Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (2024)

Considering the popularity of shonen anime series like Dragon Ball, One Piece, or Naruto, it can be said that any good anime is bound to have some intense martial arts action. Demon Slayer shows audiences what it means to be a supernatural swordsman in Japan’s Taisho Era.

The secret to the incredible power Demon Slayer's swordsmen wield is linked to the Breathing Techniques they employ within a handful of broader breathing styles. These breathing styles and their various techniques come in a wide array, and can help slayers by offering a boost to both offense and defense. That said, some of these attacks and abilities are naturally going to be the most powerful breathing styles in Demon Slayer.

Updated on January 26th, 2024 by Louis Kemner: This list of Demon Slayer breathing techniques has been updated to adhere to CBR's current publication standards.

14 Serpent Breathing Slithers Around Like a Deadly Snake

Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (1)

Best Moves For Serpent Breathing:

  • Slithering Serpent
  • Twin-Headed Reptile
  • Coil Choke

As the Serpent Hashira, Obanai Iguro is the only character in Demon Slayer who practices this unorthodox offshoot of Water Breathing. His sword movements reflect that of a slithering snake, explaining why his attacks are almost imperceptible. As a testament to his fighting abilities, Obanai is strong enough to fight Muzan without dying instantly. There are only five known forms of Serpent Breathing. The Fifth Form: Slithering Serpent remains the most persuasive by far. This powerful Demon Slayer Breathing technique allows the wielder to neutralize numerous opponents in a single fluid motion.

Overall, the Serpent Breathing style is slippery, light on its feet, and can strike from unexpected angles, emulating a predatory snake slithering around until it suddenly strikes. The sheer agility of Serpent Breathing loosely resembles the graceful agility of Flower Breathing, but it's not as powerful. However, while it struggles to compete with the other major Breathing Styles in Demon Slayer, Serpent Breathing shouldn't be underestimated.

13 Sound Breathing Is Tengen Uzui's Own Invention

Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (2)

Best Moves For Sound Breathing:

  • Roar
  • Constant Resounding Slashes
  • String Performance

The Sound Hashira Tengen Uzui is a fan-favorite character, so viewers were pleased to find him alive at the end of the Entertainment District arc. Unfortunately, his injuries force him to take early retirement, and he doesn't get to participate in the Infinity Castle arc. The Sound Breathing style is unique in that it was invented by Uzui himself. When combined with his natural strength and shinobi training, Uzui's Sound Breathing techniques are nigh-unstoppable. Uzui showcases The Fifth Form: String Performance during the fight against Gyutaro, when he launches a high-speed attack while spinning his Nichirin swords.

Tengen Uzui demonstrated the full power of his trademark Sound Breathing in Season 2 of Demon Slayer, during the climax of the Entertainment District story arc. With that style, Tengen easily cornered Daki and cut off her head, then resumed the fight against both Daki and Gyutaro. Despite the ultra-fast moves Gyutaro wielded as the Upper Moon 6, Tengen kept pace with his Sound Breathing, showcasing that style's formidable power.

12 Mist Breathing Allowed Muichiro Tokito to Defeat Gyokko

Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (3)

Best Moves For Mist Breathing:

  • Sea of Clouds and Haze
  • Lunar Dispersing Mist
  • Obscuring Clouds

Related

Demon Slayer: Muichiro Sets the Standard Higher for the Other Hashira

Tokito Muichiro, the Mist Hashira, has just pulled off an epic feat in Demon Slayer, and it sets a new standard for the other Hashira.

Despite his young age, Muichiro Tokito has proven to be an exceptionally talented Demon Slayer. Even Tanjiro finds himself impressed by the Mist Hashira's prodigious combat ability. While Mist Breathing only has six official forms, they're all remarkably competent. The first four forms are relatively basic, although someone like Muichiro can make them appear overpowered. The Fifth Form, called Sea of Clouds and Haze, is both practical and dangerous, but not nearly as effective as the Sixth Form: Lunar Dispersing Mist.

In addition, Muichiro Tokito invented his own technique for mist breathing, known as Seventh Form: Haze (Obscuring Clouds). This ability is used to trick and disorient the enemy by using fast movement speeds while hidden, and shifting to slower movements while out in the open. All things considered, this form of Mist Breathing is among the strongest Breathing Styles in Demon Slayer.

11 Flame Breathing Is the Aggressive Alternative to Sun Breathing

Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (5)

Best Moves For Flame Breathing:

  • Blooming Flame Undulation
  • Flame Tiger
  • Rengoku

Kyojuro Rengoku meets his doom rather early in Demon Slayer, but his fight with Akaza remains one of the most explosive anime battles ever seen. While he's ultimately killed by the Upper Moon 3 demon, the Flame Hashira refuses to go down before inflicting some serious damage. Flame Breathing is clearly one of the most destructive fighting styles in the story, something the Flame Hashira proves on numerous occasions. The Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Forms remain unknown to this day, but the Ninth Form: Rengoku manifests as a fiery dragon that engulfs Kyojuro.

