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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... Written by
Kimberly Milliff <email@example.com>
"Inuyasha" is one of the greatest anime that I have ever had the fortune to see. Despite not seeing the very first episodes, reading the manga brought me up to speed since the anime mirrors it very closely. I know there are a few detractors out there, but thankfully they went to the trouble of actually watching it before they started bashing. Hopefully, they'll either warm up to "Inuyasha" or find an anime capable of satisfying their exacting standards.
The characters are what make "Inuyasha" so awesome. Without the characters, the show wouldn't be the success that it is. We start with Kagome Higurashi, a typical Japanese teenage girl --- until she stumbles into an ancient well that transports her back into Japan's Warring States Era. There, she meets a canine-based half-demon named Inuyasha and after shattering the Shikon Jewel, or the Jewel of Four Souls, they have to work together to find the fragments before demons can use those fragments to enhance their own abilities and use them for evil. They largely fail in the whole "stopping demons from using the Shikon Jewel shards" deal, because by the time they find a jewel shard, a demon already has custody of it and is using it for evil. So they have little choice but to fight the aforementioned demon and take the shard from him or her once they achieve victory. The funny thing is that Inuyasha initially hates Kagome, as she is the reincarnation of Kikyo, a priestess he loved (until she pinned him to a tree with a sacred arrow). However, he grows fond of Kagome and obviously comes to love her, but he won't admit it to anyone. Things don't get any easier when a portion of Kagome's soul is stolen and used to animate a facsimile of Kikyo's body made from clay, resulting in a rather disturbing love triangle.
Then there are the supporting characters, which I'll name in order of appearance. There's Shippo, a kitsune (fox spirit/demon) whose father was killed by a duo of demons called the Thunder Brothers. Next, there's Miroku, a monk who's overly fond of women and has a "wind tunnel" in his hand, a void that can consume demons but will eventually consume him. Then there's Sango, a tough-as-nails demon slayer whose family and tribe were slaughtered by Naraku's demons. To add cruel insult to already-grievous injury, Naraku has reanimated Sango's brother's body with a shard of the Shikon Jewel and placed him under his control.
Now I have to explain the villains of "Inuyasha." The two main villains of "Inuyasha" are Sesshomaru and Naraku. Sesshomaru is Inuyasha's half brother and a full demon, as Sesshomaru's mother was a demon woman and Inuyasha's mother was human. Their father gave each brother a sword; Inuyasha received Tetsusaiga, a sword that can slay a hundred demons in one swing, while Sesshomaru received Tenseiga, a sword that can save a hundred lives in one swing. However, it is only in later episodes that Inuyasha learns how to use Tetsusaiga's powers. Sesshomaru hates Tenseiga, as it is a sword of life and thus he cannot kill anyone with it. He especially doesn't want to save human lives, as he has no respect for humanity at all. Ironically, he uses Tenseiga to restore the life of a little girl named Rin when she's killed by wolves. For being a villain, Sesshomaru is very complex; he's not pure evil so much as semi-evil.
Naraku, on the other hand, is undeniably and unforgivably evil. He is the fusion of hundreds of demons and the soul of a human bandit named Onigumo who lusted after Kikyo. He apparently desires the Shikon Jewel, but he may have other reasons beyond the obvious. Naraku's primary skill lies in twisted schemes designed to make Inuyasha and his allies suffer. He started by turning Inuyasha and Kikyo against each other, continued by cursing Miroku's grandfather with the wind tunnel (a curse that would ultimately be passed on to Miroku), and recently orchestrated the slaughter of Sango's tribe. As another person who commented on this anime said, Naraku is the consummate "supervillain."
Besides the obvious action, there are also elements of romance-comedy to be found in "Inuyasha." For example, the Inuyasha/Kagome/Koga triangle. Koga is a wolf demon that falls in love with Kagome and declares her "his woman." Inuyasha gets extremely jealous, especially when Kagome is nice to Koga, and yet he cannot figure out why he's so jealous. Then there's the interaction between Miroku and Sango. Miroku constantly gropes Sango and she constantly slaps him for it, but if you read into their actions, it's fairly obvious that they care deeply for each other. If only Miroku would stop groping her so much . . .
These are the reasons why "Inuyasha" is awesome and if you haven't figured that out by now, then read the manga or rent one of the DVDs. You won't regret it, and if you do, it's your own fault.
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