I have often heard you humans refer to this as fate or destiny. Only the weak utter such nonsense. It is different for the truly powerful: they create this so-called "destiny" with their own hands.
It was revealed near the end of the series that Naraku had actually been a pawn of the Demon of the Shikon no Tama all along, which manipulated him in order to assure the Jewel's continued existence.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Origins
- 1.2 Battling Inuyasha's group
- 1.3 Naraku's incarnations
- 1.4 Trying to remove his weakness
- 1.5 Curse of the dark priestess
- 1.6 The Howling Wind of Betrayal
- 1.7 Meeting himself
- 1.8 Vanishing Point: Naraku Disappears
- 1.9 Disposal of his human heart
- 1.10 In search of the final Shikon Jewel shard
- 1.11 Trying to kill Kikyō again
- 1.12 Betrayal
- 1.13 Re-absorption of his own heart
- 1.14 What a tangled web we weave
- 1.15 Trying to remove obstacles
- 1.16 The Shikon Jewel's completion
- 1.17 Death
- 1.18 Legacy
- 2 Personality
- 3 Physical description
- 4 Powers and Abilities
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Quotes
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Media appearances
- 9 References
- 10 See also
Once, there was a man named Onigumo, who was full of deceit and hatred for others. The manga reveals nothing about his life before he met the protagonists, but the anime adaptation showed him in a flashback associated with a group of roaming thieves. It told how he tricked his bandit leader, Rasetsu, into approaching Kikyō and attempting to obtain the Shikon no Tama, or Jewel of Four Souls. However, Onigumo did not warn him that there was a half-demon named Inuyasha, who was keeping a watchful eye over the priestess. Rasetsu survived the encounter with Inuyasha, lost an eye, and returned to his camp only to find that Onigumo had made off with his troops. Rasetsu discovered Onigumo and his troops at an inn down the road celebrating their change in leadership. Enraged, Rasetsu blew up the inn, but the charred body of Onigumo somehow managed to survive the blast. Rasetsu then threw the barely-living Onigumo off a cliff.
By either chance or fate, the badly burned Onigumo was found by Kikyō, who slowly nursed him back to the point of being able to speak. Onigumo developed feelings for Kikyō, but knowing that he could not move for the rest of his life, he summoned countless demons by using his corrupted soul. He then had them devour his body in exchange for giving him a new body with which he could claim Kikyō and the Jewel of Four Souls. Thus, the countless demons were bound together in one body with Onigumo serving as a connector. (In an anime special, it was implied that a spider demon, which looked like a small replica of Naraku's spider form in the second movie, was in fact the leader of these demons). This resulted with Onigumo being reborn as the half-demon, Naraku.
Naraku's very first action after being reborn was to one of the two things Onigumo had wished for: to obtain the corrupted Shikon no Tama. However, Naraku had no desire to have Kikyō for his own, as he disguised himself as both Inuyasha and Kikyō and tricked them into hating each other, as he described that "the Shikon Jewel is the most beautiful when it's tainted with malice."
He mortally wounded Kikyō while disguised as Inuyasha, took the Shikon no Tama, returned it to the village, disguised himself as Kikyō, and attacked Inuyasha. Inuyasha sensed something was wrong and instinctively went back to the village to retrieve the Jewel. However, Naraku disguised as Kikyō, told the villagers that Inuyasha would come for the Shikon no Tama at any cost, thereby forcing Inuyasha to use force to obtain the Jewel. As he was getting away with the Jewel, Kikyō, with her remaining strength, sealed Inuyasha to the Tree of Ages. Naraku, who desired both the Jewel of Four Souls and Kikyō, thought that she would use the Jewel to heal herself, but he miscalculated as she instead requested Kaede to cremate the Jewel along with her dying body, so that it would be taken to the afterlife with her.
Onigumo's soul, within Naraku, objected to Kikyō's death as it was not his desire, but that of the demons who created Naraku. At this time, Naraku took action to prevent Onigumo from consciously influencing the half-demon's actions. Onigumo perceived this process as imprisonment in a deep dark place where he proceeded to sleep. This most likely meant that Onigumo was locked deep in Naraku's subconscious.
For fifty years after Kikyō's death, Naraku secretly plotted and waited for the Shikon Jewel to reappear. During this time, he made an enemy of a monk, Miyatsu, and cursed his family lineage with the Kazaana. Naraku did so simply to ensure Miyatsu's bloodline would suffer for eternity. He also had his first encounter with Bankotsu, and informed him of his patience in waiting for Shikon Jewel's reappearance. 35 years after Kikyō's death, Naraku had heard of a child priestess named Hitomiko whose powers rivaled Kikyō's own. He attempted to kill her, but she survived by putting up a barrier with her spiritual power, but her he killed all of her friends with his miasma. Her master is going to save her and no effect with his spiritual power, and since he killed her master, she was angry and driven him away with her power.
Being a half-demon like Inuyasha, Naraku also sometimes experienced a period of weakness. During those times, he lost all of his demon powers and reverted to his "human" form. While in this form, he was composed of his head attached to countless random demon parts. Naraku had the freedom of choosing that time, unlike Inuyasha, due to having been created by a merging of a human and several demons; since he was made up of thousands of demons. Each time, he "experiments" and "reconstructs" his body, getting rid of weak and useless parts while keeping the vital ones to get stronger. It was possible that during each of these periods that he expelled more and more of his humanity.
Battling Inuyasha's group
For some time after the Shikon Jewel was shattered into hundreds of shards, Naraku had gathered most of them; however, for some reason he did not attempt to fuse them together. Naraku eventually learned that Inuyasha had been released from his seal and now journeyed together with Miyatsu's grandson, Miroku. He also feared the terrible blade, Tessaiga.
Knowing that he stood no chance against Inuyasha, Naraku encountered the hanyō's older half brother, Sesshōmaru. Sesshōmaru had lost his left arm in a fight with Inuyasha by that point. Naraku offered a human arm with a Shikon no Tama shard embedded in it to allow the mighty demon to steal Tessaiga from Inuyasha and use it to kill him. Knowing how bothersome the Wind Tunnel would prove, Naraku also gifted Sesshōmaru with a Saimyōshō hive to poison Miroku. The attempt ended in failure, but Naraku regained his Shikon no Tama shard. However, as an unintentional bonus, Naraku became the focus of Sesshōmaru's anger.
He later embedded two Shikon no Tama shards in Rōyakan, forced him to attack the injured Inuyasha, and steal his Shikon no Tama shards. However, Inuyasha easily defeated him and, to Naraku's surprise, pulled a woman that looked like Kikyō out of the Bone-Eater's Well. Kagome quickly discovered where he was hiding because of all the Shikon shards he had, which lead to the first confrontation between Inuyasha and himself. Naraku revealed that he had been born of Onigumo, and attempted to flee by using a Cloud of Destruction. However, Inuyasha survived it and managed to cut off his hoari, which revealed a spider-shaped scar on his back. This would be Naraku's calling card.
Posing as Kagewaki Hitomi while using a puppet to pose as himself as an adviser who was well-versed about demons, Naraku lured the best of the Demon slayers from Yōkai taijiya village their village]] to leave it vulnerable to yōkai wishing for revenge. Naraku made a boy named Kohaku slay his father and comrades, while injuring his sister, Sango, and the guards killed him. Naraku had the slayers buried in the garden, but found that Sango was still alive. At the same time, his demon puppet visited Sango's Village, swallowed demons that were fighting over the shards the slayers had collected, and took the jewel shards to Naraku himself. After he lied about Inuyasha attacking the village, Naraku sent Sango after him with his demon puppet, and allowed her the use of a jewel shard to relieve her of pain that was caused by her injuries. The attempt was almost successful, until his demon puppet was tricked into revealing the truth. The Saimyōshō retrieved his shard while the puppet was destroyed.
He later resurrected Kohaku with a jewel shard and complied with the boy's wish to forget the horrible deeds he was forced to make, which left the boy's heart empty, and ready to be filled with whatever Naraku desired. He attempted to bargain with Sango, and promised her Kohaku in exchange for Tessaiga. Sango complied, returned to the castle, destroyed his baboon pelt, and revealed his disguise as Kagewaki Hitomi. Naraku poisoned Sango and her companion Kirara, and sicked Kohaku on them to finish the job. However, Naraku's plan was thwarted by the arrival of Inuyasha and the others. He attempted to poison them all to death, but Kagome purified his miasma and destroyed all but his head with a sacred arrow. Forced to leave, Naraku took the castle with him, but lost Kohaku in the process.
Left with only a sham of a body, Naraku locked various demons in a mountain, where they would fight to the death and the winner would absorb all the others' parts for himself. Naraku would swallow the winner to gain a new body. During this time, the Hitomi Clan sought out a priestess who was rumored to save even those near death to cure "Kagewaki's" illness. To Naraku's surprise, he discovered that it was a resurrected Kikyō. He had her detained in the dungeon, but she escaped. Naraku waited for his spell to be broken and was amazed that Kikyō had broken it instead of killing the Kodoku. After he regained a true body, Naraku found Kikyō, he kidnapped her, took her back to his castle, and erected a barrier to keep out her Soul Collectors.
Kikyō revealed she knew who he was, and Naraku was left amused. He let in a single soul collector and infused the soul it carried with a Shikon Jewel Shard. He bid Kikyō to kill Kagome if she wished to remain in the world of the living. Leaving a puppet in charge of her, Naraku cast the spell of Illusory Death on a forest while disguising his Saimyōshō as Kikyō's soul collectors, and lured Inuyasha's group into his trap. Kikyō destroyed his puppet, and blinded Naraku to the events that unfolded in the forest. He became shocked that Kikyō had returned and gave him Kagome's shards. She taunted him with the knowledge that he wanted to become a full demon as he was only a half demon. Naraku vowed to kill Kikyō the moment that he did.
With Kagome's shards in his possession, Naraku fused them with his shards, and left all but six shards to be put in. Using the nearly restored jewel's magic, Naraku gained the ability to create incarnations of himself from his body. He first created a demon that represented the Void, and named her Kanna. Naraku gifted her with a mirror that was made from of his own body, which could swallow souls, reflect attacks, and become a walking voodoo doll that could copy enemy powers. As Kanna was unfit for combat uses, Naraku created his second detachment: the wind sorceress, Kagura. Naraku removed the hearts of both his incarnations, so that he could squeeze them to death if they disobeyed him.
Naraku first sent Kagura to attack the Wolf Demon Tribe members who were lured to one of his Phantom Castles due to a rumor of jewel shards. He planned to use Kōga, the leader of the wolf demons, to kill Inuyasha. However, his plan backfired when Kagura revealed the truth after Inuyasha was knocked out. He was able to gauge the strength of the Wind Scar due to her surviving an attack from it. Kagura attacked him in anger, and made Naraku squeeze her heart as punishment.
He next sent both Kanna and Kagura to attack Inuyasha, by using the villagers whose souls were sucked out by Kanna to attack Inuyasha while under the control of Kagura's Dance of the Dead. During this time, Naraku had Kanna try sucking out Kagome's soul; however, this proved impossible due to the sheer size of it being unable to fit in the mirror. After he succeeded in having Kanna repel the Wind Scar back at Inuyasha, which badly injured him, Naraku made a personal appearance, and showed his nearly complete Shikon jewel to his enemies. He gloated how Kikyō had given him the shards in possible attempt to have him kill Inuyasha for her. That news greatly disturbed Inuyasha. When Kanna was forced to release all the souls she captured, Naraku and his incarnations fled before Miroku had the chance to suck them all into the Wind Tunnel.
He later created the mind-reading Goshinki and ordered him to attack a village to draw out the wounded Inuyasha. However, his incarnation was slaughtered the moment that Inuyasha's demon blood transformed him to save his life. Quite possibly, Naraku didn't know Goshinki's fangs were used to create Sesshōmaru's new blade, Tōkijin.
