I seek nothing more than to battle the most powerful beings alive, which excludes the lowly likes of you.
Destruction of life
185 cm (6'1")
Flight, Superhuman olfactory senses, acid claws, acid whip
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Sesshōmaru (殺生丸, "Destruction of life") is a powerful dog daiyōkai, feared throughout the Feudal Era. He was the half-brother of the hanyō Inuyasha and the first son of the Inu no Taishō, their father. Unlike many other yōkai, he had no interest in possessing even a single shard of the Sacred Jewel to enhance his powers. On his journey, he was accompanied by a two-headed dragon named A–Un, a demon imp named Jaken, an orphaned human girl named Rin, and eventually Sango's brother Kohaku.
Sesshōmaru was the son of the Inu no Taishō and another dog daiyōkai. He saw his father as the ultimate opponent, wishing to defeat him in combat and take his two legendary swords, Tessaiga and Sō'unga. He talked with his father following the battle with Ryūkotsusei, demanding the two swords be handed over to him. However, when questioned if he had anyone to protect, Sesshōmaru told his father that he did not. After his father died to protect his new hanyō half-brother, Inuyasha, and his human mother, Sesshōmaru began to hate them. He was given Tenseiga instead of the other two swords to eventually teach him compassion.
Search for Tessaiga
Sesshōmaru began his quest for Tessaiga by searching for the place described by a short riddle: "Seen, yet never seen, protected, but never known to its protector". This was the only known clue as to Tessaiga's location. His imp servant, Jaken, suggested they go to his younger brother, Inuyasha, to ask where his father's grave was located. Sesshōmaru and Jaken were then next seen riding on a huge oni-looking demon, attacking a shackled woman in a flying carriage. Inuyasha tried to save the woman, but Jaken attacked Inuyasha with the Nintōjō, getting his attention. Sesshōmaru taunted him for being a half-demon, and asked him where their father's grave was, only to be told that Inuyasha didn't know. Sesshōmaru proceeded to tell Inuyasha that if he didn't answer, he would kill the woman in the carriage, Inuyasha's mother. At first, Inuyasha didn't believe that the woman was his mother. However, Sesshōmaru told him that he had resurrected her and gave her a new body, which later, was shown to have been quite possible due to the power of Sesshōmaru's Tenseiga. After hearing from the woman that she was truly his mother brought back from the dead, Inuyasha attempted to attack the demon and save her. Sesshōmaru ordered the demon to attack them, but before they could get hurt, Inuyasha's mother transported them to a different place. Sesshōmaru was annoyed by Jaken's bothersome plan, and told him that if it should fail, he would kill him.
Jaken went to where Inuyasha was located, where it was revealed that the woman was not Inuyasha's mother, but a demon called the 'Unmother'. The Unmother was a spirit of women who had their children killed by war. To lure Inuyasha into revealing the secret to the whereabouts of Tessaiga, Sesshōmaru then appeared and gloated that he knew where their father's tomb was. He grabbed Inuyasha and pulled a black pearl from Inuyasha's eye. He then used the Nintōjō Jaken carried to open a portal from the black pearl. He and the others jumped in, traveling to the world between the living and the netherworld.Sesshōmaru entered the skeleton of his late father, and attempted to pull out Tessaiga, but was unable to do so due to a spell on the sword which prevented full demons from touching it. Inuyasha arrived, and tried (but failed) to pull it out. Sesshōmaru then attacked Inuyasha. Kagome, who was knocked back by Jaken, with the sword in her hand, pulled it out by accident. Sesshōmaru, enraged by the fact that a lowly human could pull out Tessaiga, demanded Kagome to submit the sword to him. However, Kagome refused, and threatened that she would cut him with the sword. Inuyasha warned Sesshōmaru to stay away from Kagome for good. Sesshōmaru, who hated humans and half-demons alike, then sprayed toxic sludge upon Kagome, covering her. He also remarked to Inuyasha that Inuyasha's love for humans was what made him weak, just like his mother. Inuyasha was furious, and attacked Sesshōmaru not only because of what he did to Kagome, but also because he insulted the memory of Inuyasha's human mother by claiming she had "dirty blood". Kagome then rose out of the sludge, unharmed because Tessaiga had protected her. She gave the sword to Inuyasha, and Sesshōmaru tested him and the sword by transforming into his demon form, a giant white dog with all his distinguished markings.
Sesshōmaru and Inuyasha started to battle. Inuyasha used Tessaiga, which looked like a useless scrap of metal, to no avail. Sesshōmaru began to fill the inside of his father's skeleton with poison gas, forcing Inuyasha and Kagome to escape outside. Inuyasha told Kagome that she was crazy to think that he needed to believe in the sword to make it work. Kagome started crying, asking if she should give up hope, only to be told by Inuyasha to shut up and let him protect her. As Inuyasha approaches Sesshōmaru to land the finishing blow, the sword started to pulse, and suddenly transformed into a huge fang-like sword. Inuyasha then sliced off one of Sesshōmaru's arms, so he was forced to flee.
A band of outlaws, who had just raided a poor village, were riding through a land where demons supposedly came out at night. They saw someone ahead, and assuming that it was merely a human, started to attack. The "human", actually Sesshōmaru, killed them all with one stroke of his arm. Jaken walked up to him through the grass, and congratulated his master on defeating the men so quickly. Sesshōmaru threw the arm, which he had stolen from a demon he had defeated, on the ground, not able to find a permanent arm to use after Inuyasha had cut off his arm. A man, Naraku in disguise, suddenly appeared behind Sesshōmaru, and offered him a human arm in which was embedded a shard of the Sacred Jewel. He said that Sesshōmaru could not touch Tessaiga because he was a demon, but if he used a human arm, he could. He also gave him a hive that could be used to block the hole in Miroku's hand. Naraku asked Sesshōmaru to use his gifts to defeat Inuyasha for him, an offer which Sesshōmaru accepted.A huge shadowy claw then zoomed across the sky and started wreaking havoc on a town. It turned out to be another of Sesshōmaru's shadow beasts, and the villagers fled in fear. Sesshōmaru released poison from his hand, and Inuyasha covered his nose with his sleeve and coughed while Kagome, Miroku, and Shippō backed away. Sesshōmaru said that he had come to claim Tessaiga. Inuyasha and Sesshōmaru fought for a while, and Sesshōmaru used his human arm to take hold of Tessaiga. He showed Inuyasha how to slay a hundred demons with one stroke of the blade. They fought for a while before Miroku stepped in and used his Kazaana. Sesshōmaru released the hive given to him by Naraku, and Saimyōshō flew into Miroku's hand. Miroku was poisoned and rendered unable to fight. Kagome ran to get him an antidote, while Inuyasha continued to fight with Sesshōmaru. Miroku and Shippō fought Jaken, who used his Nintōjō, tossing fire at them.
Sesshōmaru was about to kill Inuyasha with Tessaiga when an arrow came flying at it, reverting its transformation. Kagome was seen standing on a hill with her bow and arrow out. She said the next arrow would go in Sesshōmaru's heart, and warned Inuyasha to move away. Sesshōmaru charged at Kagome, but Inuyasha jumped in front of him and took the blow for her. Later on in the battle, Inuyasha managed to tear off Sesshōmaru's new arm, but was stabbed by Sesshōmaru's poison claws in the process. Sesshōmaru and Jaken left, and the insects retrieved the Jewel shard in Sesshōmaru's arm.
Tessaiga and Tenseiga
Sesshōmaru, dissatisfied with his sword, Tenseiga, wished to have the old, absent-minded swordsmith Tōtōsai make him a new one. The unwilling Tōtōsai had Inuyasha defend him, causing the brothers to fight. Tōtōsai revealed the heritage of Sesshōmaru's sword before creating a diversion to allow Inuyasha and the rest of his companions to escape. Soon after leaving Inuyasha and his companions, Tōtōsai was attacked by Sesshōmaru. Once again, Inuyasha battled his brother as Tōtōsai's protector, but had to face Sesshōmaru's newest defense, a dragon's arm. As Inuyasha and Sesshōmaru continued to duel for possession of Tessaiga, both brothers discovered the unexpected power of their respective inheritances, as Inuyasha discovered the true power of his sword, and Sesshōmaru, who called his sword useless, was saved by his father's heirloom.
After the fight, an orphaned human child, Rin, attempted to nurse the injured Sesshōmaru back to health. Though he initially tried to scare her off, she returned to him, heartened at the smallest show of interest. She was mauled to death by some of Kōga's wolves while trying to return to him; Sesshōmaru was initially going to ignore her, but moved by curiosity and prompted by Tenseiga's pulsing, tested the blade on her, cutting down the minions of hell that had come to collect her soul and restoring her to life. He walked off, and Rin followed him, becoming his traveling companion.
