One of the characterizing elements of Demon Slayer (Kimetsu no yaiba), like any good self-respecting battle shonen manga / anime, is represented by the special moves used by the protagonists, in particular the world by Tanjiro Kamado which, with his 10 kata + 1, is certainly the best known and most loved demon slayer of the work created by Koyoharu Gotoge.
Tanjiro, after that Kibutsuji Muzan he exterminated his family, sparing only his sister Nezuko who, however, is turned into a demon, decides to become a demon slayer both to avenge her family and have a chance to find a cure for Nezuko herself, and to prevent someone else from suffering a tragedy similar to hers.
Demon Slayer: Tanjiro’s breathing techniques and kata
Thanks to Giyu Tomioka, one of 9 Pillars of Demon Slayer, Tanjiro is entrusted to Sakonji Urokodaki, to learn the breathing techniques and special moves performed with the katana known as kata.
Urokodaki (former water pillar), thus teaches Tanjiro the use of Breathing Water (Mizu no kokyū), a special technique that allows you to control the amount of oxygen in the blood and your breathing in order to increase strength and endurance, inflict more precise and effective blows and, ultimately, equal the otherworldly abilities of demons.
The ultimate goal is to find, during the fight, the so-called “Thread of the opening”, the instant in which an opening is created in the enemy’s guard through which to inflict the decisive blow. Furthermore, by mastering his own breathing pattern, Tanjiro, like any demon slayer, is also able to “manage” any injuries suffered and slow down (to stop) bleeding.
However, against demons, especially in the event of a confrontation with the Demonian Moons, the breathing techniques would be of little use if not adequately supported by the use of the special moves to be performed with the katana Nichirin.
The eleven Katas used by Tanjiro from Demon Slayer
Let’s find out, therefore, what are all the 11 kata used by Tanjiro in Demon Slayer.
So, Absolute Concentration, Water Breathing and let’s go:
First Kata: Rift of the Surface (Ichi no kata: Minamo giri)
This is a single concentrated blow that Tanjiro uses when he is sure he can instantly decapitate the demon in front of him. He uses it, for example, during his exam to become a demon slayer by eliminating the demon who hates Urokodaki and who had killed Sabito and Makomo.
It is an “acrobatic” move in which Tanjiro rotates his body in the air while cutting, forming a sort of wheel, to infuse the katana with more power and inflict a more effective blow.
It is the alternative version of the second kata with Tanjiro rotating, together with his sword, parallel to the ground.
Imitating the movement of the current of a river that flows between the bends, Tanjiro makes his katana dance in a sinuous way against his opponent hitting him very quickly, as when he cuts the arms of the demon who uses balloons as a weapon.
With the fourth kata Tanjiro makes several consecutive cuts while tsi moves smoothly but firmly as the surface of the sea does when there is a strong tide.
It is a move that reflects all the empathy and mercy that Tanjiro feels towards people turned into demons by the ruthless Muzan and his followers. The opponent is beheaded with a sharp and painless blow carried sideways. Tanjiro uses it for the first time against the “mother” of Fifth Waning Moon Rui, then repeating it every time the enemy voluntarily surrenders, so much so that at the end of the kata a sweet aura is seen that illuminates and envelops the defeated demon.
Tanjiro performs a quick spin of his body creating a lightning-fast whirlwind that attracts and cuts through anything nearby. It is used in the presence of multiple enemies and, when performed underwater, creates a devastating whirlpool
This is the fastest technique of Water Breathing: a quick and precise sword thrust capable of bypassing the opponent’s defenses. Tanjiro uses it against the demon of the balloons, impaling it after having pierced one of the balls thrown during the attack.
It is a blow derived from the previous one with the difference that, although carried basically as a thrust, Tanjiro’s katana strikes at an angle with a bow motion.
It is a very powerful blow that is delivered from top to bottom perpendicular to the target, with Tanjiro jumping and then exploiting all the energy of the fallout, concentrating it on the Katana which crashes violently on the opponent like a waterfall in the basin below. .
When Tajiro uses this kata he moves quickly towards the opponent, constantly moving in order not to provide the latter with points of reference, until he reaches the demon, see “the opening” and deliver the fatal blow. We first see this move when Tanjiro confronts Kyogai, Sixth Waning Moon, in the House of Drums.
The last special move of the Water Breathing is a constant attack made of successive rotations that gradually increase in power, so much so that Tanjiro uses it (without great results) in the fight against the Fifth Calante Rui brandishing his now broken katana.
The Dance of the God of Fire is a special kata “learned” by Tanjiro directly from his father, then refined with the help of the Pillar of the Flame Kyojuro Rengoku, derives from the first form of breathing, the Breathing of the Sun (Hi no kokyū). It is a very powerful form of combat that can be used together with other breathing techniques and that Tanjiro uses in the final duel against Rui thanks also to the help of Nezuko’s power.
However, while launching this powerful attack against the demon, the latter will decapitate himself to escape death which, however, will come at the hands of Giyu Tomioka and his personal move of the Breathing of Water, or the eleventh kata called Calm.
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