Following Goshinki's death, Naraku created twin incarnations, Jūrōmaru and Kagerōmaru. However, he couldn't control either of them. Kagerōmaru even tried to kill him upon birth by decapitation. However, much to Kagura's disappointment, it didn't work. As a result, he sealed Kagerōmaru inside Jūrōmaru's gut with a mask and shackled the mindless beast Jūrōmaru. Sending his demon puppet out with his incarnations in a cage, Naraku's puppet first met Kōga, who Naraku greeted formally due to it being their first meeting. After removing the seal on Jūrōmaru, Naraku's puppet was beheaded and he gloated that nothing could stop him now. However, just like Goshinki, both incarnations met their end.
Trying to remove his weakness
Naraku remained unseen for a while, most likely because he needed time to think of new plans. He usually paid a visit to Kikyō, and reasoned that it was wise to keep an eye on her. However, she later revealed that he was concerned about her because of Onigumo's heart still lusted for her. Naraku, knowing that he couldn't make a direct attack on her, created a giant soul collector to swallow all the dead souls in the land to leave Kikyō unable to move. However, this attempt was thwarted by Inuyasha, who slew Naraku's demon. Naraku watched the image of Inuyasha and Kikyō embracing in Kanna's mirror. Consumed by Onigumo's jealousy, Naraku used a sword to cut the skin off of his back. A retainer saw this and Naraku slew him. Kagura questioned him if he was losing his sanity, but he ordered her to clean up his mess instead.
After he heard of Ryūkotsusei, a powerful demon that was sealed long ago by Inuyasha's father, Naraku believed that this demon could succeed where Kanna, Kagura, Goshinki, Jūrōmaru and Kagerōmaru had failed, and kill Inuyasha. Right before Inuyasha could piece the demon's heart to lighten Tessaiga, Naraku sent a demon puppet to burn away the claw that sealed Ryūkotsusei with miasma. However, no sooner was the demon revived, it burned his puppet to a crisp, and left Naraku unable to see the ensuing fight. He would later discover that his plan had failed.
Curse of the dark priestess
Naraku sought out Tsubaki, a dark priestess who fought and lost to Kikyō 50 years ago, and promised her the Shikon Jewel in exchange for cursing Kikyō's reincarnation, Kagome. Naraku sent a demon puppet to watch Tsubaki cast her curse, by using Kagome's blood to taint the Shikon Jewel, poison the two shards in the girl's possession, and having them enter her neck. Though Kagome's will remained her own, Tsubaki had succeeded in gaining control of her body. Naraku had the devilish idea of making Inuyasha relive his worst nightmare: being killed by the woman that he loved. If Inuyasha fled from Kagome, Naraku wanted her life snuffed out, but either result was favorable. However, Kikyō arrived at that moment and destroyed his demon puppet, and left him unable to see the results of the battle.
He sent Kagura to retrieve the Shikon Jewel from Tsubaki after she tricked The Red and White Priestesses into stalling Inuyasha's group. However, Kagura was more interested in Tsubaki's plan to use the Shikon Jewel to revive the Giant Ogre of the Forbidden Tower and absorb it for the immense demonic energy the ogre possessed. When Tsubaki lost a second time to Inuyasha's group, Naraku had grown tired of waiting for the return of his property and had a Saimyōshō he implanted in Tsubaki's eye along with the jewel to retrieve it. Tsubaki aged to dust.
Some time afterward, Naraku became careless about his miasma, allowed it to fill the inside of his barrier, and kill the Hitomi Clan Retainers. During one of his periods of weakness, which Kagura didn't know about, she left the castle to attack Kōga, who was nearing it due to the weakened barrier. She obtained his jewel shards, but decided to use them as a bribe to have Sesshōmaru kill him. He declined, and said to use them herself. Naraku knew Kagura had left, thanks to Kanna's mirror, but didn't know of this deal. He sent demons to rescue Kagura after Kōga had regained his shards and Inuyasha sent the Wind Scar at her. The moment Kagura that had returned to the castle, Naraku had Kanna lead her down to the sub basement that he was in. He pulled her down by force and revealed that he knew that she had left the castle. After he threatened to reabsorb her, Naraku gave Kagura one last chance to be obedient. He chained her up in the dungeon as punishment. However, Kagura decided not to tell him about Inuyasha becoming mortal on the Night of the New Moon.
After he noticed that Onigumo was fighting to get free of his body, Naraku decided to grant his wish and cast him out as a lump of purple flesh. Ironically, he tossed him out at the very spot that he fell and had become crippled. Keeping watch on Onigumo with Kanna's mirror, Naraku watched as the Onigumo incarnation pillaged villages and stole the face and the name of a monk named Musō. When Inuyasha destroyed "Musō's" arm, Naraku sent Saimyōshō to recreate it; however, Musō was felled by the Wind Scar, temporarily. Knowing that Onigumo may need to come back to him, Naraku released Kagura from her chains and ordered her to keep an eye on "Musō".
With Onigumo's heart gone, Naraku paid a visit to Kikyō and strangled her before gloating that he could do as he pleased. However, no sooner had he done this, Naraku saw his hand transform into another demon; he barely managed to force it back to normal. At this point, Naraku realized that it was "too soon" to spit out Onigumo's heart and went to retrieve it.
Musō was angered by Naraku's presence and knew that he was the one who slaughtered Kikyō, the woman he wanted for himself. However, Naraku decided to play with his feelings by revealing Kikyō had been revived. He attempted to reabsorb him but was interrupted by Inuyasha's arrival. Naraku ordered Kagura to capture Musō, but Musō returned and impaled him as revenge. However, this was what Naraku wanted; he reabsorbed Musō from their connection and took back his human heart.
Miroku questioned him about the time when his barrier became weak, which prompted Naraku to reveal that like all half-demons, he has a point where he becomes human. Naraku revealed the special circumstances that he could control when his moments of weakness occur. Inuyasha became annoyed as they have no way of finding a time of weakness. Inuyasha attempted to kill him with the Wind Scar, but Naraku blocked with a barrier, which was far stronger than his previous one. After he reminded them that he grew stronger, Naraku left with Kagura.
Naraku had Kagura abduct Rin and place her in Kohaku's care outside of his castle. Naraku then sent a demon puppet to invite Sesshōmaru to his castle. No sooner had Sesshōmaru destroyed his puppet, Naraku laughed that Sesshōmaru would come as he hated to have things that belonged to him taken away. After purposely leaking his scent and lowering his barrier, Naraku appeared before Sesshōmaru, and revealed that he simply wished for Inuyasha's death. However, he knew that Sesshōmaru came to kill him, and gladly honored the request. Naraku turned into a patched-together demon that was made from rejected demons. Sesshōmaru questioned if this form was his true form. Naraku revealed that his form was a work-in-progress. Kagura, watching from the sidelines, realized that Naraku was trying to absorb Sesshōmaru for greater demonic power. When Inuyasha broke into his barrier, Naraku sent Kagura and demons to fight him. However, he found that neither could stop him. This result forced him to swallow Sesshōmaru into his severed flesh.
However, Inuyasha arrived and broke his personal barrier with the Red Tessaiga, something that wounded Naraku and left him surprised that Inuyasha had become strong enough to break through his barriers. Trying to eat Inuyasha as well, Naraku only ended up further injured and Sesshōmaru was released. Both brothers injured him even further, which forced Naraku to flee from his castle. He then revealed why he abducted Rin: a means to keep Sesshōmaru from following him. At that point, he ordered Kohaku to kill Rin. However, Sesshōmaru prevented this and Kagura retrieved Kohaku. Naraku had ordered her to retrieve the shard from his corpse.
Disposal of his human heart
Naraku fled in the direction of the Ox-Tiger, and decided to hide in Mount Hakurei until he could recover and become stronger. Naraku tricked the lost soul of the saint, Hakushin into creating a powerful, holy barrier around Mount Hakurei; this would prevent Inuyasha, Sesshōmaru and Kōga from coming after him. The closer Naraku's enemies came to the core of the barrier, the stronger its effect was. The stronger a demon, the deeper into the barrier they could go until they got to a specific sort of critical point where anything with even the slightest bit of demon energy would be utterly purified. A resurrected person like Kikyō could not enter the barrier either, as it would try to help the souls within her ascend. Naraku himself hid within a cave inside the mountain which was not affected by the purified barrier.
At some point, Naraku came out of hiding and faked his death in order to draw out the demon Kaguya, absorb her, and become immortal. This failed, as Miroku sucked Kaguya into his Wind Tunnel, and Inuyasha sliced Naraku to pieces. Naraku retreated back to Mt. Hakurei to reconstruct his body again.
While he was reconstructing his body, Naraku resurrected the Shichinintai to keep his enemies occupied. He promised Bankotsu that the second lives that were given to him and his comrades would be permanent if they could kill Inuyasha's group, Kōga, and Sesshōmaru. As Kagura could not, Naraku had Kanna, who was unaffected by the barrier, and Kohaku relay his orders. Naraku had his Demon Puppet run interference for the Shichinintai when they were ordered to retreat, left a clue for Inuyasha to lead him to the island Hakushin was once enshrined at, and hoped the weaker barrier there would allow Bankotsu to kill his foe. However, it failed.
Kikyō later helped Hakushin see through Naraku's deception and helped him ascend to Heaven, thus breaking the barrier and allowing Naraku's foul miasma to destroy Mount Hakurei's vegetation, while demons that were kept inside escaped. Without the barrier to stop him, Naraku made the mountain part of his body. He swallowed Kōga into it, for the Shikon shards in his legs, sealed all the exits, and trapped his enemies inside.
Separating himself from his heart, Naraku rendered it into two pieces. The physical heart, (心臓, shinzou) he imparts to one of his incarnations, "The Infant", which rendered Naraku effectively immortal unless the Infant was destroyed. The spiritual heart, or soul (心, kokoro), which he inherited from the human Onigumo, was discarded inside Hakurei. Doing so, Naraku became stronger, much like a full demon; although he was still a hanyō. The increase of his demonic power also made Naraku more arrogant. He forced Kagura to take the Infant away from Mount Hakurei, and entrusted the care of his heart to her.
Upon the deaths of all of the Band of Seven, Naraku collected the jewel shards that he had given to them, stole Kagome's, and united them into the nearly complete Shikon Jewel once more. With the jewel, Naraku constructed his new body, and gained a far more ominous appearance. Furthermore, his own personal barrier had become strong enough to resist the Red Tessaiga. Naraku also gained the ability to trap attacks like the Wind Scar in the flow of his demonic energy until he decided to release it. When Kagome freed Kōga from the bottom of his barrier; Naraku planned to absorb Kōga along with his shards. After he saw that Inuyasha valued his companions, Naraku began to destroy Mount Hakurei. He taunted them, and said that sharing the same grave would be his one mercy to them.
After he escaped to the outside, Naraku confronted Kikyō. She questioned him as to what Kagura was escaping Mount Hakurei with, and why he would go to all the trouble of erecting a sacred barrier. He wounded Kikyō, and revealed the reason that he came to Mount Hakurei was to free himself of Onigumo's influence so that he could kill her. As a crevice of miasma opened, Naraku impaled Kikyō, and made her fall into the river of miasma below. He asked if Kikyō understood why this was the new body that he desired. Sesshōmaru arrived right afterward, and Naraku offered him a free shot. A strike from Tōkijin reduced Naraku's body to shreds. However, he returned the force of the strike back at Sesshōmaru, which forced him to slice Naraku's head in half. Naraku gloated that he would never die and fled once more.
