A true warrior never puts a woman before a battle!
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Hiten (飛天, "Heavenly Flight") was a powerful demon and the elder brother of Manten. Together they formed the dreadful duo known as the Thunder Brothers. Their fearsome reputation spread very quickly as they enjoyed battle and destruction. Eventually, Hiten and his brother decided to go on a quest for shards of the Shikon no Tama to increase their power. As they did so they became increasingly destructive, eventually blasting entire samurai armies out of existence. During their search, they killed a fox demon and took his shard. The demon's son, Shippō, became bent on revenge. Eventually he gained allies in the forms of the hanyō Inuyasha and the human miko Kagome Higurashi.
The Thunder Brothers captured Kagome, but she convinced them to spare her life so that they could exchange her for a ransom from Inuyasha, who she claimed possessed most of the shards of the Shikon jewel. Eager to gain more jewel shards, Hiten agreed. Inuyasha was unwilling to part with his shards, even for the sake of Kagome, and Hiten was forced to battle him, though he preferred violence over coercion anyway. After a fierce battle, Manten was slain by Inuyasha's sword Tessaiga. Enraged, Hiten vowed to avenge his younger brother and, absorbing the latter's jewel shards, prepared to do away with his hanyō opponent and the treacherous miko forever.
Hiten was born many years ago to a humanoid father, from whom he inherits many physical characteristics, and a reptilian mother. After some time, his mother bore a second son, who took after her physically, Manten. In time Hiten and Manten became merciless warriors, known throughout Japan by other demons for their ruthlessness and kidnapping (they often stole beautiful women for the purposes of eating them). They also had a younger sister named Sōten, who took after their father.
Quest for the Shikon Jewel shards
500 years ago, the legendary Shikon no Tama was shattered, and pieces of it scattered across the country. While the Shikon no Tama could increase a yōkai's or human's power by a factor of 100, even just one shard could grant great power. Eager to increase their strength, Hiten and Manten set out on a hunt to find the shards of the Shikon Jewel.
During their pursuit, they quickly found five shards, killing anyone who possessed one and taking them and dividing them equally between the two of them. Since Hiten was the eldest brother, he took the first jewel and Manten took the next one. In this way the jewels were divided until Hiten had three and Manten took two. One of their many victims during this time was a fox demon who had his own shard, which fell to Hiten, while Manten took his pelt and wore it around his waist. Unbeknownst to the duo, the fox demon's son, Shippō began his own quest for jewel shards to gain enough power to avenge his father.
As the Thunder Brothers increased in strength, they began to enjoy making unnecessary displays of their power, and would often go out on "hunts" and destroy entire armies of samurai just for sport. Yet even slaughter on this scale could hardly slake their lust for battle, and they grew restless. Eventually, Manten went off to look for more jewels. Hiten remained at their castle to enjoy the company of a female. Hiten later heard voices and he and his concubine went to investigate. He found that Manten had returned early with a captured human girl, named Kagome Higurashi. Hiten asked who she was and Manten defensively claimed that she was his own spoils. Hiten allayed his brother's fears by assuring him that he had no need for the girl, as he had a much better one with him (his concubine). He proceeded to ask Manten if he had any success in his search for more shards, but Manten reluctantly informed his older brother that he had one, but lost it. Hiten flew into a rage, assuming that Manten had lost it because he had become distracted by Kagome. To vent his anger, he maliciously incinerated his mistress into a pile of ash.
Manten informed Hiten that it was the fox-child, Shippō, who had taken the jewel from him through deception. Hiten resolved to find Shippō, but Kagome attempted to slip away and was nearly butchered by Manten. Pleading for her life, Kagome urged the Thunder Brothers to use her as a hostage, and bargain with Inuyasha, a hanyō who she claimed was madly in love with her. She disclosed to them that Inuyasha had most of the Shikon jewel shards, and would eagerly give them up to rescue Kagome. Despite Manten's misgivings, Hiten was willing to believe her due to his eagerness for more jewel shards. He ordered Kagome to lead them to Inuyasha, threatening to deal with her in the same way he had killed the vixen if they discovered she was lying.
