Cover of the first tankōbon volume of Inuyasha, as published by Shogakukan on May 18, 1997.
(Sengoku Otogizōshi InuYasha)
|Genre||Adventure, Sengoku era, Romance,Drama, Supernatural|
|Written by||Rumiko Takahashi|
|English publisher||Viz Media (Canada, United Kingdom, United States)|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||November 13, 1996 – June 18, 2008|
|Volumes||56 (List of volumes)|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masashi Ikeda
|Written by||Katsuyuki Sumisawa|
|Licensed by||Madman Entertainment (Australia, New Zealand)
Viz Media (Canada, United States)
|Network||Animax, Nippon TV, Yomiuri TV, TV5, Indosiar, GMA|
|English network||ABC, Seven Network, Cartoon Network (Australia)
Animax Asia (Southeast and South Asia)
Cartoon Network (United States)
Neon Alley (Canada, United States)
|Original run||October 16, 2000 – September 13, 2004|
|Episodes||167 (List of episodes)|
|Anime television series|
|InuYasha: The Final Act|
|Directed by||Yasunao Aoki|
|Produced by||Kioa Ahsayuni|
|Written by||Katsuyuki Sumisawa|
|Licensed by||Viz Media (Canada, United States)|
|Network||Yomiuri TV, TV5, ABS-CBN|
|English network||Animax Asia (Southeast and South Asia)
Neon Alley (Canada, United States)
|Original run||October 3, 2009 – March 29, 2010|
|Episodes||26 (List of episodes)|
|Anime and Manga Portal|
InuYasha (犬夜叉?), also known as InuYasha, a Feudal Fairy Tale (戦国御伽草子 犬夜叉 Sengoku Otogizōshi 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 the half demon, InuYasha, and a teenager from Tokyo, Kagome Higurashi, who is transported to the Sengoku period, where she meets him. When a monster from that era tries to take the magical Jewel of Four Souls embodied in Kagome, she accidentally splits the Jewel into various shards, which are dispersed across Japan. InuYasha and Kagome start travelling to recover it, gaining allies and enemies throughout the journey. In contrast to the typically comedic nature of many of her previous works, InuYasha deals with darker subject matter, using the setting of the Sengoku period to easily display the violent content. Earlier works by Takahashi with more dramatic and serious themes include her work, Mermaid Saga – though it is considerably darker in nature than Inuyasha – and many of her short stories.
The manga was published in North America by Viz Media with all of its 56 tankōbon volumes having already been released. The manga was adapted into two anime television series produced by Sunrise. The first, broadcast for 167 episodes on Yomiuri TV in Japan from October 16, 2000 until September 13, 2004, was directed by Masashi Ikeda for the first forty-four episodes and by Yasunao Aoki for the remainder. The second series, called InuYasha: The Final Act (犬夜叉 完結編, InuYasha Kanketsu-hen), began airing October 3, 2009 to cover the rest of the manga series and ended on March 29, 2010. Viz Media licensed the two anime series, having released the former in DVD volumes and aired most of its episodes. A total of four feature films and an original video animation have also been released. Other merchandise include video games and a light novel.
The story begins in Tokyo, Japan, with a fifteen-year-old middle school girl named Kagome Higurashi, who lives on the grounds of her family’s hereditary Shinto shrine. When she goes into the well house to retrieve her cat, Buyo, a centipede demon bursts out of the enshrined Bone Eater’s Well and pulls her through it. As she leaves the well, Kagome appears in the ancient Sengoku period of Japan. During the demon’s previous attack, a magical jewel known as the Sacred Jewel of Four Souls (Shikon no tama) was embodied from Kagome. She then becomes the demon’s target and it tries to consume the Jewel and kill Kagome. In desperation, Kagome unseals the half-dog demon, half-human InuYasha who was placed on a tree fifty years ago by Kagome’s incarnation Kikyo, the young miko of the village in charge of the Sacred Jewel who had, upon her death, requested that the Jewel be burned in her funeral pyre so no one could ever abuse its tremendous power. Although InuYasha destroys the centipede, the Sacred Jewel is later shattered into numerous shards that disperse across Japan. Even the individual shards are capable of granting great power of the whole entire Jewel, and are eagerly sought by humans and demons alike. InuYasha and Kagome set out to collect the shards to avoid disasters caused by the Sacred Jewel of Four Souls.
