- List of InuYasha characters
The InuYasha manga and anime series were created by Rumiko Takahashi. Most of the series takes place in a fictional version of Japan's Warring States period with occasional time-travel/flashback elements to modern Tokyo or the Heisei period. The setting and plot incorporate many elements of traditional Japanese folklore and religion; its main characters (both protagonists and antagonists) include a Shinto miko, a Buddhist monk, and several types of yōkai (usually rendered as "demon" in English-language translations of the series).
The story centers around a half-demon (hanyou) named Inuyasha, who leads one of several competing groups in search of the Jewel of Four Souls, or "Shikon Jewel", a magical artifact that greatly enhances supernatural powers, even in fragmentary form. He is aided in his quest by Kagome Higurashi, a girl from 20th-century Tokyo who is the reincarnation of Kikyo, a powerful miko entangled by InuYasha's tragic past. Their enemy, Naraku, instigated the original conflict between InuYasha and Kikyo and continues to manipulate many other characters throughout the series.
- 1 Concept and creation
- 2 Protagonists
- 3 Antagonists
- 4 Supporting characters
- 5 Reception
- 6 References
Concept and creation
According to interviews with the author, the style for InuYasha's clothing was based on "priest's garb" of Japan's Warring States period. The series was conceptualized as a "hakama story" historical drama, a genre which Takahashi had not yet attempted as an entire series; she described the initial concept as "a melodrama, something with a strong storyline" with less focus on comedy than many of her previous series such as Ranma 1/2 and Urusei Yatsura.
InuYasha himself was envisioned as "someone who hates to lose", a complex character with "a tense and conflicted personality" rather than being "cheerful and refreshingly straightforward." In contrast, Takahashi wanted "to show [her] readers that InuYasha's opponents are this bad and do these kinds of things to gain their understanding of his actions" and "portray what InuYasha is really angry at, not just that someone is no good because they are evil." She originally planned to make Jakotsu a woman to give the Band of Seven "more diversity" but changed her mind, saying, "when I started thinking about it, I didn't feel comfortable having InuYasha fight and defeat a girl."
InuYasha (犬夜叉) is the male protagonist of the series, is sixteen in the beginning of the series, in appearance and mindset, but is around 200 in years. Born to a dog demon father and human mother, InuYasha is a half-dog demon who initially wants to use the power of the Sacred Shikon Jewel to become a full-blooded demon like his older half-brother, Sesshomaru. Fifty years prior to the main era of the storyline, though, InuYasha fell in love with the priestess Kikyo, who guarded the jewel. InuYasha changed his mind about the jewel, and wanted to use it to become human so he could live with her, but Naraku (An evil Half demon), manipulated both of them into believing they had been betrayed by one another. Being a shapeshifter, he used Kikyo's form to attack and taunt InuYasha, and InuYasha's form to mortally wound Kikyo. Before she died, however, she shot the real InuYasha with a sacred arrow to seal him to a sacred tree. InuYasha remained in suspended animation for fifty years, until Kagome Higurashi, Kikyo's reincarnation, pulled out the arrow and broke the seal. Later, Kagome shot a sacred arrow at a demon who was escaping with the jewel, which had been hidden in Kagome's body until a demon tore it out. The arrow slew the demon, but it also hit the Shikon Jewel, which shattered. InuYasha and Kagome then travel together to retrieve its fragments. At first, he is hostile and uncooperative, but Kikyo's sister, Kaede gives Kagome a magical necklace, called the Subjugation Beads, that restrains him by hurling him to the ground whenever Kagome gives the simple command "Sit!" Initially wary of Kagome's resemblance to Kikyo, InuYasha grows to trust her as a friend and useful companion. As the series progresses, InuYasha begins to develop deep feelings for Kagome, which are reciprocated, but strained by the resurrection of Kikyo. At the end of the series Kagome and Inuyasha are separated for three years. InuYasha works with Miroku to exorcise demons and is reunited with Kagome, soon after Inuyasha and Kagome live their lives together.
Kagome Higurashi (日暮 かごめ Higurashi Kagome ), aged fifteen at the start of the series, is the female protagonist and narrator of the series. A high-school student born in modern Japan, she is the reincarnation of the deceased (and reawakened) priestess Kikyo. Kagome has the sacred Shikon Jewel unknowingly hidden inside her body until her 15th birthday, when a demon pulls her into the Bone Eater's Well at her family's shrine and takes her five hundred years back through time. Kagome can still go back to modern Japan by using the well only with the use of a shard of the self-shattered jewel, but usually chooses to go to this era. They emerge in the Feudal Era about fifty years after Kikyo's death, where the demon tears the jewel from Kagome's body. She releases InuYasha from his seal, and he defeats the demon, but after the awakening murder, attempts to slaughter Kagome for the jewel. Kaede, Kikio's younger sister, uses her spiritual power to force the necklace onto Inuyasha and Kagome and Inuyasha are binded by the artifact. To the jewel's power proves to be a strong lure for evil. When the Crow Demon seizes the Sacred Jewel, Kagome attempts to stop it with a longbow and arrow, but in doing so, accidentally shatters the jewel into numerous fragments that disperse throughout Japan. She agrees to help find them, as she can sense the presence of nearby shards, and InuYasha comes along as protector and companion. (And, ostensibly, so he can steal the jewel from her when it's complete, though he makes no secret of this). As the series progresses, she begins to fall in love with InuYasha, and finds herself competing with the revived Kikyo for his affections. During the search for the Shikon Jewel, Kagome's own innate spiritual powers and abilities and archery skills continue to improve, and she unlocks her true powers and full potential after Sesshomaru kills Magatsuhi, the evil spirit within the Shikon Jewel that was sealing her powers. At the end of the series, InuYasha and Kagome are separated for three years. After reuniting, she starts living alongside InuYasha in the Sengoku period, while learning to be a miko under Kaede's guidance, also helping Inuyasha and Sango with the children of the new couple and the children of Miroku and Sango.
