The anime Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has showcased a handful of the breathing techniques that demon slayers use to protect humanity, but they’ve only just scratched the surface of their abilities. Each breathing style has multiple forms, but the techniques as a whole vary in terms of capabilities and lethality.
The nine Hashira are the highest-ranking demon slayers in the Corps, and each member possesses unique breathing techniques. Each breathing style also has forms that the demon slayer has developed or learned themselves, making them stronger and more versatile.
Updated on October 23, 2022 by Jom Elauria:
Fans of the much-loved anime Demon Slayer are still waiting for a release date for the show’s third season. The upcoming season is said to cover the Swordsmith Village Arc, which will see the village get targeted by some of the strongest upper-rank demons. The new season will also reveal the powers of the other Hashiras, particularly the love and mist Hashiras. That said, Demon Slayer fans should familiarize themselves with the breathing forms that are wielded by those in the Demon Slayer Corps.
As the name suggests, Flower Breathing is a breathing style that creates attacks, movements, and techniques that are based on flowers and fruits. It is one of the two techniques derived from Water Breathing, along with Serpent Breathing.
In the series, there are two known users of Flower Breathing, namely Kanae Kocho and Kanao Tsuyuri. While it creates graceful movements and attacks that could greatly damage enemies, it does have some drawbacks. A user is granted the ability to see the world in slow motion while using the breathing technique, at the cost of damaging their eyes in the long term. Because it can be detrimental to the user, there are other better breathing techniques to master.
There are plenty of likable Hashira in Demon Slayer, but it’s hard not to be smitten with the love Hashira Mitsuri Kanroji. As the Pillar of Love, she has developed a breathing style called Love Breathing, which has been derived from Flame Breathing.
Through Love Breathing, Mitsuri can obtain superhuman strength without having to alter her muscle mass and keep her agile figure. Because of this, Mitsuri can deliver fast and impactful blows that can greatly damage and surprise opponents, since her body does not match the power she delivers. Sadly, only Mitsuri can use Love Breathing as of now in the series, as it is especially suited to her body composition.
Another breathing technique that can only be wielded by one Demon Slayer Corps Member is Serpent Breathing. One of the strongest Hashira, Obanai Iguro, has mastered Water Breathing and refined it in order to come up with Serpent Breathing. Obviously, the breathing style imitates snakes, which allows the user to access attacks and techniques that resemble how snakes slither around.
Partnered with a twisted blade, Serpent Breathing can easily slice through enemies in a winding pattern. The breathing technique also allows Obanai to quickly circle around their opponent, and decapitate them. Because of the agility and complex movement associated with Serpent Breathing, it is a breathing technique that every lowly demon should fear.
Anime viewers haven’t been able to witness Tengen Uzui’s Sound Breathing yet, but as one of the Hashira, it goes without saying that his technique would need to be a powerful one to earn him a spot among the elite demon slayers. Tengen, as an individual, brings more strength to the breathing style because of his sound analysis of his enemies’ movements.Sound Breathing is derived from Thunder Breathing and is meant to disorient the enemy through the loudness of the movements of the user. It has five techniques, but only three have been revealed in Demon Slayer, those being First Form: Roar, Fourth Form: Constant Resounding Slashes, and Fifth Form: String Performance. They’re all useful and exclusive to Tengen and his large, explosive Nichirin Katanas. Until Tengen fought the Upper Rank Six [demon], no one had ever survived a fight against his Sound Breathing technique.
Sanemi Shinazugawa is the current Wind Hashira specializing in another direct derivative of Sun Breathing. Beast Breathing comes from Wind Breathing, making this the basic technique for what Insuke Hashibira eventually develops with a fine-tuned sense of touch.
There are nine forms that range from the most basic dash and slash to one of the most powerful moves, Gale – Sudden Gusts. Wind Breathing mimics tornadoes and other whirlwinds for mostly offensive techniques.
A derivative of Water & Flower Breathing, Shinobu Kocho uses Insect Breathing. Shinobu created this technique to mimic lethal stings and movements of insects. Her sword is notoriously thin with a needle tip to replicate the stinger function to inject Wisteria poison into demons.
There are four techniques called Butterfly Dance, Dance of the Bee Sting, Dance of the Dragonfly, and Dance of the Centipede. Shinobu matches the movements of the butterfly, dragonfly, and centipede, as well as the sting and speed of the bee, to behead her demon adversaries.
