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The Seven Treasures
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Shippō (七宝, "The Seven Treasures") was an orphaned young fox demon who attempted to steal Shikon no Tama shards from the miko Kagome Higurashi and the hanyō Inuyasha, wanting to become much stronger and avenge his father's death at the hands of The Thunder Brothers. Though his plan fails, Kagome and Inuyasha aid him after hearing his story, and he becomes their companion for the rest of the series.
Shippō normally appears to be a young boy with certain fox-like features: his legs, feet, ears, and tail. He can shapeshift, but his other forms (such as a large pink flying balloon and mushroom) are temporary and often ineffective, usually given away by his lingering fox tail. He can also create illusory duplicates of himself, as well as weak fox-fire magic and toy-based tricks such as his giant spinning top attack.
Naively observant, he often directs cheeky comments to Inuyasha, usually earning himself a smack on the head. Inuyasha and Kagome serve as older sibling figures to Shippō. Because of his small size, Shippō often rides on Kirara or the shoulders of others, as well as getting beat up by Inuyasha in almost every episode. When he does travel on the ground, he drops to all fours if he wants to run quickly. His actual age is never stated in the series; according to the official InuYasha guide by Rumiko Takahashi, his appearance is equivalent to that of a seven-year-old boy.
Three years later following the defeat of Naraku, Shippō resides in Kaede's village, but often leaves to train and take the kitsune demon examination to become a full-fledged fox demon of even higher rank.
Shippō, as a fox demon, carries features of both human and fox. Shippō is very small in stature with brown-auburn hair, green eyes, and a cream-colored, fluffy tail. He wears blue pants, a turquoise shirt patterned with leaves, and a tan vest with a thin black belt. His feet look like those of a fox, therefore he never wears shoes. His hair is kept up in a small ponytail with a turquoise bow. Shippō's ears are narrow and pointed, as is with most demons like Sesshōmaru and Kōga.
He has a small body but a strong spirit. Although Shippō is a demon, his pure spirit knows no corruption. He has only recently opened his eyes to love, but with his knowledge and bravery, his feelings for his comrades are first and foremost. His spirit is still growing so it's overall size is small.
Shippō has a strong will to follow through on things once he makes a decision. For example, he fought the Thunder Brothers, Manten and Hiten, even though he knew their powers were far greater than his own. He would sometimes go into battle, shaking with fear, but pushing himself to stay and fight. Kagome and Inuyasha helped Shippō exact revenge for his father's death and, touched by their gentleness and bravery, a dauntless strength and spirit began to grow inside of him. Despite being an innocent child, he has a strong will for revenge if anyone close to him is hurt.
Since he usually forgets he is a demon, he is often afraid and hides behind his comrades when threatened. Most of the time, Shippō is easily scared by other, more ferocious, demons. However, when it comes to a showdown, he has the courage to confront the most dreadful enemies and dangerous situations. He fights bravely for his friends, overcoming his fears. In spite of his youth, he has an unwavering toughness in his heart.
More than anything else, just being with everyone makes Shippō happy. It is harder for him to be apart from them than it is to travel with them in dangerous situations or to experience adversity. For Shippō, who lost his parents, his companions are now as good as family to him. Shippō expresses his feelings honestly to them without hiding anything which often strengthened their bonds. For example, when Inuyasha fell off a cliff in his human form, Shippō sobbed uncontrollably despite being in the presence of others.
Shippō is sharp and extremely perceptive, allowing him to analyze any situation. Many times his wits have saved them from a variety of dangers. He understands his own capabilities well, and because he is willing to do whatever he can in any given situation, he is able to apply them to good effect.
Shippō thinks he is already a fine grown-up. He sometimes surprises people with his mature remarks and actions, which are unimaginable based on his looks. He once treated Inuyasha as an incompetent (due to being in human form) and openly declared he would protect everyone by himself.
Shippō usually has good judgement, and his words and actions are usually adult-like. He is, in fact, quite young. Having the indiscretion of a child, he sometimes shows a more simple and childish side.
