Hear this! Why do you think I need the Goraishi? To avenge the wolf-folk slaughtered by an enemy! You honestly think I'd allow more of our tribesmen to die just for that? Go to hell!
Kōga is introduced in the series with three Shikon shards in his possession; two embedded in his legs and one in his right arm. However, he loses the shard in his arm during a fight with the leader of the Birds of Paradise, and pursues Naraku with only his two shards in his legs during the story.
Not much is known about his past before he meeting Kagome and her friends. It seems that he is the youngest leader of the Wolf Demon Tribe, and he once saved a younger Ayame from the Birds of Paradise and promised her that he would take her as his wife, though he later denies that this incident ever occurred. It also seems that he has a solid, possibly long friendship with Ginta and Hakkaku.
In the Beginning
Kōga is first seen pursuing and killing a wolf demon who betrayed him by stealing a sacred jewel shard from him. The wolf demon thief took refuge in a hut that belonged to Rin (who later becomes Sesshōmaru's companion). After mercilessly killing the other wolf demon and taking back the stolen shard, Kōga left his wolves to eat the villagers, but they called him back when Inuyasha started to slaughter them. Upon finding out that Inuyasha killed his underlings, Kōga and Inuyasha immediately develop a rivalry with one-another, despite the fact that Inuyasha is a fellow canine. After discovering that Kagome could sense Shikon Jewel shards, Kōga kidnapped her in order to have her find the Bird of Paradise which possessed a sacred jewel shard, and through her cooperation, Kōga eventually falls in love with her, though his feelings were one-sided. After Kōga became wounded and lost one shard in his right arm, Kagome allowed him to flee despite Inuyasha's protests. Afterwards Inuyasha gets mad at Kagome, and eventually Kagome realizes she was ungrateful to Inuyasha, who had come to save her, and the two of them make up.
Later, Kagura, an incarnation of Naraku, tricks members of the Wolf Demon Tribe into coming to Naraku's castle under the premise of gathering Sacred Jewel shards; she slaughters them all. Soon afterward, Inuyasha and group appear on the scene, and Kagura uses her dance of the dead to cover Inuyasha in the slain wolf-demons' blood. Kōga then arrives at the castle and sees all of his comrades corpses along with Inuyasha covered in their blood. Believing that Inuyasha murdered all of his friends, he tries to kill the half-demon in a rage. Kōga eventually learns that his comrades were slain by Kagura, a minion of Naraku. He was also poisoned by a fake jewel shard which Kagome destroyed after Kagura left the castle. After this, he vows to kill Naraku and avenge the deaths of his comrades.
After his first encounter with Inuyasha, Kōga regularly appears in the first half of series looking for Naraku, much like Inuyasha's group. He often gets Inuyasha upset to the point where Kagome has him "sit" to avoid conflict.
During a new moon and moment of weakness for Naraku, Kōga picked up the scent of Naraku in the air. He tracked it with his wolf tribe and ran into Inuyasha and his crew who were also tracking the scent. He learned Inuyasha was a half-demon and would change to a mortal at the new moon.
The group was soon attacked by Kagura. When she was about to be destroyed by Inuyasha's Wind Scar, she was whisked away by demons sent by Naraku to retrieve her. She left behind the two shards of the Shikon Jewel that she had taken from him. Kōga placed them back into his legs and regained his strength and speed.
Kōga, Ginta, and Hakkaku have came to Naraku's castle and going on an investigate, even though he's not in the castle and decides to go ask Inuyasha about it before Ayame arrives and the hair monster emerges as it sensed the shard of the Shikon Jewel on his legs.
During the Mount Hakurei arc, Kōga spends most of his efforts trying to find a way inside the barrier surrounding the mountain, all the while fighting members of the Band of Seven (he defeats Kyōkotsu and Ginkotsu). When Naraku makes his move inside the mountain, he engulfs Kōga in his walls of flesh with the intent of swallowing the wolf demon along with the jewel shards in his legs; however, Kōga is later freed by Kagome's arrow and saved by Inuyasha.