In search of the final Shikon Jewel shard
After he knew that the Shikon Jewel lacked all but four shards to complete it - one was in Kohaku, two were in Kōga's legs - Naraku sought out Mimisenri, a demon with incredible hearing, to learn the location of the final shard. After he learned that the shard was taken to the Borderland Between the Afterlife and the Land of the Living, Naraku tasked the Infant with looking into the souls of priests as they departed to the other side. During the skirmish, just as Naraku had planned, the Infant split apart; he sent the left half to Kanna, which had his/the Infant's heart in it, while Kagura was bossed around by the right half, which became Hakudōshi. He sent Hakudōshi and Kagura to the Land of Fire to observe if the Gate within the land could actually lead to the Afterlife. The plan backfired, one would need to be dead in order to pass or be turned to stone, then killed.
Seeing that he had no other option, Naraku sought out Princess Abi and her mother, Tekkei, and hoped that since they both had originated from Hell itself, they could create a path to the Borderland for him to find the Shikon Jewel shard. He gave Abi a trident that was made of his bones that could erect a barrier and create miasma, in exchange for helping collect human blood to dilute the poison of a venomous demon that Tekkei had ingested. At the same time, Naraku sent Kohaku and Kanna to a human castle to pass the Infant off as the newborn of the lord and lady. He then heard of Saint Hijiri, who could break even Hakudōshi's barrier; and speculated that Kikyō had survived his attack. Naraku sought her out in a fruitless search. Eventually, Abi grew tired of Inuyasha's interference with the blood collection, turned against him, attacked the castle the Infant was in, and thought that Naraku was there. Naraku recalled his minions, and placed the Infant in Kanna's care. When Tekkei had recovered from ingesting all the human blood that he had helped collect, Naraku tricked her into swallowing him whole. He popped out of her head merely moments after Inuyasha's group had arrived, and killed her. Giving Abi a quick and painless death, Naraku then proceeded to decapitate Tekkei and released a torrent of blood, which lead him and Inuyasha's group to the Borderland.
Hiding within a pocket dimension, Naraku watched as Inuyasha's group met the Jewel Demon, Hōsenki I, who had taken the shard with him in death per its own request to prevent the Shikon Jewel from becoming whole. Using his corrupted Shikon Jewel, Naraku corrupted Hōsenki's shard, and made him attack Inuyasha. After the demon was weakened enough, Naraku appeared before his enemies and claimed the shard. However, much to his surprise, Sesshōmaru had gotten to the Borderland, and began fighting him without regard for those who would die from his miasma. Much to his surprise, Naraku found himself impaled by Diamond Spears, which had been granted to Tessaiga by Hōsenki; and lacking the strength to erect a barrier, Naraku was torn apart by the Azure Dragon Wave. Using Hakudōshi's barrier as a medium, Naraku began vanishing back to the World of the Living.
Trying to kill Kikyō again
Upon his return to the living world, Naraku discovered that an arrow that was fired by Kagome had pierced Hakudōshi and destroyed his barrier; only Kikyō possessed the spiritual power strong enough to break his barriers. Naraku became annoyed that his attack at Mount Hakurei hadn't been enough to finish her, and sent Hakudōshi out to use whatever method necessary to draw Kikyō out into the open. This led to an endless stampede of demon rats. However, Kikyō had recovered enough to use a spell that would destroy the rats. Hakudōshi was sent to kill her, but only succeeded in destroying the Mayose tree that was used as a medium for the spell. She had already fled, and ended up destroying the shrine that the rats had come from.
Concerned that his life may be in danger if Kikyō had ever discovered the Infant, which she knew housed his heart, Naraku decided to seek out the Nulling Stone, which was in the possession of Gakusanjin. This orb hid the demonic energy of its owner, thus it would effectively keep the Infant, who was being cared for by Kanna, safe from harm. On his way to gift the Fuyōheki to the Infant, Naraku noticed Kikyō's Shikigami were getting close and appeared before her. He nearly succeeded in having her decapitated by Kohaku, but Inuyasha arrived and prevented his victory. After he gifted the Nulling Stone to the Infant, Naraku told him of how Gakusanjin had used it, and asked his heart how he would use it in his place.
As Kagura had grown tired of his rule, Naraku had Hakudōshi report to him on her behavior. When questioned as to why he let her live, Naraku explained to his incarnation that he held Kagura's heart in his hands; he could kill her anytime he wished, but he had a final task for her. Little did he know, Kagura had gifted Sesshōmaru and Kohaku, who was no longer under his spell, with shards of demonic energy that would lead them to the Fuyōheki. At the same time Hakudōshi and the Infant had grown tired of him as well and created a golem named Mōryōmaru to house the Infant, to give him proper mobility. Naraku tricked Kagura into leading Inuyasha's group to the stone ogre, where he made it come to life and try to digest them, and hoped to only leave the Shikon Jewel Shard behind. When Inuyasha tried empowering Tessaiga with the shard, Naraku corrupted it with the jewel's darkness, and hoped that it would make Inuyasha kill his comrades. However, this didn't come to pass as Kagome purified Inuyasha and the shard, which allowed them to escape the stone ogre.
Some time after the Infant was placed in Mōryōmaru, Naraku trapped Mōryōmaru, in the form of Goryōmaru, in a cell. Naraku tasked Kagura with making sure that he stayed inside; he'd kill her if she failed this time. Despite the warning, Naraku knew Hakudōshi coaxed Kagura into letting out his heart. They obtained the final shard from Inuyasha's group and went after Kohaku next. When Hakudōshi gloated that he couldn't be killed by anyone, Naraku disabled his barrier and allowed the Saimyōshō to abandon him to the Wind Tunnel. Naraku later appeared before Kagura, and offered her heart back to her as a reward for helping eliminate Hakudōshi. No sooner had he returned it, Naraku injected shōki into Kagura so her freedom would be short-lived and painful. Little did he know, Kagura died happy, and was content to see Sesshōmaru one last time.
Following the death of Kagura in the manga, Naraku became largely absent from the series, and the focus shifted to the Infant's and Mōryōmaru's quest to absorb demons and Shikon shards. Naraku created Byakuya of the Dreams during this time, who was meant to replace his four missing minions: Kagura, Hakudōshi, Kohaku, and the Infant. Naraku tasked his new incarnation with keeping watch on the growing powers of both Mōryōmaru and Inuyasha. Naraku tried taking Kōga's shards by threatening the lives of his fellow Wolf demons, but lost a shard that he had Byakuya lend to a young wolf demon that they had manipulated, to Mōryōmaru. After he heard of the new Dragon-Scaled Tessaiga, Naraku wondered if the blade would end up destroying either Inuyasha or Mōryōmaru first. In the manga, Naraku had Kanna pretend that she ran away from him, hoped the Infant would take his bait, and have Mōryōmaru absorb the twin demons, Ginka and Kinka.
Re-absorption of his own heart
Naraku eventually revived a tree demon known as Yōmeiju, which had the power to break through barriers, and he subsequently devoured it. Shortly thereafter, he and Mōryōmaru squared off for the first time in an open battle. Naraku then revealed that the reason that he had created the Infant as an infant and purposely made him so weak, while providing him with a powerful barrier, was because he always knew his heart would turn against him. After he taunted Mōryōmaru about his shell, referred to it as a castle, and to the Infant as a king who had grown fat inside of it, Naraku at first appeared to be trying to reabsorb him through failed attempts to break through his armor. But that clash ended with a shocking twist: Mōryōmaru absorbed his maker, and supposedly defeated him for good.
When the Infant succeeded in capturing Kōga in Mōryōmaru's diamond spike, Naraku revealed that he's alive, having allowed Mōryōmaru to absorb him to eat him from the inside-out. Having gained control of Mōryōmaru, Naraku prevented the Infant from fleeing and used Yōmeiju's barrier-dissolving abilities to wrap him in vines. Having fully assimilated Mōryōmaru into his body, Naraku shielded the Infant with diamonds. However, Kōga destroyed them, which left the Infant exposed. Miroku tried sucking the Infant into the Wind Tunnel, but Naraku sent out miasma, which poisoned the monk far more worse than in their initial encounters and left "miasma wounds" that nearly reached Miroku's heart. However, Naraku did lose something in this encounter; the Fuyōheki was sucked in, which prevented him from hiding his demonic energy.
The re-absorption may have meant that Naraku had lost the invulnerability that he obtained from keeping his heart outside his body. However, with the absorption of Mōryōmaru and the possession of the near-complete Shikon Jewel, Naraku was now powerful enough to face almost any opponent on even terms. The diamonds on Naraku's new body, along with his armored shell, may also have added some extra protection due to the former being the hardest substance on the planet, and the latter easily able to swat off even the destructive brunt of the Kongōsōha.
Naraku noticed something strange at that time, Kikyō was there, and didn't so much as try fighting him, as though she was waiting for him to take Kōga and Kohaku's shards. Naraku realized that Kikyō had wished to purify his soul at the very moment that he had completed the jewel. This left him with only one option to prevent himself from being purified.
What a tangled web we weave
Left with no other option, Naraku returned to Mt. Hakurei to reabsorb the heart of Onigumo which he discarded there. Onigumo spoke to him, and gloated that Naraku still needed this discarded human heart to avoid being purified by Kikyō, because of his intense negative feelings. It possessed more intense negative feelings, and these could prevent purification by bringing darkness to the Shikon Jewel. Naraku seemed to confirm this analysis as his heart turned into a spider and burrowed into his body. He intended to exploit the emotional connection between the hearts of Onigumo, Kikyō, and Inuyasha to destroy both Kikyō and Inuyasha.
With his heart completed once again, Naraku gained the ability to create spiders webs, which could easily grab anyone with the slightest bit of corruption in their hearts. He could also control corpses with his webs, and trapped the spirit of the one that the body belonged to in it. Only those with powerful spiritual powers could see his webs, such as Kagome and Kikyō. However, Naraku could make his webs visible any time that he wished. After he set a trap for Kikyō, Naraku succeeded in capturing her in his webs and hid Kikyō in a shrine. Naraku used the webs to corrupt her. Naraku caused the previous wound that he had inflicted on Kikyō to reopen and spread. Inuyasha and Kagome found her, and Naraku succeeded in corrupting Kagome's heart with jealousy by showing her the parting of Kikyō and Inuyasha 50 years ago. He decided to leave things be at that point as Kagome could no longer purify his miasma from inside Kikyō, which meant that his most feared enemy would soon vanish from the World of the Living.
When Kagome was sent to Mount Azusa to retrieve a bow with spiritual powers that was strong enough to purify Kikyō, Naraku felt her come free of his webs; he knew that Kikyō could be saved now. Rather than leave things to chance, he took Kikyō hostage in his webs. Naraku gloated that she would die in the arms of the one that she hated, no doubt something Onigumo's influence was making him do. When Kagome returned, she discovered the Shikon Jewel in the adamant spike on his right arm. Kōga took advantage of this knowledge to try purifying him and the jewel with his shards. However, the moment that Kōga tried to touch the jewel, Naraku placed it inside Kikyō while he took the wolf demon's shards for himself. Kagome shot Kikyō with her last sacred arrow to purify her, then Naraku used Kōga's shards to corrupt the Jewel as Kikyō planned to purify it. Naraku's evil overpowered Kikyō's holy aura and allowed him to reclaim the Jewel, which left only Kohaku's shard. Severely wounded nonetheless, Naraku fled to recover from Kikyō's attack, and was unable to completely banish the ray of light that she had left in the jewel. However, Kikyō was left on the brink of death and died soon after.
