If we recruited good-looking warriors, I'd just want to cut them up.
Jakotsu was a very close friend of Bankotsu and they traveled together long before becoming mercenaries. Soon they were joined by five other individuals to become the "Shichinintai." Their mercenary skills soon became feared far across the land. One day, they took a job for a lord, only to be betrayed and forced into the snowy mountain. They were then captured and executed soon after. Fifteen years later, Jakotsu and the other Shichinintai members were revived when Naraku gave Bankotsu seven Sacred Jewel shards so they would destroy all of his enemies for him.
During the story
Jakotsu learned from Kohaku that Kyōkotsu was killed at the hands of Kōga; he commented on how Kyōkotsu was the weakest among his comrades. Soon after Kyōkotsu's death, Jakotsu is confronted by many soldiers that were tasked with executing the specters of the Shichinintai. They used matchlock guns in an attempt to throw him off guard since they were made before Jakotsu's revival. These weapons proved to be ineffective, as Jakotsu was able to easily slaughter all of the soldiers. Inuyasha, Miroku and Kagome approached Jakotsu after Inuyasha detected the scent of blood and corpses, and the two of them battled. Inuyasha found Jakotsu to be a very strong opponent, due to his unique blade, the Jakotsutō. Jakotsu immediately was drawn to Inuyasha and made multiple advances towards Inuyasha, at one point claiming that he wanted to take Inuyasha's ears because of how "cute" they were. Their battle was cut short, however, because of the arrival of Mukotsu and his gaseous poisons.
Jakotsu met up with Mukotsu and was angry at him for almost getting killed by poison. Mukotsu assured him that he knew that he would escape unharmed. After learning from a saimyōshō that Inuyasha was on his own, Jakotsu decided to pursue him, while Mukotsu would deal with the others. Inuyasha and Jakotsu found each other, and continued their battle. In the midst of their intense fight, Inuyasha was unable to use the Kaze no Kizu due to Jakotsu's sword disrupting the air currents. Inuyasha retreated once he learned from Shippō that Kagome and the others were poisoned. Jakotsu later arrived in time to see Mukotsu get killed by Sesshōmaru and left immediately after.
Jakotsu met up with Renkotsu at the temple that he had taken over, where they discuss Inuyasha, Sesshōmaru and whether or not they can trust Naraku, whom none of the Shichinintai have met except for Bankotsu. Renkotsu noted that Inuyasha and his friends would be arriving at the temple soon, and sent Jakotsu off to complete a mission, much to the chagrin of Jakotsu who was very much looking forward to fighting Inuyasha again. Jakotsu was sent to fight with Kōga, and to steal his Shikon Jewel shards. They fought for a short period, before Kōga rushed off to save Kagome after Jakotsu told him that Inuyasha and his friends would die soon.
Jakotsu was present with the rest of the Shichinintai when they go off to retrieve Suikotsu, who had been living in a village as a doctor, with his kind personality. The group told Suikotsu to snap out of it. Renkotsu ordered Jakotsu to deal with Suikotsu, although he would rather fight Inuyasha. As Jakotsu attacked Suikotsu, Kikyō managed to repel him by firing her sacred arrow. Soon the orphans Yūta and Chiyo arrived at the village due to their concern for Suikotsu. When Jakotsu used his sword against the children, Suikotsu shielded them with his body. His injury from the attack caused Suikotsu to revert to his evil and more bloodthirsty form. Despite that, Suikotsu had trouble maintaining his evil side. Renkotsu had Jakotsu kill Yūta and Chiyo in an attempt to fully unleash Suikotsu's evil side, which was something that Jakotsu had no taste for. Before he could carry it out, however, Suikotsu's "good" side took over momentarily and begged Jakotsu not to kill them. Renkotsu surmised that the purifying barrier of the nearby Mount Hakurei was what stopped Suikotsu from becoming purely evil. Jakotsu and the others left the area with Suikotsu.