Mōryōmaru and Losing the Shards
Kōga wasn't seen again for much of the story after Mt. Hakurei, not until Mōryōmaru's creation. After experiencing Mōryōmaru's body being gelatinous resulting in his attacks being ineffective and his body being sucked in causing him to use his sword to cut himself free and then learning his shards are under the control of Midoriko's will, making his legs freeze after Kikyō summoned her soul to fuse with her, Kōga decides to go to the Wolf demon tribe graveyard to obtain the Goraishi, a powerful weapon of the wolf demon tribe.
He meets a young wolf demon named Kai who was forced by Byakuya to fight him and get his sacred shards to save his younger brother Shinta, but he uses Goraishi to destroy the badger demon who was used by Byakuya to attack the group of wolf-demons he was with then together with Inuyasha's group rescues Shinta from a renewed Mōryōmaru who acquired an armored body with Inuyasha's diamond spears and Meiōjū's armored shell and succeeds in damaging his armor together with Inuyasha's new Dragon-Scaled Tessaiga.
He tasks Ginta and Hakkaku to take care of Kai and Shinta while he goes off on his own tracking Mōryomaru and meets Kikyō who asks him to hand over his shards to her, telling him her plan to purify the Shikon Jewel once it is complete, but he refuses and continues chasing after Mōryomaru who recovered from his recent damages and heads for a direct confrontation with Naraku.
After Mōryomaru seemingly absorbed Naraku, Kōga and Inuyasha team up again against him but Midoriko's will causes Kōga to be captured by Mōryomaru who is however taken over and destroyed by Naraku, and he was forced to use the only protection he'd receive from his ancestors from Midoriko's will to escape.
Kōga would remain with the group, even though Inuyasha suggested him to give up his Shikon shards and rejoin the Wolf Demon Tribe, and due to Inuyasha being concerned for Kikyō who’s been contaminated by Naraku through spiderwebs, he carried Kagome on his back in Inuyasha's stead to a small shrine where Kikyō struggled against the spiderwebs and to Mount Azusa where she acquired a longbow that could allow her to save Kikyō from her contamination. Together with Kikyō, Miroku, Sango, Kirara and Shippō, he is engulfed in spiderwebs which take them all elsewhere and is attacked by Naraku bent on taking his shards while holding Kikyō who notices that his shards are being purified by Midoriko's will and thus can be used instead of Kohaku's shard to purify Naraku. After seeing how his shards could purify Naraku when he tried to take them with his tentacles and Inuyasha causes Naraku's body to rip open revealing his underlying flesh in which the Shikon jewel can be seen, Kōga decides to go along with Midoriko's will and rushes to Naraku, who however hid the jewel within Kikyō which resulted in Kōga being seized by his tentacles and his shards becoming tainted by his miasma. Eventually, Naraku's body getting disintegrated as he struggles against Kikyō's spiritual energy with Kagome's help allows Kōga to cut free although his shards are taken by Naraku's tentacles.
Together with Inuyasha's group in the night, he sees Inuyasha and Kikyō share their final words and kiss, then feels her soul saying goodbye before being ascended into the starry night sky.
The next day, he decides to leave the fight against Naraku to Inuyasha's group and leaves after trying to rile up Inuyasha into reacting and telling Kagome that she should come find him if she gets tired of Inuyasha.
Hanyō no Yashahime
Four years later, he, his wife Ayame, and their good friend Yawaragi were entrusted to raise Kagome and Inuyasha's daughter Moroha who was brought by Hachiemon to keep her safe from Kirinmaru and his elder sister Zero. He seemed to enjoy looking down at the infant who resembled Kagome. About eleven years after being entrusted with Moroha, Kōga had Moroha employed under Yawaragi's care for training, for unknown reasons for the most part.
Kōga is almost always completely straightforward and his simple and clear demeanor bears no shadow of Magatsuhi. Initially, he had no human feelings, such as sympathy or having concern for the weak, shown in his first appearance when he let his wolves massacre the village where a betraying wolf demon ran to. He changes his ways due to Kagome for her acts of kindness. Gradually, he develops a sense of compassion towards humans due to his exposure to Inuyasha's party, mostly through Kagome's influence. His attitude is mostly wild and he is only concerned with survival. Much like an actual wolf is, he is keenly in tune with his instincts and will not hesitate to follow them (such as running away when the situation is not in his favor).
Kōga is the young leader of the Wolf-Demon Tribe. He has complete trust in his comrades, and will always protect his pack regardless of the danger he faces on the front-lines. He will punish anyone that hurts his pack, regardless of who they are. However powerful an enemy may be, he will swear revenge. With his pride as a Wolf-Demon Clan member, his conviction is unwavering. Kōga hurried to the castle to save his comrades after learning they'd been slain.
The relationship between Kōga and Inuyasha is sometimes that of collaborator. Since they met, they have been rivals for the love of Kagome. They each realize the power of the other but refuse to admit it. It is just like a cat and dog relationship, but they grow to trust each other little by little. They pursue the same enemy, Naraku, and sometimes exchange information. In a serious crisis, they cooperate with each other.
Kōga rarely makes battle plans. His actions are basically animalistic hit-or-miss. But he sometimes exhibits surprising strategies with his naturally sharp instincts.
As long as he likes something, he is not concerned with the feelings of others. He simply proceeds in one direction. Kōga aggressively told Kagome that she would be happy if she were with him. He approached Kagome forcibly even though they had just met. His expression of love is pure and he goes to meet Kagome wherever she may be. If a woman that he likes relies on him, he becomes elated, forgetting all about combat. Also, because of his wolf characteristics, he has a rough temperament as well as a strong instinct to herd and protect the pack as its leader.
Kōga appears as a young man of average height. He has tanned skin, blue eyes, a brown wolf tail, and black hair that is always tied up into a ponytail with a brown cord. Kōga wears brown wolf fur as a headband, shoulder plates, a loincloth, a long and short cuff, and as shin guards. He also wears a silver and black cuirasse (torso armor), white wraps around his feet, and carries a sword at his waist. His ears are pointed and resemble those of Sesshōmaru and other demons. Like Inuyasha, his canines are fangs and his nails are claws, though his claws are slightly less prominent than Inuyasha's.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength: Kōga does possess some degree of superhuman strength, as even without a jewel shard embedded in his arm, he was able to easily break the neck of the giant Kyōkotsu.
- Superhuman Speed: Even without the jewel shards in his legs, Kōga seemed to possess a greater degree of speed than his comrades Ginta and Hakkaku.
- Superhuman Stamina and Endurance: Kōga is a full-blooded demon, granting him plenty of stamina and excellent recovery capabilities. He states that he can run three days non-stop and he can fight for a long time even when he is wounded. In the battle with Ginkotsu and Renkotsu, he defeated them even though his legs were badly injured. Further proof of his endurance is when Naraku impales Kōga in the legs and drags him into his own body. While trapped within Naraku, his miasma that could melt forests and mountains failed to melt or even severely injure Kōga.
- Accelerated Healing: Kōga can heal minor injuries immediately.
- Superhuman Olfactory Senses: Kōga has a wolf-like sense of smell, and can pick up an enemy's scent even from great distances.
- Claws: Kōga can tear certain lesser demon's hard skin using his long Wolf-Demon clan claws.
- Sharpened Instincts: Kōga is able to detect dangerous situations with his extraordinary wild instinct. Since his body hair stands on end and reacts earlier than his brain does, he is able to cope with situations more quickly than most other people. He also boasts a superb evasion rate, and he can detect danger from an odor or from the air. This was first shown when Inuyasha was about to use the Kaze no Kizu on Kōga on their first encounter but Kōga sensed something dangerous was coming and retreated. The second time this was shown was during his confronting Bankotsu when he sensed he was somehow different from the rest of the Shichinintai, which was later revealed by Kagome to be the result of him having three shards in his body, unlike the rest of his team, which only have one.
- Enhanced Abilities from Jewel shards (formerly): Kōga originally possessed three jewel shards: one in each leg and one in his right arm. These shards enhanced his natural quickness and enhanced the strength of his right arm. He eventually lost all three shards, losing the first one from his arm.
