I seek nothing more than to battle the most powerful beings alive, which excludes the lowly likes of you.

Sesshōmaru is a major antagonist-turned-supporting protagonist in the anime/manga series InuYasha. He is a powerful dog daiyōkai who is feared throughout the feudal world, the half-brother of the hanyō Inuyasha and the first son to the Inu no Taishō, their father.

Unlike many other yōkai, he has no interest in possessing even one shard of the Shikon Jewel to enhance his powers. On his journey, he is accompanied by a two-headed dragon named A-Un, a demon imp named Jaken, and an orphaned human little girl named Rin.

Years later, he eventually marries with an adult Rin and has two twin daughters with her, Setsuna and Towa Higurashi.

He is voiced by Ken Narita in the Japanese version of the anime, and by David Kaye and Michael Dangerfield (The Final Act) in the English version of the anime.

Appearance

Humanoid form Sesshōmaru appears handsome and frail-looking at the same time, appearing as a tall and slender young man. He has fair skin with pointy ears, golden eyes with slit pupils, and waist-length white hair with short bangs. He has a crescent moon on his forehead that can be seen beneath his bangs, two stripes on each cheek, and a magenta stripe on each eyelid. When he uses his Dakkoso three stripes appear on his wrists.

Yōkai form Sesshōmaru's true form is a giant white dog with markings similar to the ones he has in his human form. His eyes become red with blue irises; the yōkai marks on his body widen and become more apparent the stripes on his cheeks which are usually smooth become jagged and change into a somewhat fiercer color while his mokomoko wraps around his body and extends into his tail. He only fully transforms to his yōkai form three times: during a battle with Inuyasha, which results in the loss of his left arm, again when he meets his mother, and finally during the battle against Magatsuhi.

Sesshōmaru's armor includes a spiked pauldron that covers his left shoulder attached to the upper section of his cuirass and "lotus petal" faulds. When damaged, the armor automatically regenerates itself using yōki. Both his armor and his long flowing sash have a decided Chinese influence, as opposed to the customary Japanese armor and obi. His kimono is mostly white with a red and white cherry blossom flower crest at the collar and sleeves, showing that he is of royal birth. He wears sashinuki hakama which are gathered at the ankles, producing a "ballooning" effect. His footwear consists of black ankle-high boots, also reminiscent of Mainland influence. On his right shoulder is his mokomoko-sama: the fur and tail of his true form which he retains in his humanoid form.

In the 3rd movie it is seen in his younger year he worn a similar but different outfit. His kimono was cream color and had leaf patterns, and a blue sash belt.

Personality

Sesshōmaru, born of a great demon bloodline, possesses the perfect power that many demons desire. Because of this he is always composed and confident in his power.

His air of aloofness and indifference is a product of dignity that only one of such rare demonic power may possess. Sesshōmaru is more or less emotionless; only anger, annoyance, and dissatisfaction showing on his face. Because both his heart and body are so strong, he had no desire whatsoever for the Shikon Jewel. He had absolute confidence in his power, so he did not need the Shikon Jewel and doesn't have to conspire with allies. Sesshōmaru even responded sarcastically towards Naraku, who had assumed an air of impudence due to his increased demon power. In battle he judged his enemy's power level and attacked with the minimum power necessary. He dealt with his enemies after determining their power. Once he had realized their weak point, their attacks were futile.

Sesshōmaru is obsessively proud of his father the Inu no Taishō, of whom the whole demon world was in awe. Because he respects his bloodline so much, he despises Inuyasha as well as Inuyasha's human mother Izayoi. He insults Naraku, who tried to take advantage of Sesshōmaru's power. All that his father left him was a dull sword that wouldn't cut anything. Anger welled up in his heart for not being able to use Tenseiga, which was left by his father, whom he highly respects. Sesshōmaru held resentment towards his father for having left Tessaiga to Inuyasha, whose power was weaker than his own. However, over time, Sesshōmaru comes to grasp why his father gave him Tenseiga and lets go of his disgust towards his half-brother, even showing concern for him in rare moments. He was also secretly angry that Naraku, who was assembled by demons far lower in level than Sesshōmaru, used abusive language and disrespect towards him. Sesshōmaru had stated that he seeks to only fight the strongest beings alive and how he had wanted to fight his father and defeat him. Sesshōmaru's love for his father was so great that even though he inherited the at the time worthless Tenseiga, he kept it around him for sentimental value. During the brief period Tenseiga was stolen from him in the third movie, he stated Tenseiga is not a sword he would miss if he lost if not for his father.

Sesshōmaru felt nothing for others, sneering and dismissing humane feelings. Anyone in his way is an enemy whom he will exterminate without hesitation. He does not hold back his power, even against women. He rationalizes that all his prey is the same and defeats them accordingly. For one with such pride in his power, cooperation is proof of weakness and being alone is a condition for the strong. Once he judges someone as an obstacle, he is quick to kill without hesitation.

He used to feel nothing for anyone, but meeting various people, such as the ever-changing Inuyasha, Naraku with his numerous proposals, and all-alone Rin had brought change to his heart. After he saved Rin and became a true owner of Tenseiga, he started to show feelings behind his heartless and cruel words. He stopped the demonic Inuyasha's wildness by controlling his power and he looked at him like an older brother reprimanding a younger brother, though claimed he would kill Inuyasha despite his actions showing the opposite. He even refrained from killing Kohaku when he could easily do so, when he looked in his eyes and saw emptiness and that he had given up everything.

