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I seek nothing more than to battle the most powerful beings alive, which excludes the lowly likes of you.
~ Sesshomaru

Sesshōmaru is a major antagonist-turned-supporting protagonist in the anime/manga series Inuyasha. He is a powerful dog daiyōkai who is feared throughout the feudal world, the older half-brother of the hanyō Inuyasha and the first son to the Inu no Taishō, their father. Unlike many other yōkai, he has no interest in possessing even one shard of the Shikon no Tama to enhance his powers. On his journey, he is accompanied by a two-headed dragon named A-Un, a demon imp named Jaken, and an orphaned human girl named Rin.

He is voiced by Ken Narita in the Japanese version of the anime and David Kaye in the English version. In the English dub of The Final Act, he is voiced by Michael Dangerfield.

Appearance

Humanoid form Sesshōmaru appears handsome and frail-looking at the same time, appearing as a tall and slender young man. He has fair skin with pointy ears, golden eyes with slit pupils, and waist-length white hair with short bangs. He has a crescent moon on his forehead that can be seen beneath his bangs, two stripes on each cheek, and a magenta stripe on each eyelid. When he uses his Dakkoso three stripes appear on his wrists.

Yōkai form Sesshōmaru's true form is a giant white dog with markings similar to the ones he has in his human form. His eyes become red with blue irises; the yōkai marks on his body widen and become more apparent the stripes on his cheeks which are usually smooth become jagged and change into a somewhat fiercer color while his mokomoko wraps around his body and extends into his tail. He only fully transforms to his yōkai form three times: during a battle with Inuyasha, which results in the loss of his left arm, again when he meets his mother, and finally during the battle against Magatsuhi.

Sesshōmaru's armor includes a spiked pauldron that covers his left shoulder attached to the upper section of his cuirass and "lotus petal" faulds. When damaged, the armor automatically regenerates itself using yōki. Both his armor and his long flowing sash have a decided Chinese influence, as opposed to the customary Japanese armor and obi. His kimono is mostly white with a red and white cherry blossom flower crest at the collar and sleeves, showing that he is of royal birth. He wears sashinuki hakama which are gathered at the ankles, producing a "ballooning" effect. His footwear consists of black ankle-high boots, also reminiscent of Mainland influence. On his right shoulder is his mokomoko-sama: the fur and tail of his true form which he retains in his humanoid form.

In the 3rd movie it is seen in his younger year he worn a similar but different outfit. His kimono was cream color and had leaf patterns, and a blue sash belt.

Personality

Sesshōmaru, born of a great demon bloodline, possesses the perfect power that many demons desire. Because of this he is always composed and confident in his power.

His air of aloofness and indifference is a product of dignity that only one of such rare demonic power may possess. Sesshōmaru is more or less emotionless; only anger, annoyance, and dissatisfaction showing on his face. Because both his heart and body are so strong, he had no desire whatsoever for the Shikon Jewel. He had absolute confidence in his power, so he did not need the Shikon Jewel and doesn't have to conspire with allies. Sesshōmaru even responded sarcastically towards Naraku, who had assumed an air of impudence due to his increased demon 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. Once he had realized their weak point, their attacks were futile.

Sesshōmaru is obsessively proud of his father the Inu no Taishō, of whom the whole demon world was in awe. Because he respects his bloodline so much, he despises Inuyasha as well as Inuyasha's human mother Izayoi. He insults Naraku, who tried to take advantage of Sesshōmaru's power. All that his father left him was a dull sword that wouldn't cut anything. Anger welled up in his heart for not being able to use Tenseiga, which was left by his father, whom he highly respects. Sesshōmaru held resentment towards his father for having left Tessaiga to Inuyasha, whose power was weaker than his own. However, over time, Sesshōmaru comes to grasp why his father gave him Tenseiga and lets go of his disgust towards his half-brother, even showing concern for him in rare moments. He was also secretly angry that Naraku, who was assembled by demons far lower in level than Sesshōmaru, used abusive language and disrespect towards him. Sesshōmaru had stated that he seeks 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 is not a sword he would miss if he lost if not for his father.