They were later approached by Kohaku, who lead them to Bankotsu for the first time since their revival. They attacked the castle that was owned by the lord that executed them fifteen years prior. After they killed all of the castle's inhabitants, they wait for the arrival of Inuyasha. Bankotsu remarked that Jakotsu should have kept a woman or two alive to pour their sake for them, but Jakotsu was more preoccupied with running into Inuyasha again. Kōga appeared first, though, and he and Jakotsu resumed their battle from before, though Jakotsu received assistance from his comrades. The battle was cut short when Inuyasha finally arrived on the scene, and Jakotsu happily greeted him, much to Inuyasha's annoyance. The rest of Inuyasha's friends arrived soon after and battled the Shichinintai. Jakotsu was forced to battle Sango, but was not happy about it due to his belief that fighting a woman was no challenge. The Shichinintai retreated soon after with the help of one of Naraku's puppets.
Later, when they arrived at Mount Hakurei, they were met by Kohaku and Kanna, who used her mirror and revealed Sesshōmaru. Jakotsu instantly recognized him as the one who killed Mukotsu. Kohaku then informed Jakotsu that Sesshōmaru was Inuyasha's older brother, before he was assigned by Bankotsu to fight him along with Suikotsu, to Jakotsu's annoyance since his true objective was Inuyasha.
Jakotsu and Suikotsu were prepared to ambush Sesshōmaru while moving away from Mount Hakurei to prevent its influence from turning Suikotsu back to his good side. Jakotsu battled with Sesshōmaru, and commented that he knew that Sesshōmaru was related to Inuyasha, which wasn't something that Sesshōmaru cared to hear. Sesshōmaru instructed Jaken to take Rin away from the battle, but Suikotsu appeared as they attempted to flee on a wooden bridge. Jakotsu continued to fight Sesshōmaru, but Sesshōmaru left in order to rescue Rin. Jakotsu attempted to kill Sesshōmaru while his back was turned, but it failed and his kimono was destroyed, as a result.
Jakotsu followed Suikotsu as the latter took Rin back to the village he lived in before, now apparently back in his "good" form, which irritated Jakotsu. Soon after, though, Suikotsu slaughtered a group of villagers that wanted him to leave the village, showing his evil side once again; Jakotsu was overjoyed by this turn of events as Suikotsu used a mixture of both personalities. Rin tried to escape from Suikotsu, but was grabbed by Jakotsu. As Suikotsu was about to slaughter the children from the village, a saimyōshō appeared to tell Jakotsu that Sesshōmaru was coming, and they flee the scene. They took Rin to Mount Hakurei, where they hoped that the barrier would weaken Sesshōmaru. To their surprise, Sesshōmaru was able to cut them off, and Jakotsu battled him again. He swung his Jakotsutō at Sesshōmaru and injured the daiyōkai, much to the delight of Jakotsu. Now confident, Jakotsu taunted Sesshōmaru by saying that he would kill Rin if he made a wrong move. Sesshōmaru smirked at this, angering Jakotsu, who swung his sword at his opponent once more. Sesshōmaru then threw Tōkijin aside, impaling Suikotsu, and slashed Jakotsu with his claws. As an injured Suikotsu was about to kill Rin, a sacred arrow flew through the air, striking him in the throat; Jakotsu fled the scene after seeing that Kikyō was responsible. As a dying Suikotsu asked Kikyō to end his life, Jakotsu swung his sword at Suikotsu, brutally slashing his throat; his Shikon Jewel shard popped out of his throat, and Jakotsu eagerly escaped with it.
Soon after this incident, Jakotsu, walking alone, was shivering due to his clothes being tattered from the previous battle. He soon encountered a group of traveling merchants and slaughtered all of them, taking some of their clothes. Bankotsu soon arrived on the scene and the two friends converse; Jakotsu presented the Shikon Jewel shard that he had taken from Suikotsu, stating that this is what Bankotsu instructed them to do. Bankotsu was overjoyed by this, saying that Jakotsu was such a good friend, and the only person he can trust.
Jakotsu encountered Inuyasha again inside Mount Hakurei after learning from Renkotsu that he had transformed into a human because of its purifying barrier. He commented that Inuyasha was just as cute as a human as he was as a hanyō. This confrontation was part of Renkotsu's plan to obtain Jakotsu's jewel shard before Bankotsu. Since Inuyasha was a mere human at this point, however, he struggled greatly against the might of Jakotsu and his Jakotsutō. Thanks to Kikyō aiding Hakushin, which enabled him to peacefully pass on, the barrier was dispelled and Inuyasha regained his powers.