Miroku (弥勒) is a Bhikkhu Buddhist, lecherous monk, aged eighteen, who travels the countryside performing spiritual services such as exorcisms and demon exterminations, although sometimes he deliberately falsifies these to earn comfortable rewards. Miroku can attack enemies with his holy staff and sutra scrolls, but his greatest weapon is the Wind Tunnel (風穴 Kazaana ) embedded in the palm of his right hand - which is actually a hereditary curse originally inflicted by Naraku upon Miroku's grandfather. Though the Wind Tunnel is extremely powerful because it can suck in almost anything in its path, it grows larger with increasing use and will eventually consume Miroku, as it consumed his grandfather, Miatsu, and his father. Miroku is able to seal up his wind tunnel with his sacred sutra beads that are wound around his arm, but the curse can only be broken by killing Naraku.
Miroku first meets InuYasha by stealing the Shikon Jewel, causing them to fight one another until Kagome leaps between them. After Miroku explains his situation, Kagome asks him to join her and InuYasha, given their mutual goal of wishing to destroy Naraku. He reluctantly complies, though he soon becomes one of InuYasha's most trusted companions. However, Miroku remains notorious for his recurring lechery, usually manifesting as shameless flattery, semi-surreptitious groping, and asking every woman he meets to bear him a child, except for Sango, who eventually does. While he learned these bad habits from the monk Mushin, who raised him after his father was engulfed into his own wind tunnel, Miroku also has the more serious motive of wanting an heir to follow him if he dies without defeating Naraku.
Over time, Miroku's feelings mature and he begins focusing his affections more exclusively on Sango. However, because of his love for her, he fears that he cannot love her as an ordinary woman and hopes that if his wind tunnel consumes him, she will not die alongside him. He later proposes to her, which she accepts, though their relationship takes longer to solidify since Miroku is still prone to flirting with other girls, but expresses jealousy when other men act the same way towards Sango. When Naraku is finally killed near the end of the series, Miroku's wind tunnel disappears, freeing him from the curse. In the end of the Final Act, Miroku marries Sango and has three children with her. Two twin girls and a boy. He supports his family financially by exorcising demons with InuYasha.
Sango (珊瑚) Sango is a demon slayer, aged sixteen, who hails from a village of professional demon slayers. Of her broad repertoire of tools and tricks for fighting demons, Sango's most powerful weapon is the Hiraikotsu (飛来骨), a massive boomerang made of purified demon bones. Her other weapons include a concealed sword and poisons. She is accompanied by the demon cat Kirara, who accompanies Sango into battle.
Sango is first seen when she and her family and companions were on a mission to slay an evil demon, while another demon had actually possessed the lord of the castle. The demon possessing the lord ends up controlling Kohaku, Sango's younger brother, and causes him to slay all the demon slayers except Sango. Realizing a demon was possessing both the lord and Kohaku, Sango attempts to attack the lord, but she and Kohaku are shot by the lord's retainers and assumed to be dead and buried at the orders of the lord's son, Kagewaki Hitomi. Naraku later tricks Sango into killing InuYasha by deeming him responsible for her village's destruction. When the plot fails and Sango joins InuYasha's group, Naraku revives Kohaku, controlling him as a pawn to manipulate Sango's emotions. While Sango seeks revenge against Naraku, her primary goal is to rescue Kohaku from Naraku's influence and save his life.
Sango is often the victim of Miroku's lecherous tendencies and gives him a loud slap for it, though she eventually falls in love with him. While she accepts Miroku's proposal of marriage, she requests that Miroku stop his lecherous actions and not to flirt either. He gradually acquieses to her request, focusing his attention on her exclusively. At the end of series, when Miroku loses his Wind Tunnel, Sango marries Miroku, using the next three years with Miroku and form a family with a pair of twin girls and a baby boy. The two move into a larger home in Kaede's village.
In the anime, she is voiced by Houko Kuwashima. In the English dub, she is voiced by Kelly Sheridan.
Shippo (七宝 Shippō ) is an orphaned young fox demon, aged seven, who attempts to steal the Shikon Jewel from Kagome and InuYasha, wanting to become stronger and avenge his father's death. Though his plan fails, Kagome and InuYasha aid him after hearing his story, and he becomes their companion for the rest of the series.
Shippo normally appears to be a young boy with certain fox-like features: his legs, feet, ears, and tail. He can shape-shift, but his other forms (such as a large pink flying balloon) are temporary and often ineffective, usually given away by his lingering fox tail. He can also create illusory duplicates of himself, as well as weak fox-fire magic and toy-based tricks such as his giant spinning top attack. Naively observant, he often directs cheeky comments to InuYasha, earning a smack on the head. To Kagome, he is the child she would like to have. To Miroku and Sango, he is the friend they always needed. To Kirara, he is a playmate she likes to have. To Inuyasha, he is the little brother he never wanted in the first place. Because of his small size, Shippo often rides on Kirara or the shoulders of others. His actual age is never stated in the series; according to the official InuYasha guide by Rumiko Takahashi, his appearance is equivalent to that of a seven year old boy. He often bears crushes toward the little girls in the village and strives to protect and impress them, and usually works. Though he is the weakest member of InuYasha's group, Shippo gradually becomes braver during the series and is dedicated to his friends. Despite InuYasha's attempt to stop Shippo from joining their final battle against Naraku, Shippo goes anyway in hopes of helping his friends in the ways that he can. At the end of the Final Act, Shippo resides in Kaede's village, but often leaves to train and take the kitsune demon examination.
