Wind user (servant of Naraku)
I am the Wind. One day, I shall be free!
Kagura (神楽, "god-entertainment") was a creation of Naraku's, his second incarnation, although she is introduced before her "older sister" Kanna. A wind sorceress, Kagura uses a fan to enhance her powers; she can create a blade-like tornado or use wind to animate dead bodies. She can also use her feather hair-ornaments as transportation, enlarging them to ride in the wind. Kagura hates Naraku and wishes to be free from him, covertly opposing him to the point of offering aid to both Inuyasha and Sesshōmaru in hopes that they can kill him.
After Kohaku's memories return, Kagura becomes increasingly protective of the boy: she shares information with him about Naraku's weaknesses; she thwarts her fellow "detachment" Hakudōshi from taking the Shikon shard that keeps Kohaku alive; finally, she openly defies Naraku by helping Kohaku escape. Naraku mockingly returns her heart before fatally wounding her and leaving her to die. While tracking Naraku, Sesshōmaru finds her dying; she seems happy to see him, although his sword Tenseiga cannot save her. Inuyasha's group also arrives, helplessly watching her body dissolve into the wind. Afterwards, Inuyasha asks if she suffered; Sesshōmaru replies that she was smiling when she died. In the anime adaptation, she dies the very same way.
Kagura is one of many of Naraku's Incarnations, and as such he holds her heart in his hands. She is bound to his service; her betrayal would mean certain death. Despite such impediments, she resents Naraku and covertly works toward his death, mostly by manipulating the two camps opposed to Naraku: those of Inuyasha and Sesshōmaru. She has an older sister, who appears younger, named Kanna, who is loyal to Naraku. She also has other younger siblings: Jūrōmaru, Kagerōmaru, Goshinki, Musō and Hakudōshi, as well as Naraku's other incarnations.
In the manga, Naraku charges her with her final job, which is to guard Goryōmaru at a prison. Hakudōshi convinces her to release him secretly because he is secretly plotting with the Akago to destroy Naraku. Suspiciously, Naraku grants Kagura her freedom but with a fatal catch. Naraku returns Kagura's heart but pierces her chest and poisons her with his miasma. Though she is found by Sesshōmaru, whom she has been hinted to have romantic interest in, he was unable to use Tenseiga to save her life and she succumbs to the poison.
At the moment of her death, Kagura's body disintegrates and becomes a gust of wind. Her last thoughts are that she was happy she could see Sesshōmaru before she died and that she was "free as the wind."
Being an incarnation, Kagura shares some similarities to Naraku. She uses other people for her own purposes often, ironically her purpose being to kill Naraku himself. This is seen various times when she lets Inuyasha escape, keeping him alive in hope that he can kill Naraku at some point in the future. She asks Sesshōmaru for help in slaying Naraku as well, and even steals Kōga's shards at one point with the intent of killing Naraku herself with the power of the shards to aid her.
Kagura does not like to be manipulated. When Naraku first sends her to kill Kōga's comrades and she's almost killed by Inuyasha's Wind Scar, she is furious that he would deceive her in such a way. Also, when Hakudōshi sends her to the gate guarded by Gozu and Mezu and is almost turned to stone, she attempts to kill him for playing with her life, to which Naraku responds by squeezing her heart.
Most of all, Kagura wishes to be free of Naraku's hold, to have her heart returned to her, and to be the wind.
- Dancer's Kimono
Kagura wears the traditional kimono of the Kagura dancers. She initially wore a blue robe with a floral pattern, but after her first battle against Inuyasha she changed it to a white and crimson-violet pattern robe. During times of battle, Kagura would usually remove the right side and sleeve of her kimono to utilize her fan with greater ease. Beneath the top robe, her second layer consists of a robe worn over her kosode. Kagura changed her kimono for the total of three times throughout the story.
Underneath both layers of her dancer kimono, Kagura wears a basic kosode. In both versions of her outfit, she wears a green kosode.
- Bare Feet
Inuyasha and Rin aside, Kagura is one of the very few main characters, and one of only two female character to spend her entire time completely barefoot throughout the series, contrary to her namesake dancers who wear some sort of foot protection.
Kagura wears a stylized obi sash over her kimono. Unlike most obi found at this time, her obi is much slimmer and is tied by the front instead of back. Her obi is in a yellow patterned style, with both versions of her outfit.