After a lengthy battle, Jakotsu lost to Inuyasha and was badly wounded, Inuyasha then spared him as he was in no condition to fight again. Jakotsu laid defeated and stated to himself that he was happy because he got to fight the battle he wanted and that he had fun with his second chance in life.
As he had come to terms with his fate, this gave Renkotsu the opportunity to steal his Shikon shard though he asked for the latter's forgiveness. As he died from the shard's removal, Jakotsu smiled as he turned back to a skeleton.
Jakotsu is depicted as a stereotypically flamboyant homosexual. He admires Kōga's loincloth and Sesshōmaru's appearance during battle, and makes advances on both Inuyasha and Miroku upon their first encounter. But he is undoubtedly as sadistic as his comrades: he is a merciless sociopath who enjoys butchering others, just for the sheer excitement of it. Though he claimed to "love" Inuyasha, he actually wished to kill him and claim his dog-ears, which he considers "adorable."
Jakotsu displays a rather obsessive personality, possessing a one-track mind in his desire to fight and brutally maim Inuyasha. Jakotsu was often tasked with fighting other opponents who were not Inuyasha, much to his annoyance and dismay.
He is very honest and loyal, though, never harboring any greed to obtain power or position, since he willingly hands Suikotsu's Shikon Jewel shard over to Bankotsu. His simple-mindedness, which Renkotsu seems mostly to despise, can also be noted in his interactions with the other members of the band. He also harbors a cruel streak, having no regard whatsoever for his opponent's life. He takes particular pleasure in killing the men he fancies by cutting them slowly and making them bleed, until eventually beheading them or cutting them into pieces. In the same manner, he tries to torture Inuyasha by cutting him repeatedly, saying that Inuyasha would eventually beg to "hold him in his arms for a while" if he tortures him long enough.
Jakotsu also seems to be very repulsed towards women and has no interest in fighting them, probably due to his own homosexual orientation. He becomes furious when Sango intervenes in his first confrontation with Inuyasha, warning her not to interfere and calling her a "vile, despicable woman." He angrily complains when he has to fight Sango again, saying, "So, is this all that's left for me?" and tells her to die quickly. He also has no interest in fighting Kagome or Kikyō, though he seems to become uneasy of the latter, stating that she scares him more than anyone else. This apparent hatred of women, however, may only be an effect of his investment in fighting only males and his frustration with being disrupted. In addition, Jakotsu appears to take no pleasure in killing children. Despite complying with Renkotsu's plan to kill Yūta and Chiyo to awaken Suikotsu's evil side, Jakotsu is visually displeased with the task and tries to comfort them by stating that it will be a quick death.
He's also notably merciless, and somewhat honor-less. In his fight against Sesshōmaru, he had planned to capture Rin and use her as a hostage. This proves that Jakotsu does not necessarily enjoy the challenge of a battle, but rather wishes to see his opponents suffer and bleed, by any means necessary.
Jakotsu is a lean young man of average height. His black hair is kept pinned in a feminine style with a butterfly patterned hairpin. His eyes are large, with small, dark irises with blue tattoos resembling snake fangs underneath them. He also wears red lip coloring, along with blue-green eyeshadow in the manga, making him appear more feminine. Each side of his face has a blue mark resembling a snake fang pointing downward from his eye.
Jakotsu is always seen wearing a combination of a kimono, obi sash, and scarf over his armor, along with waraji sandals. He is originally depicted wearing a pink kimono with leaf-like patterns on it, a violet striped obi sash, and a purple scarf. Later, after this outfit is destroyed by Sesshōmaru, Jakotsu slaughters a caravan of merchants and takes some of the clothes that they are carrying. He can then be seen wearing a yellow kimono with blue flower patterns on it, a pink obi sash, and a grayish-green scarf.