- Cyclone: Kōga's primary method of transportation has him enveloped in a high-speed tornado. Apparently, he slices a wall of air with his high-speed movements, creating a vacuum. Air then flows into the vacuum creating a cyclone. Despite its effectiveness, Kōga never actually uses it in battle; it simply develops as a result of his sheer speed, and is not a combat technique. He usually outruns Ginta and Hakkaku due to his impatience and the fact that he is so much faster than they are. It is unknown whether or not Kōga can manifest a cyclone without Sacred Jewel shards in his legs.
- Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Kōga is a capable unarmed combatant, usually relying on his fists or rapid kicks to subdue an enemy.
- Goraishi: A claw that Kōga earns from his ancestor spirits so that he can avenge the deaths of his comrades and destroy Naraku. It creates energy blasts that are equal to that of a fully-powered Wind Scar. The claw shields him, barely, from Naraku's corruption of the jewel but it was only able to protect him once. The Goraishi have since become a part of Kōga.
- Sword: Kōga has a long sword at his hip, but never means to use it. Even when he was injured and surrounded by swords in a serious crisis, he managed to fight without using his sword. This is because his Wolf-Demon Tribe instincts do not rely on weaponry. He mentioned that he stole it from a human by choice, though it was mentioned that is was merely a decoration, not for self-defense.
Ginta and Hakkaku are Kōga's two main traveling companions, and his best friends. He cares very deeply about them, as seen when he attempted to get the Goraishi, saying that he would rather not have the weapon's power if it meant sacrificing the lives of his comrades. Ginta and Hakkaku are often seen out of breath, chasing after Kōga because they are unable to keep up with his awesome speed. They are extremely loyal to Kōga, and are always looking out for his best interest; they generally obey his every command as well. However, on one occasion, Ginta and Hakkaku disobeyed him, but only because they feared a confrontation would take place between him and Inuyasha's powerful brother, Sesshōmaru.
Kōga first met Ayame as a young girl after he saved her from demons. Ayame is the granddaughter of the chief in the northern mountains. Kōga promised to marry her when she was younger, so Ayame comes searching for Kōga in order to return to the northern mountains and restore balance among the tribes. After Kōga refuses to go with Ayame, she returns to the mountains alone, and sometime later the two meet each other. In the end of the anime series, Kōga marries Ayame not knowing that Kagome had returned and married Inuyasha. Whether or not since this could mean he possibly began developing feelings for Ayame or just wanted to uphold his end of the deal was left unknown. The latter was hinted since he was seen slightly blushing at his wedding.
Inuyasha was seen by Kōga as a love rival for Kagome's heart. They have many insulting names they call each other: Inuyasha is usually "Mutt-Face" and Kōga is usually "Wolf-Cub". Later, however, they do become allies and even view each other as friends (though they will never openly acknowledge it). During most of their meetings, Kōga causes Inuyasha to almost draw Tessaiga, forcing Kagome to give a sit command, much to Inuyasha's annoyance. Most of the times when Kōga and Inuyasha did "get along" with each other was when they were both battling a common enemy or when Kagome was in danger. Kōga learns of Inuyasha's weakness during the new moon during his second encounter with Kagura, but chose not to take advantage of Inuyasha's mortal state. The two of them would often bicker about who would get to Naraku first and kill him, because they both sought a form of vengeance. After Kikyō's second death, Kōga (in his own way) tries to console Inuyasha from his grief, and after his final departure, Kōga trusts him to take care of Kagome and to finish off Naraku for good.
At first, Kōga kidnaps Kagome and Shippō only because Kagome can see the Sacred Jewel shards in the Birds of Paradise. After seeing Kagome risk her life to save Shippō, Kōga falls in love with her for her loyalty and later claims Kagome as his "woman", receiving a slap from Kagome. When Kōga starts to insult Inuyasha even purposely mispronouncing his name, Kagome sticks up for him and says: "His name isn't InuTrasha, so don't insult him! He's brave, courageous, really good-hearted when he's not being a jerk, and he's got a great name so say it right. Inuyasha." Kōga threatens to kill him once he sees Inuyasha again. During the series, Kōga saves Kagome multiple times while Inuyasha is preoccupied attacking other demons or the enemy. As he learns more about her kindness and bravery, his love for her increases and he becomes very protective of her. Inuyasha tends to get jealous when Kagome is kind to Kōga before chasing him off. Kagome however doesn't have any feelings for him and only thinks of Kōga as a friend.