Kirara (雲母) is Sango's faithful demon-cat companion. Kirara usually appears to be a small kitten-sized feline with two tails, but can become large enough to carry several passengers (usually Sango, Miroku, and Shippo). Her full-sized form has more prominent fangs, flames around her feet and tail, and enough power to fly through the air fast enough to keep up with InuYasha's top speed. In her small form, she is small and cute, with no fangs, wide eyes, and two tails. Because of her cuteness, Kirara is often the victim to one of Kagome's dress-up games. It is made apparent that Kirara once belonged to Midoriko when they go to her cave for the first time. When Kohaku's memory returns, Kirara is the first character to find out.
She is voiced by Tarako in both the original Japanese and the English dubbed version of the series.
Naraku (奈落) is the series' primary antagonist. Naraku is responsible for most of the characters' misfortunes, including the death of Kikyo, the sealing of Inuyasha to the sacred tree, Miroku's curse, and the death of Sango's family. Naraku was born from the fusion of Onigumo, a crippled human bandit tended by Kikyo, and a horde of weak demons. Driven by frustrated lust for Kikyo, Onigumo made a bargain with the demons: they could eat his flesh, and the demons would combine into one entity to become part of that new body. However the resulting half-demon promptly caused Kikyo's death in an attempt to corrupt and possess the Shikon Jewel-his intent being that she would use the jewel to save herself and thus both would be corrupted and be his. Unlike other Half-Demons, he can choose what time will he lose his powers, however he reverts to a head attached to multiple demons. During this time he discards the weaker demons that he's attached.
Naraku is driven by three goals: To become a full demon, to possess a fully corrupted Shikon Jewel, and to possess Kikyo. The third goal is rooted in Onigumo's heart as a vital part of Naraku's body, causing an obsession with Kikyo that prevents him from killing her. He attempts to rid himself of Onigumo's heart multiple times, ultimately separating it into globs of flesh he leaves in a mountain. With his heart freed from his obsession, he is able to later kill Kikyo. On his final death, he faintly remembered why he made the bargain in the first place and expressed regret at not being able to have Kikyo for his own. He then understood the true essence of peace and recovered himself from his sins.
Throughout the series, Naraku creates many subordinate beings from his own body to aid his goal of killing his opponents and reuniting the shards of the Shikon Jewel, whose corrupted form he hopes to use to gain ultimate power.
In the Anime, he is voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa. In the English dub, he is voiced by Paul Dobson.
Kagura (神楽) is a Naraku's second detachment although she is introduced before her "elder sister" Kanna. As a wind sorceress, Kagura uses a fan to enhance her powers; she can create a blade-like tornado or use wind to animate dead bodies. She can also use her feather hair-ornaments as transportation, enlarging them to ride in the wind. Though initially cold and calculating, her hatred for Naraku increases and she attempts to free herself from his control, covertly opposing him to the point of offering aid to both InuYasha and Sesshomaru in hopes that they can kill him.
As time goes on, Kagura becomes much more sympathetic and caring toward InuYasha and even more hostile toward Naraku and his minions. After Kohaku's memories return, Kagura becomes increasingly protective of the boy; she shares information with him about Naraku's weaknesses; she thwarts her fellow "detachment" Hakudōshi from taking the Shikon shard that keeps Kohaku alive; finally, she openly defies Naraku by helping Kohaku escape. Naraku mockingly returns her heart before fatally wounding her and leaving her to die. Catching her scent, Sesshomaru goes to her; his sword Tenseiga cannot save her, although she is comforted by being able to see him one last time. Inuyasha's group also arrives, helplessly watching her body dissolve into the wind. Afterwards, Inuyasha asks if she suffered; Sesshomaru replies that she was smiling when she died. During the series, Kagura had developed feelings for Sesshomaru.
In the anime, she is voiced by Izumi Oogami. In the English dub, she is voiced by Janyse Jaud.
Kanna (神無) is Naraku's first detachment. She appears aged ten with hair and clothing in white. As a "concealed incarnation" of Naraku, Kanna has no scent of demonic aura, making her undetectable to InuYasha's senses and immune to demonic aura-related effects such as the Hakurei-zan barrier. Kagura seems to be jealous of this. Kanna is the only person that Naraku trusts with important information about his actions, allowing her to give orders in his place. She also is nice to Kagura and informative of Naraku's warnings.
Kanna carries a demonic mirror that can steal the souls of those reflected in it. Once a soul is trapped by her mirror, Kanna can control that person's body to carry out her bidding. However, the mirror can be overwhelmed by an especially powerful soul such as Kagome's, forcing Kanna to release all of the trapped souls before the glass shatters. The mirror can also create a glass demon to copy the abilities of whatever it reflects, though Kanna herself suffers damage when the glass demon is wounded. In her last battle, Kanna is ordered by Naraku to commit suicide, shattering herself and her glass demon into thousands of tiny shards. Driven by Kanna's final thought, one of the shards hits Kagome's right eye and gives her the knowledge of how to destroy Naraku. Kanna told her that the small bit of light in the Shikon Jewel will kill him.
She is voiced by Yukana Nogami in the anime. In the English dub, she is voiced by Janyse Jaud.