Complementing the snake theme of his character, Jakotsu's armor consists of a purple breastplate that seems to be patterned with scales, a single strap going over his left shoulder, and similarly patterned forearm guards. He nearly always has Jakotsutō strapped to his back, and its sheath bears the same scale pattern as his armor.
Powers & Abilities
- Immense Agility: Although his strength is high, and his speed isn't lacking either, where Jakotsu truly comes into his own are his reflexes and his agility. In terms of nimbleness, Jakotsu may be the most agile of the Shichinintai; showing levels of deftness that no ordinary human should possess. Jakotsu displayed extraordinary limberness and body control, that has allowed him to navigate himself with superior grace and fluidity; easily able to twist and turn in the air with no difficulty. Balance seems instinctual to him, often catching himself in a perfect position of equilibrium. Jakotsu also possessed spectacular dexterity, especially in his hands, enough to easily handle Jakotsutō with inhuman precision. Jakotsu can leap higher than an ordinary human and has shown to be more than capable of engaging his opponents in very unusual angles and positions. This plays in concurrence with his aptitude in acrobatics.
- Immense Speed: Jakotsu was an extremely fast and swift warrior with undeniable grace. He has proven to be extremely adroit, capable of keeping up with demons like Kōga and Inuyasha in close quarters and swiftly dodge attacks from the likes of even Sesshōmaru; a powerful daiyōkai (though, the latter was weakened by the sacred barrier of Mount Hakurei. But an impressive feat nevertheless, especially for a mere human.) He was able to dodge a sacred arrow sent by Kikyō at point-blank range, and outmaneuver many of his enemies, boasting remarkable reaction time that was on par, if not superior to the likes of Bankotsu. He is able to shift rapidly between offense and evasion, attack and evade from multiple directions. Jakotsu’s superior mobility in conjunction with his deftness had made him one of the most dangerous humans alive.
- Enhanced Durability and Endurance: Jakotsu boasted substantial resilience and forbearance for someone that is otherwise human. He had managed to shrug off a direct punch from the supernaturally strong Inuyasha, and survive being pierced through the chest by Sesshōmaru (although his survival is likely attributed to him being an undead specter.) He also has great stamina and can usually prolong battles without worry of strain in a considerable period of time. Jakotsu’s greatest feat of resilience was surviving a frontal assault from Inuyasha’s wind scar, only dying due to Renkotsu removing the jewel shard from his neck that was responsible for his existence in the corporeal world, that ended up turning him to the dusty skeleton he originally was.
- Enhanced Strength: While not his most noteworthy trait; Jakotsu is deceptively strong and physically powerful. Enough so, he was able to easily handle Jakotsutō, a weapon crafted out of 50 broadswords in combat without visible strain of its weight when he employs it to its full glory. Jakotsu was able to easily catch Hiraikotsu a weapon that requires a lot of strength to handle, and throw it back to Sango with his Jakotsutō. Note; he was carrying both 50 swords, and the demon slaying weapon at the same time, which should have required someone with inhuman strength. He is not as strong as Bankotsu, but he is by no means weak either.
- Acrobatics: Jakotsu has displayed undeniable aptitude in gymnastics; consistently performing complex acrobatic maneuvers that would easily classify him as a gifted arialiest in the modern world. Jakotsu displayed proficiency in complex evasions and natural equilibrium; often catching himself back on his feet and performing quick back-flips or backward jumps in a fashion akin to a ninja. He can instinctively perform impeccably precise moves in mid-air, which aided him from dodging even the most unexpected blows from unusual directions. Flips, somersaults, tumbling, vaulting and the like comes easy to him. With his natural reflexes coming into play, Jakotsu easily can pass off for an accomplished veteran circus performer with his prowess.
- Master Swordsman: Jakotsu wielded Jakotsutō with masterful expertise and precision, that made him one of the most dangerous humans that Inuyasha has ever faced in combat. Jakotsu’s meticulousness with his unique blade was preternaturally impeccable, extraordinarily so that he is able to utilize his weapon to pull in items without even scratching his opponents. Jakotsu was able to slaughter entire troops of conditioned men with little difficulty, and ensnare his opponents with his sword and then dismember them cleanly with a flick of his wrist. Jakotsu’s skill with his blade was as such; he was able to effectively engage Sesshōmaru in a sword fight and eventually disarm him of Tōkijin, a feat no other person in the series has managed to achieve on their own. Besides Bankotsu, Jakotsu is the most deadly of the Shichinintai in close quarters combat.
