Inside Naraku is the twenty-first episode of InuYasha: The Final Act, and one hundred and eighty-eight episode of the whole anime.
The final battle with Naraku has finally begun. Now that the completed Shikon Jewel is in his possession, Naraku uses it to gain the powers of a true demon. The fight becomes a literal internal battle, as Naraku allows his foes into his new body. What dangers lie within?
Inside a cave, Naraku sits as he looks at the Shikon Jewel, thinking of Onigumo, who desired Kikyō's heart and the jewel; a prisoner in his own body, the bandit fed it to demons, who merged into a new body for him called Naraku. Looking on from the cave's mouth, Byakuya of the Dreams notices the jewel has been completely defiled by Naraku to the point of where there's barely room for Magatsuhi; this forces him to reside within an unconscious Rin. Naraku thinks to himself that as Inuyasha, Sango and Miroku fought him, he channeled their hatred and transformed it into the darkness filling the jewel. Once their battle ends, they will be consumed by the very darkness they helped create; he once more says that Kikyō's light has died.
In the present, Kagome learns that she will be graduating and going to high school on a wait list. Everyone is thrilled for her, and she attends her graduation ceremony with Eri, Ayumi, and Yuka; she's glad they made it, but they quickly turn the tables on her by saying she was the one who was in danger of not passing junior high. Hōjō tries to give Kagome a button from his school uniform as a goodbye present, but she runs off before he can. Heading home to travel back to the past, Grandpa gives her some presents for graduating - a dried dragon's tail and tengu whiskers. Kagome flatly tells him to have something she can actually appreciate when she gets back. Her mother hugs her goodbye, telling her to be careful. Kagome jumps in the Bone Eater's Well as Sōta yells for her to say "Hi" to Inuyasha for him. Grandpa cheers for Kagome, telling her to "Go get 'em!"
Back in the Feudal Era, Naraku glares at the jewel until his reflection in it vanishes. It half-way sinks into his palm, releasing purple gas. His baboon pelt tears away, revealing he's been nothing more than a head and hand the entire time. The jewel heals his injuries from his last battle with Inuyasha, as his body sprouts extra limbs; Byakuya watches the entire time, intrigued. Naraku continues to grow larger, swallowing Rin into his body as a miasma is released from the cave; it reduces all the animals to bone and kills the vegetation in the immediate area. The miasma flies into the sky, where it creates a powerful storm; demons begin flying towards it one-by-one.
Miroku and Sango notice the demons flying to the cloud, finding it strange. In the village, Kohaku asks Inuyasha if Naraku used the Shikon Jewel; he has, which isn't good for them. Inuyasha thinks about how the light Kikyō put in the jewel has now become Kohaku's life, leaving Naraku with nothing to fear; the fight has now been left to him and his friends. Kagome arrives and is greeted by everyone, ready for the final battle with Naraku.
Shippō awakens in a hut to find Kaede and Jaken with him; he begins remembering what happened before he was knocked out. Inuyasha refused to let him, explaining he'll be busy protecting Kagome until Magatsuhi's destruction; he can't have another thing to worry about. Miroku added that since Naraku has used the completed jewel to transform, it will be unlike their other battles. Inuyasha explained that if they don't come back, Shippō will have to take over for them; he can wait until he's stronger if necessary. Shippō is touched by this, but when he tries questioning Inuyasha again, he receives a blow to the head, which is what knocked him out. Angered, Shippō attempts to follow, until Kaede tells him it's too late as they have a head start.
In the clouds, Miroku and Sango fly on Kirara while Inuyasha and Kagome ride a demon drawn to the center of the storm. Miroku expresses his shock at Inuyasha being so sensitive, but Inuyasha explains he only said that to get Shippō to comply. Kagome says that if Inuyasha was going to knock Shippō anyway, he shouldn't have bothered with a speech; Inuyasha hears this and agrees he should have knocked Shippō out right away. Kagome sourly says that wasn't what she meant. Flying through the clouds, they see that Naraku has transformed once more and now resembles a huge spider; he sends out corrosive threads, which capture the demons.