Muso (無双 Musō ) Naraku's sixth detachment, discarded in an attempt to remove his human core, Onigumo. He has no face because Onigumo's face had been badly burnt. Muso takes a name and face for himself from a wandering monk that he kills. Naraku sends Kagura to watch over him; according to her Naraku's interested in Muso. Muso ventures to Kikyo's former village, where he fights Inuyasha's group. Naraku's constituent demons attempt to win their freedom, since Onigumo (who made the initial pact with them) is no longer there; to stop them, Naraku finds Muso and reabsorbs him back into his body.
The Infant (赤子 Akago ) is Naraku's heart and seventh detachment. He appears to be a human baby, but can speak fluently and control people with the darkness in their own hearts. His goal is to use Kagome to find the remaining shards of the Shikon Jewel. He finds her jealousy of Inuyasha's feelings for Kikyo, but Inuyasha saves her before The Infant can control her. Like Hakudoshi and Kagura, the Infant is not loyal to Naraku. Hakudoshi creates the demonic golem Moryomaru to provide the Infant an impenetrable defense, and the Infant adds new demons to further increase his abilities. Both the baby and Moryomaru are killed when Naraku reabsorbs them.
Hakudoshi (白童子 Hakudōshi ) is Naraku's eighth detachment. Created from The Infant's body, he takes the form of a young child. Because his heart remains inside The Infant, he can use all of the same powers and his own body can endlessly regenerate from any damage. Both Akago and Hakudoshi eventually grow tired of Naraku's rule and seek to betray him. Hakudoshi creates Moryomaru to protect Naraku's "heart". Naraku discovers their traitorous intentions and has the Saimyosho (poisonous insects) abandon Hakudoshi in battle, giving him no protection against Miroku's Wind Tunnel. Hakudoshi is subsequently sucked into the Tunnel and killed.
Moryomaru (魍魎丸 Mōryōmaru ) is an enemy of Naraku, despite being indirectly created by his powers via Hakudoshi. He is a 100-foot-long (30 m) demonic golem who can shoot blasts of energy from his arm. At first, he is merely a life force puppet made from yōkai, lacking any true personality, soul or will. Kanna places The Infant inside him, giving Moryomaru Naraku's physical life force. He absorbs a turtle demon, two fire and lightning demons, the human Goryomaru, Tetsusaiga's adamant barrage and almost absorbed Tokijin's demonic power. Moryomaru increases in power as he absorbs different yōkai to gain their abilities, and nearly defeats a combined onslaught of most of Naraku's enemies, including Kikyo, Kohaku, Kagome, InuYasha, Miroku, Sango, Shippo, and Sesshomaru. He succeeds in breaking Sesshomaru's sword, Tokijin, but flees after nearly losing a shard of the Shikon Jewel. He is killed when he devours Naraku, and Naraku absorbs his power from the inside and uses it to be reborn. In the anime television series, Moryomaru is voiced by Masaki Terasoma.
Byakuya (白夜) is Naraku's ninth and final detachment, meant to replace Kagura. His main purpose is to observe Inuyasha and Moryomaru's growing powers and report back to Naraku. He has an incredible power to create illusions, but has many other powers as well: he can possess people with paper soldiers, summon vines to entrap his enemies, teleport others to different dimensions, detach organs from his body, and erect barriers. He travels on a giant origami paper crane in a similar fashion to Kagura's expanding feather ornament.
After taking the power of one slash of InuYasha's Tetsusaiga, he slashes Kagome with the blade. However, before he gets a chance at a second strike, InuYasha attacks him with his Meidou Zangetsuha and Byakuya is absorbed into it. When Naraku dies, a Meidou appears behind Kagome, due to Byakuya's Meidou Blade. In the anime television series, Byakuya is voiced by Mitsuaki Madono.
Band of Seven
The Band of Seven (七人隊 Shichinintai ) are seven mercenaries brought back to life by Naraku using the Shikon Jewel shards. They are uncommon among other villains of the series in the sense that they are all humans, and so they don't originate demonic aura and are not affected by purifying shields (such as the one of Saint Hakushin) that usually kill youkais. All of their names end in kotsu (骨), meaning "skill."
Kyokotsu (凶骨) is the largest of the Band of Seven. His weapon is his size itself, and he proves to be a formidable foe. Against Koga, Kyokotsu also uses a giant iron ball attached to a flail-like long chain, but this is nearly useless against Koga's speed. He terrorizes yōkai-wolf tribes who are defenseless against his size and invulnerability. Despite his massive size and fearsome looks, Kyokotsu is human. He eats other demons. Kyokotsu is defeated when he holds Koga too close to his face, allowing Koga to pull out his Shikon jewel shard and kill him instantly.
Jakotsu (蛇骨) is the third in command. He has been a close friend of their leader, Bankotsu, since before the group's formation and is still the only person Bankotsu trusts. Jakotsu's chief weapon, the Snake Sword or "Jakotsuto," has segmented retractable blades that curve out across a great distance, making it difficult for an opponent to calculate his next move. Jakotsu is depicted acting in a homosexual manner, such as admiring Koga's loincloth and claiming to have feelings for InuYasha, but because of his sadistic qualities, he wants to kill them in what he considers to be an affectionate manner.
Jakotsu loses a lengthy battle to Inuyasha and is badly wounded, giving Renkotsu the opportunity to steal his Shikon shard. As he dies from the shard's removal, Jakotsu says he is happy because he got to fight the battle he wanted.
Mukotsu (霧骨) is a short poison master of the Band of Seven. He abducts Kagome; in the anime, he initiates a wedding ceremony with her but becomes angry at her reaction to his facial features, and attacks her when she tries to remove his Shikon Jewel shard. However, in the manga, Mukotsu attempts to rape Kagome until she stabs him, and soon after Miroku and Sango appear. Mukotsu poisons Kagome, Miroku, and Sango, nearly killing them, but is soon killed by Sesshomaru, who is immune to his poisons.