Raigekijin vs. Tessaiga
With Kagome riding on Manten's thundercloud, the Thunder Brothers waylaid Inuyasha and Shippō. Hiten demanded that Inuyasha hand over his Shikon jewel fragments or he would never see his lover again. Inuyasha denied that he was in love with Kagome and refused to ransom her. Kagome was infuriated and insisted that she was more important than a couple of jewels. Nevertheless, through the quarrel, Hiten inferred that Inuyasha did indeed have shards of the jewel as Kagome had said, regardless of their relationship. Since Inuyasha refused to hand them over willing them, Hiten settled for battling it out with Inuyasha and force him to hand over the jewels. Inuyasha was not easily overcome by Hiten's lightning, though he lacked style in Hiten's view. However, due to the hanyō's obvious power, Hiten hoped that their battle would be very interesting.
As Inuyasha and Hiten continued to spar, Manten became preoccupied with Kagome and Shippō, who had attempted to kill him while his attention was elsewhere. Inuyasha became distracted when Kagome became vulnerable, and Hiten rebuked him for allowing a mere woman to divert his energies away from battle. Inuyasha did not take this to heart, however, and he was soon again distracted. Hiten used this opportunity to stab deep in his shoulder. Inuyasha's sword, the Tessaiga, fell by the wayside in the process. He told Inuyasha that human compassion would prove his undoing. Hiten commended Manten for his viciousness when the latter told Shippō that he would use the fox-child's toes as a new pair of earrings, telling the younger brother he was becoming "quite the villain", which flattered Manten. The two brothers decided to take their time disposing of the trio, rather than simply putting them out of their misery.
Inuyasha, though, refused to give up. The half-demon used his Blades of Blood technique to occupy Hiten, while he ran to his Tessaiga. Grabbing it, Inuyasha leaped in the air and threw it, Hiten narrowly dodging. Hiten proceeded to mock Inuyasha for the lousy shot, before realizing that Inuyasha had not been aiming for him at all. The Tessaiga cat through the night air, penetrating Manten's back. Hiten panicked and flew over to his brother's side, angrily swatting Shippō and Kagome aside. Together, the two brothers had an uncharacteristically warm parting. As he knelt next to him, Manten began to regret that all his hair had fallen out and that he had not inherited more of his father's looks, as Hiten had. Hiten tried to comfort his brother by telling him that he loved him as he was, baldness included. Manten did not believe his claims, but thanked him anyway. As he lay dying, Manten asked Hiten to pray that he would be reincarnated as a fuzzy caterpillar, with hair all over. Then Manten thought better of it, saying that he would rather be bald again if it meant he could remain Hiten's brother; with that said, he passed.
Avenging a Lost Brother
Crying profusely, Hiten cursed his enemies for killing his beloved brother. He then devours Manten's heart in order to gain his brother's power. Now possessing the power of five jewel shards, and his brother's powers as well, Hiten turned his attention to Inuyasha and Kagome, firing off a blast at them. They dodged it, but Hiten, eyes glowing red, told them that since they killed Manten, he would not rest until he had returned the deed. Hiten now prepared a massive sphere of electric energy and launched it at Inuyasha head on. The half-demon was unable to avoid it, so great was its size, but his vassal, Myōga the flea demon, told him to use the sheath of Tessaiga to absorb the blast. In this Inuyasha was successful, much to Hiten's surprise. Despite this new development, Hiten fired off another blast. With his sheath before him, Inuyasha darted right through this energy blast without injury, expecting to jump out and catch Hiten at unawares. Hiten had foreseen this strategy, and came up behind Inuyasha while he wasn't looking, stabbing him in the back and electrocuting him.
Inuyasha got up again, but Hiten relentlessly struck at him, his Thunder Pike clashing with the Tessaiga sheath each time. In an attempt to give Inuyasha a better chance, Shippō turned into a bow so that Kagome could fire a sacred arrow at his left flying wheel. With the wheel broken, Hiten could not maintain a high altitude, and Inuyasha jumped to his feet and grabbed hold of the Thunder pike, discarding his sheath and punching Hiten's face. Hiten refused to allow such disgrace to befall him again, and he charged his demonic aura. Inuyasha grabbed his sheath to block his attack yet again, but this time the sheath had begun to crack, unable to contain the unrestrained ferocity of Hiten's power. Kagome began to fear for Inuyasha, and Shippō decided to retrieve his sword. Noticing the two running across the plain, Hiten fired off Manten's mouth blast. Presuming her killed, Inuyasha flew into a rage over their deaths and backed Hiten off of him. Hiten began to mock him yet again, telling him that no woman was worth risking a battle over, contrasting it with his honorable goal of avenging Manten, his brother. The Tessaiga sheath, however, recalled the sword to Inuyasha's hand, and the half-demon slashed through both the Thunder pike and Hiten himself. As he collapsed to the ground, Hiten was unable to comprehend how Inuyasha could have beaten both he and his brother. With these last thoughts, Hiten evaporated into a cloud of sparkling dust.
