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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 to Kumo Oni: Ane, Chapter 41


Shinobu Kocho ( () (ちょう) しのぶ Kochō Shinobu?) was a Demon Hunter and the Insect Pillar of the Demon Killing Corps.[1][2]

Appearance

Shinobu has short black hair tied back with a purple butterfly ornament and parted fringes. She also has grey compound looking eyes similar to those in bugs. 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 like other the other Pillars.

She uses the standard Demon Hunter uniform of a straight-lined black jacket with black hakama pants tucked into a butterfly pattern fabric around her lower legs and white sandals. She also wears a grey haori with a butterfly wing pattern, which fades into a turquoise and pink color on the sleeves.

Personality

Shinobu is rather laid back, always having a smile on her face regardless of the situation. She seems to enjoy teasing others and can be rather sadistic about it.[3] Despite her relaxed exterior and her initial claim of wanting to get along with demons, she can be rather cruel towards them such as killing the spider older sister after giving her false hope of helping her, and attempting to kill Nezuko without hesitation.[4]

Later on she is shown to have a more compassionate side towards both Tanjiro and Nezuko after hearing their full story.[5][6]Later during her battle against Doma, Shinobu revealed that she 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. It was also revealed that she also held a strong amount of frustration and rage, due to everything and everyone she lost that she usually held back.

History

Shinobu was born as the youngest daughter within the Kocho household, living alongside her mother, father and older sister Kanae. She was raised in a loving and caring household until her parents were slaughtered by demons, before her and her sister's eyes.

Just when the demon was about to attack her and her sister, they were saved by the pillar, Himejima Gyoumei, who slayed the demon. Determined by the pain and suffering they endured, Shinobu and Kanae both promised to become demon slayers to protect each other as well as prevent other people from enduring the same losses they had to experience.

Later in her life, while accompanying her sister Kanae on a trip. The sisters encountered a young girl being led away as a slave on a bridge. Intrigued by her, Kanae took an interest and decided to take the girl back to the Butterfly Estate, against Shinobu's initial wishes. They eventually purchased the girl, named Tsuyuri, from her master and trained her within the Butterfly Estate to become the next tsuguko.

Synopsis

Natagumo Mountain Arc

Shinobu receives orders

Shinobu and Giyuu receive their orders

Shinobu is present when Kagaya Ubuyashiki receives news of the situation unfolding at Natagumo Mountain, and is given the order to travel there and assist the lower-ranked swordsmen. Acknowledging this, the female Pillar states that it would be great if everyone could get along, regardless if they are human or Demon, and asks Giyu if he agrees.[7]

Shinobu appears behind

Shinobu appears behind the elder sister Demon

Much later, Shinobu appeared before a heavily injured Agatsuma Zenitsu, greeting him and asking if he is alright.[8] She then suddenly appeared behind the elder sister member of Rui's Demon family, inquiring if the strings came out of her palms, wishing the creature a good evening, and commenting on the beauty of the moon that night. Startled, the Demon attacked the Demon Hunter with her strings, but Shinobu dodged them all effortlessly. Drawing her sword, Shinobu dryly commented that this attack means the Demon doesn't want to get along with her.[9]

Shinobu asks

Shinobu asks the Demon how many people she had killed

The elder sister Demon quickly begged for mercy, stating that she should be killed if she disobyed Rui. Shinobu, sympathizing with the creature's plight, asked her to cooperate by answering a few questions, the first of which was how many people she had killed. The Demon's answer was five, but Shinobu assured her that she didn't have to lie, complimenting her string technique from earlier, and amended her answer to eighty humans. Despite the creature's stubborn denial, the female swordsman noted that both of them came from the west side of the mountain, and on that side, she had found forty of the Demon's cocoons. She added that she isn't angry, but only trying to be accurate. When asked what the point of checking this information is, Shinobu told the elder sister Demon that in order for them to be friends and to satisfy those who have died, she will have to endure punishment, explaining in gruesome detail what she had in mind for this, and adding that the creature won't die from it, so there will be no aftereffects.[10]

