Giyu Tomioka (冨 (とみ) 岡 (おか) 義 (ぎ) 勇 (ゆう) , Tomioka Giyū?) is a Demon Slayer and the Water Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps.
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 ponytail at the base of his neck, his bangs fall over his eyes in an uneven fringe. His eyes are sharp and reasonably thin, 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.
During his battle with Muzan Kibutsuji, he loses his right arm. After the fight, Giyu cuts his hair down to shoulder length, now wearing it loose rather than tied back.
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 and Powers
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.
- 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.
- Enhanced Speed: 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.
- Enhanced Endurance: Giyu possesses great levels of endurance, as shown when he endures a powerful attack from Akaza, the Upper Rank 3, and continues to fight with only minor bruises. After being hit by Muzan’s attack and being injected with his blood, he was able to keep on fighting alongside Obanai, unlike his other fellow Hashira, Mitsuri, who was greatly affected by the same attack.
- Crimson Red Nichirin Blade: During the fight against Muzan, Sanemi forcefully clashes his sword together with Giyu’s turning both of their blades temporarily red, which grants them the ability to hamper the enhanced regeneration of Demons.
- 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. 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. However, he was unable to come close to cutting Akaza’s head, which ultimately led to his sword being broken and nearly fatally injured if it weren’t for Tanjiro’s intervention.
Water Breathing (水 (みず) の呼 (こ) 吸 (きゅう) , Mizu no kokyū?): Taught by Sakonji Urokodaki. The user can increase the amount of oxygen in one’s blood by controlling his breathing pattern. This increases his strength and agility to equal a demon’s. He has learned to do Total Concentration Breathing at all times as all Hashira have, further increasing his base strength, speed, and stamina. He knows all of the Water Breathing techniques and has developed one additional form of his own.
- First Form: Water Surface Slash (壱 (いち) ノ型 (かた) 水 (みな) 面 (も) 斬 (ぎ) り, Ichi no kata: Minamo giri?) – The swordsman generates enough momentum to create a powerful single concentrated slash.
- Second Form: Water Wheel (弐 (に) ノ型 (かた) 水 (みず) 車 (ぐるま) , 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 (さん) ノ型 (かた) 流 (りゅう) 流 (りゅう) 舞 (ま) い, San no kata: Ryūryū mai?) – The swordsman swings his blade at his opponent in a way that mimics the movement of waves on the surface of water.
- Fourth Form: Striking Tide (肆 (し) ノ型 (かた) 打 (う) ち潮 (しお) , Shi no kata: Uchishio?) – The swordsman makes multiple consecutive slashes while twisting their body in a flowing fashion similar to a harsh tide.
- Fifth Form: Blessed Rain After the Drought (伍 (ご) ノ型 (かた) 干 (かん) 天 (てん) の慈 (じ) 雨 (う) , Go no kata: Kanten no jiu?) – A “sword strike of kindness” that kills the target with little to no pain. Used when the enemy surrenders.
- Sixth Form: Whirlpool (陸 (ろく) ノ型 (かた) ねじれ渦 (うず) , Roku no kata: Nejire uzu?) – The swordsman fiercely twists his upper and lower body, creating a whirlpool that cuts anything caught in it.
- Seventh Form: Drop Ripple Thrust Curve (漆 (しち) ノ型 (かた) 雫 (しずく) 波 (は) 紋 (もん) 突 (づ) き, Shichi no kata: Shizuku wa Mondzuki?) (Drop Ripple in English Dub) – A fast and accurate stab. The fastest Water Breathing technique.
- Eighth Form: Waterfall Basin (捌 (はち) ノ型 (かた) 滝 (たき) 壷 (つぼ) , Hachi no kata: Takitsubo?) – The swordsman cuts the target vertically.
- Ninth Form: Splashing Water Flow – Turbulent (玖 (く) ノ型 (かた) 水 (すい) 流 (りゅう) 飛沫 (しぶき) , Ku no kata: Suiryū shibuki?) – Minimizes 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 (じゅう) ノ型 (かた) 生 (せい) 生 (せい) 流 (る) 転 (てん) , Jū no kata: Seisei ruten?) – A continuous attack that increases in power with each rotation, creating a strong slash.
- Eleventh Form: Dead Calm (拾 (じゅう) 壱 (いち) ノ型 (かた) 凪 (なぎ) , Jū Ichi no kata: Nagi?) – Created by Giyu, The swordsman ceases any body movements and enters a state of complete defense, deflecting and blocking any incoming attacks with imperceptible speed. However, its effectiveness is limited as fast and numerous attacks can break through.
- Giyu’s name contains the kanji for “heroism, loyalty and courage” (義 (ぎ) 勇 (ゆう) , giyū?).
- 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 was ranked in 4th place as of the first character popularity poll with 2,190 votes.
- Giyu is the only character who has his own spin off. The 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: Shippuden.
- 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!!”