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InuYasha

Inuyasha

Network

Adult Swim (Toonami)

Broadcast Run

Nov. 4, 2012[1] - Mar. 1, 2014[2]

Episodes

167 (List of Episodes)

InuYasha, also known as InuYasha, a Feudal Fairy Tale, is a Japanese anime series based on the manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi. The series follows the half demon, InuYasha, and a teenager from Tokyo, Kagome Higurashi, who is transported to the Sengoku period, where she meets him. When a monster from that era tries to take the magical Jewel of Four Souls embodied in Kagome, she accidentally splits the Jewel into various shards, which are dispersed across Japan. InuYasha and Kagome start traveling to recover it, gaining allies and enemies throughout the journey.

The anime series, produced by Sunrise and consisting of 167 episodes, was broadcast on Yomiuri TV in Japan from October 16, 2000 until September 13, 2004 and was directed by Masashi Ikeda for the first forty-four episodes and by Yasunao Aoki for the remainder. A sequel series, titled InuYasha: The Final Act, was produced and aired from October 3, 2009 to March 29, 2010. The Final Act covers the rest of the manga series. Viz Media has licensed the two anime series for the U.S.

InuYasha ran on Adult Swim (although it had originally been planned for Cartoon Network's Toonami block) from August 31, 2002 through October 27, 2006. It then continued to run on Adult Swim, in reruns. Inuyasha premiered on the revived Toonami block on November 4, 2012, the day the clocks were turned back one hour for Daylight Saving Time, thus adding an extra hour to Toonami. Inuyasha aired during the extra hour as a special event, then took over the 5:00 AM - 6:00 AM time slot the next week. Inuyasha ended its run on Toonami on March 1, 2014 when Adult Swim lost the rights to the series. The series was rated TV-PG-DLV and TV-14-V while on Adult Swim.

PlotEdit

The story begins in Tokyo, Japan, with a fifteen-year-old middle school girl named Kagome Higurashi, who lives on the grounds of her family's hereditary Shinto shrine. When she goes into the well house to retrieve her cat, Buyo, a centipede demon bursts out of the enshrined Bone Eater's Well and pulls her through it. As she leaves the well, Kagome appears in the ancient Sengoku period of Japan. During the demon's previous attack, a magical jewel known as the Sacred Jewel of Four Souls (Shikon no tama) was embodied from Kagome. She then becomes the demon's target and it tries to consume the Jewel and kill Kagome. In desperation, Kagome unseals the half-dog demon, half-human InuYasha who was placed on a tree fifty years ago by Kagome's previous incarnation Kikyo, the young miko of the village in charge of the Sacred Jewel who had, upon her death, requested that the Jewel be burned in her funeral pyre so no one could ever abuse its tremendous power. Although InuYasha destroys the centipede, the Sacred Jewel is later shattered into numerous shards that disperse across Japan. Even the individual shards are capable of granting great power, and are eagerly sought by humans and demons alike. InuYasha and Kagome set out to collect the shards to avoid disasters caused by the Sacred Jewel of Four Souls.

Along the way, they join forces with many former enemies, including: Shippo, a small, orphaned fox demon; Miroku, a monk who suffers from a curse his ancestors were given by a powerful demon; and Sango, a demon-slayer whose clan was killed by a group of demons.

They are mainly opposed by Naraku, a devious and powerful shape-shifting half-demon who manipulated the initial conflict between Kikyo and InuYasha, Sango's clan's destruction and was responsible for Miroku's curse. Naraku collects the shards for himself and continues setting up traps on InuYasha and his companions to take Kagome's fragments of the Sacred Shikon Jewel.

CharactersEdit

Inuyasha — The male protagonist of the series. Although his exact age is unknown, his appearance and general behavior are "equivalent" to a human 15-year-old at the start of the series; in the third movie, Swords of an Honorable Ruler, it's implied he's 200. Born to a dog-demon father and a human mother, Inuyasha is a dog demon/human hybrid who initially wanted to use the enormous power of the Sacred Jewel of Four Souls to become a full-fledged 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 was given the task to protect the jewel. Inuyasha changed his mind and instead, wanted to use the Jewel of Four Souls to become a human so that he could live with her, but, Naraku (an evil half demon) manipulated the both of them into believing they had been betrayed by one another. Being a shape-shifter, he used Kikyo's appearance to deceive and attack Inuyasha, and vice versa. Before Kikyo died, however, she shot the real Inuyasha with a sealing arrow that sealed him to the Sacred Tree of Ages. Inuyasha remained there for fifty years, until Kagome Higurashi (Kikyo's modern-day reincarnation) pulled out the arrow and broke the seal (something she did only as a last resort to save some villagers from a demon centipede).

