Can Demon Slayers Really Produce Elements From Their Swords?

Demon Slayer is currently one of the hottest anime and has been for the past couple of years. What with its compelling story, heart-wrenching moments, and awesome characters. But I believe I speak for a lot of fans when I say that what truly separates Demon Slayer from most anime, is the animation.

Demon Slayer Elements Pic 1
Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke’s styles in unison.

With breathtaking (heh) scenery and backgrounds, and mind-blowing fight scenes, you can really feel the love and passion that’s been put into every single frame of the show (even with the comedic scenes). It simply amazes me every time water starts flowing out of Tanjiro’s Nichirin sword, every time Zenitsu seemingly teleports with a thunderclap, every time Inosuke does… Inosuke things.

It’s all smoothly and beautifully executed and just leaves the audience with a sense of pure hype.

But just how “pure” are those scenes really? Can Demon Slayers actually generate elements using their Nichirin swords?

Are the elements real?

Demon Slayer Elements Pic 1
Tanjiro using Water Breathing.

The direct answer is, sad to say, no. Demon Slayers cannot magically produce whatever element or power their breathing style is based on. The visualization of the elements in the manga and anime is simply meant to convey what the swordsman’s fighting style looked like and how it felt to any onlookers or the person/demon they’re fighting.

Demon slayers who used water breathing move fluidly yet can also strike hard like waves or waterfalls.

On the other hand, thunder-breathing users excel with blindingly fast and strong strikes and move straight for the kill or maneuver with zig-zaggy patterns.

But hey, don’t just believe me, believe the creators. Here’s the author explaining it in the manga:

Demon Slayer Elements Pic 1
A panel from the Demon Slayer manga confirming that the elements are not literal.

So yeah. Demon Slayers aren’t the equivalent of benders from Avatar: The Last Airbender who learned how to use swords. It looks amazing though, doesn’t it?

Despite this though, Demon Slayers have studied the element they based their breathing technique on so much, that they can emulate it almost perfectly. Even to the point that Demons can “feel” the elements, like feeling the heat of “fire” from flame or sun breathing or feeling gentle rain hitting their face when decapitated by a water breather’s 5th form.

Do Demon Slayers even have any powers then?

Demon Slayer Elements Pic 4
Tanjiro’s Sun breathing technique.

The answer to this question isn’t as straightforward as the last time. Just keep in mind that we’re talking about fiction.

In our world, the feats that Demon Slayers perform are definitely incredible enough to be considered superhuman. People tend to not move faster than the eye can see.

But perhaps, in the world of Demon Slayer, these feats are simply peak human and many people can reach it should they be dedicated enough to undergo the training (and survive).

So, it’s simply up to your own definition of what “superpowers” are. If you base it on our standards then, they are superhuman, if you think humans in Demon Slayer are just naturally stronger and faster than real-world humans, then Demon Slayers may just be peak humans.

Eager to read more about Demon Slayer? Here’s why the Hashira aren’t sent on missions together.

Written by Lucas Beaumont

Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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