Hotaru Haganezuka (鋼鐵はがね塚づか 螢ほたる Haganezuka Hotaru?) is a swordswoman affiliated with the Demon Slayer Corps.
Hotaru wears a sunflower-patterned haori and a large woven hat with hanging flower chimes. His head is wrapped in a speckled cloth and his face is concealed by a Hyottoko mask (wooden festival mask), similar to that of Sakonji Urokodaki.
During the Swordsman’s Village arc, he is seen to be more muscular than when he first appeared.
Unmasked, Hotaru has long black hair, lively eyes, and distinctly shaped thick eyebrows. However, after being attacked by Gyokko (Upper Rank 5), Hotaru bears several scars and deep cuts caused by the demon all over his body, including an X-shaped one on his face, and he lost the use of his eye. straight.
Hotaru is a hot-blooded individual. He seems to care very little, if at all, about anything other than the swords he creates. His passion for swords is so strong that he is able to talk about them for long periods of time, a unique trait even among the people of Swordsman Village.
The same passion that gives him the enthusiasm and extreme dedication in creating swords is also the reason why he is easily angered (usually comically) by swordsmen who break his creations, especially Tanjiro Kamado, which whatever the circumstance.
When angry, he usually calms himself down by eating dango mitarashi or asking other people to hold him down (one method is tickling his sides). It is later shown that his skills and his focus on swords are so great that he would lose customers due to his eccentric and unsocial behavior and he is actually happy that Tanjiro still trusts him to make his swords. His focus also prevents him from paying attention to his surroundings when forging a decent blade, even when a Demon attacks him.
Hotaru Haganezuka forges Nichirin swords for Demon Slayers.
Final Selection Arc
Hotaru first appears at Urokodaki to deliver Tanjiro’s Nichirin Blade after the latter passes Final Selection. Despite Tanjiro’s frequent requests to enter the house, Hotaru ignores him and sits outside the door, describing the blade he forged.
After suddenly looking up at Tanjiro, he comments on his red hair and eyes, stating that it’s luck. Excited, Hotaru enters the house remarking that Nichirin swords change color and his own might turn bright red, but after seeing the blade turn jet black, Hotaru shows obvious disappointment and gets angry at Tanjiro.
Natagumo Mountain Arch
During his fight against Lower Rank 5 Rui, Tanjiro breaks his blade and an enraged Hotaru is briefly seen in Tanjiro’s thoughts as he internally apologizes to him and Urokodaki.
Rehab Training Arc
After Tanjiro is cured at the Butterfly Mansion, he and Inosuke Hashibira greet their swordsmen, but Hotaru, enraged that he broke his blade, rushes at Tanjiro with a knife. After chasing and then calming him down, Hotaru and Kozo Kanamori give their blades to the swordsmen.
Infinity Train Arc
Hotaru appears when Tanjiro returns from House Rengoku, enraged at having lost another sword, and pursues Tanjiro again.
Entertainment District Arc
After Tanjiro wakes up from his coma, Kiyo Terauchi shows him the fierce letters Hotaru sent after his sword got chipped.
Swordsman’s Village Arc
Haganezuka is featured prominently in this arc, his true face even revealed when the village is attacked by two higher-ranking demons. He contributed to Hantengu’s defeat by finishing off Tanjiro’s blade just in time for the young demon hunter to kill him. He suffered severe facial injuries during the battle, even losing the use of one eye.
As a swordsman, Hotaru did not show any special abilities similar to members of the Demon Slayer Corps. Although after Tanjiro broke his Nichirin Blade several times against both higher and lower rank members, he underwent special training in the mountains so he could forge a stronger blade for Tanjiro (although he doesn’t admit it ).
- Enhanced Strength : After training in the mountains, his increased strength seemingly surpassed Tanjiro’s.
- Master Swordsman : Hotaru is a skilled swordsman, able to forge the Nichirin Sword and repair it multiple times whenever it has broken against lower and higher ranks. After Tanjiro chipped his sword during his fight against the Upper Sixth Rank, Gyutaro and Daki, Hotaru trained more to make a stronger sword. Hotaru demonstrated his professionalism and expertise when he polished and sharpened the 300-year-old blade left in Yoriichi’s Type Zero while completely ignoring the wounds he received from Gyokko.
- Expert in Tantōjutsu : Hotaru is an expert in the use of a Tantō, using it in a cloverleaf form. He usually shows his skills by attacking Tanjiro after damaging his swords.
- Hotaru’s surname contains the kanji for “steel” (鋼 hagane?), a reference to his profession, and his first name means “firefly” (螢 hotaru?).
- He hates his first name because of how ‘cute’ he is.
- Hotaru’s favorite dish is mitarashi dango, and he will buy some as soon as he loses his temper.
- Hotaru has wind chimes attached to his hat because he has loved them since he was a child. When he gets angry, the adults use the chimes to calm him down.
- As a child, Hotaru was so difficult to live with that his parents went into depression and Tecchin Tecchikawahara had to raise him.
- Tickle his flanks is the only way to break his concentration, after which he begins to limp for several minutes.
- In an omake, Hotaru is depicted as having a wife, but during the Swordsman Village Arc he is shown to be single.