Renkotsu (煉骨) is the second in command of the Band of Seven. An expert military engineer, he creates explosives and incendiary devices, including a type of flaming oil that he can spew from his mouth, and he reconstructs Ginkotsu into a living artillery weapon that resembles a modern tank. He is also a gifted strategist and has some skill at hand to hand combat, although the only members of the group he surpasses in fighting skills are Mukotsu and Kyokotsu. He becomes resentful of Bankotsu's power and dares to betray him. In order to do this, he takes the shards from all his dead comrades. As punishment for hiding the shards and killing Jakotsu, Bankotsu kills him.
Ginkotsu (銀骨) has metal parts on his body and various weapons built inside it. His speech is rarely intelligible, only changing when angered. In his early, relatively human form, he carries a katana, an axe attached with a chain, a spear, "steel" wires, a grappler that replaced his left arm, disk-blades, a cannon on his shoulder, and a drill in his chest.
He barely survives his first encounter with Inuyasha and is reconstructed by Renkotsu into a siege tank with spider-like legs and disk-blade wheels. In tank form, his offense is two main cannons along with the "steel" wires. In the anime, his additional weapons include a larger array of firearms as well as a rocket-like launch of his main body, which contains wire launchers and a flamethrower. His final weapon is a self-destruct mechanism.
He and Renkotsu fight Koga together. In the manga, he explodes when Koga stuffs pieces of Renkotsu's armor into his cannons, causing them to backfire. In the anime, he survives this attack, but goes berserk when Renkotsu receives a heavy wound to his left shoulder; to save Renkotsu, Ginkotsu fruitlessly unleashes his entire arsenal at Koga, then self-destructs in an explosion while shielding Renkotsu with his own jewel shard.
Suikotsu (睡骨) has a split personality: "Doctor Suikotsu" has a normal human appearance and is good, kind, and respected by villagers; "Suikotsu of the Band of Seven" has bristly hair and shaded patterns on his face, and is evil and bloodthirsty. He has phenomenal strength, agility, and savage combat skills, and uses exceptionally long-bladed iron claws as weapons. He returns to his former village with his normal appearance, but still violent and willing to kill. After taking Rin as a hostage, he is beaten by the combined strength of Sesshomaru and Kikyo's sacred arrow, and asks them to remove the Shikon shard from his neck to let him die peacefully. Respecting his wishes, Kikyo reaches for the shard but is stopped by Jakotsu, who takes it to Bankotsu.
Bankotsu (蛮骨) is the leader of the Band of Seven. Both the youngest and strongest member of the group, he carries the huge Banryu halberd. Bankotsu is a skilled mercenary and has killed many people; he retains a sense of honor and compassion, but only for his six companions.
After his resurrection, Bankotsu uses Banryu to kill everyone in the surrounding area. The scent of blood draws InuYasha's group to engage in battle until Naraku summons the Band of Seven back to him. During the fight, Banryu is damaged by InuYasha's "Wind Scar" attack, but gains the ability to deflect that attack after Bankotsu repairs it with the jewel shards Renkotsu stole from Kagome. After learning that Renkotsu murdered Jakotsu, Bankotsu kills Renkotsu for his betrayal. With seven fragments in his body and two in his halberd, Bankotsu heads off to destroy InuYasha.
In the manga, InuYasha gradually cuts the Shikon shards out of Bankotsu's body as the battle progresses until Bankotsu is cut in two, with Naraku stripping the remaining half of its Shikon shard. In the anime, Bankotsu slays 1,000 yōkai and kills 1,000 warlords with Banryu, transforming it into a demonic weapon that projects its wielder's hatred as powerful demonic energy. However, this proves to be his downfall as InuYasha reflects this attack with the Backlash Wave, crushing Bankotsu and shattering Banryū. Naraku then confiscates his last shard from his remains, reverting him back into a fleshless corpse.
Sesshomaru (殺生丸 Sesshōmaru ) is InuYasha's older half-brother, an extremely powerful full-blooded demon, easily invulnerable when fighting, and is able to fly in the air like Ah-Un. Unlike most demons seen in the series of the anime and manga, he shows no interest in possessing any of the Shikon Jewel shards, feeling confident of his own strength and seeming to find the use of the gem to enhance one's power distasteful. He is initially ruthless in dealing with InuYasha, whom he hates as a half-demon who consorts with humans, and attempts to steal the sword Tetsusaiga from him. He even had a sword forged from the fangs of Goshinki, an incarnation of Naraku that bit Tetsusaiga in half, in hopes of it matching Tetsusaiga's power. This sword's name is Tokijin, which is a double-handed khanda. However, Sesshomaru gradually becomes more sympathetic and caring after meeting the human child Rin, who never shows any fear of Sesshomaru's demon-self. Even going as far as using Tenseiga to revive her, Sesshomaru becomes a guardian to Rin, coming and opting to Rin's aid whenever she's in trouble, while Rin is considered as his ward. His growing compassion and the reaction of the Tenseiga to Sesshomaru's compassion for Kagura and her slow death prompts the master swordsmith Totosai to reforge Tenseiga, enabling the Meidou Zangetsuha ("dark path of the dawn's moon blast") attack. After Naraku attempts to manipulate him by using Rin as a hostage, Sesshomaru becomes determined to destroy Naraku as his main goal. He eventually gains his own blade that is a manifestation of his own power, Bakusaiga, which appeared after he let go of his attachment and preoccupation with Tetsusaiga - at the same time, he also regained his left arm. During the series, Sesshomaru begins to devolop feelings for Kagura. When she dies, he uses the Tenseiga to try to revive her, the only time he used it without being told. As this didn't work, he stays with her until she dies. At the end of the Final Act, Sesshomaru continues to travel with Jaken by his side, while occasionally visiting Rin, whom he has left in Kaede's village, and bringing her gifts.
