|“||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 is 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 makes her eyes appear similar to those of bugs. She has short hair that fades from black into dark purple, fastened at the back of her head with a white and purple butterfly ornament with split ear-length bangs that rise a little away from her head before they fall down to frame her face, two thinner chin-length strands below them. Shinobu is rather short in height and has been described as having a small and weak looking built, which is 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 wears the standard Demon Slayer uniform that consists of a dark purple straight-lined black jacket, and hakama pants that are tucked into a butterfly pattern fabric around her lower legs. She also wears a white haori with a butterfly wing pattern, which fades into a turquoise and then pink color down the sleeves, which are cuffed with a black and white dotted trim, and white sandals with purple straps.
Shinobu is rather laid-back, always having a smile on her face regardless of the situation she's in. She seems to enjoy teasing others and can 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 attempts to kill Nezuko Kamado without hesitation.
When she was younger, as seen when Shinobu and her sister, Kanae Kocho, rescued the girl who would become Kanao Tsuyuri, she was 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 is 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 reveals that she has 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 body for not developing further to make her more effective in combat. Later, as revealed by Tanjiro; Shinobu, despite her outward calm and tranquil disposition, is revealed to be in a near constant state of anger due to everything she and others have 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 Slaying corps in order to survive.
Abilities and Powers
As a Pillar of the Demon Slaying Corps, Shinobu is 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 Slaying 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 has 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 has even managed to create a poison strong enough to fatally injure and weaken members of the Upper Moons of the Twelve Demon Moons. She possesses the necessary skills to slowly alter her own body to be saturated 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 manages to undo the poison that was slowly transforming Zenitsu into a Spider Creature, managing to restore him back to his previous human form.
- Immense Speed: Shinobu has displayed almost superhuman levels of speed, being fast enough to easily evade and out-pace Demons and catch them by surprise.
- 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 has instead displayed powerful thrust and stab strength, with her other Pillars noting 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 uses 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 loses its blade and replaces it with a rod. It ends in a needle like tip, resembling an insect's stinger in appearance and function. The "stinger" was designed for injection of wisteria poisons into Demons, using her medical expertise to overcome her relative lack of strength and inability to cut off heads. She has also modified the weapon's sheath, using it as a portable poison mixer and loader. She is one of four pillars that use 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 was strong enough to destroy an entire wooden bridge.
- Poisonous Body: In order to defeat the Upper Moon Two, Doma, Shinobu heavily alters 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 read "evil spirit/Demon" (悪鬼 akki?).
- Shinobu's surname means "butterfly" (
- Shinobu was ranked in 6th place as of the first character popularity poll with 1,813 votes.
- Her Demon Slayer uniform's jacket was 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.