Kaijinbō's evil sword
Finding the corpse of the fallen Goshinki and detecting Inuyasha's scent on it, Sesshōmaru took the demon's head to Kaijinbō, the rogue swordsmith and former disciple of Tōtōsai, in order to commission a sword made from Goshinki's head. On the same day Kaijinbō arrived, possessed and wielding his newest creation Tōkijin, Inuyasha had transformed into his human form, and was defenseless. Then, luckily, Tōtōsai appeared and gave Inuyasha his repaired sword, which was too heavy for him to lift. Kaijinbō was then destroyed by his own creation because it was too evil for its maker to wield. Kagura directed Sesshōmaru to Tōkijin, and watched as the demon claimed his sword and wielded it against his brother. While Inuyasha and his friends escaped before they felt the full brunt of Sesshōmaru's new weapon, Kagura decided that Sesshōmaru could be strong enough to destroy Naraku.
The Demon's True Nature
Inuyasha's demonic transformation gave him great power, but no sense of control over his actions, as he killed indiscriminately, which Sesshōmaru discovered when he arrived to gauge his younger brother's power after listening to the wisdom of Bokusenō, a demon-tree and friend of the Inu no Taishō.
Kagura kidnapped Rin. As Jaken and Sesshōmaru discussed their options, one of Naraku's demon puppets appeared before them. It threatened Lord Sesshōmaru with her life unless he agreed to kill Inuyasha. Instead, Sesshōmaru tracked Naraku to his castle. Upon arriving, Naraku revealed his true demon form, a collection of rejected demons, and attacked Sesshōmaru. Naraku was secretly planning to absorb Sesshōmaru into his own flesh as Sesshōmaru hacked away at his body parts and surrounded himself with Naraku's fallen flesh.
At the same time, Inuyasha had also tracked down Naraku's castle. He broke through Naraku's barrier with his newly minted Red Tessaiga. Meanwhile, Kagome and the others pursued the lone Jewel shard Kagome sensed, which was Kohaku, who had been charged with guarding Rin. Naraku was forced to fight both Sesshōmaru and Inuyasha at the same time. When Naraku became seriously injured, he escaped in a miasma cloud. Sesshōmaru suddenly realized why Naraku had abducted Rin - as a method of distracting him in case of needing to escape. Naraku telepathically ordered Kohaku to murder Rin.
Sesshōmaru and Inuyasha arrived just in time to stop Kohaku. When Sesshōmaru peered into Kohaku's eyes, he realized he was an empty husk and was being commanded to perform his actions. He released Kohaku to Inuyasha and his group and escaped with Rin.
When Sesshōmaru arrived on Mount Hakurei, he saved Kagome Higurashi, Miroku, and Sango from the poison user Mukotsu, one of the Shichinintai; however, when confronted with the fact that he saved Kagome and the others, he merely said, "I only killed him because he wouldn't answer my questions".
Later on, Shippō told Inuyasha that Kagome, Miroku, and Sango stopped breathing due to the poison. Inuyasha was shocked and started to cry, for he was unable to protect them. Inuyasha went off to be alone, and started cutting down trees and yelling in frustration, seeking vengeance on the Shichinintai and on Naraku. In his daze of anger, Sesshōmaru appeared, and asked him why he was so inconsolable. Inuyasha explained, and Sesshōmaru told him that a half-demon could barely protect themselves, let alone others. Inuyasha, tired of being mocked, said that if he killed Sesshōmaru, he would have the Tenseiga and could revive his friends, to which his brother says a half-demon could never master the sword. Inuyasha started to strike Sesshōmaru, but the illusion disappeared, suggesting it was all in Inuyasha's head to begin with.
After Mukotsu's death, Naraku ordered the five remaining Shichinintai to kill Sesshōmaru as well. Jakotsu and Suikotsu went after him, the former noting that protecting Rin was Sesshōmaru's weakness. Later on, Suikotsu and Jakotsu had Sesshōmaru cornered, threatening to kill Rin if Sesshōmaru made a move. Sesshōmaru pulled an impressive maneuver, tossing away his sword behind him and impaling Suikotsu with it, then dashing ahead into the path of Jakotsu's Jakotsutō and plunging his claws into Jakotsu's heart. However, Sesshōmaru, thinking that was enough to kill them, let his guard down, and as Rin ran away from her captors, Suikotsu grabbed her and aimed to kill her. Jakotsu told Sesshōmaru he would be too late to save her, but suddenly Kikyō arrived, managing to stop Suikotsu with her sacred arrow.
He later watched as Naraku's miasma destroyed the vegetation on Mount Hakurei and many demons escaped from the destroyed barrier. Possibly watching Naraku's attempt to kill Kikyō, Sesshōmaru appeared before Naraku; he believed that since he had emerged from hiding, he had grown stronger. Testing his theory, Sesshōmaru destroyed Naraku's body, but the force of Tōkijin was sent back by Naraku's barrier. He made one final slash that ripped Naraku's head in half. However, he had no success in destroying him for good, watching as he fled once more. When Inuyasha arrived to see Kikyō's broken bow, Sesshōmaru berated his brother for not being able to save her, telling him to chase Naraku instead of yelling at him.
Battle in the Borderland
Sesshōmaru followed the scent of a flood of blood to the decapitated Tekkei, and wondered what had happened. Kagura appeared, and informed him Naraku had gone to the Border between the Living and the Dead to retrieve the final Jewel shard. She led him to the Gate in the Land of Fire; there, he drew Tenseiga, pacifying Gozu and Mezu, and allowing him to enter the gate without being turned to stone. He flew to his father's grave once more, and tried repeatedly to break Naraku's barrier; Naraku taunted him by allowing his superfluous limbs to be destroyed. However, once Inuyasha gained and used the Kongōsōha that broke Naraku's barrier, Sesshōmaru's attack tore him to pieces. Seeing Naraku had fled back to the World of the Living, Sesshōmaru headed back to the gate with Inuyasha's group.
Kagura, one of Naraku's incarnations, later betrayed Naraku to obtain her freedom. She believed that only Sesshōmaru could defeat him; she also seemed to have romantic feelings for him, just like Sara had. After trying to attack Goryōmaru's temple and getting injured, she fell into a river near Sesshōmaru's group. Recovering, she explained that Naraku was using an orb known as the Fuyōheki to hide his heart, and gave Sesshōmaru crystal shards of demonic energy to help him find Naraku's heart. Sesshōmaru entrusted Jaken to look after the crystals.
During a battle with Mōryōmaru, Sesshōmaru caught the scent of Kagura's blood and Naraku's miasma. Mōryōmaru insulted her, infuriating Sesshōmaru, who quickly concluded the quarrel, breaking Tōkijin in the process. He left the sword behind, choosing to obtain a new one instead of reforging Tōkijin.
Just as Kagura thought she would die alone in the field of flowers, Sesshōmaru appeared before her, much to the wind sorceress's surprise. Sesshōmaru told Kagura that he picked up the scent of blood and miasma. Kagura replied, "I see, you thought I was Naraku. Are you disappointed that I'm not Naraku?" Sesshōmaru replied to her by saying "I knew it was you". He reached for Tenseiga, but then realized that she couldn't be saved. Kagura was happy she got to see Sesshōmaru one last time. She looked up at him and smiled as she died before him, dissolving into the wind. When Inuyasha came right after Kagura died, he asks Sesshōmaru if she suffered. Sesshōmaru simply looked toward the sky and said "She was smiling", and then walked away.
Tenseiga called out to Tōtōsai, and he later stated that the sword told him that Sesshōmaru's heart had felt something it had not before: rage and sorrow on behalf of another, not just himself. Because a technique that sent one's foes directly to the Netherworld was so potent and dangerous in the wrong hands, Sesshōmaru's heart had to be mature enough to wield it responsibly. In this way, Kagura's death helped Sesshōmaru to mature and become a more powerful, responsible individual.
When Sesshōmaru learned how to perform Meidō Zangetsuha, he reflected on Kagura's death, and how Mōryōmaru told him that she had died for nothing. He then thought "I, Sesshōmaru, will be the one to decide if she died for nothing". The wind then blew, which Rin pointed out, and the group of three left Tōtōsai. The wind was meant to represent Kagura's spirit.
In an effort to strengthen and enhance Tenseiga's powers even further, Sesshōmaru visited his mother in search of a way to make a complete Meidō. He ventured into Hell after a demon from the underworld grabbed Rin and Kohaku; the latter was still alive, due to the Jewel shard in his back, but Rin did not regain consciousness. Sesshōmaru felt regret, believing he should never have brought her along and should had left her in a human village; he felt frustration and blamed himself for her death. Sesshōmaru's mother offered him a way out of the underworld, which he declined, offending her. Sesshōmaru found Rin in the grasp of the master of Hell. After he slayed the demon, he realized Rin wasn't reviving, and stated that enhancing and strengthening his sword was not worth the price of Rin's life. Dead bodies in Hell surrounded them, and with his grief for Rin, he used Tenseiga to purify them. When he returned to the living world with Rin's body, his mother scolded him for thinking he was a god who could control life and death, and told him Tenseiga can only revive the same person once, and that when his heart wished to save his "loved one", he must also at that moment feel both sadness and fear, this being what it means for him to have "a compassionate heart."
Sesshōmaru could only learn to understand the worth of a life and gain a truly compassionate heart when the life that was worth the most to him was lost, and "a compassionate heart" was what was necessary for the one who wields a destructive Tenseiga, which could dispatch enemies to the Netherworld.
