Deep Dive into Water Breathing: A Form that Defines Giyu!


Deep Dive into Water Breathing: A Form that Defines Giyu!

Amongst all the breathing styles used in Demon Slayer, the most famous one is undoubtedly the Water Breathing style. Such a case is not because of its sheer power or flashiness, but because of the people who use it. The cool and calm Giyu uses this style and takes what seems to be a basic style to the next level. Whenever one is talking about Water Breathing style, Giyu's katana is bound to come up. It's not because he made the style but he was the one who truly owned it.

Now when I say it's famous for being Giyu's katana and not for its power or flashiness, I don't mean that this style is weak or anything. In fact, Water Breathing style is one of the core styles of the Demon Slayer Corp that has been active for decades. And we know that to be one of the top, a breathing style needs to be deadly enough to go up against demons of top caliber. So yeah, Water breathing style is deadly and not something that any regular demon can go up against.

We are first introduced to the style at the very beginning of the story. And that's also when we see a glimpse of Giyu's katana, a katana which embodies the calm yet destructive nature of water. And as the story progresses, we are introduced to the different forms of this style. The very first form, the rudimentary one, is the First Form: Water Surface Slash. A concentrated and powerful slash that is akin to a water blade. It is the very first one but is powerful enough to decapitate any number of regular demons. And if one is physically able to add more consecutive strikes, you get the Fourth Form: Striking Tide. As the name suggests, this form is destructive like a tide that devours the land.

When water flows horizontally, it represents a blade. And when it flows vertically, it represents something far more destructive, a waterfall. The Eighth Form: Waterfall Basin is a vertically downward slash. The more weight behind the slash, the more it destroys all in its path. There is no way to stop it if the one using it is Giyu. That's because he is experienced with it that he can put considerable momentum behind his slash despite his feeble looking physique.

Now take this seemingly normal slash and add a spin to it. Not a horizontal spin but a vertical one. And that is how you get the Second Form: Water Wheel. From an onlooker's perspective, the form seems no different from the first one. I mean the only extra step is a spin! But one can't be more wrong. The spin in mid air is hard to pull off as one needs absolute body control to do so. And instead of

spinning vertically mid air, if the wielder spins horizontally like a whirlpool, Sixth Form: Whirlpool is created. A form that is just as deadly as the second one.
Water is always meant to flow. No matter the obstacle, it will demolish it along its path. So it's a given that the Third Form: Flowing Dance will uphold this fact. We didn’t see Giyu use it but when Tanjiro used it, we saw how fluid his steps were and it seemed like he was performing a dance ritual. The whole motion is a single one contrary to what others might think. Despite it being a single move, it can deal with multiple enemies with ease.

Being style related to Water, we get that it is meant to be destructive. But water is not always destroying everything, it also blesses. Such is seen in the Fifth Form: Blessed Rain After the Drought. This move is like a usual slash but it is precise and swift. It is like a blessing that provides death to the ones who deserve a painless one. But what if you don't want to give them a painless death? Well simply use the Tenth Form: Constant Flux. The more the speed, the deadlier it gets. It’s more like the ultimate attack that is a barrage of waves!

Any swordstyle is not always about attacks only. The same is true in the case of Water Breathing style. Ninth Form: Splashing Water Flow, Turbulent and Seventh Form: Drop Ripple Thrust are two such forms. The first one is a footwork type that lets the wielder walk on any surface and take off at any angle they wish. A move that helped Tanjiro against the former Lower Rank Six, Kyogai. As for the seventh form, it is a bit sadistic. It's a constant barrage of sword thrusts that stops the momentum of any charging demon. It is sadistic in the sense that it will not kill the demon but only slow it down while causing it to suffer massive pain.

These are the ten forms of Water Breathing that a normal Water Breathing style user will know. But what makes this technique one that defines Giyu’s katana is the final form, the Eleventh Form: Dead Calm. A form that is unique to Giyu as he is the creator of it. The form is both a defensive and offensive one as the user becomes as calm as the dead. This calmness allows them to take on any attack coming at them with swift and precise movement.

So even though Water Breathing is a primary breathing style, it is a force to be reckoned with when the wilder is Giyu. Even at the hand of others, they can cause serious harm as they also inherited a part of the Giyu’s katana that makes it deadly.

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