Sesshōmaru has a very inquiring mind when there is something he cares about, but at the same time, he had almost no tenacity of purpose. If he becomes interested in something else, he will arbitrarily turn his back on what he's doing, even during battle. Just like his fighting style, he is quick to make decisions and act on then immediately.

The encounter with Rin awakened him as the true user of Tenseiga. The smile and fleeting life of this young girl who tried to save him caused Sesshōmaru to change for the first time. The will of his father, who cared for humans, has finally been passed to his oldest son. Sesshōmaru used to leave anything behind that might bind him but he has slowly but surely changed. Sesshōmaru genuinely cares about Rin and Jaken and while he rarely shows it, he does appreciate their loyalty. Sesshōmaru originally held much contempt towards protecting the weak, seeing it as a waste of time and ridiculous. Unlike the Inu no Taishō and Inuyasha, Sesshōmaru has trouble admitting he had people to protect (Rin and Jaken) and out of pride, would never admit that he does, as Sword of An Honorable Ruler showed. Another trait of Sesshōmaru is one he shares with his younger brother. Both have tempers and are very easy to annoy (Inuyasha being loud in his anger, Sesshōmaru being subtle) as he has been known to hit Jaken when he says something that displeases him, similar to how Inuyasha is with Shippō.

Growing Compassion

Sesshōmaru, who previously was a cold-hearted, arrogant, and extremely powerful daiyōkai was humbled by his "worthless half-breed" brother, Inuyasha, who used the sword to cut off his left arm. In another incident, Sesshōmaru had used his poison claws against Inuyasha, temporarily blinding him. Having sensed the clashing of the two yōki, Inuyasha unknowingly used the Wind Scar against Sesshōmaru. The Tenseiga prevented a possible fatality and transported the daiyōkai's battered body. Sesshōmaru quickly rested for the time-being in a forest near a village, where he first met the orphan girl, Rin.

He was cared for by Rin during his rehabilitation from injury. He was initially hostile to the mute girl, who offered him food, by refusing to eat and telling her to "mind her own business." However, the little child continued to serve him. Once he recovered, he set off with Jaken, but he sensed Rin's blood scent when she was attacked and mauled by Kōga's wolves; he was initially going to ignore her but when Tenseiga pulsed and told him to save her he used Tenseiga to resurrect her, whereupon she began to follow him. This incident proved to be the turning point in his life as it dramatically transformed his attitude towards everyone else. This was apparent when Rin was seen wearing new and colorful kimono later. When Rin falls off to the cliff in the process of getting life-saving herbs for Jaken, Sesshōmaru comes in a bolt of light to save her after she called out his name. In Forever With Lord Sesshōmaru, after Sesshōmaru saves Rin, he asks Rin to do what she wishes. This is not at all typical of Sesshōmaru, as he was usually shown to leave Jaken at times before he met Rin. Jaken is even shown to be mumbling that "Lord Sesshōmaru will kill him if something happens to Rin," obviously showing his concern for the girl's safety. Sesshōmaru, while fighting Jakotsu, rushes off to rescue Rin, who fell when the bridge broke. Jakotsu notes that Rin is Sesshōmaru's weak point. Exploiting this fact, Suikotsu and Jakotsu threatens to kill Rin when they are cornered. Sesshōmaru even saves Kohaku, Rin's best friend and protector, who was under Naraku's control, under the behest of Inuyasha and his friends. These are some of the many traces of compassion that Sesshōmaru displays.

Sesshōmaru's compassion for Rin is evident, but he prefers to disguise it, because it would taint his pride. However, he shows his love and concern for Rin when she appears to be dead due to her time in Hell. Sesshōmaru enters Hell for the purpose of rescuing her, but upon learning that he cannot save her life, he is crushed. When he realizes that it was his urge to strengthen Tenseiga which brought them to Hell and ultimately killed her, he casts the sword aside and says that for the sword to gain power at the expense of Rin's life means nothing. However, when Sesshōmaru's mother revives Rin, he is seems to be relieved. Finally the will of his father, who cared for humans, has been passed to his son.

When Kagura was injured, Sesshōmaru originally intended to leave her in the river she was drowning in, but when Rin falls in trying to save her and Jaken follows Rin, Sesshōmaru pulls all three from the river. He stayed there afterwards and warned her not to do anything that would get her killed. Later however, before Kagura's death, Sesshōmaru seeks her out and considers using the Tenseiga, only to conclude that Tenseiga cannot save her.

He has also been shown saving Inuyasha's friends on several occasions. On his way to Mount Hakurei, Sesshōmaru saves Kagome, Miroku, and Sango from the poison master Mukotsu, one of the Band of Seven but only claims that he killed Mukotsu because he would not answer his questions. He also revives a young otter yōkai's father, claiming that it was the will of Tenseiga. Another example is when Inuyasha and his companions are involved in a fight with the "water god" Numawatari: when Sesshōmaru arrives, he insults Inuyasha's inability to kill a "low life yōkai," and then easily dispatches Numawatari using his Meidō Zangetsuha ability, leaving straight after.

Also, when Byakuya, Naraku's newest incarnation, is about to take Kohaku, who had one of the last three shards of the Shikon Jewel, back to Naraku, Sesshōmaru appears and launches a ranged Meidō Zangetsuha (still in the crescent moon shape), barely missing him. Byakuya flees, claiming that he does not want to die, and comments on how it is so unlike Sesshōmaru to save someone. Thereafter, Sesshōmaru seems to have taken Kohaku under his protection, albeit in his typical grudging demon-slayer fashion. Later, when Kohaku's shard gets tainted by Magatsuhi, Sesshōmaru attempts to save Kohaku at the expense of great injury to his arm.

It is his compassion that caused the Tenseiga to be reforged as a weapon. Its offensive powers were locked until Sesshōmaru was able to show true compassion. In his battle with Mōryōmaru, the villain insulted the dying Kagura, which angers Sesshōmaru and he shatters Mōryōmaru's indestructible shell (and his only weapon in the process). Acknowledging the yōkai's growth because he is defending a dead person, Tenseiga called to its creator to reforge it as a weapon. Later, to show his compassion and respect for his father, he gave the offensive powers of his sword to Inuyasha (albeit in his typical fashion) in accordance with his father's wishes and recognizing his brother's worth as the heir to the sword.

He refused to use Bakusaiga on Inuyasha when even Magatsuhi noted it was the obvious choice to make and in the third movie Swords of an Honorable Ruler it is hinted that he actually does care about Inuyasha but refuses to admit it when he is protecting him from the Sō’unga's "Dragon Twister" attack.

Despite his growing compassion, he, like his brother, uses impolite Japanese. He addresses strangers or people he does not like with "kisama," which, like "temee," is an offensive form of "you," though still more formal. He addresses himself with the polite "watashi", signifying his high rank and power. Other than "kisama," he uses "omae," either to Jaken or to Inuyasha, the latter being occasionally and not rarely. Thus, he can be insulting while retaining the dignified speech pattern of a lord, as opposed to the rougher speech used by Inuyasha.

Relationships

Family

Sesshomaru and Toga

Sesshomaru had a deep admiration for his father's power and respected him, considering him the strongest demon in existence. However, due to Sesshomaru's desire for supreme power and conquest over all and disregard for humans sharply contrasting to Toga's humble and good heart and compassion for humanity, their relationship was strained, Toga being exasperated by his son's single-minded desire for power and rulership and ruthlessness and Sesshomaru disdainful of his father's love for Izayoi and Inuyasha. In their last meeting before Toga gave his life to save Inuyasha and Izayoi, Sesshomaru expressed some concern over his father's wounds from fighting Ryukotsusei by questioning him if he seriously wanted to go without healing his wounds but knowing he couldn't stop his father, instead asked for Tessaiga and Sounga and Toga refused to give him and even indicated he would overcome Sesshomaru if he tried to take it by force. Sesshomaru said nothing, indicating he was hoping that his father would give what he deemed to be his birthright willingly. The final exchange of words between father and son was Toga asking whether his son had anything to protect, clearly showing he was asking if there was anything other than his desire for power that Sesshomaru held dear, and Sesshomaru's flat scorn sealed Toga's decision to pass on the Tenseiga to him instead of the Tessaiga, though perhaps as he had placed a barrier that not even Sesshomaru could breach this was actually to protect him from the harm it would take to wield the sword, but primarily he did this along with many other things in order to teach Sesshomaru the importance of compassion and humbleness.

Sesshomaru was extremely angry and resentful that all he was left with was a healing sword that was useless in terms of combat power but as the series progressed, he started to show a more jealous and emotional side, revealing that he believed Toga favored Inuyasha over him and he hated Inuyasha because Toga died to save him and Izayoi, seeming to show that despite his aloof demeanor when they met for the last time, Sesshomaru actually did feel some guilt that he didn't stop his father and let him die what he believed to be a miserable death and took it out on Inuyasha in order to spare himself the blame, suggesting despite his claims of wishing to defeat his father and prove his supreme power, he truly did want his father's approval. It may be that Sesshomaru wanted to prove his father's choice wrong by killing Inuyasha out of bitter spite. However, despite this, he never lost his admiration and deep down attachment to his father, punching Inuyasha for fighting in his grave and stated he wouldn't miss Tenseiga had it not been his father who left it to him, suggesting despite not getting his wish of being bestowed the Tessaiga, Sesshomaru did in fact value the healing sword, if only as a sentimental value to remind him of his father. When met by his father's spirit, Sesshomaru for the first time showed genuine awe and respect and as his father praised both him and Inuyasha for their success in sealing away Sounga, he looked on somberly as his father's spirit vanished, seemingly touched by the fact that his father had finally praised him. When it was revealed his father had made it so that Tenseiga could be forged into a weapon with the deadly technique of Meido Zangetsuha, Sesshomaru's views of his father seemed to have taken a turn for the better as he clearly felt closure that his father did in fact acknowledge he was worthy, but alas this newfound closure soon vanished when he learned that Meido Zangetsuha was meant to be Inuyasha's and that his father seemingly never intended for him to reach his full potential, enraging and reopening the old wounds of jealousy and betrayal even further than it had ever been opened. Nevertheless, Sesshomaru continued to have deep respect for his father and willingly relinquished the technique to Inuyasha, though only when he proved himself worthy.

