Breathing Styles are the primary means of attack for demon slayers that they execute through their Nichirin Swords. It’s a technique that is unique to demon slayers who master the Total Concentration Breathing.
But then comes Kokushibo, the Upper Moon One demon who has mastered Moon Breathing. Here’s an idea of how powerful Moon Breathing is in Demon Slayer and all its forms explained.
Table of Contents
I. Moon Breathing in Demon Slayer: History
His Breathing Style, Sun Breathing, is the most powerful Breathing Style that stays unparalleled even hundreds of years into the future.
While normal swords can’t behead demons, Sun Breathing is able to do so. That’s why Yoriichi taught Total Concentration Breathing to his older twin, Michikatsu, and the five demon slayers he befriended.
While they mastered Total Concentration Breathing, none of them were able to manage to master Sun Breathing because no one had the innate power and talent like Yoriichi.
Like the demon slayers, Michikatsu also invented a special Breathing Style, the Moon Breathing, that is incredibly powerful and able to kill demons, but still weaker than Sun Breathing.
Burning in jealousy and inferiority complex, Michikatsu later became a demon after meeting Muzan Kibutsuji while he was still in his prime.
Because Michikatsu never passed his Breathing Style to anyone else unlike his fellow pupils, he remains the only user of Moon Breathing. After his defection to Muzan, all knowledge of Moon Breathing eventually got lost in time.
In the Taisho Era, nobody, not even the Hashira, had any idea about Moon Breathing, and only comes to learn about it when the Wind Hashira, Mist Hashira and Stone Hashira encounter the Upper Moon One demon, Kokushibo.
Why Kokushibo Developed Moon Breathing?
When Michikatsu Tsugikuni began training in Total Concentration Breathing, he was trying to learn Sun Breathing from his younger twin Yoriichi. But like the other demon slayers under the tutelage of Yoriichi, he proved to be incapable of performing Sun Breathing because he didn’t have the innate talent and strength that Yoriichi possessed.
However, while training, he came up with a new Breathing Style, one that is stronger than the other Breathing Styles his fellow pupils invented, but decisively inferior to Yoriichi’s Sun Breathing. This Breathing Style is Moon Breathing.
His new Breathing Style complemented his role in life alongside Yoriichi, the moon always being overshadowed by the brightness of the sun. Even after he became a demon and took the name of Kokushibo, he kept his Moon Breathing and made it more powerful with his Blood Demon Art.
II. How Powerful is Moon Breathing in Demon Slayer?
Kokushibo is one of the strongest characters in the series. As a demon, his powers only fall behind Muzan, and later Tanjiro. It’s no wonder that his Moon Breathing will also be one of the strongest Breathing Styles; in fact, Moon Breathing is the second strongest Breathing Style, right after the deadly Sun Breathing.
Compared to Other Breathing
If we compare Moon Breathing to other Breathing Styles, we would see how superior Moon Breathing is in terms of power and swordsmanship. It has the highest number of forms out of all the other Breathings, having at least 16 forms.
Another thing to remember is that it took three Breathing Styles, used by three Hashira, and one Blood Demon Art to overpower Kokushibo. That is proof enough of how strong Moon Breathing actually is.
But then again, Kokushibo has a much longer time to master his Breathing Style than any human. He had more than 460 years to perfect his techniques. Not only that but he also uses his Blood Demon Art to boost his Moon Breathing. Regardless, it stands true that it is the second strongest Breathing Style.
Compared to Sun Breathing
No matter how strong Moon Breathing is, it can never be as powerful as Sun Breathing, not even after it is made stronger with Kokushibo’s flesh katana and his Blood Demon Art. Despite having a smaller number of forms of the two, every form of Sun Breathing is deadlier than anything Moon Breathing can create.
