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 Kagome Higurashi, a teenager from Tokyo, who is transported to the Sengoku period, where she meets the half demon, InuYasha. 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. Kagome and InuYasha start travelling to recover it, gaining allies and enemies throughout the journey. In contrast to her previous works, InuYasha is the first manga by Takahashi with a dark storyline, and thus used the setting of the Sengoku period to display easily the violent content.
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.
Along the way, they join forces with Shippo, a small fox demon, Miroku, a monk who suffers from a curse his ancestors were given by a powerful demon, and Sango, a demon-slayer whose clan was killed by a group of demons. They are mainly opposed by Naraku, a devious and powerful collective 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 the protagonists to take Kagome's jewels. 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 soul, 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. Although InuYasha and his allies defeat 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. Kagome wishes for the Jewel to disappear forever. She is thrown back into her own time and loses contact with InuYasha for three years. In those three years without Kagome, Sango and Miroku have three children together and Shippo attains rank seven for fox demons. Kagome graduates high school and comes to a realization which allows the well to work again. 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 as their serialization progressed.
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.
Anime television series
The English dub of the anime was licensed to be released in North America by Viz Media. The series was broadcast on Adult Swim 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. The release of a DVD, and Blu-ray, version dubbed in English by Viz Media has been confirmed for sometime 2012. It is unknown if it will run on television, however.
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. Toshiyo 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 have also appeared in the crossover video game Sunday VS Magazine: Shuuketsu! Choujou Daikessen! as playable character.
Original video animation
A 30 minute original video animation (OVA), Black Tessaiga (黒い鉄砕牙 Kuroi Tessaiga ) 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.
*Information @ wikipedia.org