Shinobu Demon Slayer Guide

Shinobu Demon Slayer Guide: Insect Hashira Explained

Within the Demon Slayer community and Hashira group, few are as popular as Shinobu Kocho. The Shinobu Demon Slayer guide is about the beautiful and deadly Insect Hashira. As one of the most impactful members of the Hashira group, she is an unforgettable member of the cast.

This Shinobu Demon Slayer guide is all about revealing information on this member of the Hashira. I will go over her unique abilities regarding insects, her history in the series, and much more. If you are an existing fan of Shinobu, you are in the right place, and if you’re not, get ready to learn all about the Insect Hashira.

Bottom Line Up Front

Shinobu Kocho is the Insect Hashira member of the Demon Slayer Corps. She is one of the top slayers in all of Japan and one of the only females in this elite group of fighters. Though she is small in stature, she more than makes up for her lack of physical strength with deadly poison abilities. She is an effective demon slayer, taking out foes in the unique way possible.

Her life of servitude towards stopping Muzan and his demons stems from her traumatic and dark past. As one of the only powerful females in the supporting cast, it is no surprise that Shinobu Kocho is one of the most popular characters in all of Demon Slayer. She has not only appeared in manga and anime but in many other places as well.

Who Is Shinobu?

shinobu demon slayer

Shinobu Kocho is an 18-year-old girl who is one of the esteemed members of the Hashira group. This is the most elite group of slayers in the Demon Slayer Corps, and Shinobu is one of them. She is the Insect Hashira within this group due to her unique way of slaying demons that she took from her older sister.

Shinobu is one of only two women in the Hashira group, meaning that she is among the best slayers in all of Japan. Her life in the Corps began due to traumatic events that happened in her and her older sister’s lives before the events of the manga series.

Because of the tragic happenings in her past, she has a deep and unrelenting hatred for all demons. This rage inside her is far more sinister and seething than any other supporting and main characters in the Demon Slayer series.

This hatred is betrayed by the otherwise sickly sweet nature of her character. She is kind to everyone around her, but this is hiding the constant wrath lying underneath. Coupled with her stunning character design, Shinobu is one of the most beloved characters in Demon Slayer.


Shinobu’s appearance does not change much throughout the Demon Slayer manga and anime series. This is because she only appears towards the beginning of the series and near the end in a primary way. Her outfit and overall look have impacted much of the community.

Demon Slayer Outfit

Shinobu is a relatively short person, only around 4’11” or so. She is always gorgeous, having a unique look to her. When it comes to her general outfit, she wears the standard Slayer Corps set on the bottom. This is common for many Hashira, with the traditional attire being all-black shirts and pants.

There is a white belt and emblem, but the outfit is otherwise plain. Like her fellow Hashira, she spruces up this gear with her unique touches. Over the standard equipment, she wears a long coat that is meant to resemble that of a butterfly in a way.

This coat has some history of its own because her older sister previously wore it. The coat has several lines going through it, resembling the pattern of wings. Towards the bottom and arms of the white coat, there are a couple of layers of green and pink.

The final layer is black with white spots. She wears matching socks on her feet with some sandals. She has a bun tied with a large purple and blue butterfly hair tie in her hair. Her hair itself is primarily black, but the tips of her hair are a deep purple.

This matches her large eyes that have gradients of both purple and black throughout them.


shinobu demon slayer

Shinobu has a sinister personality that is easy to switch on a fly. For most people, she is adorable and flirtatious. She is a tease, messing with her comrades and friends. Shinobu will poke fun at the people in a lighthearted way to make conversation and show her affection in a way.

In this way, she has stolen the hearts of many before. However, this is only the surface level of Shinobu’s personality. Likely, her jokester and fun personality are mostly there to hide the truth underneath. In reality, her true character is quite dark and even demented at times.

Due to events in her past, she is constantly seething with rage and hatred at demons. She composes herself well, though, even hiding this in the face of her most hated enemies. She will joke and be playful even in the face of danger.

Shinobu even seems to find joy in smiling and laughing as she takes out demons without caring about the world. This twisted nature of her personality makes it so that she is not one to be messed with. However, at critical moments in the series, we do get to see what happens when Shinobu reveals her authentic personality and that immense, corruptive anger.

Key Relationships

Despite the friendly and outgoing nature of Shinobu, she honestly has few critical relationships in the series. While she is part of the Hashira, she does not seem to connect with too many of them; only keeping most of them at arm’s length for the most part.

That said, there are some that she is relatively close to. For one, she is good friends with Mitsuri Kanroji, the only other female in the Hashira group. They seem to be friends rather than rivals, and they connect well with one another as the only girls on the Slayer Corps team.

