List of InuYasha characters

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From left to right, Kilala, Sango, Shippo, Kagome, Miroku and InuYasha.

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 begins with Kagome Higurashi, who after being pulled down a well by a demon, finds herself in Sengoku period of feudal Japan, where she learns that a powerful jewel has been reborn inside her body. After the jewel shatters in an attempt to retrieve it from one of the many demons who was after its power, Kagome must join forces with the half-demon InuYasha, also after the jewel's power, to track down the shards of the jewel before its power falls into the wrong hands.


Concept and creation[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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."[1]

Protagonists[edit]

InuYasha (犬夜叉?)

Voiced by: Kappei Yamaguchi (Japanese), Richard Ian Cox (English)
Birthday: April 1 (Aries)

InuYasha is the male protagonist of the series. His exact age is unknown, but in the third movie, Swords of an Honorable Ruler, it is revealed that he is over 200 years old, despite having the appearance of a teenager. 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, Sesshōmaru. Fifty years prior to the main era of the storyline, though, InuYasha fell in love with the priestess Kikyō, 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 InuYasha's appearance to deceive and attack Kikyō. Before Kikyō 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 (Kikyō'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).

A few days later, in an attempt to stop a crow demon who escaped with the Sacred Jewel (which had previously been embedded in Kagome's body), Kagome shot an arrow at it and accidentally shattered the Jewel into thousands of fragments that scattered across Feudal Japan. InuYasha and Kagome then travel together to retrieve its shards. At first, he is hostile and uncooperative but Kikyō's younger sister, Kaede, now elderly and the priestess of the village, gives Kagome a necklace that restrains InuYasha from trying to steal the Sacred Jewel. Whenever Kagome gives the simple command "Sit!", InuYasha is forcibly pulled face-first to the ground due to the strong spiritual power the unbreakable necklace contains. In the beginning, InuYasha was cold and aloof towards Kagome, merely seeing her as means of recollecting the jewel fragments. As the story progressed, however, he begins to fall in love with Kagome, and yet is strained by the unexpected reawakening of Kikyō by another demon. He is extremely protective of Kagome and always worries about her safety. He often blames himself when Kagome is in danger because he feels that she would be safer if she was not with him. Because of this, he sometimes tried to force Kagome to stay in her own world. During these times, he was physically weaker without Kagome by his side. 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 Kikyō, causing some indecisive behavior from him. After the reincarnated Kikyo's death, Inuyasha finally moves on and realizes that Kagome is and always was his one and only true love.

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 Shippō, Mirōku, and Sangō; however, he yells at Shippo, for his naive comments, and Mirōku, for his lecherous tendencies. He has a great hatred for Naraku because of the trap he ensnared him and Kikyō in, wishing to kill him and avenge her. Due to the beads of subjegation, InuYasha fears Kagome's anger, which will cause her to give possibly several "Sit" commands.

Eventually, Kikyō finally passes away (despite Kagome's best efforts to save her) and ascends to Nirvana. As the series progresses, InuYasha falls completely in love with Kagome, realizing that she is the sole reason that he is no longer lonely or unhappy. During the final battle within the sacred jewel, he states that she was born for him and he for her. In the anime adaptation, they share a kiss. After Kagome wishes the jewel away with him at her side, they are separated for three years. However, InuYasha and Kagome are eventually reunited, and later married.

The name InuYasha means "Dog Yaksha". Historical Japanese figures featured names ending in "yasha" (夜叉), a non-native term (Chinese characters meaning here is phonetic and gibberish) borrowed from Chinese in turn phonetically borrowed from Sanskrit.

Kappei Yamaguchi also known as the voice of Flappy from Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash Star.

Kagome Higurashi (日暮 かごめ Higurashi Kagome?)

Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino (Japanese), Moneca Stori (original series, movies, games), Kira Tozer (The Final Act) (English)
Birthday: Sometime in the Fall (most likely Scorpio)[2]

Kagome Higurashi is the female protagonist and narrator of the series. Aged 15 (which is in 9th grade) and therefore the youngest of the group. She is a beautiful, bold, kind and warm-hearted girl. She goes out of her way to help people, and teaches InuYasha to display kindness. She is emotionally and spiritually the strongest in the group and often uses her powers when her friends are in danger. She invited Mirōku, Shippō, Sangō, Kirara, and even Kagura (who declined), to join her and InuYasha on their quest to collect the jewel shards and defeat Naraku. She is extremely tolerant in dealing with Inuyasha's pettiness, though the two argue quite a bit. Her kind attitude resulted in many men (Kōga, Hōjō etc.) strongly falling romantically in love with her. Her heart is pure, although a speck of darkness is found later in the series that is caused by her jealousy of the priestess Kikyō, who InuYasha loved. Despite this, Kagome always saved and showed kindness to Kikyō when given the chance. She becomes much more strong and skilled in archery as the series progresses, and eventually learns to master her immensely strong spiritual powers.

Aged fifteen at the start of the series, she is a middle-school student born in the Fall of 1982 in modern Japan. She is the reincarnation of the deceased (and later reawakened) priestess Kikyō, and thus resembles the priestess in looks. Kagome has the Sacred Jewel of Four Spirits unknowingly hidden inside her body until her fifteenth 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 Kikyō'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, Kikyō'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).

As the series progresses, she begins to deeply fall in love with InuYasha, and finds herself competing with the revived Kikyō for his romantic love and affections. Near the end of the series Kagome finds herself trapped in the sacred jewel. She has to make a decision that could make or break the world that she knows and loves, with just one final wish. With the help of InuYasha by her side, Kagome wishes away the jewel saving the world around and is sent back to her own time. Three years later, eighteen-year old Kagome returns to the Feudal Era after completing her High School years and meets up with InuYasha once again. As a result of that, she marries InuYasha. She becomes a priestess and lives with him for the rest of her life.

