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Rin (りん, "Bell") is a young, human orphan girl who became a traveling companion of the dog daiyōkai Sesshōmaru, Lord of the Western Lands. She grew up as a ward of her village after her family was killed by thieves.
During unknown times, Rin witnessed her parents and brothers being savagely murdered by thieves forever plaguing her with nightmares of their brutal deaths and a fear of humans. She was so traumatized that she became a mute. She never spoke to the villagers of the village she was raised in, even when the villagers would beat or scold her. Consequently, the villagers generally got frustrated with her strangeness and acted even more harshly towards her.
Rin was generally allowed to do whatever she wanted, so long as she did not disturb the villagers. She discovered Sesshōmaru in a forest near her village. She relentlessly and fearlessly tried to help the daiyōkai, refusing to give up when he would not accept her help. She went through the trouble of finding food in the village preserves or in the forest itself, and brought this food to him. Sesshōmaru never actually ate the food or accepted the help she gave him, but she continued with her actions. She was caught rummaging through one of the village's fish preserves, and some village men beat her and warned her not to do it again. When she later brought food she foraged in the forest, Rin's visible injuries sparked Sesshōmaru’s curiosity, and he asked her about them. This brought about a beaming smile on Rin's bruised face. Sesshōmaru scoffed at her and her smile, silently wondering what had made her suddenly so happy.
When Rin returned to her home later that day, she discovered a thief going through her food. She was shocked and remained in the doorway, frightened by the man. When the man realized she was there, they could hear the sounds of the Wolf-Demon tribe attacking the village. Whilst the thief ran off, Rin realized that she had to get away from the village. She ran into the forest, hoping to get to where Sesshōmaru was. However, the wolves gave chase to her and she was soon overcome and killed by them.
Elsewhere, Sesshōmaru had been rejoined by his traveling companions Jaken and a two-headed dragon. He picks up the scent of blood and discovered Rin's corpse in passing. Her death did not interest him and he had planned to continue on his way, but he recalled the girl's smile from earlier, which made him pause. He unsheathed Tenseiga and it began to pulsate to him, making him able to see the messengers from the other world surrounding her corpse. To satisfy his sudden curiosity, he tests his sword Tenseiga and he slew them. Once he had, Sesshōmaru knelt down by her side and showed surprise when she opened her eyes. Feeling his task complete, he stood back up and continued on his way, ignoring the questions from Jaken. Rin followed him, and became a part of his entourage from then on. She regained the ability to talk when she was revived, so she spoke very often to Jaken, the two-headed dragon whom she named A-Un, and to Sesshōmaru as well.
Rin, being a young girl without combat skills, presented the problem of becoming a liability to Sesshōmaru when he battled. She dutifully remained in safe places far from the battlefields as instructed of her, often awaiting his return with A–Un and Jaken. She was also told she would have to fend for herself if she ever got hungry. This did not faze her, and she agreed since she already knew how to survive on her own. In turn, Sesshōmaru would make stops as necessary to give Rin the time she needed to forage.
The half-demon Naraku, bent on defiling the Shikon Jewel, had come into conflict with Sesshōmaru's brother Inuyasha. In an attempt to force Sesshōmaru's cooperation in ending Inuyasha's life, Naraku ordered his incarnation, Kagura, to abduct Rin.
Rin was in a field of melons, with Jaken, trying to find something to eat, when suddenly Kagura appeared and abducted Rin. Rin found herself in a house with a boy named Kohaku. She tried to leave the house but it was surrounded by demons and she gave up on trying to escape. The two talked for a bit and Rin was surprised to find out that Kohaku had no memories of his family. She shared the melon that she was going to eat with Kohaku and told him that her mother, father and brothers were all slain by bandits. Sango, Miroku and Kagome come in search of the Jewel Shard in Kohaku's back and the two escape from the house while the others are fighting off the demons.
Naraku then ordered Kohaku to kill Rin, and he attacked her. Rin managed to get away from Kohaku for a moment but he tripped her, causing her to fall unconscious. Before he was able to fulfill his orders, however, Sesshōmaru appears to save Rin. Kohaku attacks Sesshōmaru and Inuyasha and Kagome appear. Kagome goes over to see if Rin is alright and was relieved to find that she was alive. Kagome and Inuyasha beg for Sesshōmaru to not kill Kohaku and he complies, but only because he does not want to do what Naraku wished. Rin wakes up and sees Sesshōmaru. Kohaku escapes with Kagura and Sesshōmaru sets off. Rin bids farewell to Kagome and follows after Sesshōmaru.
