Ayame (やめ, "Iris Flower") is the granddaughter of the Northern Yoro Tribe leader, the Wolf elder (Chōrō) as well as Kōga's fiancée and eventual wife.

History

Ayame as a child.

As a little girl, Ayame was once saved by Kōga from the Birds of Paradise and was promised marriage when she got older.

During the story

She later grows up and comes after Kōga, saying that her grandfather was going to marry her off to another wolf demon but she chose him since he promised, is very persistent, and tries to use force several times on him. When Kōga says that he will only marry a woman who can sense the Shikon Jewel shards (as a way to get rid of her), she announces that she will train herself to sense them like Kagome[1] (though Miroku makes it clear that it is probably impossible).

Ayame handing Shippō back to Kagome.

Ayame and the Wolf elder.

Ayame appears again later when the northern wolf demon tribe is attacked and almost completely decimated by Kyōkotsu.[2] She runs into Inuyasha and his group and tells them of the attack; she also mentions that the beast devouring demons is neither a human nor a demon.

The marriage of Kōga and Ayame.

Three years following the defeat of Naraku, Kōga moves on from Kagome, and ultimately keeps his promise to Ayame and they finally marry. Following this, Kōga became the chief of a now-unified Wolf Demon Tribe.[3]

Hanyō no Yashahime

Four years later, together with Yawaragi, she and Kōga met Hachiemon carrying Inuyasha and Kagome's daughter Moroha, for she was entrusted to them to keep her safe from Kirinmaru and his sister Zero.

Personality

Ayame is a very dutiful and dedicated person, as shown by the fact that she trained in the Northern Mountains for a very long time while holding Kōga's promise to marry her close to her heart. She was understandably heartbroken when Kōga had apparently forgotten but still hoped that he would eventually live up to it.

Like many demons, she has a distaste for humans, judging by her initial hostility towards Kagome and belief that Kōga was above falling for a human. However, she does come to like Kagome after their adventure. While she could be impulsive at times, Ayame was actually pretty smart and observant; she was able to quickly figure out that Kōga's love for Kagome was completely one-sided, something Kōga and Inuyasha had been unable to figure out for ages.

Physical description

Ayame.png

Ayame has auburn hair that is always in pigtails and has green eyes. She wears an iris in her hair and a band that goes across her forehead. Her clothing consists of white wolf fur draped over her shoulders, a necklace, white fur skirt, insteps and arm guards, and red and blue armor.

Powers & Abilities

  • Whirlwind: Like Kōga's, Ayame can generate whirlwinds of air and green leaves and build it up until her whole body is engulfed in a cyclone.
  • Speed: Ayame had the ability to run at high speeds, but not as fast as Kōga.
  • Agility: Ayame is very light on her feet and can leap incredibly large distances.
  • Senses: Ayame can sense like other demons.
  • Whirlwind of Leaves: Ayame pounds the ground with her fist, summoning a multitude of green leaves that swirl around her and can knock back or kill demons.

Weapons

  • Iris: Ayame possesses a mystical iris blossom, a plant believed to have the power of purification and only used it to stab a discarded hair demon. She often wore it in her left pigtail.
  • Cutting Leaves: Ayame carries with her an unlimited supply of sharp green leaves. She uses them as shuriken, and they are able to slice through demons.

Quotes

"How could you fall for a mortal?! Where's your wolf demon tribe pride?!"
―Ayame[src]

"I don't like this! Your name sounds just like mine!"
―Ayame[src]

"You promised me... on the night of the lunar rainbow. Don't you remember at all?"
―Ayame[src]

"Look how hard he's trying, and she doesn't even like him."
―Ayame[src]

"Remember though, that doesn't mean I'll stop hoping you'll live up to your promise. I'm the only one who can be your wife."
―Ayame[src]

Trivia

  • Ayame is a filler character, meaning she does not appear in the manga.
  • A character of Rumiko's subsequent manga series, Kyoukai no Rinne shares her name and is also in love with the character who serves as the protagonist's rival for the love of the deuteragonist.
    • Moreover, both appear in only one version of their story, one in the anime version only and one in the manga version only.
  • Ayame believes that her name and Kagome's name are too similar (in truth, it's just the last syllable of their names; め, me); Kagome even points this fact out.[4]
  • When she first meets Kōga, Ayame tells him she will train to use the Iris she is holding as a weapon, since she and the flower "have the same name." This is because the word ayame means "iris".
  • She is the only known wolf-demon who has special powers (the cutting leaves).
  • Her characteristics resembles San from Princess Mononoke. She was not nasty at her first appearance, but nevertheless had reservations about humans. But in her second appearance, she was nicer to humans.
  • A village in The Secret of the Cursed Mask is named Ayame.

Continuity inconsistencies

When Ayame is first introduced, her actions and explanations for them are rife with factual and continuity inconsistencies. When Kōga encounters the tribal Elder later on, he explains that he wanted Kōga to come and help defend the Northern Tribe's territory from the demons stirred up by the activities of Naraku in the north. However, Ayame claims that she was sent to bring Kōga back specifically so that she could marry him, even going so far as to attack him and order her wolves to do the same, despite the fact that Kōga is the leader of the Wolf Tribes and outranks both Ayame and the Elder.

