Demon Slayer

Demon Slayer: Tanjiro's Sun and Water Breathing Styles Explained!

If you're the main protagonist of a shounen series, it's expected that you have some sort of dormant power that, once developed to its fullest potential, will separate you from the crowd.

For Demon Slayer's Tanjiro, it's his seemingly unique ability to switch between Breathing Styles — something, as we know, even most Hashira can't do.

Today, let's do a rundown of all of Tanjiro's Breathing Styles and Forms, break down the difference between the Sun and Water Breathing, and answer some questions about his arsenal of techniques and styles!


What Breathing Styles Does Tanjiro Use?

Kamado Tanjiro

Tanjiro uses both the Sun and Water Breathing Styles. Though he was initially trained to use the Water Style, Tanjiro inherited the Kamado Sun Breathing Style from his father. This makes Tanjiro the last known Slayer to use the Sun Style and the only known Slayer who switches between two styles.

According to the manga, the creator of the Sun Breath (Yoriichi Tsugikuni) once performed the Hinokami Kagura in front of Tanjiro's ancestors, who committed the dance to memory and passed it down for generations. Tanjiro learned this dance from his father as a rite of passage during his early teens.

It wasn't until much later that Tanjiro realized the Hinokami Kagura was the Sun Breathing Style. By this point in time, Tanjiro had already mastered the Water Style and its ten forms — something he likely wouldn't have done if he'd realized the legacy his father left to him.

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What Is The Sun Breathing Style?

Kamado Tanjiro

Tanjiro Using The Hinokami Kagura

The Sun Breathing Style is the first-ever breathing style known to Demon Slayers. Subsequent breathing styles like Moon, Thunder, Water, Flame, Stone, and Wind were derived from the Sun Breath. It's the oldest and the most powerful style, but many assumed that it was lost to history due to the lack of practitioners. 

The Sun Breath has a total of 12 forms, though, at this point in the anime, we know virtually nothing about any of them.


Can Any Demon Slayer Do Two Breathing Styles?

Kamado Tanjiro

Though it's [theoretically] possible for anyone to use two or more breathing styles, most Demon Slayers (including Hashira) find the switch extremely difficult, prompting them to focus on perfecting one style instead. So far, Tanjiro is the only Slayer who uses two styles.

And even he expresses difficulties when he switches too abruptly, but given the Sun Breath's power, it's hard for him to avoid using it in dire situations.

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How Many Water Breathing Forms Can Tanjiro Do? Can He Do The 11th Form?

Kamado Tanjiro Water Breathing Style

Tanjiro can do all ten original forms of the Water Breath Style. He can't do the 11th form since it was developed by Giyuu Tomioka and remains unique to him, but it's been said that Tanjiro can create his own Water Breath form in the future. 

Here is a brief explanation of all of Tanjiro's Water Breathing forms!


1st Form: Water Surface Slash!


Tanjiro Doing The First Form

Tanjiro Using The First Form: Water Surface Slash

This form culminates the strength of its user into a single, horizontal slash. Though relatively simple, it allows the user to slice through the thickest demon necks. 

Fans might remember seeing this form in the Final Selection arc, where Tanjiro used it to defeat the Hand Demon and make his way into the ranks of Demon Slayer Corps.


2nd Form: Water Wheel!

Tanjiro Using The Second Form: Water Wheel

Tanjiro Using The Second Form: Water Wheel

Though the original second form is used for a vertical slash, Tanjiro modified it to create his own version, where he focused the strength and momentum from a flip into a lateral strike.

Thanks to the circular vortex of this form, it has a broader range of impact than the first one but requires more precision on the swordman's part, both physically and mentally.


3rd Form: Flowing Dance!

Tanjiro Using Third Form: Flowing Dance

Tanjiro Using The Third Form: Flowing Dance

This technique grants the user fluidity and speed to mimic the flow of water. When he uses this form, Tanjiro's blade glides through his enemies like a steady stream of water. 

Though a higher demon might track his moments, the third form is too fast for weaker demons to detect. The swiftness with which Tanjiro performs this move helps him finish multiple lesser demons within seconds. And against a greater demon, the dance-like footwork allows him to dodge any counterattacks.


4th Form: Striking Tide!

