- Episodes : 167
- Genre : Action, Adventure, Comedy, Demons, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Shounen, Supernatural
- Airing Date : Oct 2000 - Sep 2004
- Producers : Kyoto Animation, Sunrise, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, Viz Media, Atelier Musa
You know who he is, the all-powerful Lord Sesshoumaru who keeps his cool in all situations and can defeat almost anybody (but for the main characters plot sake, not Inuyasha or Naraku!). I think with any great Lord, no matter how cold they may seem, their true nature is mirrored by the loyalty of their followers. Rin, Jaken and Ah-Un may be a small trio but their loyalty is fierce. Just like Sesshoumaru!
InuYasha Preview (No Spoilers)
Kagome Higurashi was a normal high school girl in modern day Tokyo, when one day she gets pulled into her family’s ancient well that transports her 500 years into the past. The demon that pulls her in, Mistress Centipede, was after the Shikon Jewel that was embedded in her body. As it turns out, Kagome is the reincarnation of a priestess, Kikyo, who 50 years before sealed away her lover, a half dog demon called Inuyasha. During a battle, the Shikon jewel shattered into many pieces, Kagome, together with Inuyasha go on a journey to find the pieces and put the jewel back together.
Along the way they make many friends, including Miroku the lecherous monk, Sango the demon slayer, Shippo the young fox demon, and others. Inuyasha has a half-brother, full-fledged dog demon called Sesshoumaru who despises him and often seeks out to kill Inuyasha. However the main antagonist is Naraku, a half demon like Inuyasha who also seeks the power of the Shikon jewel, but to use it for evil intents. This is the start of a long and perilous journey to seek out the Shikon jewel shards, protect the world from evil and to kill Naraku.
Sesshoumaru is Inuyasha’s half-brother, although he hates to admit that he’s related to a half demon because he’s a full demon himself. They share the same father, and Sesshoumaru despises the human blood that flows through Inuyasha’s veins, as it reminds him of the weakness his father had for his human lover, Izayoi. Sesshoumaru wanted to kill his father himself, to prove his strength as a great dog demon.
Sesshoumaru himself is a very calm, cool and collected demon who shows little interest in anything other than furthering his strength. He is constantly loathing Inuyasha’s love for humans, like their father, although Sesshoumaru himself more or less adopts a little girl named Rin after he saves her. He excuses it as a test on his sword, the Tenseiga that supposedly brings people back to life, and she follows him for the rest of the series. His other companions are demons, the imp Jaken and the two headed dragon Ah-Un.
1. His icy cool exterior.
Sesshoumaru’s character is pretty centered on his ability to look like he does not give any, ahem, cares. Even if something does pique his interest, it doesn’t show much except for a slight move of his eyes or the twitch of his ears. When he needs to be anywhere, say saving Rin, he’s swift but still very collected about it. It’s no wonder Rin is so assured Sesshoumaru will always save her because he himself is so reassuring.
Another phrasing of that would be his overall icy exterior. He states several times how little he cares for humans and other people, yet always goes to Rin’s aid and occasionally even saves Inuyasha. Of course, he’s still a demon and will rip anyone to shreds that gets in his way or, of course, hurts Rin!
2. His powers and incredible strength with and without his sword.
Sesshoumaru has a few different attacks depending on what he is utilizing in the moment but no matter what, he seems almost unparalleled in power, although he could not defeat Naraku. His confidence in his strength is shown in part by the fact he doesn’t want any piece of the Shikon jewel. He can transform into an extremely large dog-looking demon but he doesn’t very often because his more human-like form does fine against opponents. His general attacks are poison claw, a whip that comes out of his claws, and his general speed, strength, and dog senses.
His sword that he inherited from his father, the Tenseiga, cannot harm living beings but bring them back to life. Sesshoumaru finds this sword useless but carries it around nonetheless. Sesshoumaru takes one of Naraku’s incarnations’ head, Goshinki, and turns one of its fangs into the Tokijin, with only Sesshoumaru being powerful enough to control it.