Then there is Giyu Tomioka, the Water Hashira. One of the most famous ships in the entire series is between Giyu and Shinobu due to their odd relationship. They team up often enough on missions together, and Shinobu is exceptionally playful and teasing with him. She will, specifically, try to pick at his nerves and weaknesses. It seems that he might appreciate this, though.

The jokes she makes towards him are slightly different from the others, hinting at the possible romantic feelings she may have for the Water Hashira.

Beyond them, there is her family. Her older sister, Kanae Kocho, is the most important person in her life. Kanae is the reason that Shinobu became a slayer and Insect Hashira in the first place. Without her, she would have fended for her life on her own without anyone since Kanae took care of her as a young girl.

They also adopted Kanao Tsuyuri, the quiet newcomer demon slayer, as their younger sister. Shinobu tries to be the older sister figure for Kanao in return and takes care of her at the Butterfly Mansion.

Lastly, there is Tanjiro and Nezuko. They meet with Shinobu in one of the earlier story arcs as only the second Hashira to run into. Their meeting with Shinobu is rough at first, as she is not as forgiving and understanding as someone like Giyu when it comes to Nezuko being a demon. In the end, they have a tense relationship but, ultimately, one of mutual understanding.

Voice Actor

shinobu demon slayer

The Japanese voice actor for Shinobu Kocho in the Demon Slayer anime series is the unbelievably talented singer and actor Saori Hayami. She has countless iconic roles, like Shinobu, including Yumeko in Kakegurui, Himawari in Boruto, Shoko Nishimiya in A Silent Voice, and much more.

She also has the best single-acted scene in anime (in my opinion) in that one monologue in When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace.

On the other side of the equation, there is the always lovely Erika Harlacher, who took on the daunting task of doing the English voice for Shinobu. She is the only one who could do it, being the voice for many unforgettable characters like Ann in Persona 5, Kurapika in Hunter x Hunter, and so many more.


Shinobu has a couple of primary abilities. The first of these has to do with her natural human capabilities that she has trained over the years. The other has to do with her demon-slaying breathing technique that she employs, which is unique compared to the others.

Enhanced Physical Capabilities

Like the other Hashira, Shinobu is naturally much better at particular fighting and other elements than the average person. However, she is not necessarily as physically strong as the other members in her case. This is seen in the fact that she cannot cut off a demon’s head to finish them off.

That said, she more than makes up for this lack in other ways. For one, she is insanely fast and can keep up with the enhanced demon agility. Shinobu is also able to heal and take care of others, with a deep knowledge of medicine.

She even takes that expertise and applies it to her killing techniques. She has poison and other traps that she can use against demons to finish them off in battle. Her unmatched flexibility and reaction skills in battle are what allows her to be ranked among the best in the Hashira.

Insect Breathing Techniques

Shinobu Kocho & Kanao Tsuyuri

Shinobu has the unique insect-breathing form for fighting demons. Most of the forms that she uses in battle are based on different insects. There are dragonfly, bee, and butterfly-based abilities. In these cases, she acts as the bug to attack the enemy.

For instance, there is the Dance of the Dragonfly, where she leaps in and slices at the enemy six times in a row. Each of these strikes and her other breathing techniques injects the enemy with poison. The ultimate goal is to poison them so much that they succumb to death from it.

This is far different from the killing methods of anyone else in the Slayer Corps and quite effective in making up for her lack of strength when it comes to battles.


Shinobu’s history in the Demon Slayer series begins early in the storyline with one of the main arcs that Tanjiro and crew deal with. However, the Insect Hashira is not present for much of the storylines following until the latter half of the series after that point.

As such, it should go without saying that going into her history is major spoilers, serious spoilers for the end of the series. Turn away now, especially if you have only watched the anime.

Finding Her Reason to Fight

Before the beginning of the Demon Slayer series, Shinobu Kocho goes through many unfortunate events in her life. At a young age, her parents are killed by demons. The only survivors from the event are Shinobu and her older sister, Kanae, who then begin to hate demons for what they did.

The two sisters decide to become demon slayers like the Hashira, who saved them from death and got revenge. They continued to live at the Butterfly Estate owned by their parents and ancestors before them as they trained to become slayers.

A few years down the line, Shinobu and her sister Kanae run into a slave girl. Kanae purchases the slave girl, who comes to be known as Kanao Tsuyuri, and brings her back with them to the estate. When Shinobu is 14 years old, her older sister battles one of the most formidable demons alive.

In the process, Kanae is murdered, and Shinobu is left all alone in charge of the Butterfly Estate. She gathers more orphans and girls who have nowhere to go like herself and Kanao, creating a community of future demon slayers.

Defeating the Spiders

Insect Hashira

Over time, Shinobu is able to become the Insect Hashira. She is the only one in the group who is unable to cut off a demon’s head. Because of this, she developed wisteria poison that is useful for eliminating demons. With this power, she can go toe-to-toe with the best demons around.

