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Characters from Sesshomaru's Groups

Name: Sesshoumaru
Age: Never Revealed, Appears 19
Race: Inu Daiyoukai
Weapons: Tenseiga & Toukijin, Whip, Poison Flower Claws. Claws and Fangs in Dog Form.

Sesshomaru is one of the sons of the powerful Inu no Taisho. Since Inu no Taisho is considered to be a daiyoukai (great youkai), Sesshomaru is a daiyoukai himself. He is mostly a calm and collected person who hardly shows any emotions and rarely laughs. He rarely smiles, and when he does, it's usually not a good thing; as once Jaken begged Sesshomaru to beat him rather than to smile because it was Sesshomaru¡¯s smile that he feared most. Sesshomaru believes that struggle is the only way for survival and mostly throughout the series shows his contempt for Inuyasha, his half brother.

Sesshomaru's mother has been introduced in chapter #466 of the manga. She knows how to increase the power of the Tenseiga. She wears around her neck the Meidou-Seki that was given to her by Inu no Taisho. She uses it to summon a Hellhound that grabs Rin and Kohaku and jumps in the Meidou crescent that Sesshomaru created with Tenseiga. He follows after and kills it, freeing Rin and Kohaku. The three of them continue into Hell, however, soon Kohaku and Sesshomaru realize Rin is dead and can't be revived. Her body is stolen by the Master of Hell, whom Sesshomaru later defeats along with purifying the dead in Hell. Back in his mother's palace, Sesshomaru is lectured by his mother for the need to have a compassionate heart. She revives Rin with the Meidou-Seki but warns Rin can never be revived again with the Tenseiga since it can only revive a person once. She warns Kohaku he too can't be revived by the Tenseiga.

Desire for personal strength
With the ambition to walk the path of conquest, he desires to become stronger, even at the expense of others. He will not, however, use the shards of the Jewel of the Four Souls to gain strength, which separates him from other youkai questing for power. Though some think it's for his lust for pure power, others think it is created to accompany his original grace. The Shikon Jewel increases the user's power while swords like the Tessaiga (Iron-Breaking Fang), the Tenseiga, and the Toukijin attack the opponent using the youki (yokai ki) of the person wielding them. Sesshomaru wants to become strong by using his own strength and would never borrow power from another source.

The Tessaiga Heritage
Sesshomaru originally coveted Inuyasha's sword, the powerful Tessaiga. Tessaiga is a powerful sword made from one of his father's fangs. A barrier was cast around the sword so that most youkai cannot hold or wield it as it burns their flesh.

Even knowing that he cannot touch the sword, Sesshomaru still desired to take it from Inuyasha. While his initial motivation appears to be pride and greed, Sesshomaru later claims the sword should rightfully be held by one able to fully wield its power. For this reason, he fought with Inuyasha in their father Inu no Taisho's grave and by chance, Inuyasha transformed the blade for the first time and hacked off Sesshomaru's left arm. After that, Sesshomaru began using the arms of other youkai, but they rotted and became useless after a while since their youki ran out. Later he made a deal with Naraku, he would kill Inuyasha in exchange for a human arm with a shard of the Jewel of the Four Souls, that way he could wield Tessaiga. However, he later lost this arm and the ability to wield the Tessaiga with it. Now though, he has stopped trying to steal the sword as he now knows it is the only thing keeping Inuyasha under control. After episode 35, he stopped searching for youkai arms and decided to live with only one arm.

At this point it should be noted that nothing in the manga has yet suggested that Sesshomaru is capable of wielding the Tessaiga on his own. In the anime and the third movie Sesshomaru has been shown using the Tessaiga, but he never does so in the manga. He is never so much as able to grab the Tessaiga without the use of additional help (examples are the use of the Shikon shard to allow him the usage of a human arm to wield the sword), although in the third movie Sesshomaru can tolerate the barrier around Tessaiga.

