You really think you can defeat the Four War Gods? Don't make me laugh!
Millenia old (Chronologically)
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Eventually, the Four War Gods initiated a plan that would allow them to fully regain their original strength by using a mindless cloned priestess. During the course of executing this plan, however, the Four War Gods were opposed by many opponents, among them the half-demon, Inuyasha.
Invasion of HōraijimaEdit
Many ages ago, the island of Hōraijima was a sanctuary for humans and demons alike. The two groups had existed in peace and harmony for many years and intermingled, giving rise to a sizeable population of hanyō. The existence of a hanyō community earned contempt from demons, so to protect themselves, the people of Hōraijima created the powerful Cauldron of Resonance, which generated a time barrier that separated Hōraijima from the outside world. However, every fifty years the time shield weakened, and the island reappeared, rendering it vulnerable to raids by demons from the outside world. The Four War Gods were among the many demons who despised the people of Hōraijima, and one day decided to attack the island during its brief vulnerable period and annihilate the inhabitants.
The humans and demons of Hōraijima were no match for the Four War Gods, among whom was the demon Kyōra. The village became engulfed in flame and many villagers fell in battle. However, Ryūra and the other War Gods had neglected to kill the island priestess, Kanade. Lady Kanade was quite powerful, but not even she could defeat the combined power of the Four War Gods. In desperation, Lady Kanade was able to seal away the power spheres which granted the four demons their immense power inside a jeweled comb box. With this accomplished, Kanade leapt inside the Cauldron of Resonance, putting the box beyond the reach of any of the Four War Gods. With the island already conquered, Ryūra and the others established themselves temporarily on Hōraijima, until they could find a solution to their missing powers.
In time, the Four War Gods discovered that by throwing live half-demons into the Cauldron of Resonance, they could retrieve a portion of their powers trapped inside. In order to survive, the War Gods corrupted the Cauldron with their demonic energy and put their mark on each of the island's half-demons and established a powerful demonic barrier around the island. Anyone who carried the mark would be unable to pass outside the barrier. In this way, the Four War Gods were able to keep the half-demons enslaved, sacrificing them one by one whenever their demonic abilities needed further strengthening and rejuvenation.
Nevertheless, this was a temporary solution at best, since the War Gods could never retrieve their full powers; furthermore, if they left the island, they would slowly fade away from a lack of demonic energy and die. In order to stay alive, the Four War Gods would have to remain on the island, where they could retain access to the Cauldron. But, due to the slowing effect of the time barrier, the Four War Gods could minimize the amount of power they lost, meaning that they would only need to sacrifice a half-demon whenever the barrier itself weakened. Nevertheless, until they could retrieve the jeweled comb box from within the Cauldron, the Shitōshin would be trapped on the island forever.
Fifty years before, Inuyasha and Kikyō traveled near the Hōrai Island. Gōra sucked Kikyō's blood, and Ryura scratched Inyuasha in the back, giving him the Mark before the island disappeared. As Inuyasha was not on the island at the time, he was not bounded to it.
When one of the half-demon children, Ai, escaped the island, Ryūra sent Gōra to capture her, but he was killed by Inuyasha. Afterward, Inuyasha and his team traveled to the island with Ai. Ryūra fought Inuyasha, countering his Tessaiga with his Blades of Wind and Thunder. Ryūra walked away from the fight, expressing his disappointment that Inuyasha wasn't a worthy opponent.
When Inuyasha was nearly sacrificed to the Cauldron along with Asagi, Kanade's spirit gave him the box containing the Spheres of Power, which he unsuccessfully tried to destroy to prevent the War Gods from gaining their true power. Ryūra released a clone of Kikyō whom he created from the blood Gōra sucked from Kikyō. The Kikyō clone opened the box - which the War Gods could not, hence why Ryūra needed her - and Ryūra reclaimed his Power Sphere to return to his full power, as did the other War Gods, including Gōra, revived.
Ryūra attacked the half-demons, and Inuyasha fought him after the Kikyō clone was destroyed by the real Kikyō, while Kyōra and Jūra were killed by Sesshōmaru and Sango, respectively. Inuyasha countered Ryūra's blades with the Bakuryūha, destroying him, although his Sphere of Power survived.
