Hitomiko's Barrier is the sixteenth episode of InuYasha: The Final Act.
- Naraku has turned his attention towards Kagome; now that Kikyō is dead, Kagome is the only one left who can purify the Shikon Jewel, and potentially obliterate his soul with it, once it's complete.
- Naraku targets a priestess named Hitomiko, whom he encountered in the past, whose spiritual powers rivalled Kikyō's. Using her as the instrument to carry out his scheme, Naraku seeks to steal the bow of Mount Azusa and kill Kagome.
Priestess Hitomiko looks at her village while listening to children play. She starts singing "Kagome, Kagome", remembering her past. 15 years ago, she played this game with her friends just when Naraku appeared; he had come for Hitomiko's life. While Naraku's miasma killed the other children, Hitomiko was protected by her personal barrier. Her master arrived and attempted to drive Naraku off, but was fatally injured; Hitomiko forced Naraku to retreat with a spell of her own.
As her master died, Hitomiko was told that her powers are nearly as strong as Kikyō's, who had passed away many (35 to be exact) years ago; he tells Hitomiko that demons and evil spirits will continue to come after, afraid of her powers. Remembering her master's words, Hitomiko laments her life as a priestess, having to constantly battle demons. A village asks for her help, explaining a traveler had collapsed outside the village. The moment she tries to help, spider webs escape the traveler's mouth; however, Hitomiko send them back at the "demon", wrapping it in its own threads. She then hears Naraku's laughter before fainting.
Later, Kagome notices Naraku's spider webs in the distance
, leading the group to the foot of Hitomiko's temple. The villagers find them and explain a thread of the demon's webbing was fastened to Hitomiko's back; weakening by the day, she requested to be beheaded upon death. No sooner had Hitomiko spoken those words, she died. However, as it would disrespectful to carry out her request, they buried her whole. When the villagers try continuing, Hitomiko appears before them, asking if they have guests. Inuyasha tells everyone she's dead, "no mistaking the smell of a corpse". No sooner does he say this, Naraku's spider webs appear around Hitomiko; however, everyone can see them this time. Hitomiko guesses from everyone's reactions who Kagome is, and warns her to flee or die. Inuyasha tries slicing the spider webs, but Hitomiko is pulled away, saying that she cannot be felled by destroying the webs. When the villagers speculate a demon has taken Hitomiko's form, Kagome quickly explains she's actually been possessed by Naraku; Miroku correctly guesses that Hitomiko foresaw this and made the request for decapitation to avoid this very situation. The group agrees to recover Hitomiko's remains.
In the trees near Hitomiko's shrine, she is held above the ground by Naraku's spider webs. Appearing as just a head, Naraku laughs, saying that things have become quite different now that he possesses the Shikon no Tama; not even the priestess who rival Kikyō in spiritual power can resist him. Hitomiko curses Naraku for using her; however, Naraku says she wished her fight against demons would end, so he granted it by taking her life. He then says as a "token of her gratitude". she'll steal Kagome's spiritual powers and kill her.
By night, Naraku has covered Hitomiko's shrine in his spider webs, acting as an "invitation" to Inuyasha's group. He sends out webbing, swallowing Inuyasha into it. However, the new-and-improved Hiraikotsu easily destroys the webbing, but gets repelled by Hitomiko's barrier at the top. Hitomiko explains that a priestess's barrier can only be broken by another priestess. Hearing this, Kagome notices bells in the spider webs around Hitomiko; believing that they are holding the barrier together, Kagome quickly fires an arrow. The arrow pierces a bell, but this is what Hitomiko needed; she pulls Kagome into the barrier. Inuyasha realizes Naraku was after Kagome the whole time.
Kagome finds herself with Hitomiko, who wonders what Naraku is trying to accomplish by stealing "pitiful" spiritual powers like Kagome's. When Kagome says she wants to save her, Hitomiko scoffs at the idea and uses Kagome's blood to draw a circle around her. Hitomiko asks Kagome if she knows her name holds a special power. Confused, Kagome notices Naraku' hiding above, and fires an arrow; however, he escapes. Hitomiko is shocked as the circle should be immobilizing Kagome. This makes Hitomiko realize it's the power of Kagome's bow that Naraku fears. Remembering she got the bow from Mount Azusa, Kagome is told "the one it was meant for" (Kikyō) would know how to properly use it; Hitomiko tells Kagome to surrender the bow in exchange for her life. This annoys Naraku, who strangles her with his webs; Kagome prepares to fire an arrow, but Hitomiko tells her not to waste them. Naraku agrees, showing he placed a spider in Hitimiko's chest; shooting it will end Hitomiko's life. However, Kagome refuses; it's against her nature to do something that horrible.