Trying to remove obstacles
Naraku spent a long time recovering from Kikyō's attack on him, and discovered that no matter how hard he tried, a speck of purity would not leave the Shikon Jewel. Even in death, Kikyō was proving to be bothersome to him. Deciding that he had enough trouble with dealing with the purity inside of the jewel, Naraku sent Byakuya to Kanna. He ordered Kanna to use her mirror to its fullest extent by summoning the Mirror demon. It stole Tessaiga's powers, which were then used against Inuyasha himself. However, a heavy price was to be paid for this power; Kanna healed any injury the demon suffered by taking them in herself. In the end, she lost her right arm and left hand, while Tessaiga got its powers back. Because Kanna would no longer be of any use to Naraku with her being unable to hold her mirror again, Kagome told Kanna that she was free.
However, Naraku told Kanna that it wasn't over and that she was going to take Inuyasha's group with her to the afterlife. He crushed her heart, and made Kanna and the Mirror demon explode in an attempt to kill Inuyasha's group. However, no other casualties aside from Kanna occurred. Naraku wondered to himself if Kanna was upset for not being able to kill his enemies, before he thought better of the idea as since she was an incarnation of the Void, and she couldn't have any feelings. Little did he know, Kanna had decided to betray him this one time and used a fragment of herself to tell Kagome that the speck of light in the Shikon Jewel could kill him.
After he learned that Sesshōmaru had temporarily left Kohaku unguarded, Naraku went to retrieve the final shard from him. He ordered Byakuya to prevent anyone from coming to assist Kohaku. Attempting to take the shard from Kohaku's neck, Naraku became enveloped in blue flames as Kohaku fled with Jaken and Rin on A-Un. He realized that Kikyō's speck of light in the jewel was keeping him from touching the shard. After he followed them, Naraku attempted to decapitate Kohaku so he could take his head and defile the shard at his leisure. Failing, he attempted to use his demonic energy to force Kohaku to behead himself. However, Sango arrived and tossed her restored Hiraikotsu at Naraku. Thinking it would be a fruitless effort, Naraku quickly discovered the weapon was different now as it shattered his body along with his demonic energy. After he saw that he wasn't recovering, Naraku was forced to flee for his life.
While he recovered, Naraku instructed Byakuya to give a memento of Kanna, a shard of the Mirror demon, to Sesshōmaru, so he could use Tenseiga to steal Tessaiga's powers; though Sesshōmaru knew it was another trap, he sprang it willingly. Using Byakuya as a medium to see the fight between the two brothers, Naraku became amused when the Path to the Underworld opened and sucked Inuyasha in. However, when it seemed Inuyasha would be able to escape the Meidō, Naraku took control of Tenseiga through the shards of the mirror on it and hit Inuyasha with adamant spears that were coated with miasma. However, Sesshōmaru reclaimed his sword and Naraku allowed him to continue the fight. When Tenseiga broke, Naraku laughed that both his enemies would never return to the World of the Living. However, Inuyasha proved him wrong by bringing both himself and Sesshōmaru back.
Naraku next went after Hitomiko, who he had previously tried to kill 15 years ago. Thanks to possessing the Shikon Jewel, he was able to weaken her to the point of dying. Using his spider webs, Naraku forced her spirit to linger in her corpse and ordered her to steal Kagome's spiritual power. Capturing Kagome, Naraku informed her of the spider that he had planted in Hitomiko's chest that would cause her to die a demon if shot by a sacred arrow; Kagome would become corrupt enough for Naraku to imprison her in his webs then. However, Kagome realized the importance of her name and used the bow from Mount Azusa to land a hit on him, which freed Hitomiko's soul from his grasp and allowed her to pass on in peace, but not before she warned Kagome that someone was sealing her true spiritual powers.
The Shikon Jewel's completion
Naraku informed Magatsuhi that if he remained still, Midoriko would gain control of the jewel and purify all the evil they had worked hard to amass. Naraku donated some of his spare parts to the spirit of the demon, which allowed him to craft a new body for himself. Magatsuhi was able to, in contrast to Naraku, not only touch the shard in Kohaku's back, but corrupt it as well. However, Naraku knew that the body that he lent to Magatsuhi was destroyed and predicted that the devious spirit would amass demons as a distraction so he could possess Kohaku.
When that came to pass, Naraku attempted to take the shard from Kohaku. However, Kikyō's light moved into the shard from the jewel, pushed out Magatsuhi, and allowed a portion of him to be destroyed by Sesshōmaru. Naraku captured Kagome, and promised to let her go if Kohaku gave up his shard. However, the tables were turned when Kohaku stabbed an arrow into the armored shell that he's protecting the Shikon Jewel with, and Kikyō's purifying light began consuming him. After he broke away, Naraku hid in the clouds while a piece of his severed flesh managed to remove the shard and brought it to him, which restored the jewel. However, Kikyō's light stayed in Kohaku, and sustained his life.
Magatsuhi brought Rin to Naraku to use as a hostage. Naraku had defiled the jewel to the point where there's not room for Magatsuhi anymore. When asked by Byakuya what he would do with the jewel, Naraku admitted that he had no real plans for it and wondered what would be left for him when he killed all the people who had hated him. Naraku used the fully dark jewel to begin his final transformation, healed his wounds, and swallowed Rin into his body. Naraku flew into the clouds, and created a miasma storm as he took on the form of a gigantic spider. However, within this new body, his opponents met several variations of his traditional humanoid form. When Sesshōmaru and Inuyasha's group arrived, Naraku informed them that his miasma should have poisoned them by now, but the Shikon Jewel wanted their souls, so they were unaffected.
After the defeat of Magatsuhi by Inuyasha and Sesshōmaru, Kagome's spiritual powers returned and a small light returned to the once completely corrupted Shikon Jewel. Naraku planned to use the hope of this light to trick Miroku into killing the others with the last use of his Wind Tunnel. However, he was prevented from doing so thanks to Inuyasha. At the same time, Naraku almost tricked Sango into killing Rin along with an illusion of himself. Both acts would have purged the light from within the jewel, but both were prevented. When the group arrived, Naraku separated Miroku and Sango from the others, and laughed that the couple would wait for the Wind Tunnel to end their lives. With this darkness, Naraku took on a form that was similar to the previous one before his transformation, only darker in color. Inuyasha tried swallowing him and the jewel in a Meidō Zangetsuha attack, but Naraku fused with the jewel and created web-like tentacles that fastened him to his body. Naraku said that even if he died, the jewel would not. This confused Kagome as that meant that Naraku had no real objective.
Kagome asks what Naraku's true wish was, since it seemed that the jewel had not granted it. That question startled him greatly. Kagome told Naraku that he seemed to know a lot about relationships because he focused so much on tearing people apart, and mentioned that this was because of his human heart, which the Shikon Jewel may not have removed. Naraku thought about this as Inuyasha voiced his anger about how he had ignored his human heart and chose to live solely as a demon before he attacked with a variation on the Meidō Zangetsuha which was more adapted to his fighting style, and seemed to damage even Naraku's most powerful form. Although he regenerated from this repeatedly, Sesshōmaru took note of Naraku's vulnerability and used the Bakusaiga on him. Because of Bakusaiga's decomposing powers, Naraku's large outer body begins to fall apart. As Naraku weakened, the curse on the Wind Tunnel began to break as well, and Miroku used it to absorb much of the deadly shōki. During that time, Byakuya cut Kagome with a blade that sampled the Meidō Zangetsuha, which Naraku laughed at, and commented that everything would end with a battle of souls.
Cornered because of this, Naraku fed his spirit to the jewel to gain more power, and took on a more horrific appearance - his true face. He used this power to stall the others from killing him so he could prepare to crash his gigantic, shōki-filled body into Kaede's village. Though he intended to use this threat of destroying the village to prevent Inuyasha from killing him, Sesshōmaru ignored him and struck his main body with the jewel and with Bakusaiga. Sesshōmaru's sword, however, didn't even scratch the jewel, which prevented Naraku's death. As his massive body began to fall onto the village, everyone escaped from within and tried to protect the villagers. Inuyasha used the Meidō Zangetsuha to definitely send his body to Hell, but his spirit remained with an energy wave and the miasma. Kagome saw the Shikon no Tama within Naraku and shot an arrow at the jewel.
Prior to the arrow hitting the jewel, Naraku's spirit thought to himself that indeed the Shikon no Tama did not grant his true wish: he wanted Kikyō's love, and lamented that he wouldn't be able to go where she was in the afterlife. Naraku's whirlpool of energy and miasma were completely purified and most of the village was saved from destruction. Naraku's spirit, appeared as only a head above the pierced jewel, hovered above the Bone-Eater's Well and said to Inuyasha that he made a different wish upon the Shikon no Tama earlier in the battle, and that when he died that wish would be granted. Naraku's spirit finally disappeared forever from the material world, and a stolen Meidō appeared to swallow Kagome as the well disappeared.
It was revealed the wish that Naraku had made was actually the wish of the Jewel itself: that the spirits of Naraku and Kagome would replace the Demon of the Shikon no Tama and Midoriko, and continue their battle inside the jewel for eternity.
In the manga, although it is not directly explained, Naraku's spirit is destroyed forever by Inuyasha when he cuts the point of light in the darkness inside the Shikon Jewel with Meidō Zangetsuha, which is very clearly the key to kill him as Kanna had told to Kagome before she died. Indeed, with Inuyasha's attack at this very point, the purity of the Jewel called Naohi annihilates forever the evil corrupting presence within it, then the Jewel's shimmering and voice completely stopped.
Instead, in the anime version, Naraku's spirit, inside the Jewel, briefly awakened, commented on how he felt warm and wondered if what he felt was peace, then gave a slight smile as he disappeared, finally purified and content.
Though long gone by the time Towa, Setsuna and Moroha return from the modern era, Naraku has not been forgotten. While explaining to Inuyasha and Miroku about Kikyō's encounter and sealing of Root-Head, Kaede mentioned it was around the time Kikyō was caring for Onigumo before he became Naraku. When Towa lost her powers for the first time on the night of the new moon, Myōga explained to Moroha that all half demons experience losing their powers at a certain period, using her father Inuyasha on the night of the new moon as one example and how certain half demons like Naraku were capable of choosing their periods of weakness. Later when Towa and Setsuna met up with Miroku, he told them about how he was once cursed with the Wind Tunnel even though he did not mention that it was Naraku who cursed him.
Ironically Miroku had become heavily dependent on the Wind Tunnel in battle, having used it against many demons, including Naraku himself. In the years following Naraku's defeat, Miroku had experienced several close calls in battle, making him realize that his over reliance on the Wind Tunnel had left him vulnerable now that it was gone. It was for this reason he opted to begin his thousand days of training to grow physically stronger and achieve greater spiritual powers.
Throughout the series, Naraku was consistently portrayed as incredibly cruel and manipulative, using others to satisfy his own interests and taking great sadistic delight in destroying the bonds and lives of others, such as when he tricked Inuyasha and Kikyō into thinking they had betrayed each other, causing them to fight. He rarely took responsibility for any of his actions, often twisting the details to make it seem like others were to blame, such as when he mocked Inuyasha and Kikyō for not trusting each other enough to see through his deception. While highly intelligent and cunning, he became too conceited and ostentatious at times, especially when he obtained any new power. His overconfidence got himself cornered many times, such as when Inuyasha's Red Tessaiga broke his barrier for the first time, leaving him entirely shocked. Naraku had a cowardly streak too, and often fled from a battle when his foes had turned the tables on him.
Above all else, Naraku was power-hungry and self-obsessed, desiring only power and sheer dominance over others. He bore nothing but contempt and disgust towards all other beings and considered himself superior in every aspect, which can be noted in almost all of the sarcastic remarks he made; especially towards Inuyasha and the humans, despite being a hanyō himself. It became Naraku's sole occupation to cause as much pain and misery to humans and yōkai alike as possible, such as when he placed the Wind Tunnel curse on Miroku's grandfather, which later passed on to his father and Miroku too, or using a shard of the Shikon Jewel to brainwash Sango's brother Kohaku, forcing him to do his bidding.