Mirōku (弥勒?)

Voiced by: Kōji Tsujitani (Japanese), Kirby Morrow (English)

Mirōku is a Bhikkhu Buddhist, lecherous 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. Mirōku can attack enemies with his holy staff (used as a medium for barriers) 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 upon his grandfather by Naraku. Though the Wind Tunnel is extremely powerful because it can suck in almost anything in its path, it grows larger over time and with continuous use; it will eventually consume Mirōku, as it consumed his grandfather, Miyatsu, and his father. Mirōku 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. However, Naraku can also remove the curse to make a time when he's faked his death seem authentic, and place it back on, as seen in the second movie.

Mirōku first meets InuYasha by stealing the Shikon Jewel, causing them to fight one another until Kagome leaps between them. After Mirōku 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, Mirōku 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 Sangō, 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, Mirōku also has the more serious motive of wanting an heir to follow him if he dies without defeating Naraku.

Over time, Mirōku's feelings mature and he begins focusing his affections more exclusively on Sangō. 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 (though in a bit unothodox manner), which she accepts, though their relationship takes longer to solidify since Mirōku is still prone to flirting with other girls, but expresses jealousy when other men act the same way towards Sangō. When Naraku is finally killed near the end of the series, Mirōku's Wind Tunnel disappears, freeing him from the curse. In the end of the Final Act, Mirōku marries Sango and has three children with her, twin girls and a boy. He supports his family financially by exorcising demons with InuYasha; however, according to InuYasha, the payments he asks for a little more than what he deserves ("You were always greedy, but this is a whole new level."), but Mirōku defends this as he has to provide for a family.

Sangō (珊瑚?)

Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima (Japanese), Kelly Sheridan (English)

Sangō 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, Sangō'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 Sangō into battle.

Sangō 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, Sangō's younger brother, and causes him to slay all the demon slayers except Sangō. Realizing a demon was possessing both the lord and Kohaku, Sangō attempts to attack the lord, but she and Kōhaku 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 Sangō into attacking InuYasha by deeming him responsible for her village's destruction. When the plot fails and Sangō joins InuYasha's group, Naraku revives Kohaku, controlling him as a pawn to manipulate Sangō's emotions. While Sangō seeks revenge against Naraku, her primary goal is to rescue Kōhaku from Naraku's influence and save his life.

Sangō is often the victim of Mirōku's lecherous tendencies and gives him a loud slap for it, though she eventually falls in love with him. While she accepts Mirōku's proposal of marriage, she requests that Mirōku stop his lecherous actions and not to flirt either. He gradually acquiesces to her request, focusing his attention on her exclusively. At the end of series, when Mirōku loses his Wind Tunnel, Sangō marries Mirōku, using the next three years with Mirōku 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.

Sangō was ranked as #44 in a survey conducted by Newtype Japan for Favorite Anime Heroine in 2002.[3]

Shippō (七宝?)

Voiced by: Kumiko Watanabe (Japanese), Jillian Michaels (English)

Shippō is 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.

Shippō 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 tailand and 2 5'' in height. 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 Mirōku and Sangō, 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, Shippō 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.[1] He often bears crushes toward the little girls in the village and strives to protect and impress them, and usually works; Kagome believes Shippō has picked up some of Mirōku's habits. 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 Shippō from joining their final battle against Naraku, Shippō goes anyway in hopes of helping his friends in the ways that he can. At the end of the Final Act, Shippō resides in Kaede's village, but often leaves to train and take the kitsune demon examination.

Kilala (雲母?)

Voiced by: Tarako

Kilala is Sangō'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 Sangō, Mirōku and Shippō) 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. It is made apparent that Kirara once belonged to Midoriko when they go to her cave for the first time. When Kōhaku's memory returns, Kirara is the first character to find out. Following the destruction of both Naraku and the Shikon Jewel, Kirara became partners with Kōhaku on his quest to slay demons for those in need.

Antagonists[edit]

Incarnations of Naraku[edit]

Naraku (奈落?)

Voiced by: Hiroshi Yanaka (first appearance), Toshiyuki Morikawa (formal form) (Japanese), Paul Dobson (English)

Naraku is 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 that he could satisfy his frustrated lust for Kikyō. However, a half-demon, the newly born Naraku acted against his human's self wishes and arranged for Kikyō'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 will he 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.

After his body was destroyed by InuYasha's multiple barrage Meido Zangetsuha attacks, he confesses that all he had wished for was Kikyō's heart and his soul was purified by Kagome's sacred arrow. After his death, he made a wish to become a part of the Shikon (Inuyasha: The Final Act, Episode 25). In the anime adaptation, when Kagome wishes for the Shikon Jewel to disappear, everyone in the Jewel, including Naraku, the priestess Midoriko and the demons she has been constantly battling, is shrouded in yellow light and stops fighting as Naraku is revived from the light. His final thought is how at peace the light made him feel.

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.

Kanna (神無?)

Voiced by: Yukana Nogami (Japanese), Janyse Jaud (English)

Kanna 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. She is immune to the Infant's ability to read hearts to know what someone is truly thinking, but possesses thoughts and feelings of her own.

Kanna carries a demonic mirror that can steal souls of those reflected in it. Once a soul is trapped by her mirror, she 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.

Kagura (神楽?)

