Written by Krystin Spellman
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Japanese animation, also known as Anime, takes cartoon fantasy to the next level, making it one of the most popular genres in animation today. Like most of the quality Anime films available, Inuyasha is gaining international popularity, promoting various products and games in addition to offering interactive commentary. Followers of the Inuyasha phenomenon revel in the abundance of diverse characters and exciting plot lines, giving Inuyasha a cult-like following. As of today, the tale of Inuyasha has evolved from comic book legend, becoming a multimedia powerhouse that many Anime followers have grown to love.

In the Beginning

The tale of Inuyasha is based on the notion of time travel, linking modern day Japan with the Sengoku period. The heroine of this story, Kagome, is a lovely Japanese girl who lives with her family on ancient shrine grounds in modern-day Japan. While Kagome has been told about a number of legends surrounding the shrine and the grounds that her family inhabits, she mistakenly dismisses most of these stories as legend and playful superstition.

Kagome’s disbelief is challenged when a monster emerges from the shrine well, dragging her down the well through a time travel portal into Japan’s distant past. Kagome finds herself alive during the Sengoku period, a dark time in Japanese history where militant warlords battled over territories, establishing private kingdoms to sanctify their reign. Most of Inuyasha takes place in this environment, illustrating battles between the warlords and other insidious demonic forces.

When Kagome finds herself living in the past, the local people she encounters revere her as a reincarnation of the village priestess Kikyo, a warrior who trapped the demon Inuyasha within a tree prior to her death. In addition to looking identical to the priestess, Kagome bears a wound that produces the very Shikon jewel that Kikyo gave up her life to protect. As the story unfolds, Kagome gains insight into her special powers, developing the ability to identify magical objects. Very early in the story, the Shikon jewel is shattered in battle, turning the time traveling tale into that of a quest, leading Kagome to track down the shards to piece the jewel back together again.

Kagome and Inuyasha

During her travels, Kagome encounters Inuyasha, the very creature that Kikyo had trapped before her death. When Kagome frees Inuyasha from the tree, she is given special protection from Kikyo’s sister, knowing that Inuyasha would mistake Kagome for the late Kikyo. The protective spell resides within the magical prayer beads fastened around Kagome’s neck, forcing Inuyasha to obey her when she says the magic word, “sit.” It is after all no coincidence that “inu” means “dog” in Japanese. Despite the fact that Kagome resembles Inuyasha’s capturer, Inuyasha learns to trust her overtime, these two developing a partnership of sorts.

It is important to note that Inuyasha is a unique creature, a composite result of a wolf-demon father and a human mother, resulting in a combined appearance of human and dog with limited monstrous strength. As a result, Inuyasha also seeks the mystical jewel, knowing it contains the ability to transform him into a full-blooded monster with supernatural powers. Throughout the many episodes, humans and monsters are seduced by the jewel’s powers, creating great obstacles for Kagome and Inuyasha to overcome.

Throughout the episodes, interesting characters emerge to join these two heroes in their journey, adding interesting elements to the plot, and offering a different perspective on Kagome and Inuyasha’s relationship. As time goes by, Inuyasha begins to reveal more about his past relationship with the high priestess Kikyo, leading the audience to believe that there was more to their relationship than originally suspected. As the story progresses, Inuyasha develops feelings for Kagome as well, giving the adventurous story line a touch of romance, making it popular with a diverse fan base.

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