Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba’s main enemy Kokushibo ( Kokushib? As the highest-ranking member of the demon group known as the Twelve Kizuki, he goes by the name Upper-Rank One ( Jgen no Ichi?).
Michikatsu Tsugikuni ( Tsugikuni Michikatsu? ), the human incarnation of Kokushibo, was an accomplished Demon Slayer and the older twin brother of Yoriichi Tsugikuni, the greatest Demon Slayer in history. This happened over five centuries ago, during the Sengoku period.
Zenit Agatsuma’s elder, Kaigaku, was transformed by Kokushibo, who is also the ancestor of Muichiro and Yuichiro Tokito. Kokushibo is also one of the Twelve Kizuki.
Kokushibo is a tall, muscular man who has pale skin and long, spiky black hair with crimson tips that he wears in a ponytail. His three eyes stand out because of the black lines that branch out from each iris and the golden color of his irises and red sclera. Higher Rank ( Jgen?) and One ( Ichi?) are written in kanji over his left and right eyes, respectively. Red lines resembling flames can also be seen on the top left side of Kokushibo’s forehead and the bottom right side of his chin. Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito says he exudes an air of regal majesty.
Kokushibo dresses in a nagagi kimono with a purple and black bee-hive pattern and a pair of black umanori-style hakama pants with a white uwa-obi. Eyes protrude from the tsuka ito wrapping of his fleshy katana, which he holds at his waist. Eyes and veins may be seen in the tsuba and blade.
Except for the number of eyes, the prominence of his eyebrows, and his noticeably less pale complexion, Kokushibo’s look as a human was essentially identical to that of his demon form. His irises were a deep purple, and his sclera was white, as it would be in any person. When he was younger, he favoured a plain white kimono over the purple and black one he wears now.
After Sanemi Shinazugawa and Gyomei Himejima severed Kokushibo’s head, he took on a monstrous new appearance, complete with jutting fangs and mandibles, large white horns on the front and back of his head, pointed nails, red outgrowths on his face, pupils looking in different directions, shorter and messier hair, several thin tubes poking out of his body, and numerous black and red scorpion tail-like app
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As befits his status as Upper-Rank One, Kokushibo is quiet, distant, and reticent. Whenever he does speak, it is in a deliberate, slow, and expressive manner that lends his words an air of seriousness and authority. At the Upper-Rank gathering, he was observed to be a strict rule-follower, to be on time, and to show a great deal of respect to the Twelve Kizuki’s established order of command. Kokushibo’s humility is further demonstrated by the fact that he freely admitted defeat and complained about whatever hardship he faced.
When it comes to Muzan Kibutsuji, he is fiercely loyal, doing almost everything for the sake of achieving Muzan’s objectives. A cold and unforgiving aspect to his personality emerges despite his outward displays of reserve, dignity, and humility; his remarks can be exceedingly harsh, especially when reprimanding others. His threats are ruthless and terrifying, and he expects complete submission.
It is clear that Kokushibo enjoyed the fights he had with his formidable opponents, as evidenced by the fact that he helped bandage Muichiro Tokito’s amputated hand because he was so impressed with Tokito’s swordsmanship, praised Gyomei Himejima for his extraordinary human abilities, and spared Akaza because he looked forward to the challenge of facing him. On the other hand, he experienced anger at learning of Akaza’s demise and sympathy for Gyomei’s impending death at the hands of his Demon Slayer Marks.
His connection to his human background is intricate. He seems to have some affection for his descendant Muichiro, as he speaks highly of the latter’s abilities and tenacity and is motivated to change Muichiro into a demon in order to spare his life. At the same time, he attributes Muichiro’s skills to the fact that his “cells” were passed down from generation to generation.
The demon’s dueling banter with Gyomei betrays a morbid fear of death. Preemptively lamenting the loss of a skilled fighter, Kokushibo persuaded Gyomei to become a demon so that he could continue perfecting his skills when the marks appeared on his body. He was taken aback when Gyomei flatly refused his offer and derided his “pathetic mentality.”
It is revealed that Kokushibo, as a human, felt tremendous jealousy towards his younger twin brother because of the latter’s superior innate skill and power. The discovery that Yoruichi was still alive and in old age despite the curse of the Demon Slayer Marks supposedly killing him before the age of 25 only served to heighten his feelings of jealousy and contempt for his brother, who had become a peerless warrior of unmatched caliber even among the Demon Slayer Corps.