Naraku also appeared to lack the ability to understand bonds such as love, best displayed when he was unable to understand why, no matter what he forced the brainwashed Kohaku to do, Sango simply refused to kill him. Naraku frequently tried to get rid of his human emotions under the belief that they only held him back.
However, Kagome eventually pointed out that he actually could understand human bonds more than he let on, as he couldn't have done all the horrible things he did if he didn't understand what it was like to have a bond with someone and the pain of seeing love broken. Furthermore Naraku's hatred was motivated by his own jealously; Naraku couldn't bear to see people indulge in mutual loving relationships while he himself had no-one and thus sought to destroy the happiness of others to feel better about his own loveless existence.
That critical quality of Naraku's was what differentiated him from a true psychopath, as psychopaths have no emotional attachments to others whatsoever, while it was the human Onigumo's lust and love for Kikyo that was at the core of his motivations for his actions from the beginning of his existence as a hanyo.
When Miroku first mentioned Naraku, it was shown in flashbacks that Naraku once had the forms of a courtier, a young noble, an old peasant and a beautiful lady. The later form was used by Naraku to seduce and curse Miroku's grandfather Miyatsu. When Naraku first appeared personally in the series, he wore a white baboon cloak-like outfit that hid his face. He was a shapeshifter and as such, no one knew what he actually looked like. Naraku then possessed the young lord Kagewaki Hitomi, and kept that form for the rest of the series. Because he took over Kagewaki's body, he had Kagewaki's long black hair and pale skin, as well as his build and voice. The only difference between them was their eyes; while Kagewaki's eyes were brown, Naraku's were red with white pupils with blue eyeshadow. Later on, Naraku dressed in a simple, common outfit. It was dark blue with a purple vest on top.
Once he had gained more power during his state of dormancy at Mount Hakurei, Naraku's appearance changed completely. His outfit then turned purple and light blue, but with boned armor. It had three green tail-like tentacle arms coming from his back, sporting several large hoop bones leading to a red-eye on his chest, and two gauntlets with eyes at the wrist & backhand of his arms. After he absorbed Mōryōmaru, Naraku gained a gigantic spike of diamond armor on his right arm with his tentacles and the majority of his bone armor being discarded, leaving only his gauntlets on his arms (minus the four eyes) along with his chest eye remaining. After Kikyō's death, the spike was discarded and his current form became a simpler version of his post-Mount Hakurei outfit, Naraku gained dark spikes arching over his shoulders.
When he absorbed the Jewel, Naraku became a gigantic spider with eight large horizontal "fangs" and an armored abdomen. His core form within the spider however, was his true body with tentacles that connected him to the spider form. During the final battle, Naraku turned into his normal form, but with several diamonds forming the armor and a gigantic armored spider web that replaced the connecting tentacles. After being reduced to just a head and upper torso, Naraku then took on an oni-like appearance and his hair turned white, and he also gained a rib cage on his body. After Inuyasha destroyed forever his body, Naraku's spirit was reduced to a head with a spine, and after Kagome shot him with her arrow, his face returned to normal. His dead form within the Shikon Jewel was his head and a giant spider web, though it had a more normal appearance.
Powers and Abilities
Naraku's body is a fusion of many demons using a human, Onigumo, as a connector. Once he takes over a demon, he can use their skills as his own. He does not have a special form, but can transform into any kind of person to suit the situation. Now he is using the body of Kagewaki, who is a legitimate child of the Hitomi family. Unlike Inuyasha, who was forced to become fully human on the night of the new moon every month, Naraku, as a half-demon with Onigumo inside him, could choose what time of the month that he lost all of his powers. Unlike Inuyasha who became a normal human, Naraku was merely a human head that was attached to a mass of yōkai parts during this time, which he used to experiment with his body and rid himself of any unnecessary parts. Since the events that transpired on Mt. Hakurei, Naraku no longer had to become human at any time.
Naraku's skills are a combination of numerous demons, so he has a diverse array of abilities. Attacking from a distance and indirectly is characteristic of Naraku. He also has many defensive skills, such as regeneration. He has increased his own demon power through Shikon Jewel shards and has become able to use higher-level techniques such as making doppelgangers.
While most his enemies would seek to overpower their enemies in battle, Naraku would seek to outsmart them in the times he would actually face his enemies in battle as shown in his battles against Sesshomaru, whom he allowed to cut his body to enough pieces until there was enough that Naraku directed them to immobilize and absorb Sesshomaru, Tekkei, whom he allowed to devour him so he could kill her from the inside and Moryomaru, whom he allowed to shred his body to pieces and absorb him so he could devour him from the inside and absorb the Infant. As described by Inuyasha Naraku would only truly engage someone in battle when he knew he could truly win and would often give his opponents the appearance that they were winning so they would lower their guard before he turned the tables on them.
- Enhanced Strength: Much like Sesshōmaru, Naraku was far stronger than a normal demon being capable of demolishing boulders and the surrounding area though he seldom resorted to combating with physical strength.
- Enhanced Speed: Naraku could move faster than the eye could see, both in the air and on the ground. He managed to fight against Inuyasha and his group many times through his natural speed, though he usually retreated after a short time.
- Enhanced Vitality and Regeneration: Naraku's supernatural vitality coupled with his regenerative capabilities made him a difficult foe to physically combat. Even if beheaded he will not die. If he is attacked without spiritual power, he will not take any damage. He can break apart and reassemble his body at will. He suffers no damage from physical attacks such as being slashed with swords or stabbed with spears.
- Shapeshifting: Naraku could take the form of anyone or anything that he chose, usually a humanoid, and change his voice along with his physical appearance. He possessed the young lord, Kagewaki, and remained in that standard form for the rest of the series. We're told by Miroku that every time his grandfather battled Naraku, the demon appeared in a different form, being defeated when Naraku took the form of a beautiful young woman. The most important instance of his shapeshifting would be the time that Naraku had disguised himself as Kikyō & Inuyasha and made them hate one another. As his scent didn't change with his form, Naraku ceased using this ability as Inuyasha and Kōga could smell his scent.
- Demonic Magic: Naraku knew many different spells and curses. More often than not Naraku utilizes the power of demonic spells and other magic when combating Inuyasha and his group directly. An example being the Illusionary Death, which was used to distract Inuyasha's group when they tried to rescue Kikyō from him. However while Naraku is proficient in the use dark spells and curses, it's not his primary power to use and thus he required the dark priestess, Tsubaki's help to curse Kagome with an advanced curse.
- Kazaana: Naraku's most famous curse that he used to inflict upon Miyatsu and his male descendants to eventually destroy his bloodline. The Wind Tunnel is curse that that forms a void within the right palm of the males born in Miyatsu's bloodline that forever swallows anything in its path in a violent wind turret like a black hole. While early the size the Wind Tunnel is small but with time grows larger until it devours the bearer themselves.
- Spell of Illusory Death: A demon art by which people's souls are eaten when they come into contact with the enweaved tentacles. Once victims fall prey to it, they die in despair, seeing illusions of the negative aspects of their hearts. If a person has a strong will to live, the illusion can be broken.
- Art of Demon Puppets: When Naraku is in a dormant state and cannot move, or when he makes contact with someone that may be dangerous to him, he uses Demon Puppets in place of his real body. They were mostly made of mud and soil, and were able to spring roots in order to attack opponents. They would only disappear if their heart was destroyed, which was a golem with a piece of Naraku's hair that was wrapped around it. Following Mount Hakurei, Naraku no longer employed the usage of demonic puppetry as he could survive attacks that would have killed him in the past. Although they are puppets, their senses are connected to his. He use them at will and their strength in battle is comparable to his.
- Absorption: Naraku was able to absorb other demons into his body, adding their powers and their bodies to his own. This was primarily how he gained strength, by seeking out and absorbing strong demons, and giving him access to their powers. Naraku obtained valuable abilities such as the Kongōsōha through this ability. The process dissolves and kills the demons he absorbs, as specified when he tries to absorb Kōga. He could even absorb other demons like him from the inside. Naraku could also expel weaker body parts in order to rid himself of them.
- Demon Parts: As he was made up of multiple demons in one body, Naraku was able to manipulate their body parts at will in order to restructure and strengthen his body, and even if he had a body part cut off, Naraku could reabsorb it. He could use these parts to attack his enemies by extending one of his body parts like a weapon. The method of attack depended on the situation, but basically stabbing, striking and ensarement were most common. His possible true form before reconstruction contains many tentacles and demon parts. In his reconstructed form, he primarily attacks by extending the various spikes on his body, and can also manifest teeth on his tails and stretch them to try to bite his opponents.
- Incarnation Creation: Naraku could make incarnations out of his own body to do his dirty work for him. Most had a spider mark on their back which was a result of being born from Naraku when he still was a hanyō with Onigumo inside him. He often removed their hearts to ensure loyalty with the price of death for disobedience.
- Energy Blast: Naraku sent out one or more of the horns on his elbows in a zigzag beam attack or extended his fingers into tentacles with a glowing attack at the tip of his fingers to attack his foe(s). In the manga, this attack was of a silverish color, while in the anime it was of a purple color.
- Armor Shell: Upon absorbing Mōryōmaru, Naraku gained the Armor Shell of Meiōjū, being able to change its size for his own purposes. He also gained the ability to cover himself at will with Mōryōmaru's impenetrable shell. It was revealed that Naraku was hiding the Shikon Jewel underneath that shell.
- Live Body Pieces: After absorbing the Infant/Mōryōmaru, Naraku gained the haku puppet's ability to remotely control his flesh and send them out to scout for other demons whose abilities could prove useful. Naraku used this ability to detach his head while using his Spider Webs, which made it easier for him to flee. It was also used when Naraku had several of his tentacles and other excessive appendages attack Kohaku for his shard. It was presumably what allowed his armored copies to move without being directly connected to him.
- Spider Webs: Following his re-absorption of Onigumo's heart a second time, Naraku gained the ability to create threads of spider silk. Only those of high spiritual power, such as Kikyō and Kagome could see them at all times; Naraku could make the webs visible at will if he wanted. Anyone whose heart was corrupt would easily be caught in the webbing, which allowed Naraku to further defile their hearts if he wished. He could also show them illusions. The appearance of this ability further nodded toward his nature as a spider half-demon. In his final transformation, Naraku created a giant body in the shape of a spider, which could, obviously send out threads of spider web to ensnare other demons to add to his body. Naraku used these spider webs to further poison Kikyō, who had not fully recovered from his attempt on her life at Mount Hakurei, which ultimately led to her final death.
- Miasma: Naraku had the skill of releasing the peculiar demonic poisons with which his body was filled with. Essentially, it was not a means of attack, but Naraku had miasma that was strong enough to melt the ground. Neither ordinary humans nor low-level demons could approach an area filled with Naraku's miasma. He created a "false Shikon shard" for Kōga with this substance. It was able to power Kōga in the manga and anime for a while until it backfired, poisoned him, and ultimately lead him to remove it with the help of Kagome. Naraku's body was filled with it, which was why when a foe bit him or even touched him he/she got poisoned. Later on, as his power grew upon his transition to full demon, Naraku's shōki was able to take on a liquid form and acted like a river of acid. His shōki was so strong that it allowed him to break away pieces of the nearly completed Shikon no Tama to use in his schemes. In the current manga, he could melt entire mountains. Over time, his shōki had become so dangerous that after he infected Kikyō with it, neither Kagome nor Kikyō's purification powers seemed to be able to purify it. Kikyō absorbed Midoriko's soul in order to protect herself, but she commented that she didn't know how long Midoriko's power could last against Naraku's venom in the regard that she and Midoriko remained at the same strength while Naraku continued to increase in power. Eventually, even the influence of Midoriko was nullified with Naraku's absorption of the tree demon and Mōryōmaru.
