Anime

The Top 10 Best Anime and Manga Power Systems (Part 1)

In 2019 I created a list of what I think the best anime and manga power systems. I’ve updated the list with some small changes.

In Shonen anime and manga, power systems are established in order to explain the mechanisms for abilities used in combat. These powers systems can make or break a series. It’s important for these series to be have well balanced power systems. The best made power systems will have unique abilities, that are difficult to master or at least take effort. They should feature a variety of techniques, that range in complexity. Some systems will become “broken,” allowing only a few characters to excel in the series. Dragon Ball Z is a great example of a series that ended up broken. Once a series that focused on martial arts, Dragon Ball Z eventually became a series that focused largely on three saiyans, Goku, Vegeta and Gohan.

While Goku and Vegeta continued to get stronger, Gohan fell behind. Due to the nature of saiyan cells (S Cells), Goku and Vegeta continue to get stronger at rapid rates. This eventual means that they’re the only two that will matter in battle. None of this is to say that the series stopped being enjoyable, just that the power system became broken at some point. That said many of the best power systems often incorporate a “broken” ability that allows the main character to surpass his or her enemies.



10. Demon Slayer – Breath Styles

The main form of combat in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba are the breath styles. In conjunction with Nichirin blades, they’re able to battle on par with Demons. Derived from the “Breath of the Sun” the Breath styles are taught by the Demon Slaying Corps. By making use of particular and concentrated breathing patterns, the lung capacity and oxygen in the blood increases. This is all in service of increasing the physical abilities. When focusing breaths, Demon Slayers are able to accomplish feats such as “clotting wounds,” and “slowing down the circulation of poison.”

The Demon Slayer breathing styles feel like they are well earned. The training is intense and the use of Breathing styles causes great physical exertion. For example, Total Concentration Constant requires the constant control of ones breath “morning, noon, and night, and even while asleep.” In order to reach the level of Hashira one must be able to accomplish this feat. Overall there are 15 branches of breathing styles. Demon Slayer’s power system is simple but has variety.

More OnDemon Slayer Breath Styles


Different Mana attributes

9. Black Clover – Mana

In Black Clover, Mana is the primary form of energy that exists in nature. It is the source of all magic spells. Mana is used to activate all spells. Almost every human can use mana to some extent. Mages in the Black Clover universe have “affinities” for mana “attributes.” These attributes can be one of four great attributes: fire, water, wind, and earth. Or they can be one of several derivative elements like lightning or ice. In addition to this, mages can develop “latent abilities” connected to their element. Wind users have the latent ability “mana sensory.”

Elements like water and fire are common, with elements like light and space being rare. Mages are limited to their element, but they can augment their element into other forms. However, if a mage is a hybrid of two races they may have “dual affinity.” While rare it’s possible for a mage to use science to “artificially enhance themselves” given them more than one element. The more mana a mage possess the stronger they are.

Grimories are magical items that enhance the users ability to use magic. They are the written record of all the spells that a user learns. As the owner gets stronger the book becomes inscribed with newer spells. Connected to their owners, Grimoires cannot be used by other mages and disappear when their owners die. However, Grimoires of Despair are the exception.

Read MoreMana and Grimoires


8. JoJo’s Bizarre – Stands

A Stand is a visual manifestation of life energy, they’re generally represented as a figure that hovers around the “Stand user.” A stand can represent the ” the manifestation of an individual’s innate fighting spirit and embodies, to an extent, the individual’s psyche.” Stands follow a “loose” set of rules, they’re an embodiment of the user psyche, therefore, they are all unique. This “uniqueness” results in a vast difference in abilities, power and usefulness of Stands. Some Stands can even be detrimental to their users. Any damage sustained by a Stand is reflected on the user and vice-versa. However, automatic Stands and bound Stands are the exception. If Stands are destroyed their user dies with them.

Stands obey every command that is demanded of them within there limits. However, some Stands cannot be controlled by their user. This can result in the Stand killing it’s own user. One rule that governs Stands and their users is that they can only have one. Learning and mastering a Stands ability can be difficult. Stand users are usually ignorant of the ability of their Stand at first. Once they discover it, then they have to learn the various uses for the Stands abilities. To use a Stand, a user has to summon it. Then the user needs to command it, if they hope to use their powers. However, automatic Stands act by themselves.