Sesshomaru inherited the Tenseiga, the companion blade of the Tessaiga, another sword made from his father's fang. However, the Tenseiga, which can bring 100 people back to life with a single swing, was originally incapable of harming an opponent, thus it was useless in a battle. This is why he desired the Tessaiga instead. He eventually used the power of Tenseiga to resurrect the head of Goshinki so that Kaijinbou could forge the Tokijin from his fangs. Although the Toukijin was a formidable weapon, it was later broken in a fight with Mouryoumaru. However, the swordsmith Toutousai reforged Tenseiga to be usable as a weapon, enabling Sesshomaru to perform the Meidou Zangetsuha technique, which opens a path to Hell.

Companions
He is followed by his retainer, a youkai named Jaken, and later by a human orphan named Rin, whom Sesshomaru brought back to life using Tenseiga. Though he told Jaken that he was merely testing his sword, his real motive for reviving her is a mystery. He is also followed by a two-headed dragon named Ah-Un. Ah-un is Rin and Jaken's main form of transportation when Sesshomaru takes flight or when they need to cover long distances quickly, as only Sesshomaru and Ah-Un are capable of flight. Most recently, Sesshomaru saved Kohaku's life from Byakuya. Kohaku decided to join his retinue as he's leaving Sesshomaru's mother's palace. It is also revealed that none of his companions (excluding Ah-Un) can be revived by the Tenseiga since they all died before and they were either already revived by Tenseiga or is being kept alive by a Shikon jewel shard.

Intelligence
Throughout the series, we also get to see glimpses of his intellectual ability. When he first fought Mouryoumaru we saw how good a tactician he really is when he attacked him using his Kanetsu ability. (despite the fact that Shippou later says that it wasn't him thinking at all - it was pure ego) Mouryoumaru only kept absorbing his attacks and thought Sesshomaru was a fool for empowering him. As it turns out Mouryoumaru's arm then blew into pieces since it couldn't handle the burden of Sesshomaru's attacks, and thus he permanently lost his ability to absorb attacks of youki and using them in counterattacks. Other times we also get to see how knowledgeable he is of the youkai world; when Rin inquired about a skeleton she saw, Sesshomaru told her that it belonged to youkai with a nearly impenetrable armor called the Meioju. Another time when Rin was about to drink the water from a youkai lake Sesshomaru told her to stop since the lake was a youkai called the Numawatari and it devoured all who came close to it.

Examples of His Growing Compassion
Although Sesshomaru maintains a cool, disinterested exterior, throughout the story his compassion seems to be growing. When Inuyasha was controled by his youkai blood, Sesshomaru came to see for himself the power that Inuyasha could produce, and managed to defeat him. He then instructed Kagome to return the Tessaiga to Inuyasha in order to restore him to his former self. It is possible that he lost interest in obtaining the Tessaiga mainly due to Inuyasha's need for the sword to control his youkai blood. He then left claiming that he intends to kill Inuyasha one day, when Inuyasha could adequately fight back. However it is possible that by claiming the right to kill Inuyasha for himself, Sesshomaru is actually doing a backhanded favor for his younger brother. By making this public declaration, Sesshomaru is claiming first right to Inuyasha's death by Sesshomaru's own hand, and at his choice of time and place. Thus Sesshomaru can then choose to battle any shared adversary with no loss of face and without admitting any familial attachment or emotions. This is a curious but historically documented manner of saving face and denying emotional attachment.

Sesshomaru tolerates Rin and protects her when she gets in trouble. Naraku once had Kagura kidnap Rin as a get-away plan in his attempt to absorb Sesshomaru. Naraku's plan failed and he tried to escape - Sesshomaru was incensed and began to pursue Naraku. But upon hearing that Rin was in danger, Sesshomaru let him go and came to the aid of the girl.

Even though he is prone to hitting his servant Jaken, he has repeatedly warned Jaken to move out of the way prior to an attack. Further, when Naraku first emerged in his youkai form, Sesshomaru told Jaken to stay behind him as he attacked the youkai.

On his way to Hakureizan, Sesshomaru saved Kagome, Miroku, and Sango from the poison user Mukotsu, one of the Shichinintai, but once again claimed that he only killed someone who was in his way. He also revived a young otter youkai's father (killed by Hakudoushi) in one episode.