He is sensitive to his companions' feelings. With a gentle heart, he tries to act as a go-between. He employs a variety of methods, like pushing stubborn friends from behind or resolving misunderstandings in his own way. He most often pushed Kagome and Inuyasha together, though he did do the same with Miroku and Sango as well on some occasions. He tries hard to cheer up the ones he loves. An example, is that Shippō transformed into an exaggeration of Sango when she's mad, to show Miroku what she was really feeling despite wearing a calm and collected expression.
Shippō had always been busy worrying about the love relationships between his friends and offering his support, but when he met a certain girl he awoke to romantic feelings of his own. Through those feelings he came to know the importance of feeling love for others. Shippō's first crush was Satsuki, who he decided to separate from since he had been the one who put her in danger.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Shippō is arguably the weakest member of the group. Despite this, his sense of courage allows him help his companions when no one else is able to help them. Because he is weak, in terms of raw power, he has to rely on forms of trickery that is usually meant to either distract stronger enemies or at least buy time for his comrades. Shippō uses toys he grabs from under his clothes, such as:
- Snake Toy Transformation: The toy snake he possesses is transformed into a large snake, usually attacking the opponent. It is only an illusion, and is discovered quickly.
- Enhanced Biting: The ability to strongly bite an enemy's vital points using his sharp teeth as a deadly offensive weapon. It is his last resort and does not cause much damage. In one episode, he does an attack called "Heart Scar" which is presented when Shippō's heart got broken over a girl, although the same thing as biting, his mouth and body glows red. It seems to have quite a strong burning effect on the opponent.
- Firebombs: An explosive weapon thrown at his enemies. The bombs confuse his enemies with their loud noise, but the ones he makes are no more than firecrackers.
- Signals: The skill of throwing magic Weeping Mushroom spores or Spinning Acorns that can send signals to his companions through their cries. He uses them in emergencies to call for help or to give out his location by leaving a trail. Although the Weeping Mushroom Spores and Spinning Acorns are used for signals, Shippō has thrown them at enemies in an offensive manner.
- Fox Magic: The skill to create illusions and make someone feel pain and/or weight as if it were real. This technique is highly effective in stopping enemies in their tracks.
- Doppelganger: The skill to reproduce himself with a doppelganger technique using leaves. If a doppelganger receives impact, it makes a popping noise and bursts like a balloon. They can confuse enemies so Shippō can go for reinforcements and they can increase their numbers for a concerted attack.
- Foxfire: The ability to create incredibly hot greenish fire with demonic skills. It has next to no burn effect on opponents, but it can burn things like spider webs. It can neutralize fire from enemies, making it more of a defensive spell than an attack. The flame can be turned blue and can be held in his hand as a torch, such as when he is in caves or dark areas. This is also his main attack. Foxfire can be used as a shield, too. This was first shown when the fur of Shippō's deceased father created Foxfire to protect Shippō and Kagome from Hiten's thunderbolts. This ability also made its debut in the tenth episode of the series.
- Transformation: The ability to transform into animals or look the same as someone else by putting a leaf onto his head. However, when Shippō's memories are vague, it is sometimes impossible to tell what he has transformed into. He imagines himself becoming something much greater than what he actually becomes, usually forgetting to hide his tail. However, Shippō has been able to transform into Miroku without any flaws. He can also appear as Kagome, usually with his tail though. It's been seen in one episode that he can take on the figure of a teenage girl yet keep his own face (with the appearance of makeup) and tail. He is better at transforming into humans than animals, but it does not last very long. He is also able to transform to a pink balloon-like shape with limited flying ability to carry one light person, like Kagome. Although this is not much, it is a big improvement, seeing as he originally was not able to even carry one person. In Movie 4, the opening shows that Shippō could even transform into a faster flying bird if he wanted to.
- Leaf Flying: He can fly by transforming leaves into bigger leaves that people can ride on. However, leaves can only drift on wind and cannot fly on their own, so they can only be used for coming down from high places.
- Toy Horse Running: The skill to turn a small horse into a life-size one. It can fly and is quite fast, but is also small and so, is only suitable for one rider. The toy horse is made up of Spinning Acorns. It can be broken back down into individual signals. In the anime, instead of having the horse, he actually turns into the horse. Sometimes he can have the horse though.
