InuYasha is one of my favorite anime and was my gateway into the greater anime fandom. While it has made an enormous impact on my ocs, and my artwork. As they center around demonic swords, magical trinkets abound, endless traveling but doesn’t feel pointless. The series has a total of 193 episodes and 4 movies. It was one of the Adult Swim and Toonami blocks until it ended. It was only just recently that it has gotten an anime-spinoff Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon center around the children of the protagonists from the former and the new generations will have their own adventure.
I hope this new anime sequel will boost renewed interest in InuYasha and will bring more merchandise. Such as new games filler in they have to face an OC antagonist of the game. Or the OC would join forces with Inuyasha’s group or Sesshomaru’s group, Naraku’s group that could be an interesting experiment allowing for some more character growth and if they want to do what if end as in a fighting game. Is something that could give the game developers an extra creative freedom that could prevent the reparative tediousness of a recap game. Hell I would welcome one, Naruto and One Piece have countless games. There a handful of InuYasha characters would be perfect for the roster of Jump Force both male and female. Shōnen has a target audience in mind and InuYasha is both a romance and an adventure.
InuYasha was created by Rumiko Takahashi, the creator of Urusei Yatsura and Ranma ½ while they are more comedy center manga. InuYasha is darker as it centers around evil yokai, countless battles and a magical jewel. The Shikon Jewel is a pink spherical jewel that bolster ones holy or demonic powers making it sought after by evil yokai and humans that want to use its wish granting power or to use it to enhance their own natural ones. InuYasha share the spotlight between the cast of characters but mostly focus on the growing romance between InuYasha the half-demon dog (yokai) that was bound to a tree by the previous protector Kikyo the Miko priestess of the Shikon Jewel but is injured and dies from her wounds. The Shikon Jewel was lost till a Kagome Higurashi, a high school girl and fell into her family’s shrine and was transported into the Sengoku Jidai. A time in Japan’s history when feudal lords went to war with each other for power and territories. She meets InuYasha and soon together make comrades who join them in their journey to find all the pieces of Shikon Jewel and stop Naraku. The antagonist who wants the Jewel powers that will grant his wish.
The anime differs from the manga in that it shifts chapters around and combines chapters into an episode. An example: Sango the demon slayer and Kirara had to go repair her Hiraikotsu and that’s why she was not there to face Toukajin, a cannibal Sennin that captures men to feed a yokai tree. So it will bore a fruit that will grant Toukajin immortality and by accident Inuyasha’s group finds one of human face fruit leading them to face the Sennin. Or they had to remove some jokes just to keep the plot going that is used sparingly as InuYasha is also a comedy manga.
Filler in anime does not bother me so much if they are a few episodes long. At most they have an emotional impact on the characters, an interaction between two that have never met. An example is when Sesshōmaru and Koga are about in the anime it is suspenseful what will happen when they and Koga’s companions try to prevent it. As one Sesshōmaru’s travel companion Rin who was killed by Koga’s wolves. Sesshōmaru only has used his heirloom sword Tenseiga to bring Rin and Jaken back to life when they are both slain. Or the filler tries to fill in blanks of an enigma of Inuyasha’s father and mother their names and glimpse into their personalities. Or why Kirara a nekomata which is a two tailed cat yokai lives in a village filled with demon slayers the anime gives a reason as the friend of the Miko priestess who inadvertently created the Sacred Jewel.
If anyone has read my post about Fighting Foodon, InuYasha has a two episode filler about dried food made from demons/yokai which come alive by adding water. The dried food demons/yokai designs are very cartoony and I appreciate how bizarre in the world concept of turning the demon/yokai into food within the world of InuYasha.
But if there is constant flow of filler arcs that can be irritating and pointless when you also had read the manga. Constant filler arc I believe is what hurt the Bleach anime and hurting the Naruto anime. I like the Bakkoto arc of Bleach but only the concept of mollusk parasite Bakkoto swords that differ greatly with the stander Zanpakutō that mirrored it’s wielder soul.
The third movie Swords of an Honorable Ruler of the four movies offers a glimpse into what Inuyasha’s father Tōga was like. The dog yokai that defended Japan from external and internal threats, cared about both his sons and his human wife. That long after his death his vassals look out for his children. The antagonist is Sounga, the third sword of Tōga that he found and only one able wield Sounga without being corrupted by it. Sounga is a more sentient sword than the two swords Tōga gifted his sons. As Sounga talks to wielder and is heard by anyone nearby, it has the powers of Hell, and anyone slayed by it comes back as a zombie servant to Sounga. The only way to stop the war hungry sword is for the brothers to work together then everyone and everything in the Sengoku Jidai will be undead slaves to Sounga. Then it could spread to the rest of the world and alter Kagome’s timeline.
There is an anime trope in Shōnen that I can understand but feel it could be done better is the silhouette of an enemy. When Inuyasha and Kagome along with others are trying to find out more about Naraku. The main antagonist is depicted wearing a white baboon pelt. Where did he get an albino baboon pelt in Japan during the warring era? The power scaling is interesting, in InuYasha it is more centered around the natural abilities of the characters and crafting a powerful sword or weapon. Inuyasha has to improve his sword Tessaiga is to find a yokai or magical trinket so Tessaiga will gain new abilities.
A small negative I have with InuYasha there are a lot of recaps but only noticeable when binge watching. The recaps are very helpful when the extended cast show up also journeying on their own but have the same destination. The censorship is bothersome but also works in the anime in that it separates the artificial humans example Kikyo and Muso to a lesser extent Naraku. Who tends to show the most flesh of anyone but also is the one most shrouded in white baboon pelt and his powers are centered shapeshifting and tend to destroy his clothing. As Naraku’s body is made of countless demons he consumes and uses them he likes the Thing with a bit of DIO added to the mix.
Rumiko Takahashi’s InuYasha add layers of half supernatural beings born from humans and otherworld parents. It has been countless times since antiquity and to this very day and again in the future will have a “demigod” or half Hanyō. It could be how each culture might view the supernatural or the outsider in Greek center mythology; usually the demigod might be viewed as a bastard 9 out 10 times due to being a child of Zeus. But overall the demigods look more human so they are not picked on their looks and are granted powers with only limits if they are mortals. But the danger is Hera will go after them. A recent example of this is the Netflix series Blood of Zeus. While in InuYasha the Hanyō or half-breeds face prejudice and fear for their lives from both humans and Yōkai. They have a moment of weakness in which they lose all their Yōkai power for one day of the year. Inuyasha meets other Hanyō and that allows the audience a window into his past and he sympathizes with Hanyō as he faced the same hardship.
The courtship of Inuyasha & Kagome and Miroku & Sango is worth the watch even with knowing how it will turn out. I decided to revisit the series due to the then recent passing of Kirby Morrow who also voiced Cyclops of X-Men Evolution. It really affected me as he was very young and felt like out of nowhere. And when you fill your own mortality nostalgia seems like a helpful bandage. The dub was done by Ocean Production which in Canada, most of the cast of InuYasha would also voice characters in X-Men Evolution. InuYasha is an anime I recommend everyone should watch for the characters, duality in power in the relationships, concepts and drawing heavily from Japanese Mythology.
Images were found at PixelsTalk.Net and InuYasha The complete series can be streamed on Hulu, the 7 season and the Final Act. VRV as the four movies and first and second season and Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon.