All 14 Demon Slayer Breathing Styles, Ranked by Power (2024)

Warning! Spoilers for the Demon Slayer manga series.

Summary

  • Demon Slayer has 14 unique Breathing Styles, each with varying strengths and weaknesses.
  • The rankings of the styles are based on battle success, versatility, and difficulty of use.
  • Sun Breathing is considered the most powerful, with Moon Breathing being exclusive to a top demon.

The Breathing Styles in Demon Slayer are a big part of the series' appeal, especially in the anime, where they've been beautifully brought to life. Prospective Demon Slayers must train in at least one style in order to be recognized officially, and it's possible for a Slayer to use two or more styles. Each style is unique, and there are quite a few of them–14, to be exact. Many of these styles are only utilized by a single character in the entire series, making those signature styles almost part of the character.

In considering the strength of a style, it's important to think of its users' success in battle, as well as versatility, which is most easily measured by the number of forms a style is known to have.

Breathing Style

Derived From

Sun Breathing

Original Breathing Style

Water Breathing

Sun Breathing

Moon Breathing

Sun Breathing

Flame Breathing

Sun Breathing

Thunder Breathing

Sun Breathing

Stone Breathing

Sun Breathing

Wind Breathing

Sun Breathing

Serpent Breathing

Water Breathing

Flower Breathing

Water Breathing

Insect Breathing

Flower Breathing

Love Breathing

Flame Breathing

Sound Breathing

Thunder Breathing

Beast Breathing

Wind Breathing

Mist Breathing

Wind Breathing

The difficulty of their use also plays a role, with simpler styles not quite as impressive as those which proved more difficult to master.

14 Flower Breathing Does Not Get Enough Attention

Practiced by Kanae Kocho & Kanao Tsuyuri

All 14 Demon Slayer Breathing Styles, Ranked by Power (1)

Flower Breathing is a style that was practiced by Kanae Kocho, the former Flower Hashira and Shinobu's sister, as well as Shinobu's adoptive sister and pupil, Kanao Tsuyuri. Unfortunately, since Kanae is dead before the series begins, not much Flower Breathing is seen in the series, which is partially responsible for its low rank.

Flower Breathing is said to be derived from Water Breathing and shares certain traits in common with it. While the numbering of the forms for this style indicates there should be at least seven, only five are used in the series, and the final form can cause blindness for the user. Kanao doesn't get a lot of focus, and as a result, Flower Breathing comes across as underpowered.

13 Insect Breathing has Limited Options

Created and practiced by Shinobu Kocho

All 14 Demon Slayer Breathing Styles, Ranked by Power (2)

Insect Breathing is a unique style, derived from Flower Breathing, which is practiced only by Insect Hashira Shinobu Kocho. Because Shinobu isn't physically capable of decapitating most demons due to her size, this style relies heavily on poisons, mostly created from the wisteria that demons hate. Insect Breathing only has four known forms as well, limiting the options Shinobu has during battle. Shinobu's track record in battle with it is mixed, to say the least, so it seems like Insect Breathing has drawbacks when fighting anyone who's aware of its poisons.

12 Water Breathing is Versatile but Lacks Power

Practiced by Tanjiro Kamado, Giyu Tomioka & Sakonji Urokodaki

Water Breathing is one of the five basic elemental styles, and is practiced by many characters in the series, most notably Water Hashira Giyu Tomioka and Tanjiro himself. It's considered the easiest style to learn although "easy" is a very relative term.

Other known users of Water Breathing include Sabito, Murata, Makomo, and Aoi Kanzaki.

The style is based around the flow of water currents and consists of 10 known forms, plus a special one created by Tomioka that only he knows how to use. Water Breathing definitely seems to be versatile, but it's lacking in the power department.

11 Beast Breathing is Unrefined but Packs a Punch

Created and practiced by Inosuke Hashibira

All 14 Demon Slayer Breathing Styles, Ranked by Power (3)

Beast Breathing is a bizarre style that was invented by the boar-headed Inosuke Hashibira, and as such is only practiced by him. It's an unusual style in that Inosuke uses two Nichirin Swords, which most demon slayers don't have access to.

Beast Breathing is a distant offspring of Wind Breathing.

It has 10 forms, but given that they're all developed by Inosuke with minimal training, it's arguable whether they formally count. Beast Breathing surprisingly does have some non-combat applications, most notably his seventh form, Spatial Awareness, which lets him sense movement even miles away. Beast Breathing isnot a sophisticated style but it does have raw power.

10 Flame Breathing Is Powerful but Lacks Versatility

Practiced by Kyojuro Rengoku, Shinjuro Rengoku & Mitsuri Kanroji

Another basic elemental style, Flame Breathing is most notably practiced by the Flame Hashira, Kyojuro Rengoku. Flame Breathing involves emulating the flickering, burning nature of fire, and has at least nine forms, although only six are seen, and the ninth is allegedly exclusive to Kyojuro's family.

Unfortunately, Flame Breathing practitioners have a rough record on screen, pulling down what might otherwise be a very high ranking.

As a style, Flame Breathinghas some powerful attacks but doesn't seem particularly versatile, with none of the forms having use outside of battle. Unfortunately, Flame Breathing practitioners have a rough record on screen, pulling down what might otherwise be a very high ranking.

9 Love Breathing was Designed Specifically for Mitsuri

Created and practiced by Mitsuri Kanroji

All 14 Demon Slayer Breathing Styles, Ranked by Power (4)

Love Breathing is a style practiced exclusively by Demon Slayer's Mitsuri Kanroji, and she created it from Flame Breathing. Love Breathing has the look of an elegant, graceful dance, complete with a lot of acrobatics.