After their deaths, the Thunder Brothers' younger sister Sōten was the last surviving member of the Thunder Demon Tribe. She was quite young, even by demon standards, and as such was very small. To make up for her diminutive stature and lack of strength, Sōten developed her mind and trained herself to use thunder magic, a close analogue to fox magic. Together with her dragon familiar, Kōryū, she concocted a complex plan for revenge. Knowing she could never defeat Inuyasha, Sōten challenged Shippō instead, sending Kōryū to trap Shippō's allies and kidnapping him, bringing the fox-child back to the Thunder Brothers' castle. Despite her wish to kill Shippō slowly, Sōten allowed Shippō to duel her in the hopes that she could claim his crayons. Inuyasha interrupted their duel before a victor could be decided, and Shippō, upon learning that Sōten was a girl, gave her his crayons and left, refusing to fight and telling her not to pursue revenge anymore. Sōten ended up admiring Shippō for his chivalry and abandoned her hopes of vengeance.
Hiten is an extremely ruthless demon who has little regard for the lives of others. Having very few redeemable qualities, Hiten relishes in killing and, to him, there is nothing more important or honorable than battle. He is quite self-assured and confident in his own battle prowess. When Inuyasha punches Hiten during their fight, Hiten is furious, since it is the first time he has been hit in the face before. This seems to be very insulting for him, and he claims that it will never happen again. Despite his formidable skill, Hiten still desires more power so that he can become the most formidable demon on the battlefield, which motivates him to collect the Sacred Jewel shards. As he becomes stronger, Hiten delights more and more in senseless slaughter, wiping out entire armies of helpless samurai for no better reason than the fact that he enjoys the sport of it. He is completely merciless and kills without remorse. Hiten even demonstrates an affinity for evil in general; when Manten claims he will use Shippō's toes as earrings, Hiten praises his brother, telling him that he is "becoming quite the villain." Hiten holds humans in little esteem and, like many demons, has little respect for half-demons. However, he has a keen respect for those who can match him on the battlefield, and as such grants Inuyasha some recognition due to the latter's strength.
Besides fighting, Hiten has also demonstrated a healthy appetite for other pursuits, namely women. Manten has mentioned that his brother is very successful with the ladies due to his good looks. Both he and Manten are known for kidnapping beautiful women and devouring them after they've had their way. Hiten also has casual relationships with demon women. Despite his healthy libido, Hiten is very misogynistic, viewing women as mere play things and showing little regard for them. He constantly criticizes Inuyasha for allowing his own feelings for a woman distract him from battle, saying that no woman is worth risking a battle over. His low regard for women is highlighted when he reduces his concubine to a pile of ash just because he was mad at someone else.
Despite his barbaric nature, Hiten has shown a softer side. One of the few things Hiten values other than power and battle is family. In line with his murderous tendencies, Hiten told Manten that he would have gladly killed him were it not for the fact that they were brothers. Therefore, kinship is one of the few things that lead Hiten to show mercy towards others. However, despite his threats, Hiten seems to care more for his brother despite his faults than he lets on. Not only does he value their blood-ties, but Hiten told Manten that he loved him as he was and would not change anything about him. Further, when Manten dies, Hiten becomes inconsolable, crying unrestrained in an uncharacteristically open display of emotion. His rage grows unchecked and he swears vengeance against Inuyasha and his friends. In this way, Hiten's normal violence is channeled into a somewhat noble goal of avenging his fallen brother.
Hiten is a yōkai with human-like characteristics. Hiten has long black hair which he keeps in a braided ponytail. He has a high forehead on which he implanted his Sacred Jewel shards, of which he has three. He has short bangs, the most prominent of which are two strands of hair that fall on either side of his forehead. His hair is not parted to either side. Hiten has small ears which are pointed, a feature common amongst most demons, to which he affixes earrings. He has arched eyebrows, thick eyelashes and large, red eyes. His incisors are quite long, even for a demon of his type, and are easily visible when he is speaking. Although relatively thin, Hiten is quite fit and his biceps are not covered by his armor, revealing an impressive muscular form when flexed. His skin is quite tan, contributing to his overall attractive appearance.
