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Giyu Tomioka

Giyu Tomioka is a character in Manga Kimetsu no Yaiba, he is a demon slayer.

「Don’t cry! Don’t be desperate! Not now!」

Overview

RankHashira
Birthday8th February
Age19 at the beginning of the story)→turned 21 when the second appearance
Height176cm
Weight69kg
Birth place Nogata village Toyotama County, Tokyo(now: Nogata Nakano District)
HobbyTsume shogi
Favorite food simmered salmon with radish
CVTakahiro Sakurai


As a “Hashira” of the Demon Slayer Corps, Giyu is the most powerful swordsman.

Giyu appeared at the scene when Nezuko Kamado who was turned into a demon was attacking Tanjiro, and insisted on killing Nezuko. However, he withdrew his sword after seeing Tanjiro’s genuineness of protecting his sister even though he might be killed instead, and also Nezuko’s protecting her brother.
He then told Tanjiro the address of his mentor Sakonji Urokodaki and showed Tanjiro the path of becoming a demon slayer.


Character

From the first appearance of Giyu, the Nichirin Sword he held has been engraved 「DESTROY DEMONS」which showed that he was ready a first-tier"Water Hashira”.
Giyu has bright eyes and graceful eyebrows. He is cool and calm. Moreover, he masters the “Water Breathing”swordsmanship in his teens. All makes him a beautiful young man as perfect as a picture.





Giyu was a man of very few words (「dislike speaking」in his own statement), and not good at communication.
His colleague Shinobu Kochō the Insect Hashira regarded him as「a clumsy boy」. When talking about his behaviors during the mission in Mount Natagumo, Shinobu bitterly rebuked Giyu that 「It was the way you behave that made everyonehate」you.
Giyu refused to accept this claim and said “Nobody hates me!”. However, he was still shocked though almost imperceptible in others’ eyes.

そんなだからみんなに嫌われるんですよ


Before this, Giyu deterred Shinobu in whose eyes Nezuko was a monster demon to be destroyed from killing Nezuko, but did not explain to Shinobu why he did this. As a demon slayer, Giyu should never let Kamado kids live, but he did so. His perplexing behavior also generated Shinobu’s sharp words against him.
Despite Giyu’s persistence, Shinobu still tried to kill Nezuko. In the end, Giyu applied a use of true force on Shinobu to suppress her action.

Later in the Hashira Meeting, it was very obvious that Giyu just never explained. Except Shinobu, he hadn’t talked to any other Hashiras about the situation. That’s why Shinobu made the claim that he was 「hated」.
In the Hashira Meeting that decided Kamado kids’ treatment, Giyu did not say a word. The displeasure He caused among other Hashiras, the easily misunderstood utterance during the Hashira Training, all these together isolated him from other Hashiras.
In particular, Sanemi Shinazugawa and Obanai Iguro made it public that they “dislike” Giyu. They would end up in a quarrel in every Hashira Meeting. The tense was intense insomuch as it made a record in the official fan book.

As described above, Giyu’s reticence has become a common knowledge. Giyu was a man of very few words, never explain, never prolong a quarrel. Instead of talking, he preferred and was comfortable with acting. He was portrayed as an enigmatic young man lack of coordination.

However, the point is: the behavior that he showed a surviving path to the Kamado kids at his first appearance and his interior monologue show that Giyu was not coldblooded as he might appear.
He was just too clumsy of speech thus always misunderstood.
Giyu still led the Kamado kids to Urokodaki who later became their mentor after rebuking Tanjiro who begged for sparing his sister’s life. This also showed Giyu’s gentleness although hard to understand.

To Tanjiro, Giyu is the senior fellow disciple who learns from the same teacher-Sakonji Urokodaki, who is the Water Breathing trainer.
He wrote a letter to Urokodaki recommending Tanjiro as the one「who may be able to find a way to break through」. Giyu was harsh to Tanjiro but at the same time admired his determination. He also doubted the authenticity of his position as the Water Hashira, so to some extent he regarded Tanjiro as the one who might master Water Breathing and become the next Water Hashira.
Giyu’s gentleness and good nature, though not obvious, can be seen in many of his demeanors. The way he resonated with Tanjiro who just lost his family and fell into deep desperation show that Giyu himself might lose a close person because of the demons. This was a common case among demon slayers, thus including Giyu, demon slayers showed no mercy and hesitation in killing demons.
Unlike Shinobu who claimed to 「want to get along with demons」, Giyu insisted that「as long as demons continued devouring humans, that was impossible」. So his trust in the Kamado Kids was a complete exception.
In a Hashira Meeting, an open and strong statement was made that in the event that Nezuko did assault a human Giyu and his mentor Urokodaki would atone by committed seppuku.

By the way, Giyu’s favorite food is simmered salmon with radish. When presented with this dish, he would show his smile despite he always wears a serious expression.

Ability

Physical ability

As a well-trained demon slayer who has passed all the tests, Giyu’s physical ability can’t be measured by comparing it to normal humans. What’s more, the later introduced 「Full Focus Breathing」can instantaneously boost his strength and agility to equal a demon’s.

