Kagome is a modern Japanese high school girl. Never the type to believe in myths and legends, her world view dramatically changes when, one day, she's pulled out of her own time and into another! There, in Japan's ancient past, Kagome discovers more than a few of those dusty old legends are true, and that her destiny is linked to one legendary creature in particular—the dog-like half-demon called Inuyasha! That same trick of fate also ties them both to the Shikon Jewel, or "Jewel of Four Souls." But demons beware...the smallest shard of the Shikon Jewel can give the user unimaginable power.
InuYasha was awarded the 47th Shogakukan Manga Award for best shounen manga in 2001.
The series was published in English by VIZ Media as Inu-Yasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale from July 6, 1998 to January 11, 2011, it was relabeled as InuYasha from volume 12 onwards, the first 37 volumes were in left-to-right format but all later volumes were printed in traditional Japanese format. It was also published in 3-in-1 omnibus edition under the Shonen Sunday VIZBIG imprint from November 10, 2009 to February 11, 2014.
Every so often a manga series comes along that the average reader will find daunting for one reason or another. It may be that the scope of the story is too great, or the number of chapters may be too large, or the drawing style may not be to taste, or some other reason entirely. Whatever the case may be, there are many out there who will be put off reading a manga for one reason or another.
That said, there is sometimes justification for not even starting a manga, especially as there are those that really can't cut the mustard.
And then there's the ones
Created by the reknowned Takahashi Rumiko in 1996, InuYasha remains her longest work to date. At an astounding 558 chapters, it is also one of the longest manga in existence, so it's more than a little odd that, while many people are happy to read long running shounen manga like Bleach, One Piece, Naruto, HSD Kenichi, etc, when faced with something like InuYasha, the majority of people tend to ignore it without even giving it a chance. Granted the manga is a lengthy read, but it's also an extremely rewarding one too.
The story begins with a half dog demon, half human (known as a hanyou), called InuYasha, who has attacked a village to claim the Shikon no Tama, a mystical jewel that can increase a demon's power which he plans to use to become a fully fledged youkai. Before he can escape though, a badly wounded miko called Kikyou pins him to a tree with a holy arrow, supposedly sealing him for all eternity. Shortly afterwards, Kikyou passes away, and as per her instructions, her body is burned together with the Shikon no Tama.
500 years later, a young girl called Kagome celebrates her 15th birthday, little knowing that her fate is tied to that of InuYasha and the Shikon no Tama.
It's fair to say that InuYasha is a shounen manga par excellence. The plot, which is not only well developed, but also has many twists, turns, loops and double crosses, also features some innovative approaches to the standard quest format. Granted there are occasions when the plot gets a little placid, however in terms of the story these are actually used to give the characters a break from all the stress and combat.
While there are those who don't like fillers, when reading this manga it should be remembered that the breaks in the story actually form an integral part of the whole, and aren't simply deviations due to a lack of creativity.
There are some minor issues with the plot as a whole though. There's a degree of repetition inherent in this type of story, with one of the major ones being the type of power that is gained by Tetsusaiga, the sword made from the fang of InuYasha's father. In addition to this, there's also a certain "bad guy of the week" feel to some sections of the manga, however these are often linked to Tetsusaiga in some way as well.
That said, the manga is particularly noteworthy for it's ability to keep the reader interested. There is a lot of action in the story, and a number of events that are surprising and intruiging. The plot follows a fairly convoluted path from beginning to end, and while some may consider this a bad thing, it works very well here as it allows for some unusually complex character development.
As far looks go, the characters are pure Takahashi Rumiko. Anyone who's familiar with her work will immediately see her trademark faces are prevalent in this manga, and although there are those who don't like her style of character design, fans of her work won't be disappointed. There are, however, certain aspects of the artwork that are a little different from her other works though. The backgrounds, for example, are far more clean and detailed than in most of her other works, and the actions sequences are more dynamically designed than what one may expect. There's also more usage of "effects" backgrounds in InuYasha, most of which are used to highlight the more supernatural aspects of the story.
The main thing that separates InuYasha from most of Takahashi Rumiko's other works is the depth and complexity of it's characters. Given that there are a number of characters who have an effect on the story it would be fair, initially, to think that the characters will be similar to those found in Urusei Yatsura or Ranma, however this is not the case. Each individual in the story has their own ideals and goals, and each is developed in some truly surprising ways. Kagome, for example, struggles with her fate and her feelings for InuYasha, while he is torn between his desire to become a true youkai, his conflicting feelings for Kagome and Kikyou, and his hatred of the main bad guy.
Sango, Miroku, even Sesshomaru and Kikyou herself, all have inner conflicts that have an impact on the plot, and it's the resolution, one way or another, of these trials that, come the end of the series, allow the reader a sense of catharsis. The most intruiging development though, occurs on the part of the main bad guy - Naraku, and by allowing the reader to see how his mind works, what his desires and wants are, Takahashi Rumiko has created one of the greatest adversaries in manga to date.