His mother told him not to expect her to do this twice, placing the Meidō Stone around Rin's neck. Much to his relief and happiness, Rin was revived once more. His mother asked Jaken if Sesshōmaru was happy when she revived Rin, and Jaken responded that he was "extremely so".
Final Battle with Naraku
Sesshōmaru realized his true potential as a greater demon after Tenseiga's fighting technique, Meidō Zangetsuha, was given to Inuyasha. Sesshōmaru let go of his obsession with Tessaiga in a battle with Magatsuhi, and regained not only his left arm, but also his own sword, Bakusaiga.
He later used this sword to fight Naraku along with Inuyasha's group in the final battle, aiding in the final destruction of the evil hanyō by destroying large amounts of Naraku's body.
Three years after the defeat of Naraku, Sesshōmaru visited Rin who was under the care of Kaede with gifts, and was annoyed when Kagome called him "big brother."
- Humanoid form
Sesshōmaru appeared as a handsome, tall and slender young man. He had fair skin with pointy ears, golden eyes with slit pupils, and waist-length white hair with short bangs. He had a purple crescent moon on his forehead that could be seen beneath his bangs, two magenta stripes on each cheek, and a magenta stripe on each eyelid. When he used his Dakkoso, three magenta stripes appeared on his wrists.
- Yōkai form
Sesshōmaru's true form was a giant white dog with markings similar to the ones he had in his human form. His eyes became red with blue irises, the yōkai marks on his body widened and became more apparent, the stripes on his cheeks which were usually smooth became jagged and changed into a somewhat fiercer color, and his mokomoko wrapped around his body and extended into his tail. He only fully transformed to his yōkai form three times: once during a battle with Inuyasha, resulting in the loss of his left arm, again when he met his mother, and during the battle against Magatsuhi.
Sesshōmaru's armor included a spiked pauldron that covered his left shoulder attached to the upper section of his cuirass and "lotus petal" faulds. When damaged, the armor automatically regenerated itself using yōki. Both his armor and his long flowing sash had a decided Chinese influence, as opposed to the customary Japanese armor and obi. His kimono was mostly white with a red and white cherry blossom flower crest at the collar and sleeves, showing that he was of royal birth. He wore sashinuki hakama which were gathered at the ankles, producing a "ballooning" effect. His footwear consisted of black ankle-high boots, also reminiscent of Chinese influence. On his right shoulder was his mokomoko-sama, the fur and tail of his true form which he retained in his humanoid form.
In the third movie, it was seen in his younger years, Sesshōmaru wore a slightly different outfit. His kimono was cream colored and had leaf patterns, and he wore a blue sash belt.
Sesshōmaru, born of a great demon bloodline, possessed the perfect power that many demons desired. Because of this, he was always composed and confident in his power, displaying a calm, calculating personality at almost all times. The only trait he inherited from his father was fondness towards humans, which didn't manifest until later on in his life. His calmness often kept his thoughts clear of emotional influence.
His air of aloofness and indifference was a product of dignity that only one of such rare demonic power could possess. Sesshōmaru was more or less emotionless, with only anger, annoyance, and dissatisfaction showing on his face. Because both his heart and body were so strong, he had no desire whatsoever to own the Sacred Jewel, nor to conspire with allies. Sesshōmaru even responded sarcastically towards Naraku, who had assumed an air of impudence due to his increased demonic power.
In battle, he judged his enemy's power level and attacked with the minimum power necessary. He dealt with his enemies after determining their power. Anyone in his way was an enemy whom he would exterminate without hesitation. He did not hold back his power, even against women. He rationalized that all his prey was the same, and defeated them accordingly. For one with such pride in his power, cooperation was proof of weakness, and being alone was a condition for the strong. Once he judged someone as an obstacle, he was quick to kill without hesitation. Sesshōmaru had a very inquiring mind when there was something he cared about, but at the same time, he had almost no tenacity of purpose. If he became interested in something else, he would arbitrarily turn his back on what he was doing, even during battle. Just like his fighting style, he was quick to make decisions and act on them immediately.
Sesshōmaru was obsessively proud of his father, the Inu no Taishō, of whom the whole demon world was in awe. Because he respected his bloodline so much, he despised Inuyasha as well as Inuyasha's human mother Izayoi. He insulted Naraku, who tried to take advantage of Sesshōmaru's power. Anger welled up in his heart for not being able to use Tenseiga, the dull sword that wouldn't cut anything which was left by his father, whom he highly respected. Sesshōmaru held resentment towards his father for having left Tessaiga to Inuyasha, whose power was weaker than his own. However, over time, Sesshōmaru came to grasp why his father gave him Tenseiga, and let go of his disgust towards his half-brother, even showing concern for him in rare moments. He refused to use Bakusaiga on Inuyasha when even Magatsuhi noted it was the obvious choice to make, and in the third movie, it was hinted that he actually did care about Inuyasha but refused to admit it when he was protecting him from Sō’unga's "Dragon Twister" attack. Sesshōmaru had stated that he seeked to only fight the strongest beings alive and how he had wanted to fight his father and defeat him. Sesshōmaru's love for his father was so great that even though he inherited the (at the time) worthless Tenseiga, he kept it around him for sentimental value. During the brief period Tenseiga was stolen from him in the third movie, he stated Tenseiga was not a sword he would miss if he lost it, if not for his father.
He used to feel nothing for anyone, but meeting various people, such as the ever-changing Inuyasha, Naraku with his numerous proposals, and Rin, had brought change to his heart. After he saved Rin and became a true owner of Tenseiga, he started to show feelings behind his heartless and cruel words. He stopped the demonic Inuyasha's wildness by controlling his power, and he looked at him like an older brother reprimanding a younger brother, though he claimed he would kill Inuyasha, despite his actions showing the opposite. He even refrained from killing Kohaku when he could easily do so, when he looked in his eyes and saw emptiness and that he had given up everything.
Sesshōmaru genuinely cared about Rin and Jaken, and while he rarely showed it, he did appreciate their loyalty. Sesshōmaru originally held much contempt towards protecting the weak, seeing it as a ridiculous waste of time. Unlike the Inu no Taishō and Inuyasha, Sesshōmaru had trouble admitting he had people to protect (Rin and Jaken), and out of pride, would never admit that he did. Sesshōmaru's compassion for Rin was evident, but he preferred to disguise it, because it would taint his pride. However, he showed his love and concern for Rin when she appeared to be dead due to her time in Hell. Sesshōmaru entered Hell for the purpose of rescuing her, but upon learning that he couldn't save her life, he was crushed. When he realized that it was his urge to strengthen Tenseiga which brought them to Hell and ultimately killed her, he cast the sword aside, saying that for the sword to gain power at the expense of Rin's life meant nothing. However, when Sesshōmaru's mother revived Rin, he was very relieved. Although he cares for her, he does not pamper her, making her fend for herself when she is hungry, but keeps a close enough distance to come to her aid when need be. Apart from Rin, he's become more caring towards Jaken, whom he used to threaten to kill on a regular basis and treated like a slave if he failed to accomplish a certain task. Afterwards, while he would still beat Jaken whenever he annoyed him and would force Jaken to accompany him even during dangerous situations, he would tell Jaken to stay back when facing an enemy that would endanger Jaken if he was too close.
When Kagura was injured, Sesshōmaru originally intended to leave her in the river she was drowning in, but when Rin fell in trying to save her and Jaken followed Rin, Sesshōmaru pulled all three from the river. He stayed there afterwards, and warned Kagura not to do anything that would get her killed. Later however, before Kagura's death, Sesshōmaru sought her out and considered using Tenseiga, only to conclude that Tenseiga couldn't save her.
He had also been shown saving Inuyasha's friends on several occasions. On his way to Mount Hakurei, Sesshōmaru saved Kagome, Miroku, and Sango from the poison master Mukotsu, one of the Shichinintai, but only claimed that he killed Mukotsu because he would not answer his questions. He also revived a young otter yōkai's father, claiming that it was the will of Tenseiga. Another example was when Inuyasha and his companions were involved in a fight with the "water god" Numawatari; when Sesshōmaru arrived, he insulted Inuyasha's inability to kill a "low life demon", and then easily dispatched Numawatari using his Meidō Zangetsuha ability, leaving straight after.
Also, when Byakuya, Naraku's newest incarnation, was about to take Kohaku, who had one of the last three shards of the Sacred Jewel, back to Naraku, Sesshōmaru appeared and launched a ranged Meidō Zangetsuha (still in the crescent moon shape), barely missing him. Byakuya fled, claiming that he did not want to die, and commented on how it was so unlike Sesshōmaru to save someone. Thereafter, Sesshōmaru seemed to have taken Kohaku under his protection, albeit in his typical grudging demon-slayer fashion. Later, when Kohaku's shard was tainted by Magatsuhi, Sesshōmaru attempted to save Kohaku at the expense of great injury to his arm.
