Daki from Demon Slayer

The ‘Demon Slayer’ Demon Ranking System, as Explained by a Demon

Are you new here, demon?

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You look new here. A little wet behind the ears. I bet your idea of “demonic” is a Mississippi book ban, which, don’t get me wrong, is still pretty evil. But it’s not ‘rip people’s heads off and exsanguinate them’ kind of evil, the way the demons of Demon Slayer like to do it. To crib a phrase from the intro of Avatar the Last Airbender: you’ve got a lot to learn before you’re ready to kill anyone.

Stick with me kid, I’ll show you the ropes. And how to tie people up with them.

You never got a rank … ?

Join the club kid, neither did I. In fact, most demons don’t get ranked. Your average, run-of-the-mill demon isn’t powerful enough to be ranked by the Demon King Muzan himself. And you know what? That’s fine by me. The demons at the bottom are basically left alone to do their own bidding. We just get to sit sleep all day and kill people all night. We don’t have to run errands for Muzan, we don’t have to fight the Demon Slayer Corps, and we certainly don’t have to mess around with the Hashira or that Tanjiro kid. I may be a demon, but that guy is a literal nightmare.

No, we live the good life. After all, we’re not powerful enough for Muzan to trust us with the big-boy jobs. Those kind of jobs he leaves for the Twelve Kizuki, aka The Moons.

The … Moons?

Yep. That’s what they’re called. Don’t ask me why. I guess because it goes along with Muzan’s creepy brand identity. Moons are night-related. Kinda eerie. It’s the perfect name. It’s spooky without coming off as try-hard. Way better than the 12 Murder Killer Death Monsters. That’s too much of a mouthful, and I prefer my mouthfuls to be of human flesh and not words.

So like I said, there are 12 Moons in all, and they are divided into two groups of six. These groups are called the Upper Moons and the Lower Moons. It’s confusing, yes. Lemme explain.

The Lower Moons

The Lower Moons are the six lowest-ranked members of the 12 Kizuki. The weakest of the Lower Moons is known as Lower Rank Six, the next most powerful is Lower Rank Five, then Lower Rank Four and so on and so forth until we reach Lower Rank One. Lower Rank One is the most powerful member of the Lower Moons. Lucky them.

The Upper Moons

The six Upper Moons are ranked in the same way as the Lower Moons. Upper Rank Six is the weakest, and Upper Rank One is the strongest. Now keep in mind, the highest ranking member of the Lower Moons (Lower Moon One) is orders of magnitude less powerful than the weakest of the Upper Moons (Upper Moon Six). If you ever make it to the Lower Moons (which you probably won’t) don’t go acting like you’re the biggest, swingiest demon around to anyone in the Upper Moons. Those guys will KILL YOU, and there’s nothing you or your Lower Rank friends could do about it. In fact, your “friends” would probably be happy to see you go.

What’s so special about the Twelve Kizuki anyway?

Unlike us regular demons, Muzan decided to give these guys the special treatment. In order to make more powerful demons, Muzan gives a select few candidates a greater portion of his blood, thereby making them more powerful than your Average Joe demon. The Twelve Kizuki are also able to use special powers called Blood Demon Arts, something that regular demons can’t do. These powers come directly from the Twelve Kizuki’s blood relationship with Muzan. You can think of Blood Demon Arts as a countermeasure against Demon Slayer Breathing Techniques. After all, the Hashira can’t be the only ones with special powers, now can they? That wouldn’t be fair.

It should also be noted that while the Twelve Kizuki are usually the most powerful demons in all of demonkind, there are exceptions to that rule. That snot-nosed kid Taniro’s little sister Nezuko is one of them. She doesn’t look it, but she’s about as powerful as a low to mid-tier Upper Rank. She was able to hold her own against the Upper Rank Six in the Entertainment District Arc. The freakiest thing of all is that doesn’t even need to drink BLOOD to be strong. She just SLEEPS to get her energy back. How weird is that? And she ain’t even the weirdest! There’s another Demon called Tamayo that could rival the power of The Twelve with her illusion abilities. She could certainly be a Lower Rank if she wanted to be, but she’s too busy helping humans instead of eating them. Disgusting, right?

So … how do you join?

The perfect question! Brings me to my next point … So remember how I said your Lower Moon pals would be happy if you died? That’s because your rank in the Moons is not necessarily a fixed position. The members of the Upper and Lower Moons are constantly jockeying for power. It’s a mess. If you end up becoming more powerful than one of your comrades (or “moonrades”), you might just end up taking their position. If you find yourself to be weaker, you’ll be demoted. Or Muzan will just kill you outright. Or both.

And here’s the kicker, if you happen to DIE while holding a ranked position, your former subordinates might end up being PROMOTED to your position. While that happens every once in a blue moon (no pun intended) in the Upper Moon ranks, it happens A LOT in the Lower Moons. In fact, Muzan ended up reshuffling the hierarchy himself when he massacred a group of Lower Moons who failed him too often. Rule of thumb: if you get promoted, it means that someone got fired. Another rule of thumb: getting fired in Muzan’s organization usually means that you are fired from life on this earthly plane as well.

So you want my advice? Forget about The Moons. Focus on being happy with what you’ve got in the present. All that responsibility isn’t worth it. Why die on some Hashira’s sword when you could be sitting on a moonlight beach eating some villager’s leg? That’s my definition of success.

(featured image: Ufotable)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.