As the Insect Hashira, Shinobu is eventually tasked with joining Giyu Tomioka, the Water Hashira, in helping some fresh slayers in defeating a family of spider demons on a mountain. When she arrives, she finds the daughter in the family and teases her before killing her nearly instantly with an injection of her particular poison.

After the fact, she runs into Nezuko and Tanjiro and immediately begins to attack them because Nezuko is a demon. Giyu intervenes and tells Shinobu to stop. When Shinobu realizes that Nezuko is the younger sister of Tanjiro, she pities the poor family with a level of understanding. She wishes to kill Nezuko without her feeling any pain.

Shinobu does not relent from trying to kill Nezuko since she is a demon, causing Giyu to hold her back until Tanjiro and his sister can run. This breaks the rules, leading Shinobu to almost fight Giyu for essentially betraying the Slayer Corps. However, orders from above arrive and stop her.

Getting Revenge

When Tanjiro and Nezuko are brought before the Hashira, Shinobu is a bit more understanding this time around and even more so than some of her fellow members. She listens to what Tanjiro has to say and accepts her orders to let them live. In turn, she takes them to her Butterfly Estate to be rehabilitated after the tough battle.

At this point, Shinobu has little to do with the main story until the Infinity Castle story arc. At this point, she can assist in finding a method for stopping Muzan, alongside the demon doctor Tamayo. She also finds the demon that she has been looking for her entire life: Doma. He is the demon responsible for taking out her sister, killing countless others, and turning humans into demons.

Doma is also Upper-Rank Two, meaning that he is the second-strongest demon out of all of Muzan’s army. Despite this intense strength, she challenges him and keeps up with him, almost defeating him in the process. Unfortunately, the battle results in Shinobu dying as her sister did. Before she dies, it seems that she has feelings for Giyu.

Shinobu in Other Media

Shinobu Demon Slayer Merch

As one of the main Hashira in the series, Shinobu appears in other media beyond just the standard manga and anime. She is even playable in the video game known as Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles, where she has a couple of costumes and variants that you can fight with.

You can check it out on all modern platforms, consoles, and PC, including Switch, in the near future. There is also the Demon Slayer stage play where you can see her in a live-action format. Of course, she is also one of the most popular characters for cosplays in the real world at conventions, events, and the like.

There is plenty of merch around her, like costumes and figures. On the second try, I even won a figure for Shinobu in a crane game recently, which you can see in the picture above. And, no, I will not take it out of the box at this time. I’m sorry about that.

Fun Facts About Shinobu

Here are some fun facts about Shinobu Kocho that you might not have known before:

  • Shinobu is the only one in the Hashira unable to cut off a demon’s head. Even her fellow female member, Kanroji, is able to.
  • Shinobu is one of the most popular characters in the series, ranking in the top six characters in the official character polls.
  • She has a pet goldfish that is ironically named Fugu. This is because fugu in Japanese means pufferfish, not goldfish.
  • Her skills in medicine and also poison comes from her parents, who worked in medicine up until their deaths.
  • The Japanese and English voice actors for Shinobu have shared roles in the past with one another, the most notable of which is Yumeko Jabami in Kakegurui.


Question: How Do You Play Shinobu in Demon Slayer?

Answer: You can play as Shinobu in the Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles video game. In this fighting arena-based game, she is one of the quickest fighters around on the roster. She has three primary skills that are centered around lightning-fast attacks. However, this speed comes at the cost of damage, so players need to never stop moving like her.

Question: Is Shinobu Good in Demon Slayer?

Answer: This question is likely being asked due to her complicated debut in the series. We get a glimpse of her brutal nature and her hatred for demons that is wild. That said, while she is kind of crazy, she is ultimately a good person. We can see that in the fact that she eventually relents from killing Nezuko, despite her unstoppable hatred for demons.

Question: Does Shinobu Like Giyu?

Answer: These are somewhat major spoilers for the series, so beware of that. I think that Shinobu very much likes Giyu, though it is one of those situations where it is not necessarily confirmed but heavily hinted at. As for if he reciprocates those feelings, I think that it is the case as well.

Shinobu Demon Slayer Guide: Conclusion

Within the expansive and excellent Demon Slayer cast, there are few that are as memorable as Shinobu Kocho. Even in the fan-favorite Hashira group of slayers, very few can match her level of personality, beauty, and intrigue.

But there are a few characters in Demon Slayer that give her a run for her money, including members of her group. There are characters like Giyu Tomioka and Rengoku, that are some of the other unforgettable Hashira members. If you would like to know more about these iconic fighters, be sure to take a look at our comprehensive Hashira guide.

This includes details about the best demon slayers around, including more information about Shinobu herself.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top