Picking Up Familiar TraitsEdit
Shippō has fallen in love with several girls along his journey with the others, even meeting girls in nearly every village they visit later in the series. In one episode, this is pointed out. Both Sango and Kagome both believe this is because he has spent so much time around Miroku, he's picked up his flirtatious habits. However, he is still a shy boy around the girls he likes. He seems to have picked up a bit of Miroku's wisdom, warning others when it's best to not irritate Inuyasha.
Also, Shippō's temper appears to be similar to that of Inuyasha, who constantly gives him a beating for misbehaving or simply annoying him. In the fourth InuYasha movie, Shippō hits Roku and Dai on their heads for shooting off their mouths when his friends are doing their best to help them; this shocks Inuyasha, who was about to hit them again.
Shippō has also picked up on Kagome's heroic sense of justice when it comes to saving or helping someone in need. With a kind heart, he cannot turn the other way if there is something wrong, much like Kagome. Although he would sometimes help a guy, he would always come to the aid of a girl. It's due to the fact that he does have morals, and spends so much time around Kagome.
Shippō and His FriendsEdit
Shippō thinks of his friends like family. In some episodes, when the group has a place to stay, Shippō usually sleeps with Kagome. In several episodes, Shippō bathes with Sango and Kagome. The first time Shippō does this (before we meet Miroku, Sango, and Kirara) he even suggests that Inuyasha join them. When Shippō's family was alive, they would all bathe together; this shows that Shippō thinks of his comrades as family.
Shippō and Kirara seem to have a close relationship. Shippō talks to Kirara, and sometimes rides on her back, and they are often seen spending time together. In one episode, Sango gets so very angry (thinking of what she would do if Miroku went off with another woman; although the conversation was about Inuyasha and Kikyō), causing both Shippō and Kirara to hug each other tightly out of fear.
Not a Raccoon-dogEdit
Several times in the series, Shippō is mistaken for a raccoon dog. This is because he is small and has a round body. The difference is their tails. Although Hachi, the raccoon-dog, looks nothing like Shippō as seen in the series; some yokai look more human than others.
Shippō and Kagome have a brother-sister like relationship. More so motherly than sisterly though, for she always gives him treats and snacks, and does things to make him content. In one episode, when everybody is starving, Inuyasha and Shippō fought over the last stick of fish. Inuyasha ended up hitting Shippō, took the last fish, and ate it triumphantly. Kagome willingly gave Shippō her own fish, though she hadn't eaten anything yet. It is shown that he favors her more than the rest, mostly because they are so close. He usually seeks her out when scared or trying to get away from Inuyasha after upsetting him. When Inuyasha isn't around to normally carry her on his back, Shippō would transform into the pink ball and transport her instead. Shippō is always seen with Kagome in almost every situation, except when she and Inuyasha are fighting; that's when he's with Sango, most likely. He picks Kagome's side over Inuyasha's, any day, as seen when he makes remarks about how stupid Inuyasha is for running off to Kikyō. Also, when Inuyasha pushed Kagome into the well and back to her own time, Shippō seemed to be more upset than Inuyasha or Miroku, and said he vowed to never speak to Inuyasha ever again. The promise didn't hold true, because a short time later he came running to Inuyasha for help while being chased by wolves. Shippō is often traveling on Kagome's shoulder when Inuyasha runs. Generally, whenever Kagome goes back to her own time period, Shippō is seen anxiously waiting for her to return at the Well.Kirara Come Home", Shippō keeps an eye on his friend, keeping track of what selfish actions Inuyasha, Kagome and Miroku use her for. Sometimes Shippō is seen sleeping with her when they have to sleep outside at night. When Sango spoke of what violent things she would do if she were in Kagome's position, the two held onto each other in fear. Usually when Miroku and Sango ever fight, or Inuyasha and Kagome, Kirara and Shippō are always together. Sometimes when all four of them are fighting over a situation ridiculously, Kirara and Shippō both have to deal with the older ones acting immature. The reason they get along so well may have to do with the fact that they are both demons.
