Stone Breathing is one of the Breathing Styles used by demon slayers . There’s only two known Stone Breathing users in the series, one of them is the progenitor of the Breathing Style and the other one is the Stone Hashira, Gyomei Himejima. Here is the history of Stone Breathing in Demon Slayer and all of its forms explained.
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History of Stone Breathing in Demon Slayer
In the beginning of Breathing Styles, there was only one Breathing Style, created by Yoriichi Tsugikuni. Thanks to his innate superhuman powers, Yoriichi created the Sun Breathing, which is deadly for demons. Later, when he met other demon slayers and befriended them, he taught them the art of Breathing Styles.
However, none of them could achieve Yoriichi’s Sun Breathing because the difference between his and their abilities was so immense that it was impossible for them. In their pursuit of Sun Breathing, each of them ended up creating a new Breathing Style. One of them was Stone Breathing.
It is one of the five original Breathing Styles that originated from Sun Breathing, along with Water Breathing, Flame Breathing, Wind Breathing and Thunder Breathing. It is arguably one of the toughest Breathing Styles to master and requires a lot of physical strength to achieve it.
How Powerful is Stone Breathing?
In Demon Slayer, only one character has been shown using Stone Breathing, and that is the Stone Hasira, Gyomei Himejima. The small number of users for this Breathing Style indicates exactly how difficult it is to master.
During the Hashira Training Arc, almost all demon slayers found themselves unable to perform the rigorous training it takes to master Stone Breathing.
Not only that, but the Stone Hashira is also the univocal strongest Hashira, and the strongest member of the Demon Slayer Corps.
During the battle against Upper Moon One Kokushibo, the demon thinks to himself that Gyomei has reached the peak of human physical condition. Despite his blindness, he shows no weakness in battle and uses Stone Breathing to its absolute perfection.
A unique point about Stone Breathing is that unlike other Breathing Styles users, none of the two known users of Stone Breathing uses Nichirin Blade.
Rather, their choices of weapons are unconventional, with Gyomei using a flail and ax, and the progenitor using a giant weapon that resembles kusarigama. That raises the question whether Stone Breathing cannot be channeled through Nichirin Blades.
Stone Breathing All Forms Explained
Stone Breathing has at least five known forms that Gyomei uses through his flail and ax. There might be more forms of this Breathing Style, but he only uses five during the battle against Kokushibo that he fights alongside Muichiro Tokito and Sanemi, and Genya Shizanugawa.
But unlike the other Hashira, all of whom have invented at least one new form of their respective Breathing Styles, it’s unknown whether Gyomei has done the same.
Two major requirements for Stone Breathing are brute strength and total concentration. It uses the ground and the surroundings of the user to channel their power into their forms and technique, their movements taking inspiration from the stones and earth.
However, unlike other Breathing Styles which give the impression of leaving afterimages of their respective element, Stone Breathing is more straightforward with the user’s movements with their weapon.
Furthermore, there is a reason for Gyomei to use the flail and ax as his choice weapon. This is because while performing an attack, he listens to the rattling to the chain connecting the spiked flail and the ax to determine the distance of his opponent and understand their movements. It gives him precise control over the fight despite his disadvantage as a blind man.
I. Stone Breathing First Form: Serpentinite Hydra
In the first form of Stone Breathing, called Serpentinite Hydra, the user throws the flail and ax towards the target with great strength and speed and controls their movements through the linking chain.
This causes both the flail and the ax to rotate as they rush toward the target. The goal of this form is to drill into the target and grind its way through the body of the target.
II. Stone Breathing Second Form: Celestial Surface Smash
The second form of Stone Breathing, Celestial Surface Smash, is exactly as its name suggests.
The user throws the flail and the ax upwards while smashing the middle of the chain connecting them with his feet to create a pincer effect. This causes the flail to rebound and smash into the target with enough momentum to crush them.
During the battle against Kokushibo, the strength with which Gyomei smashes the chain under his feet is so much that the ground under him crumbles with the weight.
III. Stone Breathing Third Form: Igneous Reflection
The third form of Stone Breathing has both offensive and defensive advantages. This form primarily uses the ax part of the weapon. Named Igneous Reflection, the third form has the user performing a series of consecutive slashes with his ax. These are perfect for deflecting any attack coming their way.
This form can also be used in an offensive setting, where the series of the powerful slashes with the aw would overwhelm any opponent without giving them much time to react.
The Stone Hashira uses this form to counter the thorn vine attacks from Muzan Kibutsuji at the beginning of the Infinity Castle Arc.
IV. Stone Breathing Fourth Form: Rhyolite: Rapid Conquest
Rhyolite: Rapid Conquest is the fourth form of Stone Breathing, and it is one of the best long-ranged attacks of this Breathing Style.
In this form, the user manipulates the flail and the ax by their connecting chain, holding both sides of the chain with his both hands. He then launches the two connected weapons on either side of the target, implementing a two pronged attack.
V. Stone Breathing Fifth Form: Brick Wheel Judgement
The last known form of the Stone Breathing is the fifth form, Brick Wheel Judgement, in which the user unleashes an attack with their flail and ax so powerfully that they launch themselves in the air. After being unleashed, the ax will hit the opponent first, followed closely by the trajectory of the flail which will smash into the target afterwards.
With this attack, Gyomei beheads Kokushibo after the Upper Moon One regenerates a demon head after losing his real one.
The Stone Breathing is undeniably one of the most powerful Breathing Styles, apart from Sun Breathing and Moon Breathing. It’s no wonder that the only user of it would be the strongest Hashira Gyomei Himejima. This Breathing Style proves vital in the Final Battle Arc.
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