Sesshōmaru goes to see his mother in order to strengthen Meidō Zangetsuha, his newest technique. When his mother brings forth a hound of the underworld he uses Meidō Zangetsuha to cut down the hound. But it cannot be cut and sweeps Rin and Kohaku away and enters the portal that Sesshōmaru opened. Sesshōmaru follows a path and eventually catches up with a hound and attempts to slice him with his claws, only for the hound to dodge. Though for a moment Sesshōmaru sees Rin and Kohaku in the stomach of the hound, and the minions of the underworld attempt to take Rin's spirit. Sesshōmaru uses the Tenseiga to cut the hound in half and succeeds. Kohaku awakens only for yōkai to attack them. Sesshōmaru commands Kohaku to take Rin and run. Sesshōmaru easily does away with the yōkai but when one crashes into the path which Kohaku and Rin are on, Sesshōmaru saves them once again. Though when they continue their trail Kohaku informs Sesshōmaru that Rin has stopped breathing. Sesshōmaru visibly shows his expression of worry. Sesshōmaru commands Kohaku to set Rin down and Kohaku does. Sesshōmaru unsheathes Tenseiga only to find out that he cannot save Rin.
The darkness appears and snatches Rin from Kohaku and Sesshōmaru, though they chase after the darkness. Sesshōmaru's mother opens a pathway back to the world of the living for Sesshōmaru. But Sesshōmaru refuses to take it and Kohaku does as well. They are confronted with the Guardian of the Underworld. Sesshōmaru cuts through the Guardian with Tenseiga and saves Rin. But when Sesshōmaru commands Rin to rise she does not. Sesshōmaru comes to the realization that he cannot save Rin. Sesshōmaru lets go of Tenseiga and says, "Tenseiga, I let you [Rin] die for this thing". He realized at that moment that for Tensegia to gain the power he wanted it to have meant nothing to him at the cost of Rin's life.
He is depicted in a moment of pain for the loss of his ward Rin. The Tenseiga glows and the mountain of corpses began to go near the Tenseiga. Sesshōmaru somehow purifies the corpses with the power of Tenseiga and opens another portal from the underworld and returns to the world of the living. Sesshōmaru sets Rin down and his mother reveals that Tenseiga cannot bring back a person from the dead twice. Seeing the grief this has brought Sesshōmaru his mother places the Meidō Stone on Rin. The necklace gleams brightly before Rin awakens, she coughs before Sesshōmaru places his hand on her cheek. Rin looks up at him and calls his name as she places a hand on his.
Among Other Humans
Within three years after the permanent destruction of the Shikon no Tama, Kaede had the opportunity to talk with Sesshōmaru about Rin's future. After traveling with Sesshōmaru and his small entourage of yōkai, Rin had not settled down in one place, nor done much socializing with other humans. Sesshōmaru agreed that she should have the chance to experience the better side of life with her own kind before she made her choice. Kaede thereafter took on the duty of raising Rin in the village and getting her re-accustomed with living among other humans. Inuyasha stated that this was 'practice' to return Rin to a human village or whatever life she chooses, meaning she would later be given the choice of rejoining Sesshōmaru's group or remaining in a human village. Sesshōmaru visited Rin on a regular basis, normally bringing gifts for her (e.g. new kimonos).
Rin was at first mute, but was seen as a caring, happy child. After she follows Sesshōmaru, she was very talkative and upbeat, always seen smiling or laughing. She was very respectful and obedient to Sesshōmaru and Jaken, using the honorific "-sama", meaning Lord or Master. Rin loves to make up songs, usually about Sesshōmaru and Jaken, and would often sing them. She trusts other children around her age but was mistrustful of most adults. She is also a kind, loving and gentle person.
Rin was a very small child who had long black hair, pale skin, and bright brown eyes. Her hair had bangs, but the bangs on the right side were tied up into a small ponytail jutting out in front of her face. Rin's appearance was that of a typically young, barefoot peasant girl. She does not change significantly over the years, and even remains barefoot when she moves into Kaede's village.
Rin's main outfit was that of a kosode which were common in Feudal Japan. Her initial design was an ordinary, dirty, tarred red colored kosode that came just below her knees. She wore this the first time she appeared but when she began to accompany Sesshōmaru, she wore a yellow/orange checker patterned kosode that extended to her ankles. In every instance, Rin wore an ordinary green sash which tied at her back. When she went to live with Kaede, she was seen wearing kimonos that Sesshōmaru brings her; the first (and only), kimono she is seen in was an indigo and light purple kimono with yellow butterflies on it with a pink obi sash tied up in the back. She is later seen receiving a new kimono from Sesshōmaru that is pink with dark pink lines, yellow dots and lantern-like patterns on it. Rin was one of the few non-minor characters, and one of only two female characters, to spend her time perpetually barefoot throughout the series. Despite being only a human child, she remained in her bare feet on any terrain or situation, and this habit continued through to the end of the series as well.