Voiced by: Izumi Oogami (Japanese), Janyse Jaud (English)

Kagura is 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, Kagura despises Naraku more than his enemies due to him possessing her heart and using it as a means to punish her or remind her of her place. As a result, Kagura's desire to be free leads her to covertly aid both InuYasha and Sesshomaru, developing feelings for the latter, in hopes that they can kill him for her so that she can reclaim her heart.

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, she becomes increasingly protective of him; she shares information with him about Naraku's weaknesses; she thwarts her fellow "detachment" Hakudōshi from taking the Shikon shard that keeps Kōhaku alive; finally, she openly defies Naraku by helping Kōhaku escape. As a result, mockingly awarding her for hindering Hakudōshi with her freedom, Naraku fatally wounds Kagura with Miasma and leaves her to die alone in pain. Catching her scent, Sesshōmaru goes to her and finds that her wounds are beyond Tenseiga's power to mend, though Kagura is comforted by being able to see him one last time. InuYasha's group also arrives, watching her body dissolve into the wind.

Goshinki

Voiced by: Michael Kopsa

Goshinki is Naraku's third detachment. Unusually, he is a large purple skinned demon with red eyes and two horns extending from its head, as well as spikes protruding from his elbows. As such, he is a powerful yokai who is not only strong, but extremely agile for his size; however his most dangerous ability is reading minds, which he uses to avoid dangerous situations and exploit his enemies' weaknesses. After being slain by InuYasha, Goshinki's fangs are used to make Sesshōmaru's mighty sword Tokijin, which serves as his primary weapon until it is shattered in a fight with Mōryōmaru.

Jurōmaru

Voiced by: Brian Drummond

Naraku's fourth incarnation. He takes the appeance of a purple-haired youth in green clothing. Unlike his fellow "siblings" created prior or after him, Jurōmaru lacks any intellect and lives solely to kill others and consume them; only his elder twin, Kagerōmaru, can control him. Jurōmaru was shackled with Kagerōmaru sealed in his gut by a mask; Naraku removed the restraints to increase the chances of his enemies being killed. He proved to be an equal in strength for InuYasha, but was pulverised by the Wind Scar. Note: in the manga, Jurōmaru drools an oozey substance, but in the anime a bright light comes out of his mouth.

Kagerōmaru

Voiced by: Brian Drummond

Naraku's fifth detachment. Kagerōmaru is a parasite-like body with sickle-like arms; however, he has a head similar to his twin brother Jurōmaru. He tried killing Naraku upon his birth, but was punished for his actions by having his heart squeezed. Sealed inside Jurōmaru, Kagerōmaru emerged after the mask keeping him in his brother's gut was removed. He proved to be an equal in speed for Koga the wolf demon. He and Jurōmaru were pulverised by the Wind Scar.

Musō (無双?)

Voiced by: Hiroshi Yanaka (Japanese), Paul Dobson (Onigumo), Brian Dobson (Muso) (English)

Though Naraku's sixth incarnation, Musō is actually Onigumo himself. Originally faceless and without memory of his past, Onigumo took the face and name of a wandering monk named Musō. Eventually, with Kagura watching on Naraku's order, Muso ventures to Kikyō's former village and regains his memories of Onigumo and desires for Kikyō. He sees Kagome with InuYasha and fights in order to possess Kagome. However, as the demons composing his body are beginning to break away because his human aspect is removed, Naraku is left with no choice but to reabsorb Muso back into his body.

The Infant (赤子 Akagō?)

Voiced by: Ai Kobayashi (Japanese), Chiara Zanni (English)

The Infant (Known as Akagō in Japan) 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 was to use Kagome to find the remaining shards of the Shikon Jewel. He finds her jealousy of Inuyasha's feelings for Kikyō, but Inuyasha saves her before the Infant can control her. Like Hakudoshi and Kagura, the Infant is not loyal to Naraku. Hakudōshi 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 Infant and Moryomaru are absorbed by Naraku.

Hakudōshi (白童子?)

Voiced by: Ai Kobayashi (Japanese), Chiara Zanni (English)

Hakudōshi is Naraku's eighth detachment, created when the Infant is severed in half by the power of a dying monk. Hakudōshi appears the form of a young boy, but is extremely dexterous and also proficient with handheld weapons. As they were originally one, Hakudōshi possesses the same powers as the Infant and Naraku, such as infinite regeneration due to lacking his heart. He also acquired the demon horse Entei before the steed was killed by InuYasha. Like Naraku himself, Hakudōshi is sadistic and loves to cause chaos; however, unlike him he doesn't mind getting his hands dirty and doesn't flee as quickly. Eventually, seeking to betray Naraku, Hakudōshi creates Mōryōmaru to house the Infant and make his other half the more dominant over their creator. However, Naraku discovered their traitorous intentions and had the Saimyosho leave Hakudōshi to be sucked into Miroku's Wind Tunnel.

Byakuya of the Dreams (白夜 Byakuya?)

Voiced by: Mitsuaki Madono (Japanese), Michael Adamthwaite (English)

Byakuya is Naraku's ninth and final detachment, meant to replace Kagura, Hakudōshi and Kohaku. Like Kanna, he appears loyal to Naraku, doing as he is ordered. Originally, his purpose is to observe InuYasha and Moryomaru's growing powers and report back to Naraku. Byakuya is a powerful sorcerer, usually employing the use of illusions; however, he has many others powers as well: he can possess people with paper soldiers, summon vines to entrap his enemies, teleport others to different dimensions, turn his left eye into a winged demon for recon, and much like Naraku, the Infant and Hakudōshi, fly in a barrier. He travels on a giant origami paper crane in a similar fashion to Kagura's expanding feather ornament, despite being capable of flight without it.