Throughout the series, Kōga is fully aware of Inuyasha's love for Kagome, but is completely oblivious of Kagome's love for Inuyasha, however during the Episode 117, Kōga finally realizes that Kagome is in love with Inuyasha after he saw how happy and relieved she was when Inuyasha was revealed to be alive. However, despite discovering Kagome's true feelings for Inuyasha, Kōga vowed he would never give up on having Kagome for himself. In the Episode 176, when deprived of his Shikon Jewel shards after the death of Kikyō, Kōga retires from battling Naraku, telling Kagome to come to him if she ever gets tired of Inuyasha.
Years later, he and tribe were entrusted to look after Kagome and Inuyasha's baby daughter, Moroha, a task he appeared to enjoy since he got to look down on her face, which greatly resembled Kagome's. This could mean he is still not fully over Kagome or still respects her due to his past feelings for her.
In the anime only, Kōga met Inuyasha's older half-brother once. Kōga meets Sesshōmaru and they seem to be off to a horrible start when Kōga talks about Inuyasha (being a hanyō). Sesshōmaru's companion, Rin, was originally killed by Kōga's wolves until Sesshōmaru brought her back to life with his Tenseiga, and she even remarks that she remembers him. However, during their encounter, Rin is attacked by a centipede-like demon, and Kōga kills it before Rin is killed. Sesshōmaru and Kōga seemed to have a mutual understanding, but it still seemed as though their confrontation would have turned into a battle if Kōga had not have saved Rin. Sesshōmaru later remarks that he would have killed Kōga if the wolf hadn't shown that he has altered his ways. Similarly, Kōga tells Ginta and Hakkaku that while he has a problem with Inuyasha, he's yet to have any reason to hate Inuyasha's older brother.
The two have a brief relationship with one another. Kikyō detects that Kōga is in possession of two of the three remaining Shikon Jewel shards and warns him not to recklessly chase after Naraku or his incarnations, in fear that the shards may end up in Naraku's hands. At first, he rejects her assistance, until he learns of her promise to use the shards to kill Naraku while saving Kōga's life, which piqued the wolf-demon's curiosity. Unlike Inuyasha, he was not interested in Kikyō at all and even started disliking her when she tried to force him to give up his Shikon Jewel shards. During his travels with Inuyasha's group and her second death against Naraku, he was present during her final moments, wherein he understood her intentions, but still showed no serious attachment to or interest in her. Needless to say, he also gained knowledge of the fact that she and Inuyasha used to be lovers, much to the hanyō's annoyance.
After Rin was killed by wolves under the command of Kōga, but was revived by Sesshōmaru, they do not see each other again in the manga. In the anime, she was shown to have developed a fear of wolves when she came across Ginta and Hakkaku, at a riverside and immediately hid behind Jaken in fear. Later, Sesshōmaru, Jaken, and A-Un came across Kōga himself. He saved Rin's life from a demon, managing to defend her faster than Sesshōmaru because of the two shards of the Shikon Jewel in his legs. Rin did not have any problems when Kōga left and Sesshōmaru did not pursue him. It means she did not bear any grudge against them, but fears them nonetheless.
Kōga hated Naraku because Naraku's incarnation Kagura killed many of his comrades, and manipulated Kōga into battling with Inuyasha, whom he was told was responsible for their deaths. Once Kōga learned the truth, he devoted almost all of his time and energy to tracking down and destroying Naraku.
- Kōga: "You're gonna be my woman!"
- Kagome: "Heke?"
- ―Kōga first claiming Kagome as his woman[src]
- "Prepare to die, in the name of my comrades!"
- Inuyasha: "Wha—?! Did you just call me a mutt?!"
- Kōga: "You're right, that'd be an insult to canines. You smell much worse!"
- ―One of Kōga and Inuyasha's many arguments[src]
- "Hey! Nyah Nyah to all of you! Even if you ran on your hands you'd never catch up with my legs!"
- "What's goin' on? Something's different about you. You don't smell like a mutt, did you take a soak in the river or what? Hey! Don't get so close to my Kagome! Let... her... go!"
