I’m writing this as a twenty year old college student who’s just completed binge-watching the last few seasons of an anime that has and always will be incredibly important to me: InuYasha. Today I finally watched the very last episode and the journey across 192 episodes and four movies with InuYasha, Kagome, Sango, Miroku and Shippo that began at the age of seven has come to a bittersweet end. Towards the end, my heart felt like it would burst out of happiness, butterflies fluttered in my stomach and I could not for the life of me wipe that geeky grin off my face. I cried at the ending, it was perfect.It left me wondering what to do with my life as if an emotional apocalypse had occurred which, for me, is a tell tale sign of a good show or book. It’s world consumes you. That’s the beauty of it.
As I sat there on my bed, I thought back to when it all began. I remember I was introduced to the show by my neighbour and we would role play it in our backyards (she was Kagome and I was Sango). Suffice to say, I loved the show a great deal. But over the years, I’d forgotten about it, left off half way through the series and when I resumed it last year, it was if I’d never left. This left me wondering why things we associate with our childhood never leave us. InuYasha gave me the answer.
If you think about it, our hearts are like the Shikon Jewel. There is both good and evil battling within them. As children, our hearts are pure but as we dwell on this planet, growing older, they become tainted with worry and hardship. But that tiny ray of light from those days of playing hop-scotch and marbles is still there, shining ever slightly though we may not know nor remember. If you revisit parts of your childhood like a book or a show, that ray of light beams stronger until the whole is purified again and for that nostalgic, reminiscent period of time, it’s as if the darkness had never been. I think that’s why the things we connect with our childhood will always have a special place in our hearts, no matter how old or mature we believe we are. They’re safe little pockets to be tucked into. For me, InuYasha is one of them. While it may sound a bit over the top, I assure you it’s not. On scrolling through tumblr and reading KagoMay posts where people describe how they were first introduced to the show, many people resonated with this feeling. I think it’s only understandable if you watch it for yourself (which I highly recommend you do).
The characters are unique and heart-warming. InuYasha is one of those protagonists you’ll never forget. He’s hot headed, impulsive and moody but when coupled with that soft spot for his friends, love interests (Kikyo and Kagome) and Ramen noodles, it makes him endearing and badass all at once. He’s so multidimensional. Sango is my favourite female character with her amazing demon slaying skills and sense of moral righteousness.
Not only are they humorous but the characters are also troubled with their own pasts and their own individual challenges looming ahead of them which makes their journey even more intriguing. InuYasha’s life was always complicated what with his tragic love for Kikyo, his being an outcast as a half-demon and so much more and he comes to learn what it is to trust and rely on others, something he never quite understood before. Kagome struggles with the comparisons between her and Kikyo, attempting to assert her individualism and harnessing her own powers. Miroku’s wind tunnel curse and Sango’s troubles about her brother Kohaku are their own burdens to bear. I love how they all overcame their struggles together. One thing this anime teaches us is to keep fighting the demons (literally and figuratively) no matter how hard it is.
I’m aware of the shortcomings of the show but truthfully, I don’t mind. Yes, the fight scenes can get quite repetitive but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Contrary to popular opinion, I enjoy the fillers a lot. They’re a nice little does of humor after a couple of intense battle episodes.
So thank you to Rumiko Takahashi for creating InuYasha and to everyone involved in making the anime as brilliant as it is.