This FAQ was written by me.
Over the years, I've received many questions about anime from visitors, but a lot of them have been about Inuyasha. So I decided to make this FAQ page to help answer some of the most common questions that I know of. Hope you find it helpful ^_^
1) How many episodes does Inuyasha have?
The Inuyasha anime series ran for 167 episodes in Japan from October 2000 to September 2004. Adult Swim began showing it in October 2002 and finished airing all the episodes in 2006.
2)How many movies does Inuyasha have?
There are four Inuyasha movies. They've all been released on DVD in the US.
3)Why did Inuyasha end at 167 episodes without coming to any conclusion? Is the anime really over for good?
There's a fairly good reason for why the anime ended when it did. As I'm sure you know, the Inuyasha anime and movies are based on the Inuyasha manga series by the famous manga artist Rumiko Takahashi. So the manga series is the original and "real" story. Takahashi first began working on it back in 1996, and it was eventually made into an anime series in 2000. The first four seasons or so of the anime remained very faithful to the stories of the manga. However after that, the anime finally caught up with the manga. The anime creators didn't want to continue with their own version of the story and stray away from the manga, so they decided to make filler episodes - episodes that don't occur in the original manga and thus don't have anything to do with the main plot of the story; they're usually just side-stories that involve the characters doing things that don't have any significance to the story's main conflict. Many long-running anime series' that are based on a manga series, such as Naruto and One Piece, include filler episodes in order to give the manga artists time to create more stories for the anime to follow-up on. In case you're wondering, some examples of the filler episodes in Inuyasha are episodes 75 to 79, episodes 89 to 101, and episodes 133 to 140. Filler episodes usually prove unpopular among fans, especially when they come one right after another, as was the case during the last two seasons of Inuyasha. So rather than continue to create successions of unpopular filler episodes, the anime creators finally decided to just stop making episodes and let fans continue following up on the Inuyasha story through the manga only. For those of you who've seen the final episode, you know that it's not any sort of ending at all, but is just the anime version of manga chapter 355.
So far there has been no news of any new Inuyasha anime and/or movies. But since it's still very popular in both Japan and the US, there's a chance that the anime may pick up again in the future as a series of movies, OVAs, or possibly new TV episodes. But for now, if you want to see what happens beyond episode 167, you'll have to read the manga from chapter 356 and onward. The manga ended in June 2008 at 558 chapters.
4)Why are there different ways to spell many of the names in Inuyasha? For example; "Shippo" vs "Shippou," "Kikyo" vs "Kikyou," "Kirara" vs "Kilala," "Tetsusaiga" vs "Tessaiga," etc. Which is the correct spelling?
This is probably one of the most common questions among Inuyasha fans, especially those who aren't familiar with the Japanese language. First of all, the process of writing Japanese using the letters of the English alphabet is called "romanization"(the written words are called "roumaji.") Since Japanese and English are so different, there are usually various ways to romanize many Japanese words, especially those with the long "o" vowel, as many of the Inuyasha characters' names have. Japanese has a limited amount of syllables compared to English, so any one syllable could be assigned to many different Japanese kanji characters(for example, the Japanese syllable "shi" can mean "poem" with one kanji character, "death" with another, "paper" with another, etc.) And whether a syllable is pronounced with a long vowel or not can completely change its meaning(for example, "shuujin" with a long "u" means "prisoner," while "shujin" with a short "u" means "husband," and they're both written with different kanji characters.) So the same goes for the names of many of the Inuyasha characters. For example, "shippo" written and pronounced in Japanese with a short "o" sound means "tail." However, "shippou" with the long "o" sound and written with the correct kanji means "seven treasures"(which is what his name is supposed to mean.) The same goes for the rest of the characters, like Kikyou, Sesshoumaru, Kouga, and Myouga with long "o" sounds in their names - if the long vowel wasn't there, their names would be written differently and have a different meaning(likewise, names with a short "o" sound like "Sango" and "Miroku," would have a different meaning if written with the long sound.) There are various ways of romanizing the long "o" sound that you may see. For example, "Kikyou" could also be written as "Kikyoh", "Kikyoo," or "Kikyo" with a line over the "o".
So does that mean that writing the characters' names without the distinction of the long vowel sound is the incorrect way? Well, technically yes, but the official English spellings of many Japanese words are written without the long vowels. For example, the correct romanization of "Tokyo" is "Toukyou." But "Tokyo" is considered the correct spelling of the word in English. Since long vowel sounds aren't as essential in English as they are in Japanese, they're sometimes omitted, probably due to the fact that English speakers don't pronounce long vowels with as much emphasis as Japanese speakers do, so they're most likely taken away as a means of simplifying the word for English speakers. However, as I've pointed out, they're extremely important when writing correctly in Japanese. So really, none of the spellings are incorrect. The way I see it, if you want to write correct roumaji, spell the names showing the long vowel. But if you just want to write simple English, then you can just use a single vowel.
And as for "Kirara" vs "Kilala," this again comes from the fact that Japanese and English are so different and there are different ways of romanizing Japanese words. The "r" sound pronunciation in Japanese is sort of in between the English "l" and "r" sound. Although most Japanese words with this sound use an "r", some(usually names) use an "l." So neither way is wrong, but in this case I think the "r" sounds more like the Japanese way. What I find kinda weird is that VIZ(the company that releases the English version of the Inuyasha anime and manga) spells it "Kirara" in their manga and everywhere else, yet all the characters in their anime English dub distictly say "Kilala" ~_^
And as for "Tetsusaiga" vs "Tessaiga," Rumiko Takahashi originally spelled it "Tetsusaiga," but once the anime was released, she changed it to "Tessaiga." So in the Japanese version of the anime, it's pronounced "Tessaiga" and in most of the manga it's spelled that way too. However, when VIZ began to release the manga in English, they started with the old spelling of "Tetsusaiga" and decided to keep spelling it that way for both the manga and English dub. So "Tessaiga" is the correct way, but "Tetsusaiga" is the official English spelling.
5)Why do all the names of the Band of Seven members end in "kotsu"?
"Kotsu" means "bones." Each of their names is comprised of two kaji characters; the second being "kotsu" and the first is different for each of them. For example, Jakotsu's name means "snake bones," Mukotsu's name means "cloud bones," and Ginkotsu's name means "silver bones."
6)Where can I get the Inuyasha episodes/movies/manga/CDs?
You can get DVDs of the Inuyasha episodes and movies at most media/entertainment stores such as Best Buy, Sam Goody, and Suncoast. You might also find the manga and other Inuyasha products in these stores as well, but you can usually get the manga at book stores such as Border's. The CDs are only available in Japan, but you can order them from online stores such as CD Japan. And also, general anime stores like Anime Nation should carry the DVDs, manga, and possibly the CDs as well. I wouldn't recommend a place like eBay, because many people there sell poor quality bootleg DVDs at cheap prices that you could be tricked into buying.
If you're looking for bittorrent fansubs of the episodes and movies, check out Anime Kraze, Anime BT, and Inuyasha 4Ever. If you're looking for the manga online, scanlation groups that have translated the series are Freelance-Manga and ADInuyasha. But if you have IRC, you can get all of the manga scanlations at Lurk Manga Archive. You can also read the manga scans directly on One Manga.
Got any more Inuyasha questions? Let me know, and if you send me a good one, I may post it here =)
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