With her free will taken away, Hitomiko place a drop of Kagome's blood on her lips before blowing outward, making flames emerge from the circle; Naraku wonders if this is enough to make Kagome want to shoot Hitomiko. However, Kagome destroys Hitomiko's charm, scattering the bells and freeing her. Kagome runs out of the room, but Hitomiko declares it's useless to flee as she tosses bells after her. Kagome has barely moved away from the room when more spider webs burst out and block her. Naraku explains to Kagome that to end this, she is to either kill Hitomiko or be killed by her; however, he goes on to explain that shooting Hitomiko will cause her to die as a demon and be sent to Hell, with her soul unsaved. He then adds that if Kagome chooses to kill Hitomiko now that she's learned this, her heart will corrupted and she will fall victim to his spider webs. Hitomiko appears behind Kagome as more blood leaks from the bells, starting more fires. Hitomiko explains the fires come from Kagome's blood; they'll get hotter when she's close, but won't be able to kill her. Outside of the temple, Inuyasha tries breaking Hitomiko's barrier with the Red Tessaiga, but fails.
Inside the barrier, Kagome thinks about Naraku has told her, and begins thinking of what she should do. However, the floor gives way and Kagome falls on Naraku's spider webs. She looks down to see a horrific landscape, correctly believing it to be an illusion. However, Hitomiko appears, claiming it's truly Hell, and demands to know why Kagome was given her name as she strangles her. Kagome pushes Hitomiko away, unintentionally ripping her left hand off; Hitomiko's hand has turned into a demon's. The spider in HItomiko produces more webs that are coated in he
r fire. Kagome begs for someone to help her, making Hitomiki laugh that Kagome came to save her yet she doesn't have the strength to save herself. Kagome thinks back to her childhood, where she asked her mother about her name, learning it her mother saw a star-shaped light on her chest the day she was born. She remembers her encounter with Mistress Centipede when she used her Spiritual Power for the very first time and when the demonness tore the Shikon no Tama out of her body. Kagome realizes it must have been the light of the Shikon Jewel her mother saw, meaning her name came from it.
Kagome then remembers Hitomiko saying her name has a special power; Kagome remembers when other kids would make her play "Kagome, Kagome"; she hated the game because the other kids taunting her because she had the same name. However, whenever she played, Kagome always correctly guess who was behind her, confusing the other kids. This makes Kagome realize the special power of her name allows her to know who's behind her; she looks behind herself to see Naraku not too far away. Kagome then remembers when Hitomiko was strangling her, she felt a deep sorrow coming from the dead priestess; not wanting Hitomiko to suffer any more, Kagome sees a star-shaped light on the spider in Hitomiko's chest. Kagome begs the bow of Mount Azusa to lend her its strength, firing an arrow to "pierce the light of that star, and set her free." The arrow rushes at Hitomiko, making Naraku laugh that he'll soon be able to entangle Kagome in his webs; however, the arrow vanishes.
Suddenly, the arrow appears from a portal of light on Hitomiko's back, and it resumes flying forward; it's heading straight for him! The arrow hits Naraku, breaking apart his head and freeing Hitomiko from his spider webs. With a serene smile, Hitomiko radiates a bright light that dissolves the spider webs
. Outside, all of the other webs vanish from around the temple; everyone guesses that Kagome is the one responsible for this good turn of events.
Regaining consciousness, Kagome sees Hitomiko, who thanks Kagome for saving her from Naraku by utilizing the full potential of the bow. She collapses as Kagome catches her. Hitomiko says Kagome is a mysterious person, be it her name or powers; she explains only when the arrow was fired, did Kagome's spiritual powers become visible. Hitomiko says something must be sealing Kagome's true powers, but she has no idea what it could be. Everyone else arrives, explaining that the spider webs have vanished. Shippō wonders if they were able to save Hitomiko, and Miroku confirms this by the smile on her face.
The villagers thank the group for saving Hitomiko's remains, and they depart.
They group decides to return to Kaede's village. On the way back, Kagome remains silent and deep in thought. Inuyasha questions Kagome as to what's bothering, but she says it's nothing. In truth, Kagome is pondering about Hitomiko's final words to her. Something is sealing her true spiritual powers, but what could have done this? Thinking of all the possibilities, Kagome begins thinking that maybe Kikyō is responsible for it, somehow. However, Kagome then thinks back of the idea, since Kikyō left the duty of saving Kohaku and destroying Naraku to her.
Characters as Order Appearances
- The episode shows a flashback of Kagome's childhood after seeing flashbacks for other members of her group, including Inuyasha, Miroku and Sango.
- Hitomiko's flashback takes place 35 years after Kikyō's death. (50 - 15 = 35)
- Though it's a flashback, this would be the last time Naraku is seen wearing his baboon pelt to hide his face.
- In a flashback of the first episode of the series, Moneca Stori's voice can be heard, which means that despite Kagome having a new voice actress, that fragment was left with the original dub.