Along the way, they join forces with Shippo, a small fox demon who is orphaned, Miroku, a monk who suffers from a curse his ancestors were given by a powerful demon, Sango, a demon-slayer whose clan was killed by a group of demons. They are mainly opposed by Naraku, a devious and powerful collective, shape-shifting half-demon who manipulated the initial conflict between Kikyo and InuYasha, Sango’s clan’s destruction and was responsible for Miroku’s curse. Naraku collects the shards for himself and continues setting up traps on InuYasha and his companions to take Kagome’s fragments of the Sacred Shikon Jewel. Other people they find are InuYasha’s older half-brother Sesshomaru, who wishes to kill Naraku after he tried to manipulate him, Kikyo, now partially resurrected with a fragment of Kagome’s reincarnated soul/spirit, and a wolf demon named Koga, most of whose comrades were killed by Naraku’s forces.
Eventually, Naraku collects all of the shards and reassembles the Jewel of Four Souls into its original and complete form. Although Inuyasha and his allies defeat him, Naraku uses his immeasurable strength and power as the Shikon Jewel’s owner to wish for Kagome’s spirit to be trapped inside it with his own, which would allow Naraku to survive within it in eternal conflict with her. With Inuyasha by her side, Kagome wishes for the jewel to disappear, erasing Naraku from existence and breaking the cycle of conflict. She and Inuyasha are then thrown back to their own time periods and the Well becomes sealed, causing them to lose contact for the next three years. In that time, the Sengoku period has undergone changes: Sango and Miroku are married with three children together; Kohaku resumes his journey to become a strong demon slayer (with Kirara); Koga becomes leader of the Wolf Demon tribe and marries Ayame; and Shippo attains the seventh rank as a fox demon. Back in the present, eighteen-year-old Kagome graduates from high school and comes to a realization which allows the Bone-Eater’s Well to work again. With approval from her mother, Kagome returns to the Sengoku period, where she stays with InuYasha.
Rumiko Takahashi wrote InuYasha after finishing Ranma ½. In contrast to her previous works, Takahashi wanted to do a darker storyline distant from her comedy series. In order to portray violent themes softly, the story was set in the Sengoku Era, when wars were common. For the designs of samurai or castles, no notable research was made by the author who considered such topics common knowledge. By June 2001, a clear ending to the series was not established as Takahashi still was not sure about how to end the relationship between InuYasha and Kagome. Furthermore, Takahashi stated that she did not have an ending to previous manga she wrote during the beginning, having figured them out as their serialization progressed.
There are 56 manga volumes of InuYasha. Written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi, InuYasha premiered in Japan in the November 13, 1996 issue of Shōnen Sunday, where it ran until its conclusion in the June 18, 2008 issue. The chapters were published by Shogakukan in 56 tankōbon 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 “re-flipped” to match the newer ones. As of March 9, 2010, 46 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.
The first 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 was also broadcast on Yomiuri TV and Nippon Television. In East Asia and South Asia it was aired on Animax’s English-language networks. Aniplex collected the episodes in a total of seven series of DVDs volumes distributed in Japan between May 30, 2001 and July 27, 2005.
The English dub of the anime was licensed to be released in North America by Viz Media. The series was broadcast on Adult Swim (although it had originally been planned for Toonami) from August 31, 2002 through October 27, 2006. A year later the series aired in Canada on YTV‘s Bionix programming block from September 5, 2003 through December 1, 2006. Viz collected the series in a total of 55 DVD volumes, while a seven box set was also released.
In 2009’s 34th issue of Shōnen Sunday, published July 22, 2009, it was officially announced that a 26-episode anime adaption of volumes 36 to the end of the manga would be made by the original cast and crew and would air on Japan’s YTV. The following week, Viz Media announced it had licensed the new adaptation, titled InuYasha: The Final Act (犬夜叉 完結編 InuYasha Kanketsu-hen?). The series premiered on October 3, 2009 in Japan with the episodes being simulcast via Hulu and Shōnen Sunday in the United States. In other parts of Asia the episodes were aired on the same week on Animax-Asia. The anime completed its run on March 29, 2010. Aniplex collected the series in a total of seven DVDs released between December 23, 2009 and June 23, 2010. A DVD and Blu-ray release of “Set 1”, which includes an English dub by Viz Media, has been officially confirmed (at Viz’s Anime Expo 2012 panel) for November 2012 The first 13 episodes will be released to DVD and Blu-ray on November 20, 2012 Adult Swim’s revived Toonami block has expressed interest in broadcasting InuYasha: The Final Act, and mentioned that it was one of the “many shows we’ve been looking at”, although it’s unknown at this time if/when it will run on US television. The series began broadcasting in the United States and Canada on Viz Media‘s online network, Neon Alley, on October 2, 2012.