Based on appearance Stands are classified into 5 different categories, Natural Humanoid, Artificial Humanoid, Natural Non-Humanoid, Artificial Non-Humanoid and Phenomenon. Furthermore, Stands all have supernatural properties, in addition to unique powers. Stands are invulnerable to harm by anything other than another Stand or damage to their user. A Stand’s powers vary wildly, ranging from using a sword, fire or even stopping time. An important limitation on Stands are “firing range.” This range is largely the distance that a Stand is still effective. On top of all that, Stands have six parameters that they can be judged.

Read MoreStands


7. FullMetal Alchemist – Alchemy

The main sources of combat ability in FullMetal Alchemist is Alchemy. Based on the ancient metaphysical mystical art that allows the user to “manipulating and altering matter by using natural energy.” This is called Transmutation, which required three aspects to succeed.

  1. Comprehension – Understanding the inherent structure and properties of the atomic or molecular makeup of a particular material to be transmuted, including the flow and balance of potential and kinetic energy within.
  2. Deconstruction – Using energy to break down the physical structure of the identified material into a more malleable state so as to be easily reshaped into a new form.
  3. Reconstruction – Continuing the flow of energy so as to reform the material into a new shape.

In order to use alchemy a practitioner would need to have complete understanding of chemistry and ancient alchemical theory. Generally, you need to have high intellect. The Alchemists are said to transmute using various substance. Some use the Four Classical Elements (Water, Earth, Fire and Air) and other use the Three Essential Principles (Salt, Sulfur, and Mercury). Regardless, the most important tenet of alchemy is the concept of Equivalent Exchange. Separated into two laws:

  • The Law of Conservation of Mass, which states that energy and matter can neither be created from nothing nor destroyed to the point of elemental nonexistence. In other words, to create an object weighing one kilogram, at least one kilogram of material is necessary and destroying an object weighing one kilogram would reduce it to a set of parts, the sum of which would weigh one kilogram.
  • The Law of Natural Providence, which states that an object or material made of a particular substance or element can only be transmuted into another object with the same basic makeup and properties of that initial material. In other words, an object or material made mostly of water can only be transmuted into another object with the attributes of water.

Alchemy includes more than simply an understanding of transmutation and adhering to the laws of Equivalent Exchange. Alchemists need to use a transmutation circle. These circles can be drawn anywhere and by any medium. transmutation circles are made up of two parts, the circle and a “alchemical rune.” Alchemy gets even more complicated, as it focuses on human soul binding, Homunculus (artificial humans) and resurrection.

More OnAlchemy


Toshiro Hitsugaya using his Bankai
Toshiro Hitsugaya using his Bankai

6. Bleach – Zanpakuto

The Bleach series features numerous different forms of fighting. However, the series primarily focused on the use of Zanpakuto or Soul Cutter Sword. The main weapon used by the Shinigami, Arrancar and Visored. The lowest ranked Zanpakuto is called Asauchi and they lack names. However, the Zanpakuto of a Shinigami Captain do have names. Each weapon are uniquely generated by the users soul. The soul of a Shinigami will determine the shape and ability of the sword. Zanpakuto’s are sentient beings and it’s name is that of the living spirit that powers the sword. Once the Shinigami learns the name of it’s Zanpakuto, they are able to communicate with each other and get stronger.

Zanpakuto are born with their Shinigami and will die with them. The one exception to the uniqueness of a Zanpakuto is the Ise Clan’s, Shinken Hakkyoken. A Zanpakuto can choose to withhold it’s true name from it’s wielder if they deem them unworthy. In order to communicate with their Zanpakuto a Shinigami must use an advance form of training called Jinzen. Based on the ability of the Shinigami to communicate with their Zanpakuto’s spirit, a Zanpakuto will develop two forms, Shikai and Bankai.

  • Shikai – is the second (or first upgraded) form available to a Zanpakutō. To activate it, the Shinigami needs to learn the name of their Zanpakutō. This is not as easy as simply picking a name, for the living spirit of the Zanpakutō already has its own name. The Shinigami must be able to communicate and harmonize with their Zanpakutō effectively, which requires being able to speak to the spirit within its world.
  • Bankai –  is the second and final upgraded form of a Zanpakutō. To achieve Bankai, one must be able to materialize and subjugate their Zanpakutō spirit. Materialization means the opposite of getting dragged into the Zanpakutō’s inner world: the wielder needs to summon the Zanpakutō’s spirit into the physical world. It usually takes 10 years or more to achieve, plus the experience needed to master it. Despite the Zanpakutō spirit being subjugated for their Shinigami to learn Bankai, the Zanpakutō also becomes stronger and learns Bankai at precisely the moment their Shinigami learns it. Even though Bankai is the final stage of a Zanpakutō, it does not mean the Shinigami’s growth ends there. A Bankai, especially one recently obtained, can evolve even further as its Shinigami gets stronger. Ichigo and Urahara managed to achieve Bankai at accelerated rates.

A broken Shikai will regenerate, a broken Bankai will never return to its original state. However, a Zanpakuto can be reforged. Zanpakuto are generally grouped into three categories, Melee, Kido and Elemental. Despite the fact that Zanpakuto is the main form of combat in Bleach, there are three other forms of combat. Hoho is a more defensive style of fighting that focuses on fast movements and footwork. Kido (Demon Arts) is a form of combat the produces spells. They often require an incantation to activate. Finally, there is Hakudo (Hand to Hand Combat). Using their body, users attack with their feet and hands. Making use of their physical strength and martial arts skills.

Anime

Demon Slayer Season 2, Episode 18: The tragic life of Daki (Ume) and Gyutaro

Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 18 is the final episode of this season. I’ve been eager to see the backstory of Daki and Gyutaro and wondered if would change my view of them. Demon Slayer has a way of redeeming it’s villains. All tragic figures forced to serve Muzan. This arc gave hints at what life was like for the siblings. The consequences from Gyutaro’s explosion wasn’t nearly as devasting as I assumed but it was an opportunity to reveal Nezuko’s new ability to heal with her fiery blood. She rescues both Inosuke and Tengen from probably death. The bulk of this episode centered on the past of the Upper Six demon siblings. Gyutaro and Daki berate each other. She calls him “ugly” and he retorts that she’s “weak.” Daki’s tears up as she does it, giving the impression that she doesn’t mean what she says. It’s a subtle moment that Tanjiro confirms when he stops the two from fight further. He tells them “with all they have done, they will be despised and resented by all in the world without anyone but themselves.”

In the end Gyutaro and Daki will only have each other. Gyutaro and Daki’s whose real name is Ume, were born into the Rashomon Riverbanks, the lowest caste of the Entertainment District. Due to the extreme poverty, children were considered a burden. His mother tried to kill him multiple times, he was constantly berated by the civilians for his appearance, dirtiness, and his voice. However, this changed when the beautiful Ume was born. In the Entertainment District, your value is determined by your looks. This means Ume has a lot of value compared to her brother that had none. With his natural fighting ability, Gyutaro becomes a debt collector. He derived a greater self-worth from his sisters beauty and the effect it had on others. Life was looking good until Ume got on the bad side of a samurai. When returning home one night, Gyutaro finds Ume’s charred body.

Demons are the result of a cruel human society

Ume’s madam and the samurai collude to get revenge on the siblings. The samurai slashes Gyutaro from behind. Enraged, Gyutaro leaps into the air killing the madam. Gyutaro compliments the samurai on his kimono and skin complexion. Gyutaro kills the samurai by slicing his face in half. He carries Ume’s body through the district but no one would help. Suddenly, a Upper Rank Six appears carrying the corpse of a partially eaten woman. He offers to turn the siblings into demons and wonders if the two can “become a Twelve Kizuki demon and rise up like him.” Demon Slayer has made a point of showing how demons take advantage of suffering to fill their ranks. In a weird way, the demon population is fueled by the consequences of a cruel human society. I would argue that if humans treated each other better, it would be difficult for Muzan to recruit. Demons are a product of human society as much as they’re a product of Muzan.

Gyutaro blames himself for Ume’s death and wishes he had never taught her to take from others before they take from her. In the afterworld, Gyutaro and Ume meet again. He tells her to leave him and go into the light. Ume shows that she’s not as vapid as previously characterized. She reminds him of their promise as children to always stay together. The two cling to each other as they walk into the fires of hell together. Demon Slayer balances these moments well. It always clear that the series doesn’t think a tragic childhood excuses future behavior but without such tragedy maybe there’s no destructive future. My view of Ume and Gyutaro didn’t change but my understanding of their relationship was greater.