The Flame Breathing style was a weaker yet still potent variation of Sun Breathing. Not everyone could master Sun Breathing when it was first invented, so Flame Breathing served as an acceptable substitute. For generations, the Rengoku family passed it down, such as Shinjiro handing it over to his son Kyojuro. Unfortunately, Kyojuro's death at Akaza's hands ended that tradition.

10 Beast Breathing Is How Inosuke Taught Himself to Fight

Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (6)

Best Moves For Beast Breathing:

  • Extending Bendy Slash
  • Whirling Fangs
  • Sudden Throwing Strike

Inosuke Hashibira devises all ten forms of Beast Breathing over the course of Demon Slayer's story. This style replicates the movements and behavior patterns of wild animals, making for rather unpredictable combat. The Spatial Awareness technique, in particular, vastly enhances Inosuke's sense of touch. This lets him pick up on subtle changes in the surrounding area. With this move, Inosuke could lock in on the location of a demon in the middle of the forest on Mt. Natagumo.

Beast breathing offers a variety of savage techniques, starting with First Fang: Pierce and ending with Tenth Fang: Whirling Fangs. The latter requires Inosuke to rotate his twin weapons at ridiculous speeds, effectively resulting in a helicopter-like motion that can block, parry, or even deflect various attacks. Some fans might claim that the Eighth Fang: Explosive Rush is stronger than the Tenth Fang, but there's really nothing that comes close to Whirling Fang in Inosuke's wild arsenal. Besides, he's the only major character who relies exclusively on melee-based combat.

9 Love Breathing Evidently Relies on Whip-Like Swords

Best Moves For Love Breathing:

  • Catlove Shower
  • Swaying Love, Wildclaw
  • Cat-Legged Winds of Love

Related

Who Is Mitsuri in Demon Slayer?

Mitsuri Kanroji struggled to fit in growing up because she was so different, but that uniqueness is exactly what made fans fall in love with her.

Mitsuri Kanroji's Love Breathing is unique, although it's fundamentally a descendant of Flame Breathing. The Love Hashira is a masterful fighter, having developed many uses for this Breathing style. Mitsuri employs an expandable weapon, a whip-like blade with incredible range, but she can also rely on ordinary katanas. Forms one through five of Love Breathing are certainly incredible, but none of them are as majestic and imposing as the Sixth Form: Cat-Legged Winds of Love. Also known as Neko Ashi Koi Kaze, this ability allows Mitsuri to unleash several slashes in a rather brief period.

Mitsuri didn't showcase the true power of Love Breathing until Season 3 of the Demon Slayer anime. During the exciting Swordsmith Village arc, Mitsuri faced off against the Upper Moon 4, Hantengu. Impressively, she used her overwhelming strength and skill to hold off one of Japan's strongest demons via Love Breathing. Mitsuri used Love Breathing's best moves to keep Hantengu at bay and buy Tanjiro time to finish off Hantengu's real body.

8 Flower Breathing Focuses on Agility and Grace in Battle

Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (8)

Best Moves For Flower Breathing:

  • Peonies of Futility
  • Whirling Peach
  • Equinoctial Vermillion Eye

Flower Breathing has two known users in Demon Slayer: the timid Kanao Tsuyuri and the late Kanae Kocho, or Shinobu's older sister. This breathing style is all about grace and agility, meaning it focuses more on mobility than sheer hitting power, though it's far from a weak style in any regard. Some might say it's the most elegant breathing style, though anime-only fans have yet to see anyone use it seriously in battle.

Flower Breathing's Final Form, subtitled Equinoctial Vermilion Eye, boosts the user's kinetic vision to its maximum potential. Doing so allows them to perceive the world as if everything was in slow motion, giving them more time to react. This technique is as dangerous as the consequences of using it. Overusing this technique can cause blindness, since it places a heavy strain on the blood vessels in the eye. Equinoctial Vermilion Eye comes in handy during Kanao Tsuyuri's fight against Doma, the Upper Moon Two. This Breathing Style in Demon Slayer is truly a sight to behold.

