Demon Slayer: The 20 Best Breathing Techniques (& Who Can Use Them) (2023)

Demon Slayer is easily one of the biggest and most popular shonen series of all time, which is certainly surprising given how short the series has been. The amazing adaptation of this series by Ufotable has certainly lit the spark for this series' popularity, with the movie Demon Slayer: Mugen Train establishing itself as the highest-grossing Japanese movie of all time.

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A big part of what makes the combat in Demon Slayer so enthralling to watch is its various breathing techniques, with each notable Demon Slayer specializing in a particular breathing technique that allows them to pull off some truly fantastic and amazing moves. Keeping this in mind, here are the most powerful variants of each one, along with the person who's mastered said technique.

Updated April 24m 2023, by Ritwik Mitra: In the world of Demon Slayer, Breathing Styles are crucial to fighting and defeating the many bloodthirsty demons that threaten humanity. Breathing styles involve a user focusing and controlling their breathing to enhance their physical and mental abilities. These Breathing Styles have either been passed down through generations or devised by talented swordsmen who want to make the most of their strengths while covering for their weaknesses. These best Breathing Styles, when combined with the demon slayer's swordsmanship, allow their users to defeat even the most powerful demons.

20 Moon Breathing — Fourteenth Form: Catastrophe, Tenman Crescent Moon (Kokushibo/Michikatsu Tsugikuni)

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Kokushibo is one of the most heinous villains in the series, and it's clear that his power is off the charts. This can be seen in his Moon Breathing technique, which is quite powerful and is further enhanced by his abilities as a demon.

The Fourteenth Form of this technique is quite powerful in its own right, creating a damaging vortex using the larger version of his dangerous blade. This technique has a wide range that can absolutely decimate anything in its path.

19 Hinokami Kagura — Flame Dance (Tanjiro Kamado)

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Hinokami Kagura, also known as Sun Breathing, is easily one of the strongest Breathing Styles in the series by a wide margin. It's the Breathing Style that served as the base for every other style in the series, which is no mean feat.

Flame Dance is one of the many useful and powerful moves that Tanjiro can pull off while using this Breathing Style. It's a simple attack that combines a vertical and horizontal slash to great effect.

18 Thunder Breathing — First Form: Thunderclap and Flash - Godspeed (Zenitsu Agatsuma)

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Zenitsu is one of the most beloved characters in the series. Despite seeming like a character who exists solely for comic relief, he's actually a prodigy who mastered the first form of Thunder Breathing and can use it effectively to tackle even the strongest enemies around.

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This First Form is something that Zenitsu has worked on quite a bit, allowing him to build up on this technique and completely obliterate most opponents in the blink of an eye. The variation of this technique, Godspeed, is even more faster and deadly.

17 Beast Breathing — Tenth Fang: Whirling Fangs (Inosuke Hashibira)

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Inosuke is another entertaining character who hides his face at all times despite looking quite pretty. He uses Beast Breathing, a crazy and erratic Breathing Style that turns Inosuke into a beast-like swordsman who slices and dices anything in his path.

The forms of this style are called Fangs, with each one of them being quite effective in its own right. The Tenth Fang: Whirling Fangs serves as an attack that is both offensive and defensive in nature, with Inosuke spinning rapidly to deflect any ranged projectiles while also cutting up any demon unlucky enough to get in his way.

16 Moon Breathing — Tenth Form: Drilling Slashes, Moon Through Bamboo Leaves (Kokushibo/Michikatsu Tsugikuni)

Fans can't wait to see Moon Breathing in the anime, given how awe-inspiring its techniques look in action. No other move personifies this best than the Tenth Form: Drilling Slashes, Moon Through Bamboo Leaves.

Kokushibo's sword can increase in size to make his attacks more potent, allowing him to use this form that involves a massive triple-layered slash. It covers a ton of range and can easily obliterate anyone caught in its way.

15 Love Breathing — Sixth Form: Cat-Legged Winds of Love (Mitsuri Kanroji)

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The Love Hashira is easily one of the most unique characters in the show. After all, what person isn't confused about the mechanics of Love Breathing and how it would aid someone in battle?