Shinobu's Caprice Attack

Shinobu defeats her foe

Enraged, the Demon attacked Shinobu again, but the female Demon Hunter quickly bypassed her, simultaneously landing her "Caprice" attack on the creature. She lamented the Demon's poor choice, turning and subsequently watching as the creature collapsed. Shinobu told the prone creature not to let her guard down just because she couldn't cut her head off, explaining that she instead utilized poison as her weapon. She then introduced herself as the Insect Pillar of the Demon Killing Corps, stating that although she may be the only one among her order to not possess the ability to cut off a Demon's head, poison that can kill the creatures is still a potent tool. She then apologized, realizing that the elder sister Demon was already dead and couldn't hear her explanation.[11]

Shinobu's plan

Shinobu offers to kill Nezuko with painless poison

Shinobu then proceeded to cut open the Demon's silk cocoon, freeing Murata. She asked him if he is alright, and answered his quick question by stating that she had killed the Demon with poison from the wisteria flower, commenting afterwards on how lucky he is for only having his clothes melted off by the creature's attack.[12] She later attacked Kamado Tanjiro and Nezuko, but her attack was deflected by Giyu. She questioned his interference, noting that if he continued this course of action, everyone would hate him.[13] The Insect Pillar asked her fellow Demon Hunter to get out of the way, apologizing to him when he replied that he wasn't hated. She then turned her attention to Tanjiro, telling him that he is protecting a Demon and that he should get away from her. The young Demon Hunter exclaimed that Nezuko was his sister, prompting Shinobu to take pity on her and plan to kill her with a poison that inflicted no pain.[14]

Shinobu questions Giyu

Shinobu questions Giyu's violation of Demon Hunter conduct

Giyu then instructed Tanjirou to run, which Shinobu noted to be a violation of Demon Hunter's conduct.[15] Later, while being restrained by Giyuu's arm, she lamented that she had been in the right to come kill Demons and thus had broken no rules, but noted that Giyu had, asking him what his intent was. Her fellow Pillar remained quiet, prompting her to angrily ask him to say something. Giyu replied that it had all started two years previously, causing Shinobu to note that the length of time was a problem and wonder if he was holding a grudge because she had said he was hated. Shen then extended a blade from her right shoe and prepared to attack Giyuu, only to be stopped by an important message from a Kasugaigarasu to restrain and bring Tanjiro and Nezuko to headquarters.[16] Later, at the headquarters of her order, the female Demon Hunter stood alongside her fellow Pillars in front of a restrained Tanjiro.[17]

Functional Recovery Training Arc

Shinobu offers water

Shinobu gives Tanjiro water

She quickly informed the confused youth where he was at and that he was on trial for violation of Demon Hunter conduct.[18] When Obanai Iguro pointed out that Giyuu had also committed this crime and asks how they are going to deal with him, Shinobu told him that they would think of a punishment for him later, being more interested in hearing Tanjiro's story. She gave the youth some water when he started coughing, asking him to tell them his story, also informing him that it has painkiller in it but not to strain himself, as his injuries are still present. She then listened quietly as Tanjiro explained his sister's circumstances.[19]

Obanai bows

Shinobu bows to her leader

Shinobu continued to listen to Tanjiro's story, but the dialogue is interrupted by the sudden appearance of Shinazugawa Sanemi, who grabs Nezuko's box. She warned her fellow Pillar not to act on his own, but he ignored this, stabbing the trapped Demon with his sword, much to her displeasure.[20] She then watched as an enraged Tanjiro charged the Wind Pillar,[21] and afterwards looked at an apologetic Kanroji Mitsuri.[22] Shinobu's leader, Kagaya Ubuyashiki, then arrived, causing her and her fellow Pillars to bow in respect.[23] Kagaya then asked for them all to accept Tanjirou and Nezuko, surprising Shinobu, who remained silent as her fellows argued over the decision,[24] and as Kagaya's assistant read Urokodaki Sakonji's letter.[25]

Shinobu shocked

Shinobu shocked by Kagaya's revelation that Tanjirou had been in contact with Kibutsuji Muzan

