Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Character and history
He is a powerful demon lord (taiyōkai , literally great yōkai). He often appears aloof and indifferent, and rarely shows any emotions other than slight annoyance or dissatisfaction. He thinks highly of himself and is cruel to others, though he is protective of his minions. He cares little for others, and thinks of humans in particular as mere mortals that are, while at times amusing, ultimately expendable. With the ambition to walk the path of conquest, he desires to become stronger, (although he is incredibly strong already, possibly as strong or stronger than Naraku) even at the expense of others. He believes that struggle is the only way for survival and especially despises InuYasha, his half-human half-demon (hanyō) brother, who wields the powerful Tessaiga, a sword made from one of their father's fang that can kill 100 yōkai in one strike.
Sesshomaru does have Tenseiga, another sword made from his father's fang. However, the Tenseiga, which can bring 100 people back to life with a single swing, is incapable of harming an opponent, thus it is useless in a battle, naturally Sesshōmaru desires the destructive power that the Tessaiga holds. He eventually uses the power of Tenseiga to resurrect the head of Goshinki so that Kaijinbo (Kaijinbō) could forge the evil blade Tokijin (Tōkijin) from his fangs.
Sesshomaru began his quest for the Tessaiga by searching for the place that a short poem indicated it would be. Sesshomaru's father was a very wise and a great dog demon lord. He hid it well from both brothers for quite some time and prevented it from being misused by casting a barrier around the sword so that a full-blooded yōkai or one without compassion for humans cannot hold or wield the Tessaiga. It is for this reason that Sesshomaru is unable to hold or wield the sword. However, even knowing that he cannot touch the sword, Sesshomaru still desires to take it from InuYasha, as he feels it rightfully belongs to him and not his hanyō sibling. For this reason he fought with InuYasha in their father's burial grounds and by chance, InuYasha transformed the blade for the first time and hacked off Sesshomaru's left arm. After he obtained the Tokijin, he seems to have lost interest in the Tessaiga.
He is followed by his minion, a kappa yōkai named Jaken, and later by a human orphan named Rin who Sesshōmaru brought back to life, using Tenseiga, for unknown reasons. (At that time, he claims to be 'testing' the sword, but it is unclear whether that is his true intention.) He is also followed by a pet that looks like a two-headed dragon, named Ah-Un (阿吽) that often accompanies Rin.
Although Sesshomaru maintains a cool, uncaring exterior, the presence of Rin at his heels is proof of his growing compassion. He not only tolerates a human, but also acts almost like a father to her and rushes to her aid when she gets in trouble. Naraku later had Kagura kidnap Rin as a get-away plan in his attempt to absorb the body and the full yōkai power of Sesshomaru. Naraku's plan failed and Sesshomaru was fired up and wanted to go after Naraku, who was trying to escape, but upon hearing that Rin is in danger, Sesshomaru let him go and came to the aid of Rin. Subsequently he decided to kill Naraku as well.
Towards the end of the anime series, it is shown that there was a human princess named Sara who loved Sesshomaru. She allowed yōkai to possess her body and stole the Tessaiga from InuYasha, as she was under the illusion that Tessaiga was Sesshomaru's desire. Later she realized her mistake, but the demon won't grant her freedom. Sesshomaru, grasping the Tessaiga despite its barrier, released the princess from the yōkai and quoted: "feel free to play your flute for me in the afterlife".
It is worthwhile to speculate that Sesshomaru will play a vital role in the destruction of Naraku, yet to be revealed in the manga.
Special attacks, abilities, and items
- Dokkasō (Poison Flower Claw): Sesshomaru's claws release deadly acidic poison which can melt flesh. Sometimes he uses it like InuYasha uses his Sankon Tessō attack, but he can also use it to spray venomous acid from his fingertips.
- Whip of Light: Can generate a thin whiplike strand of energy from his fingertips that can slice through almost anything.
Abilities and traits
- Flight: ability to hover in the sky or generate a sparkling dust cloud to ride on.
- Super speed: ability to move at blinding speed in short bursts, both on land and through the air.
- Teleportation: ability to morph into a ball of energy and move over great distances over a short amount of time.
- Psionics: Though Sesshomaru's psionic capabilities have never been specifically quantified, he has demonstrated powerful feats of both telepathy and telekinesis in both the anime and manga. Examples of such being his ability to mentally levitate and fling skulls at Inuyasha and Kagome in the anime's 7th episode; as well as his ability to overwhelm Goshinki's powerful telepathic aura in order to claim Tokijin as his own.
- Taiyōkai: As the descendent of a great dog demon lord, naturally Sesshōmaru is a far more superior yōkai with heightened senses, intelligence and strength. While he appears to be an elf-eared human bearing splendid clothing and armor most of the time; he can transform into his true form at will, which is that of a gigantic acid-breathing flying canine with fluffy white fur.
- Immortality: Being a demon, Sesshomaru does not suffer from old age the way humans do. He appears to be a young man in his 20s, however he has been around for at least a few hundred years1.
- Tenseiga: the Tenseiga can revive the dead and heal the living. It does this by letting Sesshomaru see the pall-bearer demons that take away the souls of the dead so that he may destroy them with tenseiga. It usually does not show this happening. In extreme cases, the Tenseiga also protects Sesshomaru from potential lethal attacks. When in use, the tenseiga has a blue aura.
- Tokijin: Sesshomaru also wields the sword Tokijin, crafted by the evil swordsmith Kaijin-bō from the fangs of Goshinki. It can fire off extremely powerful blasts of pure hate energy and is thought to be tessaiga's equal. There are two different ways of using it. One is to extend your arm and point it at your opponent to blow them back and injure them with a powerful pinkish-purple aura. The other way is to slash with it releasing a powerful wave of blue energy.
- Staff of Heads (also called Staff of Skulls, 人頭杖, nintōjō): Locates his father's grave, can fire streams of flame and generate floods of water. The staff is usually held by his assistant Jaken.
- Fluffy thing: There is no real name for this item. It is the fluffy, scarf like item on Sesshomaru's shoulder. He can extend it to great lengths, and use it to whip or constrict people.
The kanji of 'Sesshō' means 'to kill or destroy.' 'Maru' is usually a suffix that is often added at the end of a Japanese name for young males in samurai families. They would use this name until they were recognized as adults, whereupon they would adopt a new name. However, it is said that 'maru' can also translate as the word for 'circle', which is a common Japanese motiff for what in the West is called 'the circle of life.' Thus it is widely assumed that the name Sesshomaru translates literally as 'destruction of the circle of life', or 'end of the circle of life.'
Sesshomaru is often considered bishōnen due to his slightly feminine appearance even though his attitude is contrary to this notion.
His true demon form is that of a giant white dog with markings similar to those he has in his human form. Several times during the anime and manga when he becomes furious or badly injured his features can be observed shifting slightly into resembling his true form. At that time, his eyes turn red and the features and markings on his face begin to elongate.
1In the third movie of the InuYasha franchise, Sesshomaru has a dark and ominous conversation with his father. Later it is revealed that the series of incidents that led to the events in the third movie occurred 200 years before the Sengoku Period, therefore it is fair to say that Sesshomaru is at least a few hundred years old.
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