Tanjiro Using Fourth Form: Striking Tide

Tanjiro Using The Fourth Form: Striking Tide

This attack is meant to mimic the flow of a harsh tide and deliver horizontal blows. The form requires Tanjiro to rotate his body mid-air and use the momentum to enhance the strike's power.

So far, Tanjiro has only ever used this form for single strikes, which leaves us wondering how it might look if he were to follow the first strike with multiple blows.


5th Form: Blessed Rain After The Draught!

Tanjiro Using Fifth Form: Blessed Rain After Draught

Tanjiro Using The Fifth Form: Blessed Rain After Draught

Though it appears to be "just another horizontal strike," the fifth form is the only painless strike in the Water Breathing Style. 

The form requires the demons to hold out their neck, so it's not entirely efficient in battle. Instead, it's used as an act of mercy against demons who surrender themselves or give the Slayer a reason to be merciful — and for a compassionate child-like Tanjiro, this happens more often than you'd expect.

Tanjiro administered this attack as an act of mercy to the Mother Spider when she surrendered herself. He realized that she wanted to be free from her cursed life as a Demon and changed his attack mid-air to make it less painful. The strike beheaded her in a painless heartbeat and allowed her to die peacefully.


6th Form: Whirlpool!

Tanjiro Using Sixth Form: Whirlpool

Tanjiro Using The Sixth Form: Whirlpool

Though it's pretty effective on land, the true power of the sixth form comes out underwater.

By violently twisting his body against the resting state of water, Tanjiro creates a giant whirlpool around himself. The momentum from the vortex drags the demons underwater to the tip of his blade, allowing him to slash their necks in one swift stroke. 

This form also has an extensive range of impact and can be combined with a few other forms to maximize its efficiency.


7th Form: Piercing Rain Drop!

Tanjiro Using Seventh Form: Piercing Rain Drop

Tanjiro Using The Seventh Form: Piercing Rain Drop

Instead of slashing, the seventh form is a fast thrusting technique, ideally used as a defensive move to create distance between the opponent and oneself or to dodge any incoming attacks. 

The form looks a lot like fencing, where the tip of the blade is thrust out and used to poke the opponent. Though it's ineffective as an attack, the seventh form is perfect as a defense technique.


8th Form: Water Basin!

Tanjiro Using The Eighth Form: Water Basin

Tanjiro Using The Eighth Form: Water Basin

The eighth form is one of the most remarkable forms in the Water Breathing Style. The technique requires the user to swing down their sword with extreme force, causing a ripple in the effect of gravity and bringing down violent streams of water on the enemy.

In simpler words, the form utilizes the downward swing of the sword to create multiple waterfalls that target the enemy.

Not only is this form insanely powerful, but it also looks fantastic!


9th Form: Splashing Water Bowl

Tanjiro Using The Ninth Form: Splashing Water Bowl

Tanjiro Using The Ninth Form: Splashing Water Bowl

The ninth form differs from all other forms because it isn't designed to defend an attack but instead provides the user with the ability to move from point A to point B regardless of how sure their footing is.

Water gathers under Tanjiro's feet and covers them like a bowl, minimizing any contact with the ground and allowing him to move swiftly across all directions.

Tanjiro used this form against a demon who could rotate the room they fought in. Without having to worry about where his feet would land next, Tanjiro could reach the demon and behead it without another thought.


10th Form: Constant Flux

Tanjiro Using The Tenth Form: Constant Flux

Tanjiro Using The Tenth Form: Constant Flux

The tenth form is by far the most substantial and most beautiful form in the Water Breathing Style.

It's also efficient.

The form utilizes the strength in the user's rotation and makes every strike stronger than its last. This means that the second blow becomes stronger than the first, and the third becomes stronger than the second— so the more attacks the user lands, the stronger their next blow will be. 

Paired with the speed and precision, this attack takes on the form of a dragon and is by far one of the most lethal ones to get hit by.

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Katanakaji no Sato-hen

The "Entertainment District Arc" is followed by the "Katanakaji no Sato-hen".

The "Katanakaji no Sato-hen" begins with episode 98 in volume 12 of the original work.

※By the way, the original story of Demon Slayer was completed in volume 23, which was released on December 4, 2020.

Tanjiro goes to the village of swordsmiths and meets the love Hashira, Mitsuri Kanroji, and the Mist Hashira, Muichiro Tokito. Fans who cannot wait for the anime adaptation should read the original 12 volumes.


  • Writer of this post

Red Shiba

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