Naraku’s Death: A Long Journey To Defeat
We thought it wouldn’t happen. Episode after another, Naraku managed to successfully pester our beloved heroes in InuYasha. He had been the one behind our heroes’ fates as it intertwine and turn into one big loop. And we thought InuYasha and the others would never manage to get out of that loop.
Naraku have had a number of close calls himself throughout the series, putting him in hair-thin distance to death, yet fans of InuYasha have hated him so much and have been so eager to see him disappear completely. Naraku has the ability to regenerate himself, which pretty much infuriates his haters the more.
Though it seemed creator Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma ½ and Urusei Yatsura) had something in store for our relationship-hating hanyou (half-demon) archenemy. And we should all be thankful that she did not decide to end the story the way it did in the TV series. After all, she is known for creating stories with open endings.
The end of Naraku was seen in Chapter 552 of the manga in which the series continues after a rather disappointing ending for the TV series. Let’s go back in time, much like Kagome, and revisit our most hated villain’s final journey to fulfill his wishes.
Onigumo, a man filled with hatred and deceit, was found almost dead by Kikyo. The priestess nursed him up until the point where he could speak. He had developed a special feeling for the priestess and because he can never move, he called upon countless demons to give him a body so that he could claim the Shikon no Tama and the priestess as well. This accumulation of demons eventually caused a new being to be born. The creature was later known as Naraku.
The Big Loop
Naraku was responsible for a lot of the character’s tragic accounts, binding them with the one great goal to get rid of him.
To reach his goal of obtaining the Shikon no Tama, he disguised himself as InuYasha and Kagome, and tricked the two to form a deep hate against each other.
He also cursed Miroku’s grandfather with Kazaana after the ( lecherous) old man was fooled into taking care of him disquised as a young woman.
Sango and Kohaku’s lives were torn apart when he took control of the young demon exterminator and killed the entire group, leaving only Sango as the survivor.
He once tricked Sesshoumaru into using an arm with a Shikon shard in it to fight InuYasha.
And even after dying, he had wished for a Meidou to appear before Kagome sending her to oblivion where a selfish wish could be used as way to reawaken him inside the Shikon.
Compared to the InuYasha-gumi (InuYasha’s gang), Naraku had only a few life-threatening moments. However, each clearly stands out against any the InuYasha-gumi had experienced. For fans, seeing him in the brink of death is the most amazing thing that’s happened in the series, which is pretty disturbing.
When Kagome flew her first arrow after catching Naraku in his castle in Episode 30 of the anime, it tore the stunned villian’s body. However, he managed to sneak away by spraying the place with poison gas using the rest of his energy.
Then in Episode 81, brothers InuYasha and Sesshoumaru gave Naraku a hard beating when they teamed up to destroy him. However, the team up was shortly disrupted by sibling rivalry as the brothers argued as to who should deliver the final blow.
Naraku came back in Episode 157 only to face death upon InuYasha’s Kongonsouha, a newly acquired ability and Kagome’s arrow which was a gift from Kikyo. He knew that if not for Hakudoushi’s barrier opening causing the boy to be pierced by the arrow, he would have disappeared completely.
Mouryoumaru, a demon created by Hakudoushi, killed and devoured Naraku in chapter 442 of the manga. However, Naraku, scheming by nature, absorbed Mouryoumaru and Akago his heart, from the inside, finally facing a rebirth.
Naraku began his final transformation with the completion of the “dark” Shikon no Tama. He took the form of a giant spider, with his face appearing on its flesh, his hair turned white and his skin dark.
Magatsuhi, the demon inside the Shikon no Tama, completely corrupted the Shikon and caused Kagome to lose her spiritual powers. When the demon was destroyed, the Shikon regained a portion of its light upon Kagome’s retrieval of her powers.
Naraku becomes cornered by InuYasha’s new variation of Meidou Zangetsuha that collapses his form, Sesshoumaru’s Bakusaiga that deteriorates his collapsed flesh, and Miroku’s Kazaana that sucks in the bundles of flesh in a void.
But Naraku had a different agenda. He planned on dropping onto the village and let his shouki destroy everything in it. It was then that Kagome saw the Shikon no Tama inside him and, in full determination, shot her arrow.
The arrow successfully pierced the Shikon. Naraku showed up in the Bone-Eater’s Well with a pierced Shikon, his face back to its former looks but without a body and only a deteriorating backbone as it hovers in the air. He told InuYasha and Kagome about his wish for a Meidou to take Kagome to oblivion. The Bone-Eater’s Well disappeared together with Kagome.
Naraku’s final wish was indeed granted yet this was not his original wish. His real wish was, in fact, a very simple one, tracing its origin to the time when Onigumo was still alive.
When Kagome asked him if the Shikon no Tama granted his wish in the end, he realized that it didn’t. His wish for Kikyo’s heart can never be granted, and now he can never even go to where Kikyo’s gone.
His wish for the Meidou was to lure Kagome to make a selfish wish to reawaken him. In his final words, he said that this was also the wish of the Shikon no Tama.
9 Pounds of Flesh
Naraku constantly released detachments of himself to observe the situation against his enemies and to further torment them.
A little girl who hardly makes a sound, Kanna is a demon of void. The name comes from an old word that means “godless world.” She is very loyal to Naraku and shows no emotion when given orders, much like a lifeless void which she represents.
The wind sorceress who used her power to test the enemies’ strength, her disloyalty to Naraku was well-known and in the end, after protecting Kohaku, she faced her death.
He could read InuYasha’s mind, which explains why the dog demon found it hard to deal with him. He also has very powerful fangs that broke the Tetsusaiga.
He is an almost lifeless puppet who attacked InuYasha and Koga together with his brother Kageroumaru and was defeated by the Kaze no Kizu.
A small creature with a tail instead of legs and a scythe for hands. He lived inside his brother’s stomach.
The man with no face, who took that of a monk. He is more of a reincarnated Onigumo than Naraku. His life was short-lived after Naraku took him back in.
Taken care of by Kanna, Akago is an infant who is later revealed to be Naraku’s heart. He can possess anyone with the darkness in their hearts. He was placed inside Moryomaru whom was reabsorbed by Naraku himself but not before ensuing a great battle.
A 7-year old boy who was born from Akago when the infant was sliced into two by a priest. He tames the horse Entei, and together continued Akago’s quest to find the last Shikon shard. He created Moryomaru to protect Akago as they betray Naraku. When discovered however, Naraku’s Saimyosho abandoned him in battle against Miroku, and he was sucked in by the Kazaana.
Created to replace Kagura, he is loyal to Naraku. He travels on a giant origami paper crane, reminiscent of his successor, who traveled in a giant feather. He slashed Kagome with the Meidou Zangetsuha but was absorbed by InuYasha Meidou Zangetsuha before he could do it for the second time. His slash on Kagome proved very dangerous when Kagome was sucked into the void after defeating Naraku.