- Saimyōshō Summoning: Naraku was able to use demonic poison insects, Saimyōshō, at will. Saimyōshō themselves have little power, but they do have an extremely powerful poison. They attack enemies with their poison via stings after the enemy has been absorbed. When Naraku attacked Inuyasha's group, he used Saimyōshō to seal Miroku's Wind Tunnel by tricking him into sucking them in. Saimyōshō had many other uses in addition to sealing the Wind Tunnel. They were also useful for spying on Naraku's enemies, communicating with his subordinates, and gathering jewel shards. They were difficult to wipe out because of their numbers, and, moreover, were smart enough to understand and carryout Naraku's orders.
- Shikigami Practitioner: This power was only displayed in the PlayStation 2 RPG InuYasha game, InuYasha: Secret of the Cursed Mask. Naraku obtained this power by deceiving Utsugi, a 'hitogata' duplicate of the original Utsugi, who was created by the priest Kakuju to ease his/her suffering when his/her real wife/husband died. Utsugi, the hitogata, required the soul of a relative of the real Utsugi, and a large portion of the Shikon Jewel, which Naraku provided, and helped in retrieving shards from Kōga to become a true, live human. When Naraku supposedly died, with the jewel in hand, at the hands of Inuyasha & co, the leftover jewel was retrieved by Utsugi behind the scenes. When Utsugi finally retrieved the soul she/he needed, which as it turned out was Kakuju's, Naraku's voice began echoing from the Sacred Jewel, and Naraku took over Utsugi's body rather than absorbing her/him to acquire her shikigami-channeling powers. Naraku became able to use the destructive power of an unknown variety of shikigami, and would time-to-time spout out a long verse when he attacked during the fight in the game. Because this only happened in a game that was based on the anime and the events of the game strayed away from the actual ending of the anime/manga, this power was non-canon.
- Immense Demonic Power: As Naraku started off as a spider hanyō who came into existence from the merging of many demons with a human, he didn't have much demonic power. Throughout the course of the series, as he continued collecting more Shikon Jewel shards and absorb many demons whether they be ordinary or powerful, Naraku's own demonic powers in turn increased significantly. This was demonstrated on the fact that after he had obtained his new body in Mt. Hakurei, Naraku was able to overpower the strength of the Kaze no Kizu which in turn allowed him to take control of it and managed to evenly combat against Sesshōmaru alone while in the Border to the Netherworld for some time though it was only because of his barrier that he was able to last that long against the older Daiyōkai. After feeding his soul to the complete corrupt Shikon Jewel in the final battle against all of his enemies, Naraku gained the ability to combat against all of them at the same time with little effort which included Inuyasha with his new power in Tessaiga and Sesshōmaru using Bakusaiga for a prolonged period time so that his severed body could destroy Kaede's Village.
- Barrier: The most well known and signature ability of Naraku was his barrier which prevented the foe from finding and/or attacking him. At first his barrier was only useful in hiding his presence. As he gathered more shards of the jewel, Naraku became powerful enough to erect a barrier strong enough to survive the Kaze no Kizu. After Naraku had purged his human heart, the barrier became so powerful that nothing but the Kongōsōha and Kikyō's Sacred Arrow was able to penetrate it.
- Deflection: Whenever someone sent an attack of yōki into Naraku's barrier, he could channel the flow of the attack into his own jaki and then attack his opponents with it. However, this could only be done with attacks that could not penetrate his barrier, which meant that it was useless against Inuyasha's Kongōsōha.
- Dormancy/Pseudocidal Ability: Naraku had the ability to hide himself within one of his servants and make it appear as though he had disappeared, or have been killed. A simple task; he got himself "killed" and hid within the body of a servant of his choice. The only instance we saw this was in the second movie, InuYasha: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass. During the first battle, Naraku was shattered by Sango's Hiraikotsu, which was embedded with Miroku's shakujō, and received a direct hit in the chest with both Inuyasha's Wind Scar and Kagome's arrow simultaneously, blowing him to pieces. In reality, he was purposely faking his "death", so that he could lure Kaguya out, and hid himself inside of Kohaku. To further this scheme, Naraku also made Miroku's Kazaana disappear and returned Kagura's heart to her. To everyone's surprise, he eventually emerged out from Kohaku's shoulder in order to absorb Kaguya and her demonic energy to strengthen his own powers, an act which reactivated the curse of the Kazaana and removed Kagura and Kanna's hearts once again.
- Flight: Similarly to Sesshōmaru, Naraku possessed the ability to float midair, and to ride upon a cloud of his own shōki. After his transformation into a full yōkai, Naraku never chose to employ his shōki-sustained flight, but flew only by the strength of his will, while in his barrier.
- High Intellect: Naraku was very intellectual and knowledgeable of the various individuals and powers that existed within the Feudal Era which he could use to his advantage. Whenever there came a hurdle in his pursuit of obtaining a complete corrupt Shikon Jewel that he himself couldn't overcome on his own, Naraku usually set out to gather information and intelligence in order to use them to his advantage. His knowledge and intelligence gathering was as such that he usually knew about a certain individual and their unique abilities some time before he confronted them to make use of them before they even realized it.
- Master Manipulator: Naraku was shown to be a master at manipulating demons and humans alike. Throughout the series, he manipulated many people to get what he wanted without getting his own hands dirty. Possibly the most important instance of his manipulation was when he tricked Inuyasha and Kikyō into thinking they had betrayed each other. Naraku transformed into Inuyasha, cut Kikyō down, and fatally wounded her. He then transformed into Kikyō and attacked Inuyasha. This caused Inuyasha to feel resentment toward Kikyō and he went to go steal the Sacred Jewel. Kikyō, in turn, thought that Inuyasha had betrayed her and used the last of her strength and spiritual power to shoot a sealing arrow at Inuyasha, which pinned him to the Sacred Tree for 50 years. This, ultimately, was to make the Sacred Jewel tainted for Naraku and to get rid of both Kikyō and Inuyasha. This one instance put the entire series in motion and set Inuyasha and the others on their quest to destroy him. Though, there were many other instances in the series where Naraku manipulated others. For example, when Naraku offered the Saimyōshō to Sesshōmaru, when he forced a grief-stricken Kōga to confront Inuyasha, and the numerous times that he controlled Kohaku, just to name a few. He even manipulated the Infant and Hakudōshi as unwitting pawns when they rebelled against him, knowing they would from the moment he created the Infant, as an elaborate plan to absorb an extremely powerful Mōryōmaru.
- Master Strategist: Naraku was also very strategic in his pursuit for the Shikon Jewel shards and for facing off with his enemies. Naraku usually employed the use of Saimyōshō to observe the progress of the various groups in order to effectively delay them as much as possible. There were times when Inuyasha and his group confronted Naraku, however it was often his demon puppets whom the group encountered, and not Naraku himself. Naraku used this as a tactic as a means to gather intelligence about their abilities in order to devise appropriate counter measures.
- Swordsmanship: Naraku had some skills in using a sword as when he manipulated Sango to bring Tessaiga to him at his phantom castle. Naraku was able to easily fend her off by using an ordinary samurai sword and some of his demon powers before Inuyasha and others arrived. Though given that this was the only instance that Naraku had displayed direct combat against his enemies by using his combat skills, it's unknown how proficient he was at swordsmanship.
- Archery: While only shown once Naraku displayed knowing how to use a bow when he disguised himself as Kikyō to attack Inuyasha.
Naraku's relationship with Kikyō was very complicated and changed quite often in the series. After all, Naraku was born out of Onigumo's desire to take Kikyō for himself. And yet, Naraku seemed to despise her to his very core. For the first half of the series, Naraku felt compelled to eliminate her, as she posed a threat to him and his goal of destroying Inuyasha and getting a complete Shikon Jewel, but he was unable to cast a finishing blow on her because Onigumo's human heart remained inside him. As the series progressed, Kikyō took many different stances against Naraku, first by convincing Inuyasha that Naraku would never be able to kill her, because Onigumo's heart still beat within him. Later, she stole Kagome's Sacred Jewel fragment and gave it to Naraku, and told Inuyasha that when Naraku completed the jewel, that would be the moment of his undoing, when she could purify both him and the jewel together. On Mt. Hakurei, where Naraku was able to expel his human heart, Kikyō was seemingly killed by him, and he exuded a new found confidence since the one person who he felt was a threat, was now dead. Kikyō miraculously survived the miasma at Mt. Hakurei and gave Kagome a sacred arrow. When Kagome used the sacred arrow, Naraku was almost killed. He then realized Kikyō was still alive and made it his main goal to kill her once again. Soon after, Kikyō merged souls with Midoriko, in an attempt to bring the Jewel together and defeat Naraku. Eventually though, Naraku was able to kill the reborn Kikyō just as he did to her 50 years ago, but the light that she had left inside of the complete Shikon no Tama was ultimately one of the key factors that caused his own demise. Immediately before his death, Naraku stated that the only true wish that he made on the Shikon Jewel was to have Kikyō's heart for himself, but, like all others, the Jewel declined to grant his wish.
Naraku felt superior to Inuyasha in every way. In the beginning, both of them sought the Shikon Jewel for the same purpose: become a full blooded demon. However, after his many transformations, Inuyasha decided against using the sacred jewel. At first, Inuyasha had little regard for human life, but in his travels with Kagome and friends, he began to become more sensitive, caring, and more heroic, whereas Naraku seemed to take the opposite path, and left more blood and death in his wake as his power grew throughout the story. This parallel was pointed out by Inuyasha himself to Naraku during their final confrontation. The main reason that Naraku sought to destroy Inuyasha, though he denied it at every turn, was because he was jealous of the love that Kikyō and Inuyasha had for one another. He wished to have Kikyō for himself, and thus saw Inuyasha as a meddler.
Naraku was naturally, in all aspects, a foil to Inuyasha. Both of them were half-demons that sought to become full demons, but Inuyasha ultimately abandoned that goal when he found being a full demon to his dislike and possible detriment, because losing his human side meant losing his human feelings. In a contrast, Naraku welcomed losing his human feelings, and had always despised them.
In one other way the two half-demons paralleled one another: Inuyasha was born a from the union of his human mother and demon father, whereas Naraku was created by many demons fusing with a human host. This served to contrast their differing paths: Inuyasha learned to embrace his heritage and nature, where as Naraku desired to shun his entirely.
Naraku was the very cause of Miroku's Wind Tunnel, having cursed his grandfather, Miyatsu 50 years ago. The Wind Tunnel was to be passed down to each generation, until none remained. Both Miroku's grandfather and father perished due to the curse of the Wind Tunnel. The only way for the Wind Tunnel to disappear was for Naraku to die. Miroku's primary mission prior to meeting Inuyasha and the others was to destroy Naraku, though this mission didn't actually change once he joined them, since they all had a common goal. Naraku wanted Miroku dead as well. When he first met Sesshōmaru, he gave him the hive of the Saimyōshō to counter Miroku's Wind Tunnel. Naraku also bribed a worm charmer demon to possess Mushin, Miroku's father-figure, with the hopes that Mushin would kill him.
When Sango first met Naraku, he had tricked her into believing that they were allies, and that Inuyasha had slaughtered the people of her village, when it was actually Naraku's doing. From then on, Sango made it her mission to destroy Naraku to avenge her people. Sango's hatred for Naraku grew even more when he revived her dead brother Kohaku, erased his memories, and forced him to commit all sorts of detestable acts, even attacking Sango herself. Sango was arguably affected worse than anyone else by Naraku's treachery, as her entire family and village was annihilated by him, and she was forced to continuously suffer over her brother.