Sesshomaru and His Mother

Although it was clearly his mother who had raised him since Toga had left to be with Kagome and Inuyasha, Sesshomaru and his mother seemed to have a formal relationship instead of a warm familial one, as evidenced by the way they interacted and Sesshomaru's willingness to ignore her warnings. Sesshomaru's mother kept a generous but lightly sarcastic attitude around him but it was shown that like with her former mate, she was exasperated with Sesshomaru's hunger for power and pride. Indeed, she knew fully well that Rin would get taken to the Underworld and die but she allowed it to happen despite knowing Sesshomaru would obviously be hurt by it in order to harshly lecture him on how with all his power and Tensaiga's ability to save lives, he is not a god and that he must learn to stop denying that he can in fact care for others, knowing that the only way to teach him that lesson was if he experienced for himself the grief and suffering of losing someone he cared about, and that the path to growing more powerful isn't about increasing his demonic power, it's also about growing his heart. However, she ultimately showed she loved her son by resurrecting Rin for him and was pleased to see Sesshomaru finally expressing care for someone, stating he's finally becoming like his father. Sesshomaru in return seemed to acknowledge that his mother was right, not expressing any complain after she revealed why she put him through that, and was clearly grateful to see Rin resurrected.

Sesshomaru and Rin

Rin is a young orphan who becomes the traveling companion of Sesshōmaru and Jaken. When Sesshōmaru was injured by the Wind Scar after trying to steal the Tessaiga again from Inuyasha, Rin bravely attempted to care for him as he lay near a tree, bringing him water and food. Sesshōmaru initially rejected her kindness, telling her generosity was a waste, as he does not eat human food. She continues to bring him things and he is caught off guard by her smile. After letting his wolf pack hunt, Kōga's wolves killed Rin. Sesshōmaru, recognizing the scent of Rin's blood, stumbled upon her dead body in the forest. He was initially going to ignore her, but the image of her smile flashed in his mind, he unsheathed Tenseiga and it began to pulsate. He then saw the beings of the underworld surround Rin's body and decided to resurrect her with the Tenseiga as a "test." To his surprise, her heart began to beat again and she is revived. From that day forward, she would be by Sesshōmaru's side along with Jaken and a two-headed dragon yōkai known as A-Un.

Throughout the series, Rin's warmness and kindness play a significant role on Sesshōmaru. His growing compassion for her allows him to advance in battle. He constantly rescues her and looks out for her despite claiming he did not care for her. He often instructs her to stay in a safe place with A-Un when he knows he is going somewhere dangerous. He often avoids killing in front of her, unless it is the only way to protect her. When Sesshōmaru sought out to improve his Meidō Zangetsuha technique, but realizes it came at the cost of Rin's life, he finally felt sorrow from the loss of his beloved companion. Concerned with her son's sadness, Sesshōmaru's mother resurrected Rin with the Meidō Stone.

Following Naraku's defeat and after some input by Kaede, Sesshōmaru agrees that Rin needs to reside in a village to get used to living with humans once again and where she is safe from potential harm. In this scene it is implied that leaving Rin in the village for now is to allow her to choose which world Rin wishes to live in when she matures. He continues to pay her regular visits often bringing presents with him; she is last seen receiving a kimono from him.

Sesshōmaru would later reciprocate Rin's affection and they would wed. Thus leading to the birth of their daughters. At some point, he would seemingly place Rin in a deep sleep and bury her in the Tree of Ages, continuing to watch over her.

Sesshomaru and His Daughters

Towa and Setsuna are his twin daughters. He left them at a very young age which Setsuna and Kaede refer to as "A Rite of Courage and Cowardice". It was later revealed he left them in order to keep them safe from Kirinmaru and Zero and had Jaken protect and watch over them and though he allowed Homura to burn the forest they were in, it was indicated that he couldn't interfere less Zero kill them herself.

Sesshomaru and Inuyasha

Aside from the fact that Sesshōmaru loathed humans and hanyō, Sesshōmaru despised Inuyasha not only because he wields the Tessaiga, is a hanyō and his half-brother, but also because he couldn't stand the fact that his father's yōkai blood courses through his veins. The feeling is pretty much mutual on Inuyasha's part, who hated Sesshomaru for his treatment of him. For almost the first half of the series, Sesshōmaru's hatred for Inuyasha seemed to stem at least in part from his strained relationship with his father; both from the fact that he was given the "useless" Tenseiga instead of Tessaiga, and because of his failure to understand both of their affinities for humans. After much growth and reflection, Sesshōmaru eventually starts to care for Inuyasha, though he would never admit it, and vice versa. While Sesshōmaru continues to make rude comments towards Inuyasha, their relationship eventually improves, and they appear to look out for each other in battle, as shown when they join forces to battle against Naraku. By the end of the series, Sesshōmaru appeared to have more-or-less lost his antipathy for Inuyasha, and even decided to leave Rin in Kaede's village (which was Inuyasha's home) in order for her to re-integrate into human society. When Sesshōmaru decided to temporarily join forces with Kirinmaru, apparently to protect his two daughters, despite Kirinmaru wishing to kill his half-brother, Sesshōmaru's true goals was clearly to also protect Inuyasha, Kagome and their daughter, as they were warned by apparently Sesshōmaru himself and able to send Moroha to safety and Sesshōmaru decided to seal him and Kagome away to his father's grave to protect them, with Jaken even stating Sesshōmaru will eventually release Inuyasha under the pretense of needing Inuyasha's Meidō Zangetsuha in the future.