Jaken (邪見) is a small green imp-like yōkai who is extremely loyal to Sesshomaru, often praising his master's greatness although Sesshomaru usually ignores and sometimes abuses him. Jaken himself is not especially powerful, but he carries a weapon known as the Staff of Two Heads, that can throw fire, which was given to him by Sesshoumaru.
The manga explains little about Jaken's past, but the anime shows that Jaken was once a lord among similar demons. During battle with another yōkai tribe, the enemy leader had Jaken by his neck when Sesshomaru appeared in the middle of the battle and told the demon to move out of his path. When this was not obeyed, he destroyed the yōkai with this poison whip. Out of a sense of obligation, Jaken followed Sesshomaru, who allowed him to become a servant if he could use the Staff of Two Heads.
In the anime, he is voiced by Yuichi Nagashima. In the English dub, he is voiced by Don Brown.
Rin (りん) is an eight-year-old orphan girl who finds Sesshomaru in the woods beneath a huge tree after being badly wounded by Inuyasha's sword. During this time, after her entire family was slaughtered by night robbers, Rin never speaks, only communicating with hand gestures and friendly smiles. Later, various wolves are sent by Koga killing and eating the villagers. Recovered from his wounds, Sesshomaru finds Rin's lifeless body and revives her using Tenseiga. After that, Rin starts talking again and remains in company with Sesshomaru, Jaken, and two-headed dragon. At the end of the InuYasha series, Rin lives with Kaede although Sesshomaru is shown visiting her and bringing her gifts, and also becomes the caretaker of Miroku and Sango's children.
Ah-Un (阿吽 A-Un ) is a two-headed dragon demon and Sesshomaru's beast of burden. He is one of two yōkai in the series who is explicitly stated to be a herbivore, the other being Totosai's ox. Despite traveling with Sesshomaru for centuries, he has no name until Rin gives him one, calling the right head "Ah" and the left head "Un." Ah-Un can fire yōkai energy from both mouths. The right head shoots blue beams of lightning, while the left shoots green lightning that can control clouds and possibly the weather, and has the ability to fly like Sesshomaru. A grey cloud-like gas trails from his legs in flight, similar to Kirara's flames.
On their journeys, Rin and Jaken often rest on his back to fly over great distances. When Sesshomaru leaves Rin in a safe place, Ah-Un stays with her as her protector. He saves Rin from a group of lesser demons while she is collecting herbs to save Jaken from being poisoned by Naraku's Saimyōshō. Ah-Un also defeats many of Setsuna no Takemaru's zombie warriors in InuYasha the Movie: Swords of an Honorable Ruler.
Kikyo (桔梗 Kikyō ) is the one who was given the task of guarding and purifying the Shikon no Tama, aged seventeen. She falls in love with InuYasha and considers using the Shikon no Tama to turn him from a half-dog demon into a full human; this would cause the Shikon no Tama to vanish, allowing her to live as an ordinary woman by his side. However, Naraku disguises himself as Inuyasha to attack her village, leaving her seriously wounded. Fooled by Naraku, Kikyo believes InuYasha has betrayed her and uses her remaining strength to seal InuYasha to the Sacred Tree, leaving him in a sleeping state for fifty years. Shortly before she dies, she orders that the Shikon no Tama be burned along with her remains on her funeral pyre. The Shikon Jewel disappears and is apparently destroyed, but is reborn seven hundred years later in the body of fifteen-year-old Kagome Higurashi, her reincarnation.
After Kagome travels back through time and reappears fifty years after Kikyo's death, an evil demon sorceress named Urasue tries to pull her reincarnated soul into a clay body made with graveyard soil and Kikyo's bones and ashes. Kagome appears to suffer no permanent harm, but a small part of her soul detaches and reanimates the new body with Kikyo's memories, personality, and human appearance. Although Kikyo retains some of her original spiritual powers in this form, she remains "undead" and must absorb the souls of dead women in order to move. At first, she wants to vengefully drag InuYasha into Hell. However, Kikyou gradually returns to her former compassionate nature and when she learns that Naraku caused the real circumstances of her death. Her old feelings for InuYasha are still true throughout the series, which strains Kagome's relationship with InuYasha, since InuYasha reciprocates Kikyo's lingering feelings. Naraku regards Kikyou as a threatening presence throughout the series, not only because of Kikyo's spiritual powers and knowledge, but also because he still retains the human heart of Onigumo at his core and Onigumo still desires Kikyou above all else.
When Kikyo is attacked by Naraku at Mount Hakurei after he transforms his body and cast out Onigumo's human heart, she falls into a river of miasma, thinking of InuYasha as she falls in. InuYasha arrives shortly after and finds her broken bow and believes that she has perished. However, Kikyo actually survived the attack and is inflicted with miasma wounds, which are healed by Kagome, though the miasma wounds continue to have a lingering affect on Kikyo. When Naraku realizes that Kikyo intends to use Kohaku's purified jewel shard to destroy him once the Shikon Jewel is complete, Naraku attempts to kill her again. Kikyo's wounds begin to spread throughout her body, obliging Kagome to go to Mount Azusa to retrieve a special bow to heal Kikyo. However, Kikyo conceals the fact that she sent Kagome to Mount Azusa so that Kagome could rid herself of the miasma Naraku had tainted her with and that she knows that the purifying arrow Kikyo instructs Kagome to shoot her with will end her own life. Kikyo shares her last moments and a final kiss with InuYasha and finally dies in his arms peacefully. Her will is then transferred into Naraku's shard showing a tiny speck of purity in the darkness.
