In the world of demon slayer there are currently fourteen styles of breathing. All of these styles are used by various members of the Demon Slayers Corp in their long-standing feud with demons. However, the history of these forms is long and tangled. One thing that’s very clear is that they’re all from Sun Breathing, meaning Demon Slayers didn’t always have them at their disposal. Although their use of Styles empirically leveled the playing field and allowed Demon Slayers to defend themselves against their mortal foes. Viewers may find it confusing trying to figure out why there are so many styles and why some people can only do one or two instead of all of them.
demon slayer follows young Tanjiro and his sister Nezuko as he rises through the ranks of the Demon Slayer Corps. He does this in order to return her to a human state after she is turned into a demon.
Origins of breathing
Over 500 years before the anime’s storyline, Yoriichi Tsugikuni was a demon slayer during the Sengoku era, also known as the Golden Age of Demon Slayers. He was the most powerful demon slayer of his time, and possibly the most powerful of all time.
He invented Sun Breathing during his lifetime, although the exact date is unclear. This type of breath not only spawned all other breath forms, but also has thirteen of its own. When Yoriichi died, he was lost until Tanjiro revived him through his family dance.
Not only are Water, Flame, Thunder, Stone, and Wind Breathing the five most common forms of Breathing, but they are also the top five to follow after Sun Breathing was created. Each was invented by one of Yoriichi’s students who was unable to master the sun’s breath and instead created something similar that catered to his own strengths and weaknesses. Almost every form is named after the element that is viewed when the user uses the technique.
Water breathing is the most common because it is the easiest to learn. It has ten shapes in total, although some can be combined to create variations. Flame Breathing is a powerful yet highly offensive form with nine techniques but only six currently known to viewers.
Thunder Breathing uses speed as its main skill and, unlike the others, is named after the sound users create when using lightning. It has six, possibly seven, forms, although one user is known to be able to use more than the first. Stone Breathing is slightly more defensive than the others and focuses on stability and strength. He has five known techniques but only two known users, none of whom use a traditional blade. Wind Breathing is also offensive and focuses on slashes, and it has nine known forms.
While Yoriichi invented solar breathing and his students derived five styles from it, his twin brother also modified it into another technique: moon breathing. This style was originally developed when Kokushibo mastered Total Concentration Breathing, though much later he was able to modify and greatly strengthen it as a Blood Demon Art. Due to the long-standing development of this style, there are 16 different forms, but a Demon Slayer is unlikely to be able to perform them.
There have been three styles derived from Water Breathing; Flower, Snake and Insect although all are relatively rare and complex. Serpent’s breath is only used by Obanai, a member of the Hashira, and was probably invented by him, although little time has been spent explaining it. Flower Breathing is another of Hashira’s skills, currently used only by Kanae and Kanao, though it’s possible that with the many girls studying under Shinobu there will soon be more.
Insect breathing is what Shinobu practices herself, since she invented it, making it one of the newest breathing styles and the first (hopefully) of a fourth generation of styles. of breathing. This style focuses on poison and has four forms. Due to the somewhat personal nature of this form, it is unknown if any of his students will adopt it or focus on the slightly more general floral breathwork.
Love Breathing is currently the only form of breathing that developed from Flame Breathing and is practiced only by Mitsuri. She invented this form after practicing under Kyojuro in Flame Breathing, but found that her strength and agility were more suited to fast whip-like attacks rather than the more impetuous style of Flame Breathing itself.
Again, viewers don’t know exactly when this technique was developed, but we can assume it’s fairly recent, perhaps around the same time as insect breathing.
Sound Breathing is another form of Hashira, which relies primarily on the user’s sense of hearing and bombs. He has five techniques but only three are known to viewers.
What is not known, given that Thunder Breathing is so difficult to master, is whether Tengen created Breathing Sound out of inability to fully master Thunder. In this way, it could have been developed in the same way as the original five breathing techniques.
Developed from the wind
Two breathing styles are derived from wind breathing; Mist and Beast. The mist is used by one of the Hashira who is assumed not to be its inventor although it is not specified who did. He has seven forms although only Muichiro is known to have reached the final.
Beast Breathing is Inosuke’s self-taught creation, which has little to do with wind breathing. This makes it the newest addition to the Breathing Styles, and its background suggests it can be difficult, if not impossible, for anyone other than Inosuke to master. He has ten techniques although he does not call the majority of them forms.
First there was the Breath of the Sun, which was quickly lost to the world, then the disciples created the Flame, Water, Stone, Wind, Thunder and the Breath of the Moon. Between those 500 years and today, Flower and Mist Breathing have been developed.
The most recent Hashira invented the breath of insects, snake, sound and love. Inosuke himself recently invented the Beast Breathing. Finally, Tanjiro rediscovered Sun Breathing.
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