It was his compassion that caused Tenseiga to be reforged as a weapon. Its offensive powers were locked until Sesshōmaru was able to show true compassion. In his battle with Mōryōmaru, the villain insulted the dying Kagura, which angered Sesshōmaru, and he shattered Mōryōmaru's indestructible shell (and his only weapon in the process). Acknowledging the yōkai's growth because he was defending a dead person, Tenseiga called to its creator to reforge it as a weapon. However, he still retains traces of his former ruthlessness, having entered a mountain belonging to ogres and killing all of them mercilessly to practice and develop Meidō Zangetsuha. Later, to show his compassion and respect for his father, he gave the offensive powers of his sword to Inuyasha (albeit in his typical fashion), in accordance with his father's wishes, recognizing his brother's worth as the heir to the sword.
Despite his growing compassion, he, like his brother, used impolite Japanese. He addressed strangers or people he does not like with "kisama", which, like "temee", was an offensive form of "you", though still more formal. He addressed himself with either the polite "watashi", or "kono Sesshōmaru" (lit. this Sesshōmaru) a manner in which powerful lords referred to themselves, denoting his high nobility and station. Other than "kisama", he used "omae", either to Jaken or to Inuyasha, the latter being occasionally and not rarely. Thus, he could be insulting while retaining the dignified speech pattern of a lord, as opposed to the rougher speech used by Inuyasha. Sesshōmaru also shares another trait with his younger brother: having a temper and being very easy to annoy (Inuyasha being loud in his anger, Sesshōmaru being subtle), as he had been known to hit Jaken when he said something that displeased him, similar to how Inuyasha was with Shippō.
Powers & Abilities
Thanks to his immense demonic power and countless years of battle experience, few are able to match Sesshomaru in combat.
Master Swordsman: As Sesshōmaru wielded the most amount of demon swords in battle, he possessed a high caliber of swordsmanship, where in several occasions he was able to easily and consistently overwhelm his younger brother when they clashed their demonic swords. Even in the rare chance that Inuyasha managed to defeat Sesshōmaru, it was only after Sesshōmaru had held the upper hand and Inuyasha became accustomed to Sesshōmaru's skills. Despite Inuyasha developing his sword skills with Tessaiga to eventually match Sesshōmaru, the older demon was still superior, since he practiced his skills longer and to a greater degree than Inuyasha. Sesshōmaru's overall skill was such that he could wield the Tessaiga with equal or greater use than Inuyasha with just one hand, while the hanyō always wielded it with both hands.
Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Along with his swordsmanship, Sesshōmaru was also an accomplished unarmed fighter, being able to consistently outpace and overwhelm Inuyasha in hand-to-hand combat. Unlike Inuyasha, who repeatedly threw punches everywhere, Sesshōmaru attacked when he saw the perfect opportunity, thus displaying greater experience and skills. During their two battles before Sesshōmaru commissioned Kaijinbō to forge Tōkijin, the older demon was able to casually pressure Inuyasha wielding Tessaiga (before he learned the Kaze no Kizu). Also, during the third movie, it was shown that Sesshōmaru was able to fight adequately against the self-sustained body of So'unga with his bare hands and only one arm after Tōkijin was damaged by the greater demon sword, though Jaken noted that Sesshōmaru was still at an overall disadvantage. In the manga, Sesshōmaru mentioned that getting the fact Inuyasha grazed his clothing was only due to Inuyasha transforming into a full demon in both mind and body.
Keen Intellect: Due to his long years of pursuing power, Sesshōmaru was very intelligent and experienced in the Feudal Era. He was able to come to the correct conclusion towards any given mystery in his quest of power once he attained the basic understanding of the situation. In the flashback of the third movie, Sesshōmaru was able to correctly deduce that his father was testing him when asked if he had someone to protect, but denied it due to his pride. By having the Unmother lure Inuyasha into an illusion of his real mother, Sesshōmaru eventually figured out that the black pearl was hidden in Inuyasha's right eye. Once he was told of Tenseiga's true nature as a cast off of Tessaiga to contain the Meidō Zangetsuha, Sesshōmaru immediately deduced the correct conclusion that the Inu no Taishō intended for Sesshōmaru to master the technique before giving it to Inuyasha. Eventually, after seeing how Magatsuhi survive a decapitation by his true form, Sesshōmaru deduced that the demon was a spirit possessing Naraku's flesh, and struck it with Tenseiga. Despite Sesshōmaru's above average intellect, he was exceedingly arrogant, and had been known to chronically underestimate his opponents. This problem had put him in numerous potentially lethal situations despite his tremendous power. He was able to deduce Naraku was hiding inside Mount Hakurei after Rin told him there were demons inside the mountain, having realized the holy barrier was fool-proof to prevent any demons from pursuing him. His mother pointed out at one point that he was still naïve despite his age.
Immense Demonic Power: As the full blooded son of the Great Dog Demon, Sesshōmaru is overwhelmingly powerful, being a match for any opponent he encounters. He has exhibited senses much more powerful than that of humans and even many demons and a plethora of powerful techniques at his disposal. Even the arrogant Naraku, who became famous amongst demons through his collection of the Shikon Jewel Shards, acknowledged Sesshomaru to be far more powerful than himself and stated the Sesshomaru is the perfect demon. It is because of the perfect combination of his powers that he inherited from both of his parents that the Shikon Jewel wouldn't increase his overall power which is why he doesn't have the slightest interest of obtaining even one shard of the jewel and is completely confident in his own powers. The level of his demonic powers are such that he was able to easily subdue the malevolent demonic aura of Tokijin created from Goshinki's hatred when Kaijinbo, the creator of the sword, was possessed and consumed by it. Eventually Sesshomaru's powers surpasses that of his father after he abandoned his obsession for Tessaiga. Overall, his abilities easily mark him as one of the most powerful entities in the series.
- Immunity: Sesshōmaru's tremendous demonic powers has granted him great resistance to injury over the course of the series. He has been shown to be able to resist deadly diseases, gases and toxins that affect humans and weaker yōkai quite easily. He has also demonstrated a great deal of resistance to holy or spiritual energies, as demonstrated by the fact that he was able to enter Mt. Hakurei's purification barrier, by far the strongest of its type in the series, without being purified (though the barrier did weaken him somewhat while it was in effect). In another instance, Sesshōmaru caught one of Kagome’s purification arrows barehanded to no ill-effect; any other demon would have been severely injured, if not outright purified. Even holy attacks coming from multiple trained and powerful monks (like Ungai and his men) had absolutely no effect on Sesshomaru. According to Inuyasha, Sesshōmaru is "unaffected by human attacks".
Flight: Sesshōmaru is capable of independent flight in his humanoid form, and can also hover motionlessly above the ground. He occasionally permits other individuals to accompany him by carrying them on his mokomoko-sama.
Immense Speed: Sesshōmaru can move faster than the human eye can perceive, both on land and in the air. Sesshōmaru can move incredibly fast without much exertion. Sesshōmaru is at least capable of moving quickly enough to leave afterimages or blurs. He can also instantaneously close long distances without being detected by others.
Enhanced Strength: Sesshōmaru possesses physical strength far beyond that of a normal demon. His strength with only one arm is equal to Inuyasha’s full strength; Inuyasha’s strength allows him to lift a 9 to 10 ton boulder using one arm with little effort, so Sesshōmaru is likely capable of lifting double that amount of weight. He has been shown to be capable of using his claws to easily tear through solid rock, and through the bodies of most demons.
Immense Endurance: On the fairly rare occasion that he receives serious injuries, Sesshomaru can often continue fighting in spite of them. This was demonstrated when he was able to easily kill an army of human samurai just after losing his left arm and initial battle over the Tessaiga to Inuyasha. Later on Sesshomaru managed to withstand the Kaze no Kizu head-on for some time before Tenseiga used its barrier ability to protect Sesshomaru from the lethal damage level of the attack. Depsite being heavily wounded during his battle with Magatsuhi, Sesshōmaru was able to continue fighting until his powers coalesced into Bakusaiga. Sesshomaru is also shown to be able to withstand the shock of the Anti-Demon Barrier placed on Tessaiga in order to use occasionally when need be with little reaction, though not without suffering potentially debilitating injuries.
Enhanced Senses: Due to his lineage, Sesshōmaru exhibits extremely heightened senses, particularly his sense of smell. He can discern characteristics of most objects through scent, such as the undead Band of Seven through the scent of graveyard soil and pure-demon blood from half-demon blood (such as when Inuyasha's demon blood takes over). Through smell alone, Sesshōmaru can follow events transpiring far away or determine events which have already transpired; for example, he learned of everything that had happened during Inuyasha's confrontation with Goshinki by simply sniffing the area in which they fought even though several hours, or possibly days, had elapsed since the battle.
Transformation: As a Daiyokai, Sesshōmaru possesses the ability to transform from his typical humanoid form into a gigantic, white furred dog. He also has the ability to transform into a small orb of light.
