It has been centuries since I began serving Lord Sesshōmaru; crossed through 3,000 worlds have I! His most loyal follower: I answer to the name Jaken!
Evil point of view
Traveling with Sesshōmaru
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Jaken (邪見, "Evil point of view") is an imp who is extremely loyal to Sesshōmaru, often praising his master's greatness. Although Jaken is not nearly as powerful as his employer, he is skilled at wielding the Nintōjō. He seldom engages in battle and is actually killed by Kaijinbō with Tōkijin, but Sesshōmaru resurrects him with Tenseiga.
In the BeginningEdit
Upon becoming Sesshōmaru's servant, Jaken learned his master planned to create his own empire; he would become Chief Minister when the empire was established.
Jaken uses the Staff of Two Heads to find Inuyasha's and Sesshōmaru's father's grave. However, they were only being lead on a wild goose chase since the Black Pearl existed in Inuyasha's right eye. Using the Unmother, Jaken tried to probe Inuyasha's heart for information, only to get a vague mention of the pearl. He was given as sound beating by Kagome before being hit by with Staff of Two Heads into a pond in a fashion similar to golf. Retrieving the staff upon Sesshōmaru's acquiring the Black Pearl, Jaken followed his master to the Borderland, where the sword Tessaiga lay; however, a barrier prevent Sesshōmaru from wielding it. Inuyasha was immune to the barrier and successfully gained the sword. During the fight Sesshōmaru lost his left arm.
Jaken searched for him after returning to the world of the living, finding him in the forest near Asano Castle.
When Sesshōmaru was approached by Naraku, who offered help in stealing Tessaiga, Jaken was correctly mistrustful of the half-demon as the plan backfired and Sesshōmaru nearly got eaten by flames coming from a human replacement arm that was attached thanks to a Shikon shard. Both of them found Naraku more troublesome than Inuyasha.
Jaken later came to Tōtōsai's home to remind him the deadline for the sword more powerful than Tessaiga. Informing Sesshōmaru that Tōtōsai had fled, Jaken accidentally insulted his master, believing his life had been shortened by 100 years. When Sesshōmaru fought and was defeated by Inuyasha, Jaken questioned him about Tenseiga, which Sesshōmaru immediately hit him with to prove it cannot kill. He then watched as his master took a dragon's claw as a temporary arm to defeat Tessaiga. When Sesshōmaru didn't return, he went searching, only to think about if he was a test subject for Tenseiga. He later was shocked to find Sesshōmaru revive a human girl named Rin.
Much to his annoyance, Jaken found Rin accompanying them. When Sesshōmaru commissioned Kaijinbō to create the Tōkijin from the fangs of the demon Goshinki, Jaken was cut in half and killed by the possessed swordsmith; Sesshōmaru later revived him with Tenseiga. While Sesshōmaru went to get his sword, Jaken kept an eye on Rin, meeting Kagura the Wind Sorceress for the first time.
When the Panther Demons attempted to gain revenge on Sesshōmaru and Inuyasha for what their father had done to their leader, Jaken watched in amazement as Inuyasha destroyed the barrier that their leader had erected.
Later forced to go with Rin to search for food, Jaken decided it was terrifying to let Inuyasha continue to have possession of Tessaiga, deciding to take the blade for his master. Trying to use a demon born of human regrets, the No-man, Jaken found the demon too stupid to carry out his plans, instead deciding to pose as a sharpener; the plan backfired, everyone but Inuyasha partook of his services. Worked to exhaustion, Jaken decided to use his final plan: create a hot spring. When Inuyasha bathed in the spring, Jaken attempted to take Tessaiga, but was burnt by the barrier; he decided to use the robe of the fire rat to carry the sword with him. However, Rin's arrival cued Inuyasha to his plan. Although he ordered RIn to give the Tessaiga to Sesshōmaru, she saved him instead and left the sword behind.