The series spawned four anime films which feature original plot, rather than being based specifically on the manga, written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa who wrote the anime episodes. The films have also been released with English subtitles and dubbed audio tracks to Region 1 DVD by Viz Media. Toshiya Shinohara directed the film series. 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 powerful demons known as “The Four War Gods”.
Multiple soundtracks and character songs were released for series by Avex Mode. Three character single were released August 3, 2005, “Aoki Yasei o Daite” (蒼き野生を抱いて?, Embrace the Untamed Wilderness) by InuYasha featuring Kagome, “Kaze no Naka e” (風のなかへ?, Into the Wind) by Miroku featuring Sango and Shippo, and “Gō” (業?, Fate) by Sesshomaru featuring Jaken and Rin. The singles charted at number 63, 76, and 79 respectively on the Oricon chart. Three more character songs were released on January 25, 2006, “Rakujitsu” (落日?, Setting Sun) by Naraku, “Tatta Hitotsu no Yakusoku” (たったひとつの約束?, That’s One Promise) by Kagome Higurashi, and “Abarero!!” (暴れろ!!?, Go On A Rampage!!) by Bankotsu and Jakotsu. The singles charted at number 130, 131, and 112 respectively on the Oricon chart.
On March 24, 2010, Avex released InuYasha Best Song History (犬夜叉 ベストソング ヒストリー Inuyasha Besuto Songu Hisutorī?), a best album that contains all the opening and ending theme songs used in the series. The album peaked at number 20 on the Oricon album chart and charted for seven weeks.
Three video games based on the series were released for the WonderSwan: InuYasha: Kagome no Sengoku Nikki (犬夜叉 〜かごめの戦国日記 InuYasha: Kagome’s Warring States Diary?), InuYasha: Fūun Emaki (犬夜叉 風雲絵巻?) and InuYasha: Kagome no Yume Nikki (犬夜叉 かごめの夢日記 InuYasha: Kagome’s Dream Diary?). A single title, InuYasha: Naraku no Wana! Mayoi no Mori no Shōtaijō (犬夜叉〜奈落の罠!迷いの森の招待状 InuYasha: Naraku’s Trap! Invitation to the Forest of Illusion?), was released for the Game Boy Advance on January 23, 2002 in Japan.
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. Two titles were released for the PlayStation, InuYasha and InuYasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale, with the latter being also released in North America. For the PlayStation 2 the two released games were InuYasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask and InuYasha: Feudal Combat that also received an English version. An English only game, InuYasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel, was released for the Nintendo DS on January 23, 2007.
Inuyasha’s sword, Tetsaiga, has appeared in Monster Hunter, as a craftable weapon using items gained from a special event.
Original video animation
A 30 minute original video animation (OVA), Black Tetsusaiga (黒い鉄砕牙 Kuroi Tetsusaiga?) 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. It was released in Japan on October 20, 2010 in both DVD and Blu-ray formats.
A novel, written by Tomoko Komparu and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi, has been published by Shogakukan.
Live action series
Live action play
A Japanese, live action play titled Inuyasha was shown in the Akasaka ACT Theater in Tokyo around the time the anime was first in production. The play’s script follows the general plot line of the original Inuyasha manga, with a few minor changes to save time.
Manga volumes from InuYasha have been popular in Japan, taking high places in rankings listing sales. In 2001, the manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award for best shōnen manga title of the year. In North America, the manga volumes have appeared various times in the New York Times and Diamond Distributions top selling lists. Moreover, in 2005 InuYasha was one of the most researched series according to Lycos.
The anime of InuYasha was ranked twenty by TV Asahi of the 100 best anime series in 2006 based on an online survey in Japan. In ICv2’s “Anime Awards” from both 2004 and 2005, the series was the winner in the category of “Property of the Year”. In the Anime Grand Prix polls by Animage, InuYasha has appeared various times in the category of “Best Anime”, taking third place in 2003. The four films have earned together over US$20 million in Japanese box offices. In the American Anime Awards from 2007, InuYasha was a nominee in the categories of “Best Cast”, “Best Anime Feature” and “Best Long Series”. The English DVDs from the series have sold over 800,000 copies ever since March 2003 with the first film’s DVD topping the VideoScan anime bestseller list for three weeks. By November 2004, Viz announced they had sold over one million InuYasha DVDs. Mania Entertainment also listed the series seventh in an article ranking anime series that required a reboot, criticizing the series’ repetitiveness.
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