Sango has taken the role of an older sister/aunt-like figure. The two are usually together when Inuyasha and Kagome are having their fights. Along with Sango, he is disgusted by Miroku's perverted habits. Shippō has great fear of Sango when she's angry, more so than Inuyasha (who is almost constantly in a bad mood); he tends to cower in fear when she snaps. Much like he does to Kagome and Inuyasha's relationship, Shippō tries to convey Sango's feelings of hurt/wrath to Miroku to try and get him to realize what his flirting is doing to Sango. Sango is more likely to scold and point out what Shippō is doing wrong, than Kagome is. Shippō is often worried for Sango when she is injured and continues to fight, though she dismisses it. Sango is generally amused with Shippō and his childish actions or sometimes mature comments. The two genuinely care about each other, and Sango always ends up saving him when Inuyasha focuses more on Kagome.
Shippō tends to think of Miroku as a perverted older brother or somewhat uncle type figure. Miroku is shown several times trying to educate Shippō in his "ways", but is stopped by Kagome if his explanations are a bit too adult. That's probably why Shippō ends up meeting a girl in nearly every village, due to Miroku's influence. Shippō often sits on Miroku's shoulder when traveling, on or off Kirara; he also respects how educated Miroku is about demons and the ways of the world. A running gag is that Shippō calls Miroku an idiot when one of his perverted actions causes Sango to retaliate with a slap to the face. He's disgusted by Miroku's pervertedness, and tries to get him to see what his flirting is doing to Sango. Shippō appears to listen more to what Miroku is saying instead of Inuyasha, since he knows Miroku is knowledgeable. But he almost always ends up exasperated and in disbelief when Miroku would lead the conversation to something a bit inappropriate. Nonetheless, these two watch out for each other on and off battle, making sure the other is okay and safe.
Since meeting, Shippō has come to see the elderly priestess as a grandmother-like figure. As she has lived much longer and has more life experience, Shippō usually asks her for advice when either Inuyasha and Kagome or Miroku and Sango are having a fight. He stays with her most of the time when they rest in the village. He likes to draw pictures and show them to her, or to just talk with her about what happened on their journey. As shown in the credits of InuYasha the Movie: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass, Shippō enjoys coming up with stories to tell Kaede, even if they are lies.
Shippō appears to get along well with Myōga; however, like everyone else, he hates when Myōga runs away from danger. Observant, Shippō can tell where it's safest by where Myōga has positioned himself. As Shippō explains in the first movie, his father taught him to respect his elders, hence why he tolerates Myōga.
- Miroku and Sango's children
Shippō has been seen helping keep an eye on them for his friends when their attention is needed elsewhere, laughing that the twins treat Inuyasha like a toy. However, he doesn't like them treating him the same way; Inuyasha dropped the twins on Shippō, telling them to "go slay the fox."
- "They call me 'Shippō, the fox demon of justice'. Followed by my vassals, Inuyasha and others, I roam the countryside conquering evil demons. Strong as I am, even I have to take a break from time to time, to rest my weary body. But not for long, because trouble always beckons."
- "I have been challenged to a duel to the death. Yes, it was just another day in my life as a brave warrior!"
- "Inuyasha, are you ready to take the blame if Kagome's bottom gets deformed!?"
- "Oh, I knew it. You really are hopeless when Kagome isn't around."
- "Maybe I'm just not strong enough to defeat him. Don't I have what it takes to fight like my friends do?"
- "I gotta keep it together!"
- The seven treasures referred to by Shippō's name are: gold, silver, pearls, agate, crystal, coral, lapis lazuli.
- Shippō, along with Inuyasha, Miroku, and Kagome make a cameo appearance in Ranma 1/2 OVA Episode 13. During one of Akane's nightmares, Shippō's dead body is seen on top of Inuyasha's dead body located to Akane's left. He also has a lump on his head, which is usually inflicted by Inuyasha smacking Shippō on the head.
- Shippō's love interests were all humans: Satsuki, Koume and Mizuki.
- Shippō never changes clothes, and he is always seen barefoot.