While stealing food, Jaken thought about Rin's words to him as Kagura arrived and kidnapped Rin. Returning to Sesshōmaru, Jaken informed him what happened as Naraku extended an invitation to his castle in exchange for Rin, who was under his protection outside the poisonous atmosphere of the castle. Arriving at the castle, Jaken watched as Naraku transformed into a monstrous form and tried absorbing Sesshōmaru. When Naraku was forced to flee, both Jaken and Sesshōmaru realized Rin was kidnapped to be used as a means to buy time for escaping. Inuyasha forced him to explain what connection Rin had to Sesshōmaru.
Jaken later got poisoned by Saimyōshō, and begged Rin to find the plant that could cure him; he would die at sundown if he didn't eat the plant. Sesshōmaru returned with Rin and the plant, saving Jaken.
Arriving at the sacred mountain, Jaken became ill from the barrier's effects, along with A-Un, but found Sesshōmaru was unaffected by the purifying powers of the barrier. Jaken tried his best to defend Rin from Suikotsu of the Band of Seven, but failed as both were washed away by a river. After Rin's rescue, Jaken watched as Mount Hakurei's barrier collapsed, leading to the release of demons, miasma and Naraku's demonic aura.
When Naraku emerged from the mountain, Jaken discovered that the half-demon had become arrogant, such as addressing Sesshōmaru without any honorifics. He then watched Naraku get torn to shreds by Tōkijin, only to see the force of the blast returned to Sesshōmaru, who reflected it and destroyed Naraku's head. However, Naraku didn't die and continued to run away.
The Search ResumesEdit
Kagura arrived again, making Jaken think she was after Rin once more; Jaken stood in front of the girl to defend her. However, Kagura denied having any memory of doing so, and wondered if Sesshōmaru was around. Jaken yelled that Sesshōmaru would cut her head off if he was with them, the wind sorceress left after agreeing. This confused Jaken.
When later arriving at the scene of Tekkei's decapitation, Jaken was surprised Sesshōmaru took Kagura's bait about Naraku being in the Borderland where Tessaiga had been hidden. He followed his master into the battle for the final Shikon shard, but found he was so focused on killing Naraku, that he was willing to let everyone die from the miasma. However, Kagome purified the poison and Naraku fled back to the world of the living.
When Sesshōmaru left to search the area, Jaken found himself once more babysitting Rin. He explained Sesshōmaru's plans for an empire and pointed out that the amount of time it would take to build it would be beyond Rin's human life-span. However, while Rin was upset, Ongokuki kidnapped her, forcing Jaken to look for Rin. Up running into Sesshōmaru, Jaken informed him of what happened; he was then forced to look for both Rin and Sesshōmaru. He then ran into Inuyasha's group (but not Inuyasha himself as it was the night of the new moon), informing them of what happened. By daybreak, Jaken was tired, but found both Rin and Sesshōmaru. When Sesshōmaru said he was continuing his search for Naraku, Jaken asked if he could come along, only for Rin to say "do you need to ask?"
When Kagura flew by them and landed in a river, Jaken told Rin not to rescue her; however, he was ignored and ended up getting caught in the river with both of them. After Sesshōmaru rescued them and gave Jaken a whack to the head as punishment, Kagura was discovered to have a hole straight through he chest. To their amazement, the wound sealed itself and she came back to life. Kagura gifted them with shards of demonic energy to find Naraku's heart, which held the Fuyōheki to hide it. When Jaken questioned her about using Sesshōmaru to kill Naraku, Jaken was shocked that hear her flatter Sesshōmaru. Upon Kagura's departure, Jaken dismissed Rin's idea that Kagura loved Sesshōmaru.
They later arrive at Goryōmaru's grave, only to find it empty and several demon corpses littering the temple.
The Final ActEdit
During events of The Final Act, Jaken was burdened with several additional tasks: looking after the crystals Kagura left them, and protecting Kohaku as well as Rin, after Sesshōmaru saved Kohaku from Byakuya. When they went to visit Sesshōmaru's mother at her castle, Jaken noted that her icy, indifferent personality was exactly the same as her son's; he was also annoyed that she kept refusing to remember his name. When he learned that Rin could not be saved, he burst into tears, although he claimed part of it was that he was shedding tears on behalf of Sesshōmaru, but he was relieved when she was resurrected.