The first time they met, Naraku was shocked by Kagome's appearance. He believed that Kikyō had returned, more determined than ever to kill him and seek revenge for her death. But soon after, when the resurrected Kikyō sought him out, Naraku dismissed Kagome and her spiritual powers, and swiftly judged her as an inferior reincarnation whose powers paled in comparison to the original. All of the interactions Naraku had with Kagome early in the series were merely coincidence because she was the one who held the group's sacred jewel shards. Kikyō stole the shards from Kagome and gave them to Naraku. Had they been in anyone else's hands, Naraku would have stolen them anyway. After the battle with Kagura & Kanna however, Naraku changed his mind about Kagome's weakness. Naraku and his incarnations were able to defeat every member of the party but Kagome: Reflecting Inuyasha's Kaze no Kizu back at him with Kanna's mirror, reflecting Sango's Hiraikotsu back at her, and poisoning Miroku with the Saimyōshō's venom. Despite stealing a portion of Kagome's soul, Kanna was unable to contain the entirety of it, and Kagome's sacred arrow proved to be the only thing capable of freeing the souls within the mirror. Around that time, Naraku started to find her a nuisance. He then started to use her as a way of manipulating Inuyasha, most of the time in a way similar to the way that he tricked Kikyō and Inuyasha 50 years ago, such as when he had Tsubaki place a curse on Kagome so she could shoot Inuyasha with an arrow.
In her final confrontation with Naraku, Kagome actually pointed out that Naraku's cruelty was drawn from his own ability to recognize human bonds and his anger at being unable to benefit from bonds himself and never being able to have Kikyō, causing a brief expression of sadness on the normally stoic Naraku. When defeated Naraku wished Kagome would be sucked up into the Shikon Jewel both as a final act of spite and because spending an eternity fighting her is the closest he'd ever get to being with Kikyō.
Throughout most of the series, Kohaku was under Naraku's control and his life was sustained by a Shikon Jewel Shard that was embedded in his body. Kohaku was little more than a mindless, killing machine and was forced to do many horrible things, like slaughter an entire village and even kill his own father and comrades. Toward the end of the series, and throughout InuYasha: The Final Act, Kohaku slowly began to regain his memories. He remembered that Naraku was his sworn enemy and vowed to destroy him. Kohaku still acted as if he had no memory and was under Naraku's control, but he completely despised him. After that point, Kohaku placed little value on his life. He did not particularly care if he lived or died, as long as he was able to destroy Naraku.
The first encounter that Naraku had with Sesshōmaru was when he offered him a human arm that was strengthened by a Shikon Jewel Shard, which would allow Sesshōmaru to wield the Tessaiga, Inuyasha's sword, which Sesshōmaru coveted. Naraku stated that he also despised Inuyasha, and wanted to use Sesshōmaru to exact his revenge. He also gives Sesshōmaru a hive of Saimyōshō in order to prevent Miroku from using his Kazaana. Sesshōmaru failed to take Tessaiga though, and Naraku got back his jewel shard. Later, Naraku kidnapped Rin to lure Sesshōmaru to his castle in order to absorb Sesshōmaru into his own body and gain his demonic power. When Naraku escaped, Sesshōmaru felt that his pride had been tainted, and began to pursue Naraku. After Kagura died, Sesshōmaru accepted Tenseiga to destroy Naraku in order to make sure that she hadn't died in vain. Naraku was somewhat amused by this, though he remained wary of Sesshōmaru's power, and manipulated Sesshōmaru on numerous occasions. He used him as a test for his new powers at Mt. Hakurei, and he tried to get him to kill Inuyasha numerous times. Sesshōmaru's other sword, the Tenseiga, ended up being the only thing that could destroy Magatsuhi, who had sealed Kagome's spiritual powers. Without Sesshōmaru, Naraku might not have been killed, as Kagome wouldn't have been able to purify his soul. Sesshōmaru's final sword, Bakusaiga, was the key factor in destroying Naraku's body toward the end of the series. Although mockingly disdainful toward Sesshōmaru as he was towards everybody, Naraku seemed to harbor the most respect for Sesshōmaru of all his opponents. He seemed to refrain from taunting Sesshōmaru as much as he did with Inuyasha. Prior to the confrontation at Mt. Hakurei, Naraku referred to Sesshōmaru as "Lord", and as both shared the common tendencies of ruthlessness and lust for power, Naraku could be said to have a certain admiration of Sesshōmaru. A possible reason for this was being that he was a full demon of incredible power something that Naraku himself had always strived to be. His new body even copied Sesshōmaru's armor to some degree, in both the spiked shoulder-hoops and long yellow sash, which were highly reminiscent of Sesshōmaru's.
Kōga at first was deceived by Naraku, as most seemed to be, and believed that Inuyasha had slaughtered his wolf demon comrades, when, in actuality, it was Kagura who was working under Naraku's command. After he learned the truth, Kōga vowed from then on to destroy Naraku and Kagura to avenge his fallen comrades. Kōga and Naraku met on a few occasions, though after Kōga lost his jewel shards, he removed himself from the battle and returned to his wolf demon tribe.
Miyatsu was arguably Naraku’s first arch-enemy. While the the details of how they first met are unknown, they became bitter enemies not long after Naraku’s assassination of Kikyō and attempt to steal the Sacred Jewel. The two fought many battles against each other, each one with Naraku taking the form of a different human. Naraku seemed to have possessed a fair amount of familiarity with Miyatsu, as he was aware of his lecherous habits, which he used to his advantage during their last encounter. Taking the form of a beautiful woman, Naraku seduced Miyatsu into a trap. When the monk realized the deception and tried to fight back, Naraku pierced Miyatsu’s right hand with his own sacred sutras, giving him the hereditary curse of the Kazaana to plague both him and his descendants. As a result, both Miyatsu and later his son were devoured by Naraku’s curse, leaving the evil half-demon as the victor in their longstanding rivalry.
To get rid of unnecessary parts as well as keeping a better eye on his surrounding situations, Naraku was constantly releasing detachments of himself to carry out his bidding. Only a few of the detachments truly lived up to their purposes as most betrayed him or were quickly disposed of by the people going after him. As of Chapter 548, with the death of Byakuya, Naraku no longer had any living detachments. Naraku said he could control Tenseiga because part of Kanna's mirror, also from his body, coated it. If so, it was a mystery that he couldn't control Tōkijin.
Naraku's first incarnation and the first out the only two female incarnations. Kanna was an albino girl that barely spoke. She was a demon of "Void" or nothingness. Her name comes from an old word meaning "godless world." Up until the moment of her death, she remained utterly loyal to Naraku despite knowing that they were just tools for his schemes. Representative of the void in which she controlled, Kanna herself was completely devoid of any emotion, and never questioned any orders that were given to her by Naraku. In her last battle, Kanna was shattered along with her Mirror Demon in Naraku's hopes of taking Inuyasha's group with her; it failed. Dying, however, Kanna seemed to display emotion, as she really did not wish to die. She committed her only act of defiance against Naraku: A shard of Kanna's shattered body flew into Kagome's eye, which let Kanna show Kagome that the light that was present within the Shikon Jewel could defeat Naraku. She lived the longest of Naraku's detachments. She was outlived only by her youngest "brother", Byakuya, and Naraku himself.
A powerful wind sorceress. Kagura was Naraku's second detachment, but was introduced before Kanna. Kagura was the second of the only two females amongst their "siblings". As she was suited for combative purposes, Kagura was often sent by Naraku to attack Inuyasha's group. Sometimes, she served as the commander of an army of demons under Naraku's control. She also served as caretaker to the Infant until Hakudōshi's creation. Used as bait to test the Wind Scar's strength, Kagura came to greatly resent Naraku, and knew he held her heart in his hands. She constantly schemed of ways to get rid of him to gain freedom, often by pitting Sesshōmaru against him. Naraku knew of some of her schemes, being more or less amused by her but didn't threatened to reabsorb her should she go over her limits. Her collaboration with Mōryōmaru lead Naraku to return her heart; however, he simultaneously poisoned her body, thereby ensuring that her freedom was short lived and painful. However, Kagura died content with seeing Sesshōmaru one last time. It was suggested that, upon her death, she was literally transformed into wind, being thus able to run freely, without getting curbed by outside powers. She lived the second longest of Naraku's detachments.
The third detachment of Naraku and the first male one, Goshinki was a large horned ogre with the ability to read minds and the only one of his siblings to lack a human appearance. He was extremely agile, and physically very powerful. He had teeth so strong they ultimately broke the Tessaiga, which ended up being his own undoing as Inuyasha transformed into a yōkai due to Tessaiga being responsible for sealing his demon blood. After Goshinki's defeat, Sesshōmaru contracted Kaijinbō to create Tōkijin from the fangs of his head once it was resurrected. He later possessed Kaijinbō to get revenge via Tōkijin, but was subdued by Sesshōmaru's powerful aura. The Tōkijin was later broken and abandoned, which left Goshinki's desire for revenge unfulfilled.
Naraku created this fourth detachment following Tōkijin's creation to take advantage of Inuyasha's inability to wield his reforged sword properly. Unlike his other detachments, this one lacked a great deal of intelligence, making it no more less than a simple-minded beast. However, he made up for it with great agility and strength, which made him a match for Inuyasha. It also had a twin brother called Kagerōmaru, who lived in his stomach. Naraku kept him shackled to better control him during battle and keep Kagerōmaru asleep in his gut. He and his brother Kagerōmaru were both killed in battle by Inuyasha with Tessaiga.
A small, insect-like demon who loved to feed on the intestines of others, he was the fifth detachment created by Naraku. He was quite fast, making him a worthy opponent for the wolf demon, Kōga. Unlike his twin brother Jūrōmaru, Kagerōmaru was intelligent and the only one who could control his mindless brother, Jūrōmaru. Like Kagura, Kagerōmaru wasn't loyal to Naraku, even beheading him after his creation, only to have his heart squeezed as punishment. Naraku had him sealed inside Jūrōmaru's gut to keep his brother under control. He and his brother Jūrōmaru were both killed in battle by Inuyasha with Tessaiga.
Musō was Naraku's sixth detachment. However, unlike the previous incarnations, this one acted on its own, without Naraku being able to curb it, due to him having his heart inside him. He also lacked a face, prompting him to steal one that he found attractive enough for himself, and taking the name of his victim as he lacked any memory of who he was. He had the ability to regrow his limbs by absorbing Saimyōshō and morph his body however he chose. In truth, he was Onigumo reincarnated and expelled by Naraku so he could kill Kikyō. He resumed banditry after gaining an identity. Upon regaining his memories, Musō sought out Kikyō to claim her and to kill Naraku for killing her. However, as it was "too soon", Naraku re-absorbed Musō to reclaim the "bridge" that was holding the demons inside him together.
Naraku's seventh detachment served as the container of Naraku's life-force. By finding the darkness in a person's heart, the Infant could control them by taking hold of it. The Infant was charged with looking into the souls of priests as they died in order to find the Borderland. Cut in half by a priest in his final attempt, he regrew from his left half and was put in Kanna's care. His right half became Hakudōshi, who had a telepathic link with him. Naraku gifted him with the Fuyōheki to hide his demonic energy from their enemies. Planning to replace Naraku, the Infant had Hakudōshi create a suit of armor for him in the form of the haku (life force) puppet, Mōryōmaru. The Infant tried having Mōryōmaru swallow Naraku and the Shikon no Tama in order to increase his strength; however, it backfired as Naraku counter-absorbed both Mōryōmaru and him.