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In the manga, Mitsuri has already shown the power of Love Breathing to full effect. Her sixth form is the most powerful of the lot, featuring an extended slashing attack that happens in the blink of an eye and deals massive damage.

14 Serpent Breathing — Fifth Form: Slithering Serpent (Obanai Iguro)

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Given how flexible a snake is, it's only a given that Serpent Breathing would incorporate this movement as well. This is precisely what Obanai Iguro manages to accomplish with his unique blade.

The Fifth Form of Serpent Breathing that he uses is great for both crowd control and solitary enemies. It curves the user's sword and lets them attack multiple targets at once with ease.

13 Stone Breathing — Fifth Form: Arcs of Justice (Gyomei Himejima)

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Stone Breathing is considered to be the strongest Breathing Style in Demon Slayer. However, its techniques are not as impressive as the raw power behind them.

The strongest Fifth Form of this Breathing Technique uses the flail and axe used in this fighting style to great effect. The user starts off with a powerful axe attack that is followed up by a subsequent flail smash that can easily decimate most opponents.

12 Hinokami Kagura — Dragon Sun Halo Head Dance (Tanjiro Kamado)

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Main character Tanjiro's Sun Breathing is poised to change the entire dynamic of Demon Slayer, allowing him to finally stand toe-to-toe with the strongest demons in the series. The taste of Sun Breathing that fans have enjoyed in the show has been a blast, and manga readers can't wait to see some of the most powerful moves in this breathing technique finally see the light of day.

The Dragon Sun Halo Head Dance is one such move that will be quite amazing to witness. This continuous attack takes on the shape of a dragon and absolutely destroys most enemies in its path.

11 Water Breathing — Tenth Form: Constant Flux (Tanjiro Kamado And Giyu Tomioka)

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Water Breathing is one of the most visually striking breathing styles in Demon Slayer. Watching Tanjiro whip out various techniques from this breathing style to beat down powerful opponents made for some of the best moments in the first season.

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The most powerful Water Breathing form he knew was whipped out in a battle against Rui, where he used the movements of Constant Flux to cut through Rui's attacks and maintain a balance of offense and defense. It was an amazing move that Tomioka has also showcased in the manga.

10 Flower Breathing — Final Form: Equinoctial Vermilion Eye (Kanao Tsuyuri)

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Kanao has yet to show her power in the anime, but this powerful Demon Slayer has already proved her worth and more with her Flower Breathing technique, which is equal parts beautiful and powerful.

The final form of her Flower Breathing technique — the Equinoctial Vermilion Eye — is truly in a class of its own, allowing the user to pretty much slow down the flow of time by pushing their eyes to the max. However, overusing this technique can cause massive strain on one's eyes, with Kanao being rendered blind in her right eye after the fight against Doma.

9 Flame Breathing — Ninth Form: Rengoku (Kyojuro Rengoku)

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Kyojuro Rengoku was one of the most powerful Demon Slayers of all time and a person worthy of the title, the Flame Hashira. It's his buoyant and cheerful personality that made his demise at the hands of Akaza all the more painful to watch.

His Flame Breathing technique was truly a spectacle to see in action, with his ninth form, Rengoku — a specialty of the Rengoku family — standing out in particular. Unfortunately, his power wasn't enough to defeat Akaza, who ended up getting the better of him during their all-out battle.

8 Thunder Breathing — Seventh Form: Honoikazuchi no Kami (Zenitsu Agatsuma)

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Zenitsu is a character who seems destined for failure - that is until his unconscious self ends up taking over. This allows him to utilize an extremely powerful version of the Thunder Breathing's first form that obliterates any enemy in his path.

His most useful technique is Honoikazuchi no Kami — a technique created by Zenitsu himself that is incredibly powerful and requires so much speed that Zenitsu's haori is completely ripped to shreds during its execution.

