The 50 Year-Old Curse of the Dark Priestess is the sixtieth episode of the InuYasha anime.
- Naraku recruits a dark miko named Tsubaki to help him reach his goals, in exchange for the nearly complete Shikon no Tama in his possession.
- Tsubaki has her Shikigami bite Kagome and she ultimately uses her tainted Shikon no Tama shard to possess Kagome's body; Naraku wants Tsubaki to have Kagome slay Inuyasha, much in the same way that Kikyō did fifty years prior.
- Naraku's twisted plan is to have Kagome shoot Inuyasha with her arrow, unless he flees, at which point Naraku would have Tsubaki kill Kagome.
- It is revealed that Tsubaki battled Kikyō fifty years ago and Kikyō turned Tsubaki's own curse back on her, causing Tsubaki to bear a grudge against Kikyō all those years.
In a small clearing Tsubaki is performing a ritual; as she tosses a little paper shikigami into a fire, a man in another location cries out in pain to the concern of his servants. Tsubaki's ritual is then interrupted by Kagura who says her master wishes to see her. When Tsubaki asks what a demon would want with her, Kagura questions her about her grudge against Kikyō, gaining the old woman's interest.
In the modern era, Kagome is at school and worried about how far behind she is falling in her studies. Her friends see how miserable she is and start talking about Inuyasha and how she shouldn't be worried they "broke up". Kagome then tells her friends that they had made up again, but her friends don't seem to be too pleased about the make up. Back in the feudal era, Kagura takes Tsubaki to Naraku's hideout. They discuss Tsuabki's battle against Kikyō fifty years in the past and Naraku offers Tsubaki the sacred jewel in exchange for her services. Tsubaki then morphs into her younger form and Naraku's thoughts reveal that Tsubaki sold her soul to a demon in return for eternal youth. However, the demon had but minor standing and the woman is still seeking more power.
Kagome is packing her big yellow bag in anticipation for her return to the feudal era. Meanwhile, in the feudal era Inuyasha and Shippō are waiting for Kagome's return and Inuyasha is clearly growing anxious that Kagome hasn't come back at the time she said she would. After Shippō points out at how Kagome is late, Inuyasha decides to take off obviously going to go get Kagome himself. Just as he leaves, an evil wind blows across the hut catching Sango and Shippō's attention and clearly scaring Shippō who's tail quivers in response. Individually Kaede, Miroku and Inuyasha sense it as well. Miroko asks Kaede if she sensed the demon and she says that it appeared to be slithering across the ground. When he asks what kind of demon she thinks it is, Kaede responds, "I don't know."
Kagome exits the well and begins to get out. The invisible demon snake quickly comes up to her and bites her on her ankle. She's confused at what clearly bit her since she can't see anything. Inuyasha comes onto the scene and is clearly annoyed that she took so long. Kagome then tells Inuyasha that something bit her and points out the direction in which she think it went. He goes to investigate, but only finds some slips of paper which he shows Kagome. They are both confused as to what they are.
Tsubaki, meanwhile, gets back the snake demon that bit Kagome and is happy to see it got her blood. She then has Kagura take her back to Naraku. She then is clearly performed to do a ritual. Back at the hut, the group sees that Kagome, despite being bitten, has no bite mark and are confused. Kaede asks Inuyasha to look at the paper he found. When she recognizes the papers as Shikigami, Kagome senses the jewel shards going black before they go inside her, causing her to collapse. Tsubaki uses Kagome's blood in a ritual to control her body. By possessing the Shikon jewel, she was able to cause the shard in Kagome's possession to go black and enter Kagome's body. Naraku, who is present, warns Tsubaki not to underestimate Kagome. Tsubaki dismisses his warning since Kagome failed to realize she was being placed under a curse. Tsubaki, now being able to control Kagome's body and mind, wonders what to do with her first. Naraku wants Kagome to suffer and therefore put Inuyasha through another nightmare; revealing he is aware of Inuyasha being in love with Kagome and is using that to torture him.
Back in the hut, the group is wondering what is happening to Kagome. Kaede then realizes that the evil they sensed earlier was someone placing a curse on Kagome. She then thinks that it was a Dark Priestess that specialized in curses and was able to turn the jewel shards black and make then enter Kagome's body. They then realize that the poison could kill Kagome unless they did something. Miroku and Sango head off to find and destroy her. Inuyasha at first demands to go with them, but they insist it was best for him to stay with Kagome to which Kaede agrees. Inuyasha then decides to stay as Miroku and Sango leave on Kirara. As Inuyasha watches over Kagome, she then receives the order to kill Inuyasha.
Kagome tries to resist the curse much to the chagrin of Tsubaki and the satisfaction of Naraku who says that since Kagome is the reincarnation of Kikyō, "taming her will take more than a little effort." This causes Tsubaki to think back to the duel between her and Kikyō, when Tsubaki attempted to hurl a curse at Kikyō to which she sprung back at her. This which caused Takubai to bear a grudge against the dead priestess. At the hut, Kaede and Shippō are trying to cool Kagome's fever and leave to change the water. Miroku and Sango further try to find Tsubaki as Shippō asks Kaede if Kagome can likely be saved. Kaede says Kagome was most likely fighting the curse with all her might, but silently knows that the longer it takes to break the curse, the weaker Kagome will become. Naraku, meanwhile, asks Tsubaki if it will take much longer for Kagome to give in to the curse and she says Kagome will soon cave in.
In the hut, Inuyasha is furious that he was unable to do anything while Kagome suffered. Kagome, at this moment, finally caves in to the curse and is forced to kill Inuyasha. She shoots an arrow at him, causing a shocked Inuyasha to turn around and face her. He asks Kagome why she was trying to kill him. Kagome, barely able to regain control of her voice, begs him to run away causing him to realize she was being controlled.
Tsubaki is annoyed that while she had control of Kagome's body, her mind was still resisting. Naraku is entertained saying that if Inuyasha is to flee then to take the chance to kill Kagome. The scene then switches to Miroku and Sango who are still on Kirara and searching for the priestess. It then switches to Kikyō who, as Miroku and Sango do as well, become faced with the barrier Tsubaki put up to prevent anybody from entering while she does the ritual. Kikyō then realizes she knows the priestess who put up the barrier. Naraku then, in amusement, wonders if Inuyasha will choose to be slain by Kagome or flee and have her killed.
The episode ends with Kagome still pointing an arrow at Inuyasha begging him to run, and Inuyasha left uncertain whether to run or to stay.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- In the manga version, this episode actually happened after the chapters of the "The Backlash Wave: Tetsusaiga's Ultimate Technique" episode.
- When Naraku refers to Tsubaki's stand-off with Kikyō, Tsubaki says she is impressed that he knows about it. In The Tragic Love Song of Destiny, it is shown that he was actually present for the event and spectated from afar. (Albeit in his original spider form before fusing with Onigumo.)
- This is the first Season 3 episode to involve Naraku.