Since Demon Slayer’s release in 2019, the human-turned-demon Nezuko has been a fan-favorite, but despite her adorable looks, fans have been left wondering about the mystery behind her silence.
Clad in a pink hemp leaf patterned kimono, she is often described by her brother, Tanjiro, as the beauty of their hometown. Continuing with its faithful portrayal of the manga, anime Nezuko also wears a small pink ribbon on the left side of her head, along with the iconic bamboo muzzle bestowed on her by Giyu Tomioka.
The reason so far has not been explained in the anime, but there are a lot of fan theories that could serve as an explanation for Nezuko’s inability to talk. Here are some of the most plausible explanations:
- According to one fan, demons lose their intellect when they are initially converted, and they are able to regain their intelligence after they eat their first human prey. This also ensures that demons would eat human beings, despite their ability to survive without feeding.
Loss of intellect, also essentially means the loss of morality, so when a creature loses its ability to be rational, it’s left with no choice but to rely on its instincts, and a creature’s primary instinct is its hunger. (Via ColonelCrocc913 on Reddit).
- Another fan suggests that the reason could simply be because of the bamboo muzzle in her mouth, but as seen in episode 1, Nezuko was only growling, she could easily take off the muzzle if she wanted. So this explanation, despite being a very simple and popular one, is not exactly probable. (Via sunkissedsoda on Reddit).
- One reasonable explanation suggests that with the entire demonization process, Nezuko’s cognitive abilities were compromised as her body used up all the energy for the conversion. That is, her body ensured her survival after the transformation by deciding that intellect, language, etc. were not necessary for her recovery. (Via a deleted user on Twitter).
- As one user reinstates how the show is heavily influenced by Buddhism, Nezuko’s silence could be a symbolic representation of it. In accordance with Buddhist traditions, some monks take a vow of silence for different reasons, but mostly it is to learn self-control and earn the path to enlightenment. In contrast to Tanjiro, who is seen mostly focusing on training his physical body, Nezuko can be assumed to be training her spirit. It is easy to forget that she is a demon who is constantly fighting the urge to feed on humans, and is engaged in a constant effort to regain her humanity. So, while it cannot be said that her inability to speak was a conscious decision, it can be surmised that her ideas are similar to those of Buddhism. (Via Urokodaki’sNose on Reddit).
There is a high chance that one of these theories may end up being true, but as the anime has not yet explicitly mentioned the cause, this information is particularly speculative. However, with the announcement of the Swordsman Village Arc, we will see how the story progresses and may even learn more potential explanations for Nezuko’s mutism.
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