Shinobu Kocho – Demon Slayer

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Time (h): 13
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Summary :

胡蝶 しのぶ(鬼滅之刃)
Shinobu Kochou(Kimetsu no Yaiba)

Who is Shinobu Kocho?
Demon Slayer’s Shinobu Kocho is a huge fan favorite thanks to both the manga and anime iterations of her character. This butterfly-clad fighter takes out demons with unique innovation and agility, cementing her as a vital player in the Demon Slayer universe. She weaponizes her emotions as well as the local Wisteria flowers in strategies far different and superior to her fellow Demon Corps comrades. Here’s everything readers and watchers need to know about the iconic Shinobu Kocho, and the larger role she plays in the manga universe.

Shinobu Kocho fills the role of the Insect Hashira – or Insect Pillar – in the Demon Slayer Corpse. Manga readers first meet her in Kimetsu No Yaiba #4. As one of the nine Hashira figures within the Corps, Shinobu serves as an extremely powerful fighter and swords-woman. Her character design reflects her abilities and position within the Corps; during battle, her Haori often splays into a winged-insect silhouette, and she sports a cute butterfly clip in her hair. Her manga art style even features cross-hatching on her eyes to give the impression of an insect’s iris. She notably hides a darker personality behind soft smiles and a seemingly warm personality, though this is later revealed to be one of her many brilliant battle strategies against demons. Her innovation with the Wisteria flowers and intelligent tweaks on various breathing techniques sets her apart from her comrades; non compare to Shinobu’s knack for poisons and swift swordsmanship.

What Makes Her So Special?

Shinobu wears her tough side on her sleeve until her older sister, Kanae Kocho, is killed by demons. This death causes Shinobu to develop a dark loathing for demons. However, she hides away this hatred behind a manufactured and light-hearted personality, inspired by her late sister. Readers are sometimes treated to a glimpse of Shinobu’s darker nature when she teases her fellow Demon Corps teammates. The real treat occurs when Shinobu faces off against demons and lures them in with her kind aura, only to quickly execute them with her poisonous insect breathing techniques. In Kimetsu No Yaiba # 41, such a scene is shown as Shinobu fights the Daughter Spider Demon. Shinobu admits she isn’t strong enough to decapitate the demon, but quickly adds, “…I can make poisons that kill Demons.” Combined with her super-agility, Shinobu utilizes both her enhanced thrusting speed and Wisteria poison to kill her demonic foe in seconds. Not only does she infuse her katana with Wisteria poisons; Shinobu weaves the poison into her own body, effectively turning her entire frame into a noxious weapon. She can scratch demons with deadly nails, and offer them a deadly snack if they taste her poison-laced blood.

What Is Her Role In Demon Slayer’s Larger Manga Universe?

Shinobu’s deep knowledge of the Wisteria flower’s mechanics allows her the discovery of its medicinal usage. Not only can the flower repel and poison demons, but it can also cure humans who have been transformed into demons. She’s also knowledgeable with venoms and medicines in general, which grants her several opportunities to combat demon attacks and save her fellow teammates. Most notably, this medicine is used in Kimetsu No Yaiba #196 in which Nezuko — the main character’s sister — receives a cure and finally becomes human again. Shinobu also serves as a sister figure to several Demon Slayer characters. Before Kanae’s death, the two Kocho sisters adopt another girl into their Butterfly Estate, Kanao Tsuyuri. Kanao is quick to follow in Shinobu’s footsteps and soon trains under the Insect Hashira. Shinobu Kocho also proves that feminine qualities are just as forceful and deadly as brute strength, and serves as a wonderful role model to young Demon Slayer fans. Her complex character highlights why she’s so popular with readers, and she brings enough rich back story to the pages that there could potentially, one day, be a spin-off story of her own.


Shinobu Kocho Trivia
Shinobu’s name, Shinobu (しのぶ?) is a Japanese verb meaning “recall” (偲ぶ?) or “stealth/endure” (忍ぶ?).
Her name is spelled with three hiragana characters instead of katakana which is the way Kanae’s and Kanao’s names are written.

Shinobu’s surname means “butterfly” (胡こ蝶ちょう kochō?).

Shinobu’s rankings in the popularity polls are as follows:
Shinobu ranked 6th in the first popularity poll with 1813 votes.
Shinobu ranked 5th in the second popularity poll with 8787 votes.

Both of Shinobu’s voice actors, Saori Hayami and Erika Harlacher, also share the roles of Emi Igawa from Your Lie in April, Yumeko Jabami from Kakegurui, and Therese Alexandrite from The Rising of the Shield Hero.

Her Demon Slayer uniform’s jacket is originally designed to leave the center of the chest area open, similar to Mitsuri Kanroji’s, but, as Shinobu disliked this aspect of its design, she burned the 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.

Shinobu and Mitsuri get along quite well due to them having been the only two female Hashira after Kanae’s death. Mitsuri also teaches her western cooking.

Her parents worked in compounding medicine, a reason why Shinobu is also very talented with medicines.

The amount of Wisteria poison in Shinobu’s body was originally stated to be seventy times the lethal amount to kill a Demon in the magazine version, but it was later corrected by Koyoharu Gotōge to be seven hundred times in the volume edition.

Shinobu’s blade was designed and created by the chief of the Swordsmith Village, Tecchin Tecchikawahara.

There was some tension during the cooperative research time between Shinobu and Yushiro. Shinobu held some distrust towards Tamayo due to her being a Demon, and Yushiro wished to kill Shinobu as a result of it.


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