Nezuko’s inability speak is one of her most distinctive traits. One theory suggests that there is a deeper meaning to the silence. Nezuko, loved by her fans for her adorableness, is one of Demon Slayer most beloved characters. However, despite being so renowned, Nezuko rarely ever speaks. It could be that Nezuko is a muzzled character trait. But what if it’s more?
It’s a fascinating decision by Demon Slayer author Koyoharu Touge to have a main character who is mute. One fan theory suggests that this may have had more meaning than fans realize.
Why Nezuko Doesn’t Speak
Demon Slayer opens by Tanjiro’s family being brutally murdered. Tanjiro is overcome with grief and horror, but he finds his sister Nezuko, who is still living. Tanjiro desperately tries to save his sister but she attacks him and reveals that she is now a demon. Tajiro is saved from the demon-slayer Giyu. He stops him killing Nezuko and promises that he will keep an eye on her so she doesn’t kill anyone. Giyu doubts Tanjiro but Nezuko saves her brother and knocks them out. He then bestows Nezuko her famous muzzle.
The world of Demon Slayer is a place where demons make their living by eating human beings, which leads to the mass slaughter of innocent people. To stop Nezuko from eating and attacking humans, you need to put a muzzle around her. It also severely limits her speech ability. Nezuko communicates mainly through grunts and gestures. She rarely speaks. This is a characteristic of Nezuko that makes her so adorable and a fan favourite.
Demon Slayer’s Connection to Buddhism
A popular fan theory states that Nezuko doesn’t speak on the show because of a deeper reason. This theory is based on the fact that Demon Slayer draws inspiration from Buddhism. There is a lot of work already connecting dots between Demon Slayer to Buddhism. This theory explains why Nezuko doesn’t speak by drawing a connection with Buddhist monks.
Buddhist monks are well-known for their asceticism, which means they give up all worldly pleasures and desires. It is achieved by long periods of meditation, suppressing hunger and vows to silence. Nezuko vows not to consume people and commits to a perpetual fast. To suppress her desire to eat human flesh, Nezuko spends the first two seasons in deep sleep, much like the long meditation monks go through. Most importantly, Nezuko keeps a vow to silence throughout the series.
As a symbol of Buddhist practices, the muzzle is used. It acts two functions: it keeps Nezuko from violating the vow of silence that Buddhist monks make. Nezuko’s moustache is the symbol for a Buddhist monk if viewed through a Buddhist lens.
The Meaning of Nezuko’s Silence
Fan theory suggests that Nezuko’s Buddhist-like endurance is a sign of her growth during the series. Tanjiro trains his body to defeat demons that prey upon innocent people and defeat Muzan, the king demon. Nezuko, on the other hand, trains her mind to resist temptations, which is also caused by Muzan. It is an expression of the strong bonds and willpower that the siblings share.
It is interesting that Nezuko transforms into her awakened form during Demon Slayer’s Entertainment District Arc. This breaks her muzzle. Although she is strong enough to defeat Daki, she almost eats a human. Tanjiro holds her down until she calms down, then she falls asleep and reverts to her former form. Nezuko’s loss of the muzzle symbolizes her abandoning the monk-like restraint that she usually upholds.
How it fits in the Demon Slayer Universe
This theory helps to explain why Nezuko was so strong in the Entertainment District Arc standing toe-to-toe with Daki. Eating humans is directly related to demon strength. It is not clear why Nezuko is so strong, as she has never eaten a human. It is believed that Nezuko has received constant spiritual and mental training which gives her the ability to be strong in other areas than raw power.
Why Nezuko is so different from other Demons can be explained by the connection she made with Buddhist monks and Nezuko. A demon usually becomes infected by Muzan’s blood, and then falls under his control. He develops an instinct to eat humans. Nezuko is the only exception to this rule. Nezuko’s kindness and willingness to help people rather than eat them goes against demons as Demon Slayer. These differences Nezuko has are most likely due to her hardened spirit, as the allegories to Buddhism would indicate.
Demon Slayer doesn’t shy away from referencing Buddhism so it is possible that this fan theory will be correct. It will all depend on the story’s progression and what Nezuko has in store. We may see more developments for Nezuko, with the Swordsman Village Arc now announced.