Sesshōmaru felt nothing for others, sneering and dismissing humane feelings. Anyone in his way is an enemy whom he will exterminate without hesitation. He does not hold back his power, even against women. He rationalizes that all his prey is the same and defeats them accordingly. For one with such pride in his power, cooperation is proof of weakness and being alone is a condition for the strong. Once he judges someone as an obstacle, he is quick to kill without hesitation.

He used to feel nothing for anyone, but meeting various people, such as the ever-changing Inuyasha, Naraku with his numerous proposals, and all-alone 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 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 has a very inquiring mind when there is something he cares about, but at the same time, he had almost no tenacity of purpose. If he becomes interested in something else, he will arbitrarily turn his back on what he's doing, even during battle. Just like his fighting style, he is quick to make decisions and act on then immediately.

The encounter with Rin awakened him as the true user of Tenseiga. The smile and fleeting life of this young girl who tried to save him caused Sesshōmaru to change for the first time. The will of his father, who cared for humans, has finally been passed to his oldest son. Sesshōmaru used to leave anything behind that might bind him but he has slowly but surely changed. Sesshōmaru genuinely cares about Rin and Jaken and while he rarely shows it, he does appreciate their loyalty. Sesshōmaru originally held much contempt towards protecting the weak, seeing it as a waste of time and ridiculous. Unlike the Inu no Taishō and Inuyasha, Sesshōmaru has trouble admitting he had people to protect (Rin and Jaken) and out of pride, would never admit that he does, as Sword of An Honorable Ruler showed. Another trait of Sesshōmaru is one he shares with his younger brother. Both have tempers and are very easy to annoy (Inuyasha being loud in his anger, Sesshōmaru being subtle) as he has been known to hit Jaken when he says something that displeases him, similar to how Inuyasha is with Shippō.

Growing Compassion

Sesshōmaru, who previously was a cold-hearted, arrogant, and extremely powerful daiyōkai was humbled by his "worthless half-breed" brother, Inuyasha, who used the sword to cut off his left arm. In another incident, Sesshōmaru had used his poison claws against Inuyasha, temporarily blinding him. Having sensed the clashing of the two yōki, Inuyasha unknowingly used the Wind Scar against Sesshōmaru. The Tenseiga prevented a possible fatality and transported the daiyōkai's battered body. Sesshōmaru quickly rested for the time-being in a forest near a village, where he first met the orphan girl, Rin.

He was cared for by Rin during his rehabilitation from injury. He was initially hostile to the mute girl, who offered him food, by refusing to eat and telling her to "mind her own business." However, the little child continued to serve him. Once he recovered, he set off with Jaken, but he sensed Rin's blood scent when she was attacked and mauled by Kōga's wolves; he was initially going to ignore her but when Tenseiga pulsed and told him to save her he used Tenseiga to resurrect her, whereupon she began to follow him. This incident proved to be the turning point in his life as it dramatically transformed his attitude towards everyone else. This was apparent when Rin was seen wearing new and colorful kimono later. When Rin falls off to the cliff in the process of getting life-saving herbs for Jaken, Sesshōmaru comes in a bolt of light to save her after she called out his name. In Forever With Lord Sesshōmaru, after Sesshōmaru saves Rin, he asks Rin to do what she wishes. This is not at all typical of Sesshōmaru, as he was usually shown to leave Jaken at times before he met Rin. Jaken is even shown to be mumbling that "Lord Sesshōmaru will kill him if something happens to Rin," obviously showing his concern for the girl's safety. Sesshōmaru, while fighting Jakotsu, rushes off to rescue Rin, who fell when the bridge broke. Jakotsu notes that Rin is Sesshōmaru's weak point. Exploiting this fact, Suikotsu and Jakotsu threatens to kill Rin when they are cornered. Sesshōmaru even saves Kohaku, Rin's best friend and protector, who was under Naraku's control, under the behest of Inuyasha and his friends. These are some of the many traces of compassion that Sesshōmaru displays.

Sesshōmaru's compassion for Rin is evident, but he prefers to disguise it, because it would taint his pride. However, he shows his love and concern for Rin when she appears to be dead due to her time in Hell. Sesshōmaru enters Hell for the purpose of rescuing her, but upon learning that he cannot save her life, he is crushed. When he realizes that it was his urge to strengthen Tenseiga which brought them to Hell and ultimately killed her, he casts the sword aside and says that for the sword to gain power at the expense of Rin's life means nothing. However, when Sesshōmaru's mother revives Rin, he is seems to be relieved. Finally the will of his father, who cared for humans, has been passed to his son.