- "Pft. It'd be no fun winning against a wounded little pup!"
- "And just who do you think I am? No one can outrun me, don't you know that?"
- "You mean you got that close to Naraku... and you let him get away from you?! How stupid can you get?! I don't believe this, if I'd been there Naraku would be dead and gone by now!"
- Jakotsu: "That little loincloth is awfully cute. (sigh) Too bad you're not my type."
- Kōga: "Huh? What's this fool talking about?"
- ―Kōga and Jakotsu's first encounter.[src]
- "You are despicable, Inuyasha! Kagome's hands feel much colder than they usually do. And her beautiful cheeks, which are usually so rosy, are pale like a fish's belly! I can tell you put Kagome's life in terrible danger! Well I would never let anything like that happen to her!"
- "One day I'll make you my wife, Ayame."
- Wolf demon graveyard protector: "Foolish child... You chose your companions over the treasure?"
- Kōga: "Hear this! Why do you think I need the Goraishi? To avenge the wolf-folk slaughtered by an enemy! You honestly think I'd allow more of our tribesmen to die just for that? Go to hell!"
- ―Kōga displays his loyalty for his comrades.[src]
- Despite being a main character, Kōga does not appear in any of the four InuYasha movies.
- Despite wanting revenge against Naraku, Kōga was not present for the final battle.
- Kōga's love for Kagome is one-sided. He constantly tries to woo Kagome, but to no avail.
- It was Kōga's wolves that originally killed Rin.
- The scent of dog gives Kōga heartburn.
- In The Holy Pearl, a Chinese television series which is heavily influenced by InuYasha, Shi You Ming is based on Kōga.
- Kōga is similar in appearance to Ryōga Hibiki from Rumiko Takahashi's previous series Ranma ½, who is also romantically interested in the female protagonist and has a similar name that in part means "fang".
- Because he is a full-blooded demon it's quite possible that he is much older than he looks and likely has semi-immortality.
- Like the other demon characters in the Inuyasha guidebook, his true age isn't given - only his age in terms of human years. Rumiko has avoided giving a specific age and has only mentioned, in an interview, that he and other demons are able to live for dozen's or hundreds of years and that she wants the fans to make up their own guesses on his actual age based on his appearance.
- It's quite possible that Kōga might be able to shift into a wolf form but it is never shown in the manga or the anime.
- All of the wolf demon tribe members wear wolf fur because it is a way to respect and remember comrades who have died.
- Kōga was among the few wolf demon tribesmen to have a tail, the other being Yawaragi.
- Kōga is one of the two main characters to never see Inuyasha in his demon form (the other one being Kikyō).
- He drew his sword only once to cut himself free from Mōryōmaru's gelatinous body.
- Episode 15 (Appears in a flashback)
- In the anime only
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 151
- The Secret of the Cursed Mask
- The Art of InuYasha, page 159
- InuYasha anime; Episode 35
- InuYasha anime; Episode 37
- InuYasha anime; Episode 39
- InuYasha anime; Episode 40
- InuYasha anime; Episode 66
- InuYasha anime; Episode 67
- InuYasha anime; Episode 83
- Chapters 339-342
- InuYasha anime; Episode 169
- InuYasha anime; Episode 171
- InuYasha anime; Episode 173
- InuYasha anime; Episode 174
- InuYasha anime; Episode 175
- InuYasha anime; Episode 176
- InuYasha anime; Episode 193
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 159
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 152
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 153
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 155
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 156
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 154
- InuYasha manga; Chapter 340
- InuYasha anime; Episode 99
- InuYasha manga; Chapter 132
|Yōkai Wolf Tribes|
|Eastern Tribe||Ginta • Hakkaku • Kōga • Yawaragi|
|Northern Tribe||Ayame • Kai • Shinta • Rōrō • Wolf elder • Wolf demon graveyard protector|
|Unique Places||Lair of the wolf demon tribe • Wolf demon tribe graveyard|
|Unique Items||Goraishi • Kurikaramaru|
|Enemies||Birds of Paradise (Birds of Paradise leader) • Panther tribe (Panther King) • Naraku • Shichinintai|