*Special Feature*: InuYasha, a Feudal Fairy Tale…
InuYasha (犬夜叉?), full title 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 WeeklyShōnen Sunday on November 13, 1996 and concluded on June 18, 2008.
The manga was adapted as 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, began airing October 3, 2009 to cover the rest of the manga series and ended on March 29, 2010.
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Inuyasha – A Feudal Fairy Tale is a time-travel fantasy adventure. It is the story of Kagome Higurashi, an average teenage schoolgirl in modern Tokyo who finds that an ancient well in the shrine that her family has lived in for generations can transport her to the Feudal Era where she was a powerfully magical village priestess called Kikyo in her former life.
She learns from Kaede, once her younger sister, that she was once the revered guardian of the powerful Shikon Jewel ( Jewel of the Four Souls), a jewel which was once pure but which had gradually become tainted with accumulated evil over centuries of ill usage by evil demons and humans, so much so that it almost always brought a tragic end to anyone who was associated with it. She was the only one who was pure enough to purify the jewel, but ultimately it brought a tragic end to her too. She had fallen in love with InuYasha, a powerful half-demon who had initially wanted the jewel to transform himself into a full demon, but had later agreed to use it to turn into a full human so that he could live with her. However they were tricked into believing that each had betrayed the other by Naraku, an extremely powerful evil demon, resulting not only in her tragic death but also her sealing InuYasha by a sacred arrow to a sacred tree. That was the very tree that her family’s shrine had been built around in Tokyo, and extraordinarily the Shikon Jewel had also been reborn within her body.
Fifty years have elapsed in the Feudal Era since Kikyo’s death. Kaede is now an old woman and has taken over as the village priestess. Kagome frees InuYasha from his enchanted slumber of fifty years. He at first tries to kill her, thinking that she is Kikyo and still under the impression that she had betrayed him. Kaede thwarts him by conjuring a magical necklace around his neck which allows Kagome to control him by a simple command – “sit”. This is rather humorous, as he is a dog demon. In an encounter with another evil demon, she accidentally shatters the jewel into hundreds of shards by an arrow. This proves that she still has the sacred powers that she had in her former life, but the problem is that the shards are now scattered all over feudal Japan and they both have to work together to recover them. Over their journey they come to know of Naraku’s trickery and they begin to rediscover their love for each other.
They are also joined by Shippo, a child fox demon; Miroku, a flirtatious monk who carries a curse in his right hand; Sango, a demon slayer with a tragic past and her pet demon cat Kirara; Myoga, InuYasha’s flea demon servant and Sesshomaru, InuYasha’s older half-brother and a very powerful demon who is hell-bent on destroying InuYasha in the beginning but later turns into a great ally.
All these characters go through a journey of self discovery as they brave many adventures throughout the series, which ends after Naraku has been defeated and the power of the Shikon Jewel has been broken by Kagome.