Like Hakudōshi, Byakuya is linked to Naraku, but unlike his "brother", Byakuya loses parts of his body if Naraku does. He carries a blade-less sword, meant to absorb the power of InuYasha's sword and use it against his foes. 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.

Mōryōmaru (魍魎丸?)

Voiced by: Masaki Terasoma (Japanese), Ross Douglas (English)

Mōryōmaru is an enemy of Naraku, despite being indirectly created by his powers via Hakudōshi. He is a 100-foot-long (30 m) demonic golem who can shoot blasts of energy from his arm. Mōryōmaru was originally merely a life force puppet made from yōkai, gaining a personality once Kanna places The Infant inside him. Now a medium of the Infant's will, intending to be the dominant aspect of Naraku, Mōryōmaru goes to absorb different yōkai to increase his power to the point of nearly defeating most of Naraku's enemies when they ganged up on him as he destroyed Tokijin before running off. However, Mōryōmaru meets his end when tricked into absorbing Naraku, enabling him to reabsorb the Infant and consume Mōryōmaru from the inside out.

Band of Seven[edit]

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 despite having superpowers they are all only 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 (?), meaning "skill". It can also be referred to as "bone".

Kyokōtsu (凶骨?)

Voiced by: Daisuke Gōri (Japanese), Mark Gibbon (English)

Kyokōtsu is the largest of the Band of Seven but also the weakest. His weapon is his size itself, and he proves to be a formidable foe. Against Koga, Kyokōtsu also uses a giant iron ball attached to a flail-like long chain, but this is nearly useless against Koga's speed. Despite his massive size and fearsome looks, Kyokōtsu is totally human - his powers come from his habit of eating many demons. He terrorizes yōkai-wolf tribes who are defenseless against his size and invulnerability. Kyokōtsu is defeated when he holds Koga too close to his face, allowing Koga to pull out his Shikon jewel shard and kill him instantly.

Jakōtsu (蛇骨?)

Voiced by: Ai Orikasa (Japanese), Jenn Forgie (English)

Jakōtsu is the third in command. He has been a close friend of their leader, Bankōtsu, since before the group's formation and is still the only person Bankōtsu trusts. Jakōtsu's chief weapon, the Snake Sword or "Jakōtsuto," has segmented retractable blades that curve out across a great distance, making it difficult for an opponent to calculate his next move. Jakōtsu has an androgynous appearance and is a homosexual. He admires how handsome Sesshōmaru when up close to him during their fight and made advances toward Miroku and InuYasha on first meeting them. Jakōtsu also admires 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.

Jakōtsu 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, Jakōtsu says he is happy because he got to fight the battle he wanted.

Mukōtsu (霧骨?)

Voiced by: Tetsu Inada (Japanese), Trevor Devall (English)

Mukōtsu 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, Mukōtsu attempts to rape Kagome until she stabs him, and soon after Mirōku and Sangō appear. Mukōtsu poisons Kagome, Mirōku and Sangō, nearly killing them, but is soon killed by Sesshōmaru, who is immune to his poisons.

Renkōtsu (煉骨?)

Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita (Japanese), Brian Drummond (English)

Renkōtsu 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 Ginkōtsu 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 Mukōtsu and Kyokōtsu. He becomes resentful of Bankōtsu'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 (by taking the latter's shard), Bankōtsu kills him.

Ginkōtsu (銀骨?)

Voiced by: Hisao Egawa (Japanese), Katuri Lawrence (English)

Ginkōtsu was a member of the Shichinintai and was Renkōtsu's assumed best friend, since the two were hardly ever apart. Renkōtsu built Ginkōtsu's mechanical body and kept it running throughout the time that Ginkōtsu had it before it was blown up by Inuyasha. Renkotsu then rebuilt Ginkōtsu's tank body in a cave with a whole new variety of weapons, making Ginkōtsu a walking arsenal. Eventually, Koga caused Ginkōtsu to self-destruct by clogging his cannon with a piece of Renkōtsu's armor. Ginkōtsu's jewel shard was subsequently used by Renkōtsu to heal his wound.

Suikōtsu (睡骨?)

Voiced by: Hiroaki Hirata (Japanese), Michael Donovan (English)

Suikōtsu has a split personality: "Doctor Suikōtsu" has a normal human appearance and is good, kind, and respected by villagers; "Suikōtsu 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 Sesshōmaru and Kikyō's sacred arrow, and asks them to remove the Shikon shard from his neck to let him die peacefully. Respecting his wishes, Kikyō reaches for the shard but is stopped by Jakōtsu, who takes it to Bankōtsu.

Bankōtsu (蛮骨?)

Voiced by: Takeshi Kusao (Japanese), Matt Hill (English)

Bankōtsu is the leader of the Band of Seven. Both the youngest and strongest member of the group, he carries the huge halberd Banryu, though the weapon resembles a large Zanbatō. Though a skilled mercenary and has killed many people; Bankōtsu retains a sense of honor and compassion where his comrades are concerned.

After his resurrection, Bankōtsu reclaimed Banryu and proceeded 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 Bankōtsu repairs it with the jewel shards Renkōtsu stole from Kagome. After learning that Renkōtsu murdered Jakōtsu, Bankōtsu kills Renkōtsu for his betrayal and claims the jewel shards he stole from their comrades. With seven fragments in his body and two in his halberd, Bankōtsu heads off to destroy InuYasha, in revenge for his dead friends.