Kagura wears a pair of bright green beaded earrings, each bearing five beads each.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
She is one of Naraku's stronger detachments, Kagura is not to be taken lightly. Because she controls the wind, any long-range or airborne attacks are rendered completely ineffective, and often back-fire on her opponents. Her attacks are swift, accurate, debilitating and deadly. She often fires off several of them in quick succession, forcing her challengers to concern themselves solely with dodging them if they want to escape injury and death. These long-range abilities keep her at a comfortable distance from her opponents from which she can toy with and mock them. For those who do manage to come within striking-distance, a strike is not guaranteed, as she has proven quite nimble and light on her feet, capable of dodging swords and blows with relative ease. Of all of Naraku's enemies, Inuyasha is the only one who can really contend with her. However, as is revealed, her powers are not as strong as Hakudōshi or Byakuya; Kanna is not as powerful as she is, but the capabilities of her mirror make her just as dangerous as Kagura if not more so.
- Plume: Using a feather ornament she wears in her hair, she can enlarge it to become large enough for her to climb on and then manipulate the wind to carry it (and her) wherever she pleases. It is her main form of transportation, as she does not have the power to teleport like Naraku or Kanna. From this feather she can observe and follow both friend and foe, as well as attack and defend if need be. It is possible to fall off the feather, as demonstrated by Kohaku when he regained his memories and stepped too close to the edge and fell through it. It also seems Kagura had to be conscious for this ability to work, seeing as how when she lost consciousness after being wounded by Goryōmaru, the feather she was riding shrank and she fell into the river below.
- Regeneration: As long her heart exists outside of her body, Kagura can regenerate to a considerable degree. This ability was best displayed when she healed from a non-fatal blow from Inuyasha's Wind Scar and when she completely recovered from Goryōmaru's laser shot, which had punched a large hole all the way through her chest. Her healing capabilities would still exist if her heart was in her body; however even while Naraku held her heart her regeneration was extremely slow, and certainly could not act fast enough to counter a burst of his strongest miasma.
- Kagura can also travel short distances via a mini-cyclone. Like most demons, she has enhanced agility and senses.
Kagura does battle with a traditional fan both offensively and defensively, although her fighting style and powers border more so on the upfront-attacks. With her fan, she is able to call down a variety of wind-related powers, including and not limited to: summoning a large tornado, shooting out wind-blades, and resurrecting corpses as her personal puppets (Dance of the Dragon, Dance of Blades, and Dance of the Dead, respectively).
- Dance of Blades (風刃の舞, Fūjin no mai, "Dance of the Wind Blades"): Waves her fan directly at the enemy, creating a wind gust that morphs as it travels through the air into a plethora of crescent-shaped blades that can pierce through virtually anything. This is her most common attack.
- Dance of the Dragon (竜蛇の舞, Ryūja no mai, "Dance of the Dragon and Serpent"): This move summons several tornadoes to attack her enemies. They can pick up and throw opponents into the air as well as ripping them to shreds with massive wind power. It is her strongest attack and seems to be a bit weaker than Inuyasha's Kaze no Kizu, however much weaker than his Bakuryūha, and was deflected by it on one or more occasions. In the manga, it is more simply called Dragon Dance.
- Wind Gust (風突風, Kaze toppū): Waves her fan rapidly to create a simple strong gust of wind to blow her enemies away, good for defensive purposes or attacks.
- Dance of the Dead (屍舞, Shikabane mai, "Corpse Dance"): Able to control corpses as if they were puppets, to either attack or distract enemies, or protect her from harm by utilizing them as shields. Since her victims are already dead, they are practically invincible, there being few ways to destroy them: slicing them into many small pieces, burning (although this is never actually witnessed) and of course distracting or injuring Kagura as she would then flee and the Dance of the Dead would end. When her control on her victims is released, they foam at the mouth and collapse.
Despite being created from Naraku's flesh, Kagura has great resentment towards her creator; her first mission after creation was to take Kōga's Shikon jewel shards and kill Inuyasha. However, she nearly died via the Wind Scar, something that prompted her to attack him in vengeance. Naraku nearly killed her by squeezing her heart, which forced Kagura back into servitude to him. Wanting nothing more than to be free as the wind she commands, Kagura sought out any possible means of kill Naraku; however, he is more or less aware of her schemes. Eventually, he tires of Kagura and returns her heart, then injects miasma into her to ensure a short and painful freedom.