Full Focus  Water Breathing

水之呼吸


An amplified cardiorespiratory endurance can increase the amount of oxygen in one’s blood thus can instantaneously boost one’s strength and agility to slicing through demons with a stroke of slicing water. Giyu learned “Water Breathing” from the trainer Sakonji Urokodaki, and succeeded in becoming a Hashira by developing all the “Water Breathing” skills.

  • first style ~ tenth style
For specific information please refer to the Water Breathing entry. It is a technique cultivated by Sakonji to train demon slayers.
However, even the same techniques, when used by different people, say, a normal demon slayer Tanjiro and the Hashira Giyu, though both are fatal to demons, will differentiate from each other greatly in sharpness and swiftness. The most typical example: by using this technique Giyu has sliced open the body of a major demon, which had not been wounded a little by Inosuke Hashibira, like slicing a piece of tofu. The great disparity in strength between these two cannot be more obvious.
  • Eleventh style Dead calm

冨岡義勇:水の呼吸 拾壱ノ型 凪


A technique created by Giyu himself. With swords drawn from the flesh body, innumerable slashing would come out randomly, which would disable and nullify attacks that come within its reach. This technique gets the name of dead clam signifying windless sea surface for its ability to nullify everything. In the Manga, this technique cut off all the claimed most stiff thread that Rui has and cut off his neck in an instant.

Equipment

As a demon slayer Giyu is furnished with uniform and Nichirin Sword.

Nichirin Sword

The Nichirin swords are forged from a unique scarlet ore which is found on Sunlight Mountain and can constantly absorb sunlight all year round. Decapitation by Nichirin sword is one of the only ways a human can kill an immortal Demon. Hashiras’ Nichirin swords are engraved four kanji characters meaning “DESTROY DEMONS”.
Nichirin swords change color depending upon the user, making each blade unique. Giyu’s sword is dark water blue which implies that he masters the “Water Breathing” techniques. The handguard is a hexagon that reminds people of a tortoiseshell.

Uniform

There is a kanji character meaning “DESTROY” on the back of the uniform. It is stand-up collar style, made of special materials that are breathable, do not easily get wet and do not easily ignite. It is also highly durable and cannot be slightly scratched by minor demons.
On top of the stand-up collar uniform, Giyu wears a haori (half-length Japanese overcoat) which is half plain on the left and half hexagonal pattern on the right. This pattern does not exist in the real world. Inosuke calls it 「half haori」so it can be assumed that even in the Manga realm it is rarely seen. However, in the main story, from GIyu’s retrospection, it can be assumed that the left half of this haori belongs to him.


Kasugai crow

Giyu’s crow is quite old, almost a grandpa bird and prone to make mistakes in delivering messages. It might flap its little wings and rush to Giyu in a fight and make him nervous. Currently in the peak of the fight with Akaza, it tried to rush to Giyu while murmuring the words of 「order…」
(at this moment Tanjiro stopped the bird by shouting at it 「not an order!」 ).

famous and confusing lines

  • Do not let others have the ultimate power of deciding life and death!!


「Never kneel down! That only makes yourself vulnerable!!」「If it works out this way, your family would still be alive right now」

「How can a weak man like you have any hope of finding a way」「to cure your sister? Or hunt down a demon?」

「Don’t be ridiculous!!」

「The weak ones have no rights. They do not get to make choices.」「All they can do is being crushed by the strong ones!!」

「Maybe the demons know the way to cure your sister」「But do not think for even a moment that any one of them is going to respect your wishes」

「Just like I have no respect for you」「That is reality」

「Why do you throw yourself over like that」「Was that your way of protecting her!?」

「Why don’t you swing that hatchet, and why do you ever turn your back to me!!」「Those mistakes led to her capture」

「I would basically skewer the both of you. I have been done with it 」

Those were the lines Giyu talked to Tanjiro who kneeled down in the snow begging him to spare the life of his sister. Judging by Giyu’s character, the length of those lines is equivalent to normal people’s speech .
Those lines show the fugitiveness and cruelty of life and pick up Giyu’s lines (psychological activity) at the beginning of the main story. However……

  • My head and back hurt so much. Upper Moon Three, good job of throwing me so far
These are Giyu’s lines when facing the most formidable enemy ever.
These lines also make a fact very clear that Giyu can never be a teacher of Japanese.

an organization not recognized by the government
In Tomioka Giyu Gaiden, Giyu has been asked 「who are you?」
By the way, he said this line with the sword under his armpit (also as a gesture to show his sword) in a village where a mysterious slaughter happened in the previous day.
This was the same way as telling people 「I am a terrorist. Of course, he was tied up right away.
Even a handsome man may feel that his hands are tied facing this situation. These are well-known lines of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine.

