Inuyasha opens in feudal Japan. The half-demon Inuyasha attacks a village to steal the Sacred Jewel of Four Souls. The Jewel enhances the possessor’s powers and grants a single wish. Inuyasha seeks to use the jewel to turn himself into a full-blooded demon. He is stopped by Kikyo, a young priestess, who seals him to a tree using a sacred arrow. Dying, she tells her younger sister Kaede to burn the jewel with her body to prevent it from falling into evil hands. However, she failed to anticipate her own reincarnation.
Kagome Higurashi lives with her family on their Shinto shrine. One day she chases her cat into the well house. Abruptly a centipede bursts out of the well and pulls her through it and into the past. She emerges from the well to find herself in a strange wilderness and finds Inuyasha sealed to the tree for the past 50 years. Peasants find her and drag her to the village where an older Kaede recognizes Kagome as Kikyo’s reincarnation. Soon the demon centipede, drawn to the Sacred Jewel that resides in Kagome’s body, attacks. Kagome frees Inuyasha to kill the demon. Kaede prevents Inuyasha from stealing the jewel by placing a magic rosary around his neck, allowing Kagome to subdue him with a simple “sit.”
Kagome and the Jewel attract more demons and eventually she accidentally shatters the Jewel with a sacred arrow. The shards of the jewel scatter throughout Japan, granting power to however possesses them. One demon in particular seeks to reassemble the Jewel of Four Souls for himself: Naraku.
InuYasha is a half demon. His father was a full demon and his mother was human. At first he wants to become a full demon but falling in love with Kikyo shifts his thinking. Naraku manipulates Inuyasha and Kikyo into believing they betrayed each other. Kikyo’s death stalks Inuyasha in addition to the conflict between his demon and human blood. Kikyo’s shadow makes his friendship and love for Kagome conflicted.
Kagome Higurashi is the priestess Kikyo’s reincarnation. Born in modern Japan, her sudden appearance shifts the course of history. Over time her spiritual powers continue to awaken as does her feelings for Inuyasha
Miroku is a lecherous Buddhist monk that is cursed by Naraku with the Wind Tunnel. The Wind Tunnel is a powerful weapon and will eventually cause his death. This inevitability and desire for an heir drives his lecherous ways. He hopes to break the curse by killing Naraku.
Sango is a professional demon slayer. Naraku ravages her village and kills all its inhabitants. Naraku revives her younger brother to use as a weapon to stop her efforts to avenge her village. Sango’s main goal is to free her brother from Naraku.
Kikyo is a priestess who guards the Sacred Jewel. She falls in love with Inuyasha but dies feeling betrayed by him through Naraku’s manipulation. She is revived as an undead soul to seek revenge against Inuyasha and kill her reincarnation.
Naraku is the primary villain. He is behind most of the character’s problems. He is a half demon born from a crippled human bandit and a horde of weak demons. Like Inuyasha he seeks to become a full demon. He also seeks to possess a tainted Sacred Jewel, and his obsession: Kikyo.
Inuyasha focuses upon the ideas of friendship and conflicted love. Both Inuyasha and Naraku are conflicted about their love for Kikyo. Inuyasha is torn between her and Kagome. Naraku is torn by his “love” and his desire for power.
Inuyasha is a fairly simple story. It is mostly a romance and falls into certain patterns. Naraku gains power and trounces Inuyasha and crew. They eventually become more powerful by enduring these trials. The main problem with Inuyasha is repetition. Despite minor differences in situations, many of the conflicts follow the same patterns. Most everything is resolved by Inuyasha’s Wind Scar. Of course other action series like Bleach fall into the same problem. The characters of Inuyasha are enjoyable. Although some of the jokes get a little tired over the course of 160 episodes. The love triangle between Inuyasha, Kagome, and Kikyo is believable if a little drawn out at times. Such situations do tend to work that way in reality, however. Inuyasha is an enjoyable romp.