- True Daiyokai Form: While Sesshōmaru tends to conduct most of his business in a humanoid shape, his actual body is that of a giant white dog. Though this form appears to grant him a great deal of strength, he tends not to use it in battle as it seems to lack the agility of his humanoid form, in addition to having limited defensive capabilities (as he cannot use any weapons while transformed). When transforming back and forth, his clothing, weapons, and other accouterments seem to simply vanish and then re-appear on his person. Additionally, it was speculated by Jaken that Sesshomaru loses some of his reasoning abilities while in this form (though there is no direct evidence to prove this).
- Flight: Sesshomaru is capable of flying in this form, and can even do so while transforming.
- Psionics: While transforming into his true form, his demonic aura can telekinetically manipulate the surrounding objects as in "Showdown: Inuyasha vs Sesshomaru", he was able to levitate and hurl skulls at Inuyasha and Kagome.
- Immense Strength: While in this form, Sesshōmaru's strength becomes even greater with his stomps and simple attacks possessing devastating effect. When he first used this against Inuyasha when his brother first claimed the Tessaiga, he was able to demolish parts of his father's giant corpse by simply pushing through it and later ripped apart Magatsuhi's physical form from Naraku's flesh when his human form could do little damage to it.
- Enhanced Speed: Despite the large size of his true form, Sesshōmaru possesses astounding speed for an enormous dog where Inuyasha had a hard time dodging some his attacks during their first battle over Tessaiga despite being more agile. When he transformed in order to fight against Magatsuhi, Sesshōmaru was able to bite off and decapitate the demon spirit's physical form's head before he could react when the dog demon took him by surprise.
- Enhanced Durability: While in his true form, Sesshōmaru has greater physical might where even after having his left arm cut off by Inuyasha, he still has the strength to continue fighting while ignoring the pain and damage. Even after Inuyasha slashed him twice at his torso to end the battle, Sesshōmaru was able to transform himself into an orb of light to escape. However, this form's durability is extremely limited compared to many of the demons that appear later in the series, as Inuyasha was able to cut off it's left foreleg after having only just figured out how to wield Tessaiga's most basic powers. Overall, transforming appears to give him no additional durability, but it seems not to detract from it either.
- Dokkasō: While in his transformed state, the toxins of Sesshōmaru's poison claws are transferred into his fangs. This caused his bite to have extremely caustic effects, an ability which is also transferred to his saliva. Additionally, his saliva can be turned into a poisonous, mist-like gas.
- Light Orb Form: Sesshomaru can also transform into an orb of light for escape when necessary and for quick pursuit of his target. This form is achieved by either being in his true form or his human form whereas it if it was his true form then his body would curl up into a ball and he would shift into this form.
- Flight: While in this light orb form, Sesshomaru can fly faster than either his human or true form can as it acts for a quick escape or quick pursuit.
- Teleportation: This form also gives Sesshomaru the ability teleport away if so necessary as in "Showdown: Inuyasha vs Sesshomaru", Sesshōmaru morphed into a ball of energy to escape his father's grave. He later uses this form in Tetsusaiga and Tenseiga to pursue a fleeing Tōtōsai, materializing upon impacting with the ground and producing an explosion.
Immortality: As a daiyōkai, Sesshōmaru has an extremely long lifespan. He appears to be physically around 19 years old despite being chronologically over 200 years old.
High-Speed Regeneration: During his battle with Magatsuhi, Sesshōmaru's demonstrated the ability to heal the burns and gashes on his right arm, as well as several large holes stabbed right through his body. This ability seems not to be a passive bodily function however, as he evidently needed to focus his energies in order to heal himself. In the same battle, he was able to restore his left arm, which was cut off by Inuyasha at the beginning of the series. Why it took so long for this to occur is a matter of speculation, and it is not known whether or not his ability to regenerate his arm was simply a one-off power that accompanied the creation of Bakusaiga.
Dokkasō (毒華爪, Poison Claws, "Poison Luster Claw"): Sesshōmaru can release an acidic poison from his claws that can liquify flesh and bone upon contact. Though he normally applies it through his claw strikes, he can also spray the acid from his claws or transfer it into his punches. The acidic effect also has the ability to blind his targets temporarily if they manage to resist it.
Poison Resistance: A sub-effect of his poison claws is that he is highly resistant to both environmental toxins and poison-based attacks. For instance, Naraku's post-Mt. Hakurei miasma had no effect on Sesshomaru despite being able to melt rocks. Even poisons that are specifically designed to destroy demons like the specialized anti-demon poison created by Mukotsu of The Band of Seven proved to be ineffective against Sesshomaru. However this resistance is not absolute, as the miasma of the demon spirit of the Shikon Jewel, Magatsuhi, was able to severely burn Sesshomaru on contact.
Mokomoko-sama (モコモコ様, "Lord Fluff-Fluff"): The fur on Sesshōmaru's shoulder can be extended to great lengths and used to whip, constrict and fling his opponents or carry himself through the air. However, because it is a part of his body, the mokomoko-sama seems to be capable of bleeding and seems to be highly sensitive to pain, to the point that injuring it can temporarily incapacitate him. This is not known for certain however, as the circumstances during which this injury occurred were rather vague; the Mokomoko may not have been bleeding during this instance as Sesshōmaru's shoulder had also been injured and was bleeding heavily at the time.
Poison Whip (光の鞭, Hikari no Muchi, "Whip of Light"): Sesshōmaru can generate a thin, whip-like strand of yellow-green energy from his fingertips to aid him in place of his missing arm. It has shown to be able to puncture armor and flesh with ease and can burn flesh upon contact, similar to his poison. He appears to be capable of manifesting this energy without its destructive properties, allowing him to use it to catch falling allies or yank someone out of danger without damaging them.
WeaponsRegenerating armor: Sesshōmaru wears a form of armor over his kimono that can supposedly regenerate itself over time if it was ever damaged in battle. This is shown when Inuyasha broke it during their initial battle over Tessaiga within their father's corpse and after the battle, Sesshōmaru is shown wearing the armor perfectly intact when he faced against the samurai army despite not having made any attempts at repairing or replacing the damaged portion.
Tenseiga: The Tenseiga is the second sword created by Totosai using the Inu no Taishō's fang. This weapon was revealed to have been cast off of Tessaiga after the Inu no Taishō acquired the Meido Zangetsuha technique, which Sesshōmaru later developed and passed on to Inuyasha. The weapon is unique in that its primary powers with regard to living beings are of a healing nature. The Inu no Taishō passed the sword on to Sesshōmaru in the hope that it would help him to develop compassion, as Sesshōmaru had formerly been concerned solely with acquiring more power. The sword emits a blue aura when in use and possesses a will of it's own that Sesshōmaru can sense.
- Spiritual cut: The most basic ability of this sword is that it has power cut entities that are not of the living world. This includes spirits/ghosts, the undead, and beings who either originated in or reside in the underworld. In the third movie, this sword was able to easily slash through Takemaru (whom have been resurrected by Sounga) and the reanimated human was only able to recover because of Sounga. Later on this sword became an instrumental weapon in defeating Magatsuhi, the evil will of the Shikon Jewel, because it was the only weapon that could directly harm Magatsuhi's spiritual manifestation. A side effect of having this ability is that Tenseiga is unable to harm living beings. As such, Sesshōmaru tended at first to regard it as virtually useless, though his opinion of it changed significantly as time progressed.
- Resurrection: Through its ability to cut spiritual beings, Tenseiga can resurrect the dead. It does this by enabling Sesshōmaru see the pall-bearer imps that take the souls of the dead to the underworld. Once revealed, he can kill them with Tenseiga. However, this ability only works once on a particular person; for instance, Sesshōmaru's second attempt to use the sword to revive Rin failed because it did not allow him to see the pall-bearer imps a second time. In order for the Tenseiga to call back a soul, it must be able to return to its body. An example of this limitation was seen in Sesshōmaru's attempt to save Kagura. He intended to use Tenseiga to help her, but her body was in the process of being completely destroyed by Naraku's miasma. As such, when she died and her body turned to ash, there was nothing for him to work with.
- Purification: Tenseiga is also said to be able to resurrect 100 dead individuals at once by releasing an enormous pillar of light.
- Protective barrier: In extreme cases, the Tenseiga can also protect Sesshōmaru from potentially lethal attacks by emitting a black mist-like barrier. The protective barrier is capable of blocking the Kaze no Kizu from the Tessaiga and the Gokuryuuha from the Sounga. However, in neither case was the barrier completely effective, as both attacks still managed to harm Sesshomaru to a certain extent.
- Sentience: Tenseiga appears to have a limited form of sentience, and can be seen to occasionally give Sesshomaru hints during situations where he is at a loss for what to do. These instances usually involve either indirect advice during difficult battles, or nudging Sesshomaru towards actions that allow him to grow as a person.
- Meido Zangetsuha (formerly): When the Tenseiga is reforged by Tōtōsai to become a weapon, it allows Sesshōmaru to use the Meidō Zangetsuha technique. It is later revealed that the ability and the sword itself were both merely cast off of the Tessaiga; his father wanted Sesshōmaru to master the Meidō Zangetsuha and then give it to Inuyasha. Sesshōmaru was initially enraged by this realization, but after a relatively short time, he returned the technique to the Tessaiga and Tenseiga once again became a healing tool. Shishinki, the original wielder of this technique, stated that because Tenseiga was cast off of Tessaiga to contain the Meido Zangetsuha technique, it is incapable of producing a complete Meido on its own and thus, it needed to resonate with Tessaiga to do so.