Sesshōmaru arrives at the same time. Byakuya appears before them, saying that Bakusaiga will be able to slay Naraku without any problem; he adds that Rin is inside. Naraku's belly opens, acting as an invitation to his foes. Sesshōmaru immediately goes inside, making Byakuya joke that his concern for Rin brings tears to his eyes. Hearing Rin is inside, Kagome tells Inuyasha to follow. Miroku and Sango begin doing so themselves as Byakuya says they might get eaten. Miroku holds out his right hand threateningly, making Byakuya back off; he asks if Miroku wants to suck him into his Wind Tunnel. Miroku says Byakuya isn't worth it, but says to himself that he's got one more use before the final one kills him. He and Sango promise to marry right after defeating Naraku. Once everyone is inside Naraku, Byakuya comments on how stupid his enemies are; they should just forsake Rin and destroy Naraku from the outside, as it is the smarter tactic.
Falling through Naraku, Kagome notices that he seems much bigger on the inside. At that moment, Naraku emerges from his flesh in his humanoid form. Inuyasha immediately slices him in half with Tessaiga; however, Naraku only laughs, happy that they finally made it inside. His voice echoes, asking if they intend to destroy him from the inside; appearing as a face on his flesh, he invites them to start wherever they please as everything is him. Sango cuts the face with her Hiraikotsu, causing liquid miasma to pour out of the wound; Inuyasha warns everyone away from it. However, Naraku's face appears on the flesh above them, laughing; he asks if they truly hadn't notice yet; they've been exposed to his miasma from the start, but they haven't died yet. He says they Shikon Jewel desires their souls, so it's saving them from the poison. An armored copy of Naraku rises from his flesh; he says Inuyasha has an eternity to fight him inside his body.
Outside, Naraku closes his belly. He then locks the appendages serving as the "door" to his insides in place with his legs, curling into a ball. Once done, Naraku now bears an ominous similarity to the very object that now serves as his source of power. Byakuya is left amazed by this sight - "Looks just like the Shikon Jewel."
Inside, Inuyasha fights Naraku's armored copy, only to find Tessaiga useless against it. However, Sango manages to successfully decapitate it with Hiraikotsu. Things only go from bad to worse; the body regrows a head while the head grows a new body. From behind them, Naraku's face smiles in delight. Inuyasha reduces the copies to shreds with Adamant Barrage, but Naraku sends out tentacles next. Seeing he isn't getting anywhere with his current technique, Inuyasha switches to the Black Tessaiga. Naraku notes the technique's power and stops attacking as a possible portal appears amongst his tentacles, revealing Rin wandering his body. He comments she's woken up, but Inuyasha correctly dismisses the sight as an illusion, only for Naraku to taunt him into proving it by launching a Meidō.
Unable to take the chance, Inuyasha refuses, prompting Naraku to continue attacking with his tentacles. Kagome says that they must find the Shikon Jewel; the only way for Naraku to die is to destroy the jewel. A confused Inuyasha says that Naraku should have absorbed the jewel by now, but Kagome says it's not likely as she can sense a strong presence from deep within Naraku's body. Miroku can only repeat the obvious in shock. They decide to look for the jewel instead of fighting. However, Naraku opens a hole beneath Inuyasha and Kagome, and quickly seals it behind them. Miroku quickly determines that Naraku intends to keep them apart, so they're easier to kill.
Kagome senses where the jewel is; Inuyasha says it's better to find the jewel than waste time trying to find Miroku and Sango. However, Inuyasha freezes in place ahead of Kagome as a dark aura pulses around him. Kagome calls to him, only for Inuyasha to turn around to reveal he's turned into his full demon form; he's too close to the defiled Sacred Jewel, and has become corrupted by it. He slashes at Kagome, wounding her right shoulder. Naraku finds sick pleasure in this, believing history will repeat itself with Inuyasha killing the woman he loves. With Kagome backed to a cavernous opening, Naraku decides to give her a fair chance at survival, producing an arrow laced with miasma. Kagome angrily refuses, saying Inuyasha will never kill her. Inuyasha pushes Kagome into the cavern, as he looks down into it. Naraku laughs, "Poor, foolish girl."
Characters as Order Appearances
- Naraku seems to have forgotten he was the one who killed Kikyo, albeit disguised as Inuyasha. This makes his taunts a bit off, as it was never Inuyasha's fault for Kikyo's death.
- The armored copy of Naraku becomes twins the same way the Infant and Hakudoshi did.
- Despite being a villain, Byakuya actually makes a "greater good" recommendation to the heroes. If they had forsaken Rin, they could have killed Naraku with Bakusaiga or Meido Zangetsuha.