Rumiko Takahashi wrote and illustrated the long-running anime and manga series Inuyasha. While this series covered most of the original manga, it was soon canceled to allow the manga to move forward. Following the manga’s conclusion, it was succeeded by Inuyasha, The Final Act, to adapt the rest of the storyline.
Inuyasha deals with a more serious and darker subject matter than much of Takahashi’s previous work, using the setup of the Sengoku period to smoothly display the violent content while also retaining some comedic elements. Takahashi did no significant research on castle designs or samurai (check out this ultimate guide to swords!) because she considered these topics common knowledge. Sunrise adapted the manga into two anime television series.
With all of the headlines about the Inuyasha series finally having a sequel, many new viewers have expressed an interest in watching the original anime. Some people are completely unfamiliar with the series, while others have only read the manga. So here are some facts about Inuyasha that you should be aware of.
Inuyasha is a shonen action-adventure romantic comedy with horror elements. The story begins in Tokyo, Japan, with Kagome Higurashi, a junior high school girl who, on her way to school, visits the covered well on a family property (which also happens to be a Shinto shrine). She does this to fetch her cat, Buyo, from the well because her brother is afraid of going into the dark wellhouse.
When she gets close to the well, a centipede demon bursts out and grabs her. The demon claims Kagome has the Shikon no Tama (also called Shikon/Sacred Jewel) and attempts to seize it. The befuddled Kagome emerges in Japan’s Sengoku period when a mysterious and unknown power drives the demon away.
Kagome wanders and meets an elderly Miko (priestess) named Kaede, who claims that Kagome is the replica of Kikyō, her elder sister who died and had her body burnt down with the Shikon no Tama, carrying it with her into the afterlife. Kaede tells how, 50 years ago, a hanyō named Inuyasha tried to steal the Jewel from Kikyō, mortally wounding her. Still, Kikyō managed to hit him with an enchanted arrow, sealing him to the Time Tree and into a magical and seemingly eternal sleep, snatching the Jewel before she died.
Kagome is (no surprise there) the reincarnation of Kikyō, and she carries the Shikon no Tama within her body. When the centipede demon tore it from her and devoured it, granting the demon a significant boost in power, Kagome is forced to remove the arrow and awaken Inuyasha for him to defeat it.
Soon after they retrieve the Jewel, it’s lost again; Kagome attempts to recover it but accidentally shatters it into pieces. The shards of the Jewel scatter far and wide, and the story follows Kagome and Inuyasha’s adventures as they search for them. The latter always carries his Sword of Destruction – Tessaiga.
The two meet new characters who either join the duo on their quest or confront them for various reasons. Throughout the story, Kagome and Inuyasha grow closer and develop feelings for one another. However, the romance appears to be a side plot for most of the story and is not the main topic.
The artwork in the anime and manga versions of Inuyasha is widely praised, with Anime News Network, Akemi’s Anime World, and many others calling it “excellent.” Some viewers, however, complain that some action scenes are frequently reused and that a static image shifted against a background is sometimes used as a substitute for animation. However, a long anime series like Inuyasha’s production cost necessitates such compromises.
Since its debut on Cartoon Network, the number of Inuyasha fans has grown significantly. The show is so popular that, despite being taken off the air several times during its run (to make way for shows like Big O, Kikaider, and FLCL), it’s always been reinstated due to viewer demand.
As time passed, the show was shifted to later and later viewing times. The logic is that Inuyasha fans won’t mind waiting up, and other shows can be placed between them and their goal. However, the show has become a slightly more mainstay in other countries like Canada, where it’s among the station’s highest-rated weeknight programs, and Latin America, where it airs on weekday afternoons.
There are numerous reasons for the Inuyasha series’ popularity. One possibility is that it is eclectic, incorporating elements from various genres. At first glance, the anime and manga series appear to be primarily action-oriented. It does contain significant action scenes, with at least one scuffle with an enemy in most episodes.
However, it also includes a lot of comedy (often slapstick), many monsters that add horror elements, and the occasional romance. Another reason Inuyasha is so popular is because its characters are sympathetic and diverse enough that most people relate to at least one of them.
Collected via an online survey in Japan, TV Asahi ranked Inuyasha as number twenty among the top 100 anime series in 2006. The series won the Property of the Year award at the ICv2 Anime Awards in 2004 and 2005.
In the Animage Anime Grand Prix polls, Inuyasha has appeared several times in the Best Anime category, finishing third in 2003. Meanwhile, Inuyasha was nominated for Best Long Series, Best Cast, and Best Anime Feature at the 2007 American Anime Awards but lost to Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and Fullmetal Alchemist.
Inuyasha was named Takahashi’s best-animated work in a 2019 NHK poll of 210,061 people. Sesshomaru and Inuyasha were voted third and first in her characters category.
Between March 2003 to November 2004, the English DVDs for the series sold over one million copies, with the first film’s DVD scoring the Nielsen VideoScan anime best seller for three weeks. Viz Media had sold over two million Inuyasha home video units as of 2016. Mania Entertainment included the series in a list of anime series that needed reboots, criticizing the series’ repetitive nature.