- Tessaiga replication (temporarily): By crushing a fragment of Kanna's mirror obtained from Byakuya under Naraku's order onto Tenseiga's blade, Sesshōmaru was able to copy and steal the forms and abilities of Tessaiga. This ability seemed to be somewhat transient, as Inuyasha was able to reclaim the stolen powers from Tenseiga simply by clashing against it with Tessaiga. Naraku was able to possess this form of the Tenseiga due to having Kanna's mirror fragment spread over the blade. Despite knowing that Naraku was playing him, Sesshōmaru conceded to Naraku's plot for the purpose of seeing if Inuyasha could handle the Meido Zangetsuha. Once he did, Sesshōmaru passed the technique on to his brother.
Tessaiga: The Tessaiga is the first sword created by Tōtōsai using the Great Dog Demon's fang, and is Inuyasha's signature weapon. Believing that the sword was his by right, Sesshōmaru attempted on many occasions to steal it from his half-brother, only to be thwarted each time. After a time however, he acquired a number of other weapons which blunted his desire for Tessaiga, until he was able to give up his desire for the weapon completely upon the acquisition of Bakusaiga. Tessaiga produces an energy barrier which prevents full-blooded demons from touching it. Attempting to push past the barrier severely burns the entity in question. Despite this, Sesshōmaru has revealed that he is capable of enduring the effects of the barrier for short periods of time. In the third movie for instance, he managed to use the weapons against a Sounga-posessed Inuyasha, firing off a Kaze no Kizu. However, doing so burned him to the point where he was temporarily incapacitated.
Tōkijin: Tōkijin was a sword crafted by the evil sword smith Kaijinbō from the fangs of Goshinki as part of Sesshōmaru's continued efforts to obtain Tessaiga or a sword matching it in power. It is shown to capable of matching Tessaiga in power as the fangs of Goshinki were capable of breaking the original Tessaiga before being reforged by Totosai using Inuyasha's fang. Eventually in Sesshomaru's battle against Moryomaru, he broke it while attempting to penetrate the demon's absorbed shell. Sesshomaru did not bother to have it repaired because it did not have the power to defeat Moryomaru and he resolved to find a replacement sword. Although a powerful sword in its own right, the Tokijin is apparently capable of drawing power from Sesshōmaru himself, which makes it all the more formidable. However, just as Sesshōmaru mocks Moryomaru for not being able to contain all of his demonic energy, the same problem exists with the Tokijin, which is sometimes strained by all of Sessōmaru's power coursing through it. This frustration towards Tokijin's limitations sets up Sesshōmaru's eventual achievement of creating a sword of his own power, the Bakusaiga.
- Immense demonic aura: Due to Sesshomaru having to revive Goshinki's head before Kaijinbo forged the fangs into Tokijin, the demon sword possesses an intense demonic aura of hatred from Goshinki. The aura was strong enough to possess Kaijinbo and eventually consume him because he wasn't strong enough to withstand it. When Sesshomaru claimed that Tokijin himself, he was able to subdue the aura with his own.
- Energy attacks: It can fire off extremely powerful blasts of pure evil energy, but because it is filled with Goshinki's malice, only someone with a very powerful demonic presence can wield it without being controlled by it. The energy blasts created by Tokijin takes on multiple forms due to Sesshōmaru developing it further on his quest for power.
- Protective barrier: When struck into the ground, Tōkijin can create barrier that would eradicate anything that comes into contact with it.
- Needle energy blast: Originally the energy blasts of Tokijin took the form of small, needle-like energy shards that Sesshomaru fires off the tip of the sword without having to slash it.
- Blue energy wave: Sesshōmaru later developed the ability to fire energy blasts from the sword that were comparable to the Kaze no Kizu in size and power.
- Green energy sphere: Sesshōmaru also demonstrated the ability to fire energy spheres from the blade, which were green in color and traveled very quickly.
- Sōryūha (蒼龍破, Dragon Strike, "Blue Dragon Blast"): This is the most powerful technique of the Tōkijin. The first form of the attack when used by Tokijin are blue streams of lightning and eventually form the shape of a dragon. Sesshomaru can even channel the energy into the ground to circumvent his opponent's defenses.
Bakusaiga: Bakusaiga is Sesshōmaru's current signature weapon. Bakusaiga manifested itself in the hand of Sesshōmaru's fully regenerated left arm during his battle with Magatsuhi. Its creation signified Sesshōmaru's graduation into a full-fledged daiyōkai, which had long been compromised by his obsession with Tessaiga. Tōtōsai commented that his ability to manifest his own blade suggested that his strength and power had surpassed that of his father and connoted his growth through the many trials he endured to emerge as a daiyōkai. Bakusaiga ultimately served as the product of this 'rite of passage'.
- Decomposition: The energy produced by Bakusaiga has an extremely corrosive effect on organic matter, which lingers even after a blast from the weapon. For instance, Miroku commented at one point that, should Naraku attempt to absorb something that had been killed by Bakusaiga, the caustic decomposition conferred by the Bakusaiga would be transferred from the corpse of whatever had been absorbed to Naraku himself.
- Explosive Corrosion Wave: Sesshomaru can fire off the decomposition ability of Bakusaiga as an explosive energy wave that can slay thousands of demons in one slash. Though similar to the Kaze no Kizu, Rumiko Takahashi stated that Bakusaiga's yōki wave attack possesses much more energy than a full power blast from Inuyasha's Bakuryūha.
Nintōjō: also known as the "Staff of Two Heads", is the weapon which Jaken wields. It can produce long streams of flame, and generate large floods of water. For some reason, possibly one of the possessions left to him by his father, Sesshōmaru knew of where to find this weapon, and give it to his future ward, Jaken. It is with this that Jaken was able to help him track down the Tessaiga. The old man head can spew fire whenever Jaken wishes. When close to the grave of the Inu no Taishō, the old man's head laughs. But when at the wrong place, the woman shrieks.
Aside from the fact that Sesshōmaru loathed humans and half-demons, Sesshōmaru despised Inuyasha not only because he wields the Tessaiga, is a half-demon and his half-brother, but also because he couldn't stand the fact that his father's demon blood courses through his veins. For almost the first half of the series, Sesshōmaru's hatred for Inuyasha seemed to stem at least in part from his strained relationship with his father; both from the fact that he was given the "useless" Tenseiga instead of Tessaiga, and because of his failure to understand both of their affinities for humans. After much growth and reflection, Sesshōmaru eventually starts to care for Inuyasha, though he would never admit it, and vice versa. While Sesshōmaru continues to make rude comments towards Inuyasha, their relationship eventually improves, and they appear to look out for each other in battle, as shown when they join forces to battle against Naraku. By the end of the series, Sesshōmaru appeared to have more-or-less lost his antipathy for Inuyasha, and even decided to leave Rin in Kaede's village (which was Inuyasha's home) in order for her to re-integrate into human society. However, the two brothers still do not show particular affection towards each other, and tend to avoid one another whenever possible.
Sesshōmaru's relationship with his father was never specifically addressed during the series. However, what little evidence exists indicated that their relationship was somewhat distant and estranged. His father was known to have left Sesshōmaru's mother and fallen in love with a mortal woman named Izayoi, who became the mother of his younger half-brother, Inuyasha. In InuYasha: Movie 3, Sesshōmaru had his only witnessed encounter with his father (though it was somewhat apocryphal). During their interaction, Sesshōmaru demanded that his father give him both Sō'unga and Tessaiga, and the Inu no Taishō was observed to be disappointed in his eldest son's thirst for power. The Inu no Taishō then asked his son if he had someone to protect. When Sesshōmaru answered "no", the Inu no Taishō left, and took both the swords that Sesshōmaru wished to possess with him. For his part, Sesshōmaru was extremely resentful of his father for leaving Tessaiga to Inuyasha instead of him, and for various other slights (mostly imagined or misunderstood). As Sesshōmaru matured over the course of the series however, he came to understand most of his father's actions, and through the acquisition of Bakusaiga, realized that his father had simply wanted to teach him.
Only shown for a small amount of time, Sesshōmaru's mother's name is never stated. She is a full-yōkai who is extremely similar to her son - the moon upon her forehead, a similar attitude, and a similar condescending to contemptuous outlook on humans. She offhandedly asked him if he brought two human children with him, Rin and Kohaku, because he planned to eat them. When Sesshōmaru went to visit her, it was to make his power of Meidō Zangetsuha stronger and more mature. She knew he would come to do this seeing he was finally able to unlock the new power, thus stating that in order to do so, the power was to be exchanged with Rin's life. Her attitude changes from generous to irritated when Sesshōmaru ignores her offer to bring him before he was able to save Rin, making it seem she didn't care about him anymore. Even though she ignores the fact that Rin's a human, she still has motherly feelings toward Sesshōmaru. Concerned with her son's sadness, Sesshōmaru's mother resurrected Rin with the Meidō Stone. When Rin is revived, Jaken says she's an honorable mother for doing so. She asks Jaken if he's happy this way, and he says it's most likely extremely so. She later states, "All this fuss over one human girl... He's becoming like his father in the strangest ways," referring to his father's kindness to humans.