In the manga, InuYasha gradually cuts the Shikon shards out of Bankōtsu's body as the battle progresses until Bankōtsu is cut in two, with Naraku stripping the remaining half of its Shikon shard. In the anime, Bankōtsu reached his quota of killing 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.

Secondary fictional characters[edit]

The Western Lands Tribe[edit]

Inu no Taisho (犬の船長 Inu no Taisho?)

Voiced by: Akio Otsuka (Japanese), Don Brown (English)

Inu no Taisho was an extremely powerful yōkai lord who ruled the Western Lands, and was known throughout Japan. Never formally addressed with a name, he fathered two sons by two different mothers: Sesshomaru from his consort, a dog demoness, and InuYasha from a human woman named Izayoi. Inu no Taisho is first mentioned in chapter twelve 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 Ryukotsusei, whom he could not kill but sealed onto a cliff face with his claw; Myōga calls this battle the "cause" of his death.

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 Myōga. The sword Tetsusaiga, 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.

Sesshōmaru (殺生丸?)

Voiced by: Ken Narita (Japanese), David Kaye (original series, movies, games), Michael Daingerfield (The Final Act) (English)

Sesshōmaru, the anti-hero 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. He is the heir and successor of his father, Inu no Taisho.

He has a blue moon on his forehead (which he inherited from his mother) and magenta stripes on his face and wrist. 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, Sesshōmaru gradually becomes more sympathetic and caring after meeting the human child Rin, who never shows any fear of Sesshōmaru's demon-self. Even going as far as using Tenseiga to revive her, Sesshōmaru becomes a guardian to Rin, coming and opting to Rin's aid whenever she's in trouble. His growing compassion and the reaction of the Tenseiga to Sesshōmaru's feelings for Kagura prompts the master swordsmith Totosai to reforge Tenseiga, enabling the Meidou Zangetsuha ("dark path of the dawn's moon blast") attack. Meido Zangetsuha cuts open a path to the underworld which sends his opponents directly to hell. When Sesshōmaru first uses it, the path forms a thin crescent. It becomes closer to a full circle as he learns to master it. In order to learn more about his sword, he goes to visit his mother, who was entrusted with the Meido Seiki. Kōhaku and Rin are then taken to the underworld by a hellhound. Sesshōmaru pursues them but Rin stops breathing during her captivity. In an attempt to save her, Sesshōmaru kills the Underworld Master, but still cannot revive her. Realizing the pain of losing someone important, Tenseiga reacts to his compassion and purifies the underworld and brings them back to the world of the living. Sesshōmaru does not desire his new Tenseiga as it came with the cost of Rin's life. His mother, despite shown as cold and heartless, says "don't expect me to do this a second time" and brings Rin's life from the Meido back into the world of the living. Concluding with "all this fuss over a little human girl.. you inherited the most unusual traits from your father."

After Naraku attempts to manipulate him by using Rin as a hostage, Sesshōmaru becomes determined to destroy Naraku as his main goal; after Kagura dies, Sesshomaru accepts the fighting Tenseiga to destroy Naraku in order to make sure that she hadn't died in vain. He eventually gains his own blade that is a manifestation of his own power, Bakusaiga, which appeared along with his left arm after he let go of his attachment and preoccupation with Tetsusaiga. Tōtōsai explained that his obsession over his father's memento resulted in him losing his arm and that once he let go of his obsession, he gained his own sword and a new arm - showing that he truly surpassed his father. Bakusaiga can cut opponents and continue doing damage after impact. Once cut, the opponent cannot regenerate. If the opponent reabsorbs the cut parts, then the part that wasn't cut will also be damaged. Using Bakusaiga, Sesshōmaru dealt the final blow to Naraku. At the end of the Final Act, Sesshōmaru continues to travel with Jaken by his side, while often visiting Rin, (whom he has left in Kaede's village to live as a human) and brings her gifts.

Sesshōmaru's Mother

Voiced by: Yoshiko Sakakibara

Sesshōmaru's mother (never formally addressed with a name) is a powerful yōkai just like her deceased mate, Inu no Taisho. She is the mother of the great dog-demon's full yōkai, first son and heir; Sesshōmaru. She is a dog demoness and thus, can transform into a giant dog demon as well as bear a more human appearance like her mate and son. She is the Lady Mother (formerly Lady) as the mate of the deceased Inu no Taisho; as such she resides in a large palace.

She holds the mystical Meido Stone, which was given to her by Inu no Taisho. He told her that if Sesshōmaru were to come by, to use the Meido Stone and not feel fear or sadness if it put his life in danger. This was apparently another of the dog demon's tests for his son.

In demeanor she is similar to Sesshōmaru, albeit with a certain playfulness; observing Rin and Kōhaku[disambiguation needed] following Sesshōmaru, she inquires casually if he is planning to eat them. Observing Sesshōmaru's trial after activating the Meido Stone, she seems at best only casually concerned about the possibility of his death, and after he refuses the escape route she offers, she seems mildly offended, complaining that, unlike his father, he "completely lacks any charm." However, she does feel concern for her son's well-being, as seen when she brings Rin back to life using the Meido Stone after witnessing his reaction to her death, and later when she questions Jaken in whether or not Sesshōmaru was happy now that Rin was brought back. By showing him that death is immutable, she helps her son understand the value of life and sacrifice. This is an important lesson for Sesshōmaru who has always little valued the lives of others and, upon obtaining the sword Tenseiga, assumed that he could conquer death itself. In showing him that life is fragile and that those he cares for need to be protected, his mother helps him take the final step in his maturation, a prerequisite for him becoming a great demon on his own, and obtaining the sword Bakusaiga. Although she is a daiyokai, she is shown to have a good heart, chiding Sesshōmaru for seeking to perfect the Tenseiga as a weapon of death and destruction rather than a weapon of healing and life. She also lectures him about the qualities of the wielder of the Tenseiga, emphasizing the need for compassion, love and a pure heart. It appears as though she bears no grudge towards her deceased mate for having an affair with the human woman Izayoi; rather, she still harbors deep feelings towards him. This would be in keeping with the customs of that era, as it was common for high lords to have secondary wives and concubines, in addition to their primary consort.

