Demon Slayer: Why Nezuko Keeps Her Bamboo Muzzle on

A part of what makes Nezuko Demon Slayer’s darling is her signature look. Her pastel pink eyes and matching pink kimono certainly add to her charm, but the small bamboo muzzle she keeps over her mouth truly sets her apart from other characters in the series. However, Nezuko’s muzzle isn’t just there to be iconic, but also to control her murderous Demon impulses.

When Tanjiro and Nezuko Kamado’s family was ruthlessly slaughtered, Nezuko was turned into a Demon. Though her killing instinct initially pushed her to attack her brother, some miracle made her overcome this drive, instead growing to love and protect humans. A part of what keeps Nezuko from giving into her bloodlust is the bamboo bit she wears. Let’s dive into what exactly the muzzle does and how it continues to function as a reliable security measure for the pacifist Demon.

Nezuko pins Tanjiro to the ground while he tries to hold her off using an axe hilt

Nezuko first received the bamboo muzzle in Episode 1 of Demon Slayer. After her transformation into a Demon, the Demon Slayer Giyu Tomioka had intended to put her down as her rabid hunger set her after Tanjiro. However, when Giyu recognized Nezuko’s change of heart, he was stunned by her miraculous efforts to protect her brother. Instead of slaying her, he knocked her unconscious and placed the bamboo in her mouth to block off her ability to bite with her fangs.

The muzzle prevents her from sinking her teeth into humans, but also from biting herself, either on purpose or accidentally. The bamboo keeps her hunger at bay, but it isn’t a magical device that nullifies her aggression towards humans entirely – that rare ability is attributed to Nezuko’s inextricably strong will. Sensei Urodokai’s efforts to hypnotize Nezuko into seeing all humans as family additionally aid in her resistance to her Demon side.

Nezuko sparkling

With this hypnotized prevention measure in place, some Demon Slayer fans wonder why it’s still necessary for her to wear the bamboo muzzle at all. Considering how the bit largely renders Nezuko mute, it may seem bothersome or redundant to keep it on.

While the bamboo may not be the key to her control, it does still have essential purposes. With her mouth securely blocked, there’s no chance for her to accidentally get human blood in her mouth which could make her become savage and reverse her progress as a pacifist Demon.

The bamboo muzzle does serve as a key failsafe, but it also hides her Demon features and presents her as a symbol of peace. It’s very advantageous for Nezuko to appear human in order to help protect them and blend in, but Demon Slayers, of course, can see through the guise. Demon Slayers – the Hashira in particular – are usually fiercely against working with Demons, but Nezuko’s human appearance and demonstration of restraint exude harmony. Her innocent look pushes people to see beyond her status as a Demon, giving everyone hope that the oppressive curse can be reversed or at least controlled in some way.

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