Among the Twinkling Stars is the eighth episode of InuYasha: The Final Act.
- Kagome Higurashi successfully returns from Mount Azusa with the bow needed to purify the miasma in Kikyō. However, Naraku is not willing to let Kikyō be saved.
- Naraku obtains Kōga's Jewel Shards, leaving only Kohaku's shard.
- Inuyasha is once again forced to feel the pain of loss when Kikyō dies for a second, and final, time.
Kagome falls from the sky of Mount Azusa, but Inuyasha catches her. Kagome realizes that the Kikyō she faced was a phantom created by her heart. Once she confirms Inuyasha is real, she notices Naraku's spider webs are heading for the foot of the mountain. At the bottom of Mount Azusa, Kikyō tells everyone to run, but they don't listen. Naraku begins taking her away, but Miroku grabs Kikyō, allowing him to see the webs. Naraku laugh and entangles everyone in his webs. Inuyasha and Kagome arrive at the bottom mountain moments later, only to find everyone gone.
Being drawn to Naraku, Kikyō asks Kōga why he didn't run away. Kōga says she wanted Naraku to take his shards by using Midoriko's soul to mess with them. Kikyō sadly thinks to herself that she cannot help because things have changed. The webs loosen and everyone starts falling; Kirara transforms to carry Miroku, Sango and Shippō to safety while Kōga lands near by. Kikyō is pulled by the webs, into Naraku's left arm; he asks her what it's like to die in the arms of the one who she hates. His form is also different, having abandoned much of his bone armor. Kōga summons the Goraishi and attacks, launching an energy blast at Naraku, but it is blocked by an adamant shield. Miroku cautions Kōga, explaining he should save his strength. Kōga doesn't listen and continues to fight Naraku, who says he cannot evade forever. Kikyō notices that Kōga's shards are glowing with a pure light; Midoriko is purifying them. If Naraku took in those shards, he would be purified along with the jewel; Kikyō herself would also be purified thanks to the webs connecting her to Naraku. Naraku taunts Kikyō, telling her it must be hard for her to watch him take the final shards. Kikyō taunts Naraku in return, telling him it won't matter when Inuyasha arrives.
Elsewhere, Kagome explains to Inuyasha about the illusion of Kikyō she faced on Mount Azusa; it was the version of Kikyō right after her resurrection, being hateful and trying to kill them. Inuyasha tells Kagome that Kikyō isn't like that anymore; however, Kagome says that somewhere in her heart, she must still see Kikyō as that scary person. Inuyasha tells Kagome that her heart is pure by her desire to save Kikyō; Kagome can only hope he's right. He then adds that he is starting to get worried about Kōga. The rush towards dark clouds in the horizon caused by Naraku's demonic presence.
In the meantime, Kōga finds his legs are freezing up thanks to Midoriko's poor timing and becomes weakened by Naraku's miasma. Naraku captures Kōga, just as Kikyō planned; she won't die in his arms. The moment Naraku touches Kōga's shards, they will purify him and her, since they are connected by his webs. Thinking of Inuyasha, Kikyō watches as Naraku's tentacles try removing Kōga's shards, but the purity in the shards destroy them. Naraku then holds Kikyō away from himself, saying his webs allow him to feel her emotions. Naraku once more taunts her, saying she will die in his arms instead of Inuyasha's. At the very mention of Inuyasha, his voice is heard, and he arrives in a spectacular attempt to sever the arm holding Kikyō. Despite having the force of his jump behind it, the Tetsusaiga fails to sunder Naraku's arm or even damage it noticeably.
Kagome is a short distance away, noticing she only has one arrow left. Remembering Kikyō said the bow is the only thing that can purify Naraku's contamination, Kagome prepares to fire. However, Kikyō telepathically tells Kagome not to fire. This confuses Kagome, who is reunited with everyone else. Kagome then notices Kōga's shards have been purified. Naraku taunts Kikyō, saying Inuyasha made it in time to watch her die. Enraged, Inuyasha changes tactics, using Dragonscale Tetsusaiga to bifurcate one of Naraku's demon vortexes. The adamant spike on Naraku's right shoulder splinters as a result. However, Naraku rapidly regenerates, taunting Inuyasha by declaring that he cannot be harmed by the Tetsusaiga. Nonetheless, immediately following his boast, the newly-reconstituted adamant spike explodes, revealing his underlying flesh and the Shikon jewel. To keep Inuyasha away until he can heal, Naraku tosses Kikyō away. Inuyasha caches her just as Naraku begins closing his wound. Kōga decides to go along with Midoriko's plan and heads for the jewel. However, Kagome notices the jewel has vanished from Naraku's body.
