Another series that I’ve never blogged about which was one of the first I ever watched is Inuyasha. The series is based on a manga by Takahashi Rumiko that went for 56 volumes. The title character, Inuyasha, is a hanyou, a half-youkai (demon), half-human boy struggling to grow up in a feudal land which is over-run by youkai who prey on the humans attempting to live ordinary lives and who are less than sympathetic toward hanyou. In the opening episode he is pinned to a tree and sealed there by the priestess he loves, and there he stays for 50 odd years. Enter Kagome. Kagome is your average middle school girl, except her family lives on and runs a local temple. Kagome herself turns out to be a reincarnation of Inuyasha’s priestess lover, but that fact only becomes apparent later. In the first episode Kagome is pulled into an old well on the temple grounds by a youkai who wants the object of power embedded in Kagome’s body, the Shikon no Tama. The old well turns out to be a gateway between Kagome’s modern world and Inuyasha’s feudal one.
Once dragged into the feudal world, Kagome is attacked by demons wanting the Shikon no Tama and to protect it she releases Inuyasha from his seal, only to discover that he wants the Shikon himself. Inuyasha’s behavior is controlled by a rosary and he is mostly forced to work with Kagome. In Inuyasha’s and Kagome’s struggles to keep the Shikon, Kagome accidentally hits it with an arrow and shatters it into millions of fragments which are scattered to the four winds. From that point Inuyasha and Kagome begin to work together to collect the fragments to make the Shikon whole again, Kagome to prevent youkai from obtaining it and using it for evil and Inuyahsa to use its power to convert himself to a full demon. The entire series is basically their continuous struggle to find and keep the Shikon no kakera (fragments of the Shikon no tama).
Along the way, Inuyahsa and Kagome gain friends to help them with their quest, including a perverted monk named Miroku, a girl named Sango who is almost the last of a demon-slaying clan, and a small fox-demon named Shippou. This group travels around obtaining the Kakera and fighting evil, mostly in the form of Naraku, an ultra-evil bad guy who not only wants the Shikon’s power, he wants to taint it to make it even more powerful. He also wants badly to destroy Inuyasha-tachi. Naraku has a penchant for creating evil minions using pieces of himself, and he also controls Sango’s brother, who works for him.
Two other people integral to the plot line include, Kikyou, the priestess who once loved Inuyasha and sealed him to the tree when she thought he had betrayed her, and Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha’s full-demon half-brother. Kikyou is revived from the dead by a witch-woman using a piece of Kagome’s soul, and Kikyou then keeps herself alive using soul collectors to retrieve the souls of the newly dead as an energy source. Kikyou is a continuous thorn in Kagome’s side, since Inuyasha still loves her and frequently chooses Kikyou over Kagome, despite the facts that she’s dead, she mostly hates him and she has her own agenda. Sesshoumaru cannot stand the fact that he has a half-human half-brother and he periodically shows up to try to kill or torment Inuyasha, or steal the powerful sword that their father left to Inuyasha rather than Sesshoumaru.
This is the basic premise, and the original series went for 167 episodes of Inuyasha-tachi going around trying to gather the shards, fight Naraku and fend off Sesshoumaru. There were also four Inuyasha movies made and a second series called The Final Act, which I blogged about back in April of 2010. The series is entertaining, with good music, a good character style and a good plot line which has enough minor arcs running through it not to become too tedious. I recommend this series if you haven’t seen it.
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