Sesshomaru and Kagome

Because of her affiliation with Inuyasha, and his hatred for all humans in general, Sesshōmaru had little regard for Kagome. Kagome reacted angrily surprised when she realized that an attack by him in the remains of his and Inuyasha's father was intended to kill her. For his part, Sesshōmaru found Inuyasha's mere association with a human yet another reason to despise him. Over the course of the series in both the manga and anime, Sesshōmaru demonstrates a change of heart he will admit to no one. He begins to look out for her, protecting her from enemies such as Mukotsu and Naraku. Part of his grudging acceptance of her and his half-brother Inuyasha comes from his companionship with Rin. Nevertheless, his tolerance remains "a work in progress." Kagome in return seemed to have began to view him in a higher regard as he saaved her several times, to where she had no qualms working with him and seemed much more tolerant of him than Inuyasha.

By the end of the series, Sesshomaru and Kagome met again three years after Naraku's defeat and while Sesshōmaru flies over the village after visiting Rin and merely mutters a "hrrm!" when Jaken remarks she has returned, the excited Kagome yells to him with "お兄さん" (onīsan, "big brother"), meaning she is his sister-in-law, having married Inuyasha. This startles him and he glares back at her. Kagome is surprised at his "dirty look" and an embarrassed Inuyasha admits that address does not "sound right." However, it was evident that he does accept her but is not willing to admit it, as he even tells Jaken to shut up less get beaten.