7 Thunder Breathing Allows the User to Attack With Fast Linear Moves

Best Moves For Thunder Breathing:

  • Heat Lightning
  • Rumble and Flash
  • Flaming Thunder God

As explained by Tanjiro's friend Zenitsu Agatsuma, Thunder Breathing focuses on the user’s leg strength, allowing a human to reach lightning-quick movement speed when using this style's techniques. The Thunderclap and Flash technique happens in an instant, beginning and ending with the sword in its scabbard. Unable to perform any of the other Thunder techniques, Zenitsu luckily mastered one of them. He's more than able to perform the move consecutively (including the Sixfold, Eightfold, and Godspeed varieties).

Then there's another technique, one developed by Zenitsu, that was likely inspired by Tanjiro’s Dance of the Fire God. Zenitsu's Flaming Thunder God technique is completed in an instant and is depicted with the head of a dragon striking at the sword hand of the user. Fans expected little from Zenitsu in the early chapters/episodes of Demon Slayer, but this cowardly character more than proves his worth by the end of the story. All told, this means Thunder Breathing ranks in the middle among the best breathing techniques in Demon Slayer.

6 Water Breathing Flows in Battle But is Sometimes Unwieldy

Best Moves For Water Breathing:

  • Splashing Water Flow, Turbulent
  • Constant Flux
  • Dead Calm

The Water Breathing Style is among the most common techniques in Demon Slayer. Protagonist Tanjiro Kamado himself used this ability when the story started, and he defeated a variety of lesser demons with it. Water Breathing can be extremely efficient, but this style is also unwieldy and dangerous in inexperienced hands. Of all the eleven known forms of Water Breathing, the Tenth Form: Constant Flux is arguably the most destructive. Tanjiro unleashes this form during his duel with Rui, spawning a massive water dragon in the process. Constant Flux continuously magnifies the initial attack, making it useful against overpowered opponents.

The iconic Water Hashira Giyu Tomioka originally didn't think himself worthy of his position in the Demon Slayer Corps. Yet, he was skillful enough to master the first 10 Water Breathing forms, not to mention developing the 11th for his own use. Eleventh Form: Dead Calm is a defensive technique expressive of Giyu’s own personality. It allows the user to negate the attacks of the enemy by ceasing their own movements. There is, however, a limit to the number of successive attacks the technique can withstand. Dead Calm obliterates the Spider Demon Rui without Giyu receiving a scratch in return.

5 Wind Breathing Is Agile, Erratic, and Deadly in Sanemi's Hands

Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (9)

Best Moves For Wind Breathing:

  • Gale, Sudden Gusts
  • Primary Gale Slash
  • Idaten Typhoon

The agile, almost erratic movements of the Wind Breathing Style represent the Wind Hashira Sanemi Shinazugawa perfectly. These techniques are characterized by many sweeping motions and slashes that appear to be simultaneous. The first few forms of this breathing style are certainly impressive, generating vast quantities of attack power and producing calamitous results. However, the Seventh Form: Gale, Sudden Gusts is one of the most potent techniques in Demon Slayer. Sanemi's Seventh Form spawns high-octane winds on par with a small hurricane, which can easily obliterate most demons.

Meanwhile, there is a significant gulf between the Eighth and Ninth forms of Wind Breathing. Although Primary Gale Slash is enough for most opponents, some overpowered villains can't be brought down without the Idaten Typhoon. In fact, Sanemi severs Muzan's arm with Idaten Typhoon, demonstrating the sheer power contained within this Demon Slayer Breathing Style.

4 Insect Breathing Emphasizes Stings Rather Than Slashes

Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (10)

Best Moves For Insect Breathing:

  • Dance of the Bee Sting: True Flutter
  • Dance of the Dragonfly: Compound Eye Hexagon
  • Dance of the Centipede: Hundred-Legged Zigzag

Related

Demon Slayer: Why Shinobu Kocho is the Worst Hashira So Far

Shinobu Kocho is a fearsome fighter, but she lacks the personal warmth and inspirational words that make Kyojuro, Tengen, and Mitsuri so great.

Shinobu Kocho's Insect Breathing Style feels similar to Inosuke's Beast Breathing, but it copies insects rather than animals like boars. There are only four forms to this style — Butterfly Dance: Caprice, Dance of the Bee Sting: True Flutter, Dance of the Dragonfly: Compound Eye Hexagon, and the deadly Dance Of The Centipede: Hundred-Legged Zigzag. This final form of Insect Breathing depends on the user's zigzag movement pattern, which is supposed to disorient any enemies. Even Doma grudgingly praises Dance of the Centipede: Hundred-Legged Zigzag, stating that the force generated by this ability is not something to be taken lightly.

Insect Breathing and its various techniques are all excellent for Shinobu Kocho, who lacks the raw strength needed to decapitate a demon with a Nichirin sword. So, she uses deadly poisons on her slender sword, performing jabs that mimic insect stings so she can deliver fatal attacks without having to cut through flesh.