Relation of Moon Breathing With Upper & Lower Moon Demons
Kokushibo is the second demon at Muzan’s side, after Tamayo overcomes his control and runs away from him. However, he is the first of his Twelve Kizuki, and Muzan’s most valued subordinate. In fact, he is the only one whom Muzan considers a business partner rather than an underling like he thinks the rest of the Kizuki as.
It can be possible that the name Twelve Kizuki, which means the twelve demon moons, and the Upper and Lower Moons come from Kokushibo’s Breathing Style since he was the first of them.
Another theory for the name of Twelve Kizuki is that the name reflects the fact that demons can only dwell and survive at night.
III. Moon Breathing Technique: All Forms Explained
Among all the Breathing Styles introduced in the series, Moon Breathing has the highest number of forms. There are at least sixteen forms of Moon Breathing, one more powerful than the other.
The higher number of forms can be attributed to Michikatsu’s natural talent as well as the fact that he’s had more than 460 years to develop them, several times a normal human’s lifespan.
Another reason why there are so many forms of Moon Breathing is Kokushibo’s usage of his Blood Demon Art within his Breathing Style.
The sixteen forms are not purely techniques of the Breathing Style, but are an amalgamation of the Moon Breathing that Michikatsu developed as a human and his Blood Demon Art as a demon.
Not only that, but the sixteen forms of Moon Breathing aren’t performed through Nichirin Swords, the primary weapons of demon slayers, but through his Flesh Katana.
These give the impression that the higher number of forms of Moon Breathing is a result of Kokushibo being a demon, and it’s unlikely that a human demon slayer could’ve come up with or performed all these forms.
1. First Form: Dark Moon, Evening Shrine
The first form of Moon Breathing and the first form Kokushibo uses against the Hashira is Dark Moon, Evening Shrine.
Consisting of a deceptively simple movement, this form has the user unsheathing his sword to perform a swift crescent shaped slash towards the target, creating numerous small crescent moon shaped blades appearing haphazardly across the crescent shaped slash, before sheathing his sword once more.
This technique is extremely fast, able to catch the Mist Hashira, Muichiro Tokito unaware when the boy is using his strongest form. The attack is so quick that before Muichiro knows, Kokushibo has cut his hand off.
2. Second Form: Moonlit Pearl Flowers
Moonlit Pearl Flowers is the second form of Moon Breathing which consists of three consecutive crescent slashes that produce several small crescent moon shaped blades towards the target.
This attack is very difficult to avoid, as evidenced when the attack could not only easily counter the fourth form of Stone Breathing from Gyomei Himejima, the strongest Hashira, but could also slash him across the face.
Usually in Breathing Styles, the higher the form is, the stronger the attack is. To think that only the second form is powerful enough to wound the strongest Hashira is proof of exactly how strong Kokushibo really is.
3. Third Form: Death Moon of Abandonment, Chain
A broad ranged attack of Moon Breathing, the third form i.e., Death Moon of Abandonment, Chain has the user swing their sword around in two very broad slashes, aiming towards the target. The slashes are crescent shaped and produce several small crescent moon blades over the original slashes.
This technique allows the user to cover a wide area to attack, and is powerful enough to even create dents on the floor.
The Upper Moon One demon, Kokushibo, uses this form against the Wind Hashira in their battle during the Infinity Castle Arc.
4. Fifth Form: Moon Spirit Calamitous Eddy
One of the most visually appealing forms of Moon Breathing, the fifth form: Moon Spirit Calamitous Eddy is achieved when the user performs several back-to-back crescent shaped slices around themselves, creating a vortex of sorts.
The slashes are huge and cover a wide range of area all the while producing the small crescent moon blades over each slice.
This attack is broad-ranged and perfect for keeping the opponent away. Anyone caught inside the vortex of slashes is sure to die instantly. It’s only a proof of Sanemi’s strength that he dodges this attack.
5. Sixth Form: Solitary Moon in the Eternal Night: Avici
Another long ranged form of Moon Breathing is its sixth form, Solitary Moon in the Eternal Night: Avici. In this form, the user releases a barrage of consecutive powerful, broad ranged slashes towards the target.
