In demon slayer, we are shown different breathing techniques. They are said to increase the body's capabilities (example - thunder breathing increases your legs capabilities, which results in increased speed). But we are also shown the element of the certain breathing techniques when they are used (like how water, lighting etc. are shown). So can they really produce these elements? I always thought that it was just a depiction, but we often see characters react to it. An example is Inosuke, who saw Tanjiro's water breathing, appreciating it. At that moment, the focus was on water. So, did he see it as water? Wasn't it a depiction? Another example is Tanjiro himself asking to Shinobu about fire breathing (sun breathing). He only used it once before asking the question, and had no knowledge about it. So how did he realise it was fire breathing? If it was just a depiction, the only people to see it would be the viewers. But it doesn't seem that way.

So that leads to my question, are breathing techniques simply body enhancement or are they capable of producing elements?

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