Powers & Abilities
Rin lacks any fighting skills and cannot defend herself when being attacked. She had no weapons and was often forced to flee when under attack. The only abilities she had were related to survival. Although minor, these skills were vital in surviving as a wanderer in the feudal era of Japan.
- Looting: Rin was very familiar with how harsh the world can be, and she was used to looting village fields and stealing food in order to survive. Jaken would often serve as her lookout whenever she looted food. She had a lot of practice with this skill before and after joining Sesshōmaru's entourage.
- Scavenging: Rin was able to catch fish for herself, as well as forage for food (e.g. mushrooms, berries, etc.) in forests. She knew what kinds of foods were edible in the forests, and she was able to find them relatively easily.
Rin once lived with both of her parents and her brothers. However, they were murdered by thieves who raided the village they inhabited. She must have loved her family very much, and seeing them killed was traumatizing enough to make her never speak again.
Traveling companions Rin believed in Sesshōmaru no matter what and believed that he would always be there for her. Rin was often in awe of her lord, and constantly looked up to him for instruction and guidance. Rin was sometimes instructed by Sesshōmaru to remain in a safe area with A-Un whenever he would go into a dangerous battle and when he would return for her afterwards she was always happy to see him. Despite her lack of a social life before being revived, Rin was very animated while under Sesshōmaru's care. She brought out the best in her lord, becoming an exception to his hatred of mortals, and even softening his opinion of them; he truly was attached to her, grieving when she died a second time and found himself unable to bring her back again. Despite seeing him at his worst at one time  and in his true demon form as well  her views on him didn't change and she still remained loyal to him nonetheless. She always believed Sesshōmaru to be kind as she had stated this two times to Jaken and Miroku in the final season. After being left in the care of Kaede following Naraku's defeat, Rin was still visited by Sesshōmaru on a regular basis and was always happy to see him.
The yōkai Jaken also serves under Sesshōmaru. Rin also respects him addressing him as "Master Jaken", even though they fight sometimes. Most of the time, Jaken unwillingly finds himself acting as her "babysitter" when Sesshōmaru goes off alone; she constantly annoys Jaken with her childish behavior. Despite this, Rin does care a great deal about Jaken. In an episode exclusive to the anime, when Jaken was poisoned by a Saimyōshō, Rin showed great concern for his well-being and desperately did not want him to die. Also, because of how protective Sesshōmaru is of her, Jaken gets hit when she's endangered. He is smaller than Rin, something he found very frustrating. Jaken could never understand why Sesshōmaru allowed Rin to stay with them, and he often expressed his annoyance of her presence. It is clear by the end of the series that he does care for the human child, in his own way.
Sesshōmaru's two-headed dragon got along well with Rin. Rin gave each head a name, "A" and "Un", respectively. She declared their name as just A-Un, and giving the dragon a name was likely what got their friendship off to such a good start. Rin was often left in the care of Jaken, but A-Un was usually also with her. More often than not, she stayed with A-Un when Jaken would go off on his own. A-Un was Rin's mode of transportation when she was not walking, and he could be counted on for a quick escape; Rin would often take naps on A-Un's back as well. Jaken would also ride on A-Un with Rin if they needed to escape, but otherwise he merely led the dragon using his reigns.
Rin first met Kohaku after being abducted by Kagura. When she woke, she was in a shrine with Kohaku, but she could not escape because of the yōkai outside. She sat with him and became fast friends. They shared some melon, and talked about their pasts. Rin found that they both had awful pasts, and shared her story with him after learning he couldn't remember his family. Although Kohaku sometimes commented that she was talking too much, he understood her need to talk about her family and said that it was fine for her to talk about them.
At the time, Kohaku was under the influence of a defiled Shikon shard that allowed Naraku to control him. Unaware of his actions, Kohaku took Rin to a field and then tried to kill her. Rin was scared and confused by his actions, but was still concerned. She ran away, but ended up falling and knocking herself unconscious. He was about to carry out his orders but Sesshōmaru appeared and saved Rin. Sesshōmaru chooses not to kill him and lets him go. He then leaves with Kagura. Rin bares Kohaku no ill will for his actions.