It has six forms, with only five shown, with one defensive and four offensive techniques. This style is designed for someone with Mitsuri's unnaturally strong body, and makes use of a whip-like sword, making it unlikely that anyone else even could learn it. Mitsuri fairs pretty well in battle over most of the series, which helps showcase her style's power.

8 Serpent Breathing Packs Plenty of Power

Created and practiced by Obanai Iguro

All 14 Demon Slayer Breathing Styles, Ranked by Power (5)

Serpent Breathing is another style practiced by one person, in this case, Obanai Iguro, and descended from Water Breathing. The style is meant to copy the slithering and coiling movements of a snake. Serpent Breathing has five forms, all offensive. The fifth form stands out, however, as it's capable of generating enough power to decapitate multiple demons with a single swipe. Obanai also uses a very unusual sword, as his has a wavy blade that resembles a slithering snake. Obanai definitely proved himself to be strong, and presumably, his Breathing Style is responsible for this power.

7 Thunder Breathing's Speed Makes it Difficult to Dodge

Practiced by Zenitsu Agatsuma, Jigoro Kuwajima & Kaigaku

Thunder Breathing is one of the basic elemental styles, practiced most notably by Zenitsu Agatsuma and his former fellow student, Kaigaku. This Breathing Style emulates the speed of a lightning strike, allowing for rapid movement. Zenitsu only knows one form, but there are actually at least six, plus an original one Zenitsu created. The sheer speed of Thunder Breathing is one of its biggest assets, and Zenitsu has proven it's possible to push that speed to the limit, getting in a dozen or more attacks in one movement. It's difficult to defend against, making it one of the more powerful styles.

6 Wind Breathing is Highly Aggressive and Effective

Practiced by Sanemi Shinazugawa & Masachika Kumeno

All 14 Demon Slayer Breathing Styles, Ranked by Power (6)

Wind Breathing is another basic elemental style, with its main practitioner being the Wind Hashira Sanemi Shinazugawa. It uses swirling and rotating motions, like those of a cyclone, adding extra power and speed to attacks. It has nine forms, with most offensive in nature, although at least one has defensive applications. It's a surprisingly aggressive style, which is befitting of a battle-crazed slayer like Sanemi. Sound Breathing Style is designed around taking opponents out quickly, so it's fantastically powerful when used by an expert.

5 Sound Breathing is Unique Yet Powerful

Created and practiced by Tengen Uzui

All 14 Demon Slayer Breathing Styles, Ranked by Power (7)

Sound Breathing is a derivative of Thunder Breathing, used exclusively by Tengen Uzui. It does make use of loud sounds, as the name suggests, Sound Breathingcan help break an opponent's concentration. Only three forms of Sound Breathing are known, with only one having defensive use. This style also makes use of Tengen's unusual Nichirin, which is made up of two smaller, knife-like blades joined together by a chain. He also uses literal bombs as part of this style, which is definitely one way to increase its power.

4 Mist Breathing is Perfect for Lone Battles

Practiced by Muichiro Tokito

All 14 Demon Slayer Breathing Styles, Ranked by Power (8)

Mist Breathing, derived from Wind Breathing, is practiced exclusively by Muichiro Tokito. The style revolves around the obfuscating power of mist or fog, concealing one's movements to confuse the enemy. Mist Breathing has seven forms, with one of those original to Tokito himself.

Tokito was able to use Mist Breathing to singlehandedly defeat an Upper Rank demon, an impressive feat if ever there was one. Mist Breathing's ability to confound foes is an extremely valuable one when fighting alone, which is often the case for Demon Slayers.

3 Stone Breathing Strikes the Balance Between Offense & Defense

Practiced by Gyomei Himejima

All 14 Demon Slayer Breathing Styles, Ranked by Power (9)

Stone Breathing is the last of the basic elemental styles, practiced by Stone Hashira Gyomei Himejima. It's inspired by the stability of earth and stone, with many attacks using the ground in some way.

Stone Breathing has five known forms, which cover both offense and defense, making it the most balanced of all. Since Gyomei uses an odd axe chained to a mace as his Nichirin blade, the techniques are pretty unusual. Gyomei is known as the strongest Hashira in Demon Slayer, and his Stone Breathing forms are a big part of why.

2 Moon Breathing Allowed Kokushibo to Climb the Ranks

Created and practiced by Kokushibo

All 14 Demon Slayer Breathing Styles, Ranked by Power (10)

The five elemental styles all derived from one original style, but as it turns out, there's one more style derived from the original: Moon Breathing. Moon Breathing is a style practiced exclusively by the Upper One demon Kokushibo, who was once a Demon Slayer before discarding his humanity in exchange for a longer life.

As such, Kokushibo never taught this technique to anyone else. Since he's had hundreds of years to train, Moon Breathing has at least 16 different forms, and quite possibly more that he never used. It's a power befitting the top-level demon, and it easily explains how Kokushibo managed to rise up and become Muzan's right-hand man.

1 Sun Breathing is the Origin of Every Other Breathing Style

Practiced by Yoriichi Tsugikuni, Tanjiro Kamado, Tanjuro Kamado & Sumiyoshi Kamado

Originally, there was one Breathing Style for demon slaying, known as Sun Breathing. It was developed by Yoriichi Tsugikuni, but proved too difficult for his apprentices to master. He helped them to learn and create their own styles, which became the various elemental styles. However, each of these elemental styles is only a small part of the whole that is Sun Breathing.

Tanjiro's Hinokami Kagura is a type of Sun Breathing as well, and fans have certainly seen how powerful that technique can be. As the "true" Breathing Style, its power and utility are almost beyond questioning, making Sun Breathing an easy choice for the strongest Breathing Style inDemon Slayer.

Demon Slayer is available from MANGA Plus and Viz Media.

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All 14 Demon Slayer Breathing Styles, Ranked by Power (2024)

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