In the afterlife, why was Daki given a chance to go to heaven when she’s an antagonist? And why was her brother, Gyutaro, bound for hell instead?
These are the questions Demon Slayer fans may have after finishing Season 3: Entertainment District Arc. After all, both Daki and Gyutaro were considered equally evil. They have slain innocent people and esteemed Demon Slayer members in the past without remorse. They almost killed a Hashira, Tengen Uzui, and Inosuke.
In particular, Daki received more screen time in the season. She was initially thought to be the only antagonist until her brother Gyutaro appeared. The audience got to see more of Daki’s cruelty: from physically and verbally abusing her fellow co-workers (even children) to murdering the headmistress of the oiran house.
Naturally, Daki’s actions were considered irredeemable. However, a rundown of Daki and Gyutaro’s background story will help understand why Daki was given a chance to go to heaven without Gyutaro.
Before we start, one thing we have to know about Demon Slayer is that it has the ability to humanize its demon antagonists. Daki and Gyutaro were no exception.
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Having an Abusive Mother
When they were humans, Daki and Gyutaro were born in an extremely poverty-stricken household. They lived in the lowest class neighborhood in the Entertainment District.
Gyutaro was the firstborn child to an unfit mother. She resented him by regularly trying to kill him. She could also care less if he’s hungry, leaving Gyutaro to fend for himself. He had resorted to eating mice and insects because of this neglect. Even as an child, Gyutaro already received cruel acts from his own parent.
Rejected by the Community
Gyutaro was bullied by the neighborhood he lived in. Everyone threw rocks towards him whenever he passed by. They were repulsed by his appearance and voice. This led to Gyutaro having an extreme sense of inferiority. He once said, “It was as if the vilifications in the world were created to insult me.”
Daki/Ume Changed Things
When Daki (birth name: Ume) was born, it was when things started to get better. Their mother died of syphilis, so Gyutaro raised Ume on his own. Ume’s beauty made him gain confidence in himself and in his life. He also became cruel and selfish towards others, becoming a ‘debt collector’. He also takes joy upon beating others. It can be assumed he taught Ume to be like that as well.
It was probably around this time that Gyutaro has formed his mindset: taking what others have is justice for him. Seeing as he is deprived from all the good things in life, he has no hesitation in bringing others down.
Ume also started becoming a prostitute or oiran when she was young, thus bringing in more money.
Ume’s Samurai Incident
As the siblings’ life were starting to turn around for the better, it has to come crashing down again. While working, Ume had stabbed a samurai’s eye with her hairpin for reasons somewhat unknown. The samurai, seemingly having a high position, had Ume bound and burnt alive. The headmistress of the oiran house where Ume was working even supported this action.
When Gyutaro found Ume’s burnt body in the ditch, hell breaks loose. He understandably became hysterical and began screaming his hatred towards everyone and everything. “I’ll kill the gods, Buddha, and every single one of you!” This heartbreaking scene can make the audience feel his intense frustration and anger about the unfortunate life he was given.
Then the samurai in question even injured him, with the oiran headmistress adding fuel to the fire. Gyutaro, in the midst of fury, killed both the samurai and headmistress. He then proceeded to carry Ume’s burnt body and asked for help in the neighborhood. Sadly, no one came.
Encounter with Douma
Since no help came, Gyutaro and Daki were now on the verge of death. Up until an Upper Moon demon, Douma, chanced upon them. Douma decided to transform the two of them into demons. At this moment, Gyutaro was the only one slightly conscious. He was more than willing to take this offer, as this is his chance to enact more suffering towards people with better lives.
Ever since, Gyutaro and Ume (who changed her name to Daki) had been tormenting the people in Entertainment District. Daki continued working as an oiran, who eventually became famous yet terrifying. Gyutaro remained within her instead, as he would prefer killing people worth his time. That is until Tanjiro and the others came to defeat them.
The scene of Daki and Gyutaro in limbo is quite emotional. Daki was seemingly back to being Ume. She was human again, which contrasted her brother, who retained his demon form.
This is probably because Gyutaro wanted to become a demon. He consented to Douma transforming him. He never regretted becoming one – which meant that all the atrocities he committed seemed only right to him.
The way Gyutaro felt justified in his killings solidified his fate to hell. He could care less about the innocent people he has harmed in his life. One can argue that he was a victim of circumstance. Should he have been born into a healthy and loving family like Tanjiro, then he would have been a different person.
He only received brutality and abuse in his life even as a child, so it is what he only knows. However, at the end of the day, he still made his choice. Not feeling any ounce of remorse for his crimes is a choice in itself.
Gyutaro’s Only Regret
This brings us to Daki/Ume. While Ume is no better than Gyutaro, she never consented to being a demon. She was unconscious when Douma transformed the both of them. Although she did take pride in becoming a demon afterward, it is important to take note that Gyutaro was the one who raised her.
Gyutaro even admitted that his only regret is Ume. He believed that if he was not in Ume’s life, Ume would have been a better person. He described Ume as someone impressionable and easily influenced, as expected of someone young. He knew he was not the best role model for her.
It can also be assumed that Ume may have shown a sliver of kindness when she was a human because Gyutaro strongly believed that she deserved to have a new life. A new life without someone like him.
However, Ume wanted to be with her brother as she remembered his promise that they will always be together. This act of genuine love is enough to move the audience to tears.
The scene ended with both Gyutaro and Ume going to hell together. The love Ume has for her brother is greater than taking a chance for a better life. What is simply redeemable about them is that they never forget to love each other.