Sesshōmaru encountered Jaken when he was passing through a distant land. A large demon was wreaking havoc amongst Jaken and other demons resembling him when Sesshōmaru killed the demon with his mere claws. Despite Jaken's display of immense gratitude, Sesshōmaru claimed he was only passing through. Sesshōmaru walked to a nearby waterfall and pulled out the Staff of Two Heads. He told Jaken that if he was able to wield the weapon, he may follow him. Jaken deeply respects and always praises Sesshōmaru, much to Sesshōmaru's annoyance. At times, he gets too carried away and winds up insulting Sesshōmaru, which usually leads to a couple bumps on the head. Jaken is condescending to all but Sesshōmaru. Jaken is (reluctantly) aware of Sesshōmaru's compassion toward Rin, he knows that he, too, must responsibly protect her or else face the wrath of his master.
Rin is a young orphan who becomes the traveling companion of Sesshōmaru and Jaken. When Sesshōmaru was injured by the Wind Scar after trying to steal the Tessaiga again from Inuyasha, Rin bravely attempted to care for him as he lay near a tree, bringing him water and food. Sesshōmaru initially rejected her kindness, telling her generosity was a waste, as he does not eat human food. She continues to bring him things and he is caught off guard by her smile. After letting his wolf pack hunt, Kōga's wolves killed Rin. Sesshōmaru, recognizing the scent of Rin's blood, stumbled upon her dead body in the forest. He was initially going to ignore her, but the image of her smile flashed in his mind, he unsheathed Tenseiga and it began to pulsate. He then saw the beings of the underworld surround Rin's body and decided to resurrect her with the Tenseiga as a "test". To his surprise, her heart began to beat again and she is revived. From that day forward, she would be by Sesshōmaru's side along with Jaken and a two-headed dragon demon known as A-Un.
Throughout the series, Rin's warmness and kindness play a significant role on Sesshōmaru. His growing compassion for her allows him to advance in battle. He constantly rescues her and looks out for her despite claiming he did not care for her. He often instructs her to stay in a safe place with A-Un when he knows he is going somewhere dangerous. He often avoids killing in front of her, unless it is the only way to protect her. When Sesshōmaru sought out to improve his Meidō Zangetsuha technique, but realizes it came at the cost of Rin's life, he finally felt sorrow from the loss of his beloved companion. Concerned with her son's sadness, Sesshōmaru's mother resurrected Rin with the Meidō Stone.
Following Naraku's defeat and after some input by Kaede, Sesshōmaru agrees that Rin needs to reside in a village to get used to living with humans once again and where she is safe from potential harm. In the anime version, it is implied that this is to allow her to choose which world she wishes to live in when she matures. He continues to pay her regular visits often bringing presents with him; she is last seen receiving a kimono from him.[note 1]
Naraku abducted Rin by using Kagura and had Kohaku serve as her guard. After seriously injured by Sesshōmaru and Inuyasha at his castle, Naraku had fled and ordered Kohaku to kill Rin. Mind-controlled, Kohaku was ready to kill Rin. but Sesshōmaru arrived at the scene, deciding not to kill Kohaku, knowing that was what Naraku wanted him to do and he does not play by Naraku's rules.
After Kikyō died, Kohaku decided to follow Sesshōmaru, who didn't seem to be against the idea, and Sesshōmaru also begins to protect him. Kohaku forms a great friendship with Rin and protects her in times of trouble. In his battle with Magatsuhi, Kohaku attempts to protect Sesshōmaru. Eventually, Kohaku would part with Sesshōmaru and remain with his sister, Sango, and the rest of Inuyasha's gang prior to the battle with Naraku, where he would then leave with Jaken and Shippō to fight.
A-Un was a two-headed dragon yōkai who traveled by Lord Sesshōmaru's side for a long time. He was Sesshōmaru's first 'traveling companion' and was always loyal to his master. A-Un always cared for and protected Rin whenever Sesshōmaru left his companions for a while.
Naraku has been seen a few times throughout the series trying to use Sesshōmaru to kill Inuyasha for him. The first time was when Naraku offered Sesshōmaru the human arm with the shard of the Shikon Jewel in it, along with the hive of poisonous insects that would block Miroku's wind tunnel. After Sesshōmaru disposed of the sacred jewel shard he confronted Naraku. And at the end of the confrontation Naraku spoke of how he might call on Sesshōmaru again if a chance shall arise to kill Inuyasha. This of course hurt Sesshōmaru's pride, being used by a half demon like Naraku. But Naraku and Sesshōmaru become real enemies when Naraku orders his incarnation Kagura to abduct Rin. He then tells Sesshōmaru that if he heeds his request he shall return Rin in good health. This of course insults Sesshōmaru's pride even further. Sesshōmaru rips off the head of the demon puppet and heads towards Naraku's castle. Naraku and Sesshōmaru start to fight at the castle and Naraku attempts to absorb Sesshōmaru into his body. But his attempt is thwarted by Inuyasha who breaks Sesshōmaru free. Inuyasha and Sesshōmaru then severely injure Naraku and he gets away by using Kohaku and telling Kohaku to kill Rin. Sesshōmaru then rescues Rin and begins to pursue Naraku to get back at him for not only insulting his pride but abducting Rin as well.
Then Sesshōmaru tracks Naraku all the way to Mount Hakurei where they meet moments after Kikyō falls into the river of miasma. Naraku tests his power against Sesshōmaru and retreats. Sesshōmaru then keeps learning more and more about Naraku's heart. He almost destroys Naraku's heart which was hidden inside the infant that was left with Kanna. But Kanna escapes with the infant. The infant then creates itself a shield using parts of different demons and humans. The infant's shield is named Mōryōmaru. After Kagura dies, Sesshōmaru accepts the fighting Tenseiga to destroy Naraku in order to make sure that she hadn't died in vain. Sesshōmaru then obtains Bakusaiga which allows him to help Inuyasha and the others destroy Naraku.
At first, Sesshōmaru appeared to be annoyed with Kagura's constant appearances because he felt as though he had no obligation to be "used" to fight Naraku so that she could be free. Eventually, her visits would be useful as she provided him with information on Naraku's whereabouts.
After getting injured by Goryōmaru's light cannons, she falls into a river near Sesshōmaru. Initially, he rejects Jaken and Rin's proposal of helping her but after both of his companions fall into the water in an attempt to save her, he saves all three of them. He stayed with her afterwards and warned her not to do anything that would get her killed. It is hinted that Kagura had romantic feelings for Sesshōmaru, as she landed in the spot that she did to see him "one last time before she died."
When fighting against Mōryōmaru, both he and Sesshōmaru pick up on the scent of Kagura's blood. Mōryōmaru laughs and jokes about how Kagura will have died in vain. This notion angers Sesshōmaru and he breaks Tokijin while attacking Moryoumaru; it also gives him the energy to break free from Mōryōmaru's grasp. After Mōryōmaru flees, Sesshōmaru finds Kagura, who is slowly dying in a field of flowers as a result of Naraku's miasma. Feeling as though it is too good to be true, Kagura asks Sesshōmaru if he thought he would find Naraku there but Sesshōmaru responds that he knew it was Kagura. After hearing this, Kagura was able to die in peace, knowing that in that instant, Sesshōmaru had cared about her well-being. While it is unknown as to whether or not Kagura's feelings for him were unrequited, Sesshōmaru's concern for her after smelling her blood in battle with Mōryōmaru triggered his Tenseiga to become ready to be forged into a weapon. During his battle with Mōryōmaru, he became noticeably angry when Mōryōmaru insulted her memory. Tōtōsai explains that something in Sesshōmaru's heart had changed as he felt the sorrow and anger of losing someone. After learning the Meidō Zangetsuha for the first time, a breeze blows and Sesshōmaru decides that he, Sesshōmaru, will decide whether or not Kagura died in vain.
Bokusenō is the only one of the Inu no Taishō's former friends that actually gets along with Sesshōmaru. Bokusenō is therefore the only one that Sesshōmaru can ask for information about his father's swords, as both Tōtōsai and Myōga are much too afraid to meet with him. Whenever Sesshōmaru encounters Tōtōsai, Sesshōmaru usually ends up threatening his life or attempting to kill him when Tōtōsai refuses to cooperate with him. However, when he is with Bokusenō, Sesshōmaru treats the tree with respect and drops his normal haughty tone with which he usually speaks to people. Bokusenō holds Sesshōmaru's powers in high esteem and agrees with Sesshōmaru when the latter states dismissively that it would be impossible for him to ever to be cornered in a desperate situation. It would appear as if Sesshōmaru meets with Bokusenō frequently, as Tōtōsai deciding to leave the Tenseiga with Bokusenō indicates that he thought that Bokusenō was the surest way to get the sword to Sesshōmaru without actually giving it to him directly, suggesting that Sesshōmaru visits Bokusenō with some frequency. Bokusenō reacts to Sesshōmaru's visits with mirth and is always willing to give him whatever information he requires. Despite the fact that Bokusenō maybe the closest thing Sesshōmaru has to a friend, it may not be that they actually consider each other friends, since Jaken refers to Bokusenō as "your father's friend" rather than "your friend." Nevertheless, Bokusenō seems to be the only demon besides Jaken & A-Un that Sesshōmaru gets along with, as he treats all of his other acquaintances, including his own mother, with disdain.