Last stand & Final deathEdit
After Gōra was re-killed by Inuyasha, the Spheres of Power combined to revive Ryūra and his comrades in the form of one War God, to which Ryūra seemed dominant, as his head was in the center. Kyōra and Jūra's heads are to the side of Ryūra's head, and Gōra was part of their body. The War Gods fought Inuyasha and gained the upper hand, during which Ryūra said he thought Inuyasha had become a worthy opponent but was still a disappointment.
However, the half-demons retrieved Kikyō's bow and gave it to Kagome, whose bow had been broken when Inuyasha escaped the cauldron. As the War Gods prepared to finish Inuyasha off, Kagome's sacred arrow purified their attack.
Inuyasha's Adamant Backlash Wave destroying the combined form of Ryūra, the other War Gods, and their Spheres of Power, thus killing him for good.
Taking the assumed role of leader of the Shitōshin, Ryūra is extremely confident in his own strength and abilities, as well as the immense demonic powers of his three comrades. Arrogant and sadistic, he enjoys causing suffering whenever the opportunity arises, going out of his way to slaughter the half-demons on Hōrai Island before leaving. Much like his 'brother' Kyōra, Ryūra seeks powerful opponents to battle. He expresses his disappointment in Inuyasha for not being as strong as he had hoped, finding him weak and unchallenged. Ryūra, like the strongest and most powerful demons, despises half demons, including them among the ranks of humans, branding them as weak and mundane compared to the superior powers of the Four War Gods. He, along with the other three war gods in their full-fledged combined form, are ultimately defeated by this assumption of weakness in half-demons.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
- Mark of the Shitōshin: As a War God, Ryūra can brand another being particularly that of a half-demon with the mark of the four war gods by slashing across their backs so that if they enter or are already on Hōrai Island then they are unable to leave. Every fifty years that passes the mark glows and causes immense pain to the victim that acts as a sign that a new sacrifice must be made so that the War Gods can reattain some of their sealed powers. However if a War God is killed then one mark disappears until all of them are gone thus allowing the half-demon to leave Hōrai Island of their own accord.
- Aerokinesis & Electrokinesis: Ryūra has the elemental ability to create, manipulate, and control the air and wind, thunder and lightning through both his own power and his Wind & Thunder Blades.
- Lightning Storms: He is seen multiple times conjuring extremely powerful storm clouds, blasting his enemies away with strong bolts of lightning/electricity in a very similar fashion to Hiten.
- Wind Breezes & Slashes: When he confronts the half-demons on Hōrai Island, he displays the ability to simply whisk his opponents away if they are a nuisance, showing off his air/wind-based abilities. Also before that, Ryūra was able to instantaneously create invisible wind slashes that sliced Inuyasha along with some of the houses behind the half-demon before he could react.
- Master Swordsman: Ryūra has shown himself to be a very skilled swordsman as he was able to easily overpower Inuyasha wielding Tessaiga with his equally large swords and push the latter around with simple slashes. His dual wielding swordsmanship allows him to apply the same skill and power that Inuyasha puts into Tessaiga to his Fūjinga and Raijinga equally and he even called Tessaiga within Inuyasha's hands wasteful.
- Immense Demonic Power: As the leader of the Four War Gods and a powerful dragon Daiyōkai, Ryūra is extremely powerful where even when most of his power through his power sphere is sealed away by the priestess, Kanade, he is still capable of dominating the likes of Inuyasha to the point where his power started diminishing before Kagome intervened. When his power sphere returned, Ryūra became even more powerful where he pushed Inuyasha to the point of hopelessness though through sheer determination, Inuyasha proved to be stronger and defeated Ryūra.
- Enhanced Strength: Even when most of powers is sealed away by Kanade, Ryūra is strong to easily repel Inuyasha wielding Tessaiga away with just one slash of his sword and the latter couldn't even compete in raw strength either. When his power sphere returned, Ryūra became strong enough to easily send Inuyasha flying around and casually broke apart the diamonds created from the latter's Kongōsōha after defending from it with his arms alone just by flexing his arm muscles when some were embedded in his arms.
- Enhanced Speed: Ryūra has shown himself to very fast where he immediately conjured a tornado from his wind blade just after pushing Inuyasha back during their initial battle before the half-demon could react to further push him back. During their second battle, Ryūra was able to create invisible wind slashes that sliced both Inuyasha and the houses behind him before he even noticed after regaining his power sphere.