Jaken later witnessed Sesshōmaru's battle with Magatsuhi; initially he feared that his master had been killed and tried to comfort Rin, only to witness Sesshōmaru obliterate Magatsuhi's body with his new sword, the Bakusaiga. When Jaken stated he had known all along that Sesshōmaru would emerge victorious, Shippō mocked his earlier words. To shut him up, Jaken quickly used the Nintōjō to set Shippō's tail on fire.
After returning to Kaede's village and setting off after Magatsuhi and Naraku for the final battle, Sesshōmaru said that Jaken needed to stay behind with Rin, as it was too dangerous for either of them. For once wanting to follow his master into battle despite his cowardice, Jaken obeyed with great reluctance. However, he became alarmed when Rin was possessed by a fragment of Magatsuhi's spirit; although it eventually left her, while she and Jaken were walking in the woods Naraku possessed her and kidnapped her. Jaken was terrified of Sesshōmaru's reaction, but his master ignored him and went straight after Naraku.
Eventually, Shippō, Kohaku and Jaken were the only ones left behind at the village. When Shippō and Jaken began mocking each other's unwillingness to join the battle, Kohaku indicated they could ride A-Un up to Naraku's body. However, once they entered it all three were rapidly separated. Jaken became hopelessly lost inside Naraku until a wall exploded open and Sesshōmaru came flying through it. Delighted, Jaken leaped towards his master, only to get his face stepped on.
Three years after Naraku's demise, Jaken is shown to still be traveling with Sesshōmaru.
He is smaller than Rin and his physical strength and demon power are weak. It is clearly shown that he is capable of fighting to some degree when he torched the warriors upon Sesshōmaru's orders but he often lets down his guard when he becomes proud, arrogant, or close minded. Classic examples of this are the times when Kagome is able to take him down by throwing a few skulls or stones.
Jaken has the staff of Two Heads,which bears the faces of a woman and an old man and has a function of detection The staff can also serve as a weapon as the old man's face can spew huge blasts of flame that are powerful enough to annihilate many enemies in an instant- although, as shown, this is usually only effective against human soldiers or minor demons.
Eternally loyal to Sesshōmaru he is sometimes disappointed with compliments that have no meaning and odd jobs that offer no reward, but he is proud of Sesshōmaru and puts his heart into everything in order to do his best. He is not entirely willing to take care of Rin, but he shows his loyalty to Sesshōmaru and put his life on the line to obey his master's orders. Jaken is surprisingly knowledgeable on many subjects, but his inability to explain them in a non-arrogant or insulting manner means that few take him seriously.
Jaken is a very small green-skinned demon. He has a big mouth for one so small, and large yellow eyes that take up almost half his face. His mouth is similar to a bird's beak and his ears are traditionaly pointy. He wears a simple brown top and light-brown pants. He wears no shoes and has a small black hat upon his head. His hat is tied in place with a white strap going under his chin.
Jaken has few established demonic abilities except for his heightened senses, his projected demonic aura (which is extremely weak, as shown when the barrier at Mt. Hakurei began effecting him rapidly) his ability to sense other demon auras, and greater resistance to cold temperatures. However, he has some skill with the Nintōjō, being able to use it as a detector and a rather effective flamethrower (on one occasion, he also used it to conjure a hot spring whose fumes paralyzed the unsuspecting Inuyasha). Like many demons with human-level intelligence, Jaken ages extremely slowly; he is at least 150 years old at the start of the series, and could live at least another two centuries.