- Jakotsutō (蛇骨刀, じゃこつとう, "Snake Skill Sword"): The Jakotsutō is a broad sword made up of at least 50 chain linked blades held together by pins. When deployed or swung, these blades zig-zag back and forth unpredictably as they move forward, resembling the movements of a snake moving in for the strike. This trait and Jakotsu's skill with the sword make him one of Inuyasha's deadliest opponents.
Even before the Shichinintai is formed, the two share a very close bond, and were traveling partners. News of Jakotsu's second death upset Bankotsu enough to kill Renkotsu and avenge his fallen friend. The two shared a peaceful moment together, during which Bankotsu confessed that Jakotsu was a true friend and the only one he could trust.
As the second-in-command, Jakotsu tends to follow Renkotsu's orders for the most part and they seem to get along. Renkotsu constantly rebukes Jakotsu for his dim intelligence and immaturity. Whenever Jakotsu begins to fawn over the men he is interested in, Renkotsu becomes frustrated and forces Jakotsu to concentrate on the task at hand. Although tolerant of Jakotsu's flamboyant behavior up to a point, after denying Jakotsu the opportunity to fight Inuyasha, Jakotsu suggests that Renkotsu himself fancies Inuyasha, an idea which disgusts Renkotsu to the point that he actually threatens Jakotsu. After Inuyasha mortally wounds Jakotsu, Renkotsu appears and reveals his treachery, though he does ask for forgiveness while Jakotsu holds no grudge, gives him a light smile as his Shikon Jewel shard is taken, and dies.
Jakotsu had a mixed relationship with Suikotsu: while irritated by his good side, he attempts to awaken the evil side by killing the villagers (including children). He is later intrigued by Suikotsu's mixture of both his evil and good sides, feeling that he's truly a member of the Shichinintai. Despite that, Jakotsu had no qualms killing Suikotsu before Kikyō could remove his shard and shows no concern for his decaying ally.
Since their first encounter, Jakotsu is strongly infatuated with Inuyasha, and takes delight in the idea of killing him and keeping his dog ears as a "cute souvenir." Jakotsu tends to get upset whenever he doesn't get a chance to fight Inuyasha, especially if someone else from the Shichinintai is selected to fight the hanyō instead. Inuyasha on the other hand is disturbed by Jakotsu's behavior, but recognizes him as a deadly opponent in their battles. The two have their final battle at Mount Hakurei, where he admits that regardless of Inuyasha's form, he still finds him attractive. Jakotsu does not mind dying by Inuyasha's hands and gladly offers him the chance, but Inuyasha simply leaves Jakotsu wounded, promising to kill him if he tries to attack him again.
Jakotsu is initially frightened by Sesshōmaru's entrance into the battles around Mount Hakurei, as he notes Sesshōmaru's cold demeanor and the ease with which he dispatched Mukotsu. When Kanna used her mirror and showed Sesshōmaru's image, Jakotsu identified him as the killer of Mukotsu. He then learns from Kohaku about Sesshōmaru being Inuyasha's older brother before being assigned to go after him, much to his dismay. Jakotsu is surprised and amused by how reckless Sesshōmaru's behavior becomes as he attempts to rescue Rin, with Sesshōmaru turning his back to Jakotsu, leaving himself completely vulnerable. Nevertheless, after his attempt to exploit this opportunity to kill Sesshōmaru is easily reversed and Jakotsu himself nearly dies, Jakotsu comments with awe on how deadly Inuyasha's older brother really is. He is, however, irritated by how little the barrier around Mount Hakurei affects Sesshōmaru and is also annoyed by Sesshōmaru's haughty disdain for his human opponents. After being pierced through the chest by Sesshōmaru's hand, Jakotsu has time to reflect on Sesshōmaru's attractiveness up close, and remarks that he really is handsome, but taunts the Daiyōkai for underestimating him.