Shinobu continued her silence through even more arguments, but was shocked as her leader revealed that Tanjiro had come into contact with Kibutsuji Muzan. She and her fellow Pillars were then halted from even more debating by a simple gesture from their leader, with the Insect Pillar remaining silent as Kagaya explained more of his reasoning for pardoning Tanjiro and Nezuko.[26] Shinobu then cautioned Tanjiro from using any of his breath techniques while pinned by Obanai, as his lungs might explode from the pressure. She called out his name in alarm as he ignored her advice and tried anyways.[27] After the incident with Sanemi and Nezuko had been resolved, she listened quietly as Kagaya explained the dedication of the Pillars to Tanjiro.[28]

With everything resolved, Shinobu suggests they take care of Tanjiro over at her place, instructing the Kakushi to do this, and then waited for Kagaya to start the Pillar meeting.[29] After the meeting had ended, she visited Tanjiro and his friends at the Butterfly Estate, asking them how they are doing and instructing them to begin their functional recovery training.[30]

Dimensional Infinity Fortress Arc

Death

Shinobu being consumed by Doma

Shinobu is defeated and absorbed by Doma

Inside the Dimensional Fortress that Muzan just created after Oyakata suicidal move, Shinobu entered into a room and discovered Doma eating a group of his own Female Disciples,when he finally noticed her Doma reacted with delight at having another meal walk right into his room and noted to thank Nakime,one of his disciples still alive,begged Shinobu to save her,annoyed by this he then attempted to finish her off,only for Shinobu to save her and later asked her if she was alright,However before she could answer the young woman seemingly exploded and died right in front of her,Angered by this and Doma's insistence that he saved her by killing her and upon noticing a pair of Steel fans that Doma uses as his main weapon, Shinobu angrily inquires him if he remembers the Haori that originally belonged to her Elder Sister. Doma finally remembers her by the butterfly-wing design Haori that Kanae once wore and playfully expressed his disappointment at not being able to eat Kanae due to the sun rising,which then further angered Shinobu where she then attacked him using her Breath of Insects:Dance of the Bee-Sting:"Mere Fluttering", to inflict a powerful stab directly in Doma's right eyeball,impressing him since he couldn't block it,initially dismissive of her since he correctly guesses she lacked the physical strength to cut of a demon's head off he however became excited upon realizing that Shinobu's true strength lied in poisoning her opponents,Shinobu initially hoped that the poison would be effective enough to kill him but was instead disappointed to learn that Doma had already received information regarding her poison from her battle against the Spider Family of Lower Moon Five,Rui and managed to break down and render her poison non lethal and managed to heal himself from her attack,Later she was further backed into a corner due to Doma now rapidly developing antibodies and adjusting his body against her poison that after a mere five slashes and injections of poison was now resistant to them,not only that but due to his Blood Demon Technique of frozen mist it was becoming increasingly difficult to breath due to the cold flesh tearing ice mixed into the breathable air,now hedging her bets on injecting a large dose to kill him by using a six stab attack,Shinobu was preparing to strike him using Breath of Insects:Dance of the Dragonfly:"Compound Eye Hexagon",successfully hitting him,however she was also simultaneously attacked by him in return,cutting both her collarbone,ribs and puncturing one of her lungs,finally near her wits end and almost losing hope for victory,Shinobu drew more strength from hearing words of encouragement from her older sister,she then prepared to strike at him again despite her mortal injuries and immense pain she was in,and attacked him using Breath of Insects:Dance of the Centipede:"Hundred-Legged Zigzag",to confuse and strike Doma directly at his neck, impaling him directly to the ceiling. exhausted and wounded Shinobu was initially triumphant upon seeing Doma being poisoned and seemingly dying from her attack only for her to be further enraged upon him recovering near instantly.

Unfortunately for Shinobu, Doma manages to catch her as they were falling from the ceiling and crush her ribs by bear-hugging her,were he then began mocking her and calling her entire attempt to defeat him a waste of effort and began assuring her she would live peacefully as a part of him,only for her to spitefully curse him as she was being slowly killed by him. In the end, she was absorbed by the upper moon, Doma, just before her disciple Tsuyuri Kanao arrived. Her death caused Kanao to go berserk in order to try and save her,only to be repelled by the Annoyed Doma who then told her not to interfere when he was in the middle of absorbing someone,successfully devouring Shinobu's body until only her Butterfly shaped hair piece was the only thing left of her.