I won't make any bones about it - I love this series. It has everything that one could want in a story, action, love, folklore, friendship, betrayal, loss, desire, unimaginable evil, plot twists galore, and more besides. At this point in time it would be fair to call the series Takahashi Rumiko's masterpiece, especially as it's much, much better than Urusei Yatsura, Ranma, and even Maison Ikkoku. The manga is more akin to her Mermaid saga in terms of it's content, however even that pales in comparison.
Fans of Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, and other long running shounen series should really check this out, as they may find themselves surprised at how much more "sanitised" recent shounen tales are in comparison to InuYasha. The fact that the tagline for the series names it as "A Feudal Fairytale" is actually very appropriate, especially if one is familiar with older folklore, myth and legend (you know, the ones with all the blood). InuYasha has far more "bite" to it than most modern manga because of the focus on making it more like older fairytales, something which gives the whole story a dimension which is sadly lacking nowadays.
Granted there are some areas where the story could have progressed better, and there is an element of repetition at times, but these are things that can be forgiven due the sheer depth of the plot and characters. The character design is also something that should be taken with pinch of salt as, if this is your reason for not reading this, then you're seriously missing out.
One final point that should be made is that the manga is different from the anime adaptation in many respects, not the least of which is that the story continues past the end of the anime. The characters in the manga have far more depth than the anime version, and the complexity of the plot is far more tangible. Fan's of the anime should definitely read this manga, and although the number of chapters may at first seem daunting, the reward is worth the effort (not only that, you'll probably forget all about chapters and such once the story really gets going).
As shounen series go, this is head and shoulders above many modern outings. The complex plot, the deep and conflicted characters, the scope and scale of the setting, all serve to make InuYasha a manga that is truly excellent.
This really is a feudal fairytale, in the truest sense of the word.
Made by the famous Rumiko Takahashi, the length draws out over 558 chapters, and this length both causes some of it's greatest and worst moments. For instance the romance of the story (or more specifically the love triangle) reaches it's climax as we draw towards the end with a bittersweet, but none the less great conclusion to it. However we go on to, in my opinion, another disappointing ending from Takahashi. I haven't read all of Ranma 1/2, but I hear that the ending was not the best, and InuYasha certainly felt rushed at the end. That is always a bad thing, but it's quite
annoying when the ending feels rushed, and it's even worse when the story had ran for 558 chapters and still feels rushed. God forbid another couple of chapters to tie thing up, but instead (trying to be spoiler free) the "romance" at the end during a reunion feels like "oh hey, how you doing? It's been a while" thing between two old friends. That and the idea of side character's getting more of an "ending" than the main ones, can be rather annoying. Basically, InuYasha is certainly not a Manga you would pick up if you don't have patience. At times it runs into a repetitive schemes like "villain attacks and villain leaves" or "upgrade weapon, get stronger, upgrade weapon, get stronger" type of thing. If you're going to read InuYasha, you're going to get crap, feel unsatisfied at times, but you will also at times witness a great plot, and good, though eventually disappointing romance. Well onto other points.
The story of InuYasha starts off with Kagome, a normal fifteen year old high school student, who lives in an ancient shrine, filled with old artifacts. One day she is suddenly taken by force into the Boneeater's Well by a monster, and finds a demon sealed to a tree. Upon being taken to a village, she discovers he is an evil demon called InuYasha, who was sealed by a Miko named Kikyou fifty years ago at the cost of her life. However when she gets close to him while running away from the monster, he awakens, mistaking her for Kikyou as they look a like. She is attacked and ends up having the ancient powerful object in her body called the Shikon no Tama (Jewel of Four Souls), an object than can make demons stronger, the same one InuYasha was after, but Kikyou sealed him and took it with her to the afterlife. To save her own life, she frees InuYasha to kill the demon, but InuYasha immediately goes after the Shikon no Tama. Kaede, Kikyou's younger sister from the village, seals a necklace object onto InuYasha which gives Kagome the ability to command him, causing him to be unable to steal the Jewel. However when another Demon tries to steal it, it is easily stolen, and they have to work together to get it back. It ends up getting broken and scattering to little pieces around the world, and now InuYasha and Kagome have to work together to find it.
That's just the start of a plot, that soon winds itself into a much greater plot of why Kikyou killed InuYasha, and as such we get greater villains, a wider cast, and greater ambitions on the part's of the characters, that still tie into everything of the beginning perfectly. As I said before, the length both helps and ruins the plot, as at times Takahashi pulls of great twists to the story, and introduces even more characters, and pulls of many great scenes throught the story. However at times you can also get 50 chapters where the same thing seems to happen over and over. It would help if it was interesting the first time, but painfully it wasn't, and the plot can jump from great, to boring. I'll give it an eight because it provides some interesting scenes, especially in Romance, but at times it's just completely mediocre.