Jakotsu has a slight crush on Kōga and admires his loincloth. In the end, however, as with his attraction toward Sesshōmaru, Jakotsu decides that he still prefers Inuyasha. Kōga and Jakotsu fight several times, with Kōga finding Jakotsu's behavior rather odd, but recognizes him as a deadly opponent.
Although Jakotsu never really interacts with Kikyō, Jakotsu is intimidated by her strong spiritual powers, likely because Kikyō almost killed Jakotsu while trying to rescue Suikotsu. Jakotsu even retreats after obtaining the jewel shard from Suikotsu's dead body because of his apparent fear of Kikyō. In fact, before leaving, Jakotsu makes a remark saying "That dead priestess again. She scares me more than anyone."
Kohaku is the only person, outside the Shichinintai, that Jakotsu seemed to casually chat with. Although he is disturbed by how Jakotsu acts, he was able to speak with him about who to kill. Jakotsu seems fond of the young man, as he was always happy to see him and wishes him the best when he parts with them.
Manga vs. Anime
- The soldiers that Jakotsu kill in Episode 103 don't use matchlock guns against him in the manga.
- Jakotsu's fight with Inuyasha in Episode 104 is not present in the manga.
- In the manga, Jakotsu does not attempt to kill Chiyo and Yūta.
- In Chapter 271, after Inuyasha has attacked Jakotsu with his Kaze no Kizu, it can be seen that Jakotsu's left arm got cut off as he's defeated. In the anime, Jakotsu does not lose his arm during the fight against Inuyasha.
- The flashback of Jakotsu traveling with Bankotsu before the formation of the Shichinintai in Episode 121 is not in the manga.
- "So tell me, Inuyasha, what do you think of Jakotsu of the Band of Seven, huh?!"
- "Are you the one I'm searching for? Are you Inuyasha? ... You're adorable! I especially love those fuzzy ears of yours! I want them."
- "Inuyasha is handsome, but you're pretty sexy yourself, monk."
- Jakotsu: "So from the seven, that leaves only four."
- Renkotsu: "Seven minus two is five."
- Jakotsu: "Wait...huh?" [tries to recount]
- ―Jakotsu displaying his poor mathematics[src]
- "He's deadly... killed by his brother on my way to kill Inuyasha? I couldn't live with myself if that happened. Oh, we wouldn't want that, would we, Inuyasha?"
- "Bye bye, Inuyasha. Of all the men who have died by my sword, I have to say I like you the best."
- "Inuyasha, what are you waiting for? Just finish me. I don't mind dying by your hands Inuyasha."
- Bankotsu: "I wonder how many men we should have in our mercenary band."
- Jakotsu: "Huh? Well, you can count me in, I suppose. But make sure there's some good-looking guys."
- Bankotsu: "Don't be silly. What's most important is that they're strong."
- Jakotsu: "Huh? Hmm. Yeah, I guess you're right. If we recruited good-looking warriors, I'd just want to cut them up. What was I thinking?" [laughs to self]
- ―Jakotsu displaying his priorities[src]
- Rumiko Takahashi originally intended to make Jakotsu female, but did not like the idea of Inuyasha fighting and defeating a female human, deciding instead to make him a homosexual male.
- Because of Jakotsu's cross-dressing, some English fans mistook him for a female. To add to the confusion, Jakotsu is voiced by a female actress in both English and Japanese.
- Jakotsu is one of a few characters to change clothes, with the others including Kagome, Kagura, Sango, Kohaku, Renkotsu, and Naraku.
- Jakotsu's Theme-Music from the InuYasha Official Soundtrack, Vol. 3 is entitled "Kirikomi Taichō Jakotsu" (斬りこみ隊長 蛇骨, "The Corp's Leader Jakotsu")
- He and Bankotsu are also featured in a song entitled "Abarero!!" that is performed by their Japanese voice artists.
- His seiyū, Ai Orikasa, also voiced Shinonome's wife from One Day Dream and Matsuko Kogure from The Executive's Dog, both part of Rumiko Takahashi's anthology series Rumic Theater, and Isago from Mermaid Saga.