- Immense Endurance: Ryūra is extremely durable and resilient where he emerged unscathed from his initial battle with Inuyasha and during the second Inuyasha couldn't even damage him before the final clash. Ryūra even endured the Kongōsōha without suffering any damage from it just after defending against the attack with his arms alone while Naraku couldn't defend from it even with his powerful barriers.
- Fūjinga & Raijinga: These are the demonic swords of wind and thunder that are also Ryūra's signature weapons which he wields with masterful use. When used together, they can create and command wind and lightning as an extension of Ryūra's innate abilities with them. They are very durable with the wind blade easily blocking a sacred arrow from Kagome. They broke when Inuyasha slashed through them with Tessaiga. They reappeared in the hands of the merged War God but were destroyed again after the merged War God was killed by Inuyasha with Adamant Backlash Wave.
- Tornado: Ryūra can create a spiraling tornado straight at his enemies.
- Earth Dragon Gale (地龍風, じりゅうふう, "Jiryūfū"): A defensive technique where Ryūra creates a spiraling dome of wind that can easily repel the Kaze no Kizu even when his power sphere is sealed away. Overall it resembles a barrier created from wind compressed together rather a barrier generated by yōki.
- Dragon Lightning (天龍刃雷, てんりゅうじんらい, Heavenly Dragon Blade Lightning, "Tenryūjinrai"): This technique is similar to that of Sesshōmaru's initial Dragon Strike where he has lightning strike his enemies as well. There are some differences, however, where rather than generating the lightning directly from his blade and slashing it forward, Ryūra points the tip of his thunder blade towards the sky and it calls down a lightning bolt directly from a cloud to electrocute his opponents.
- Wind Blast: Ryūra can have his wind blade send a blast of formless wind that can cause damage to those caught in its path.
- Power Sphere: Like the other War Gods, Ryūra has most of his powers placed within a blue sphere which is placed on his forehead between his eyes. This is rather disadvantageous since if his sphere is taken from him then his power diminishes and he must sacrifice a half-demon once every fifty years or else his power and form dissipates.
- Recombination: Later on it's also revealed that the power sphere is actually a container for his spirit as when he was defeated and killed by Inuyasha, he managed to avoid complete death by having his power sphere hold his soul to merge with his brothers to create a merged War God.
- "This time will be different. He won't escape from this island."
- "That's a nice sword you have, but its wasted on you, half-demon!"
- "Heh, if that impressed you, then this will blow you away! Dragon Lightning!"
- "I'm disappointed. I expected this to be more entertaining... I thought you'd be much stronger than you've turned out to be."
- "We made a mistake last time with Kanade by allowing her to live. We should have eliminated the priestess with the spiritual powers without any hesitation."
- "Lucky for you, you're too insignificant to inspire my wrath."
- "Playtime is over! Die!"
- Ryūra is one of the four antagonists created especially for InuYasha the Movie: Fire on the Mystic Island. Each of the Four War Gods is based on one of the Four Sacred Animals of Chinese mythology and astronomy, a common motif in anime and manga. Of the four animals/constellations that make up the group, Ryūra represents the Azure Dragon of the East, known in Japanese as Seiryū. The dragon arm formations on his shoulders, his ability to manipulate the weather, and the shape of the energy discharged by his power sphere upon his death, all reflect this.
- Coincidentally, Seiryū is one of the demon ninjas under Hoshiyomi. Each of these four ninjas have, like the Four War Gods, an affiliation with one of the Four Sacred Animals. Seiryū has many reptilian features and mannerisms which signify his affiliation with the Azure Dragon, besides his name. However, he appears to be more snake or lizard-like, and has no obvious connections with a dragon, unlike Ryūra.
- Similar to Menōmaru, the style of dressed employed by the three humanoid members of the Shitōshin is very Chinese in appearance, and does not reflect any Japanese influences. This reflects the Chinese origins of the Hōrai Island myth, known in China as Mount Penglai.
- Ryūra's Japanese seiyū also provides the voice for Hiten, the eldest of the Thunder Brothers. It is worth noting that both characters have long, braided ponytails, red eyes, and use lightning-based attacks.
- He also has some similarities to Bankotsu. Both are the leaders of a murderous group that care for each other and in a way, are all united in a final fight with Inuyasha; Bankotsu took the shards of all the Band of Seven into himself and Ryūra and the other Four War Gods combined into a single form.
- Ryūra bears some similarities with Herb from another of Rumiko Takahashi's series Ranma ½.