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, full title   (romanized as INUYASHA), is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi. It premiered in Weekly Shōnen Sunday on November 13, 1996 and concluded on June 18, 2008. The series follows a time-traveling high school student, a half-demon, a lecherous monk, a fox demon, a demon slayer, and a nekomata during the Sengoku period as they seek to find all the fragments of the Jewel of Four Souls and to keep them out of the hands of evildoers, especially Naraku.


The manga was adapted into a 167 episode anime series produced by Sunrise. Masashi Ikeda directed the first forty-four episodes, while Yasunao Aoki directed the remainder of the series. InuYasha premiered on Yomiuri TV in Japan on October 16, 2000 and ran until September 13, 2004. A second series, InuYasha: The Final Act, began airing October 3, 2009 to cover the rest of the manga series.

Plot

The story begins with a flashback to Feudal Japan, when the half-demon InuYasha raids a human village to steal the Jewel of Four Souls, a magical jewel that enhances its wielder's powers and can grant a single wish. InuYasha hopes to use the gem to turn himself into a full-blooded demon, but is soon stopped when Kikyo, the young miko of the village, shoots him with a sacred arrow, sealing him onto the sacred tree Goshinboku in the nearby forest. Mortally wounded, Kikyo tells her younger sister, Kaede, to burn the jewel with her body to prevent it from falling into the hands of evil.

The story then shifts to modern Tokyo, where a junior high school girl named Kagome Higurashi lives on the grounds of her family's hereditary Shinto shrine. When she goes into the wellhouse to retrieve her cat, Buyo, a centipede demon bursts out of the enshrined Bone Eater's Well and pulls her through it.

Kagome emerges into a strange wilderness, initially unaware that she has travelled back through time to the Sengoku period of Japan, fifty years after Kikyo's death. Other than the Bone Eater's Well itself, the only familiar landmark is Goshinboku. She finds InuYasha still sealed onto the tree in an enchanted sleep, and a group of hostile peasants who drag her back to their village.

Their old priestess, Kaede, recognizes Kagome as the reincarnation of her sister Kikyo; when the centipede demon returns, Kaede realizes that the Jewel of Four Souls has also been reborn in Kagome's body. Kagome frees InuYasha so he can kill the centipede demon, but after defeating it, InuYasha again tries to take the Jewel for himself. Kaede thwarts him by placing a magical rosary around his neck, allowing Kagome to subdue him with a simple command.

The Jewel of Four Souls attracts more demons, and the jewel is shattered into numerous shards that disperse across Japan. Even the individual shards are capable of granting great power, and are eagerly sought by humans and demons alike. Kagome and InuYasha set out to collect the shards and restore the Jewel of Four Souls. Along the way, they befriend Shippo, a small fox demon; Miroku, a cursed monk; and Sango, a demon-slayer with a tragic past.

The group encounters many friends and foes during the adventure, including InuYasha's older half-brother Sesshomaru; Kikyo, partially resurrected with a fragment of Kagome's soul; Naraku, a powerful collective demon who manipulated the initial conflict between Kikyo and InuYasha; and a wolf demon named Koga, who is InuYasha's dedicated rival in both love and war.

Eventually, Naraku collects all of the shards and reassembles the Jewel of Four Souls. Although InuYasha defeats him, Naraku uses his power as the Jewel's owner to wish for Kagome's soul to be trapped inside it with his own, which would allow Naraku to survive within it in eternal conflict with her. Naraku's wish can only be fulfilled by tricking Kagome to also make a selfish wish to save herself, but she has enough confidence in InuYasha, and instead wishes for the Jewel to disappear forever.

Kagome is thrown back into her own time, and InuYasha is no longer able to see her. However, after Kagome's graduation from high school three years later, a portal opens and allows her to return to InuYasha's time. They acknowledge their love for one another and she chooses to remain in the past with him.

Media

Manga

Written by Rumiko Takahashi, InuYasha premiered in Japan in Shōnen Sunday on November 13, 1996 and concluded June 18, 2008. The chapters were published by Shogakukan in 56 collected volumes, with the first volume released in May 1997, and the last released in February 2009.

Viz Media licensed the series for an English translated release in North America. Initially, Viz released it in monthly American comic book format, each issue containing two or three chapters from the original manga, but eventually abandoned this system in favor of trade paperbacks with the same chapter divisions as the Japanese volumes. Viz released its first trade paperback volume in March 1998. At the time, American manga reprints were normally "flipped" to conform to the American convention of reading books from left to right by mirroring the original artwork; among other effects, this caused right-handed characters to appear left-handed. Viz later stopped flipping its new manga releases, although InuYasha was already well into printing by the time this change was made. Reprints of older volumes have not been "reflipped" to match the newer ones.

As of September 8, 2009, 40 volumes were released in North America, and new volumes of the series are being released monthly. Viz has also started to reprint the series in their "VizBig" format, combining three of the original volumes into each omnibus with slightly larger pages and full-color bonus art that was previously reduced to grayscale.

Viz Media also issues a separate series of "ani-manga" volumes which are derived from full-color screenshots of the anime episodes. These volumes are slightly smaller than the regular manga volumes, are oriented in the Japanese tradition of right to left, feature new covers with higher quality pages, and a higher price point versus the regular volumes. Each ani-manga volume is arranged into chapters that correspond to the anime episodes rather than the manga.