Sesshōmaru later prevents Kirinmaru from killing her and her husband, instead sealing them away in his father's grave to keep them safe, at the pretense of needing Inuyasha's Meidō Zangetsuha.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Immense Demonic Power: As the full blooded son of the Great Dog Demon, Sesshōmaru is overwhelmingly powerful, being a match for any opponent he encounters. In addition to his infamous physical prowess far exceeding that of many demons, Sesshomaru also possesses a plethora of powerful techniques at his disposal. Even the arrogant Naraku, who became famous amongst demons through his collection of the Shikon Jewel Shards, acknowledged Sesshomaru was far more powerful than himself and stated the Sesshomaru is the perfect demon. Indeed, even with Naraku's barrier protecting him from Sesshomaru's assaults, Sesshomaru proved able to easily handle Naraku's attacks to where Naraku acknowledged he couldn't defeat Sesshomaru. His power easily surpassed that of Inuyasha, said to be capable of completely controlling Sounga whereas Inuyasha could only supress it with great effort and being viable to wield Meido Zangetsuha due to his immense power able to easily wield the terrible jaki that would have killed Inuyasha until he grew strong enough to withstand it. Indeed, he even overpowers Inuyasha's Backlash Wave and as such exceeded Tessaiga's power with a powerful attack of his own demonic energy, though not without visible struggle. The level of his demonic powers are such that he was able to easily subdue the malevolent demonic aura of Tokijin created from Goshinki's hatred when Kaijinbo, the creator of the sword, was possessed and consumed by it. His demonic powers eventually grew to where he was able to manifest his own demonic sword, Bakusaiga, and Totosai commented that Sesshomaru's powers had surpassed his father's, though when he fought Kirinmaru, who was stated to rival Toga's power, they proved to be equally matched.
    • Dokkasō: Sesshōmaru has claw-like fingernails, and can injure — or even kill — an entire group of thieves using his claws. He can also scratch with his claws and release a potent poison at the same time to melt his enemies. Though he normally applies it through his claw strikes, he can also spray the acid from his claws or transfer it into his punches. His poison is strong enough to melt rock or bone; a mere human will melt in an instant. If his poison is taken in internally, it will remain inside and be in effect for a long period of time — even in those with demonic power.
    • Mokomoko-sama: The rich fur on Sesshōmaru's shoulder is a part of his body and can stretch to great lengths, giving him defensive capabilities and some means of attack.
    • Light Whip: Sesshōmaru can generate a thin, whip-like strand of yellow-green energy from his fingertips to aid him in place of his missing arm. It has shown to be able to puncture armor and flesh with ease and can burn flesh upon contact, similar to his poison. He appears to be capable of manifesting this energy without its destructive properties, allowing him to use it to catch falling allies or yank someone out of danger without damaging them.
    • Sōryūha': Sesshomaru is capable of releasing a massively powerful blast of yoki in the form of a blue dragon. It's powerful enough to challenge and even defeat Inuyasha's Bakuryuha, though not without visible effort, and with Inuyasha's Bakuryuha, it was capable of destroying Sounga once and for all. Sesshōmaru can even channel the energy into the ground to circumvent his opponent's defenses.
  • Immense Strength: Sesshōmaru possesses Herculean strength, even with one arm. He has repeatedly overpowered and powerfully thrown aside Inuyasha and could easily equal Inuyasha's strength in their later fights even as Inuyasha had grew stronger still with one hand. He can even use his claws to easily tear through solid rock, and through the bodies of most demons. When he crossed swords with Kirinmaru, they clashed with enough force to release massive shockwaves.
  • Immense Speed: Sesshōmaru can move at massive speeds to be able to creat afterimages and close distances quickly and without warning. His speed far exceeded that of Inuyasha's own considerable speed, as in their fights, Inuyasha was not capable of landing a single hit on Sesshōmaru even with Tessaiga in hand until he learned the Wind Scar. He even got behind the cautious Naraku with ease.
  • Keen Senses: Sesshōmaru has excellent olfaction and is able to determine circumstances by scents on the wind. Even for things far away, he can learn what's going on and obtain information by smell alone. He can discern certain characteristics about an individual through scent alone; for example, the scent of graveyard soil allowed him to identify the undead nature of the Band of Seven.
  • Invulnerability and Immense Endurance: Due to his massive demonic power, Sesshomaru has an overwhelming amount of durability that allows him to effortlessly withstand many powerful attacks, though not invincible but enough that only some of the strongest attacks in the series have been shown to harm him and even then failed to kill him, and even when he suffered an incredible amount of damage, he could easily remain fully combat capable. This was demonstrated when he was able to easily kill an army of human samurai just after losing his left arm and initial battle over the Tessaiga to Inuyasha. Later on Sesshōmaru managed to withstand the Kaze no Kizu head-on long enough for Tenseiga to use its barrier ability to protect Sesshōmaru from the lethal damage level of the attack. Sesshōmaru displayed noticably greater physical durability and endurance compared to Inuyasha, as he was able to withstand being griveously impaled and injured by Magatsuhi and continue to fight with little strain whereas Inuyasha was left crippled. Sesshōmaru is also shown to be able to withstand the shock of the Anti-Demon Barrier placed on Tessaiga in order to use occasionally when need be with little reaction and minimum injuries, at worst only suffering a burned arm that did little to hinder him. Indeed, he has shown the greatest resistance toward holy and divine powers; he was able to enter Mt. Hakurei's purification barrier, by far the strongest of its type in the series, without being purified, only being slightly weakened. In another instance, Sesshōmaru catches one of Kagome’s purification arrows barehanded and to no ill-effect; any other demon would have been severely injured, if not outright purified.
  • Accelerated Healing: Being an extremely powerful demon, Sesshōmaru possessed an incredibly strong regenerative factor, enough to be able to recover from severe wounds and had shown to be much stronger than Inuyasha, able to heal his wounds in a rate that far exceeded Inuyasha's. Though not able to heal the left arm Inuyasha cut off, he had eventually regenerated most of the injuries Inuyasha dealt to him. Likewise, in a matter of moments, he was able to close the wounds dealt by Moryomaru piercing him with multiple tentacles and even the nasty burn he suffered from wielding Tessaiga in the third movie was swiftly healed in a matter of moments. When fighting Magatsuhi, Sesshomaru displayed the ability to focus his energies to greatly increase the rate of his healing, able to to rapidly heal the burns and gashes on his right arm, as well as several large holes stabbed right through his body. When he finally let go of his desire for Tessaiga and manifested his Bakusaiga, Sesshomaru's regenerative power grew strong enough to surpass the power of the sword to grow back his left arm, which was cut off by Inuyasha at the beginning of the series.
  • Longevity: As a Great Demon, Sesshōmaru has supernatural longevity. He appears to be physically around 19 years old despite being chronologically over 900 years old.
  • Transformation: As a Daiyōkai, Sesshōmaru possesses the ability to transform into either an orb of light or a huge silver furred dog anytime he wants. When transforming back and forth, his clothing, weapons, and other accoutrements seem to simply vanish and then re-appear on his person.
    • Immense Physical Strength: While in this form, Sesshōmaru's strength becomes even greater with his stomps and simple attacks possessing devastating effect. When he first used this against Inuyasha when his brother first claimed the Tessaiga, he was able to demolish parts of his father's giant corpse by simply pushing through it and later ripped apart Magatsuhi's physical form from Naraku's flesh when his human form could do little damage to it.
      • Immense Physical Speed: Despite the large size of his true form, Sesshōmaru possesses astounding speed for an enormous dog where Inuyasha had a hard time dodging some his attacks during their first battle over Tessaiga despite being more agile. When he transformed in order to fight against Magatsuhi, Sesshōmaru was able to bite off and decapitate the demon spirit's physical form's head before he could react when the dog demon took him by surprise.
    • Poisoned Fangs: While in his giant dog form, the toxins of Sesshōmaru's poison claws are transferred into his fangs. This caused his bite to have extremely caustic effects, an ability which is also transferred to his saliva. Additionally, his saliva can be turned into a poisonous, mist-like gas.
    • Teleportation: Sesshōmaru's orb of light form gives him the ability to quickly teleport away if necessary, as seen when Sesshōmaru morphed into a ball of energy to escape his father's grave. He later used this form to pursue a fleeing Tōtōsai, materializing upon impacting with the ground and producing an explosion.
  • Flight: Sesshōmaru is capable of independent flight in his humanoid form, and can also hover motionlessly above the ground. He occasionally permits other individuals to accompany him by carrying them on his mokomoko-sama.

