Anime of the Past: InuYasha

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

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One of the biggest themes of InuYasha is the ongoing love triangle between InuYasha’s old lover Kikyo and her reincarnation Kagome. Kagome loves InuYasha, and InuYasha in return loves her, though like most anime boys he doesn’t show it very well. However, he also cannot forget the love he had for Kikyo, which constantly torments him. The drama is further heightened when Kikyo is revived as a body made of clay and graveyard soil that constantly needs souls to function. InuYasha becomes torn between the two but chooses Kikyo over Kagome, leaving Kagome heartbroken. Kagome, however, feeling the need to see through their mission through, continues to stay by InuYasha’s side no matter what. InuYasha invokes your own feelings as to who InuYasha should be with. What would you do if your first love came back from the dead and you wanted to protect her this time whilst still loving this new girl who found her way to your heart? It is heart-wrenching to watch Kagome in situations of intimacy between Kikyo and InuYasha, knowing how much Kagome feels for InuYasha and how she can’t fall out of love with him.

Alas, the two grow together and their relationship flourishes more and more as each battle is fought and won. Aside from this triangle, Sango falls in love with Miroku and is constantly seen bashing him every time he starts his ‘womanising’. The two get closer more and more as the series goes on and they develop their relationship which, eventually involves Miroku proposing to Sango. Also, exclusive to the anime is the addition of Ayame, a wolf demon to whom Koga proposed to under a lunar rainbow when she was little after saving her. She comes to Koga’s lands in search of him to fulfill that promise, which at first confuses Koga until he remembers this promise. Koga then feels torn between her and Kagome, who he also ‘proposed’ to when he confessed his love to her in the battle of the Birds of Paradise. Aside from these major love complexes, Shippo is seen every now and then growing attached to young human girls which he forms crushes on.

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Heart torn in two.

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Of course, InuYasha wouldn’t be what is it if it wasn’t jam-packed full of awesome sword fighting action and of course lots and lots of demon killing. The Feudal Era makes for a great background for the fighting, with the art of the samurai playing quite a role in InuYasha. Arguably the best battles in the series are the first battle InuYasha has with his half-brother Sesshomaru over the ownership of the sword known as the Tetsusaiga, and the final battle inside of Naraku. This is followed by the many boss-like fights that are used to allow the Tetsusaiga to gain new abilities, such as the Red Tetsusaiga which can cut through barriers.

Swordsmanship is vital in the world of InuYasha, which is constantly demonstrated in the many sword fights InuYasha and Sesshomaru have. Unfortunately they’re two brothers who don’t get along. Fights for the pure purpose of humour exist as well. These include InuYasha picking on Shippo and Kagome, telling him to ‘sit’, and of course whenever Koga comes around, InuYasha and Koga have it off fighting over Kagome. The most amusing off all the verbal fights, though, are ones between Kagome and InuYasha where Kagome gets upset and generally leaves back to her world. My number one comical fight. though, is when Koga receives a bag of potato chips from Kagome that she brought back from her world, which results in InuYasha fighting Koga to reclaim the ‘ninja food’ as it is nicknamed.

Potato chips. Even in Feudal Japan people will fight for them.

Potato chips. Even in Feudal Japan people will fight for them.

The series comes to its final stage in InuYasha: The Final Act with Kikyo dying in order to deliver one last blow to Naraku, who is attempting to purify the jewel, and using the last of her power to give sustainable life to Kohaku. After this, InuYasha and his party along with Sesshomaru enter the body of Naraku, who has completed the Sacred Jewel. In a long and exhausting battle inside his body, they manage to find him and destroy him. Once destroyed, Naraku uses the last of his power to trap Kagome in the jewel itself. There, it attempts to force her to make a wish by corrupting her thoughts with negative ideas, such as going back to her old life and forgetting everything that happened or returning to InuYasha. If she was to make such a wish, the Jewel would continue to be fought over as it would exist out of a wish being made for self-gain.

InuYasha follows her into the jewel and, using Tetsusaiga, manages to find her just in time. She wishes the one true wish: that is, for the jewel to no longer exist, and as such, she is taken back to her world and the Bone Eaters Well becomes sealed, separating her from the Feudal Era and InuYasha. After 3 years, Kagome graduates and returns to the well and finds she is able to travel back. She makes the decision to stay with InuYasha, and marries him. Sango bares Miroku three children and Shippo continually goes to the fox demon examinations in order to become a strong demon. And finally, Koga and Ayame get married together as promised

Thewholefam

InuYasha is one of most magical anime series I have ever watched and it always brings me to tears during those heartfelt scenes. It’s intense and confronting, but most of all it’s exciting. It is by far one of my most favourite animes. If you haven’t seen InuYasha: The Final Act, I would recommend watching it.

The English dub of  InuYasha was licensed to be released in North America by Viz Media. Viz Media also has the license for InuYasha: The Final Act. In Australia, Madman owns the license. Take a step back in time, InuYasha.

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About Jodie Langford

Jodie joined the Oprainfall Staff as a translator during the winter of 2012. If you see an article on the website with an entirely Japanese source, odds are she’s had a hand in bringing the information to you! She enjoys most RPGs, especially Monster Hunter and Pokemon.


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