Although never stated, it is possible that Kagura and Kanna are very close, as Kagura never had any ill thoughts about Kanna, (but we do know she had bad thoughts of Goshinki, Musō , Akago, and especially of Hakudōshi.) Kanna and Kagura's possible closeness is supported in the second movie, in that even after Naraku's "death", they remain together as opposed to parting ways after they both have their freedom. It is also possible that Kagura's betrayal and death inspired Kanna to betray Naraku, given the slight sadness she expressed when she realized Kagura had died. Kagura's death may have also caused Kanna to question her existence. They are the first two incarnations of Naraku, and both of them live the longest compared to all the other incarnations of the series, many of which are killed after their first encounter with Inuyasha and his friends.
After being charged with caring for the first Infant, Kagura soon learned she had to take him more seriously. She hated having to take care of him, but was overjoyed when a priest managed to split him in half. However, he quickly regrew from his right half. Kagura then had to put up with being ordered around by him, becoming greatly resentful, especially when he used her to test the Gate to the Borderland and nearly got turned to stone. She was willing to team up with both of Hakudōshi if it meant getting her heart back from Naraku; however, she later regretted the idea, and was happy to see him sucked into the Wind Tunnel.
As both of them are Naraku's tools, Kagura was often charged with retrieving him after a failed mission. Following the return of Kohaku's memories, Kagura believed she found a useful tool of her own, willing to use him to kill Naraku; to this end, she gave him a shard of demonic energy to find the Fuyōheki. However, when she teamed up with Hakudōshi and needed to take his shard, Kagura decided to let Kohaku go, showing she had become protective of him.
When they initially met, they were strangers. But as time went on, Kagura believed that Sesshōmaru might free her from Naraku's grasp due to his great power; therefore, she would search for Sesshōmaru many a time and try to convince him to help her kill Naraku, but would always refuse. Over time, she even developed feelings for Sesshōmaru. Rin believed that Kagura may be in love with Sesshōmaru, but it's never clearly stated. They were the same, both loyal to only themselves (even though Kagura was forced to work for Naraku, she was often brooding about how to kill him) and cold towards almost all others, including some if not all of their family. As she died, Sesshōmaru stopped his fight with Mōryōmaru to find Kagura in a field of flowers, intending to save her with the Tenseiga. However, it was too late for her to be saved, most likely because she needed a mostly-intact body and hers was disintegrating. Kagura stated that she was happy she got to see him one last time before she died. It was implied that she had romantic feelings for Sesshōmaru.
Kagura generally views Inuyasha as a pest and is always reluctant in helping him in any way. When she has to face Inuyasha, she never holds back, but she does toy with him and wants to make sure he's in pain. Nonetheless, she does try to aid Inuyasha and his friends whenever she can't contact Sesshōmaru, and later in the series Inuyasha tends to worry about Kagura and her fate, as seen in "The Final Act", he warns Kagura not to die before they can kill Naraku and collect her heart. In the twenty-third volume, when ordered by Naraku to stop Inuyasha from entering his castle while he absorbs Sesshōmaru, she only pretends to fight saying, "I must at least make a pretense of fighting you!" Inuyasha notices that her wind has 'nothing in it', but quickly dismisses it to fight Naraku. Shortly before her death, Inuyasha extended an offer for her to join his team, but Kagura rejected the offer, as they had been enemies for too long.
Manga vs. AnimeEdit
In the Anime, Kagura's personality is explored in slightly more detail than it is in the Manga. She makes her first appearance in Volume 15, but she has no thoughts of betraying Naraku until Volume 21, when she offers Sesshōmaru shards of the sacred jewel in return for killing Naraku. In the Anime however, she begins to plot for her freedom immediately after her first encounter with Kōga & Inuyasha, when she tricked them into fighting each-other and is almost killed, then attacking Naraku out of anger.
- "If a man loses his head, I'll put it back on. If he's cut down to size, he can still tag along. He's simply dancing my un-dead dance song."
- "Shall we take Inuyasha's head along with us as a trophy?"
- "You admit to deceiving me, then? You audacious fool!"
- "Naraku holds my life in his hands. But I have no intention of remaining a servant forever to the likes of him! I am the wind. One day I shall be free!"
- "Even the moon has times when it can hide in darkness. With Naraku holding onto my heart, there's nowhere for me to run."
- "I knew it...Sesshōmaru is the only one who can kill Naraku."
- "It's alright now...I was able to see you...One last time..."
- "I am the wind...The free wind..."
- In The Holy Pearl, Kagura was renamed as Hu Ji.
- Kagura appears on the cover of the volume she dies in, just like Kanna would in Volume 49; Hakudōshi appears on the back cover, having died in the same volume.