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Based on the hit manga by Rumiko Takahashi, Inuyasha takes place in the warring states of Japan’s fifteenth century. Humans and demons co-exist but are at conflict. A unique exception to this conflict is our titled character, Inuyasha, who is half-demon and half-human through his demon father and human mother. He befriends Kikyou, the local shrine maiden, and in their short time together their relationship is on the brink of romance. At the same time, Kikyou was nursing an injured bandit named Onigumo. Coming to terms with the permanent nature of his injuries, Onigumo allows demons to consume hi body in order to be reborn as Naraku. Naraku uses his newfound powers to get Inuyasha and Kikyou to fight each other. Kikyou loses her life and Inuyasha is put to slumber by an arrow.
50 year later, Inuyasha is incidentally unsealed by Kagome Higurashi, a modern teenage girl, a reincarnation/descendant of Kikyou who can travel to the warring states period through a well near the shrine in modern Japan. After learning that Naraku is the true culprit behind what happened between Inuyasha and Kikyou, Inuyasha and Kagome team up with Sango, Miroku, and Shippou to travel the lands and stop Naraku once and for all. So for today’s list, we will share our 2017 edition of 6 Anime Like Inuyasha.
Similar Anime to Inuyasha
1. Kyoukai no Rinne (RINNE)
- Episode: 52 (as of April 2017)
- Air Dates: April 4, 2015 - present
Sakura Mamiya is a high school girl with a rather special gift, she can see and talk to spirits due to an incident from her childhood. While this could frighten a lot of folks, Sakura just accepts it as part of her everyday life like it’s nothing. She starts to understand the nature of her ability when she meets the newest boy at school, Rinne Rokudo, a student so poor he can only wear his PE clothes from junior high school as a substitute for a school uniform. So what is special about Rinne? It just so happens he happens to be a Shinigami, an individual who purifies the spirits Sakura can see so they can reincarnate to the next life, or combat them in case they are corrupted. Unfortunately, being a Shinigami doesn’t come cheap and Rinne’s father’s spending habits have forced him into the red. He supports himself by living in an abandoned clubhouse at the school and uses the school’s mini-shrine to get his classmates to put in offerings of food and money to take care of their supernatural problems.
For starters, both Kyoukai no Rinne and Inuyasha are adaptations of manga by Rumiko Takahashi. So naturally, they share numerous qualities. Both series explore aspects of the supernatural based on Japanese beliefs. However, Inuyasha deals with youkai, or demons who need to be slaughtered, while Kyoukai no Rinne deals with spirits who need to be reincarnated. Next, the romantic notions between Kagome and Inuyasha share similar traits with Rinne and Sakura as they start out as partners and remain that way without saying anything romantic despite developing a strong bond. However, both Inuyasha’s and Rinne’s feelings for their female co-leads are demonstrated in a defensive sense when they are challenged by Juumonji (for Rinne) and Kouga (for Inuyasha).
Last, some of the voice actors from Inuyasha happen to have some roles Kyoukai no Rinne. For starters, Kappei Yamaguchi, the voice of Inuyasha (and the voice of Ranma, another Takahashi original) happens to voice Sabato, Rinne’s father. While Yamaguchi plays Inuyasha rather aggressive and hard, as Sabuto, his voice comes across as rather soft and comedic. Another addition is Satsuki Yukino, Kagome’s voice actress as Rinne’s grandmother, Tamako. As opposed to being an aggressive schoolgirl as Tamako, she plays the role more politely and tends to have a more passive-aggressive personality in regards to Sabato.
Kyoukai no Rinne Trailer:
2. Blue Seed
- Episodes: 26
- Air Dates: Oct 5, 1994 – Mar 29, 1995
You may think that Momiji Fujimiya is just a regular junior high school shrine girl living in Izumo of Shimane prefecture but think again. It turns out that she is the descendant of a mythical princess known as Kushinada. So how did she discover this? One day, she was attacked by a demon who refers to her as Kushinada. Thankfully, she is saved by agents of a secret organization known as the Terrestrial Administration Center or TAC for short. It turns out her ancestry is connected to the legend of the eight-headed serpent known as the Orochi is back and with a vengeance. Momiji accepts her destiny as the descendant of Kushinada and joins the TAC.
Both series takes influences from traditional Japanese folklore, but Blue Seed exclusively takes influence from the Yamada no Orochi legend. In addition, Momiji and Kagome reside in their ancestral shrines and assume the roles of their ancestors. While Kagome’s shrine does not seem to have any historical influence, the Izumo Shrine featured in Blue Seed happens to be one of Japan’s most famous shrines. But if there is one reason to enjoy his series, it certainly is the performance of Megumi Hayashibara (the voices of Rei in Evangelion, Lina Inverse from Slayers, and Female Ranma) as Momiji. If there is to be a list of who could be the best Japanese voice actress in history, it would no doubt by Hayashibara.
3. Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi)
- Episodes: 1 (feature film)
- Air Dates: July 20, 2001
A great addition to this list is the Oscar-winning legend, Spirited Away. In this timeless Ghibli classic, Chihiro and her family are moving to a new town and along the way, make a quick stop after a missed turn within some abandoned real estate. While stepping out of the car, her parents find a food stand with no customers or cooks in attendance. With the food still fresh, her parents just indulge on their hunger and consequently turn into pigs. It just so happens that this ghost town is home to a parallel dimension where various spirits reside. Chihiro is stripped of her name and is given the name Sen by Yubaba, who you can say is like the Mama-san of the spirit world.
As for the name Sen, it shares the same kanji character as the Chi in Chihiro, and slowly forgets her real name (Miyazaki has stated that taking her name is meant to symbolize how the corporate working world can affect people’s personal identities). Now she must learn to live in the spirit world, get her parents back to normal, and find a way home.
Just like Inuyasha, it deals with ordinary modern girls who find themselves trapped in a world that resembles a more ancient Japan that is resided by spirits influenced by folk tales. While Kagome can freely go back to her time whenever she pleases, Chihiro does not have that privilege until she can regain her identity back. The biggest quality they both share is that they are unique coming of age stories for both Kagome and Chihiro in their own distinct ways. Both main leads find values in friendship and family in where they have their journeys, and in their places in the real world.
Spirited Away Trailer:
Any Anime Like Inuyasha ?
4. Magic Knight Rayearth
- Episodes: 49
- Air Dates: Oct 17, 1994 – Nov 27, 1995
Based on the manga by CLAMP, Magic Knight Rayearth tells the story of Umi, Fuu, and Hikaru, three schoolgirls from separate junior high schools who were taking a field trip to Tokyo Tower. However, a brief flash of light brings them to the fantasy world of Cephiro, where all your RPG dreams come true. It just happens these three ordinary girls are the legendary Magic Knights, who are chosen to bring balance back to Cephiro. There they use their natural abilities and their newfound magical powers to stop Zagato and his allies from destroying Cephiro and to go back to their world.
From what you can tell, both Inuyasha and Magic Knight Rayearth deal with junior high school girls who are transported to a different world. From there, the similarities and differences kind of go hand in hand. For Inuyasha, Kagome goes to a world of demons and it is still connected to the history of her time. While with Rayearth, it is a world of every fantasy you can think of that doesn’t 100% rely on Japanese mythologies, but based on old-school Japanese RPGs.
Both series strongly explore themes of friendship that transcends between universes and with our own kind. While Umi, Fuu, and Hikaru tend to journey as a trio, they still make new friends such as Presea and Ferio, who highly contribute to the series. But what makes Rayearth very distinguishing is that upon the climax of the series (and in season 2 and the non-canon OVA), it becomes mystically mecha oriented and brings a very unique sense of action. Last, the opening theme, Yuzurenai Negai, is likely to have you hooked from the beginning and is a great representation of the themes of the series.
5. Ushio to Tora
- Episodes: 39
- Air Dates: July 3, 2015 – Jun 24, 2016
For five centuries in the basement of the temple where Ushio Aotsuki resides, is a demon sealed by his ancestors. One day while doing his chores, he accidentally finds himself face to face with the demon. Unfortunately, another demon is on the loose and is painting the town red. The sealed demon gets Ushio to unseal him by saying he can help. Ushio removes the spear and thinks he may have unleashed havoc on the world but it turns out that Ushio and the demon, who he names Tora meaning Tiger, become a unique set of partners where they work together and fight other demons. Though they don’t exactly show it, Ushio and Tora become the best of friends and are there for each other when it counts the most.
Comparing Ushio to Tora and Inuyasha is practically comparing apples to apples, but think of them of as different kinds of apples. Both series share a titular demon who was sealed by the ancestors of their human companions, only to be unsealed by the descendants, and begin with a difficult that develops to an unbreakable bond. Both series are very similar in terms of action, adventure, and comedy. Like some of the characters we listed, Ushio isn’t the most academically gifted, but what he lack in brains, he makes up in heart. Tora is a lot like Inuyasha who may not be 100% in touch with humans at first, but allows his time with them to appreciate them for who they are, but Tora tends to put a different put on a different kind of tough guy front in comparison to Inuyasha. And like Kagome, Ushio also joins in on the action and plays an active role.
