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No! If you can't go on...then we'll die here together
~ Sango to Miroku

Sango is the secondary female protagonist of the anime/manga series Inuyasha. She is a teenage demon slayer. Before being destroyed, the village had been home to families of demon-slayers who had mastered several techniques to vanquish demons, everything from base rituals to chemical repellents to fighting styles. She and her brother Kohaku were the children of the village's chief.

She is voiced by Houko Kuwashima in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Kelly Sheridan in the English version of the anime.

Appearance

Sango is a teenager of average height with brown eyes and long dark brown hair. She wears pink eyeshadow, and her long hair is usually tied loosely with a ribbon, though it is tied in a high ponytail when Sango is in combat. She is considered to be extremely beautiful by many boys she encounters throughout the story (many of which attempt, and fail, to capture her for her beauty).

Outfit

There are 2 types of outfits that Sango often wears.

  • Sango normally travels wearing a traditional woman's Kimono. Over this she wears a long skirt, most likely "Mo-bakama". Sometimes her Hiraikotsu is seen being carried in this outfit. She completes her outfit with traditional woman's arm guards and leg guards, and straw sandals.
  • Her Demon Slayer outfit consists of a black skin-tight jump suit with a kanji written on her left shoulder that has a decided mainland flavor and pink armor plates made of demon parts. Sango has a red sash around her waist for decoration. She carries her Hiraikotsu and a wakizashi, a sword she also uses in battle.

Personality

I'm going to kill you, then myself. It's my only choice. This is the only way to free you from Naraku. Forgive me, Kohaku.
~ Sango to Kohaku, right before being stopped by Inuyasha
Because she grew up and worked as a demon slayer, Sango had a strong sense of responsibility along with a brave heart. On the other hand, she had feminine emotions, weaknesses, and many human aspects. Consequently, her personality wavered depending on her feelings. Although she was a compassionate person, she displayed a bit more of a no-nonsense attitude than Kagome.

Sango took great pride in being a demon slayer. Being independent and tough by nature, she did not like people helping her. Sango relied on her advanced fighting skills, never letting an enemy escape once she had her sights on it. She fought aggressively and confronted every enemy bravely. She showed no mercy, and had a very strong sense of obligation towards fulfilling her duties. Sango's fighting will was very strong, and once a fire was lit under her, it was not easily doused. Even if, for example, she was seriously injured, she would continue to advance towards her enemy until she defeated it. She fearlessly battled enemies with no regard for her own life. This was seen when she thought Inuyasha had murdered her family and village; even though she was on the brink of death, she fought valiantly.

Sango had great selfless love towards her younger brother Kohaku. She gave her cowardly brother Kohaku encouragement and continuously showed support towards her brother's decisions. Even when Kohaku was under the influence of Naraku, her unconditional love for him never wavered. She remained positive, believing that someday the real Kohaku would come back to her. In the end, despite going through many trials and errors, her hopes were realized. Sango's love for her brother was seen many times throughout the series. For example, she shielded him from being shot by arrows right after he killed her father and fellow slayers. It was also shown when Naraku attempted to manipulate her into killing her brother at his castle; she refused, loving her brother more than her own life. When Kohaku's Sacred Jewel shard was taken out, Sango was incredibly grief-stricken, sobbing for his loss. Consequently, she was extremely grateful when Kikyō saved her brother's life, despite once hating her.

All of Sango's demon slayer comrades were killed, and her only relative, Kohaku, was under the control of Naraku. After all this tragedy, Sango was consumed with loneliness and despair, resolving to do everything alone and trusting no one. Thankfully, her sadness was healed by the gentleness and kindness of Kagome and her newfound friends. Sango developed a deep sense of fondness and gratitude towards her companions as time passed, because of how they stood by her (even when she betrayed them to save her brother), and gave her hope that Kohaku could still be saved. Since then, Sango's loyalty and devotion towards her closest friends was seen time and time again, feeling protective towards all of them. She finally felt a sense of happiness since the misery she had gone through because of Naraku.

