Four years after Inuyasha began its serialization in Weekly Shonen Sunday in 1996 the Inuyasha anime debuted. On the night of October 16th, 2000, fans across Japan tuned in to YTV and witnessed Kagome Higurashi travel back in time to the Sengoku Jidai. Every week thereafter on Monday nights at 7:30 fans would watch as Inuyasha met Shippo, Miroku and Sango, battled Sesshomaru and Naraku for seven seasons. You can click here for an article discussing the various series directors and art directors involved in the production of the series.
Highest Rated Episode: 43- 17.9% audience share
With no animated presence in Japan since the final Ranma ½ OVA in January of 1996, fans of Takahashi's works had a long wait to see Inuyasha come to life on their television screens. Takahashi's longtime collaborator Kitty TV was no longer producing new anime works, and so a new studio would have to be chosen to animate the series. Shogakukan had a massive hit with Detective Conan which was produced by Sunrise, and so it seemed logical that they would work on Inuyasha as well. Takahashi took an active role in the casting process, insisting that seiyuu Kappei Yamaguchi (previously known for voicing Ranma Saotome in Takahashi's last work, Ranma ½) play the title role.
When asked why Inuyasha was brought to television when it was producer Michihiko Suwa stated that at the dawn of the 21st Century, he felt that the story of Inuyasha was an especially timely way to look back at the history of Japan while moving into the future. As a long time producer of anime Suwa produced such massive hits for Yomiuri TV as Detective Conan, Yawara, Magic Knight Rayearth, and City Hunter.
As Inuyasha continued into its third season in Japan, it was being prepped for its American debut as well. However, unlike the English language releases the anime based on Takahashi's previous series, Inuyasha would have the honor of debuting on American television. With the ability to reach hundreds of thousands of English language viewers every week, Inuyasha's popularity reached new heights. In Japan,
As Inuyasha began to debut in countries across the globe, back in Japan, the fourth season was underway, and consisted almost entirely of filler material. This was done to give Rumiko Takahashi time to wrap up her epic, fan-favorite and award winning "Band of Seven" storyline, which would go on to fill the entirity of
Rumors that Inuyasha was ending began in March of 2004, a full five months before the official announcement came from the staff. While ratings declined somewhat near the series end they were good enough for the show to remain on the air. Instead, the rumor that was most frequently circulated as to the series ending, was that the animation staff wanted to move on to the new series, Yakitate!! Japan. In his blog, producer Suwa mentions specifically mentions the amount of emotion the seiyuu put into their work in the final episode. During the August 19th recording session of the final episode many of the actors were teary-eyed as they read their final lines, a goodbye message to the fans of the series. On September 13th, the hour long finale was broadcast marking the conclusion of the Inuyasha anime. The next week, a new edition of Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack would take over the timeslot.
With the television series ending without a definitive conclusion, many fans hoped that the film franchise would continue to follow Takahashi's manga to its conclusion and they may not have been too far off the mark. Every year since 2001 the cast and crew of the series has traveled together to Miyako Island in the southern region of Japan on what has affectionately become known as the Tetsusaiga Tour. The February 2005 trip was especially notable as Rumiko Takahashi went on the trip with producer Michihiko Suwa and 33 members of the Inuyasha production team.
The group celebrated the conclusion of the television series and the triumph of the fourth Inuyasha film. The subject of continuing the anime after the conclusion of the manga was discussed, however at the time Takahashi was nearing the 400th chapter of the manga, and upon the release of that chapter, stated in Weekly Shonen Sunday that she planned to go for at least another 100 chapters.
After four years of silence it seemed extraordinarily unlikely that anymore Inuyasha would ever be animated. The manga continued to run and as long as it continued there was no logical purpose to attempt to conclude the animated series. After fifty-six volumes the manga finally ended in 2008 and in quickly became clear that the rest of the story could be animated rather succinctly. That same year marked Takahashi's 30th anniversary as a manga artist and saw new OVAs of Urusei Yatsura, Ranma ½ and Inuyasha, which adapted the "Black Tetsusaiga" storyline and proved there was still a strong interest in Takahashi's work.
And so, in October 2009 Inuyasha Kanketsuhen debuted with the promise of picking up where the original anime left off and taking the series to its conclusion. One of the major developments with the series was the pioneering effort that saw the anime officially debut on Hulu in the United States on the same day it aired in Japan. The excitement around the new anime also encouraged Viz to speed up their English adaptation of the Inuyasha manga in order to roughly mirror the stories being dealt with in Inuyasha Kanketsuhen. Happily for all of Takahashi's fans, Michihiko Suwa lived up to his promise to see Inuyasha properly concluded.