Abilities

  • Keen Intellect: Due to his keen instincts and great power, Sesshōmaru is experienced in analyzing any given situation, finding the best route towards his success. He was able to come to the correct conclusion towards any given mystery in his quest of power once he attained the basic understanding of the situation. In the flashback of the third movie, Sesshōmaru was able to correctly deduce that his father was testing him when asked if he had someone to protect, but denied it due to his pride. By having the Unmother lure Inuyasha into an illusion of his real mother, Sesshōmaru eventually figured out that the black pearl was hidden in Inuyasha's right eye. Once he was told of Tenseiga's true nature as a cast off of Tessaiga to contain the Meidō Zangetsuha, Sesshōmaru immediately deduced the correct conclusion that the Inu no Taishō intended for Sesshōmaru to master the technique before giving it to Inuyasha. Even more impressively was when despite being clearly emotionally hurt and angry over his father's seeming unfavorism towards him, presented with Naraku's offer to get rid of Inuyasha and wield the Tessaiga's powers, Sesshomaru proved his sharpness and strategic appitude even while emotionally conflicted by easily deducing that Naraku simply wanted to manipulate him and outright managed to outsmart him by pretending to fight with his half-brother while also psychologically pressuring Inuyasha into becoming strong enough to wield the Meido, with Naraku never noticing Sesshomaru's deception. Eventually, after seeing how Magatsuhi survive a decapitation by his true form, Sesshōmaru deduced that the demon was a spirit possessing Naraku's flesh, and struck it with Tenseiga. Sesshomaru later on came up with a succesful plan to save his brother, sister-in-law and niece from the wrath of Kirinmaru by pretending to work with Kirinmaru so he could stay ahead and use the black pearl on Inuyasha's eye to seal them away and also managed to convince him that he simply needed Inuyasha's Meido Zangetsuha.
  • Master Swordsman: Sesshōmaru is an extremely skilled in swordsmanship, having wielded several demon swords in battle and able to quickly adapt and master all of them upon just being given the weapon. His skills vastly surpassed that of Inuyasha, easily and consistently proving superior to his younger brother, only ever losing rarely due to some aid from others and only after Sesshōmaru had held the upper hand and Inuyasha became accustomed to Sesshōmaru's skills, and even as Inuyasha eventually developed his skills in swordsmanship to challenge Sesshomaru in battle, he still proved more skilled and able to maintain a slight edge over his brother in their later clashes, having never been defeated by his brother. He was also shown to be able to easily match and gain the upper hand over the Sounga enhanced Takemaru, with Takemaru only driving him back by using psychological warfare, and could likewise compete with Sounga's self-sustained body in a sword fight until Tokijin became unusable due to the repeated clash against a superior weapon, whereas on both occasions they easily could handle Inuyasha. Sesshōmaru's overall skill was such that he could wield the Tessaiga with at least the same level of efficiency as Inuyasha using both hands with just one hand, if not even superior. It was regarded by Riku that Sesshomaru's skills with a sword far exceeded that of his daughter Towa, an accomplished swordsman with several awards in swordsmanship arts of the future era, and he later proved able to match Kirinmaru in swordplay whereas Towa, Setsuna and Moroha were utterly outclassed by him in terms of skill.
  • Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Along with his swordsmanship, Sesshōmaru is also an extremely accomplished unarmed fighter and even with only one arm, his skill was still formidable. Very methodical, he is capable of adjusting his combat technique to fit his opponents and switching between offense and defense to seamlessly exploit whenever he sees the opportunity with great swiftness and elegance in stark contrast to the inexperienced fighting style of his brother. Far more skilled than Inuyasha, he could easily overpower Inuyasha in hand-to-hand combat, to where the only time Inuyasha even lightly injured him was when he had become a full demon, and even overwhelm him when he wielded Tessaiga in their early battles to the point where Inuyasha was only able to defeat him when he had mastered Tessaiga to use the Wind Scar. He could likewise contend with the self-sustained body of Sounga, impressing even Jaken, being able to competently defend and even launch his own assault against the demon sword despite being at a disadvantage.

