InuYasha? Or is it Inuyasha? Either way, this feudal fairy tale is the one of the most popular Japanese anime out currently. And it all started with a comic book series (known better as a “manga series”) written by Rumiko Takahashi. But what makes this anime series so popular and why do over 130,000 people a month search for Inuyasha on the Internet search engines?
InuYasha is Japanese for “dog spirit” and you will discover this is fitting for a title. The story is about a time-traveling student, Kagome Higurashi and Inuyasha who, with other exciting anime characters, fight to protect the Jewel of Four Souls. This jewel gives hugely increased powers to anyone who has it and will mean catastrophe if it falls into the wrong hands.
Of course, there are certainly wrong hands for it to fall into! Evil Naraku is one they must defeat. And all the characters — a demon slayer, a fox demon, a monk and more — must do everything possible to find the jewel, which was stolen and later shattered into many shards.
So the story is exciting, yes. And it pulls you along with all the adventures you can imagine. The anime came from the popular Japanese manga series, which was adapted into 167 anime episodes directed by two different directors. It first aired on Yomiuri TV in Japan in 2000 and ran through to close to the end of 2004. There was no conclusion, and in order to continue with the series, you must read the manga that is still being released.
The manga itself began in Shonen Sunday, a weekly publication in Japan, as early as November of 1996 and carried on through to 485 chapters published as of 2006 and is still going. If you are collecting these issues, you can collect every 10 or so chapters in a bound volume. There are no signs that Inuyasha will stop and you can continue reading the manga to your heart’s content as long as Takahashi continues to create the story.
If there weren’t tons of people enjoying the series, it wouldn’t have continued and it would have been a dismal failure. And the author wouldn’t now be one of the richest women in Japan. The demand for the story to continue comes from the readers and viewers of the manga and anime, and this demand has spread across the world.
The English version, published by Viz Media, had to be changed in format because, of course, in Japanese a person reads from right to left where in the U.S. and many other countries, the reading goes from left to right. The English comics were published starting in 1998 and continue being issued, but they are still a few years away from catching up to Japan publications of the story.
Inuyasha was first broadcast as anime on satellite television by Animax, and in the U. S. on the Cartoon Network. It is also running on the Latin American Cartoon Network and is dubbed in Spanish. You can even see it on some cruise ships, if you care to spend a cruise watching anime. Well, many do! And this just verifies the huge popularity of the series and the incredible and fascinating tale of Inuyasha and the Jewel of Four Souls.