The past few years has seen the rise of a few ground-breaking, new-generation anime, one of which featured its very own movie – Demon Slayer. A classic tale of good versus evil, where highly-trained Slayers are tasked to protect humans from the demons that terrorise others. Each unique character has their own development arc, and a notable one is that of Zenitsu Agatsuma. Unlike the typical hero character, he is portrayed as someone with a timid persona. Like him, many of us have our fears (which can be perfectly valid!) and can sometimes be paralysed by it. However, let’s dive into his story and learn more about how he eventually rose up to these challenges!
1) Stay the course
We first see Zenitsu after he passes the test to become a Demon Slayer, being understandably afraid about the looming possibility of dying in combat with demons. Later on in the story when the characters fight the tsuzumi-playing demon, he reveals his swordsmanship which only awakens when he is (ironically) asleep. However, the end of the entire battle reveals Zenitsu’s true character. He is seen covering Tanjiro’s box (which contains his younger sister) with his body, badly beaten up, despite not knowing what’s inside – he simply says:
“I’ve been protecting it because you said that this thing is more important to you than your life”
Picture credit: Gokusan Universe
When it’s someone or something worth fighting for, stay the course. Sure, we may all be afraid at times, but never allow that to defeat you! You will find that you are braver, smarter, more capable than you think, when you push on.
Kindness, loyalty and care are just as important qualities which often go unnoticed. Sometimes, it’s not always about slaying the demons, but about staying by someone’s side no matter the circumstance and in itself lies bravery and conviction.
2) Shift the focus
Which brings us to the next point: how can we recalibrate and refocus onto our other more positive driving emotions instead? In episode 17, Zenitsu faces off against a powerful, venomous demon and yet again is overcome with fear, hiding in a tree. However, he recalls his days of intense training with his master whom Zenitsu respects and admires a lot. By shifting his focus onto his admiration for his master, Zenitsu recalls his determination to live up to his master’s expectations and become a swordsman who can protect others. This drives him to muster up the strength to defeat the demon even while on the brink of death.
Image Credits: Clips
Similarly, when all we focus on is the current bleak situation, fear will set in. It might help to take a step back, look up and realise why we are doing what we do. Revisit the reasons that got you to where you are in the first place! Whether it is for a loved one, a larger cause or your own dreams and goals, this perspective may help to overcome your fear!
3) Find and use your strengths
Sometimes, we get paralysed because we feel we don’t have the necessary skills to carry out certain tasks – the overwhelming fear of possibly failing ends up stopping us from taking that first step. Zenitsu also found that he was talent-less in swordsmanship, being able to only master the 1st form of breathing. However, after coming to terms with it, he diligently mastered just that one form, which eventually became his most powerful skill.
Sometimes, that’s all we need – identify your strength and work on what you are good in to the best of your ability. Yes, we all fear something, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying and trying again! We hope you take the small steps to find a new relationship with your fear.