3 Stone Breathing Has a Meditative Style

Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (12)

Best Moves For Stone Breathing:

  • Stone Skin
  • Volcanic Rock, Rapid Conquest
  • Arcs of Justice

As the legendary Stone Hashira, Gyomei Himejima’s fighting style differs from the other Breathing forms. It relies mainly on the meditative techniques he uses to focus his mind and body. Using Volcanic Rock, Rapid Conquest, Gyomei simultaneously employs his flail and spiked ball to attack his opponents, spreading destruction over a wide area. Using this move, Gyomei can nearly match Kokushibo’s Moon Breathing, even before activating the Demon Slayer mark. That said, the Stone Hashira wouldn't have been able to deal sufficient damage without the Fifth Form.

Notably, Gyomei also taught a technique to Genya Shinazugawa called Repetitive Breathing, meaning Stone Breathing isn't all Gyomei is good for in the demon slayer corps. In fact, Repetitive Breathing isn't a conventional breathing style at all, but rather, a way for the user to strengthen themselves in battle and little more. Genya used that style to gain half-other powers and battle Hantengu on even footing.

2 Moon Breathing Maximizes the Potential of Kokushibo's Enormous Strength

Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (13)

Best Moves For Moon Breathing:

  • Drilling Slashes, Moon Through Bamboo Leaves
  • Catastrophe, Tenman Crescent Moon
  • Moonbow, Half Moon

The Moon Breathing Style used by Upper Moon 1 Kokushibo draws on his expertise as a Demon Slayer in the Sengoku Era, as well as his own Blood Demon Art. Formerly known as Michikatsu Tsugikuni, this overpowered villain has had hundreds of years to perfect his already formidable skills. Kokushibo performs Moonbow, Half-Moon technique with the multi-bladed form of the katana created from his flesh. One swing of the sword causes many slashes over a wide area, with miniature crescent-shaped blades slicing along the sword’s path almost randomly. Although wielded by a villain, there's no doubt that Moonbow, Half-Moon is an overpowered Demon Slayer Breathing technique.

Moon Breathing has more known techniques/forms than most breathing styles in the Demon Slayer series, seeing how Moonbow, Half Moon is the 16th form. Needless to say, such advanced techniques, coupled with Kokushibo's superhuman strength, make Moon Breathing incredibly dangerous in battle, capable of defeating practically any foe with ease.

1 Hinokami Kagura is Tanjiro's Best Hope Against the Strongest Demons

Best Moves For Hinokami Kagura:

  • Fake Rainbow
  • Flame Dance
  • Fire Wheel

Yoriichi Tsugikuni is a formidable fighter who could nearly kill the demon king Muzan Kibutsuji on his own. Among his impressive feats, Yoriichi created the Thirteenth Form of Hinokami Kagura to defeat the strongest demon in existence. The technique incorporates all 12 previous techniques in rapid succession in order to increase their accuracy. Hinokami Kagura isn't enough to take down the Demon King when each form is used individually, but blending them together into the unnamed Thirteenth Form is a different matter.

The Hinokami Kagura style is a personal one for protagonist Tanjiro Kamado, since it's always passed down from father to son in the Kamado family alongside those distinctive hanafuda earrings. Hinokami Kagura is also associated with a ritual dance to ward off disease and other threats. The dancer will never get tired as they do this dance for hours on end. Overall, Hinokami Kagura is definitely the strongest breathing style in Demon Slayer, and it's Tanjiro's best hope to defeat Muzan once and for all.

Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (14)
Demon Slayer

TV-MA

Anime

Action

Adventure

When Tanjiro Kamado returns home to find his family was attacked and killed by demons, he discovers his younger sister Nezuko was the only survivor. As Nezuko slowly becomes a demon, Tanjiro sets out to find a cure for her and become a demon slayer so he can avenge his family.

Release Date
April 6, 2019

Cast
Natsuki Hanae , Zach Aguilar , Abby Trott , Yosh*tsugu Matsuoka
Main Genre
Anime

Seasons
4

Studio
ufotable
Demon Slayer's Best Breathing Styles and Techniques, Ranked By Power (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jeremiah Abshire

Last Updated:

Views: 5973

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jeremiah Abshire

Birthday: 1993-09-14

Address: Apt. 425 92748 Jannie Centers, Port Nikitaville, VT 82110

Phone: +8096210939894

Job: Lead Healthcare Manager

Hobby: Watching movies, Watching movies, Knapping, LARPing, Coffee roasting, Lacemaking, Gaming

Introduction: My name is Jeremiah Abshire, I am a outstanding, kind, clever, hilarious, curious, hilarious, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.