Sango thought each matter through calmly and grasped situations logically. Her words and actions were efficient and accurate, and she always came up with quick solutions. However, once she came to a certain conclusion, she would not doubt or rethink it. One of her faults was dashing into things recklessly. Sango showed great intelligence in battle. In addition to the knowledge of her ancestors, she had experience battling numerous demons. She knew how to dominate a battle by finding a demon's weak points based on their characteristics. Sango always felt love for her brother, responsibility as a sister, and feelings of guilt for her companions. She was usually calm, but when it came to Kohaku she could be distracted and was quick to become emotional. While Kohaku was under control of Naraku, these mixed feelings sometimes manifested themselves as rage towards his actions. Due to her various emotions concerning Kohaku, she had at one point decided to kill her brother and then herself so she could take responsibility for his actions. She couldn't bear to see Kohaku, her kind and fainthearted brother, kill innocent people because of Naraku's evil intentions, knowing that the real Kohaku would never be able to do such things, stating that it "would go against his very soul." She felt responsibility, a brutal love, and gentleness towards him as his sister.

As time passed, Sango developed affection for and eventually fell in love with her companion Miroku. This was ironic, since she believed in pure love and held a great deal of disdain and disrespect towards perverts like the monk. Yet every time she saw him womanizing, she was consumed by jealousy and anger towards his shameless flirting. This was in part due to irritation towards herself for not being able to confess her feelings to him, resulting in a conflicted heart, as well as jealousy. One needs to remember that Sango was a young teenager without any experience. Being unfamiliar with romance, Sango had trouble dealing with such love and affection towards and from another person, which proved to be a struggle throughout her relationship with Miroku. In this way, she is similar to Kagome and her feelings towards Inuyasha save Inuyasha spends much of the series pretending he has no affection for Kagome while completely missing any affection Kagome shows him. Miroku, of course, interprets any attention as an invitation to blatantly sexual behavior. While Sango is young, she is not innocent, and she does not wish to be what she believes will be just another sexual conquest. She is also interested in romance in her own way. In a famous scene where she became intoxicated she overtly flirted with Inuyasha. While this is played for comedy, the scene reveals some very important aspects. Miroku became very jealous. While Kagome rants as Sango tried to get Inuyasha to play with her a bit, Miroku did not approach Kagome. He remains upset and focused on Sango. In another scene, when Miroku tries to dismiss his continuous proposals as something he does to every girl he meets since he wishes to preserve his line, Sango sheepishly mumbles that he had never asked her. Naturally, Miroku immediately proposes, and Sango reacts violently, but the scene reveals some of her feelings and perhaps insecurity. As "match-maker" Kagome lamented in a later scene, Miroku simply does not understand "mood" and does not know how to treat a woman he actually cares about. Thus in yet another scene, which Kagome watches hidden with Inuyasha, things seemed to go smoothly between Sango and Miroku. Kagome, who had previously enthusiastically daydreamed about a wedding between the two, eagerly announces that they had "confessed" their love. Then, naturally, Miroku places his hand on Sango's breast resulting in Sango's violent response. Kagome could only lament that Miroku had no understanding.

Their mutual affection becomes, then, an "open secret" for the rest of the gang who mainly blame Miroku for "hurting" Sango. For his part, Miroku occasionally revealed to them his irritation that they think he does not care for her. He surprised them with his flashes of jealousy and concerns that were clearly beyond simple physical attraction. Over the course of the series Sango moves from interest and jealousy to genuine love for Miroku. However, she remained furious with his behavior. Sango hated his lecherous aspects, often directed at herself and other women, since she believed that he was only physically attracted to her and showed little respect towards her as a person. To give an example, when he consoled her in one scene she was very happy until he took her positive response as license to, once again, rub her butt. She angrily wonders to herself why he could not at least start with her "shoulder" before inflicting painful vengeance. In other words, Sango had affection for Miroku, but she is frustrated that he moves too fast which will always suggest he sees her as an object rather than a person. In another scene, when they sit alone together and he behaves very maturely and respectfully, she takes the opportunity to start rubbing his butt. She explains she wanted to make sure it was him and not his companion disguised as him!

