Spider Lily. and to this day, Akaza never remembered who he truly was.
Demon Train Arc
Red Light District Arc
Infinite Dimensional Fortress Arc
|“||I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't... Keep our promise. I couldn't keep anything! Forgive me. Forgive me. I beg you. Forgive me!||„|
|~ Akaza begging Koyuki for forgiveness|
|“||I'm home, father. I'm home, master. Koyuki, I'm back.||„|
|~ Hakuji, no longer Akaza, reuniting his loved ones in the afterlife|
- Akaza is the first Upper Moon that Tanjiro confronted, the first one who made his appearance in the manga and so far the only one in the anime.