Kagome tries warning Kōga away, but it's too late; Naraku captures him with his tentacles. A confused Shippō asks Kagome where the jewel went, but she doesn't know either. Miroku and Sango go to save Kōga, who is being swallowed by Naraku. Kōga attempts to destroy Naraku with the Goraishi, but is weakened by the miasma and sucked inside the diamond spike. Kikyō awakens, telling Inuyasha to save Kōga. Miroku prepares to open his Wind Tunnel, being taunted by Naraku, who knows the monk will die from the poison before he gets sucked in. Miroku opens the Wind Tunnel anyway, but Naraku anchors himself to the ground. Naraku laughs, saying only miasma is getting sucked in; Miroku says that's what he was after, shocking Naraku. Now that there's no miasma in the diamond spike, Kōga was regained his senses and uses the Goraishi on the diamonds. Miroku is forced to close the Wind Tunnel due to the poison, and Inuyasha takes over, breaking into the diamond spike with Tessaiga. Unfortunately, Inuyasha finds Kōga's legs are being absorbed.
Kagome tries finding the jewel, asking Kikyō where it is; she finds it in Kikyō's chest. Kikyō's soul collectors arrive, pouring more souls into her and she telepathically tells Kagome to fire an arrow at her to purify the jewel. The soul collectors save Kagome when Naraku knocks her off a cliff, and she successfully hits Kikyō with her arrow. Kikyō, rather than retaining the purified jewel, fires the arrow at Naraku with the pure jewel on its tip. Realizing that Kikyō intends to purify him with the jewel, Naraku attempts to corrupt the jewel again by releasing a cloud of miasma. Despite being slightly tainted by the miamsa, the jewel remains largely unaffected, and pierces his heart, swamping him in a wave of purifying energy. Naraku screams in agony as Kikyō's powers begin destroying him,and his body starts to disintegrate. Inuyasha and Kōga flee the shattered spike, but Naraku pulls out Kōga's shards at the last second. Wracked by pain and wallowing in a sea of spiritual power, Naraku howls as he struggles to corrupt the jewel before it purifies him. However, the Jewel is still not quite completely, and thanks to Naraku reclaiming Koga's now-corrupted shards, he is able to overcome Kikyo's purifying influence. Despite Kikyo's attack severely weakening and injuring him, Naraku reclaims the tainted, nearly-complete jewel.
Kikyō tells Kagome to protect Kohaku and the final shard; this confuses Kagome, as she assumed Kikyō should have been saved by the arrow she shot at her. However, Kikyo poured all her purifying power into the final attack on Naraku, rather than heal her own body. Naraku lunges at Kikyo again, sneering that she's lost, and Kagome throws herself protectively over Kikyo. Kikyō thinks to herself that Naraku will know if she lost, or not, when he dies; as she thinks this, a spark of light appears at the core of the Shikon Jewel. Inuyasha cuts off Naraku's arm before he can strike Kikyo and Kagome, but Naraku is unperturbed: Kohaku's shard is the only one left, and there is no one left to stop him taking it. Saying that Kikyō cannot protect them any further, Naraku flies away. Kagome calls Inuyasha over to Kikyō, who is getting worse.
Sunset, Kohaku attempts to return to Kikyō despite not being fully recovered from Byakuya of the Dreams' poisonous snakes. Rin tries stopping him, but Kohaku says he can feel Kikyō is in trouble. Jaken yells that Kohaku should not expect to be brought along with them. Sesshōmaru says the scent of the wind has changed, meaning it's too late to save Kikyō.
Elsewhere, Kaede is walking home with children helping her carry herbs. She notices the sunset is as red as blood, an ominous omen. As the sun continues to set, Inuyasha holds Kikyō; he asks to be alone with her. Kagome cries, feeling helpless for being unable to save Kikyō. However, Kikyō thanks Kagome for saving her soul; she will be able to die in peace. Night time, Kaede sees Kikyō's soul collectors fly by. An image of Kikyō appears before Kaede (who takes her childhood form), apologizing to for causing her suffering due to dying young. Kikyō apologizes again and vanishes, Kaede is left crying.
