Cast List: Book 5
(a.k.a. Inuyasha Houjou [western style; Houjou Inuyasha, Japanese style], Houjou-kun, Koinu-kun (Koinu"puppy"is his family nickname, which he also used in elementary school; since middle school, his old friends have tried to remember not to call him that), Inuyasha of the Jewel of Four Souls, Lord Inuyasha). High school boy living in modern-day Tokyo; classmate of Kagome Higurashi, he is the reincarnation of the 16th century half-daemon hero, and fully remembers his former life. Sensitive, caring, thoughtful, intelligent, kind, good-natured, polite, determined, and faithful, not to mention good-looking. Maybe a little weird, with a tendency to broodnot surprising for a guy who died 500 years ago, although he only recently figured out that part. Originally half human, half dog-daemon (but fully human on the night of the new moon and fully daemon when disarmed in battle), Inuyasha Houjou doesn't bear a particularly strong physical resemblance to any of the three aspects of his former self, except he still has great hair (now red) and terrific eyelashesit's always the guys who get them. As the original Inuyasha, sought the Shikon no Tama so as to use it to become fully daemon; was convinced by Kikyou to use it to become human in order to be her husband. Tricked by Naraku. Killed by the mortally wounded Kikyouarrow through the chest, stuck to a tree (the subject of his recurring nightmares). Revived by Kagome, whom he came to love and to whom he was bound as protector and the one protected. With Kagome, and later with other companions, sought the shards of the shattered Shikon no Tama, with the aim of reassembling the jewel and-what? Becoming daemon? Becoming human? Accidentally revivified and was bound to the dead Kikyou when he spoke her name, rather than that of Kagome, who was in mortal danger. On finally obtaining the jewel, instructed it to give the remainder of his own human life to Kikyou, thereby bringing her back to real human life. As he did so, the jewel was purified in his hands and Inuyasha himself reverted to his human form. The jewel then exploded, mortally wounding him. After declaring his unending love to Kagome and promising to try to find her in her "realm" he died in her arms. She prepared his body for burial and he was cremated the next morning. Kagome carried his ashes to Kaede's village and entrusted them to Kaede and Miroku, then returned to her own timemillennial Tokyoto mourn. Inuyasha was reborn on October 26, 1981. On his fourth birthday, he suddenly regained full memory of his former life. Unable to convince his parents of who he was, and confused about his situation, he half (or more than half) accepted that his previous life was a product of his own imagination; regardless, he spent his early life searching for Kagome and working to become a person she could love. On hearing she was in mourning for the "awful guy" he recognized as his former self, he realized that he was in fact reincarnated and that Kagome did not know him to be Inuyasha. Now that Kagome has acknowledged his identity, he needs to convince her that he's still worthy of her love.
[Remember the "Long Version" of the Inuyasha description back in the Prologuethe joke one taken from "Houjou's doctoral dissertation"? Note that the Short Version is now even longer than the Long Version, and I left a bunch of stuff out. Let me point out, for that matter, that the Origin Story took me almost two whole books to outline, including only the most essential stuff. Damn, this storyline is complexnone of your easy Last-Son-of-Krypton-rocket-landed-in-a-cornfield-great-metropolitan-newspaper-fake-glasses, or wealthy-playboy-parents-shot-in-the-alley-"Criminals are a Cowardly, Superstitious Lot" stuff. Incidentally, Houjou's working character description for this strip is almost 10 pages long. OK: Used to be a dog-boy, now a nice Tokyo high school kid; recurring nightmares; still feels bad about Kikyou; loves Kagome; parents afraid he's bonkers. Yeah, he's got the swordthe antique shop story is true. Yeah, he really needs the corrective lenses. Does that cover it?]
[Author's note: In my original story plan for this comicback when it was going to be a 20-page "What If" type American comic book crossover storyKoinu (not even called that yet) appeared in one panel: standing under the god-tree, waiting for Kagome (what became the top of Book 3, Page 4, but with Houjou instead of human Inuyasha). At that point, he was a bit of exposition, to show how we got to the grownup Houjou. Then one day while I was at my day jobon the phone, on holdKagome passed out, Koinu said, "This is not the way I pictured it," and suddenly this story took a whole new direction. That 3-panel pageKagome falling over, and the hornswaggled Koinu just staring down at herwas the first page of this saga that I drew (on a scratch pad on my desk at work), and the page that sent me out for art supplies. I'd have to say Koinu has become my favorite character, as well as the one I really worry about, and the sections with "the kids" the part of the book I most enjoy working on.]
(a.k.a. Lady Kagome.) High school girl who lives in an old Shinto shrine in Tokyo. Pulled down an old well by a centipede monster on her 15th birthday, she emerged from the well 500 years in the past and found Inuyasha pinned to the tree. What with one thing and another, she revived Inuyasha, shattered the Shikon no Tama, learned to shoot a bow and arrow, and joined with him in the quest to regain the fragments of the jewel. Loved and was loved by Inuyasha, bound to him as protector and protected, remained faithful even when he inadvertently helped revive his former love, Kikyou. Brave, kind, resourceful, honorable, she had unsuspected strong magical/spiritual powers, and became increasingly powerful throughout the quest as her love for Inuyasha grew. Was with Inuyasha (on her 16th birthday) when he finally found and used the Shikon no Tama. Declared her eternal love to him as he died in her arms. Prepared his body for burial ("washed it with her tears"). Carried his ashes to Kaede's village and entrusted them Kaede and Miroku, then returned through the well to modern Tokyo, "to grieve for her beloved for the rest of her days." Having learned that her would-be boyfriend Houjou-kun is the reincarnation of her dead love, she's now having some adjustment issues.
The grown-up version of the high-school kid cum reincarnated half-daemon hero; the guy we saw in Books 2 and 3. That's his college-professor voice that suddenly starts commenting on the action in the middle of the book, in case you hadn't guessed.
High-school student in modern-day Tokyo, close friend of Houjou-kun. More than just Jughead to Houjou's Archie, Sakamoto is the fortunate younger brother of an over-20 college student, and thereby purveyor of adult viewing materials, print and video, to the high school community.
It's always a couple of nameless girls. This time they're friends and high school classmates of Houjou-kun, although they seem to know Kagome, as well. Same two people as the girls in the Prologue? I dunno. Maybe.
She was a mean lady when I first plotted out the page, but she surprised me by smiling at the kidsso I ended up completely redesigning the page to accommodate both her smile and that gorgeous Houjou one.
peeking out the door on the last page. Loves her kids, always liked Inuyasha,
always liked the Houjou boy. As a mother, she's a lot more understanding than
I've ever been. A real mom's mom.