Kaede (楓) is Kikyo's younger sister and assists her with various tasks such as gathering herbs or holding her arrows. After Kikyo's death, Kaede becomes a miko in her own right and defends the village against demons. When Kagome Higurashi arrives, Kaede recognizes her as the reincarnation of Kikyo. After Kagome frees InuYasha, Kaede puts the "Subjugation Beads" onto him to give Kagome the power to control him with a spoken word. Kaede is highly respected by the villagers and the members of InuYasha's group, and she often advises them about demons and other spiritual anomalies. Though InuYasha is easily annoyed by her, he listens to her when necessary and doesn't hesitate to protect her from a threat.
Kaede loses an eye sometime during her life. In the manga, her eye appears to be freshly bandaged and bleeding when Kikyo was trying to defeat the demons with her sacred arrows; supplementary information states that she "lost her elder sister and her eye in an incident fifty years ago." In the anime, she loses her eye while helping defend the village from a demon attack shortly before the Shikon Jewel incident.
In the anime, she is voiced by Hisako Kyoda. In the English dub, she is voiced by Pam Hyatt, who depicts her with an archaic tone and vocabulary, such as using "ye" even extra-grammatically as an accusative and dative.
Myoga (冥加 Myōga ) is a flea demon who appears randomly and gives InuYasha information on current events, foes, and the shards of the Shikon Jewel. Assigned to protect Tetsusaiga's hiding place in the grave of InuYasha's father, Inu no Taisho, he runs away when Sesshomaru comes there in search of the sword. Myoga often flees before or during a battle, which the others recognize as a sign of pending danger; his mere presence in any area is enough to determine its safety. Myoga enjoys drinking demon blood, and actually saves InuYasha's life at one point by drinking a spider demon's venom out of his blood. He can save the others in a similar manner, but often gets slapped for drinking their blood without permission. In the anime, he is engaged to another flea demon named Shoga, but continually runs from her to avoid the marriage.
In the anime, he is voiced by Kenichi Ogata. In the English dub, he is voiced by Paul Dobson.
Totosai (刀々斎 Tōtōsai ) is an elderly blacksmith yōkai who forged Tetsusaiga and Tenseiga from the fangs of his old friend, The Great Dog Demon, who entrusted him to help his two sons. As Inuyasha grows stronger and Sesshomaru grows more compassionate, they become more capable of mastering their respective swords, which Totosai strengthens accordingly. He spends most of his time at his forge inside a volcano, but sometimes travels elsewhere on a flying three-eyed ox named Mō-Mō.
Totosai often appears to be a cowardly, absent-minded old man, but he has the strength to pause an attack from Sesshomaru long enough to allow InuYasha to get away; he can breathe fire and his giant forge hammer can open large fire pits in the ground. At the end of the manga, he continues his role as a blacksmith as seen when giving Kohaku a new weapon.
Kohaku (琥珀) is Sango's younger brother aged eleven who, like his family, also slays demons. Disguised as a young nobleman, Naraku summons Sango's family and companions to slay a false demon, then controls Kohaku with a Shikon shard and makes him kill all of the other demon slayers (Sango survives solely by sheer luck). While Kohaku is seemingly killed by the castle's guards, Naraku resurrects him as an amnesiac puppet to use against his sister using a shard from the jewel. After several encounters with Sango and her friends, Kohaku begins to recover his painful memories. Kagura helps him escape from Naraku, and later joins with Kikyo. When being with Naraku, or with the Band of Seven, Kohaku was being enslaved by Naraku with his memories. After being freed from Naraku's control with a Jewel shard embedded in his back, and after traveling with Kikyo being forced to leave in order to stay alive, Kohaku joins Sesshomaru and Jaken, where he stays with Rin, forming a great friendship with her, becoming her best friend and protecter. At the end of the series, Kohaku travels with Kirara to continues his demon-slaying job and saying that he wasn't going to come back because the house was getting "crowded" with his brother-in-law (Miroku) and his two neices and nephew.
Koga (鋼牙 Kōga ) is the young leader of the eastern yōkai-wolf tribe, aged fifteen, who was nearly wiped out by Kagura and Naraku. He first meets Inuyasha as an opponent in battle, but becomes a reluctant, occasional ally despite maintaining a strong sense of rivalry with the "useless mutt" about their relative combat strengths as well as his persistent courtship of Kagome.
Koga possesses a weapon named Goraishi, which becomes his most powerful weapon. He is also seen carrying a sword, but he doesn't use it often, only in chapter 340 against Mouryoumaru. In the same chapter, he reveals that he took the sword from a human as "decoration," and he didn't think he'd have to use it.
After suffering serious wounds, Koga is partially restored by three Shikon Jewel shards embedded into his legs and right arm. The shards are eventually taken away from him by Naraku, gravely weakening him; he leaves and disappears from the manga, after telling Kagome that she may leave Inuyasha and come to him at any time. In the epilogue of the anime, it is revealed that Koga united all of the wolf demon tribes and married Ayame, the wolf demon girl he had long ago promised to marry "on the night of the lunar rainbow," a promise he had seemingly completely forgotten when she appeared earlier, but evidently eventually had to keep.
Inu no Taisho
Inu no Taisho (犬の大将 Inu no Taishō ) was a powerful yōkai lord who was known throughout Japan. Never formally addressed with a name, he fathered two sons by two different mothers: Sesshomaru from a dog demoness named Inukimi, and InuYasha from a human woman named Izayoi. Inu no Taisho is first mentioned in chapter 12 of the manga as InuYasha's father, "a demon dog that prowled the lands of the west."
