(犬夜叉?), full title 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 a half-demon, a time-traveling middle school girl, a lecherous monk, a demon slayer, a fox demon and a nekomata during the Sengoku period as they seek to find all the fragments of the Jewel of Four Souls and to keep them out of the hands of evildoers, especially Naraku.
The manga was adapted as 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
, began airing October 3, 2009 to cover the rest of the manga series and ended on March 29, 2010.
The story begins with a flashback to Feudal Japan, when the half-demon, InuYasha raids a human village to steal the Sacred Jewel of Four Souls, a magical jewel that enhances its wielder's powers and can grant a single wish. InuYasha hopes to use the gem to turn himself into a demon, but is soon stopped when Kikyo, the young miko of the village, shoots him with a sacred arrow, sealing him onto the sacred tree Goshinboku in the nearby forest. Mortally wounded, Kikyo tells her younger sister, Kaede, to burn the jewel with her body to prevent it from falling into the hands of evil.
The story then shifts to modern Tokyo, where a junior high school girl named Kagome Higurashi lives on the grounds of her family's hereditary Shinto shrine. When she goes into the well house to retrieve her cat, Buyo, a centipede demon bursts out of the enshrined Bone Eater's Well and pulls her through it.
Kagome emerges into a strange wilderness, initially unaware that she has traveled back through time to the Sengoku period of Japan, fifty years after Kikyo's death. Other than the Bone Eater's Well itself, the only familiar landmark is Goshinboku. She finds InuYasha still sealed onto the tree in an enchanted sleep, and a group of hostile peasants who drag her back to their village.