Some people look so happy outside but feel sad deep inside. Those who look so stress-free are normally the ones who experience a great deal of pain. Just like Shinobu, some people tend to conceal their feelings of pain and sorrow with laughter.
Shinobu Kocho : The butterfly family
Shinobu Kocho is a major supporting character in the anime and manga series, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
She is a beautiful young woman. Shinobu has a petite body with eyes like a bug. She has black hair with purple highlights tied back in a bun with a butterfly-shaped pin.
Shinobu came from a wealthy and loving family along with her older sister Kanae Kocho. They were living peacefully and were very content with their simple life together until a demon attacked their home.
Kanae and Shinobu tried hard to protect their parents but were later killed in front of them. They almost died with them but thanks to Gyomei Himejima, the stone pillar, they were saved right in time.
After this incident, the two sisters made a promise to join the Demon Slayer Corps. Shinobu and Kanae both knew how terrifying and painful it is to lose their loved ones right in front of them. The sisters did their best to help stop the demons from destroying families and brutally killing them.
Both of them successfully joined the Demon Slayer Corps, even making her sister Kanae became the flower hashira (or flower pillar). The sisters were together when they encountered Doma, the Upper Rank Two of the Twelve Kizuki (Twelve Moon Demons). Kanae and Doma fought until she was fatally wounded. He was about to finish her but was forced to escape due to the rising sun which is fatal to demons even if they are part of the Upper Moon Six. As the flower pillar was dying in Shinobu’s arms, Kanae tried to convince her sister to live out a normal life.
Kanae’s dying wish is for Shinobu to leave the Demon Slayer Corps, but Shinobu was filled with anger and rage. With the last of her breath, Kanae described the appearance of Doma to Shinobu until she passed away. She vowed to avenge her sister’s death by hunting down this Upper Rank Two demon.
After the death of her big sister, Shinobu’s attitude changed a lot. She masks every hatred she had for demons by adopting her sister’s loving and smiling attitude. Her goal changed. It is now similar to her sister’s goal, to live in a world where humans and demons could coexist together.
However, behind her bright and cheery demeanor lies a heart filled with hatred for demons, especially Doma. Shinobu still has this urge to get revenge for her late older sister. This hatred can be seen in how she treated the Sister Spider Demon that she encountered in Mount Natagumo. Shinobu asked the demon, “how many humans have you killed?” The demon answered, “only five, and I was forced to.”
Unlucky day for Sister Spider Demon, Shinobu saw a lot of people trapped inside egg sacs filled with acid before entering Mount Natagumo. This evil deed was because of the demon so Shinobu then stabs her multiple times. The demon laughed because she does not feel anything. Shortly after, she realized that Shinobu uses powerful poison to kill demons like her.
The Sister Spider Demon was shocked about what happened and asked Shinobu what she did and who she is. She then introduced herself as the insect pillar (or the insect hashira).
Deadly and poisonous insect pillar
Dubbed as the insect hashira, Shinobu uses an insect-like combat technique. She may not be physically strong as the other pillars but she is dangerous like them. Shinobu has mastered the Total Concentration: Constant, therefore increasing her physical abilities to superhuman levels, moving and fighting like an insect.
Shinobu is a master swordswoman. She is one of the most powerful swordswomen in the entire organization of the demon slayers. She is very proficient in using a stinger-like sword. She even invented the insect breathing style where she mimics movements of different insects with a variety of sword techniques to inflict multiple wounds on the target and inject the lethal Wisteria-based poisons.
The insect pillar knows how to create various poisons and venoms using Wisteria flowers. Shinobu is a very talented medical expert. She easily formulated a remedy to counter the venom of the Brother Spider Demon and in no time, she was able to distribute it to the members of the Demon Slayer Corps who were affected by the venom.
Shinobu also saved Zenitsu when she saw him in the Brother Spider Demon’s web house, almost dying because of the venom after being bitten. Once Zenitsu is fine, she killed the Sister Spider Demon and dashed to Nezuko Kamado, a human turned demon and Tanjiro Kamado’s sister. Shinobu is ready to kill Nezuko, too but Giyu stopped him.
Sharing her medical knowledge, Shinobu was able to help Tamayo and Yushiro, demons but allies of Tanjiro, to create the four-stage drug which would be used to weaken Muzan Kibutsuji, the leader of the demons and strongest of them all. During the progression of the story, the three did manage to do the impossible which is the successful creation of a demon-to-human conversion drug. Both Muzan and Nezuko received the drug but there was no effect on the first one while the latter was a success. Nezuko became a human again and was able to regain her memories. She had her conscience and thoughts back.
Shinobu also showed how deadly and poisonous she can be by absorbing and altering the physiology of her body with highly concentrated Wisteria-based poison over a year. She successfully saturated her body with the poison that was merged to her cell structures, blood, and internal organs down to the tips of her fingernails.
Her poisonous body became useful when she finally had the chance to meet Doma again, the demon who killed her sister Kanae. Shinobu was once again full of anger and rage, attacking Doma.
Even though Shinobu kocho is going through a lot, she chose to stay cheerful. Despite all she has experienced dealing with demons and having her sister killed, she continued to live her life to the fullest until she was defeated and killed by Doma.