Overview– Kagome Higurashi is a 15-year-old schoolgirl who lives at a history-filled Japanese shrine. She is also the reincarnation of an ancient priestess named Kikyo, who guarded the sacred Shikon no Tama (Jewel of Four Souls), and who sealed away the half-demon Inuyasha who had tried to steal the jewel in order to become a full demon. Kikyo died of her wounds and had the jewel burned with her body. Kagome is one day pulled into the ancient well on her family’s shrine and thrown into the past, 50 years after Kikyo’s death. She befriends Kaede, the late Kikyo’s sister, who realizes Kagome is Kikyo’s reincarnation. They are attacked and learn that Kagome has the Shikon no Tama, but it’s actually inside her body! Kagome accidentally awakens the dog-demon Inuyasha and frees him after the jewel has been ripped from her body. Now Inuyasha wants the jewel back, but Kagome can’t let him have it. He is forced (by Kaede’s magic) to wear a necklace that allows Kagome to control him with one word, “Sit!”, which sends him face-first into the ground. Kagome accidentally shatters the jewel, and now she and Inuyasha have to work together to find all the pieces before they fall into the wrong hands. Only Kagome can “sense” where the shards are, and only Inuyasha is powerful enough to get them from the demons or people who have them. But can they stop fighting long enough to work together?
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“I seek nothing more than to battle the most powerful beings alive, which excludes the lowly likes of you.” – Sesshomaru
Sesshomaru was a powerful Inu Daiyōkai, feared throughout the Feudal Era. He was the half-brother of the hanyō Inuyasha and the first son of the Tōga, their father. Unlike many other yōkai, he had no interest in possessing even a single shard of the Shikon no Tama to enhance his powers and considered yōkai who sought its abilities only to strengthen themselves as pathetic and weak. Despite the lack of interest towards the Shikon no Tama, he longed to end Naraku’s life due to personal reasons. On his journey, he was accompanied by a two-headed dragon named A-Un, a demon imp named Jaken, an orphaned human girl named Rin, and eventually Sango’s younger brother Kohaku. On several occasions throughout the series Sesshōmaru’s group happened to encounter Inuyasha’s group while both teams were hounding down Naraku and Sesshōmaru more or less willingly helped out Inuyasha and his friends which he always claimed as not have been his actual intentions in any of such situation.
“My actual wish, you say? That’s right. All I wanted… was Kikyō’s heart. It looks like I won’t even be able to… join her in death either.”- Naraku
Naraku was a spider hanyō who was born from the human, Onigumo and various other yōkai, and the primary antagonist of the InuYasha series. He was directly responsible for the death of Kikyō and the seal placed on Inuyasha. Naraku desired the Shikon no Tama, a jewel that would be able to grant him near-invincibility should he acquire all the pieces of it. He desired the jewel to purge his half-human self from his body, and enhance his strength even further. Close to the end of the story Naraku gained all Shikon Jewel shards and made the Shikon no Tama whole again which resulted in Naraku transformed himself into a full-Spider yōkai shortly before his defeat and death by Inuyasha’s hands.
He is responsible for nearly all the other character’s misery, something he enjoys. However, Naraku himself has never found happiness. In the epilogue, after his death, the Demon of the Shikon no Tama became the last enemy of Inuyasha inside the jewel because he had always manipulated him from the inside of the jewel in order to assure his continued existence.
“I’m a half-demon, more egotistical and greedy than any other living creature — that’s what human beings are, right?.. But with human blood flowing through my veins, I never give up! Don’t you understand? When you have someone to protect, your power increases multifold!”- InuYasha
Inuyasha was an Inu-Hanyō, who was the second son of the famous Inu-Daiyōkai the Inu no Taishō and the human woman named Izayoi. He’s the main protagonist of the series.
50 years ago, Inuyasha was pinned to a sacred tree by a sacred sealing arrow shot by the priestess Kikyō after he attempted to steal the Shikon no Tama fifty years prior to the main story’s timeline. Kagome Higurashi released him from the seal fifty years later, but soon after, she accidentally shattered the Shikon no Tama into hundreds of fragments. They reluctantly agreed to work together as a team on Kaede’s behalf to recover all of the fragments that had scattered across Feudal Japan before they fell into the wrong hands, though over time they develop a close bond and eventually fall in love.
“I want you to be happy. I want you to laugh a lot. I don’t know what exactly I’ll be able to do for you, but I’ll always be by your side.”- Kagome
The star of the show, Kagome has a surprising amount of latent power thanks to being Kikyo’s reincarnation. Kagome’s raw spiritual power and ability to detect the Shikon shards are priceless assets when tracking down the shards. She also possesses the ability to purify the shards and heal wounds, helping her comrades in their time of need. Kagome also serves as Inuyasha’s backup, using her purified arrows to weaken Inuyasha’s enemies and get him out of a pinch. She also can frequently be seen in the larger battles teaming up with Inuyasha’s Kaze no Kizu by shooting one of her sacred arrows into it in order to enhance the damage done to the enemy. Being Kikyo’s reincarnation naturally makes her a yokai magnet and she can easily defend herself against the average yokai. Her strategic skills also serve her well when she is cornered or tricked into less favorable positions in battle making her the natural leader of the Inuyasha crew, though Inuyasha will never admit such a thing.