Despite often reflecting that his service to Sesshōmaru has not led to much improvement (and indeed, often puts him in dangerous or terrifying situations) Jaken in fact chose to follow Sesshōmaru of his own free will, after Sesshōmaru (inadvertently) saved his life; that and the fact that he admired Sesshōmaru's power and good looks. To the point of being a sycophant (a suck-up), Jaken respects Sesshōmaru and always praises Sesshōmaru whenever he defeats a demon, much to Sesshōmaru's annoyance. To Jaken's credit, unlike Myōga (who immediately abandons Inuyasha in any dangerous situation), Jaken is completely loyal to his master, even if his usefulness is minimal; he always sticks by Sesshōmaru's side even in times of danger (except one occasion where he tried to back out by bidding Sesshōmaru 'good luck' and got whacked on the head). The best example of this was when Sesshōmaru went after the incredibly dangerous demon Magatsuhi, leaving Jaken behind for his own safety; Jaken burst into tears, pleading to be allowed to follow Sesshōmaru into battle. He understands Sesshōmaru better than most; however, at times he is far too verbal about his knowledge of Sesshōmaru's personality, and is punished for it is by getting bump on the head or stepping on him. Jaken only became openly angry at Sesshōmaru on one occasion, and Sesshōmaru's passive/aggressive response immediately scared him back into line. Sesshōmaru has never followed through on his regular threats to kill Jaken (either for failing to accomplish a task- such as looking after Rin- or for talking too much). In fact, Sesshōmaru resurrected him with Tenseiga after Jaken was killed by Kaijinbō - an action that seems contradictory to Sesshōmaru's cold, unfeeling personality, especially as he had other priorities at the time. From this, we can presume that Sesshōmaru had at least the bare minimum of concern for Jaken.
At times, Jaken may sometimes weep or show sadness for Sesshōmaru. It is unknown whether it is for Sesshōmaru's sake (for he may have an inability to express emotions) or if it is for his own. Examples include when Jaken cries because of Sesshōmaru's "inability to cry" or when Jaken sneezes instead of Sesshōmaru when Inuyasha and his companions were talking about him, a common Japanese superstition that one sneezes when gossiped about. Despite always being under extreme stress merely trying to avoid angering his master, Jaken takes pride in his somewhat lowly position as Sesshōmaru's 'vassal', although he aspires to become a prominent minister within the 'empire' he believes Sesshōmaru will establish one day. Three years after Naraku's death, Jaken is shown to still be traveling with his master, as sycophantic as ever.
Jaken hates Miroku almost as much as Inuyasha, mostly because of their first encounter; Jaken was almost drawn into Miroku's Kazaana, and when the poisoned Miroku attempted to get information from him regarding the Saimyōshō, Jaken insulted him. Miroku then beat him to a pulp despite being full of poison. In all following encounters, Jaken always did his best to steer clear of Miroku.
Jaken feels some sympathy for the young fox demon as both are small in size and are bullied by Inuyasha. However, while Jaken tries to be civil towards Shippō, the fox demon often makes remarks that annoy him, such as references to his height and his large ego.
Manga vs. AnimeEdit
The manga explains little about Jaken's past, but the anime shows that Jaken was once a lord among similar demons (episode 79, "Jaken's Plan to Steal Tessaiga"). During battle with another yōkai tribe, the enemy leader had Jaken by his neck when Sesshōmaru appeared and told the demon to move out of his path. When this was not obeyed, he calmly destroyed the yōkai with his poison whip. Out of a sense of obligation, Jaken followed Sesshōmaru, who allowed him to become a servant if he could use the Staff of Two Heads.
- There is some inconsistency in Jaken's recollection of how long he has been serving Sesshōmaru. In "Jaken's Plan to Steal the Tetsusaiga," Jaken says that he has been serving Sesshōmaru for "several decades," but in "Sesshomaru and Koga: A Dangerous Encounter," he says that it has been "centuries." It is possible that in the latter case, Jaken simply exaggerated the amount of years he had been in Sesshōmaru's service in order to make his record seem more impressive to Ginta and Hakkaku. It is known, however, that Jaken has been with Sesshōmaru for at least 50 years, as he was by his master's side when the Panther Demon Tribe attacked Japan shortly after Inuyasha was sealed to a tree by Kikyō.