Kimetsu No Yaiba: Thunder Breathing Technique
In most anime, thunder, lightning or electricity is a mainstay element. You have the lightning style in Naruto, lightning bending in avatar, Gilthunders lightning magic in Fairy tail, Killua’s Hatsu in hunterxhunter and a whole slew of other examples.
Thunder and lightning are often associated with speed and explosive power.
Each lightining or thunder user are often depicted as appearing and disappearing when attacking, moving too fast for the naked eye to see which has become quite the famous anime trope.
Kimetsu no Yaiba also uses this trope and repackages it as the Thunder Breathing technique and in this article, we will cover the abilties and details of this breathing style.
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Thunder Breathing Technique History & Background
Much like the majority of breathing techniques in Kimetsu no Yaiba, the thunder breathing technique was developed when the fighting style of the original thunder user combined with breathing techniques. This was done mostly because the original users were unable to learn the sun breathing technique and use it to its fullest potential. While the water breathing technique focuses on fluid and flexible movement, the thunder breathing technique focuses all the practitioner’s efforts into their legs and feet to boost their movement speed which enhances their swordplay.
It is unknown who the original creator was as they were never named but during the time of the main story the only known cultivator for the thunder style was Jigoro Kuwajima who had several candidates under his tutelage prior to the events of the story. Interestingly though, the manga has shown only 3 users who are Kaigaku and Zenitsu putting aside Jigoro Kuwajima himself. Of these 2 candidates that were shown neither of them learnt and mastered the full set of techniques with Kaigaku mastering 5 of the 6 known forms and Zenitsu only mastering 1.
Because of its focus on the legs, we can assume that the training regiment required for this style revolved mostly around strengthening the legs and feet and seem to also have been conducted in a mountainous area similar to what we see with the water breathing style.
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Thunder Breathing style techniques and abilities
The techniques and style that is used by the thunder breathing style employs the use of speed above power and is largely reminiscent of iaijutsu, a sword fighting style which employs quick draw sword techniques. When combined this allows the users of the thunder breathing style to move and attack all in a single moment as though they were a lightning strike. The focus on augmenting the user’s leg muscles also allows them to jump really high in addition to the quick and imperceptible movement speed.
In total there are six forms to the thunder breathing technique but due to Zenitsu mastering only 1 and the only other practitioner shown was a demon, it’s unclear how these techniques would be used by a normal human or if they would have replicated the same effects. Each user has visualized their attacks to generate lightning either in their blade or on their feet and legs but Kaigaku can seemingly produce lightning itself likely from his demon blood art.
The 6 forms are as follows
|1||Thunderclap and Flash||An extremely quick one directional dash followed by a rapid sword draw aimed at decapitating the opponent. Has several variants with multiple dashes with the strongest version being the God Speed Variant|
|2||Rice Spirit||A wide omni directional slash|
|3||Thunder Swarm||A rapid attack that targets the enemy from multiple angles and directions|
|4||Distant Thunder||Generates a concentrated ball of electricity which fires out in many directions and can hit targets from a large distance away|
|5||Heat lightning||An upward slash charged with lightning|
|6||Rumble and Flash||Another long range lightning attack that can hit the target from multiple angles|
While the techniques are quite straightforward, we must also talk about Zenitsu who is quite a unique practitioner of this style. Firstly, as previously mentioned Zenitsu has only ever mastered 1 technique, despite this and with the encouragement of his trainer, he has mastered this technique far beyond its standard capabilities allowing him access to several variants. He was even able to activate this technique whilst sleeping but as the story progressed he achieved enough prowess with it to use it in normal combat
Typically the first form of the thunder breathing style is a simple quick dash followed by drawing one’s weapon to quickly decapitate the enemy in a singular motion. Zenitsu however has surpassed this and is able to dash around multiple times in quick succession increasing the range and frequency of this attack much more than normal. The strongest variant, God Speed, allowed him to move so fast that an upper rank demon was unable to follow his movement at all.
Aside from that Zenitsu has also developed the 7th form which is a technique unique only to him and developed solely to combat his fellow disciple who had become a demon. The 7th technique is called the Flaming Thunder God which is a further evolution from his god speed technique. In this case however he is able to move at speeds so fast that it literally burns his haori purely for its friction with the air which is where it gets its name from.
Much like other breathing techniques, Zenitsu was also shown to have been able to control the blood flow of other parts of his body when he did so to slow the effects of poison. While this is speculation, due to the thunder breathing style having the practitioner focus the blood to their legs he may have found that moving the blood to other parts of his body much easier in comparison to other users at the time.
The second person shown to utilize the thunder breathing technique was Kaigaku, Zenitsu’s fellow classmate.
Kaigaku was yet another unique case as mentioned earlier in that he mastered every form except for the first form. As a human he was not able to beat the moon breathing style user, Kokushibo. Because of this he chose to become a demon and his abilities exponentially increased. Most of the techniques he used produced and are visualized as violent and destructive torrents of black lightning and many of them covered a large area of effect.
Each attack above form one was shown to consist of multiple hits in rapid succession but it isnt clear whether this was the true nature of the style or if Kaigaku had augmented it with his demonic powers. Nevertheless a true master of all the forms of this breathing technique would undoubtedly be very powerful.
Thunder Breathing style Weaknesses and Shortcomings
There aren’t many weaknesses shown during the course of the story but based on the fighting style and what we’ve seen we can make reasonable assumptions as to what weaknesses this form inherently has. Firstly all of the attacks are linear and straightforward making them relatively predictable, especially to those able to perceive the movements of the users or react as fast as them. The techniques heavily rely on its speed in the hopes that the target is unable to perceive or react to them but for higher rank demons this might not be the case.
Due to this reliance on speed and a quick kill, the user may not even anticipate a counter attack from them, when and if their technique fails to kill a demon putting them in a false sense of safety and susceptible to a lethal counter. Another weakness is that the technique requires the user to focus all effort and energy onto one body part which may result in a more taxing after effect as even Zenitsu states that he cannot use godspeed more than twice in a single fight as it would render him unable to move and completely open to attacks.
Despite these shortcomings, in Kimetsu no Yaiba, the thunder breathing style is one of the staples and most impressive styles combining extreme speed with iaijutsu attacks. It’s unfortunate that we are unable to see it in its entirety as throughout the manga there has been no true master shown but it undoubtedly is one of the more powerful burst type techniques available among the many different styles.