From the few Mangas I've read (just started reading them), the art in InuYasha is fairly average. Compared to the other Manga I'm currently reading ("20th Century Boy"), it even can get rather ugly at times, but at times it can look fairly good. Nothing much to say here, the art in InuYasha is just average artwork and never really goes far beyond being average. That said it certainly isn't bad, it's rather good, just nothing special. You'll probably never take a moment just to look at how good it looks or anything like that.
The characters in InuYasha is the best part of the story, as we get all types of characters. Well the "good guys" are fairly typical people, angry lead fighter, sexual harassing guy on the side, innocent girl, etc. the "bad guys" have variety ranging from "bad ass" fighter to homosexual. I'm not sure on whether that is widely considered a good thing or bad thing, but it can be rather entertaining at times, and my favorite parts of the story come from the interaction between the characters. Once again mainly the love triangle which presents one of the best I've seen yet. The women you fell in love with first, who showed you a different style of life, and followed you in death or the women who came after and helped to change your life. If you had to choice, which one would it be? Certainly the best concept presented I've read (well, yet) presented in love triangles, and really can make you question which choice would be better. I haven't even come up with an answer to that myself.
I'm sure mostly everyone who's decently involved in the world of Anime and Manga have heard of InuYasha and Rumiko Takahashi, and I've read as much love as I have read as hate. Well most the hate I've read is for the Anime and how it falls into being repetitive, but remember that even though it fells into that, it also comes out of that (only to fall back in), but it certainly has some great moments, and the best is in the later half of the story (the conclusion of the love triangle). If you are looking for a Manga with a merge of great characters and a greatly established Fantasy world, than InuYasha is certainly a great book to pick up, as long as you have patience. There are times I was in love with it and started the next chapter right away, and there were times when I forced myself to read through it, always trying to look at the brightside of what's ahead. InuYasha may have it's disappointments, which I've certainly voiced in this review, but it also has it's great moments to, and is a great read. End of the first review, please put whether it was helpful or unhelpful.
Inuyasha is a beautifully plotted storyline, and the characters are truly outstanding pieces of work. While reading, you are led bit by bit to an exciting ending, and it is very difficult to put it down!
I enjoyed Inuyasha because of the characters, particularly Kagura. It also has a lot of action, suitable for the easily bored. The romantic element is tragic, sweet, and comic at the same time. I consider Inuyasha to be the very best manga I have ever read.
Well, actually I finished this before I began reading Pretear, and also saw the anime way way before, probably around high school (2001?).
Inuyasha is a story about Kagome Higurashi a seemingly normal junior high school girl and a inu(dog) hanyou (half demon) named Inuyasha and their quest to retrieve shards of a jewel called the Shikon no Tama (Jewel of the Four Souls), which then turns into an adventure that includes a youkai kitsune (demon fox) child named Shippou, a monk with a cursed hand (can be taken to mean at least two things here :P), named Miroku, and a taijiya (demon slayer) girl named
Sango. The quest for the shikon shards turns into a quest to defeat an evil being called Naraku, and the story begins expanding from there.
Well, as usual some events and characters differ between the anime and the manga, and the manga continues further on than the anime itself.
One thing that's been on my mind though is why there are such a lot of Kikyo haters out there. Well, yeah she was a real pest for the Inu-Kag shippers, but if you look at it from a non-biased (neutral, non-shipping) POV, she was more of the tragic character than an adversary (although admittedly a love rival for Kagome). Had circumstances been different, it may well have been an Inu-Kikyo pairing.
Well I am not a shipper of any sort, although I do occassionally read fics from this series, but still, though Kikyo started out as a betrayed, and therefore vengeful resurrected spirit doll of clay and souls, she still loved Inuyasha (although how she shows it IS kind of...twisted, but let's face it, she's dead, so of course she'd think of taking her love with her to the afterlife/hell where she "initially" probably ended up in).
Kagome does come off as a martyr for love, holding in her feelings of jealousy (although at times rather poorly, since she does take it out on Inuyasha).
These arguments I've presented are actually why I liked this manga, the "love-triangle" between two women, one dead and one from the future vying for the affection of a young inu-hanyou :P What's more fantastic than that?
Seriously though, I like the many character interactions and I see why a myriad of "non-canon" pairings are quite imaginable. There's also elements of "nakama" working together to achieve a certain goal, and then there is also a look at sibling relationships: like in Inuyasha's and Fluffy (Sesshomaru)'s case, Sango and Kohaku, Kagome and Souta...plus parent and child relationships or lack of (there are so many examples of this). Plus I like the "alternate world" feel which I sort of associate to Fushigi Yuugi as well.
Whether noble or savage, wise or feral, wolves have always had a place in our hearts. In this list, we'll showcase 15 of the most famous anime wolf characters. Read on to see if your favorite made the list!
Inuyasha and Sesshomaru are known for their strained relationship, despite being brothers. One of their many disagreements and battles is for their father's sword, Tessaiga. Although Inuyasha inherited it, Sesshomaru continues to fight for it and attempts to take it from Inuyasha.