It later turned out that She did predict her death at Doma's hand. So, with the help of Tamayo, she had began to intake and absorb Wisteria Flower Poison regularly for over a year, in hoping that if Douma consumes her and by proxy devour 37 Kilograms worth of Wisteria Poison,Nearly 70 times the lethal would be enough to kill the Upper Moon and if not at least weaken him enough to be slain by her allies later. Ultimately, Shinobu plan works out,As Kanao, along with Inosuke manages to sever Doma's disfigured head from his body, fulfilling her revenge at last.

Inside the Limbo, Shinobu and Doma's head are conversing with each other. Doma finally shows emotion by falling in love with Shinobu and proposes to go to hell together. She declines cruelly, with a smile.

Shinobu was last seen with her sister, Kanae in giving their blessing to Kanao, before happily reuniting with their parents in the afterlife.

Relationships

Giyu Tomioka

Giyu and Shinobu are both Pillars of the Demon Hunters. They have opposite personalities and initially seem to be at odds with each other. Shinobu appears to be under the impression that Giyu is a airhead and a klutz and assumed he was spacing out in front of a demon and was trying to save him.[31] After he deflected her attack she was angry at him for getting in the way and proceed to remark people disliked him as a result.[32]

Later on both her and Giyu come to care about the Kamado siblings and are visibly upset by the hostile treatment of the other Pillars towards them. When Giyu later heard about Shinobu's death, he was visibly shocked.

Tanjiro Kamado

Shinobu first met Tanjiro after she attempted to kill Nezuko and told him it was dangerous to be so close to a demon.[33] Later on during the Pillar's trial she is the only one trying to hear Tanjiro's side of the story and has a sad expression on her face while Tanjiro desperately tries to explain that Nezuko has not hurt anybody.[34]

She comes to care about both Tanjiro and Nezuko and is visibly concerned about them, even letting them rest on her estate so they are able to recover from their injuries.[35] Tanjiro was visibly sad when he heard about Shinobu death.

Tsuyuri Kanao

Shinobu's chosen Tsuguko (successor) due to her considerable talent and exceptional skills as a demon hunter. They share a sister-like Bond over the time. When Shinobu dies in Doma's hand, Kanao successfully avenges her with the help of Inosuke. Shinobu and Kanae later ives their blessing to Kanao before departing to the afterlife. With Kanao later breaking down in tears. Kanao also keeps Shinobu and Kanae butterfly hair accessories as Memento.

Zenitsu Agatsuma

Shinobu meets Zenitsu during the Natagumo mountain arc, and treats his wounds after he has slain one of the spider demons.

Doma

Shinobu held a strong resentment and hatred for Doma, Due to him killing her Older Sister,this hatred and disgust became even stronger when she actually meet him and came to understand and see first hand his twisted personality and idea's about giving his disciples "Salvation" by killing and eating them, later during their battle she continuously cursed him due to him not being affected by her poisons and sword Techniques again and again, until she was defeated and devoured by him. However, thanks to Shinobu heavily saturated poisoned body, Doma was severely weakened due to the poison and was weakened enough to be eventually successfully slain by Kanao and Inosuke. Inside of Limbo, Doma having heard and touched by Shinobu's strong faith and belief in her comrades and fellow Demon Slayers ability to defeat the demons and slay Muzan Kibutsuji,He seemingly began to develop genuine feelings of romantic attractions and began to doubt his initial belief that neither heaven or hell or paradise existed and happily asked her if she wanted to go to hell with him for a date, to which she replied, "after you, you F***king bastard! with the usual kind/calm smile on her face as a final act of spite towards the demon.

