Vanishing Point; Naraku Disappears is the eighty-first episode of the InuYasha anime.

Synopsis

  1. Inuyasha arrives on the scene where Naraku and Sesshōmaru are battling, with Sesshōmaru completely engulfed in Naraku's flesh.
  2. Naraku is surprised by Inuyasha's ability to break through his barrier; Naraku becomes grievously injured when Inuyasha and Sesshōmaru both attack him, causing Naraku to flee from his castle.
  3. Kohaku, who is with Rin, is ordered by Naraku to kill her; Naraku hoped that this might set off a deadly chain of events with Sesshōmaru killing Kohaku, but Sesshōmaru saw right through Naraku's plot and refused to play by his rules.
  4. With Naraku's disappearance, Inuyasha and his friends wonder where he might have vanished to.

Summary

Naraku allows Sesshōmaru to continue hacking at his body, intending to envelop him in a cocoon of his flesh and absorb the daiyokai's power. However, he senses that the intruder who breached his castle's shield (who, unknown to him, is Inuyasha) is still approaching, meaning Kagura wasn't able to stop him. Out of time and options, Naraku engulfs Sesshōmaru with the pieces if his flesh, to Jaken's horror; one of them comes after the imp, who tries to drive it off with his Nintojo.

Inuyasha clears the castle wall in a leap and attacks from above, launching a Wind Scar at the surprised Naraku. The spider hanyo conjures a barrier to deflect it, but Inuyasha's Red Tessaiga cuts straight through, badly damaging his body. Shocked, Naraku realizes he miscalculated Inuyasha's power. Kagura watches from a safe distance; though pleased that Inuyasha has hurt Naraku, she is shocked to see that Sesshōmaru has been engulfed, and reasons that Inuyasha has to defeat Naraku quickly before the latter can absorb Sesshōmaru's powers. Naraku launches a barrage of demon tentacles at Inuyasha, who charges him. Despite Inuyasha slicing through many of the tendrils, Naraku eventually catches him with fragments of his flesh and begins to encase him in a cocoon, taunting him that he has already consumed Sesshōmaru the same way. However, Inuyasha breaks free with another Wind Scar, injuring Naraku again.

Suddenly, Sesshōmaru cuts himself free with Tokijin, revealing that Naraku hadn't absorbed him yet (much to Jaken's relief). Smirking, Sesshōmaru observes that Naraku's cocoon ended up protecting him from the force of Inuyasha's Wind Scar. He advances, but Inuyasha insists that he will be the one to finish Naraku. Naraku counterattacks on the brothers as they bicker, but both manage to dodge his tendrils and launch powerful counterattacks with Tokijin and Tessaiga, leaving Naraku severely wounded and at the end of his strength. As Sesshōmaru and Inuyasha advance for the killing blow, however, they get into another argument, and Naraku takes advantage of their distraction to envelop himself in a whirlwind of miasma, and flee.

Sesshōmaru immediately begins transforming into his true, demonic form to pursue his enemy, but Naraku remarks that he should prioritize saving Rin instead, causing the daiyokai to pause. Just before he vanishes, Naraku remarks that Rin is with Kohaku, adding that Inuyasha should understand the implications of his words. With that, Naraku vanishes, musing that he still could have gained Sesshōmaru's strength if he hadn't underestimated Inuyasha's. Kagura follows him, disappointed that her best chance for freedom has been lost. Inuyasha notes that Naraku's scent and aura have completely vanished this time, despite his injuries.

Ignoring Inuyasha's questions about Rin and whether she was Naraku's hostage, Sesshōmaru thinks to himself that Rin was merely taken to buy Naraku time to escape. As Sesshōmaru flies away, Jaken tries to follow him, but is grabbed by Inuyasha. When the hanyo asks him the same questions, Jaken insults him and is promptly beaten to a pulp, causing him to change his response to, "It's a terribly long story." "Then make it short." Inuyasha replies, curtly.

Back at the house, Kohaku's eyes suddenly go blank as Naraku sends a signal via his Shikon shard. Outside, Miroku and Sango continue to battle, noting that the demons are trying to keep them away from the house itself. Kagome and Shippō spot Kohaku fleeing on the back of a demon; Kagome recognizes Rin next to him. Sango tries to pursue her brother, but is blocked by the demons, to her frustration. Kagome tries to follow them herself but is attacked by two more; fortunately, Inuyasha suddenly arrives, cutting them down. Kagome confirms his suspicions that Kohaku was in the house, and they set off in pursuit.

