The term “ship” in terms of anime is actually a shortened version of the word “relationship” and represents fan-based relationships between the characters in the series. So, if you think that two characters would be great as a couple, you’re “shipping” them together. As far as Demon Slayer is concerned, although she is not among the series’s main characters, Shinobu Kochō is one of the best and most beloved characters in the world of Demon Slayer, and thus a popular “shipping” character in the fandom. The Insect Hachira, Shinobu, is a character who developed a close bond with the protagonist of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Tanjirō Kamado, and in this article, we will explain whether she liked him or not.
Shinobu Kochō did not romantically like Tanjirō. The two of them have become close during his time in the Butterfly Mansion, but a romance never develops between them. Shinobu was older than Tanjirō, and she knew he and Kanao liked each other, so she would never interfere there. She was a nice person to almost everyone, so some fans might have been fooled, but there was no romance between the two.
The rest of this article will explore the nature of the relationship between Shinobu Kochō, the Insect Hashira, and Tanjirō Kamado, the show’s protagonist. We will explore Shinobu’s and Tanjirō’s personalities in more detail, as well as the nature of their relationship in the world of Demon Slayer. This article won’t contain too many spoilers, but still, be careful how you approach it if you don’t know the whole story.
Both Shinobu and Tanjirō had a tragedy over which they managed to bond, but only as friends
Due to the nature of the series and the close bonds between some characters, the number of ships in the world of Demon Slayer is quite significant, and fans have shipped numerous characters with each other. And while the author has confirmed some of these ships to be canon (e.g., Tanjirō and Kanao, Zenitsu and Nezuko, Obanai and Mitsuri, etc.), some of them are non-canon, and that is completely fine since most anime have a lot of non-canon ships.
Some non-canon ships are more probable than others, but some are outright ridiculous. The ship we will talk about is not a ridiculous one, but seeing how it involves a character whose canon ship was confirmed by the author, it is a wholly impossible one. This is why we will explain why there was never any romance between Shinobu and Tanjirō, although the two of them were quite close friends and allies.
What you have to know here is that Shinobu and Tanjirō had a very rough start, as Shinobu wanted to kill Nezuko because she was a Demon; it was only thanks to Tomioka that Nezuko and Tanjirō survived this encounter. Later on, Shinobu was Tanjirō’s host as he and his friends recovered in the Butterfly Mansion, and this is where Tanjirō saw a different, more gentle, and more caring side of Shinobu.
The two of them managed to bond and even shared a personal conversation one night, bonding over the loss of their families (as Shinobu lost her sister, Kanae). This is where the two of them became friends, but seeing how Tanjirō was in love with Shinobu’s adopted sister, Kanao, there was no space for romance. Let us now see what they were like.
Tanjirō has frequently been referred to as having soft eyes by others because he is naturally a compassionate guy. He exhibits incredible tenacity and will never give up once he establishes a goal to accomplish. The best illustration of this is his never-ending hunt for treatment for Nezuko.
Even though he is physically fit, he is not opposed to asking for assistance when needed. He shows a lot of love to his pals, especially his sister. However, Tanjirō’s most notable quality is his ability to get along with everyone, including demons, which frequently causes him to think twice before killing a demon.
The drawback to these pauses is that they frequently give the Demons time to recuperate so they can carry on battling later. Tanjirō has a raging inner fire of retaliation and rage that burns behind his outwardly affable and compassionate exterior.
Tanjirō Tanjirō first encounters Muzan and is about to draw his sword and fight him; we witness this side of him. Tanjirō unleashes his resentment as Muzan makes his getaway and declares he will be the one to execute Muzan. Another time, when the Demon Slayers allowed their necks to be torn by the Spider Demon’s (Mother) threads, Tanjirō displays a visceral wrath that even Inosuke feels.
On the other hand, Shinobu is quite laid back and always has a smile on her face, no matter her situation. She seems to enjoy teasing others and can be quite sadistic, especially towards Tomioka. Despite her easygoing exterior and initial claims of wanting to get along with Demons, she can be cruel towards them. She didn’t hesitate to kill Nezuko Kamado either.
After hearing their full story, She is shown to have a more compassionate side towards Tanjirō Kamado and his sister. It is later revealed that her outwardly calm and peaceful demeanor is a mask, as Shinobu harbors an intense hatred of Demons due to the loss of her sister. This hatred is so strong that she is in a near-constant state of anger, which Tanjirō Kamado feels when he talks to her. Her desire for revenge made it impossible for her to live the normal life her sister had wished for her. Instead, she devotes all her energies to killing Demons.
Shinobu’s younger self had a brazen demeanor, as seen, for example, when they rescued Kanao Tsuyuri. After Kanae’s death, Shinobu began acting more like her sister on the outside, eventually evolving her smile and demeanor to fit in a while remaining angry on the inside.
In terms of their personalities, the two of them could have functioned relatively well together, as Tanjirō would probably have been able to calm Shinobu’s anger, and the rest wasn’t really an issue in their case. But, as we have said, due to the age difference and Tanjirō’s relationship with Kanao, there was no romance whatsoever between them.
Shinobu died while avenging her sister, while Tanjirō ended up marrying Kanao
As for Shinobu, as we’ve said, she died while fighting the Upper-Rank Two, who, at one point, even fell in love with her, but she simply rejected him; now, this would have been a morbid ship, which is why it is good that it never actually happened, as we cannot imagine anyone with Dōma, let alone Shinobu. On the other hand, Shinobu was shipped with Inosuke and Zen’itsu, but these ships were among the more ridiculous ones. As far as the Hashira are concerned, she seemed to have an interesting relationship with Tomioka, although it is unknown whether the two of them were ever more than just friends.
Now that we have given you all the background information, we can finally confirm that Shinobu never romantically liked Tanjirō. This was confirmed in the series on several occasions but was cemented when Shinobu died while fighting Dōma. Tanjirō finally became Kanao’s boyfriend; they would soon become a married couple and have children.
She also seemingly had a close relationship with Mitsuri Kanroji. Still, as Mitsuri was in love with Obanai and had a very dere personality, it is not strange that she also had a close relationship with Shinobu, especially since they were the only two remaining female Hashira after Kanae’s death.