In spite of his sibling rivalry, spite, and outright hatred for Yoriichi, Kokushibo still deeply cares for and loves his brother, as evidenced by the tears he sheds over Yoriichi’s death and by the fact that, centuries after Yoriichi’s death, he keeps the handmade flute he made for him as a child.
Kokushibo fears failure because he has an inferiority problem and a strong need to feel powerful. In fact, as he was cornered more and more, he became more hostile and disturbed, resorting to more desperate attacks and greater use of his demon power. While fighting the Hashira, he realized that he had become an ugly monster, a long cry from his romanticized dream of being the strongest samurai like his brother. This transformation was a metaphor for how much his ambition and bitterness had distorted him for the worse.
His six eyes symbolize his obsession with reaching the Transparent World, which he believes will give him an advantage over his sibling. In his last breath, he publicly questioned whether or not the course he had been on was the right one, and he expressed deep sorrow for his past decisions. Kokushibo passes away full of regret, grief, and wrath for having never accomplished what he had set out to do in life.
Kokushibo is the most powerful of the Twelve Kizuki, and only second in strength to the Demon King, Muzan Kibutsuji. In his nearly 500 years on Earth, he has fought against and learned from innumerable Demon Slayers. The fact that he is a user of Total Concentration Breathing, a marked human who has accessed the Transparent World, and a demon with the highest concentration of Muzan’s blood in the organization all contribute to his enormous and chiseled physique.
First, he slices off Akaza’s arm before the latter can respond, demonstrating his immense power; subsequently, Doma says that Akaza will never be able to surpass them, even after 113 years of practice. While in the Infinity Castle Arc, Kokushibo easily overpowers the Mist Hashira, Muichiro Tokito, a prodigy who was previously revealed to be capable of fighting Gyokko, Upper-Rank Five, on his own while ill. Despite Muichiro’s incredible speed and vision, and even after activating his Demon Slayer Mark, Kokushibo effortlessly slashed off Muichiro’s hand before he could react, caught his sword while it was still in mid-swing, and stabbed Muichiro with it.
Even Genya Shinazugawa, a key figure in the defeat of Upper-Rank Four’s Hantengu, had no chance against the Upper Rank; Kokushibo easily dispatched the Demon Slayer, slicing him to pieces with little resistance and moving so quickly that Genya was completely helpless. Sami Shinazugawa, the Wind Hashira, did slightly better than the first two, but he was quickly overpowered when Kokushibo decided to try harder.
Kokushibo inflicted wounds on the Wind Hashira that would have killed a normal Hashira. Moreover, Kokushibo was so powerful that he was able to defeat Sanemi and Gyomei Himejima, the two strongest Demon Slayers of this generation, at the same time, even after both had activated their Demon Slayer Marks, which boosts their physical abilities and allows them to perform better.
Even landing a severe injury on him required the combined effort and abilities of Gyomei, Sanemi, Muichiro, and Genya, the former three who were marked. The Transparent World was also activated by Gyomei and Muichiro, which slowed down time and made it easier to observe the Upper Rank’s movements. In spite of this, the only way for the Demon Slayers to prevail was to render him immobile, which cost them Muichiro and Genya’s lives; Genya had to awaken a Blood Demon Art by eating a bit of Kokushibo’s sword and some of Kokushibo’s hair.
Gyomei and Sanemi were able to reach Kokushibo’s neck thanks to Genya’s Blood Demon Art, but they barely wounded it before they had to turn their blades red to fully behead him. Still, Kokushibo said he was able to regrow his head through pure will, making him almost invulnerable save to the sun. Muichiro’s Bright Red Nichirin Sword slowed Kokushibo’s regeneration, and seeing how ugly he had become as a result of his quest for strength made him give up the fight.
Biological Absorption: If Kokushibo comes into physical touch with a human or demon, he will take some of their essences. Legend has it that after defeating a demon, Kokushibo would absorb the spirit of his foe into himself. It’s safe to suppose he resorts to this strategy if he needs a quick energy boost instead of taking the time to consume a whole human being or Demon Slayer.
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