She makes her first appearance in chapter 466 of the manga, and in the ninth episode of the anime Inuyasha: The Final Act.

Izayoi (十六夜?)

Voiced by: Kikuko Inoue (Japanese), Alaina Burnett (English)

Izayoi 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.[4][5]

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 Takemaru of Setsuna 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.

Sesshōmaru's vassals[edit]

Jaken (邪見?)

Voiced by: Yuichi Nagashima (Japanese), Don Brown (English)

Jaken is a small green imp-like yōkai who is extremely loyal to Sesshōmaru, often praising his master's greatness although Sesshōmaru usually ignores and sometimes abuses him. Jaken himself is not especially powerful, but he carries a fire-throwing weapon given to him by Sesshōmaru known as the Staff of Two Heads.

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 Sesshōmaru 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 his poison whip. Out of a sense of obligation, Jaken followed Sesshōmaru, who allowed him to become a servant if he could use the Staff of Two Heads.

In the epilogue, he still travels with Sesshōmaru. After hearing Kagome call his lord, "brother-in-law", Jaken threatens to kill her only to be shut up again by Sesshōmaru.

Ah-Un (阿吽 A-Un?)

Ah-Un is a two-headed dragon demon and Sesshōmaru's beast of burden. He is one of two yōkai in the series who is explicitly stated to be a herbivore, the other being Tōtōsai'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" (the Kanji symbols 阿吽 together translate as "Alpha and Omega"). 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 Sesshōmaru. A grey cloud-like gas trails from his legs in flight, similar to Kirara's flames. He seems to respect Rin more than Jaken therefore she is recognized as his true master.

On their journeys, Rin and Jaken often rest on his back to fly over great distances. When Sesshōmaru 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.

InuYasha's vassals[edit]

Myōga (冥加?)

Voiced by: Kenichi Ogata (Japanese), Paul Dobson (English)

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 Sesshōmaru comes there in search of the sword. Myōga 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. Myōga 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.

Tōtōsai (刀々斎?)

Voiced by: Jōji Yanami (Japanese), Richard Newman (English)

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 Sesshōmaru grows more compassionate, they become more capable of mastering their respective swords, which Tōtōsai 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.

Tōtōsai often appears to be a cowardly, absent-minded old man, but he has the strength to pause an attack from Sesshōmaru 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 Kōhaku a new weapon.

Other demons[edit]

Kōga (鋼牙?)

Voiced by: Taiki Matsuno (Japanese), Scott McNeil (English)

Kōga is the young leader of the eastern yōkai-wolf tribe, age 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. He fell in love with Kagome (shortly after he kidnapped her) because of her kindness and beauty. Inuyasha always felt uneasy and jealous during Koga's visits because he worried that Kagome might have feelings for Koga. In this way Koga has often been the source of Kagome's and Inuyasha's fights. Koga, like Inuyasha, is very protective of Kagome and has a strong sense of when she is in danger.

Kōga 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 Mōryōmaru. 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, Kōga 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 Kōga 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 seemed to have completely forgotten when she appeared earlier, but evidently eventually had to keep.

Jinenji (地念児?)

Voiced by: Hisao Egawa (Japanese), Michael Dobson (English)

Jinenji is a half-human, horse-demon hybrid 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 Inuyasha and Kagome 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 crush on 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. At the end of the anime series, Jinenji was seen helping Kagome.

Hōsenki (宝仙鬼?)

Voiced by: Ryūzaburō Ōtomo (Japanese), Dave Pettitt (English)

Hōsenki is an oyster-demon who cultivates a variety of magical jewels. He created the black pearl in InuYasha's right eye that enabled Sesshōmaru to travel to his father's grave and try to steal Tetsusaiga, the sword his father willed to InuYasha. Needing to return to the netherworld later in the series, InuYasha's group seeks out Hōsenki, 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 Hōsenki 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, Hōsenki 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.

Other humans[edit]

Feudal Japan[edit]

Kikyō (桔梗?)

Voiced by: Noriko Hidaka (Japanese), Willow Johnson (English)

Kikyō is the one who was given the task (by the Taijiya clan) of guarding and purifying the Shikon no Tama, aged seventeen. She is a very vengeful woman, and is quite cautious of who she trusts. She strongly falls romantically in love with InuYasha and considers using the Sacred Shikon Jewel to turn him from a half-dog demon into a full human; this would cause the Shikon Jewel to vanish from the world, allowing her to live as an ordinary human woman by his side. However, Naraku disguises himself as InuYasha to attack her village, leaving her seriously wounded. Fooled by Naraku, Kikyō 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, along with Kikyō herself, five hundred years later in the body of fifteen-year-old Kagome Higurashi, her modern-day reincarnation.