Naraku's eighth detachment, created from the right side of his previous infant form and matured into the form of an older boy. He retained the ability to create a barrier, along with the ability to regenerate his body on the same level as Naraku as his heart, along with Naraku's still resided in his infant half. He loyally served Naraku, and took advantage of his link to him to punish Kagura whenever she stepped out of line. For most of his life, Naraku seemingly relied on him as his right-hand man, delegating command of all lower incarnations to him and entrusting him with major tasks. Naraku appeared to confide a great deal more in him than in Kagura, and even trusted him to manage the search for the Borderland on his own. However, he saw him as expendable too because he used Hakudōshi's barrier to protect him to avoid being struck by Kagome's arrow. Hakudōshi began plotting to overthrow Naraku along with his other self when they created Mōryōmaru to protect him. However, his overconfidence proved to be his undoing as Naraku was still linked to him and was aware of Hakudōshi's gloating that he couldn't kill him. Naraku saw no use for him anymore and disabled his barrier when he took Kagura hostage, which allowed him to be blown to bits. As he tried regenerating, Naraku withdrew the Saimyōshō, which allowed Miroku to suck him into the Wind Tunnel.
Naraku's ninth and final detachment, Byakuya was created to replace Kagura and Hakudōshi. Like Kanna, he was loyal to Naraku, though he did voice his opinions time to time. A powerful sorcerer, Byakuya could control vines, people, dimensions and copy a technique, though only for one time, with his blade-less hilt. His right eye could turn into a winged demon to observe others. Naraku tasked him with keeping tabs on his enemies, and gifted them with items that could help eliminate others. As Naraku's incarnation, Byakuya was linked to him. For example, after Naraku had his left arm destroyed by one of Kagome's arrows, Byakuya also lost the same arm. He even said that when Naraku died, he would die as well. He died when Inuyasha sucked him into Hell via the Meidō.
He appears when he borrowed flesh from Naraku to craft a temporary body; an armored man with white hair and claws. Upon being free, Magatsuhi attempted to kill Kohaku, and engaged Sesshōmaru in combat only to have his borrowed body destroyed.
The demon sealed within the Shikon Jewel centuries ago. He was later inside the Shikon Jewel locked in eternal combat with Midoriko, and revealed to Inuyasha that when Kagome made a selfish wish on the Shikon Jewel, she would take Midoriko's place, with Naraku's soul replacing him. But in the end, although it is not directly explained, he and Naraku were destroyed forever by Inuyasha when he cut the point of light in the darkness inside the Shikon no Tama with the Meidō Zangetsuha and arrived in the Meidō outside of the jewel to save Kagome. Afterwards, Kagome's selfless wish dissolved the rest of the jewel.
- "Ryūkotsusei, over yonder stands the son of the demon who hurled you into dormancy. Do with him as you please."
- ―Naraku to Ryūkotsusei in order to kill Tōga's son Inuyasha
Naraku learned about Ryūkotsusei while using one his poisonous insects to spy on Inuyasha. With all his previous incarnations failing to kill Inuyasha, Naraku decided to release Ryūkotsusei from his dormant state so that he could eliminate Inuyasha once and for all. Arriving soon after Inuyasha did, Naraku used his miasma to melt away the claw of Inuyasha’s father, that was keeping him in suspended animation. Upon awakening, Naraku offered Ryūkotsusei the vengeance of slaying Inuyasha, the son of the demon that hurled him into suspended animation. Despite being liberated by the Naraku, Ryūkotsusei gave no gratitude to the evil half-demon; instead he choose to obliterate him with an energy blast soon after his fight with Inuyasha began, only to realize that he was merely a demon puppet. This shows that to him, Naraku, like all other beings, was insignificant compared to him, calling him an “eyesore” and attempting to kill him without hesitation. Despite this betrayal, Naraku held no angry or grudge towards Ryūkotsusei. To the contrary, Naraku was throughly impressed by the mighty dragon-demon’s power, to the point of referring to him as “remarkable” and looked forward to watching him fight Inuyasha. This made Ryūkotsusei one of the extremely few beings that Naraku genuinely respected and held admiration for.
Though Tōga died centuries before Naraku’s birth, the evil half-demon knows of the Great Dog Demon and his exploits. Rather than respecting him for his tremendous power however, Naraku holds the father of his mortal enemy in extremely low regard. Naraku has mocked and expressed contempt for the deceased Tōga for having mated with a human, considering such an act of incredibly powerful demon such as he to be nothing less than disgusting and absurd. Even more so, Naraku has twice defiled Tōga's legacy. The first being when he destroyed Tōga's claw in order to reawaken Ryūkotsusei, the demon responsible for Tōga's death. Not only did this undue Tōga's sacrifice to seal the evil demon, but it was also done to kill his son Inuyasha. The second time, was when Naraku trespassed upon Tōga's grave in order to steal the Shikon Jewel shard hidden there. This infuriated his eldest son Sesshōmaru, who sought to make Naraku pay for defiling his father’s remains, to which Naraku expressed nothing but mockery for the late dog-demon.
- "Jealousy? Is this, too, part of Onigumo's grubby heart?"
- "Your time has come Kikyō. Now, Naraku returns you to the underworld forevermore."
- "I will not kill you... I will break you."
- "How touching... betraying your companions for your little brother's sake."
- "Can't you see? To taint Kikyō's heart with spite, so that the Shikon jewel would absorb the blood of malice. Two who had trusted each other would now despise and kill one another. What purer evil could be found to taint the jewel? And the more profound the love had once been, the more powerful the resulting hatred, and the more evil the jewel. Magnificent."
- "You have performed very well for me, Princess Abi. This is your reward: You shall not suffer when I kill you."
- "Now do you understand, Kikyō? You did not come here of your own accord... I lured you here."
- Inuyasha: "You Monster!! Always toying with people's emotions!!"
- Naraku: "What do you mean, Inuyasha? Are you remembering Kikyō, perhaps?"
- ―Naraku's cruelty.[src]
- "You bother to worry about a comrade during a time like this? Your unfailing stupidity never ceases to amaze me."
- "Try as you might, your efforts are in vain. I shall never die!!"
- "Foolish creature... it never realized that it was being consumed from within..."
- "Kikyō, even in death you continue to haunt me..."
- "The slayer and the monk... let them spend their final moments together in private, won't you Inuyasha? Heh heh heh... Their sorrow feeds the darkness of the jewel nicely. How ironic. The more they love each other, the darker their despair..."
- "Fools. Do they pity Kanna? But Kanna cannot feel a thing, be it pain, fear or sorrow. She cannot even understand the reason for your pity."
- "The fact is, you and your companions have been exposed to my miasma ever since you entered my body. Yet curiously, none of you have died. Do you know why? It is because the Shikon Jewel desires your souls. That's right, because of your hatred towards me, all the rage and despair you feel."
- "My actual wish, you say? That's right. All I wanted... was Kikyō's heart. It looks like I won't even be able to... join her in death either."
- "So this how it feels to be in peace, it feels so warm."
- Naraku's "true form" - a giant horned spider - did appear twice in the series.
- This form also looked like the same yōkai spider that made a deal with Onigumo which ultimately lead to the creation of Naraku.
- Naraku retained Onigumo's voice when not trying to deceive someone with his shapeshifting.
- In many ways, Naraku was responsible for his own demise as when he attacked Kikyō fifty years ago, he gained the Shikon no Tama and could have achieved his desires easily but chose to resort to unorthodox plans.
- In a certain flashback, it was revealed that Naraku had the spider mark on his back prior to being burned.
- In the anime, Naraku gains a pale biege skintone after his rebirth at Mount Hakurei.
- His seiyū, Toshiyuki Morikawa, later provided the voice for Otobe from Rumiko Takahashi's newest series Rin-ne.
- Naraku has different names in some specific regions:
- In the Korean dub he was renamed as 'Narak' to the term 'Naraku' being pronounced as 'Narak' in Korean.
- In the German dub, his name was changed to 'Narake', which was supposed to make the name sound similar as it was pronounced in the Japanese Anime version.
- In the Brazilian Portuguese dub his name was changed to 'Naraki' because the word 'ku' sounds similar to an offensive pun which means 'anus'.
- The word Naraku is derived from Sanskrit language, "Naraka", which bears the same meaning as Naraku.
- On the special information section at the end of volume 30 of the Wide Ban edition of the InuYasha manga, Rumiko Takahashi stated that in her opinion, Naraku was the most tragical character of the entire plot, who did actually suffer the most pain from all characters despite he being responsible for misery of quite a lot characters throughout the main plot.
- A character in the sequal series, Hanyō no Yashahime shares some similarities with Naraku;
- Both resort to underhanded tactics to bring misery to people.
- Both have a spider motif.
- Both are masterminds behind the main plots of their respective series'.
- Both have targeted Sesshōmaru and Inuyasha.
- Both have changed from their original states due to the power and influence of the Shikon Jewel.
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 189
- The Art of InuYasha
- InuYasha anime; Episode 47
- InuYasha anime; Episode 53
- InuYasha anime; Episode 62
- InuYasha anime; Episode 63
- InuYasha anime; Episode 64
- InuYasha anime; Episode 66
- InuYasha anime; Episode 67
- InuYasha anime; Episode 69
- InuYasha anime; Episode 70
- InuYasha anime; Episode 71
- InuYasha anime; Episode 79
- InuYasha anime; Episode 80
- InuYasha anime; Episode 81
- InuYasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass
- Chapter 557, pages 13-16. When Inuyasha jumps into the Meidō, we can see very clearly a light in the darkness which is beginning to make Naraku's web disappear. Furthermore, there are some lights also in the darkness outside.
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page. 194
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page. 191
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page. 192
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page. 195
- InuYasha anime; Episode 28
- InuYasha anime; Episode 30
- InuYasha anime; Episode 24
- InuYasha anime; Episode 18
- InuYasha manga; Chapter 513
|Incarnations||Kanna • Kagura • Goshinki • Jūrōmaru • Kagerōmaru • Musō • Infant • Hakudōshi • Byakuya • Akagane|
|Rejected parts||Unnamed incarnation • Hair monster • Eye monster • Onigumo (reabsorbed) • Kodoku • Kugutsu|
|Allies||Saimyōshō • Sesshōmaru (formerly) • Tsubo Tsukai • Tsubaki • Hakushin • Shichinintai (Bankotsu) • Abi • Tekkei • Mōryōmaru • Mirror demon • Gorai • Magatsuhi (Demon of the Shikon no Tama)|
|Enemies||Kikyō • Inuyasha • Kagome Higurashi • Miyatsu • Miroku's father • Miroku • Sango • Kirara • Kohaku • Kōga • Sesshōmaru (currently) • Kaguya • Mōryōmaru • Hitomiko • Hōsenki I • Kansuke • Kaede • Midoriko • Rin • Jaken • A-Un • Janis|
|Locations||Onigumo's cave • Naraku's castle • Mount Hakurei • Naraku's cave|
|Miscellaneous||Shikon no Tama • Kazaana • Shōki|
|Daiyōkai||Tōga • Sesshōmaru • Sesshōmaru's mother|
|Hanyō||Inuyasha • Towa Higurashi • Setsuna • Moroha (quarter)|
|Allies||Bokusenō • Hōsenki I • Higurashi family • Jaken • Kaede • Kohaku • Kujaku • Myōga • Rōyakan • Saya • Sea God • Seiten • Tōtōsai • Mō-Mō • Miroku • Kirinmaru (formerly) • Zero (formerly) • Riku • Rion|
|Enemies||Hyōga clan (Hyōga • Menōmaru) • Naraku • Panther tribe (Panther King) • Ryūkotsusei • Shishinki • Shitōshin • Takemaru • Shikyō • Kirinmaru (currently) • Zero (currently)|
|Locations||Mount Musubi • Sesshōmaru's mother's palace • Stone tomb • Tōga's tomb|
|Unique Items||Bakusaiga • Black Pearl • Meidō Stone • Robe of the Fire-Rat • Sō'unga • Tenseiga • Tessaiga • Rainbow Pearl • Kikujūmonji • Kurikaramaru • Kanemitsu no Tomoe • Windmill of Time • Yukari no Tachikiri • Zanseiken|
|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|