3. His incredible human and dog demon form.
The overall character design of his human form and demon form is flawless and it’s not only his screaming fan girls who think so. His face is adorned with tribal-like make up and claw marks on his cheeks which are also on his dog demon form as well. His eyes are a perfect mixture of someone who is neither the protagonist nor the antagonist. In anime, the main character’s eyes tend to be larger, more vivid and open while the villain generally has thinner, sleeker eyes in a scowl. Sesshoumaru is a good mix of the two showing his standing in the series.
His outfit and armor are minimalistic but a creative mix, and his ‘boa’ as some fans call it, is actually his tail that he can use even in his human form. His elven ears and shoes give him a, well, elven look about him but you could say a lot of his details tend to be pointed and sharp. Except for his demon form, which is mostly organic waves of his long fur and ends up looking almost like silver flames. His demon eyes are pure red with small black pupils. One thing to note is he loses his left arm in the beginning of the series because of Inuyasha intents in obtaining Tessaiga and actually being able to wield it and use it against Sesshoumaru.
4. Intense character progression.
Inuyasha is a long series and while you’d expect character progression to be a thing, it isn’t always the case in every character. But Sesshoumaru takes the cake for character with the most progression and huge character changing moments. Going back, even further than the first episode, let’s take a look at the third movie; Swords of an Honorable Ruler. In it, we see angsty teenage Sesshoumaru having a conversation with his father saying his usual thing, “The answer is no. I, Sesshoumaru, have no need of such,” after his father asks him if he has someone to protect.
Flash forward to the end of the movie where he protects not only his usual group of followers but also his brother, Inuyasha, although he does it under false pretenses. The end of the series also shows him basically tolerating Inuyasha and not so bent on killing him constantly. The object and reason of this intense change is none other than Rin, which leads us to our biggest and final reason.
Now, whether you are fan on the side of Rin growing up and being romantic with Sesshoumaru or just the fatherly figure side, everyone would agree Rin plays a huge role in Sesshoumaru’s life and character change. We meet Rin for the first time in episode 35 where she finds Sesshoumaru severely injured in a forest after a battle with Inuyasha. Rin herself is an orphan and survived a brutal bandit attack that took her family. She lives in a village that took her in but treats her poorly. She tries to care for Sesshoumaru and eventually gets beaten up by the villagers, which leads Sesshoumaru to ask how she got her bruises. Sesshoumaru heals up and leaves while wolves end up killing Rin. Smelling her scent, he finds her and uses the Tenseiga for the first time to bring her back to life. Grateful and already entranced by him, she follows him. She was a mute because of everything that had happen but by the next episode we see her in, she’s talking lively.
This relationship is very dynamic and from that point on, Sesshoumaru saves her time and time again. Being a helpless little 8 year old, she is constantly in danger despite Jaken’s best efforts to keep her safe lest he garner the wrath of an angry Sesshoumaru if anything were to happen to her.
Towards the end of the third movie, Sesshoumaru flashbacks to the moment his father asks him if he has someone to protect. After that, he sees images of Rin, Jaken and Ah-Un and, although he still says he has no one to protect, he clearly does. Episode 162 titled, “Forever with Lord Sesshoumaru” shows Rin processing her human life vs Sesshoumaru’s long demon life but happily follows him anyway. The biggest example of his feelings for Rin is shown in the Final Act when Sesshoumaru goes on a quest to strengthen his sword and Rin and Kohaku get swept into Hell. Rin dies and Sesshoumaru tries his best to hide his emotions but ignores his mother’s warnings that if he ventures any further he won’t come out alive, to save Rin. He found the Guardian of the Underworld holding Rin’s lifeless corpse and he slew it easily and held her. He proclaimed that strengthening his sword meant nothing if it costed him her life. Her mother revived Rin one last time with the Meido Stone. At the end of the Final Act, Sesshoumaru leaves Rin in Kaede’s care to get used to living as a regular human again and when the time comes she can choose what life she wants. Until then, Sesshoumaru frequently brings Rin gifts, such as beautiful kimono.
So there you have it, all the reasons why Sesshoumaru is an insanely icy cool, dynamic character. His badassery knows no bounds and his progression from hating humans to caring about Rin is a far leap in anime character progression world.
What was your opinion on Sesshoumaru? Did we leave any major key points out or do you disagree with anything said? Start the glorious Sesshoumaru talk in the comments below!