After Kagome travels back through time and reappears fifty years after Kikyō's death, an evil demon sorceress named Urasue tries to pull her reincarnated soul into a clay body made with graveyard soil and Kikyō'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 Kikyō's memories, personality, and human appearance. Although Kikyō 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, Kikyō gradually returns to her former nature and when she learns that Naraku caused the real circumstances of her death. She also feels more free than when she was living as a shrine priestess as she was free to hate and love. Her feelings for InuYasha are still true near the end of the series, which strains Kagome's relationship with InuYasha, since InuYasha reciprocates Kikyō's lingering romantic feelings. Naraku regards Kikyō as a threatening presence throughout the series because he still retains the human heart/mind of the bandit Onigumo at his core and Onigumo still obsessively desires Kikyō above all else. Throughout the series, Kikyo is quite unkind to Kagome. Several times she speaks coldly to her, and once she almost killed her. She also refused to show any gratitude to Kagome when Kagome purified her miasma. It is hinted that her treatment towards Kagome is caused by the jealousy she harbors of Kagome's and Inuyasha's relationship. However, as the series goes on Kikyo finally shows kindness to Kagome, and at her death scene her kind thoughts about Kagome imply that she is fine with Inuyasha's and Kagome's relationship.

When Kikyō 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. InuYasha arrives shortly after and finds her broken longbow and believes that she has perished. However, Kikyō actually survived the attack and is inflicted with deep miasma wounds, which are purified and healed by Kagome, though the miasma wounds continue to have a lingering affect on Kikyō. When Naraku realizes that Kikyō intends to use Kohaku's purified Jewel shard to destroy him once the Shikon Jewel is complete, Naraku attempts to kill her again. Kikyō's wounds begin to spread throughout her body, obliging Kagome to go to Mount Azusa to retrieve a sacred longbow with special spiritual abilities of its own to heal Kikyō. However, Kikyō conceals the fact that she sent Kagome to Mount Azusa so that Kagome could rid herself of the miasma Naraku had tainted her with. Kikyō shares her last moments with InuYasha and finally dies in his arms peacefully. Her unusually strong willpower is then transferred into Naraku's shard showing a tiny speck of purity in the darkness. When Naraku kills Kohaku after he finally had the will to live after apologizing to Sango, Kikyō's light within the shard decided to save Kohaku's life instead. In the end, she left the task of purifying the Sacred Shikon Jewel to Kagome, leaving herself to finally be a "normal woman" where her soul and spirit is finally freed.

Before Kikyō died, her soul came to her sister Kaede in a vision, apologizing for everything that happened. This shows that Kikyo truly loved her sister.

Kaede (?)

Voiced by: Hisako Kyoda (Japanese), Pam Hyatt (original series, movies, games), Linda Darlow (The Final Act) (English)

Kaede is Kikyō's younger sister and assists her with various tasks such as gathering herbs or holding her quiver of arrows. After Kikyō's death, Kaede becomes an unusually strong shrine priestess in her own right and defends the village against demons. When Kagome arrives, Kaede recognizes her as the modern-day reincarnation of Kikyō. After Kagome frees InuYasha, Kaede puts the "Subjugation Beads" onto him to give Kagome the ability to control him with a mere spoken word-"Sit." 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 Kikyō 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."[1] In the anime, she loses her eye while helping defend the village from a demon attack shortly before the Shikon Jewel incident. Kikyō's powers weakened after falling in love with InuYasha and in her state, she still tried to defend the village during a demon attack. A demon began attacking Kaede from behind and Kikyō fired an arrow the demon. The demon broke into pieces from the arrow and a piece of the debris pierced Kaede's eye.

In the Final Act of the Series, Kikyō's spirit came to Kaede before she died. Kaede, during the vision, returned to her younger self, right at the time of Kikyō's first death. Kikyō apologized to her, saying that Kaede suffered much because of her. Kaede, in tears, says that was never the case. Kikyō vanishes forever and, when the vision ends, Kaede is still in tears, thinking of all the years she lost with the sister she loved so much, and not being able to do anything to help her.

In the English dub, she was depicted with an archaic tone and vocabulary, such as "ye" even extra-grammatically as an accusative and dative. However, this is dropped for her appearances in The Final Act.

Rin (りん?)

Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (Japanese), Brenna O'Brien (English)

Rin is an eight-year-old orphan girl who finds Sesshōmaru in the woods beneath a huge tree, after Inuyasha hurt him with the wind scar. 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 Kōga, killing and eating the villagers. Recovered from his wounds, Sesshōmaru finds Rin's lifeless body and revives her using Tenseiga. After that, Rin starts talking again and remains in company with Sesshōmaru, Jaken, and a two-headed dragon Ah-Un. Throughout the series, she is known for her kindness and loyalty to Sesshōmaru, even though he's a cold and uncaring demon. She believes that men are more evil than demons because human robbers killed her entire family. In the Final Act, she causes grief and great sadness to him when she dies so in a way, Rin brings out the best in Sesshōmaru. Sesshōmaru never shows to other people his feelings for Rin, but he does have them. Rin also has a good relationship with Kohaku, as she tells him what about her family's murderous death. Kohaku tried to kill her when under Naraku's mind control, but once free, he became Rin's best friend and protects her along with Sesshōmaru. She is able to fully control Ah-Un, and is recognized as his main master, as shown several times in openings and episodes that Jaken can't fully control the beast, even though he got him first. It may either because Rin showed him kindness that he protects her and lets her ride him, or he may just like her better than Jaken. She is seen riding him the most often. Besides that she has no special abilities except in the third movie she uses Sesshōmaru's sword as a protective barrier. At the end of the InuYasha series, Rin lives with Kaede, although Sesshōmaru is shown often visiting her and bringing her gifts. InuYasha stated that she is in the village to practice to return to a human village or whatever she chooses. Rin's age is around ten or eleven when the series ends.