The rest of this episode serves to set up next season. Obanai Iguro appears a little to late to help and praises Tengen (kinda) for defeating an Upper Six. With his left eye and hand gone, Tengen decides he’s going to retire. Iguro is concerned that with Rengoku’s death another Hashira vacancy is unacceptable. Tengen suggests that Tanjiro would one day reach the potential of Hashira. As the crows spread the news of Tengen, Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, and Inosuke’s triumph a sickly Kagaya Ubuyashiki is excited. An Upper Rank hadn’t been defeated in over a century. He believes this moment is “an omen that fate is taking a dramatic turn,” and that Muzan will fall during this generation. Finally, we get a short scene with Akaza being summoned to the Infinity Castle. The last time this happened it didn’t end well for Muzan’s demons. I don’t think that will be the outcome this time, but as Kagaya states it does mark a dramatic turn. Demon Slayer once again doesn’t disappoint. I can’t wait until next season.

Anime

Demon Slayer Season 2, Episode 17: The Entertainment District arc comes to an epic conclusion

Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 17, “Never Give Up,” opens with a scene of despair. Tengen’s unconscious, Inosuke lies motionless with a gapping hole in his chest, while Zenitsu struggles under rubble. All of the Yoshiwara District is enflamed. Tanjiro is the only one awake and is in shocked at the surrounding horrors. He blames himself. If he wasn’t so distracted he would have been more useful. He apologizes to everyone before Gyutaro appears. The Upper Rank Six takes joy in the predicament Tanjiro and the others find themselves. In a flashback, Tanjiro is reminded by Nezuko that humans “can never expect everything to go their way.” He should stop blaming himself and fight harder.

Gyutaro asks Tanjiro if Nezuko is his sister and when confirms that she is, the Upper Demon mocks him for failing to protect her. Gyutaro’s cruelty is on full display. He breaks several of Tanjiro’s fingers and begins pulling his hair, and slapping him. It’s like he’s pulling wings of a butterfly. His arrogance may be well founded but it’s also allows Tanjiro to gain the upper hand. Fleeing with Nezuko, Tanjiro grabs one of Tengen’s poisoned kunai’s. He uses one of his headbutts to distract Gyutaro from noticing the kunai in his leg. Caught of guard, Tanjiro is able to cut Gyutaro’s neck with Hinokami Kagura.

Daki watches her brother torture Tanjiro in Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 17
Daki watches her brother torture Tanjiro in Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 17

The sibling relationship between Daki and Gyutaro and Nezuko and Tanjiro is made explicit when Tanjiro mistakes Daki’s voice for Nezuko. He envisions himself as a demon, believing that the Demon Slayer Corps would “have the mercy to kill him.” Unfortunately for Tanjiro his cut isn’t instant and Gyutaro struggles while Daki looks on concerned. She finally attempts to stop Tanjiro with her Obi, when Zenitsu erupts from the rubble to stop her with Thunder Breathing. Confident she can handle a move she’s seen so often, Daki is taken by surprise when Zenitsu uses Thunder Breathing, First Form: Thunderclap and Flash, God Speed.

He manages to cut the obi in Daki’s neck. Zenitsu hopes that he can decapitate Daki at the same time Tanjiro cut’s Gyutaro’s neck. However, Gyutaro is able to overcome the weakened Tanjiro and put him on the defensive. Enraged, Gyutaro increases the speed of his attacks and prepares to gouge Tanjiro’s eye out when Tengen appears. The Hashira stopped his own heart and in doing so the poison. Tengen declares the he can now use his “Musical Score Technique.” He’s able to hear Gyutaro’s blood blade as if they were parts of a score. This allows him to deflect them.

Tengen and Gyutaro clash in a fire display of explosions. Meanwhile, Tanjiro stalks in the background, looking for the chance to decapitate Gyutaro. When Gyutaro stabs Tengen and cuts his eye, Tanjiro leaps up and slashes at the Upper Demon’s neck. However, Gyutaro manages to stab Tanjiro through the jaw. Tanjiro is determined to use everything he has to kill the demon and his mark ignites granting him enough strength. Gyutaro assumes his sister won’t be decapitated, along with him. Zenitsu runs out of strength but Inosuke appears. He strikes from the opposite direction. In a epic moment, the trio manages to send the Upper Rank sibling heads flying. But the celebratory moment is short lived as Gyutaro explodes.

