|“||I may be the only swordslady among the pillars who can't cut a Demon's head off. But anyone who creates poison that can kill Demons can be quite amazing.||”|
Shinobu was a petite girl with pale skin and large compound-looking eyes that do not possess pupils, only a haze of gradient, purple iris that becomes darker, the lower it goes, which made her eyes appear similar to those of bugs. She had shoulder-length hair that faded from black into dark purple, usually fastened at the back of her head into a "yakai-maki" style, with a white and purple butterfly ornament with split ear-length bangs that rose a little away from her head before they fell down to frame her face, with two thinner chin-length strands below them. Shinobu was rather short in height and has been described as having a small and weak looking built, which was later reinforced by her saying that she does not possess the physical strength to cut a Demon's head off as the other Pillars do.
Shinobu wore the standard Demon Slayer uniform that consists of a dark purple straight-lined black jacket, and hakama pants that were tucked into a butterfly pattern fabric around her lower legs. She also wore a white haori that belonged to her older sister with a butterfly wing pattern, which faded into a turquoise then pink color down the sleeves, which were cuffed with a black and white dotted trim, and white sandals with purple straps.
Shinobu was rather laid-back, always having a smile on her face regardless of the situation she was in. She seemed to enjoy teasing others and could be rather sadistic about it, enjoying most notably to pick on Giyu Tomioka. Despite her relaxed exterior and her initial claim of wanting to get along with Demons, she can be rather cruel towards them, which is seen when she kills the Older Sister Spider Demon after giving her false hope of helping her, and also attempted to kill Nezuko Kamado without hesitation.
When she is younger, as seen when Shinobu and her sister, Kanae Kocho, rescued the girl who would become Kanao Tsuyuri, she is shown to have a more brash and straightforward demeanor. Sometime after that flashback, however, she started outwardly behaving more like her deceased older sister, and eventually developed the serene smile and attitude to match.
Later on she was shown to have a more compassionate side towards both Tanjiro Kamado and his sister after hearing their full story. Later, during her battle against Doma, Shinobu revealed that she had also suffered from an inferiority complex due to her inferior physical abilities compared to her fellow Pillars, having been jealous of them for possessing taller or more muscular bodies than her, and cursing her own for not developing further to make her more effective in combat. Later, as revealed by Tanjiro; Shinobu, despite her outward calm and tranquil disposition, Shinobu was revealed to have been in a near-constant state of anger due to everything she and others had lost. Her anger and frustration at her own body for being small and thus ineffective in combat, the death of her elder sister, the deaths of her former Tsuguko (aside from Kanao), and finally the orphaning of her apprentice healers, who lost their entire families to Demon attacks and were forced to enter into the Demon Slayer Corps in order to survive.
Abilities and Powers
As a Pillar of the Demon Slayer Corps, Shinobu was a very powerful swordsman.
Despite not possessing the physical strength to cut off a Demon's head common to that of an average Demon Slayer or even the superhuman abilities possessed by her fellow Pillars, Shinobu is nonetheless as dangerous and deadly as the rest of them.
- Master Swordsman: Being a Pillar of the Demon Slayer Corps, Shinobu is one of the most powerful and skilled swordsmen in the entire organization.
- Medical Expertise: Despite not being as combat-talented as the rest of her fellow Pillars, Shinobu instead displayed immense skill and mastery over medical and pharmaceutical fields to make up for her lack of natural-born combat talent, being highly knowledgeable about how to create various poisons and venoms using wisteria flowers. She is capable of killing opponents within seconds, and even managed to create a poison strong enough to drastically weaken Doma, the second strongest Demon of the Twelve Demon Moons. She possessed the necessary skills to slowly saturate her body with poison without negatively impending her own health, as well as the medical skills needed to counteract the venoms and poisons created by Demons. This is seen when she managed to undo the poison that is slowly transforming Zenitsu into a Spider Creature, managing to restore him back to his previous human form.
- Immense Speed: Shinobu had displayed almost superhuman levels of speed, being fast enough to easily evade and out-pace Demons and catch them by surprise. Doma, Upper Moon Two, stated she might have been the fastest Pillar he has ever met.