Inosuke Hashibira, an erratic character voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, created Beast Breathing from Wind Breathing and is the only character to use it. This technique replicates how wild animals move about in nature, and it is meant to be unpredictable and primal. It has 10 “fangs,” also known as forms, that help Inosuke picture different styles of claw-like slashes.
Inosuke created the Beast Breathing style while he survived with boars in isolation in the mountains. He seems like an erratic character who used the technique to go wild when fighting demons, but he also had to maintain an incredible sense of touch to be in tune with animalistic senses. This is evident in his fight against Enmu in the Demon Slayer movie.
Muichiro Tokito is the youngest of the Hashira and a descendant of the Upper Rank One demon Kokushibo. He accomplished Hashira status after only two months of training.
Mist Breathing copies how the mists obscure and allow for swift strikes after a cloud of confusion is created. There are six forms of Mist Breathing, plus a seventh developed by Muichiro. Mist Breathing is a sub-style of Wind Breathing. The seventh form, Obscuring Clouds, is the strongest use of Mist Breathing because it both disorients, defends with an envelope of mist, and delivers strikes in the blink of an eye.
Another one of the main breathing styles directly descended from Sun Breathing, Thunder Breathing mimics the swiftness of lightning. Zenitsu Agatsuma, voiced by Hiro Shimono, describes it as a strength coursing through the muscle and blood vessels in the legs.
While Thunder Breathing has seven forms in total, fans have only seen how Zenitsu was able to make it his own by mastering the First Form: Thunderclap and Flash. He developed three variations, Six Fold, Eight Fold, and God Speed, and a Seventh Form only seen in the manga called Honoikazuchi no Kami which allows him to dash forward with a single strike in the form of a yellow dragon-shaped lightning bolt.
Water Breathing is not only directly derived from Sun Breathing, but it has three variants of its own—Flower, Insect, and Serpent Breathing—all forms used by Giyu Tomioka’s fellow Hashira. It is one of the more commonly-used Breathing Styles, having been cultivated by Sakonji Urokodaki and used by Tomioka, Murata, Sabito, Makomo, Tanjiro, and Aoi Kanzaki.
Water Breathing has 10 techniques plus the Eleventh Form, that being Dead Calm, which was developed and used exclusively by Tomioka. Like other breathing styles, Water Breathing is proven to be one of the strongest based on how its users have developed it. Fans have been lucky enough to witness every form used in the anime already as Tanjiro builds toward his family’s Sun Breathing style.
One of the most renowned Hashira and a fan-favorite Demon Slayer character, Kyojuro Rengoku, was the primary user of Flame Breathing. Fans were able to see just how skilled he was in the recent Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train movie.
Flame Breathing has nine techniques, the ninth being a specialty of Demon Slayer‘s Rengoku family. Flame Breathing uses the movement of flames and the user’s abilities to enact intense, burning strikes. The key to Flame Breathing is visualizing the manipulation of the flames. Flame Breathing allowed for the creation of Love Breathing, developed by another Hashira, Mitsuri Kanroji, to better use her unique muscles.
A form that has only been seen in the manga so far, Stone Breathing is one of the five original styles derived from Sun Breathing. It has five known forms, all mastered by the Stone Hashira Gyomei Himejima, though they weren’t developed by him. Gyomei is often referred to by his fellow Hashira Tanjiro and Inosuke as the strongest Hashira. Being blind since birth allowed him to develop a connection with the Earth and to master Stone Breathing in only two months’ time.
Stone Breathing has five techniques that mimic the earth and stone by using the ground beneath the user for sturdier attacks. The form itself would not be as powerful without a user like Gyomei, but it is one of the most unique, making it harder to master and a more unexpected technique.
Breath of the Sun
Tanjiro Kamado, the main protagonist voiced by Natsuki Hanae, will soon harness what is known as Hinokami Kagura, or Sun Breathing. It’s the oldest and most powerful breathing style that was used to develop the Flame, Water, Moon, Thunder, Stone, and Wind Breathing techniques that demon slayers use to this day. It mimics the intensity and versatility of the sun, lessening a demon’s ability to regenerate.
This breathing form remains a well-kept secret of the Kamado family. It has 13 techniques, and, unlike other styles, they aren’t listed as “First Form” and so on, they are simply named for their movement such as, “Dragon Sun Halo Head Dance.” Tanjiro has yet to master it, but he has begun to use it with his Water Breathing as a basis, and, when he channeled it, he said it increased his abilities even more than Water Breathing ever had.