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What’s the big deal with Inuyasha? What’s everyone going ape-crazy about? How do 6 seasons and 167 episodes sound to you? I thought so. Inuyasha is the newest monster in anime in a literal and figurative sense simultaneously! Those in the know have been faithfully following the series since it premiered in anime form back in 2000. The series was originally in manga, and written by the legendary female manga artist Rumiko Takahashi. Her previous works include the wildly popular Ramna 1/2, and have sold over 100 million copies worldwide!

It’s no real wonder that Inuyasha, being her latest creation, was a runaway success. It began with a 39 volume, 379 chapter manga series. Next it was distilled into a 6-season television run with 167 episodes. During that time 4 movies have been created. Enough with the numbers! Let’s talk about the story.

Inuyasha is an epic tale rife with Japanese cultural references. Though it’s difficult to understand if you’re not familiar with some of the standard storytelling elements, you can also learn something about old Japan by watching this series.

The story starts off with a bang. Kagome Higurashi was enjoying her 15th birthday when she wandered over to the ancient well near the temple where they live. Thinking that her cat was down there, she went into the well only to be transported back in time by a giant centipede monster! The centipede questioned her about a jewel and shook her silly. Luckily, Kagome escaped but then found herself trapped in feudal Japan.

Walking around, she noticed a boy nailed to a tree with a magical arrow. He appeared to be in suspended animation. In the nearby village she talked to a woman named Kaede who claimed that Kagome looked exactly like her dead sister, Kikyo. As Kaede explains, the boy Kagome saw pinned to the tree was Kikyo’s love, Inuyasha. Inuyasha is a half-demon who sought the Shikon Jewel in hopes of obtaining ultimate demon powers. Unfortunately Kikyo was ultimately betrayed and killed by Inuyasha but he never got the jewel from her.  That’s because it was embedded in her body and went up in flames during the cremation.

As Kaeda was telling Kagome this, the Centipede returned and ripped the jewel out of her body (much to everyone’s surprise).  In a desperate attempt to recover the jewel, they re-animated Inuyasha and he managed to kill Miss Centipede.  Before Inuyasha could take the jewel for himself, many other demons showed up on the scene and started fighting for the jewel.  It was shattered into pieces in the process and the remainder of the story is about Inuyasha and Kagome’s quest to recover the pieces across Japan.