When Kagura was injured, Sesshomaru pulled her from the river she was drowning in, after Rin fell in trying to save her. Some argue that it might be only because Rin wanted him to save Kagura or because he wanted an excuse to save her. Also, when Kagura was dying, Sesshomaru purposely sought her out of his own accord and even thought of using the Tenseiga, only to conclude Tenseiga could not save her, as Kagura's body soon dissolved into the wind.

In the manga (beyond the anime's current point), Inuyasha and his companions were involved in a fight with the "water god" Numawatari. After none of their attacks were able to harm him, Sesshomaru arrived and insulted Inuyasha's inability to kill a "low life youkai". He then easily dispatched the "water god" using his Meidou Zangetsuha ability. Sesshomaru then leaves after learning about the Tessaiga's new abilities with a strange smile on his face.

In the manga Byakuya, Naraku's newest offspring, seeks out Kohaku, who has one of the last three shards of the Jewel of the Four Souls. Byakuya uses his youkai powers to launch shouki snakes at Kohaku, causing him to fall unconscious. He is about to take him back to Naraku, when Sesshomaru appears and launches a ranged Meidou-Zangetsuha (still in the crescent moon shape), barely missing him. Byakuya flees claiming that he doesn't want to die, and comments on how it is so unlike Sesshomaru to save someone. Rin goes to help Kohaku, and Sesshomaru tells her not to touch him, because he is covered with poisonous snakes. Thereafter, Kohaku has been shown following Sesshomaru along with Rin, and Sesshomaru seems to have also taken Kohaku into his protection, albeit in his typical grudging fashion (after once more rescuing Kohaku from peril, Sesshomaru tells him curtly, "Don't make me waste time unnecessarily. This arm is only for holding a sword." However, he also advises Kohaku to take the path back to safety while he himself intends to proceed into greater danger). It is speculated that Sesshomaru may take an active role in protecting the singular remaining shard Kohaku now holds.

In Chapter 469, Rin appears to be dead due to her time in Hell (additionally, Sesshomaru notes her scent now matches those of the dead around him). Sesshomaru had entered Hell for the purpose of rescuing her, and upon learning he could not save her life, he was 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 he would trade anything in exchange for Rin's life. This is a defining moment for the character, as he had previously made it apparent he valued only his own life (though outwardly). Never before had he directly stated he valued Rin's life. This is also the first, and only, time that he has outwardly expressed compassion throughout the entire series.

Attitude toward humans
Rumiko Takahashi explained her choice of the Warring States period as a story setting because she wanted to write a ghost-and-demon story, and it "is relatively easier to draw out a ghost story from that time period ... in the Sengoku Jidai, there was war, and lots of people died." Her background as assistant to horror-manga artist Kazuo Umezu is clearly seen in her accurate but grisly manga battlefield scenes, and she pulls no punches in her depiction (in the manga) of the horrors perpetrated upon humans by yokai and outlaws.

Many youkai are said to be particularly malevolent, and would prey on young, weak or elderly villagers as food; furthermore, yokai were said to hang about battlefields to feed on the dead and wounded. Historically these Japanese legends were told to children as warnings to obey their parents, stay together, and not stray, much like the European "Little Red Riding Hood" story. In canon, we have seen Carrion Crows, Abi-hime (blood sucking birds), Vampire Bats, Birds of Paradise, The Thunder Brothers, and even Kouga's yokai-wolf tribe devouring villagers, and threatening to eat Kagome.

The subject of "youkai food" is depicted almost explicitly and graphically in the manga - it is touched upon and alluded to in the anime, but out of sensitivity to the viewers/readers, it is treated with more circumspection.

With this in mind, we find Sesshomaru recovering in a forest, after he is almost killed by Inuyasha's successful use of the Kaze no Kizu attack. Rin, having been beaten by villagers and hiding in the forest, finds Sesshomaru bleeding. Seeing him suffering, she offers him fish to which he replies, "I don't eat human food." In this context, we can clearly see Sesshomaru's difference in attitude towards humans as opposed to that shown by his fellow yokai. On that note yokai were thought to have eaten abnormal things besides just human, for example in the Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away they show how spirits and demons crave roasted newt. It has also been said they eat souls, like an incubus and succubus do. However there are few yokai who actually have the characteristic of those kinds of youkai in Japanese folklore.


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