I must pass on what was entrusted to me. Never again will I let family and friends die before my eyes. I'll save him. I will save Tanjiro the same way I was saved.
— Giyu Tomioka to himself in A Strong Wave of Nostalgia
Giyu Tomioka (
Giyu is a tall young man of a muscular stature and pale complexion, who is almost always seen wearing an unimpressed or emotionless expression. He has unruly black hair of uneven lengths that sticks up in tufts around his head, which he wears tied back in a low messy ponytail at the base of his neck. His bangs fall over his eyes in an uneven fringe. His eyes are sharp and moderately large, their irises a deep sapphire that fades to a lighter blue and their pupils a bluish-black, and are framed by thin eyebrows.
Giyu wears a dark cyan-tinted version of the standard Demon Slayer uniform with buttoned white leg-wraps and a pair of white zōri with dark blue straps, the socks underneath the same cyan color as his uniform. Over this, Giyu wears a haori that's split down the middle into two different patterns: the right one a solid pink-red, and the left one geometrically patterned with squares of green, orange, and yellow. These haoris were later noted to have belonged to his late older sister, Tsutako Tomioka, and his deceased friend Sabito.
Giyu always wears a serious expression on his face. He has a reserved personality and a strong sense of justice with no tolerance towards those who don't know their own limitations and throw away their lives. Despite letting Nezuko Kamado live due to Tanjiro Kamado's persistence, he shows zero hesitation when killing other Demons and has no respect towards them like most Demon Slayers. Even so, Giyu violated the Demon Slayer Corps' code of conduct when he protected Nezuko during Shinobu's attempt to kill her. This implies that he doesn't completely despise Demons as some other Hashira do, and is willing to make an exception for a Demon by letting them live if they don't kill and eat humans. This shows that he is more pragmatic in dealing with Demons rather than out of hatred for Demons like some other Hashira do.
Giyu appears to have a complex with what others think of him and is shocked when Shinobu Kocho claims he is hated by many. Besides that however, he doesn't seem to be hurt by Shinobu's other pokes, even ignoring her. Despite that, they are in fact decent friends with a good amount of history together.
He is a man of very few words and has trouble interacting with others, so he usually keeps himself at a distance. He even goes out of his way to tell Akaza that he hates talking, and wants to keep his name to himself, as he thinks names are not meant to be shared.
It is revealed later on that Giyu suffers from an inferiority complex which he developed since his participation in the Final Selection. It gets severe to the point where he contemplates abandoning his position as the Water Hashira until Tanjiro helps him realize that instead of acting on his survivor's guilt, he should cherish his life and live on for the people who sacrificed their lives for him. This feeling of survivor's guilt strikes again when he believes Tanjiro has died after the fight against Muzan. Giyu, while he sheds tears, admits how he is always the one who is saved.
Despite his aloof and stoic nature, Giyu is shown to be protective and caring towards those he is close to and considers his friends. This is first shown when he puts his life on the line for Tanjiro and Nezuko by vowing to commit seppuku if the latter were ever to eat a human. Giyu has been shown to lose his composure and usual stoic demeanor when those he cares about are in danger, as seen when he is greatly angered by Akaza's attempt to kill Tanjiro and visibly shocked when he hears the news of Shinobu's death. This is further shown in the fact that he still wears half of Sabito, his late best friend's, and his older sister's haori as a memento of them. However, Giyu appears to be particular in who he shows emotions for, as he doesn't appear to react at all when informed of the passing of Genya Shinazugawa, Muichiro Tokito and Kyojuro Rengoku.
However, Giyu will not let his personal relationships get in the way of his duty. When Tanjiro begins his assault as a demon, Giyu is the first to announce that they need to take him down, despite his brotherly-type relationship with Tanjiro. Following this whole conflict, its clear that Giyu has been able to embrace his happier side, shown by his smiles towards the Kamado siblings and even Sanemi, which shows how much their combative relationship has slowly developed into one of mutual respect.
Abilities & Powers
Overall Abilities: As a Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps, Giyu is a very powerful swordsman. He is able to easily defeat the Father Spider Demon in his transformed state and Rui, Lower Rank 5. During his fight against Akaza, Upper Rank 3, he was able to hold on his own for some time and like Kyojuro, Akaza is amazed by Giyu's skills to the point that he offers to transform the Hashira into Demon, something Akaza only asks of the most worthy of his opponents. Akaza states that he has not fought a Water Hashira as skilled as Giyu in fifty years.