They encounter each other a second time in a cave on Mount Hakurei. Kohaku protected Rin from the emerging demons, but also urged her to escape before she was killed. Later, he joined Sesshōmaru and Jaken after Kagura's death and Kikyō was about to die. Kohaku went to leave and save her but Rin urged him to stay, thus showing her concern for his safety. Towards the end of the series, Rin's friendship with Kohaku goes on well when he shows his protective side over her.
- Demon wolves
Rin was killed by wolves under the command of Kōga. After she was revived by Sesshōmaru, she was shown to have a terrible fear of all wolves, and for good reason. When she came across Ginta and Hakkaku, Kōga's wolf demon comrades, at a riverside, she immediately hid behind Jaken in fear. Later, Sesshōmaru, Jaken, and A-Un came across Kōga himself. He saved Rin's life from a demon, managing to defend her faster than Sesshōmaru because of the two shards of the Shikon no Tama in his legs. Rin did not have any problems when Kōga left and Sesshōmaru did not pursue him. It means she did not bear any grudge against them, but fears them nonetheless.
Kagura was an incarnation of the half-demon Naraku, an enemy to Sesshōmaru. Kagura kidnapped Rin under Naraku's orders, knocking Rin unconscious and bringing her to a yōkai-surrounded building that Kohaku guarded. It is later shown that Rin bears Kagura no ill will; although, she was initially fearful that she would be taken away from Lord Sesshōmaru again when she reappeared. Rin goes so far as to go into a rushing river when she spots the unconscious Kagura floating by, and is soon pulled into the river's currents as well. Sesshōmaru saves both of them from the river, and Rin watched with Jaken as Kagura's wound from Goryōmaru heals. She was happy to see that Kagura was alive, and when she left, she correctly guessed that Kagura came to see Sesshōmaru because Kagura had feelings for him and Rin was seemingly happy about it.
Rin was brought to Takemaru's castle when she refused to give up Sesshōmaru's sword, Tenseiga. Kagome Higurashi was also taken there. Takemaru saw both Rin and Kagome as Izayoi to him, because they were both humans with affinities to yōkai. Having killed Izayoi 200 years ago, he had no problem in his resolve to dispose of both Kagome and Rin as well. Takemaru attacked Kagome and injured her, evoking an angry response from Rin.
Rin stood up to Takemaru, confident that Sesshōmaru would come to save them. Takemaru lashed out at Rin and brought his sword down, but Sesshōmaru arrived in time to deflect the strike aimed at Rin. She was able to escape Takemaru's grasp along with Kagome.
- Monk Ungai
Renowned priest Ungai and his followers found Rin in the cave of Ongokuki. She and local village children had all been lured there by the sounds of the demon's flute, but Ungai and his colleagues managed to slay him. Unlike the other children, Rin did not want to go to the village with the priests. Ungai carried her out although she was kicking and yelling to be let go. Ungai tried to reason with her and explained that she would never be able to survive alone in that area of the mountains. Rin continued to protest, and told him that she could and would.
Ungai dismissed her arguments, calling her a "stubborn little girl." Rin demanded he release her, maintaining that Sesshōmaru would come for her. When Sesshōmaru did arrive, Ungai was convinced that he must have placed some sort of spell on Rin. He failed to defeat Sesshōmaru, and Rin managed to get away. Before she ran to Sesshōmaru's side, Ungai pleaded with her not to go with him. He was convinced that humans and demons could never associate with one another peacefully. Rin paused, listening to his words, but then merely smiled in farewell before hurrying after Sesshōmaru.
Kagome Higurashi, a human miko traveling with Inuyasha, first saw Rin when pursuing Jaken and the stolen Tessaiga. She was both shocked and curious when she noticed Rin was human, yet was traveling with Sesshōmaru. Kagome and Inuyasha later pursue her when Rin and Kohaku flee the shrine where Rin was being held hostage. Kagome and Inuyasha arrive in time to see Sesshōmaru and Kohaku facing off, while Rin laid unconscious. Kagome rushed to Rin's side and ascertained she was still alive.Kagome saved the life of both Rin and Jaken when Inuyasha was possessed by the sword Sō'unga. Seeing Inuyasha headed for them with malicious intent, Kagome threw herself at Inuyasha and yelled out "Osuwari!" so he would not be able to harm them. Both Kagome and Jaken were knocked unconscious during the ensuing explosion, and Sesshōmaru abandoned Rin and Jaken. Rin, in gratitude for Kagome saving them, gathered the scattered Beads of Subjugation, and returned them with proper thanks to Kagome when she later regained consciousness.
