Sesshomaru(redirected from Sessho-maru)
Rumiko Takahashi is perhaps the most popular female manga artist in Japan today. Since the publication of her first major work, Urusei Yatsura, in 1977, she has created several popular long-running titles, including Maison Ikkoku and the gender- bending martial arts comedy Ranma 1/2. Her property, the manga Inu-Yasha, began in 1996 as a feature in the magazine Shonen Sunday, eventually spawning an animated series (2000–2004; broadcast in 2005 on Cartoon Network), three theatrical films, art books, video games, and other merchandise. Not only is Inu-Yasha a popular title in Japan, it has gained many fans in America. The story revolves around Kagome, a fifteen-year old girl who travels from present-day Japan to the country's feudal period, hundreds of years ago. Kagome frees a mysterious boy pinned to a tree by an arrow … and discovers out that he is Inu-Yasha, half-human, half-demon. Shocked by Kagome's resemblance to Kikyo, the woman who pinned him to the tree fifty years earlier, Inu-Yasha travels with Kagome to recover the shards of the Shikon jewel. Along the way, they gain allies, travel through time between feudal Japan and modern Japan, and face many enemies. These foes are both human, and “youkai” (demon). Perhaps the most popular villain faced by Inu- Yasha and Kagome is Sesshomaru. His conflicts with Inu-Yasha brings new meaning to the term “sibling rivalry.” Introduced in the second volume of the manga (1997), Sesshomaru is a tall young man with long white hair, delicate features, goldcolored eyes, and four red stripes—two on each side of his face. Looks can be deceiving, though; he is actually more than seventy years old. There is a purple crescent-shaped mark on his forehead. He wears clothing typical of the feudal period. He is also Inu-Yasha's half-brother. Their father was a demon, but while Inu-Yasha is half-human, Sesshomaru is a full demon. He is able to transform himself into a large dog-like demon, but he can also perform magical attacks. His personality is cold and calculating, and he dislikes humans. He pursues Inu-Yasha to find out the location of their father's magical sword, the Tetsusaiga. When Sesshomaru discovers that the sword is located in their father's burial temple, he seeks it out … and the location is in Inu-Yasha's eye. After a fierce battle, Sesshomaru gains the Tetsusaiga—only to discover that he cannot use it. Only Inu-Yasha, due to his half-human nature, can. Sesshomaru is able to briefly use the Tetsusaiga with the help of the demon Naraku, but ends up with the sword's companion, the Tenseiga. However, the sword cannot be used to kill, but to heal. This fact only deepens Sesshomaru's hatred of Inu-Yasha. Sesshomaru travels with Jaken, a small creature resembling a frog with large eyes; he is Sesshomaru's loyal servant. Later in the series, Sesshomaru gains another traveling companion, a young human girl named Rin. Ironically, Sesshomaru saves her life and takes care of her, and Rin chooses to follow him.