Ushio to Tora Trailer:
6. Fushigi Yuugi (The Mysterious Play)
- Episodes: 52
- Air Dates: Apr 6, 1995 –Mar 28, 1996
Like most schoolgirls on this list, Miaka Yuuki and Yui Hongo were two ordinary Japanese 9th graders. All they wanted to do was pass their high school exams and go to high school together. All of that changes when they visit the library and find themselves at a section containing old books. There they find a Chinese novel called the Shijin Tenchisho, or The Universe of the Four Gods. Upon reading the first page, they are transported into the novel’s setting, Ancient China. Unfortunately, other circumstances make these two best friends become bitter rivals as they become Mikos, or priestesses for separate kingdoms.
Miaka becomes the Suzaku no Miko of the Southern Kingdom, while Yui becomes the Seiryuu no Miko of the Eastern Kingdom. If they can gather their respective seven warriors, then they can summon the God they are a priestess of and have any wish granted. However, Miaka finds herself torn apart between her love for one of her warriors, Tamahome, and wanting to fix her friendship with Yui. Can Miaka restore things to how they were and have true love conquer? Watch this anime to find out!
Inuyasha and Fushigi Yuugi deal with the supernatural, mythology, and magic but in different ways. Inuyasha takes more from Japanese influences while Fushigi Yuugi’s settings appropriately use Chinese mythology such as the four celestial beast gods. Both series share strong supporting casts. Inuyasha has Miroku, Sango, Shippou, Kouga, Myouga, and Sesshoumaru both as allies, rivals, and frenemies, while Fushigi Yuugi has a solid supporting cast that viewers will come to love such as Hotohori, Chiriko, Tasuki, and the ever so charming Nuriko, who is probably the breakout character. Last, we cannot deny the original creator’s favorite character, Nakago, the main antagonist.
Last, we recommend Fushigi Yuugi for its solid seiyuu cast and its upbeat soundtrack. For the seiyuu cast, Hikaru Midorikawa (who you may know as Heero Yuy in Gundam, Ali in Sailor Moon R, and Android 16 from DBZ) is simply perfect as Tamahome. His performance really brings out the perfect mixture of his warmth, innocence, and his drive to always protect Miaka. Takehito Koyasu (Zechs in Gundam Wing, Ryosuke in Initial D, Dio in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure) as Hotohori appropriately brings an authoritative and yet soft performance as a young emperor. Kae Araki (most famous as Chibi Moon in the 1990s Sailor Moon anime) as Miaka perfectly shows her as vulnerable, caring, and driven throughout the character's development. As for the English dub, best to skip it.
Many of these animes share numerous qualities that audiences can enjoy and many others that can be defined as cliche. All of these animes are coming-of-age stories, but express them in their own distinct subtle ways. As shared in other articles, many games, manga, and anime tend to use teenagers as their main characters as their heroes because the Japanese view those years as the final years of true freedom. Freedom to do what you want to do, freedom to discover what you can do, freedom to find who you are. After that, Japanese people see that just become part of the system once one becomes an adult. Other animes deal with the supernatural and mythology taking influence from Japanese folk tales and history. Last, some of these animes deal with regular teenagers finding themselves transported into a different world and becoming a hero.
These animes can be seen as the ultimate romantic fantasy and that is what makes them all enjoyable along with Inuyasha. No matter where we go, we are not always alone. We may naturally face frustrating challenges and adversities when we find ourselves in places we have no familiarity with. At the same token, there are also opportunities to make new friends or ultimately find love. When you can find the right people in a new environment, all things are possible.
Chances are that if you’ve seen Inuyasha you are in love with shounen adventure stories with strong female leads. The story of Kagome and her half demon companion Inuyasha has captured the hearts of many anime lovers not only for its solid story, but also for its memorable characters.
The ending of the series has left fans with an insatiable hunger for more anime rooted in the same vein as Inuyasha and I have come to their rescue. Without further ado, I give you relief in the form of more anime guaranteed to leave you satisfied.
Similar Anime to Inuyasha
1. Tenkuu no Esucafrone (The Vision of Escaflowne)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April1996 – September1996
Being one of my all-time personal favorites, The Vision of Escaflowne centers around a girl named Hitomi Kanzaki, who is transported to another world when a mysterious prince, Van Fanel, interrupts her track race and accidentally returns to his homeland with the young girl. From here on, Hitomi becomes involved in the world’s politics and wars while attempted to find her way home.