Hiten wears very elaborate armor, which is near identical to that worn by his brother, although his shoulder pads and other portions of his outfit are orange, whereas Manten's are blue. He wears a white shirt underneath his kimono, which is colored blue around the collar and shoulder, similar to Bankotsu. Over his kimono is his armor, fitted around his lower torso and padding on top of this. Hiten's shoulder pads are roughly shaped like cogs, with spikes roughly in the shape of the letter "z". He also has two pads on his forearms which extend over the top of his hands. These are bound by grey rings to his arm. On top of the pad on his right arm is an armored plate, on which a kanji from name is inscribed, meaning "heaven" or "sky". The two rings encircle his wrist and elbow. A blue jewel is set on the tip nearest his elbow. The identical plate on his left arm is not connected to his forearm, but on his arm and elbow. As with the plate on his right arm, the plate on his left arm also has a jewel set on the tip nearest his elbow, however it is red and not blue. He has an extra ring, not connected to the plate, around his left wrist, to match the one on his right. He has an orange coil around his right bicep.
A series of light blue sashes are tied together in bows connected from his shoulder pads to his waist. The ends of this final, waist sash hang down towards his knees. There are two shorter ends, and hanging down from the main knot are two longer ends which pass down beyond his knees. This waist sash is similar to that worn by both Bankotsu and Sesshōmaru. Tied to his waist sash on either side of his body are two, very long feathers of unknown origin. He wears dark blue hakama and black shoes, with white trimming around the ankles and grey tabi socks. Hiten wears earrings on both ears. They are gold, double tassels linked to a gold disk, which is joined to the ear and identical to those worn by Manten.
Powers & Abilities
Hiten is an extremely powerful demon, able to destroy entire armies with a single bolt of lightning. His power is largely augmented by his use of shards of the Shikon no Tama, however his blade, the Raigekijin ("Thunder Pike") also focuses his power and adds to it. Conversely, the Raigekijin's power is similarly augmented by the shards of the Shikon Jewel. He is quite skilled in melee combat and was easily able to match Inuyasha blow for blow, even though the half-demon wielded a powerful sword such as the Tessaiga. As a member of the Thunder Demon Tribe, all of his attacks are lightning based.
- Lightning bolt attack: Hiten's most common attack, a lightning bolt is alternatively summoned from the sky or fired directly from his Thunder Pike. It is quite powerful, able to destroy an entire army of samurai and destroy chunks of mountain.
- Lightning burst: By outstretching his hand, Hiten is able to generate enough electric force to disintegrate anything within a certain distance of his arm. It was powerful enough to reduce the vixen to ashes.
- Thunder breath: After absorbing Manten's Shikon Jewel shards, Hiten gains his brother's ability to fire thunder from his mouth, which generates an intense blast, creating a large crater and setting anything within the vicinity to burst into flames.
- Energy bullet: After obtaining five Sacred Jewel shards, Hiten is able to generate enough electric energy to create an enormous sphere of lightning, similar to the dragon Ryūkotsusei. It is not as powerful, however, as the Tessaiga sheath is easily able to absorb its energy.
- Demonic aura: While many demons create dark clouds and thunder around themselves by their presence, Hiten is unique in that his storms are created in part and augmented due to his lightning powers. These clouds travel wherever he goes and are especially prevalent around his abode. The amount of lightning strikes increases depending on Hiten's emotional state.
- Flight: Hiten is able to fly by way of two spinning wheels which float to either side of his feet and emit flames as they do so. Whenever he speeds up, the flames increase in size and shoot backwards, similar to a rocket.
- Telepathy: Hiten shares a psychic link with his weapon, the Raigekijin, by which he is able to recall it to his hand, even from a great distance.
- Raigekijin: Hiten's only weapon, which he inherited from his father. It is able to channel Hiten's own lightning energy as well as generate a large amount of its own. This was shown when Hiten threw it to the ground, where it charged a significant amount of energy and then released it in a large explosion, killing countless warriors. The Raigekijin's pole is not strong enough to withstand a direct blow from the Tessaiga, and is eventually cut in two by it, leading to Hiten's death. Following this, the two parts of the Raigekijin are later collected by Sōten, who mounts them on her wall as a memento by which to honor her fallen brothers.