Throughout the series, his feelings for Kagome become undeniable (also obvious to his friends and enemies who often point this out), but at the same time he can't get over Kikyo, causing some indecisive behavior from him. He is constantly rude and prone to bursts of violence in retaliation to the slightest thing that upsets him. He gets along with his fellow companions Shippo, Miroku, and Sango; however, he yells at Shippo, for his naive comments, and Miroku, for his lecherous tendencies. He has a great hatred for Naraku because of the trap he ensnared him and Kikyo in, wishing to kill him and avenge her. Due to the beads of subjugation, Inuyasha fears Kagome's anger, which will cause her to give possibly several "Sit" commands.

Kagome Higurashi — The female protagonist and narrator of the series. Aged fifteen at the start of the series, she is a middle-school student born 12 March 1982 in modern Japan. She is the reincarnation of the deceased (and later 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.

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, Kikyo's younger sister, uses her great spiritual power to force a necklace onto InuYasha, so InuYasha and Kagome are bound by the artifact. The Jewel's power proves to be a very 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).

Miroku — A Bhikkhu Buddhist, monk, age 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 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 continuous 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 the prayer 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. 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.

Sango — 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, 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.

Shippo — An orphaned young fox demon, age seven, who attempts to steal the Shikon Jewel from InuYasha and Kagome, wanting to become stronger and avenge his father's death. Though his plan fails, InuYasha and Kagome 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. He often bears crushes toward the little girls in the village and strives to protect and impress them. Though he is the weakest member of InuYasha's group, Shippo gradually becomes braver during the series and is dedicated to his friends.

Kirara — 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) whenever the need arises. 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.

Naraku — The main antagonist of the series, having caused the misery of most of the main cast. Naraku was born fifty years ago as a result of a gravely burned bandit named Onigumo forming a pact with surrounding demons to consume him in return to merge into a single body to house his soul so he satisfy his frustrated lust for Kikyo. However, a half-demon, the newly born Naraku acted against his human's self wishes and arranged for Kikyo's demise in the expectation that she would corrupt the Shikon Jewel. However, she decided to die with the jewel burned with her corpse. Unlike other half-demons, he can choose what time he will lose his demonic powers, however he reverts to a head attached to multiple demons. During this time he discards the weaker demons that he is attached to.

Naraku is driven by three goals: Becoming a full demon, possessing a fully corrupted Shikon Jewel, and possessing 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 fataly wound Kikyo. However, learning she planned to purify the jewel and his soul along with it when he completed the gem, Naraku was forced to take back in Onigumo to avoid this, and successfully kill her.

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.

GalleryEdit

EpisodesEdit

Color Season Episodes U.S. Season Premiere U.S. Season Finale
1 27 August 31, 2002 January 21, 2003
2 27 January 22, 2003 May 1, 2004
3 28 May 8, 2004 January 17, 2005
4 28 January 18, 2005 July 23, 2005
5 28 July 30, 2005 March 22, 2006
6 29 March 29, 2006 October 27, 2006

The episodes of the series are based on the first 36 volumes of the manga series. The entire series has been released on DVD in the United States.

Broadcast HistoryEdit

The series premiered in Japan on Nihon and Yomiuri TV on August 16, 2000 and ran for 167 episodes until its conclusion on September 13, 2004. It also aired on Animax's English-language networks in South Asia and East Asia and it was broadcast on Yomiuri TV and Nippon Television.

Viz Media licensed the series in North America and the English dub of the series was broadcast on Cartoon Network as part of its Adult Swim programming block from August 31, 2002 through October 27, 2006. The series also aired in Canada on YTV.

  • Japan (Nihon, Yomiuri TV) — August 16, 2000[3] - September 13, 2004
  • Japan (Animax) — October 16, 2000 - 2004
  • South Asia (Animax) — October 16, 2000 - 2004
  • United States (Adult Swim) — August 31, 2002 - 2010; November 4, 2012[1] - March 1, 2014[2]
  • Canada (YTV) — 2004 - 2007

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Adult Swim's Toonami Block to Show Tenchi Muyo! GXP ". animenewsnetwork.com. November 3, 2012. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-11-03/adult-swim-toonami-block-to-show-tenchi-muyo-gxp. Retrieved on June 9, 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Inuyasha is Leaving Symbionic is Returning DST Line Up! ". toonami.tumblr.com. February 25, 2014. http://toonami.tumblr.com/post/77799319382/inuyasha-is-leaving-symbionic-it-returning-dst-line. Retrieved on September 28, 2014. 
  3. "Inu Yashu TV Series details ". animenewsnetwork.com. August 29, 2000. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2000-08-29/inu-yashu-tv-series-details. Retrieved on February 15, 2017. 
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