Demon Slayer remains one of the best anime series and this episode is certainly evidence to this fact. The animation was stunning. I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between this fight and the one with Rengoku. The trio were simply bystanders then but this time they were active participants. The same limitation between humans and demons was present. As Gyutaro notes, human are inherently weaker than demons. He also offers to turn Tanjiro into a demon just like Akaza did to Rengoku. Of course the outcome seems different. The demons are dead and the Hashira is alive. Had Tengen fought alone, he would have joined Rengoku. Next weeks episode will be the final one of the season, I’m looking forward to seeing Daki and Gyutaro backstory.

Check Out Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 16 Review.

Anime

Demon Slayer Season 2, Episode 13: Tanjiro and Nezuko let loose

Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 13, “Layered Memories” is an action packed episode that adds to the lore of demons and may have exposed Muzan’s only weakness. Daki gains more power as her obi sashes are absorbed. Her hair changes white, as she get excited at the prospect of facing another Hashira. She ignores Tanjiro who’s already struggling psychically. After she destroys part of a city block, killing several people and maiming another. Tanjiro is also cut deeply trying to reflect her attack. Witnessing the carnage Daki created and her indifference to the suffering, Tanjiro explodes with rage.

Tanjiro rages after Daki kills innocents in Demon Slayer Episode 13
Tanjiro rages after Daki kills innocents in Demon Slayer Episode 13

Demons have nothing to lose

Daki tries to escape but Tanjiro grabs her by the leg, attempting to decapitate her. She evades, only losing her foot. Like most demons at her level she quickly heals. Demon Slayer has consistently made the point that humans are at a natural disadvantage against demons. Tanjiro has always felt like he was struggling against the more powerful Daki. He constantly under pressure, pushing his body past its natural limits just to inflict pain on the Upper Demon. Bloodshot and determined, Tanjiro accelerates towards Daki. She uses Blood Demon Art: Eight-Layered Obi Slash trying to cut Tanjiro into pieces.

Tanjiro uses Hinokami Kagura: Burning Bones, Summer Sun, creating a series of circular flame spirals. Daki feels pain from the burning and cannot regenerate quickly. Daki leaps to another house, wondering how Tanjiro can still move. Following the demon, Tanjiro manages to cut Daki’s neck, but she protects herself using a soft sash. Feeling the heat, she increases her sashes to 13. Tanjiro is able to easily parry them as they appear to move slowly. He stabs all the obis, pinning them down. With explosive movement, he leaps into the air slashing the obi with fiery strikes. It’s an amazing moment that displays what makes Demon Slayer such an amazing series, beautiful animation, colorful design, and impressive action.

The evolution of Nezuko

Nezuko occupies a strange position in the Demon Slayer series. She not a very active character. She’s literally muzzled and sleeping in a box most of the time. Nezuko is often out of sight and out of mind. Obviously, she can’t walk around during the day but she could come out at night. If we consider the fact that most humans are ignorant of demons existence and their white skin doesn’t trigger too much suspicion (Muzan claims he has a special disease) there’s no reason for her to be so absent. Especially, because she protects Tanjiro more than her protects her. Anyway, that trend continues.

Tanjiro apparently stopped breathing while he was fighting and just before he decapitates Daki, he’s stopped by a vision of his sister telling him “to breathe.” Tanjiro collapses in agony, giving Daki a chance to capitalize. Suddenly, Nezuko appears behind her and crushes Daki’s head while sending the demon flying. Nezuko attacks Daki with her trademark right kick. Daki slices off her leg, arm, and cuts deep into her torso. Nezuko has never eaten a human and hasn’t developed in the normal way demon tend to.

Like Tamayo, Nezuko escapes the control Muzan exerts on his progeny. Regardless, Nezuko begins to regenerate, according to Daki at “a Upper Demon level,” develops vinelike markings and grows a horn. She stomps Daki into the ground giving her a menacing stare. Nezuko shouldn’t have this much power especially considering she doesn’t train at all. It conflicts with the painful effort demon slayers like Tanjiro put into their breathing. Granted she’s a demon so they generally have it easier than humans. However, she doesn’t even have to consume humans like those demons.