Despite their vastly different appearances, Manten is actually Hiten's younger brother. Manten admires Hiten for his good looks and success with the ladies, and the two appear to be close. The two brothers almost always go hunting for jewel shards, battle, and presumably women together. They are a compatible team, due to their similar powers, and are both fierce warriors. They even share a residence and it is assumed that they always fight together, since their reputations have been solidified around the fact that they are brothers, hence they are collectively known as the Thunder Brothers. However, Hiten is often frustrated with Manten's lower intelligence and can become quite furious towards his mistakes. Hiten has stated that if Manten were not his kin, he would have gladly gotten rid of his younger brother long ago. While this suggests that Hiten only tolerates his brother because they are related, Hiten frequently shows affection toward Manten in the form of compliments and praise whenever the latter does something impressive or villainous. Indeed, despite their shared cruel natures and violence towards others, which would indicate a low capacity for genuine emotion, Hiten and Manten actually share a surprisingly deep bond, which is demonstrated when Manten is killed by Inuyasha. Manten espouses sincere gratitude at being able to be Hiten's brother, and shows no regrets in how he lived his life. Hiten is sent into an uncontrollable rage at his brother's demise, determined to avenge his fallen kin at any cost. This explosion of rage and grief proves that Hiten did, in fact, harbor genuine feelings and sympathy towards Manten, perhaps the only creature with whom he was actually close and cared for.
Although it is not clear what relationship Hiten had with his little sister, it is possible that he loved her just as much as he did Manten. Sōten certainly seemed to be moved enough by her brothers' deaths to invent a complicated scheme to defeat Inuyasha and all of his allies, despite the odds not being in her favor. This would suggest that she harbored a good deal of love and respect for her older brothers, though it could be that she merely did this for the honor of the Thunder Demon Tribe. However, given the respect Manten also held for his mother, it can be extrapolated that there were probably near-universally warm feelings shared between all the members of the Thunder Demon Tribe family, unusual though that may seem given the Thunder Brothers' sadistic cruelty in battle.
Manga vs. Anime
- In the manga, Hiten kills the vixen by punching a hole through her head with his fist, as opposed to incinerating her with his lightning powers.
- While in the anime Hiten only bites into Manten's forehead to gain his powers and jewel shards, in the manga he devours Manten's heart.
- In the manga, Hiten does not share a tender moment with Manten before his younger brother passes, Manten having died before Hiten reaches his body.
- "Don't tell me you were more interested in a woman and FAILED TO GET THE SACRED JEWEL FRAGMENT?! You're so hopeless! If you weren't my kid brother, you wouldn't have enough lives to survive!"
- ―Hiten after learning Manten forgot the Sacred Jewel fragment and incinerating the Vixen
- "The Shikon Jewel shard embedded in my forehead leaves me with power to spare."
- "Him, strong? That Inuyasha is merely a half-demon."
- "You do have power, but no style. This should be an interesting battle!"
- "I truly hoped for so much more. You speak as a warrior and yet fight as a fool."
- "Beauty isn't about what's on the outside! I wouldn't change a thing about you, brother. I love every bald inch of you!"
- "How dare you strike down my beloved brother? I shall not rest until I have returned the deed..."
- "You are brave, half-breed... and for that I loathe you."
- "When will you ever learn that no woman is worth risking a battle over? A brother's revenge, however, is well worth fighting to the death over!"
- "I was...defeated. This half demon...he defeated both of us..."
- Hiten is the first yōkai with multiple Shikon Jewel shards that Inuyasha fights during his quest to find all the shards. After defeating him, Inuyasha gains five shards. This is the largest number of jewel shards Inuyasha ever gains after a single battle, except for his battle with Bankotsu, during which Inuyasha also obtains five shards.
- In the anime, Hiten often appears in flashbacks whenever a character references the barrier of the Tessaiga sheath.
- When Garamaru induces Shippō to have a hallucinogenic nightmare, Hiten appears but his pants are white instead of blue.
- In the German dub Hiten's name was changed to "Stem".
- Hiten's Japanese seiyū, Nobutoshi Canna, also provides the voice for Ryūra in InuYasha the Movie: Fire on the Mystic Island.
- Hiten's spinning wheels resemble the Wind and fire wheels (風火輪), which is used by Nezha (哪吒) according to the folklore and the Chinese classic novel, Fengshen Yanyi (封神演義). Despite the religion states, Hiten used the wheels solely for transportation, not as weapons.
- ↑ In the anime only
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 InuYasha anime; Episode 9
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 InuYasha anime; Episode 68
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 2
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 InuYasha anime; Episode 10
- ↑ InuYasha manga; Chapter 29
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 InuYasha manga; Chapter 32