- Enhanced Strength: As a Hashira, Giyu has honed his physical strength to nigh-superhuman levels. Even since the first encounter, he has displayed impressive feats, such as holding down a beserk Demon Nezuko Kamado with one hand effortlessly, and later, knocking her unconscious in one strike. In his Gaiden, he could break extremely strong ropes tied around his wrists when he was arrested for allegedly comitting a crime without effort when talking to Shinobu Kocho. In the Infinity Castle Arc, he pulled Tanjiro Kamado as he was falling with one hand.
- Immense Speed & Reflexes: Giyu is very fast, being able to tie up Inosuke Hashibira before he even realized what happened. He was also able to cut off Rui's head in the blink of an eye. When he awakened his mark, he could move so fast that even Upper Rank 3, Akaza had trouble keeping up.
- Immense Stamina & Endurance: Due to extremely harsh training, Giyu has attained incredible stamina and endurance, mostly displayed in combat. In his battle against Akaza, he managed to continue fighting and remain determined even after sustaining dozens of powerful blows all round his body, severely weakening him, a feat which pleasantly surprised Akaza. In the Sunrise Countdown Arc, Giyu lasted almost an hour fighting the Demon King, Muzan Kibutsuji.
- Tactical Intellect: As a Demon Slayer with incredible talent, Giyu possesses amazing tactical intellect and wits, being able to cycle through all his swordsmanship forms and keep up with 2 phenomenally powerful Demons and win.
- Demon Slayer Mark: During his battle against Akaza, Giyu awakens his Demon Slayer Mark, appearing as a fluid-water like design on his left cheek, complementing his breathing style, Water Breathing. When activated, he gains a tremendous increase in speed, precision, and endurance to the point where he could engage in a long battle against the Upper Rank 3 on even ground.
- Indomitable Will: Giyu has displayed an undaunted will and spirit, never giving up even in the face of Upper Rank 3, Akaza and later on the Demon King, Muzan Kibutsuji, despite being severely injured. Even when losing his arm, he still remained steadfast and managed to play an important role in defeating Muzan.
- Master Swordsman: Being a Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps, Giyu is one of the most powerful and skilled swordsmen in the entire organization. Akaza, the Upper Rank 3, states that Giyu possesses finely developed swordsmanship.
The Water Breathing combat and breathing style mimics water, specifically the flow, flexibility and adaptability of the liquid and replicates it with the user's movements, techniques and abilities. Most, if not all, known techniques involve the user bending their body, arm and weapon in a flowing motion. When utilized properly, the user visualizes themselves manipulating and generating water in a varying shades of blue with white wavy patterns akin to waves resembling water found in classical Japanese paintings, causing water to seemingly emanate from their weapon, surroundings or themselves.
Giyu has created an entirely new technique known as Eleventh Form: Dead Calm.
- First Form: Water Surface Slash (
壱ノ 型 水 面 斬り Ichi no kata: Minamo Giri?) - The swordsman generates enough momentum to create a powerful single concentrated slash.
- Second Form: Water Wheel (
弐ノ 型 水 車Ni no kata: Mizu Guruma?) - The swordsman leaps and vertically spins forward in the air while releasing a flowing attack in a circular motion.
- Third Form: Flowing Dance (
参ノ 型 流 流 舞い San no kata: Ryūryū Mai?) - The swordsman swings and bends their blade in a winding motion along with their body and dances in a flowing pattern, slicing everything in its path.
- Fourth Form: Striking Tide (
肆ノ 型 打ち 潮Shi no kata: Uchishio?) - The swordsman makes multiple consecutive slashes while twisting their body and sword in a flowing fashion to deliver multiple blows simultaneously.
- Fifth Form: Blessed Rain After the Drought (
伍ノ 型 干 天の 慈 雨Go no kata: Kanten no Jiu?) - The swordsman changes the grip on their sword and decapitates the opponent in a single flowing strike that causes little to no pain. It is a “sword strike of kindness” used when the enemy willingly surrenders.