The slashes are crescent shaped, carrying a plethora of small crescent moon blades over them, and can extend up to several meters from the user. They are powerful enough to slash through their surroundings.
The barrage of slashes of the sixth form is pretty wild in nature and very difficult to avoid. Upon being hit with it, Sanemi is dangerously wounded across his chest during his battle against Kokushibo.
6. Seventh Form: Misfortune Mirror, Lunar Shine
In the seventh form of Moon Breathing, Misfortune Mirror, Lunar Shine, the user performs a single arch of slice that produces several small crescent moon blades and creates a massive shockwave that spreads far away from the user.
The distance the shockwaves cover is astounding, reaching several meters away.
After revealing the complete form of his flesh katana, Kokushibo uses this form first against Sanemi and Gyomei. This form is extremely fast and the shockwaves it produces are intense enough to make deep dents in the ground.
However, the intensity of the shockwaves decreases with the distance it covers from the point of the attack, so it’s possible to dodge this technique.
7. Eighth Form: Lunar Ouroboros
The eighth form, Lunar Ouroboros, is another powerful long-ranged attack in Kokushibo’s arsenal. In this form, the user slashes a huge crescent several meters away and around himself. The crescent slash then produces a number of crescent moon blades of all sizes on it.
This form not only keeps the opponents away but also proves to be deadly. Because even if the large slash doesn’t wound the opponent, the small blades will surely do the job.
8. Ninth Form: Descending Moon: Perpetual Phases
Descending Moon: Perpetual Phases is the ninth form of Moon Breathing in which the user casts several huge crescent shaped slashes from all directions. The overlapping slashes, along with the smaller crescent moon blades, all fall haphazardly towards the target.
The wild technique is one of Kokushibo’s deadliest and is extremely difficult to avoid. Once caught in its perimeter, it’s impossible to leave unscathed.
9. Tenth Form: Piercing Phase Slash, Ivy Moon
The tenth form, Piercing Phase Slash, Ivy Moon, is the most different form of Moon Breathing. In it the user performs three consecutive circular slashes towards the target. The slashes have jagged edges, similar to a saw, and bring along several crescent moon blades along with it.
Caught in its path is completely lethal. Kokushibo uses this form aimed at a heavily wounded Sanemi. It’s only thanks to Muichiro that he’s able to get out of its way and survive.
10. Fourteenth Form: Calamity: Heaven’s Full Crescent Moon
The fourteenth form of Moon Breathing, Calamity: Heaven’s Full Crescent Moon, is also used by the altered form of Kokushibo’s flesh katana. In this form, the user swings his sword multiple times in crescent shapes, creating a number of crescent slashes covered by the smaller crescent moon blades.
The size of the slashes increases exponentially the more distance it covers, and this eventually creates a vortex of broad, multi-directional slashes.
Though this form is difficult to avoid, one can save themselves by going inside the vortex through the gaps between the slashes. That is exactly what Sanemi and Muichiro do as Gyomei attacks Kokushibo from another side.
11. Sixteenth Form: Lunar Rainbow: Fragmented Moon
Lunar Rainbow, Fragmented Moon is the sixteenth form of Moon Breathing. This form creates vertical attacks, contrary to the horizontal slashes of most forms of Moon Breathing. In this form, the user swings the flesh katana upwards and performs six consecutive slashes that grow in size and fall upon the target in barrage.
The slashes that fall are so powerful that they break the ground below. They also cover a broad area with this attack. During the middle of his fight against the Hashira, Kokushibo uses this technique.
Our discussion on Moon Breathing ends here. Kokushibo makes his first proper introduction in Demon Slayer season 3, but it will be a long time until his Moon Breathing is translated into the screen. You will have to wait patiently for that, and in the meantime, come visit Otakus’ Notes for more articles on Demon Slayer.
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