When Kagura was injured, Sesshōmaru originally intended to leave her in the river she was drowning in, but when Rin falls in trying to save her and Jaken follows Rin, Sesshōmaru pulls all three from the river. He stayed there afterwards and warned her not to do anything that would get her killed. Later however, before Kagura's death, Sesshōmaru seeks her out and considers using the Tenseiga, only to conclude that Tenseiga cannot save her.

He has also been shown saving Inuyasha's friends on several occasions. On his way to Mount Hakurei, Sesshōmaru saves Kagome, Miroku, and Sango from the poison master Mukotsu, one of the Band of Seven but only claims that he killed Mukotsu because he would not answer his questions. He also revives a young otter yōkai's father, claiming that it was the will of Tenseiga. Another example is when Inuyasha and his companions are involved in a fight with the "water god" Numawatari: when Sesshōmaru arrives, he insults Inuyasha's inability to kill a "low life yōkai," and then easily dispatches Numawatari using his Meidō Zangetsuha ability, leaving straight after.

Also, when Byakuya, Naraku's newest incarnation, is about to take Kohaku, who had one of the last three shards of the Shikon Jewel, back to Naraku, Sesshōmaru appears and launches a ranged Meidō Zangetsuha (still in the crescent moon shape), barely missing him. Byakuya flees, claiming that he does not want to die, and comments on how it is so unlike Sesshōmaru to save someone. Thereafter, Sesshōmaru seems to have taken Kohaku under his protection, albeit in his typical grudging demon-slayer fashion. Later, when Kohaku's shard gets tainted by Magatsuhi, Sesshōmaru attempts to save Kohaku at the expense of great injury to his arm.

It is his compassion that caused the 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 angers Sesshōmaru and he shatters Mōryōmaru's indestructible shell (and his only weapon in the process). Acknowledging the yōkai's growth because he is defending a dead person, Tenseiga called to its creator to reforge it as a weapon. 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 and recognizing his brother's worth as the heir to the sword.

He refused to use Bakusaiga on Inuyasha when even Magatsuhi noted it was the obvious choice to make and in the third movie Swords of an Honorable Ruler it is hinted that he actually does care about Inuyasha but refuses to admit it when he is protecting him from the Sō’unga's "Dragon Twister" attack.

Despite his growing compassion, he, like his brother, uses impolite Japanese. He addresses strangers or people he does not like with "kisama," which, like "temee," is an offensive form of "you," though still more formal. He addresses himself with the polite "watashi", signifying his high rank and power. Other than "kisama," he uses "omae," either to Jaken or to Inuyasha, the latter being occasionally and not rarely. Thus, he can be insulting while retaining the dignified speech pattern of a lord, as opposed to the rougher speech used by Inuyasha.

Powers and Abilities

Sesshomaru is widely considered one of the (if not the) most powerful characters in the series, who has a plethora of techniques at his disposal. Because of said power, many characters compared his power to be near equal to that of his father's.

Expert Swordsmanship

Hand to Hand Combatant

Immense Strength

Immense Speed

Immense Endurance

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.

Keen Intellect

Keen Senses

Demonic Power

  • Immunity

Immense Regeneration

Immense Longevity

Transformation

  • True Demon Form
  • Light Orb Form

Trivia

  • Sesshomaru's name means "killing perfection", which is fitting considering how powerful he is.
  • Sesshomaru has transformed into his true form 3 times in the series:
    1. He transformed to test Inuyasha power with the Tessaiga.
    2. He transformed to greet his mother
    3. He transformed during his battle with Magatsuhi
  • In Episode 45, he admitted to feeling fear when Inuaysha transformed into his demon form. Although he got over it in Episode 52.
  • It's unknown if his Mokomoko fur is a part of his body, although according to the Inuyasha: Profile Book makes it very likely.
  • Despite his antipathy towards Inuyasha, Sesshomaru still refers to him as his relative (i.e. little brother).
  • Sesshomaru is the similar of Itachi Uchiha from Naruto Shippuden. Also Sesshomaru loss his left arm the same as Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto Anime.

Gallery

External links