Kagome and Inuyasha summarize that Naraku is controlling Kohaku through his Shikon shard, ordering him to kill his hostage (as he tried to with Kagome, previously). Kagome questions whether Rin is a companion of Sesshōmaru; Inuyasha finds it unlikely, given his brother's disgust for humans. However, as Naraku has now injured Sesshōmaru's pride, Inuyasha knows Sesshōmaru would probably kill any of Naraku's underlings on sight, including Kohaku; this would result in Inuyasha's brother killing Sango's, threatening to turn them against each other again. Though they know the result will be bad either way, Kagome reasons that they still have to reach Kohaku before Sesshōmaru does.

Ahead, Kohaku leads Rin through the forest, ignoring her questions. He suddenly halts, as Naraku sends a signal for him to kill Rin, but hesitates as he raises his kusarigama. Terrified, Rin narrowly evades several of his attacks, trying to reason with him, but is finally knocked unconscious. As Kohaku raises the sickle over her body, he notices Sesshōmaru standing a few yards behind them.

Naraku sends another signal; instead of killing Rin, Kohaku turns and levels his weapon at Sesshōmaru instead. Mildly surprised, Sesshōmaru raises his claws, but Inuyasha suddenly appears and punches Kohaku, knocking him backward. Kagome checks on Rin, quickly confirming that she is unharmed. Inuyasha tells Sesshōmaru to let Kohaku go, but Sesshōmaru tells him to stay out of it; Kohaku was about to attack him, not the other way around. Inuyasha understands that Naraku wants Kohaku to get himself killed by Sesshōmaru, regardless.

As if to prove the point, Kohaku launches his kusarigama at Sesshōmaru. Inuyasha swats it aside with Tessaiga, but Sesshōmaru lunges forward, grabbing Kohaku by the throat and lifting him off the ground. Mockingly, he remarks that he never knew Inuyasha cared about him enough to protect him from an enemy. Inuyasha angrily retorts that he will kill Sesshōmaru if he doesn't let Kohaku go. Ignoring both Kagome's pleas and Inuyasha's threats, Sesshōmaru tightens his grip as he stares at the boy. The daiyokai thinks to himself, that the blank expression on Kohaku's face bothers him- despite being seconds from death, his eyes show neither pain nor fear. After a brief pause, Sesshōmaru releases Kohaku, dropping him to the ground.

Rin awakens; she is pleased to see Sesshōmaru, but startled to see Kohaku, who runs into the trees, where he is retrieved by Kagura. Kagome thanks Sesshōmaru for sparing him, to which Sesshōmaru remarks that Kohaku was trying to get himself killed. Having realized he was doing so on Naraku's orders, Sesshōmaru refused to play Naraku's game. He departs, with Rin following him, much to Inuyasha and Kagome's surprise.

Rejoining their companions at dawn, Inuyasha confirms that Kohaku got away again, apologizing to Sango; if he'd managed to deliver a fatal blow to Naraku, Kohaku would have been freed there and then. Sango tells them not to apologize, thinking that she is just glad her brother is still alive. Inuyasha muses where Naraku could have vanished to; his wounds would have prevented him from putting up a concealing barrier.

Meanwhile, Kikyō arrives at the ruins of Naraku's castle. She wonders if Naraku lifted the barrier around it willingly, in which case he's abandoned it and chosen a new hideout. However, in the past she has always been able to sense his demonic aura, regardless of how far away he was. This time, she cannot sense his presence anywhere, not even a trace. She feels uneasy as she leaves the castle...

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Characters in Order of Appearance

Differences from the manga

  • The battle between Naraku, Sesshōmaru, and Inuyasha is slightly extended in the anime. Sesshōmaru is engulfed in Naraku's flesh for much longer, and when Inuyasha arrives he fires two separate Wind Scars at Naraku before Sesshōmaru cuts himself free. In the manga, as soon as Inuyasha arrives in the castle he fires a Wind Scar at Naraku which breaks his barrier and Sesshōmaru immediately cuts himself free from Naraku's flesh.
  • Naraku tries to absorb Inuyasha into his flesh in the anime; this does not occur in the manga.

Notes

  • In the long run, InuYasha caused more harm than good by failing to kill Naraku. Lesser demons afraid of him start coming out of hiding and after Mount Hakurei, demons Naraku no longer needed start rampaging as well.
  • This is Naraku's last true appearance until Episode 123.
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