Hitomi is a very strong female lead who can hold her own just like Kagome. In addition, unexpected romances blossom between characters, but are equally muddled by outside sources not unlike the tumultuous relationship Kagome and Inuyasha shared. Both anime also feature women being whisked away to worlds other than their own and being involved in extraordinary adventures. Overall, Inuyahsa fans will LOVE The Vision of Escaflowne.
Tenku no Esucafrone OP
2. Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena)
- Episodes: 39
- Aired: April1997 – December1997
Set in a mysterious boarding school whose student council has some of the quirkiest personalities, Revolutionary Girl Utena is not your typical shoujo/magical girl anime. The show’s namesake character, Utena, becomes involved in secret nightly duels between the student council members whose goal is to marry the Rose Bride named Anthy. The ultimate winner can essentially revolutionize the future.
Utena is no push over and her sense of justice is what sets her apart from the rest just like Kagome. Kagome consistently fought with her sacred arrows and always fought her own battles. Utena is the same in this regard. She takes help from no one and is self-reliant. While this series doesn’t take place in another world per sé, the overall feel of the school setting is something surreal giving viewers the idea that the characters are not in a normal school. If you’re a Kagome fan, you’ll be an Utena fan!
Shoujo Kakumei Utena OP
3. Juuni Kokuki (The Twelve Kingdoms)
- Episodes: 45
- Aired: April2002 – March2003
The Twelve Kingdoms takes a familiar plot and flips it upside down. A group of three high school students find themselves transported to a parallel world where humans are born from trees and everyone speaks a foreign language. The royalty of the kingdom they landed in has declared outsiders a threat and so they live on the run while trying to desperately find their way back home.
Both anime feature traveling back and forth between worlds as well as strong female characters with fiery spirits that are unwilling to give up their goals. While The Twelve Kingdoms shares many of the same genres as Inuyasha including shoujo and adventure, there are also minor differences that are quite refreshing giving Inuyasha fans something new to look forward to.
Juuni Kokuki OP
Any Animes Like Inuyasha ?
4. Princess Chuchu (Princess Tutu)
- Episodes: 38
- Aired: August2002 – November2002
While the name Princess Tutu doesn’t elicit a strong sense of adventure, I can assure you otherwise. The main character is actually a duck transformed into a young girl by Drosselmeyer, a crazed writer whose stories become reality. She wishes to collect the pieces of her crush Mythos’ heart in order for him to regain his memories back. In order to accomplish this feat, she is give the power to transform into Princess Tutu, a graceful ballet dancer who can warm the hearts of anyone she dances with.
Princess Tutu features action and adventure as well as typical shoujo romance, but present in an interesting plot with many twists and turns. Inuyasha fans will love the similarities between the large cast of characters in each anime and the adventures that unfold for them. Inuyasha fans will be craving for the next episode once they have finished viewing the first.
Princess Chuchu OP
5. Kamisama Hajimemashita (Kamisama Kiss)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October2012 – October2012
Nanami unintentionally becomes the god of a worn down shrine after her father leaves her penniless and starving due to gambling debts. As a newfound god, she has several familiars or youkai at her service including a sly fox named Tomoe who doesn’t trust her to do her job correctly. Together, they overcome those who dare to question her authority as well as learn something about each other’s pasts.
Kamisama Kiss immerses viewers into the colorful world of Japanese Mythology just as Inuyasha did. The story includes many colorful youkai characters and legends throughout Japan’s history. Nanami takes these things in stride and unintentionally begins to form a bond with Tomoe not unlike Kagome and Inuyasha during their numerous adventures. Inuyasha fans will love the return to Japanese Folklore as well as the romance that blooms, plus there is a second season airing currently!
Kamisama Hajimemashita Trailer
6. Fruits Basket
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: July2001 – December2001
Tohru Honda finds herself orphaned and living in a tent on the side of the road when her classmate Yuki Sohma offers her a place to stay. However, things aren’t always as they seem. The Sohma family is hiding a secret! Upon being hugged by the opposite sex, those that are cursed with ancient Chinese Zodiac spirits are changed into animals! Agreeing to keep her mouth shut, Tohru is determined to break the curse and set them free.
Ancient Chinese Mythology is a huge part of the story in Fruits Basket just as Japanese Mythology and History play a key role in Inuyasha’s plot. The drama, immersive story, and comedic antics of the characters will draw Inuyasha fans into the world of Fruits Basket based on the two series similarities in the shounen/shoujo genre.
Fruits Basket OP
While it is quite impossible to create another anime exactly like Inuyasha, there are those anime that come extremely close. The six anime listed above will give Inuyasha fans the adventure and shounen they have been missing since the series ended and perhaps put them on a road to finding other great anime not named here. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the anime listed!