What’s up anime fanbase? Welcome back to Anime Analysis, a channel dedicated to discussing and analyzing all things anime has to offer. In today’s blog, we’re going to be talking about flame breathing, the official breath of best boy Rengoku. And by the end of this blog, I want to make you guys an expert on all things fire breathing and its influence throughout the story of Demon Slayer.
As a disclaimer, there will be spoilers as I’ll be delving into the Demon Slayer Mugen Train movie and later parts in the manga, so please proceed with caution. You have been warned. Given that Rengoku is one of my favorite characters in the story, I can’t wait to dive into all of this, and it’s starting right now.
Flame breathing, alongside wind, water, stone, moon, and thunder breathing, is one of the main five breathing styles that’s derived from the original breath created by Yorichi Tsugikuni, which is sun breathing. Its style mimics the intensity of flames throughout its various techniques and abilities. Most of its forms are derived from singular powerful strikes that are meant to end the battle with their opponent quickly.
It’s important to note too that the user of flame breathing isn’t actually creating physical flames to burn their opponent, nor is this true of any other breath style. It’s simply a visual representation to each swordsman’s style in combat, but I just wanted to clarify that for everyone.
The origin of flame breathing stems from one of Yorichi’s students not being as talented as the original demon slayer, as nobody even came close to him in the story. So he created a unique form catered to each of his students, which one of them eventually evolved into what we now know as flame breathing.
The users of this breathing style include Shinjuru Rengoku and his son, Kyoujia Rengoku. However, it’s also important to note that this breathing style was taught to Mitsuri Kanroji. She mentions how the breathing style didn’t suit her, so she derived her own unique style offset from flame breathing that we now know today as love breathing.
This breathing style is first seen when best boy Rengoku makes his appearance on the demon train. I don’t know about you guys, but upon first seeing this character, I could tell that he was a complete beast in combat. Let me know your initial thoughts on the character of Rengoku in the comments down below.
During the events of the Mugen Train arc, he uses his trademark flame breathing to save everyone on the train from lower moon 1, Enmu, covering 5 of the train’s carts without causing a single casualty. Seriously, one of my favorite characters in the entire series. I can’t say that enough. And of course, this breath style appears in Rengoku’s signature fight with Akaza, showcasing its massive destructive power even against the likes of one of the strongest demons in the series.
But going into the individual forms of flame breathing, there are nine total forms with only six being shown to us throughout the series. What do you think the other three are that we haven’t seen? Leave a comment down below what you think they may be.
The first form of sun breathing is called unknowing fire, where the user charges at the target at incredibly high speeds and unleashes a single horizontal slash seeking to decapitate their opponent. This was used against the first demon who appeared on the demon train. Although it’s important to note that these two were in Rengoku’s dream caused by Enmu. The second form is called rising scorching sun, where the user releases an arcing sword slash upwards in almost a semi-circular motion.
This was used to prevent Akisa from delivering a fatal blow on Tanjido as he was healing from his battle against Enmu. Flame breathing third form, blazing universe, is essentially a large downward sword strike planning on bisecting their opponent in two. The fourth form is blooming flame undulation, one of my favorite fire breathing techniques, is where the user swings their blade in a circular motion that can block incoming projectile attacks. We see this one where Goku blocks Akka’s air type distance punches.
Flame breathing fifth form, flame tiger, is where the user performs a number of sword slashes that take the form of a charging tiger. Pretty badass if I would say so myself. Last but not least, we have flame breathing 9th form, esoteric art Rengoku. The final form of flame breathing sees the user dash forward at such a high speed that the user is enveloped in a flame dragon and has so much force that the ground cracks beneath their feet. The user then unleashes a devastating attack capable of severely damaging their target.
A fun fact about this is, due to it being called an esoteric art and named after Rengoku, it’s implied that only members of the Rengoku family can perform this breathing technique. So with those forms described, I think it begs the question of how strong flame breathing truly is. And while I understand that it’s not necessarily the breathing style that makes the demon slayer strong, flame breathing is a direct descendant of sun breathing, the original and strongest breath style.
So judging off what we’ve seen in the anime and manga, I would say that flame breathing sits in the upper tier of breath styles, given its destructive nature as well as its direct lineage to the breath of the sun itself. Where do you guys think flame breathing sits in the spectrum of breath styles? Leave your thoughts in the comments down below. I’d love to hear them.
Sorry, this blog was a little on the shorter side, but I do have some longer-form analysis content planned for the future, as well as more explained blogs on these breath styles, so I’d love to hear you guys’ thoughts on what you think of them so far. So stay tuned for that. Until next time, stay curious anime fam. Peace.
That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.