InuYasha is also licensed for regional language releases in Brazilmarker by Editora JBC, Italymarker by Star Comics, Francemarker by Kana, Finlandmarker, Germanymarker, Norwaymarker, and Poland by Egmont, Spainmarker by Glénat, Indonesiamarker by Elex Media Komputindo, Mexicomarker by Editorial Vid, Israelmarker by Aruts Hayeladim, Vietnammarker by NXB Trẻ and South Koreamarker by Haksan Publishing.

Anime

Based on the first 36 volumes of the manga series, the InuYasha anime adaptation produced by Sunrise premiered in Japan on Animax on October 16, 2000 and ran for 167 episodes until its conclusion on September 13, 2004. It also aired Animax's English-language networks in South Asia and East Asia and it was broadcast on Yomiuri TV and Nippon Televisionmarker. The anime is licensed for release in North America by Viz Media. The English dub of the series was broadcast on Cartoon Network as part of its Adult Swim programming block from August 31, 2002 through October 27, 2006, with episodes continuing to air in reruns. The series aired on Canada on YTV's Bionix programming block from September 5, 2003 through December 1, 2006, with reruns continuing to run until October 12, 2007. Viz also released the episodes for viewing online through the video viewing site, Hulu. The series has also been broadcast in numerous countries around the world.

In the 34th issue of Shōnen Sunday, it was announced a 26-episode anime adaption of volumes 36 to the end will be made by the original cast and crew and will air on Japan's YTV. The following week, Viz Media announced it has licensed the new adaptation, titled .. It premiered October 3 in Japan; the episodes are being simulcast via Hulu and shown on the same week in Animax-Asia.

Films

Four films, which exist separately from the anime time line, have been released in Japan. All four films have also been released with English subtitles and dubbed audio tracks to Region 1 DVD by Viz Media. The first film, InuYasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time, was released in Japan on December 16, 2001. In the film, InuYasha, Kagome, Shippo, Sango, and Miroku must face Menomaru, a demonic enemy brought to life by a jewel shard, as they continue their quest for the Shikon Jewel shards. In the second film, InuYasha the Movie: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass, released on December 21, 2002, the group defeats Naraku and returns to their normal lives only to have to deal with a new enemy named Kaguya.

The third film, InuYasha the Movie: Swords of an Honorable Ruler, was released on December 20, 2003. In it, a third sword of InuYasha's father called So'unga is unleashed from its centuries-old seal and seeks to destroy the Earth forcing InuYasha and Sesshomaru to work together to stop it. The fourth film, InuYasha the Movie: Fire on the Mystic Island, was released on December 23, 2004, and depicts InuYasha and his friends attempting to rescue children trapped on the mysterious island Houraijima by the wrath of the four gods, the Shitoushin, or "The Four War Gods" (As named in the English film.)

Games

InuYasha has been adapted into a mobile game released for Java and Brew handsets on June 21, 2005, an English-language original Trading card game created by Score Entertainment that was first released on October 20, 2004, and the following video game console games:

Title Console Release date Notes
InuYasha (InuYasha RPG) PlayStation December 27, 2001

(Japan)
Japanese title: InuYasha (犬夜叉)
InuYasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale PlayStation April 9, 2003

(North America)
Japanese title: InuYasha: Sengoku Otogi Kassen (戦国お伽草子–犬夜叉)
InuYasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask PlayStation 2 November 1, 2004

(North America)
Japanese title: InuYasha: Juso no Kamen (犬夜叉 呪詛の仮面)
InuYasha: Feudal Combat PlayStation 2 August 23, 2005

(North America)
Japanese title: InuYasha: Ōgi-Ranbu (犬夜叉 奥義乱舞)
InuYasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel Nintendo DS January 23, 2007

(North America)
English only.
WonderSwan November 2, 2001

(Japan)
Japanese only.
WonderSwan July 27, 2002

(Japan)
Japanese only.
WonderSwan November 16, 2002

(Japan)
Japanese only.
Game Boy Advance January 23, 2002

(Japan)
Japanese only.


Original video animation

A 30 minute original video animation (OVA), was presented on July 30, 2008 at an "It's a Rumic World" exhibit at the Matsuya Ginza department store in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district. The episode uses the original voice cast from the anime series.

Reception

In 2002, the manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award for best shōnen title of the year.

The InuYasha graphic novels continue to show strong sales numbers. Volume nineteen of the InuYasha manga series has been ranked third on Nielsen BookScan’s Graphic Novel Top Fifty List for the week ending October 3, 2004, and volume one ranks eighteenth in its seventy-seventh straight week on the list, confirming a growing interest in the manga among new fans.

According to Viz, the feature film InuYasha: Affections Touching Across Time has sold over 30,000 DVD units to date.

InuYasha was ranked twenty by TV Asahimarker of the 100 best anime series in 2006 (based on an online survey in Japanmarker.)

References

  1. Fall 2009 Anime List -- September/October/November
  2. InuYasha mobile phone game
  3. ign.com


External links




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