Hype Train! Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon
What do we make of the legacies left by the greats throughout history? Most of our favorite series greatest moments are hinged upon a lasting impression strong enough to shape the world the protagonists reside in. We wouldn't have Super Blue Goku or Hokage Naruto without Grandpa Gohan or the Will of Fire. Even the legacies of our most favorite western artists and mangaka (Manga authors) have brought us beloved classics time and time again.
Spin-offs, side stories, one-shots, and sequels are all parts of the legacies of their greater headcanon and they can be just as satisfying as the original work. So which legacy are we talking about today? Which legend has left their mark for another lovely work to spring forth from its loins? It’s a great series and one we’ve touched on in this blog before. Inuyasha has captivated audiences since 1996, its original manga release. They dropped an equally captivating anime in 2000 and many fans from my generation of anime fandom are at least familiar with the work. Its legacy can be heard in the halls of cons across the country in my youth, “Sit, boy!” demanding gruff but lovable partners to behave, just as Kagome did to Inuyasha. It’s a great story tracing the legacy of The Great Dog General through his two sons and into the uncertain future. A legacy left for his boys in the form of two swords weaves Inuyasha and Sesshomaru together on individual journeys of self discovery, and joining them is nothing short of a wild ride. But after Inuyasha: The Final Act so many questions remain. And all you have to go on is the billions of fan fiction stories to theorize how the brothers interact after the conclusion. Not that fan-fic isn’t enjoyable, but they’re no part of the canon and not sufficient for some fans.
That’s where the legacy of Inuyasha lives on in a new anime, Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon.
Oh, but ZK, isn’t it just another foo foo sequel like Boruto? It is a sequel, but there’s a tendency to judge books by their cover. Yashahime is a faithful emulation of the Inuyasha story formula that also maintains its status as a standalone experience.
You follow Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha on adventures through feudal Japan as they slay demons to recover Setsuna’s lost memories. Towa and Setsuna are half-demon sisters in the feudal era who were separated by a forest fire. Towa escapes by falling into a portal that sends her to the modern world. Of course Kagome’s family is on the other side of the portal and help raise this half-demon girl from the distant past. Meanwhile, Setsuna escapes the forest fire on her own and is trained as a demon slayer. Moroha rounds out the trio as a quarter-demon bounty hunter with Sacred Arrows like her priestess mother and the three form build a motley crew of characters from each of their backgrounds.
The show introduces all the characters from the previous series naturally as supporting characters here and maintains enough distance to focus all the attention on your new protagonists. It also expands on the demon social structure without revolving around a creepy love triangle with a ghost and a vindictive shape-shifting demon blob.
While the romance is something that made Inuyasha a powerful story, focusing more on the relationship between Towa and Setsuna and their journey to self rediscovery drives the adventure to the top of the demon’s power hierarchy. The Great Dog General’s reputation as the Lord of the Western Lands is carried through his grandchildren as one of them needs to succeed his position to maintain the balance of power in their world. The twins' father, Sesshomaru wanted nothing to do with the titles, and only wanted to live outside the shadow of his father.
Evidently, every time Sesshormaru was off screen, he was somewhere fighting off demons looking for strong opponents and also filling in for his dad. He patrolled the Western Lands keeping other demons just as strong as he was from wreaking havoc on the countryside. It was his father’s job and Sesshomaru reluctantly picked it up as a side gig to being the strongest in the world. Exploring the enigma that Sesshomaru presented as through his daughters is an interesting way to show a whole different side of the Inuyasha universe.
Think about it. Toga, the strongest dog demon was the Lord of the Western Lands, protecting them from invaders and demons just as strong as he. Without him, I’d imagine the feudal countryside would be in much worse shape, terrorized by all sorts of supernatural chaos. I mean, the guy died and had a whole dimension created to hide swords made from his teeth. The held wicked power, enough to claim The Western Lands for his own. And Sesshomaru didn’t even want the title, he just started doing Toga’s job and only sought to be the strongest. No talk, no fluff, just fights!
Watching this show and diving into that back-side story makes following Sesshomaru’s daughters that much juicier Without Inuyasha, Sesshomaru, and Kagome there to muck it up with “Remember when…”, you get to see a vibrant world in a whole new light and gain respect for the feats of those that came before them. Inuyasha, Sesshomaru and Toga were some of the strongest in the Western Lands and Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha are perfectly poised to carry on that mantle in this new show. I highly recommend you check it out if you were a fan of Inuyasha, want to learn more about Sesshomaru, or just like to see what happens when fan-fiction meets production.
Are you a Sesshomaru stan? Feel like Yashahime won't live up to the the memory of the original? Drop a comment and let us know how you feel!