Furthermore, Ayame tells a story about how she and Kōga first met, during which time Kōga saves her from the Birds of Paradise and then makes a spontaneous and impromptu marriage proposal. However, this story has a number of inconsistencies; for one, Kōga does not remember this encounter at all. Considering that he is the Wolf Tribe's new leader, it seems implausible that he would forget rescuing the daughter of his predecessor from their bitter foes. Even Ginta and Hakkaku recognized Ayame as the Elder's granddaughter, but Kōga, who supposedly rescued and proposed to her, had no idea who she was.

Furthermore, Ayame claimed that she was collecting an iris before leaving with her grandfather to train in the mountains; yet, Ginta and Hakkaku mention that the Elder retired from his position to go into the mountains a long time ago, while the conflict between the Birds of Paradise is what prompted Koga recently to seek out shards of the Sacred Jewel and seize power as the new leader to replace the elder. Considering that Kōga only rose to replace the Elder a few months before, a demon like Ayame could not have reached adulthood during her short time spent with the Elder, since Kōga only recently replaced him after he went into exile, nor does it seem likely that Kōga and the Birds of Paradise would have been at war for decades, long before he ever decided to do anything about it.

Lastly, Ayame further claims that, despite her original assertion that she wants to marry Kōga because of his earlier, alleged promise, her grandfather also wants this marriage to take place in order to pacify the infighting Wolf Tribe factions—however, the Wolf Tribes already co-exist under Kōga's unified leadership, and the Northern and Eastern Tribes were almost entirely destroyed by Kagura; therefore it would be impossible for the Northern and Eastern Wolf Tribes to be in a civil war with one another when Kōga and Ayame are two of the few survivors left. Her claim that her grandfather thought Kōga would make a good leader and that their political marriage would help cement an inter-Tribe union is made moot by the fact that Kōga already used the Jewel Shards to seize control over the Wolf Demon Tribe.

To what extent these inconsistencies are a result of the anime staff failing to maintain continuity with the manga, or because Ayame was deliberately lying to coerce Kōga into marrying her, is unclear. If the Elder and Ayame truly were in exile in the northern mountains, it is possible they didn't know Kōga was already the leader, though that would not explain how they could claim knowledge of an alleged civil war, while also not realizing who the leader of the Wolf Tribe even was, nor that their tribe had been massacred by Naraku. Her grandfather never mentions any of these things when Kōga meets him later. However, the fact that Kōga is never able to recall this experience on his own shows that, even to the anime staff, Ayame's story was not intended to be completely ironclad. It is only after Kagome specifically urges Kōga to remember a night where he saw a lunar rainbow that he starts to believe that the event in question might have happened, though he officially maintains he does not remember. Due to Kagome's heavy-handed pressure, this could have triggered a false memory similar to the Mandela Effect. Even Inuyasha later expresses his own skepticism that lunar rainbows exist, to which Kagome replies, starry-eyed, that they do to people "who see them", leaving the impression that she herself had suspended her own disbelief out of a sense of romantic idealism, something which she has also been known to do when trying to play matchmaker with Miroku and Sango.

The one sequence of events that could reconcile all of Ayame's incongruous statements would be if the Birds of Paradise had been battling the Wolf Demon Tribe intermittently over many years, and there was a long gap after the Elder retired in which the Wolf Tribes did not have a common leader. Kōga good-naturedly promised to marry Ayame as a way to lift her spirits after she had just been attacked and was about to head into exile, but then forgot about his "white lie" over the ensuing decades, before the conflict with the Birds of Paradise escalated to the point he sought out the Jewel Shards and unified the Tribe. Ayame and her grandfather, returning from exile and training due to disturbances caused by Naraku, are unaware that Kōga has unified the tribes, and mistakenly believe the Tribes are fighting amongst themselves, when in actuality they have suffered a virtual genocide at the hand of Kagura and Naraku (Ayame herself admits she has never heard of Naraku, despite the fact he murdered most of her tribe a few months prior).

However, even this theory of events is not completely supported by the events in the manga, nor even other events mentioned in the anime, such as Jaken's claim that it was only up until a few decades ago that he was at war with Bikuni, who was the leader of the demons of the Eastern Mountains (the present-day location of the Eastern Wolf Tribe's territory), while Shippō also explains that the Wolf Tribe's sudden acquisition of territory in the Eastern Mountains, as they competed and warred with the Birds of Paradise, was relatively recent. Not knowing how fast Wolf Demon's age complicates the ability to reconcile Ayame's version of events with the known timeline, as Ayame was very young when she left, but had reached marrying age upon her return from exile, while Kōga had not aged at all.

Media appearances

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 In the anime only

References

  1. InuYasha anime; Episode 84
  2. InuYasha anime; Episode 102
  3. InuYasha The Final Act anime; Episode 26
  4. InuYasha anime; Episode 83

See Also

Yōkai Wolf Tribes
Eastern Tribe GintaHakkakuKōgaYawaragi
Northern Tribe AyameKaiShintaRōrōWolf elderWolf demon graveyard protector
Unique Places Lair of the wolf demon tribeWolf demon tribe graveyard
Unique Items GoraishiKurikaramaru
Enemies Birds of ParadisePanther tribe (Panther King) • Naraku
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.