Thus throughout much of the series, Sango wonders about her feelings towards him, wonders if he actually likes her as oppose to viewing her as just another girl, and he seethes in jealousy whenever he, inevitably, "proposes" to yet another woman. When Miroku finally revealed his true feelings to her in a situation when he expected to die, she came to recognize his sincerity hidden beneath his behavior. In this way, she is like Kagome learning that Inuyasha actually cared for her, despite his attempts to hide it. When Miroku proposed marriage and a potential family life together, repeating, very seriously, his trademark request that she bear his children, Sango tearfully accepted without hesitation.

Background

Sango originally lived in the demon slayer village with her parents and brother. One day during a hunt Sango is slays a centipede demon,, the creature was far stronger than it should have been and upon it's defeat Songo discovers why, the creature possessed a shard of the sacred Shikon Jewel, a powerful charm which bestowed divine power upon the user. The jewel had been shattered recently but even small shard of it were enough to enhance the properties of the world around it. Songo asked simply to keep the jewel shard as payment for dealing with the centipede, he clients agreed and she returned to the village with job well done and a great and powerful trophy.

Shortly after Songo's return, the village is contacted by the Kagewaki noble family to vanquish a spider demon, the village best hunters, including the elder were called in for the beast along Songo and her still in-training brother, Kohaku. The Spider demon was powerful and used one of it's spiders to latch onto and possess Kohaku, who slaughtered all the others/ Sango managed to free her brother by killing the demon but he was promtly struck by the true demon, the lord of the castle, who had become the demon's host. Sango is at death door when prince Kagewaki slays his father, recognize him as being possessed, he then orders that the demon slayers be given proper burials to make amends for their deaths at the hands of his possessed father. With Sango still clinging to life, prince Kagewaki has her brought into the palace to have her wounds tended to.

While being healed Kagewaki's adviser Naraku came into see him, to alter him to the fact that the village had just been destroyed by a half-demon called Inuyasha, Songo, enraged, leaves her bed to go destroy the half-demon. Kagawaki tries to stop Songo, insisting she is still too weak. Songo is grateful to Kagewaki for trying to honor her family, tending to her wounds and going as far as to kill his own father to stop the demon that murdered them for but made up her mind-made to avenging her home on the half-demon who took away her only remaining ties. Upon hering her proclamation of revenge, Naraku tells her he can use the jewel shard she possessed to grant her the strngth to fight and temporarily vests her with the strength to ignore her injuries.

Songo goes to destroy the passing by Inuyasha and his friends Kagome, Miroku and Shippō. Inuyasha, Kagome and Shippō were searching for shards of the Shikon Jewel to restore it. Miroku had been searching for a demon who had cursed him by placing a black void in the center of his palm that would eventually consume him even with sacred wards to hold it back. While passing through the four are ambushed by Songo. Songo was dead-set on destroy Inuyasha. Inuysha had no desire to kill Songo but was willing to fight her to pacify her. Eventually Songo is defeated, when she falls Naraku appears to grab the shards from her and leaves her to die. Songo awakes to find that she had been tricked, that Inuyasha and his friends had done little more than bury the bodies of the villagers after Naraku killed them, they also state that the shard only prevented her from feeling pain but she was still exhausting her body and would have died if she kept fighting. Songo shifted her vengeance where it belonged, upon Naraku and made it her new mission to destroy him. Inuyasha, Kagome, Shippō and Miroku go with her to help as they not only sympathized with her but had business with Naraku and the Jewel shards.

Arrival at the castle revealed that Naraku had been slowly killing off and raising the guards as his servants. Narak had originally used a demonic puppet to steal the shards but was in-fact recovering in the castle to replenish his dying body. As it turns out Naraku had used prince Kagewaki as his new body and had be taking advantage of his new bodies ties as a noble. Naruku demonstrates the power of the many shards he has collected including one that has revived Kohaku. The shard was keeping Kohaku alive but also allowing Naraku to directly control his actions, unlike the spider demon, removal of the shard would kill Kohaku outright and Naraku used Songo's feelings for her brother against her. After a narrow escape Naraku leaves his hunters to wallow in defeat as he gets away with most of the jewel shards and Songo's brother. Songo decides to join Inuyasha, Kagome, Shippō and Miroku in their quest to find Naraku and destroy him.

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