7 Mist Breathing — Seventh Form: Obscuring Clouds (Muichiro Tokito)

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A move that ends up forming an illusion that can be truly deadly in battle, Obscuring Clouds is a move devised by the Mist Hashira, Muichiro Tokito himself. This ultimate Mist Breathing technique can completely bamboozle and decimate enemies when executed correctly.

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With this move, Muichiro pretty much disappears in a cloud of mist that's created by his own movements. His speed is deceptively fast, with the Mist Hashira being able to fool enemies into thinking that he's moving slowly... when, in reality, he's just moving so fast that their eyes can't even perceive his movements.

6 Water Breathing — Eleventh Form: Dead Calm (Giyu Tomioka)

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Watching Giyu pull off his self-made ultimate Water Breathing technique against Rui in the anime was a breathtaking moment that showcased the power of Water Hashira for everyone to see.

The idea of instilling the calmness of a body of water in one's being sounds like the hardest thing in the world. Even so, it's the manner in which Giyu manages to pull off this technique with an incredible level of finesse that makes him such a powerful Demon Slayer.

5 Insect Breathing — Dance of the Centipede: Hundred-Legged Zigzag (Shinobu Kocho)

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Shinobu Kocho is easily one of the most powerful Hashira in Demon Slayer, and the fact that her techniques look so beautiful during their execution makes her even more of a daunting figure in the series.

Her ultimate attack, Dance of the Centipede: Hundred-Legged Zigzag, is truly a sight to behold. It has Shinobu launching herself at full force to confuse the enemy with her erratic running before putting all her effort into a stab that is so powerful that it could even destroy a wooden bridge, as per Doma's observations.

4 Moon Breathing — Sixteenth Form: Moonbow - Half Moon (Kokushibo/Michikatsu Tsugikuni)

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Kokushibo is one of the most powerful Demons around. But what makes his power all the more immense is the fact that he makes use of the Moon Breathing technique during his fights. This makes it so that the highest-ranking member of the Twelve Kizuki into an absolute nightmare to fight in battle.

His Moon Breathing's sixteenth form, Moonbow - Half Moon, is especially lethal. Downward crescent slashes along with the power of his Blood Demon Art end up causing damage around a wide area to the point where full-blown craters are formed at the point of impact. A truly terrifying ability that sets him apart from most in the series.

3 Sound Breathing — Fifth Form: String Performance (Tengen Uzui)

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The Sound Hashira might not have had much screen time in the anime, but it's clear that Tengen Uzui is a Demon Slayer who holds a ton of power. His Sound Breathing might not feature many techniques, but each of them is incredibly devastating when used correctly.

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The most powerful form of this, Sound Breathing Fifth Form: String Performance, uses the full potential of his dual swords along with the chain that connects them as well. He essentially turns his swords into a lethal whirlwind, while simultaneously detonating a number of bombs as well to maximize the total damage done.

2 Wind Breathing — Ninth Form: Idaten Typhoon (Sanemi Shinazugawa)

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Just like Tengen, Sanemi Shinazugawa hasn't had a ton of time to show the full potential of his Wind Breathing technique in the Demon Slayer anime. However, given the massive number of attacks in his arsenal coupled with the crazy nature of his swordsmanship, it's only a given that his power is bound to be immense.

The ninth form of his Wind Breathing technique, Idaten Typhoon, is especially powerful and reckless to boot. In this attack, Sanemi backflips into the air and unleashes a torrent of wind while he's upside-down, slashing any demon unlucky enough to be caught in this deadly barrage.

1 Hinokami Kagura — Thirteenth Form (Tanjiro Kamado)

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Of course, it would be impossible to talk about the best breathing techniques in Demon Slayer without mentioning Hinokami Kagura; the Dance of the Sun God that serves as the origin for all other breathing techniques present in Demon Slayer.

The most powerful form of this attack doesn't even have a name. Rather, this Thirteenth Form is a smooth combination of all twelve forms of Hinokami Kagura designed specifically by Tanjkiro. He eventually utilizes it to slash through Muzan's twelve vital organs and destroy him once and for all.

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