Inu no Taisho's major foe in the manga was the dragon Ryūkotsusei, whom he could not kill but sealed onto a cliff face with his claw; Myōga calls this battle the "cause" of his death. In the third film, "InuYasha the Movie: Swords of an Honorable Ruler", Inu no Taisho survives long enough to save Izayoi and their newborn child InuYasha; still weak from his battle with Ryukotsusei, he dies defending them from a human foe.
The gateway to his tomb is hidden in a black pearl (a mystical gem that creates a path between the mortal and spirit worlds) inside InuYasha's right eye. Within the pearl, their father's body is shown as an enormous dog skeleton in a suit of armor: his true form, according to Myoga. The sword Tessaiga, forged from Inu no Taisho's own fang, rests inside this cavernous skeleton, protected by a barrier that repels any non-human with malice toward humans. Because of this, InuYasha inherits the sword rather than Sesshomaru.
Izayoi (十六夜) was a gentle, beautiful human, the daughter of an impoverished noble house. She loved Inu no Taisho and was saddened that the young InuYasha was shunned for his half-demon status. Little else is revealed about her family, age, or even how she died, with InuYasha only noting that she died "a long time ago" and that her manner of death "wasn't her fault." Upon her death, InuYasha inherits the Robe of the Fire Rat, which Inu no Taisho gave Izayoi to protect her on the night InuYasha was born, and a shell containing Izayoi's favorite lip coloring which he gives to Kikyo.
The third "InuYasha" film, InuYasha the Movie: Swords of an Honorable Ruler, which is not directly based on the manga, gives Inuyasha's mother the name Izayoi (十六夜). The film shows her on the night of InuYasha's birth as a captive of Setsuna no Takemaru and his samurai, who plan to lure the Great Dog Demon into coming to rescue her so they can kill him. Izayoi pleads with Takemaru to leave and save his own life, but Takemaru claims he loves her and stabs her through the chest with a spear. Before she dies, she is able to give birth to InuYasha. Inu no Taisho, already injured by his battle with Ryūkotsusei, fights his way through Takemaru's men and the burning building to reach his dead lover and his newborn child. He uses the "Tenseiga" to restore her to life, then covers her with the Robe of the Fire Rat and orders her to flee. Before Izayoi leaves, Inu no Taisho names his son InuYasha. Inu no Taisho remains behind to fight Takemaru to the death as Izayoi flees with their child.
Jinenji (地念児) is a half-human, half demon who lives in a hut with his human mother. Together they grow a variety of medicinal plants, including some known for being powerful against poisons. He is first seen when Kirara is poisoned by Naraku's "shōki" and Kagome and Inuyasha travel to the village to find a cure. Because of his demon blood, the villagers falsely suspect him of killing people, but Jinenji is a gentle giant who is scared of humans because of the way they treat him. He is surprised when Kagome is not frightened by his appearance at all and willingly helps him collect herbs. Jineji also holds a somehow a crush to Kagome and loves Kagome's warm smile. Shunned and abused by humans during his own childhood as a half-demon, InuYasha attempts to convince Jinenji that he needs to be more forceful towards the villagers, especially after he rescues them from the demon who really committed the murders. In the end, Jinenji decides to continue his more gentle approach, giving healing herbs to the men injured during the demon attack. Like InuYasha, Jinenji becomes fully human once a month. During one of these times, Rin visits his home searching for the same cure to heal Jaken, who was poisoned by the wasps while protecting her.
Hosenki (宝仙鬼 Hōsenki ) is an oyster-demon who cultivates a variety of magical jewels. He created the black pearl in InuYasha's right eye that enabled Sesshomaru to travel to his father's grave and try to steal Tessaiga, the sword his father willed to InuYasha. Needing to return to the netherworld later in the series, InuYasha's group seeks out Hosenki, but learn that he has died and his namesake son cannot make the gems yet. He tells InuYasha that he must wait a hundred years before he can make the gems. They find another path to the netherworld where they find the departed Hosenki sitting among the bones of Inu no Taisho's body. However, he has been corrupted by a tainted shard of the Shikon Jewel and attacks Inuyasha. After Naraku reclaims his shard, Hosenki returns to normal and gives InuYasha the use of Adamant Barrage, an attack gained by Inuyasha's loyalty to his friends and lack of greed.
- ^ a b c Takahashi, Rumiko (2007). InuYasha Profiles. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1346-1.
- ^ Takahashi, Rumiko (2000). "Scroll Six: The Cursed Hand". InuYasha, Volume 6. Viz Media. ISBN 1-56931-491-8.
- ^ Takahashi, Rumiko (2000). "Scroll Seven: The Spider's Lair". InuYasha, Volume 7. Viz Media. ISBN 1-56931-539-6.
- ^ Takahashi, Rumiko (2001). "Scroll Three:Naraku". InuYasha, Volume 8. Viz Media. ISBN 1-56931-553-1.
- ^ "The Tragic Love Song of Destiny (Part 1)". InuYasha.
- ^ "The Tragic Love Song of Destiny (Part 2)". InuYasha.
- ^ "Animation 24th Grand Prix [June 2002 Issue]." Animage. June 2002. June 24, 2008 "Animation 24th Grand Prix [June 2002 issue]"(In Japanese)
InuYasha by Rumiko Takahashi Franchise FilmsAffections Touching Across Time • Castle Beyond the Looking Glass • Swords of an Honorable Ruler • Fire on the Mystic Island Video gamesA Feudal Fairy Tale • Feudal Combat • The Secret of the Cursed Mask • Secret of the Divine Jewel
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