Later, Kagome saved Rin from being killed by a soldier under Takemaru of Setsuna. Soon after, however, they were both taken to Takemaru's castle and met the possessed Takemaru himself. Kagome was thrown back by Sō'unga, and Rin grew angry with Takemaru. She protected Kagome, throwing her arms out in front of her and ignoring Kagome's instructions to run away. Sesshōmaru arrived, giving them a chance to escape. Unfortunately, they were attacked by the same demon who took them to the castle, and Kagome was trapped in its grasp. Rin, hoping to be of assistance, gathered some of the Beads of Subjugation that had scattered across the floor. She threw them at the demon, and succeeded in saving Kagome. Inuyasha showed up in time to save them both.
Rin encountered Inuyasha, but was not noticed by him, when Jaken attempted to steal Tessaiga. She later properly met him after Naraku escaped from both Inuyasha and Sesshōmaru and Kohaku almost killed her under orders.
In the third movie, Rin quickly noticed Inuyasha didn't get along well with Sesshōmaru, something Jaken berated her for as it was obvious. Though Inuyasha tried to kill her and Jaken while under Sō'unga's control, she held no grudge against him when he came to rescue her and Kagome from Takemaru's ogre.
During The Final Act, Rin has been shown to trust Inuyasha for getting rid of bad demons; she sought his help to escape from Magatsuhi. Though she was scared by his transformed state, almost believing he wasn't Inuyasha, he saved her.
She becomes acquainted with Sango as Kohaku's older sister sometime in the series. Her biggest interaction with Sango is inside Naraku's monstrous body as his hostage. Naraku almost tricks Sango into killing Rin for the chance (though it was only an illusion of Naraku) to save Miroku the monk, with whom Sango is in love. Rin is unaware of what Sango almost did, thus, she holds no grudge towards the demon slayer. When Sango gives her gas mask along with an apology to protect Rin from the fatal fumes of Naraku, Rin is surprised and is dismayed to see Sango rush ahead to sacrifice herself in penance for endangering Rin. Rin then begs Sesshōmaru to stop Sango.
Kaede was an elderly miko who talked with Sesshōmaru about raising Rin. She became Rin's teacher during the time Rin lived with her. Rin dutifully assisted Kaede with whatever was asked of her, and under Kaede's instruction, Rin grew more accustomed to interacting with others of her kind on a daily basis. Rin lived with Kaede in her village during this time, and was happy with getting regular visits from Sesshōmaru.
- "Bandits are a lot scarier than demons are... [they] go around killing people for no reason at all."
- "I can survive just fine! I can make it on my own!"
- "Stupid master Jaken. I'll always be with Lord Sesshōmaru. Forever, and ever."
- "Um, I was wondering Lord Sesshōmaru. If I died one day, I was wondering... Would you always remember me?"
- "Your height, your heart, your personality. Lots of things about you are little."
- She can be considered one of the most tragic characters in the anime/manga, as her family as killed in front of her and the killers were humans not demons.
- It's stated in the manga that Rin brings out the best in Sesshōmaru.
- Due to witnessing the savage murder of her entire family by bandits, she firmly believes that humans are scarier than demons. She says its because "humans go around killing people for no reason".
- Rin has a better sense of smell than average humans, including Sango and Miroku. Likely on account of her second hand nature of living in the wilderness.
- Rin does not have any special powers, but her youth and vulnerability seem to bring out the best in everyone she meets. Even Sesshōmaru and Jaken, two mortal-despising demons, eventually warm up to her.
- Rin is one of the few females in InuYasha who remains barefoot throughout the series. The only time she is not seen barefoot is during the second ending of InuYasha: The Final Act, in which she is wearing a pair of boots.
- In The Holy Pearl, a Chinese live action loosely based on InuYasha, Rin is paralleled by a character named Yudie.
- Rin shares her name with a character from Mermaid Saga, another series by Rumiko Takahashi.
- The literal meaning of Rin's name is "bell", but Rin can also mean "dignified", "cold", and "Companion".
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 InuYasha anime; Episode 80
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 InuYasha Profiles, page 174
- ↑ InuYasha manga; Chapter 130, page 8
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 InuYasha anime; Episode 35
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 InuYasha anime; Episode 52
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 InuYasha manga; Chapter 558
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 InuYasha anime; Episode 99
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 InuYasha anime; Episode 162
- ↑ InuYasha manga; Chapter 518
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 96
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 149
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 166
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 167
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 InuYasha the Movie: Swords of an Honorable Ruler
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 79