“You are a weak human. How can you kick my ass? Atleast I don’t put kagome in danger! If she were with me that’d never happen. Kagome is my woman!”- Koga
Kōga is the young leader of the eastern yōkai-wolf tribe, or the Yōrō clan, which is nearly wiped out by Kagura and Naraku. He first meets Inuyasha as an opponent in battle, but later becomes a reluctant, occasional ally despite maintaining a strong sense of rivalry with the ‘useless mutt’ about their relative combat strengths, as well as Kōga’s persistent courtship of Kagome. Although Kōga often flirts with Kagome, it is later revealed that he has promised Ayame, another wolf demon, to make her his wife. Later, Kōga tries to get Ayame to give up her pursuit by saying he will only marry someone who can sense sacred jewel shards. These events don’t happen in the manga because Ayame is an original character made especially for the anime. Kōga married Ayame and became the new chief of the wolf demon tribe. Kōga is introduced in the series with three Shikon shards in his possession; two embedded in his legs and one in his right arm. He loses the shard in his arm during a fight with the leader of the Birds of Paradise, and the shards in his legs are eventually taken away from him by Naraku, gravely weakening him. After Kikyō’s death at Naraku’s hands, Kōga decides to parts ways with Inuyasha, Kagome, and the rest of the group, leaving the battle with Naraku up to them. He also tells Kagome that she may leave Inuyasha and come to him at any time.
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“The future is not a straight line. There are many different pathways. We must try to decide that future for ourselves.”- Kikyo
Kikyō was a Miko during the Sengoku Jidai and, at one time, Inuyasha’s main love interest. She was entrusted by the yōkai Taijiya to guard and purify the Shikon no Tama. Along with her younger sister, Kaede, Kikyō dedicated her life to protecting the jewel, slaying many demons in the process and thus could not live a normal life like other girls. It was not long until she met the hanyō Inuyasha, who also desired the mystical Jewel to become a full-fledged yōkai. Somehow, she sees him as a companion and desires to live a normal life with him. However, fate turns cruel against her when Naraku, a hanyō that coveted the Shikon no Tama, tricks them both into betraying each other. When she is led to believe that Inuyasha wanted nothing but the jewel, she seals him to the Goshinboku and dies a painful death. Before dying, she asks her younger sister, Kaede, to burn the jewel along with her body so that it would not fall into the hands of evil again. Fifty years after the incident, she is resurrected by the demon ogress Urasue, using grave soil and the soul of her reincarnation, Kagome Higurashi. Shortly after, Kagome calls her soul back and Kikyō is forced to rely on the souls of the dead, collected by her Shinidamachū, to sustain her fake body. Though she was initially cold-hearted and harbored deep hatred towards Inuyasha, this hostility gradually disappears and her love for Inuyasha returns. As she is already dead, she resolves to not rekindle her relationship with Inuyasha and pours all of her resources into helping others, destroying Naraku and purging the Shikon no Tama from the world. In the end, however, Naraku’s darkness proves too powerful and overcomes Kikyō’s power, completely corrupting the jewel. He strikes her down, wounding her fatally. After sharing one last kiss together with Inuyasha, her soul finally finds peace and her body disappears into a bright cluster of souls and light. The Shinidamachū then carries Kikyō’s soul into the star-filled sky.
“Well, first, you can clean the temple top to bottom for me.“- Sango
As the last surviving member of the Taijiya clan, Sango has big shoes to fill. Her family was born to fight and exterminate yokai, a skill she mastered at the age of only sixteen and is why she is such a huge asset to Inuyasha and his crew. She can defend herself and her abilities are only enhances with Kirara by her side. She possesses superhuman strength as well, seeing as her main weapon, Hiraikotsu, is a giant boomerang bigger than her. Both her and Miroku are on the same level and come in handy defeating the many smaller minions Naraku pumps out while Inuyasha and Kagome pursue the larger targets.
“Life itself is a frightening image for every human being…. being strong in life isn’t easy.”- Miroku
Miroku was raised and trained by his father’s friend named Mushin who became Miroku’s guardian when his father was swallowed by his Kazaana, an event Miroku witnessed alongside Mushin. The status of his mother is left unknown.
His grandfather, Miyatsu was cursed by Naraku who, in the past, had fought together many times and each time Naraku appeared to him in a different form. Though Miroku’s grandfather was a powerful monk, he was also a lecherous man which Naraku used to his advantage. Naraku took the form of a beautiful maiden in order to catch Miyatsu off guard. When Naraku revealed himself, the battle between the two foes began. Whilst battling Naraku, Miyatsu was pierced through the hand – creating the Wind Tunnel. The wind tunnel would grow bigger as time passes, and eventually will overgrow the victim’s hand, which will suck in the victim and tear them apart. This curse has been passed down from father to son, and thus eventually to Miroku. Miroku is able to control the wind tunnel by sealing it with prayer beads.
“I have been challenged to a duel to the death. Yes, it was just another day in my life as a brave warrior!”- Shippo
Shippō was an orphaned young kitsune who attempted to steal Shikon no Tama shards from the Miko Kagome Higurashi and the Inu-Hanyō Inuyasha, wanting to become much stronger and avenge his father’s death at the hands of the Thunder Brothers. Though his plan fails, Kagome and Inuyasha aid him after hearing his story, and he becomes their companion for the rest of the series.
Shippo normally appears to be a young boy with certain fox-like features which are typical for a kitsune: his legs, feet, ears, and tail. He can shapeshift, but his other forms (such as a large pink flying balloon and mushroom) 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.
“I don’t discuss my Lord’s matters with filthy half breeds like you!”- Jaken
Jaken was an imp who was extremely loyal to Sesshōmaru, often praising his master’s greatness. Although Jaken was not nearly as powerful as his employer, he was skilled at wielding the Nintōjō. He seldom engaged in battle and was actually killed by Kaijinbō with Tōkijin, but Sesshōmaru resurrected him with Tenseiga.
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