Abilities and Powers

Natural Abilities

Despite not possessing the physical strength to cut of a demons head common to that of a average demon slayer or even the superhuman abilities possessed by her fellow pillars,Shinobu is non the less as dangerous and deadly as the rest of them,She has instead made up for these shortcomings using her extensive knowledge of medicine and poisons and acts as the official head doctor/medical expert of the Demon Slayer corps,having used her skills and knowledge to create a wide array of deadly westeria based poisons incorporated in her thrust/stab swordstyle to make up for her inability to cut of demon heads and using her knowledge to create several antidotes and anti-venoms specifically created to counter the types of poisons/drugs created by demons,as seen when she cured Zenitsu Agatsuma of the poisons that was slowly transforming him into a spider creature.

Swordsmanship

Breath of the Insect ( (むし) () (きゅう) Mushi no kokyū?)[36]: The Insect Breath is branched out from the Flower Breath, which itself is branched out of the Water Breath. While Shinobu may be the only one of the Pillars incapable of beheading demons, she is still as deadly as them. Using this unique breath, she coats her weapon with poison made from wisteria flower and alters the mixture and composition of the poisons inside her scabbard.

  1. Dance of the Butterflies: Frolic ( (ちょう) (まい) (たわむ) Chō no mai: Tawamure?)[37] - A jump forward towards the opponent which stings him multiple times with her blade to inject her poison.
  2. Dance of the Bee Sting: Mere Fluttering ( (ほう) () (まい) () (なび) Hōga no mai: Manabiki?)[38] - Shinobu dashes at her target at an incredible speed and using the momentum of her speed to then strengthen her single thrust into her opponent to inject lethal poison into them.
  3. Dance of the Dragonfly: Compound Eye Hexagon ( (せい) (れい) (まい) (ふく) (がん) (ろっ) (かく) Seirei no mai: Fukugan rokkaku?)[39] - A six strike attack where Shinobu aims to strike and inject her target with several attacks to inject multiple area's of her targets bodies with poison.
  4. Dance of the Centipede: Hundred-Legged Zigzag ( () (こう) (まい) (ひゃく) (そく) (じゃ) (ばら) Gokō no mai: Hyakusoku jabara?)[40] - 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 bridge.

Body Modification

Poisonous Body - In order to defeat the Upper Moon Two, Doma, Shinobu heavily altered her body by absorbing and altering her bodies physiology with highly concentrated Wisteria based poison. With the assistance of the Demon Doctor, Tamayo, Shinobu was successful in saturating her body with undetectable poison that had completely merged with her bodies own cell structures of her blood, internal organs and all the way down to the very tips of her fingernails and with Shinobu overall size and body wight, 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.

Trivia

  • The engravings on Shinobu's sword read 悪鬼 - evil spirit / demon.
  • 胡蝶 (Kochou, こちょう) means butterfly.
  • しのぶ (Shinobu) means ninja. It is quite an old-fashioned naming style for girls.
  • Shinobu was ranked in 6th place as of the first character popularity poll with 1,813 votes.

Quotes

References

  1. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 41, Page 19
  2. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 45, Page 7
  3. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 44, Page 4
  4. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 41, Page 16
  5. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 45, Page 14
  6. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 47, Page 7
  7. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 28, Page 18-19
  8. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 35, Pages 15-17
  9. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 41, Pages 8-10
  10. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 41, Pages 10-15
  11. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 41, Pages 15-19
  12. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 42, Pages 2-3
  13. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 43, Pages 18-19
  14. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 44, Pages 4-6
  15. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 44, Page 7
  16. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 44, Pages 15-19
  17. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 44, Page 22
  18. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 45, Page 1
  19. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 45, Pages 5-9
  20. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 45, Pages 11-14
  21. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 45, Page 16
  22. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 45, Page 19
  23. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 46, Page 4
  24. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 46, Pages 6-7
  25. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 46, Pages 9-11
  26. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 46, Pages 14-17
  27. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 47, Pages 7-8
  28. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 47, Page 17
  29. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 48, Pages 2-3
  30. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 48, Page 19
  31. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Volume 5 Extra
  32. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Volume 5 Extra
  33. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 44, Page 5
  34. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 45, Page 12
  35. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 48, Page 2
  36. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 41, Page 16
  37. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga - Chapter 41 (p. 16)
  38. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga - Chapter 141 (p. 14)
  39. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga - Chapter 142 (p. 6, 7)
  40. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga - Chapter 142 (p. 15, 16)


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