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|“||Friends? Stop being facetious. We're not in that kind of inferior relations. In truth, we are family.||„|
|~ Rui as he tortured his so-called "older sister".|
Rui Ayaki, better known as Rui, is a supporting antagonist in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and the main antagonist in its Natagumo Mountain Arc. He was a member of Twelve Demon Moons and the Lower Moon Five. Although being the no. 5 of the Lower Moon, it was later revealed that his true power was actually much greater. It was just that Rui was not interested in climbing up the hierarchy, which he saw as mere number-playing.
Originally a sickly child who was transformed into a demon by Muzan Kibutsuji, Rui killed his parents after they decided to kill him for harming others. Driven by guilt over the death of his parents, Rui grew to be a disturbing person and was later adopted by Muzan and became the leader of the fabricated Spider Family, made of Spider Demons that pretended to be a family.
He was voiced by Kōki Uchiyama in the Japanese version of the anime, who also voices Tomura Shigaraki in My Hero Academia, Shirou Kotomine in Fate/Apocyrpha (2017), and by Billy Kametz in the English version.
Rui is a disturbed and childish individual who desired the close bonds that a family has and expected family members to perform their own roles. To him, "family members" who do not perform their roles as he expects them to (namely to protect Rui unconditionally or follow his instructions) are worthless and as good as dead.
Despite the fact he yearns for a "family", Rui's vision of one is incredibly twisted. All he wanted was to make his fellow kin to fear him, with the fear instilled through repeated abuse on them, which he does with unrepentant sadism. He also shows no tolerance towards failure and seeks to terrify and punish whoever that failed him.
However, Rui still showed an sensitive side on his ideas of perfect family. He was clearly offended when Tanjiro called out his actions, saying Rui's family was made of naught but a fake bond and pure terror and toxicity. This stance contrasts heavily with his desire to have Nezuko for himself as his younger sister, particularly after witnessing her selfless act of shielding Tanjiro from his threads. Much to Tanjiro's shock and disgust, Rui soon became so obsessed with the idea of developing a bond with her, albeit still through fear and torture.
This contrarian behavior is a further evidence to Rui's morbid delusions, mental insanity and emotional instability. Deep down, Rui was a child fear of lonliness and desired to be loved, but his standard towards love was nothing but fear and respect with he himself as the center of his so-called "family".
Rui was born with a weak and frail human body, very difficult for him to walk and even breathe, causing him to spend a majority of his life trapped within his home despite cared by his parents.
Until one night, he was approached by Muzan, who offered to save him and transformed him into a demon. Rui felt great joy for having a healthy body, however he had to eat humans in order to obtain sustenance. As a result, he killed a man who walked to his home, his parents were completely horrified when they witnessed it. When his father attempted to kill him, Rui killed both of them in return, he went into a emotional breakdown after realizing they indeed loved them and killing them in cold blood. However he moved on with Muzan guiding his ways.
Natagumo Mountain Arc
|“||Everything is my fault. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry!!||„|
|~ Rui wailing in anguish as he begs his parents for forgiveness.|
- Rui was ranked in 16th place as of the first character popularity poll with 191 votes.
- He is the only Lower Moon whose oni name is the same as his human name.
- Rui was the first member of the Twelve Demon Moons to be confronted in the series, since Kyogai (the former Lower Moon Six) was already discarded from his duty by the time Tanjiro confronted him.
- Interestingly, this wasn't the first time with Kōki Uchiyama (the voice actor of Rui) and Natsuki Hanae (the voice actor of Tanjiro) voicing two enemy characters. They already voiced Shirou Kotomine and Sieg, respectively, in Fate/Apocyrpha (2017).