- Enhanced Strength: Despite being the smallest member of the Demon Slayer Corps and thus having the weakest swing strength due to her small arms, Shinobu instead displayed powerful thrust and stab strength, as the other Pillars noted that a single thrust from her sword could easily pierce a stone boulder in half. Her thrusting speed is also noted to be the fastest among her fellow Pillars.
- Unique weapon: Shinobu used a heavily modified katana made by Tecchin Tecchikawahara as her primary weapon. It is the same as any katana from the handle to slightly above the hilt, but above that, the weapon lost its blade and replaces it with a rod. It ended in a needle-like tip, resembling an insect's stinger in appearance and function. The "stinger" is designed for injection of wisteria poisons into Demons, as Shinobu used her medical expertise to overcome her relative lack of strength and inability to cut off heads. She had also modified the weapon's sheath, using it as a portable poison mixer and loader. She is one of four Pillars to wield a unique weapon, the others being Mitsuri, Obanai Iguro, and Gyomei Himejima.
Breath of the Insect (
- Dance of the Butterflies: Frolic (
蝶ノ 舞 戯れ Chō no mai: Tawamure?) - Shinobu jumps forward towards the opponent and stings them multiple times with her blade to inject her poison.
- Dance of the Bee Sting: Mere Fluttering (
蜂 牙ノ 舞 真 靡き Hōga no mai: Manabiki?) - Shinobu dashes at her target at an incredible speed and uses the momentum of her speed to then strengthen her single thrust into her opponent to inject lethal poison into them.
- Dance of the Dragonfly: Compound Eye Hexagon (
蜻 蛉ノ 舞 複 眼 六 角Seirei no mai: Fukugan rokkaku?) - A six strike attack where Shinobu aims to strike and inject her target with multiple doses of poison at the targeted Demon's weak spots (neck, heart, torso, etc) in order to kill them with a large dose of poison.
- Dance of the Centipede: Hundred-Legged Zigzag (
蜈 蚣ノ 舞 百 足 蛇 腹Gokō no mai: Hyakusoku jabara?) - An attack where Shinobu used her full speed to run a zigzag pattern to confuse her opponents in order to create an opening for her to directly stab her opponents neck and inject poison into their neck and kill them, with the stab's force and power being further enhanced by the momentum of her speed. Doma noted that the sheer speed of this technique is strong enough to destroy an entire wooden bridge.
- Poisonous Body: In order to defeat the Upper Moon Two, Doma, Shinobu heavily altered her body by absorbing and altering her body's physiology with highly concentrated wisteria-based poison. With the assistance of the Demon Doctor, Tamayo, Shinobu is successful in saturating her body with undetectable poison that has completely merged with her body's own cell structures, including those of her blood and internal organs—all the way down to the very tips of her fingernails. With Shinobu's overall size and body weight, her body is the equivalent of 37 kilograms worth of poison, approximately seventy times more than the lethal amount needed to kill an average Demon, with the poison being strong enough to melt Doma, the Upper Moon Two, down to his very bones.
- Shinobu is the dictionary form of shinobi, an alternative name of ninja.
- Her name is spelled with three hiragana characters; which differs from the way Kanae's and Kanao's names are written.
- The engravings on Shinobu's sword reads "evil demon" (悪鬼 akki?) on the right side of the blade, and "destroy/kill" (滅殺 messatsu?) on the left side of the blade.
- Shinobu's surname means "butterfly" (
- Shinobu is ranked in 6th place as of the first character popularity poll with 1,813 votes.
- Her Demon Slayer uniform's jacket is originally designed to leave the center of the chest area open, like with Mitsuri Kanroji's, but, as Shinobu disliked this aspect of its design, she burned this original uniform right in front of the Kakushi who had just given it to her, and requested a fully buttoned version of the uniform instead.
- Shinobu and Mitsuri get along quite well due to them having been the only two female Pillars after Kanae's death. Mitsuri also teaches her western cooking.
- Her parents worked in compounding medicine, a reason why Shinobu is also very talented with medicines.
- (To herself, responding to a question Tanjiro Kamado asked in the past) "That's right, I am angry, Tanjiro. I have been angry for a very, very long time now."