History

The following content contains spoilers about Giyu’s history before he joins the Demon Slayer Corps


















Giyu lived with his older sister Tsutako on their parents’ legacy. The day before her scheduled wedding, Tsutako sacrificed her life to protect Giyu from a demon. After the death of Tsutako, Giyu tried to tell others that「she was killed by a demon」. However, he was thought as mentally ill and was sent away to one of his relatives, a doctor. Giyu ran away during the journey and almost died.
He was rescued and became apprenticed under Urokodaki with the aim to join the Demon Slayer Corps.











I am not the Water Hashira

In the battle that happened in Swordsmith Village, Nezuko developed immunity to sunlight thus became demons’ target. The demons decided to focus their attack on the Demon Slayer Corps to get Nezuko. So, the demons do not show themselves for a while. During this break, the Demon Slayer Corps also need to greatly enhance all demon slayers’ ability, so the lower-ranked slayers are required to join the 「Hashira training」which contains a succession of courses held by each Hashira.
However, Giyu never agreed to hold the training. Worried Ubuyashiki asked Tanjiro to talk to Giyu. Giyu told Tanjiro that he had already started to develop another breathing style and 「We don’t have the Water Hashira now We should elect a Water Hashira as soon as possible」. However, he stubbornly refused to talk about why he denied himself as a Hashira. Even though, sticking to Ubuyashiki’s instruction, Tanjiro pestered Giyu all day long. Four days later, Giyu gave up to Tanjiro’s persistence and finally started to talk about the reason.





I did not pass the final selection

The young swordsman Tanjiro encountered when he was trained by Urokodaki was Sabito. Sabito and Giyu were rescued and apprenticed by Urokodaki at the same time after both of their families were killed by demons leaving them as orphans. And they became good friends and worked hard under Urokodaki’s training to pass the final selection.

Giyu and Sabito have sat for the final selection. However, Sabito was killed by Hand Demon who targeted and tried to kill all of Urokodaki’s disciples as revenge.
Sabito was the only one who died during that final selection. All by himself, He defeated almost all the demons in the mountain where the final selection was held. He did not forget to help others while fighting his own fight. His swords broke in the fight with Hand Demon because the sword had been abraded so much in decapitating a large number of demons.
After injured by demons, Giyu was saved, then handed over to others by Sabito. When he regained consciousness later, the final selection had already ended. And he was told that Sabito will never come back.
Since then he thought 「How can I pass the final selection and enter Demon Slayer Corps by doing nothing」, and always held a sense of shame. He never regards himself as equal to other Hashiras. More than that, he thought he should not be with the Demon Slayer Corps .

This was the reason why Giyu always acted alone and stayed away from other Hashiras. He wore the half haori as a memento of Sabito as well as a reminder of the death of a friend and his incompetence which he should never forget.
Hearing this, Tanjiro found himself, to some extent resembling Giyu. There was also a man Rengoku who died while protecting Tanjiro. Tanjiro also noticed a fact that since Sabito’s death Giyu had exerted his utmost efforts to try to become a Hashira, despite Giyu himself denied it. So Tanjiro asked Giyu a question.

Would you carry on what has been passed down by Sabito?





Don’t say that you wish you were dead once again. If you say that one more time, you are no longer my friend.

Your sister knew that she would get married the next day. She still chose to protect you, no one else, with her life. Don’t dishonor your sister.

You will not die. You will carry on what has been passed down by your sister.

You will carry on. Giyu

錆兎と義勇



On hearing this, Giyu recalled many things dusty with grief. He made up his mind to carry on what has been passed down by his best friend Sabito and his sister who protected him with her life and told Tanjiro that he would join the Hashira training.
Later, Tanjiro who somehow got the wrong idea showed up at Giyu’s place to challenge him to a soba-eating contest and Giyu accepted. Hereafter, Giyu started to show his awkward but soft side every now and often, for example, he gave some ohagi to Sanemi to get along with him better.
However, this change, instead of Tanjiro’s influence, was regarded as nature though clumsy gestures of Giyu who had not been actively interacting with others and but now wanted to get along with people.

By the way,Giyu’s fluid-water like markappears on his left cheek. This cannot be a coincidence.

Gaiden

Tomioka Giyu Gaiden was published in the 18th issues of Weekly Shonen Jump on 1st April 2019 when the animation was airing.
The author was Ryoji Hirano.
As the name suggests, Tomioka Giyu is the protagonist. And the story was about a demon incident also involving Shinobu Kocho that occurred shortly after Tomioka Giyu’s encounter with Tanjiro and Nezuko.

Digression

Protagonist of the draft

The protagonist of Kagarigari, a one-shot manga which is Mr. Gotoge’s debut work as well as the draft of Kimetsu no Yaiba, in many ways resembles Giyu. Many people regard this character as Giyu’s archetype.

Popularity poll

Giyu was ranked in 4th place as of the first character popularity poll. Other characters ranked in the top five are Tanjiro Kamado, Zenitsu Agatsuma, Nezuko Kamado and Inosuke Hashibira which are all main characters. So Giyu’s 4th place was quite a remarkable deed. Putting aside his popularity in the story realm, the poll demonstrated that he did not bore the readers.


Related illustration

鬼滅
水


水柱
義勇


冨岡義勇
義勇

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