Marks, Scars, and Cells

Demon Slayer Episode 13 introduces the more subtle aspects of the power system of the series, marks, scars, and cells. When Muzan creates a demon he gives a human his blood, this process is “performed at a cellular level.” Normally, Muzan maintains control over demons, but for some reason Nezuko and Tamayo can’t be controlled. One thing they both refused to do is eat humans which is likely the main reason. In this episode, Shinjuro Rengoku writes Tanjiro a letter in which he explains that Sun Breathing users have a “red mark on their forehead.” While Tanjiro denies he’s the “chosen one” claiming that he got the scar through other means, I think Shinjuro is one to something. Especially after we witness the memories of Muzan. The man in the vision has the mark Shinjuro referred to.

I don’t know who the man in the vision was but I don’t think it was Tanjiro’s father. Maybe a grandfather? It doesn’t matter. What is important to know is that Muzan was afraid of this Demon Slayer, who like Tanjiro can use Sun Breathing. Nezuko’s markings are only seen, but it’s obvious they’re associated with her transformation. I expect we’ll get more information next episode. This episode was great. While Nezuko’s transformation is a bit of an ass pull, I’m still excited to see her fight.

Anime

Demon Slayer Season 2, Episode 12: The power of Hinokami Kagura and Tengen

Short Summary:

While Tanjiro fights Daki alone and becomes overwhelmed by the strain Hinokami Kagura. Tengen finds his first wife, Hinatsuru. After he gives her the antidote he goes in search of the demon. Using his hearing to find Zenitsu, Inosuke, and his two wives fighting underground. Inosuke, Zenitsu, and Tengen all get a chance to show off how flashy they can be.

In Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 12 Tanjiro uses Hinokami Kagura
In Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 12 Tanjiro uses Hinokami Kagura

Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 12 goes to get pains to show how much effort it takes for demon slayers to fight. Even the focus on “breathing,” something we assume would require very little effort, feels exhausting. In a flashback, Tanjiro recalls the intense pressure attempting to use Flame Dance: Clear Blue Sky caused. At the time it’s “sheer force,” was too much for him to handle. In the present, Tanjiro remembers Rengoku’s words: “set your heart ablaze.” He performs Hinokami Kagura: Raging Sun, successful cutting Daki’s obi. The Upper Demon quickly notices the “sharpening” of Tanjiro’s skills. However, he’s still not able to handle Hinokami and collapses.

Daki attempts to gain the advantage and kill Tanjiro while he’s incapacitated on the ground. In danger, Tanjiro uses Recovery Breathing to regain his some of his movement. Throughout this fight, Daki is impressed Tanjiro has kept up, but she’s not the least bit concerned. It’s clear that Tanjiro is already heading towards his end. Regardless, he’s determined to protect the innocent. Meanwhile, Inosuke is terrorizing the women in the brothel as he rampages, while searching for the demon. He finds the hole leading to the demon lair and creepily dislocates his joints to slither through the tunnel. Once inside, Inosuke finds Daki’s Obi, draped around like webbing. He finds he victims trapped inside including Zenitsu.

Maybe you should stay asleep the whole time

– Inosuke

Things are going to get real flashy

Suddenly, the sash, with a face and mouth, begins attacking Inosuke. He easily avoids it, while freeing the captured humans. Daki orders the sash to catch Inosuke and the “ten most beautiful,” she can kill all the rest. Makio and Suma help battle the “worm belt,” as Inosuke calls it. Inosuke is concerned if the worm belt isn’t the real body then he will be stuck down their “forever.” Without warning, Zenitsu uses Thunder Breathing, First Form: Thunderclap and Flash, Sixfold, and begins cutting up the sashes. While Zenitsu was causing a ruckus, Tengen was crashing through the ground. He enters the lair in epic fashion. The worm belt instantly identifies Tengen as a Hashira. Tengen attacks, slicing the belt into tiny pieces.

Demon Slayer Season 2 Episode 12 shows us the difference between the trio and Tengen. First the worm belt is impressed with Inosuke’s “intuition”, his ability to “detect murderous intent”. He’s able to avoid the worm belt’s attacks. Zenitsu, who still needs to be unconscienced has amazing speed but wasn’t able to kill the worm belt either. When Tengen appears, the worm belt doesn’t have time to dodge. Tengen’s speed overwhelms her and she’s quickly killed. The gap in power between Inosuke, Zenitsu, and Tanjiro when compared to Tengen and Daki is notable.