50 years ago when the Panther tribe attacked, Rōyakan was in debt to Sesshōmaru's father, who had killed the leader of the Panther tribe. He fought the best he could along with other demons that the Great Dog Demon had saved, but they were forced to retreat.
During the story
One day, Naraku put a Jewel shard on his forehead, and made him attack Inuyasha, who had been injured. He failed, but was freed from the jewel shard's power with Kagome's help. However, Naraku came upon Rōyakan once again and forcibly embedded another shard of the Shikon Jewel into Rōyakan's body, against the wolf demon's will. Rōyakan underwent another transformation, with his head closer resembling that of an ordinary wolf, he also grew in size, and his power also massively increased because of the second Shikon no Tama shard. Inuyasha struggled against the newly empowered Rōyakan, and looked as though he would be defeated, until Kagome returned to the Feudal Era, prompting Inuyasha to run to her side. Rōyakan was eventually defeated when Inuyasha smashed him in the face and mouth with a tree that he had uprooted. Shortly after the battle Rōyakan begged for help as Kagome removed the two Jewel shards from his head given to him by Naraku, then returned to normal, thanked Kagome for her help and ran back to the forest.
Rōyakan appears to be a kind, almost timid, demon while not under the Shikon Jewel and Naraku's influence; he cowered in fear when Naraku found him again and forced another shard of the jewel into his body. Kaede mentioned that Rōyakan was a gentle guardian of the forest, further supporting his overall kind nature.
Rōyakan has the appearance of a massive brown and cream-furred wolf demon, with a strangely rounded head. Without the influence of the Shikon Jewel shard his eyes are, wide, expressive, and blue.
When he is under the influence of the Shikon Jewel, his eyes bulge out of his head, and he gains massive red pupils, with drool hanging from his mouth. Upon being given the second Shikon Jewel shard, Rōyakan's appearance changes even more drastically, he grows to a massive size, over twice the size of his original appearance; his eyes become completely red as well. His head and face also resemble that of an ordinary wolf, more so than ever before. His legs and arms also grow to a massive size, proportionate to his new body.
Powers & Abilities
Rōyakan's most notable power was the ability to spit an infinite number of three-eyed wolves out of his mouth. When no longer needed or if Rōyakan becomes unconscious, the wolves disappear as smoke.
Manga vs. Anime
- In the manga, Rōyakan retreats to a cave and sleeps after his first battle with Inuyasha. In the anime, he is trembling in the forest near a big tree.
- In the manga, after Rōyakan's first attack against Inuyasha failed, Naraku appears before him and implants a rice seed on him with a shard of the Shikon no Tama. This causes great pain for Rōyakan. Naraku promises to remove the seed from Rōyakan if he kills Inuyasha. In the anime, Naraku has already used a jewel shard on Rōyakan before his first attack against Inuyasha. After the attack fails, Naraku uses another shard on Rōyakan that drastically changed his appearance and personality.
- In the manga, Naraku explains to Rōyakan that the reason that he does not attack Inuyasha himself because he is in the middle of a transformation which makes him vulnerable. This is not stated in the anime.
- In the manga, after Kagome removes the shard of the Shikon no Tama from Rōyakan's head, Inuyasha is about to pursue him before Miroku convinces him that it was Naraku who forced him to attack them. This does not happen in the anime.
- The scene when Kagome removes the shards of the Shikon no Tama from Rōyakan's head in Episode 21 is cut in order to keep the episode the appropriate length of time (although it aired in Japan when Episodes 21 and 22 were broadcast as a one-hour special).
- Rōyakan seems to be the only wolf yōkai in the series who is not a member of the Wolf Demon Tribe. Rather than a wolf who has gained demonic powers that live in the mountains, Rōyakan seems to have his origins as a sort of guardian forest spirit.
- In the anime only
|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 • Spirit of the Tree of Ages • Akuru • Nanasuke • Rokuta • Hisui|
|Enemies||Hyōga clan (Hyōga • Menōmaru) • Naraku • Panther tribe (Panther King) • Ryūkotsusei • Shishinki • Shitōshin • Takemaru • Shikyō • Kirinmaru (currently) • Zero (currently)|
|Locations||Kagome and Inuyasha's house • Sesshōmaru's mother's manor • Stone tomb • Tōga's tomb|
|Unique Items||Bakusaiga • Black Pearl • Meidō Stone • Robe of the Fire-Rat • Sō'unga • Tenseiga • Tessaiga • Hoshikiri no Fue • Rainbow Pearl • Kyūyōkon Root • Kikujūmonji • Kurikaramaru • Kanemitsu no Tomoe • Windmill of Time • Pinwheel • Yukari no Tachikiri • Zanseiken|