Because of her affiliation with Inuyasha, and his hatred for all humans in general, Sesshōmaru had little regard for Kagome. Kagome reacted angrily surprised when she realized that an attack by him in the remains of his and Inuyasha's father was intended to kill her. For his part, Sesshōmaru found Inuyasha's mere association with a human yet another reason to despise him. Over the course of the series in both the manga and anime, Sesshōmaru demonstrates a change of heart he will admit to no one. He begins to look out for her, protecting her from enemies such as Mukotsu and Naraku. Part of his grudging acceptance of her and his half-brother Inuyasha comes from his companionship with Rin. Nevertheless, his tolerance remains "a work in progress."
In a hilarious scene in the conclusion of both the manga and anime, three years after Naraku's defeat Kagome reveals her relationship with Inuyasha to all, including the readers and viewers. Sesshōmaru flies over the village after visiting Rin and merely mutters a "hrrm!" when Jaken remarks she has returned. The excited Kagome yells to him with "お兄さん" (onīsan, "big brother"), meaning she is his sister-in-law. This startles him and he glares back at her. Kagome is surprised at his "dirty look" and an embarrassed Inuyasha admits that address does not "sound right."
In the anime version, Jaken becomes offended at Kagome's familiar address, but Sesshōmaru interrupts and commands his silence lest he kill him. Both versions suggest that Sesshōmaru does indeed accept Kagome, but he is not ready to admit it.
After having his left arm severed by Inuyasha as a result of his attempt to claim the Tessaiga for his own, Sesshōmaru sought a place to recover and passed through the Asano Castle (a two episode anime special). The Asano Clan happened to be on the brink of losing to an enemy, however, Sesshōmaru easily cut though the enemy lines with this claws on his way to find refuge. Princess Sara fell in love with Sesshōmaru at first sight when their eyes met as she saw him defeat her clan's enemies. As he rested, Sara hid behind trees and gazed at Sesshōmaru, often listening to his unconscious mutterings about wanting the Tessaiga. Later on, Sara became terminally ill and spent her final days in a convent with nuns after the Asano Castle was burnt down by her own father, who was driven insane after witnessing Sesshōmaru's strength. Like Onigumo, in Sara's final moments, she was visited by demons who explained to her that if she gave them her body, they would help her destroy Inuyasha, whom she had heard outside and recalled Sesshōmaru's previous words about wanting the Tessaiga. She gave into the demons and asked Sesshōmaru that if she were to fulfill his wish, that he would acknowledge her feelings for him. Sesshōmaru told her to do as she pleased. After presenting a stolen Tessaiga to Sesshōmaru, he rejected the stolen sword and revealed that he had no interest in such a thing. The demons then took over Sara's body and aimed to kill Sesshōmaru. Showing compassion, Sesshōmaru destroyed the demons within Sara, allowing her soul to be saved. He placed her flute in her ashes and told her to continue playing her flute in the netherworld.
There is barely any interaction between Kikyō and Sesshōmaru, however in Affections Touching Across Time, they briefly encounter and Sesshōmaru asks her if she loathes Kagome or if she is "testing her". Kikyō responds that she despises all things and living creatures bound to time. Sesshōmaru tells her to do as she sees fit but states that he will be the one to kill Inuyasha. On Mount Hakurei, Kikyō shoots an arrow into the evil form of Suikotsu, saving both his good side and Rin. Sesshōmaru is familiar with her scent, because when Kohaku wants to go and make sure that the Kikyō is all right, Sesshōmaru informs him of her demise.
There was barely any interaction between the Sesshōmaru and the demon slayer. Sango was the one to inform Sesshōmaru that Rin was unconscious because of Magatsuhi's poison making him hurry back to Rin's side. During the final battle with Naraku, he becomes very angry with her after overhearing how she was willing to kill Rin in order to defeat Naraku and save Miroku in the process. She begs him to wait to kill her until after Naraku has been defeated. It seems that Sesshōmaru was indeed going to tear her apart after the fight, but decided to leave her in peace after seeing her give Rin her gas mask to protect her from the poison and apologizing to her.
Manga vs. Anime
- The energy whip of light is exclusive to the anime. In most of the scenes where Sesshōmaru uses the whip of light in the anime, in the manga he instead used his Mokomoko.
- Sesshōmaru's first handful of appearances in the manga have a somewhat childish illustration, and he is shown smiling and mocking his enemies frequently. This part of his personality starts to fade little by little after he has his arm severed by Inuyasha. However, in the anime he is cold and rarely shows emotion from his very first appearance.
- "Let us see what a half-demon like you can do with the purity of the Tessaiga... against the equal purity of Sesshōmaru."
- "Certainly these feelings of mercy of yours are not something I inherited from our great and terrible father."
- "All that for a memory and a dead mortal girl? If I'd have known that's what it would take for you to fight, I would have killed her sooner."
- "Big words, for such small vermin."
- "You fool! Don't think that you could ever escape my grasp!"
- "What are you smiling about? I simply asked a question. I don't care, I'm just curious."
- "I despise the fact that my father's blood flows through your veins, half-breed!"
- "Do you dare imply that this useless sword is worthy of me?"
- "You should be grateful. You will be destroyed with my Father's fang."
- "What, have you altered your combat strategy? Usually you charge at me blindly with great haste."
- "I couldn't save her? Tenseiga. I let you die for this thing. Nothing is worth the cost of Rin's life!"
- "I have never considered that half-demon my brother!"
- "You haven't even released the full power of the Tessaiga. Watch as I, Sesshōmaru, destroy 100 demons with one sweep."
- "Do as you see fit. Though I warn you, I shall be the one who destroys Inuyasha."
- "She was smiling."
- "Going to absorb my demonic power, are you? What a joke. You are too small a vessel to hold a power like mine!"
- "Your primitive concoctions are no match for my superior powers."
- "I walk the path of supreme conquest, and it is power that will reveal the way for me."
- "You were born ignorant, and you live as a miserable half-demon."
- "And you call yourself a god? Ridiculous."
- According to Rumiko Takahashi, Sesshōmaru's name means "killing perfection", though it can also be translated as "the perfect killer/assassin", "circle of destruction" or "complete destruction of life".
- Sesshōmaru makes an appearance as a concept art in the front pages of Chapter 9, before he was introduced as a character.
- Sesshōmaru's character and looks change as the manga progresses to what his anime version has. He had a childish face and always used to mock his enemies, but this changes after Inuyasha cuts his left arm. He looks masculine, rarely smiles and always hides his emotions. His clothes and armor also change as the manga progresses.
- His mokomoko-sama grows considerably over the course of the manga, going from a relatively small band of fur to a massive bunch of fur that drags behind him as he walks.
- Sesshōmaru only transforms into his true appearance three times in the series: Once when fighting Inuyasha over the Tessaiga for the first time, once when greeting his mother, and once when fighting Magatsuhi.
- It is stated in Episode 162, Sesshōmaru doesn't know when Inuyasha loses his powers as a half-demon and becomes a human when Inuyasha hid behind the shadows when Kagome, Miroku, Sango, Shippo and Kirara encountered Jaken on his search for Rin and Sesshomaru.
- Early in the manga, he was appearing smiling a lot. As the manga goes on, he hides his emotions and rarely smiles, becoming more like his character is portrayed in the anime.
- The pattern on Sesshōmaru's kimono is based upon an actual crest of a samurai clan known as the Azai.
- In The Holy Pearl, a Chinese live action loosely based on InuYasha, Sesshōmaru is paralleled by a character named Wu Dao.
- In the InuYasha Profiles book, Sesshōmaru is described as, "Beautifully chilling. The strongest demon in the Warring States era."
- ↑ InuYasha Profiles, page 161
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 99
- ↑ InuYasha Profiles, page 163
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 44
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 45
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 51
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 79
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 InuYasha anime; Episode 80
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 InuYasha anime; Episode 81
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 InuYasha anime; Episode 7
- ↑ InuYasha manga; Chapter 466
- ↑ InuYasha manga; Chapter 515
- ↑ Note: It is red in the anime.
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 143
- ↑ InuYasha manga; Chapter 423
- ↑ InuYasha manga; Chapter 514
- ↑ InuYasha manga; Chapter 503, page 17
- ↑ InuYasha manga; Chapter 518
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 79
- ↑ InuYasha anime; Episode 5
- ↑ InuYasha manga; Chapter 471
- ↑ InuYasha the Movie: Swords of an Honorable Ruler
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 InuYasha The Final Act anime; Episode 9
- ↑ InuYasha manga; Chapter 9, page 3
- ↑ InuYasha The Final Act anime; Episode 17
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