Kōhaku (琥珀?)

Voiced by: Akiko Yajima (Japanese), Alex Doduk (original series eps. 24-101), Danny McKinnon (original series eps. 102-167, movie, games), Aidan Drummond (The Final Act) (English)

Kōhaku is Sangō's younger brother aged eleven who, like his family, also slays demons. Disguised as a young nobleman, Naraku summons Sangō's family and companions to slay a false demon on Kōhaku's first day, then controls him with a Shikon shard and makes him kill all of the other demon slayers (Sangō survives solely by sheer luck). While Kōhaku 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 Sangō and her friends, Kōhaku begins to recover his painful memories, and is aversive to confronting the memories. Kagura helps him escape from Naraku, and later joins with Kikyō. When being with Naraku, or with the Band of Seven, Kōhaku was allowed to be free-willed. After being freed from Naraku's grasp with a Jewel shard embedded in his back, traveling with Kikyō, and several encounters with Sangō, he decides to stay with Kikyō because staying with her soothes his soul. When Kikyō was tainted with Naraku's spider webs, he was forced to leave in order to prevent his shard from being tainted. Kōhaku also has a good relationship with Rin, becoming fast friends after meeting, and became protective of her in the Final Act. At the end of the series, even if he and Rin are still friends, Kōhaku travels with Kirara to continue 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, Mirōku, and his two nieces and nephew.

Modern Japan[edit]

Hōjō (北条?)

Voiced by: Yuuji Ueda (Japanese), Matt Smith (English)

Hōjō is a school friend of Kagome who has a very large crush on her. Kagome's school friends think that Kagome and Hōjō should be together, but Kagome, while she is attracted to him, never took the dates he asked seriously even though she agreed, and every single time would either forget or bail out on the dates so that she could go back to the Feudal Era to be with InuYasha.

Hōjō is always under the pretense that Kagome has a fatal illness, due to the excuses Kagome's grandfather tells in order to keep Kagome out of school for long periods of time while she is in the Feudal Era. Because of this, Hōjō is frequently seen giving Kagome traditional remedies and supplies for her various fictional illnesses. Sometimes her grandfather uses the gifts from Hōjō on himself. When Hōjō shares his family tree, they notice that one of his ancestor's name is Kagome In short, Kagome is attracted to Hōjō, but in a friendly way. Hōjō seems to be a girl magnet.

In the ending of The Final Act, Hōjō is seen dating his college classmate after Kagome left for the Feudal era to live with Inuyasha.

Mama Higurashi (日暮ママ ?)

Voiced by: Asako Dodo (Japanese), Cathy Weseluck (English)

Mrs. Higurashi is the mother of Kagome and Sōta Higurashi. She is very supportive of Kagome and welcoming to InuYasha. She doesn't appear to mind Kagome spending long periods of time in the Feudal Era.

Sōta Higurashi ( 日暮草太?)

Voiced by: Akiko Nakagawa (Japanese), Saffron Henderson (Original series Seasons 1-5, Movies 1 & 2), Rebecca Shoichet (Original series Season 6, Movie 3, The Final Act) (English)

Sōta is Kagome's younger brother. He and Kagome have a typical brother-sister relationship and looks up to Inuyasha as an older brother figure.

Grandpa Higurashi (日暮じいちゃん?)

Voiced by: Ginzo Matsuo (Original Series Seasons 1-2, Movies 1 & 2), Katsumi Suzuki (Original series Seasons 3-6, Movie 3, The Final Act) (Japanese), French Tickner (English)

He is the grandfather of Kagome and Sōta Higurashi; as well as the father of Mr. Higurashi and father-in-law of Mrs. Higurashi. Grandpa often covered for Kagome's prolonged absences at school with interesting, and often absurd, excuses, which make Kagome's friends worry a lot about her.

Yuka (由加?)

Voiced by: Kaori Shimizu (Japanese), Jillian Michaels (English)

Yuka is one of Kagome's three best friends from the modern era. She has neck-length brown hair and is the most outspoken of the three. She often expresses concern over Kagome's relationship with Inuyasha.

Ayumi (あゆみ?)

Voiced by: Nami Okamoto (Japanese), Cathy Weseluck (English)

Ayumi is one of Kagome's three best friends from the modern era. She has shoulder-length black hair and is the naive, gentle one of the three. She's the only one of the group to express support for Kagome's relationship with Inuyasha.

Eri (絵理?)

Voiced by: Yuki Masuda (Japanese), Saffron Henderson (Original Series Season 1-5, Movies 1 & 2), Rebecca Shoichet (Original Series Season 6, Movie 3, The Final Act) (English)

Eri is one of Kagome's three best friends from the modern era. She has shoulder-length black hair and, like Yuka, is very outspoken. She is very concerned with Kagome's relationship health and never hesitates to give her opinion on Kagome's potential boyfriends (Hojo and Inuyasha).

Reception[edit]

In 2001, Inuyasha won the Animage Grand Prix for Best Male Character.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Takahashi, Rumiko (2007). InuYasha Profiles. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1346-1. 
  2. ^ http://www.myanimelist.net/
  3. ^ Newtype USA, Vol 2 - Issue 4. April 2003.
  4. ^ "The Tragic Love Song of Destiny (Part 1)". InuYasha.
  5. ^ "The Tragic Love Song of Destiny (Part 2)". InuYasha.
  6. ^ "Animation 24th Grand Prix [June 2002 Issue]." Animage. June 2002. June 24, 2008 "Animation 24th Grand Prix June 2002 issue(In Japanese)