- Sixth Form: Whirlpool (
陸ノ 型ねじれ 渦Roku no kata: Nejire Uzu?) - The swordsman fiercely twists their upper and lower body, creating a whirlpool that cuts anything caught in it. It can be used in a place without footing, and if used underwater can generate a large whirlpool that draws in anything nearby in addition to cutting them up like a large blade.
- Seventh Form: Piercing Rain Drop (
漆ノ 型 雫 波 紋 突き Shichi no kata: Shizuku Hamon Tsuki?) - The swordsman performs a fast and accurate stab, capable of reducing the impact of a moving target. The fastest and only thrusting technique of this Breathing Style.
- Eighth Form: Waterfall Basin (
捌ノ 型 滝 壷Hachi no kata: Takitsubo?) - The swordsman cuts the target vertically in a flowing motion which is most effective when they are falling downward.
- Ninth Form: Splashing Water Flow (
玖ノ 型 水 流 飛沫Ku no kata: Suiryū Shibuki?) - The swordsman changes their footwork in a way that minimises the landing time and surface needed when landing, allowing the user to move without limits. Ideal when fighting in a place with no solid foothold.
- Tenth Form: Constant Flux (
拾ノ 型 生 生 流 転Jū no kata: Seisei Ruten?) - The most powerful Water Breathing technique. The swordsman performs a continuous flowing attack which takes a form of a water dragon that increases in strength and power with each rotation.
- Eleventh Form: Dead Calm (
拾 壱ノ 型 凪Jū Ichi no Kata: Nagi?) - A powerful technique with phenomenal defensive capabilities and the personal creation of the current Water Hashira, Giyu Tomioka. Giyu ceases all body movements and enters a state of complete tranquility, deflecting, blocking and cutting any incoming attacks with imperceptible speed with his blade. However, its effectiveness is limited as fast and numerous attacks can break through.
- Standard Nichirin Katana: Like the majority of Demon Slayers, Giyu harbors a standard Nichirin Blade. His katana is in a shade of blue, complementing his breathing style, Water Breathing. His katana's hilt is hexagonal shaped with a bronze core and with an overlapping fuschia border and his scabbard is black in color. On the side of his katana, the words Destroyer of Demons (
惡 鬼 滅 殺Akki Messatsu?) are carved.
- Giyu's name contains the kanji for "heroism, loyalty and courage" (
義 勇giyū?). His surname contains the kanji for "wealth" and "hill".
- Giyu's favorite food is simmered salmon with daikon (Winter radish). Seeing a fresh plate made Giyu smile, a sight which impressed and also disgusted Shinobu.
- Giyu's rankings in the popularity polls are as follows:
- Giyu ranked 4th place in the first popularity poll with 2,190 votes.
- Giyu ranked 2nd place in the second popularity poll with 13,281 votes.
- Giyu is one of two characters who have their own spin off, the other being Kyojuro Rengoku. Giyu's spin off is a two-part story depicting events after Giyu's encounter with Tanjiro and Nezuko, called Giyu Tomioka: Gaiden (Part 1) and Giyu Tomioka: Gaiden (Part 2).
- Giyu's crow is a very old crow, so it tends to make mistakes when giving messages. He is said to also make Giyu very nervous.
- Giyu's Japanese and English voice actors both share the role of Sasori from Naruto: Shippūden.
- Koyoharu Gotōge's initial design for Giyu was roughly the same as the official design, except it featured him with fingerless sleeves, a cloth that tied the ends of his haori around his waist, and looser hakama pants.
- (To himself regarding Tanjiro Kamado) "Don't cry. Don't despair. Those things will do you no good. Your family is dead and your sister has become a Demon. Your heart is crushed. I know your pain, how you must want to cry out. If I'd come half a day sooner your family might have survived. But there is no turning back time. Fill your heart with anger. Strong, pure anger that gives no quarter. Anger that becomes the unwavering force that drives your limbs. Weakness and empty promises cannot protect your sister or find her a cure. And they certainly cannot avenge your family."
- (To himself) "She must've been craving a feast right from the start, even her own brother. But she protected him and turned her attention to me. I wonder if... just maybe... these two are different."
- (To Shinobu Kocho) "I'm not disliked by people."
- (To Akaza) "If you want to kill Tanjiro... First defeat me!!"