Weapons

  • Demonic Armor: Sesshōmaru wears a form of armor over his kimono that can supposedly regenerate itself over time if it was ever damaged in battle. This is shown when Inuyasha broke it during their initial battle over Tessaiga within their father's corpse and after the battle, Sesshōmaru is shown wearing the armor perfectly intact when he faced against the samurai army despite not having made any attempts at repairing or replacing the damaged portion.
  • Tenseiga: Sesshōmaru wields the Tenseiga (天生牙), a powerful yōkai sword forged from one of his father's fangs by the bladesmith Tōtōsai. This sword was revealed to have been cast off of Tessaiga after Tōga acquired the Meidō Zangetsuha (冥道残月破 Meidō Zangetsuha, "Dark Path of the Dawn Moon's Wave) technique, which Sesshōmaru later developed and passed on to Inuyasha. Tōga passed the sword on to Sesshōmaru in the hope that it would help him to develop compassion, as Sesshōmaru had formerly been concerned solely with acquiring more power. Tenseiga cannot harm the living, but is allegedly capable of saving a hundred lives in a single stroke and was able to bring back someone from the dead, albeit once. The sword can also cut spiritual entities (ghosts, spirits, and messengers of the Underworld). In extreme cases, the Tenseiga can also protect Sesshōmaru from potentially lethal attacks by emitting a black mist-like barrier. The protective barrier is capable of blocking the Kaze no Kizu from the Tessaiga and the Gokuryūha from the Sō'unga. The sword normally emits a blue aura when in use and possesses a will of its own that Sesshōmaru can sense.
  • Bakusaiga: Bakusaiga is Sesshōmaru's current signature weapon. Bakusaiga manifested itself in the hand of Sesshōmaru's fully regenerated left arm during his battle with Magatsuhi. Its creation signified Sesshōmaru's graduation into a full-fledged Daiyōkai, which had long been compromised by his obsession with Tessaiga. Tōtōsai commented that his ability to manifest his own blade suggested that his strength and power had surpassed that of his father and connoted his growth through the many trials he endured to emerge as a Daiyōkai. Bakusaiga ultimately served as the product of this "rite of passage."
    • Decomposition: The energy produced by Bakusaiga has an extremely corrosive effect on organic matter, which lingers even after a blast from the weapon. For instance, Miroku commented at one point that, should Naraku attempt to absorb something that had been killed by Bakusaiga, the caustic decomposition conferred by the Bakusaiga would be transferred from the corpse of whatever had been absorbed to Naraku himself.
    • Explosive Corrosion Wave: Sesshōmaru can fire off the decomposition ability of Bakusaiga as an explosive energy wave that can slay thousands of demons in one slash. Though similar to the Kaze no Kizu, Rumiko Takahashi stated that Bakusaiga's yōki wave attack possesses much more energy than a full power blast from Inuyasha's Bakuryūha.
  • Tokijin: Tōkijin was a sword crafted by the evil sword smith Kaijinbō from the fangs of Goshinki as part of Sesshōmaru's continued efforts to obtain Tessaiga or a sword matching it in power. It is shown to capable of matching Tessaiga in power as the fangs of Goshinki were capable of breaking the original Tessaiga before being reforged by Tōtōsai using Inuyasha's fang. Eventually in Sesshōmaru's battle against Mōryōmaru, he broke it while attempting to penetrate the demon's absorbed shell. Sesshōmaru did not bother to have it repaired because it did not have the power to defeat Mōryōmaru and he resolved to find a replacement sword. Although a powerful sword in its own right, the Tōkijin is apparently capable of drawing power from Sesshōmaru himself, which makes it all the more formidable. However, just as Sesshōmaru mocks Mōryōmaru for not being able to contain all of his demonic energy, the same problem exists with the Tōkijin, which is sometimes strained by all of Sesshōmaru's power coursing through it. This frustration towards Tōkijin's limitations sets up Sesshōmaru's eventual achievement of creating a sword of his own power, the Bakusaiga.
    • Energy Attacks: It can fire off extremely powerful blasts of pure evil energy, but because it is filled with Goshinki's malice, only someone with a very powerful demonic presence can wield it without being controlled by it. The energy blasts created by Tōkijin takes on multiple forms due to Sesshōmaru developing it further on his quest for power.
    • Protective Barrier: When struck into the ground, Tōkijin can create barrier that would eradicate anything that comes into contact with it.
    • Kenatsu: Like many yōkai swords, Tōkijin could cut opponents without touching them by firing small concentrated bursts of yōki. Originally the energy blasts of Tōkijin took the form of small, needle-like energy shards that Sesshōmaru fires off the tip of the sword without having to slash it. Sesshōmaru later developed the ability to fire energy blasts from the sword that were comparable to the Kaze no Kizu in size and power, and also to fire energy spheres from the blade, which were green in color and traveled very quickly.
  • Tessaiga: The Tessaiga is the first sword created by Tōtōsai using the Great Dog Demon's fang, and is Inuyasha's signature weapon. Believing that the sword was his by right, Sesshōmaru attempted on many occasions to steal it from his half-brother, only to be thwarted each time. After a time however, he acquired a number of other weapons which blunted his desire for Tessaiga, until he was able to give up his desire for the weapon completely upon the acquisition of Bakusaiga. Tessaiga produces an energy barrier which prevents full-blooded demons from touching it. Attempting to push past the barrier severely burns the entity in question. Despite this, Sesshōmaru has revealed that he is capable of enduring the effects of the barrier for a while and has also proven accomplished in using it's many powers, to where he could apply it with finesse, as shown when he crushed a fragment of Kanna's mirror obtained from Byakuya under Naraku's order onto Tenseiga's blade, to be able to copy and steal the forms and abilities of Tessaiga and effortlessly made masterful use of the weapon's powers until he willingly broke it into Inuyasha's Tessaiga as it quickly recovered all the powers that was stolen from it.
    • Kaze No Kizu: The ability to to destroy a hundred adversaries in one sweep by sending out an enormous energy blast taking the form of a yellow slash. Sesshomaru possesses enough mastery over this technique to use it in one hand and without having to see the fissure in the wind despite not having wielded Tessaiga before and he even lectured Inuyasha about it as well. Likewise, he was able to easily fire off a Wind Scar blast against the Sounga possessed Inuyasha despite the barrier burning his arm. He also proved quite capable of using the Bakuryuha in his final battle with Inuyasha, cutting at the Wind Scar Inuyasha launched at him to fire the Backlash Wave and managing to equal Inuyasha's own Backlash Wave subsequently.
    • Kongosoha: Sesshomaru was able to use this technique to fire off a barrage of diamonds at Inuyasha after stealing Tessaiga's powers into Tenseiga.
    • Red Tessaiga Form: When Inuyasha uses the sheath of Tessaiga to block the Adamant Barrage, Sesshomaru has the Tessaiga take the color of red in order to use its new barrier breaking ability. He was able to easily shatter the barrier in one hit, displaying greater proficiency and strength with the Red Tessaiga than Inuyasha.

Trivia

  • Sesshomaru's name means "killing perfection", which is fitting considering how powerful he is.
  • Sesshomaru has transformed into his true form a total of 3 times in the series:
    1. He transformed to test Inuyasha power with the Tessaiga.
    2. He transformed to greet his mother
    3. He transformed during his battle with Magatsuhi
  • It's unknown if his Mokomoko fur is a part of his body, although according to the Inuyasha: Profile Book makes it very likely.
  • Sesshomaru and Inuyasha's sibling rivialry is often cited as an iconic character dynamic in anime history.
  • Sesshomaru is the only character to have no desire for the Shikon Jewel (not even a single shard). Instead, his obsession with the Tessaiga fuels his desires for most of the series.
  • His first english voice actor, David Kaye, also voices Soun Tendo from Ranma ½.

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