Miroku feels terrible, saying if he hadn't felt concern for his own life, he could have sucked Naraku into the Wind Tunnel and saved her life. Sango tells him Kikyō would have wanted him to live for her sake, saying that she hated Kikyō because of how she wanted to use Kohaku's shard. However, she now knows Kikyō was trying to save Kōga and Kohaku. Kōga thinks about being alive despite the loss of his shards, thinking it was Kikyō's plan all along. Kagome cries, saying that she failed to save Kikyō's life because the doubt in her heart delayed her at Mount Azusa. Kōga curses Naraku, remembering he kept saying Kikyō would never see Inuyasha again; however, he made it time.
Kikyō asks Inuyasha if he remembers the happy days they spent together, before Naraku tore them apart; they had promised to turn him into a human and her an ordinary woman with the Shikon Jewel gone. Kikyō says that she is now a normal woman. Inuyasha replies that she was the first person he loved or cared for, but he couldn't save her. Kikyō notices Inuyasha is crying, saying it's something he never did before. Inuyasha starts crying heavily, saying it's his fault for being too late to save her. However, Kikyō tells him it's okay; the fact he came to save her is enough. She smiles. A shooting star goes by and Inuyasha kisses Kikyō; she cries and thinks his name. Their lips part and Kikyō falls backwards turning into a luminous light. The soul collectors take Kikyō's soul away; everyone feels that Kikyō is saying good-bye. The soul collectors then ascend with Kikyō's soul into the starry night sky.
Kagome goes to Inuyasha, who says Kikyō doesn't want them mourning her; she'll protect them, forever.
Characters as Order Appearances
- Inuyasha: He regrets that his heart was weak enough for Naraku to tear Kikyō and him apart fifty years ago. And that he wasn't strong enough to protect Kikyō against Naraku this time too.
- Kagome Higurashi: She wished that she had enough power to help to defeat Naraku and heal Kikyō. That way, Inuyasha and Kikyō wouldn't suffer the same thing fifty years ago again. Kagome was also jealous of Kikyō and Inuyasha. She wasn't comforted by the fact that she had saved Kikyō's soul, but in the end she seem to be comforted by that fact.
- Kōga: He regrets that he didn't listen to Kikyō in some ways, that he didn't run when they were at Mt. Mizuriyo. He wished he had listened the first time he had met Kikyō, who tries repeatedly telling Kōga to give up his shards in order to prevent Naraku to taint his shards and allow Kikyō to be more able to protect the light of his shards. He also regrets his arrogance.
- Sango: Just like Kagome and Inuyasha, she also regrets that she, a mere human and demon slayer, couldn't help the process of defeating Naraku avoiding the death of Kikyō. She also regrets that she didn't see that Kikyō merely wanted to save people when she can from the trap of the Shikon Jewel. In the past, she sees Kikyō as a manipulator, which causes Kohaku to think that using his shard is the only way to defeat Naraku and to end the tragedies, involving the Shikon Jewel, which is what Kohaku and the others want: they wanted Naraku to be dead. (Kikyō also wanted to heal Sango's brother's wounded soul but apparently she was unable, because the Shikon Jewel shard was transmitted in his body---the only pure shard---the only light to defeat Naraku.)
- Miroku: Just like Kagome, Inuyasha and Sango, he regrets that his wound in his Wind Tunnel held him back to help them more. He was saved by Kikyō, who is willing to sacrifice her body and strength to transfer the miasma into her body, which is killing him and later her when it gotten into her. He feared his death, and did not think to repay Kikyō by help save her when her need was dire.
- Shippō: Shippō regrets that he is childish and could not help due to his age and ignorance.
- Kirara: Although she is a full-fledged demon, Kirara still nods her head in grief of unbreakable bonds. She sympathizes Kikyō because of her previous human companion, Midoriko. Midoriko seem to have similar tragedies, so it is most probable she sympathizes Inuyasha and Kikyō.
- Kikyō dies a second and final time, freeing her from the torment of continuing on in the world of the living, where she didn't belong.
- A speck of purity is left in the Shikon Jewel thanks to Kikyō.
- The instrumental version of Dearest plays over Kikyō's final moments.
- Naraku abandons the diamonds he gained from Mōryōmaru after this episode; however, as he's later seen shooting diamond spears coated with miasma, it's possible he just swallowed them inside himself.