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|“||A half-demon bearing his fangs at me? You have tempted your fate.||„|
|~ Kaguya to Inuyasha|
Kaguya is the main antagonist of the second Inuyasha movie The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass. Her character is known from the popular Japanese classic The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. In the Inuyasha adaptation, Kaguya is a yokai who absorbed the powers of a celestial being, thus gaining her powers. She even started referring to herself as a celestial being, even though she was technically still a demon. After Naraku's apparent death, she plotted to free herself from the mirror she had been sealed in by Miroku's grandfather, Miyatsu, which she had been hiding in for 50 years, waiting for Naraku to die. She then attempts to freeze time forever and rule over a world of 'Eternal Night', but was defeated by Inuyasha and Kagome and killed by Miroku.
She is voiced Mieko Hirada in the Japanese version and Nicole Oliver in the English version.
Her Celestial Robe, which gave her her power, was stolen from her, and so she began killing nearby villagers out of vengeance. This attracted the attention of Miyatsu, Miroku's grandfather, but because of his feelings for attractive women, he did not kill her with his Wind Tunnel; instead, he sealed her within the Mirror of Life and placed it in the Forest of Illusion. Sometime before her incarceration, Kaguya encountered and made enemies with Naraku, and apparently feared his power.
50 years after she was sealed, she was discovered by Kagura and Kanna. Sensing Naraku's apparent death, she decided that now was the time to act on her ultimate goal: to stop the flow of time and extinguish all life. Kaguya sensed Kagura's insatiable desire for freedom, telling her that even though Naraku appeared to be dead, she was not yet free, and promised her true freedom if she helped to free her from her imprisoment. Kagura agreed, and with Kanna's assistance, obtained the items required to free Kaguya. One of these items happened to be Inuyasha's Robe of the Fire Rat, thus sending Kaguya on a collision course with Inuyasha and his allies. When Kagura retrieves all five items, she demands the meaning of the "true freedom" she was promised, but Kaguya revealed that she had one task left to complete: to return her Celestial Robe.
The Celestial Robe was in the possession of Akitoki Hojo, who was traveling with Inuyasha's group at the time. When Kaguya confronted Inuyasha's group, they claimed not to know of the existence of the robe, but Kaguya did not fall for the ruse and sensed it was in their possession. After effortlessly defeating Inuyasha, she kidnaps Kagome, finding her spiritual powers useful, and eventually planning on devouring her. She sensed Inuyasha's wish to become a full-fledged demon, and promised him this if he became her servant, which he refused. Before leaving, Kaguya bid Inuyasha to go to her Dream Castle if he still wished to rescue Kagome.
Kaguya summoned her dream castle from the depths of Lake Motosu with the aid of the five items, thus preparing for her ultimate plan. She disposed of her celestial guise and released Kagome, but kept her bound. With Inuyasha's group in pursuit, she summoned the aid of a five-headed dragon, who dwelt at the bottom of Lake Motosu. Kagome's wounds healed and Kaguya finally reclaimed her robe.
The creature failed to defeat Inuyasha, leading to Kagura and Kanna's betrayal. Kagura announced her intention to steal Kaguya's soul via Kanna's mirror, but she simply laughed it off. Kagura then compared Kaguya to Naraku, seeing as how they both had similar powers of absorption, and guessed correctly that Kaguya had devoured someone else to gain the power she had. For their betrayal, Kaguya sent her former allies to the bottom of the lake, rendering them helpless.
Kaguya wrongly believed that she was safe from intruders, even inside her separate dimension, and Inuyasha broke through the barrier around Lake Motosu, reaching her castle. Kagome then asked about Kaguya's motivation behind stopping the flow of time, but she did not give a reason, other than to create an "eternal night". Kaguya was able to deflect all her opponents' attacks when they finally reached her, and she planned to transform Inuyasha into a full-fledged demon to forcefully put him in her servitude. Kagome broke his trance by proclaiming she loved him as a half-demon and kissing him. After the two share a romantic moment, Inuyasha reclaims his Robe of the Fire Rat.
Meanwhile, while everyone was under the assumption that Naraku had been slain, he had been hiding within Kohaku's body in an attempt to fake his death to lure Kaguya out of hiding. When he finally emerges, he attempts to absorb Kaguya and is almost destroyed by the Mirror of Life, although he manages to escape. After Inuyasha's final attack, she dissolves into a plume of black smoke, attempting to once again absorb Kagome. Miroku intervenes just in time, slaying her with his Wind Tunnel, therefore ending her existence.
Kaguya is widely recognized for her beauty. In fact, it was her attractive features that saved her from being sucked into the monk Miyatsu's Kazaana and led to her being sealed inside the Mirror of Life instead. As Princess of the Heavens, Kaguya has long black hair, with a slight blueish tint, that reaches down to just above her knees. Her hair is parted down the middle and two, long strands of hair that pass in front of her hair reach down to her chest. Both her eyes and eyelids are turquoise, framed by very long eyelashes and dark eyebrows. Her lips are colored a light purple. Kaguya also has very pale, delicate skin, which contrasts greatly with her dark hair.
As the Queen of Eternal Night, her true form, her features change only slightly, as her eyelids shift to magenta and her lips become blue. Her eyelashes become much longer and thicker, the lower lashes gathering together into jutting points, giving her a menacing appearance.
As Princess of the Heavens, Kaguya wears a very intricate kimono, befitting a woman of her stature. The colors of her multiple layers are from innermost to outermost: khaki, dark green, off-white, and purple. The only layers exposed at her feet besides her purple outer-kimono is the topmost, off-white inner-kimono. As is the custom with such clothing, Kaguya's sleeves are very long. Curiously, unlike most kimonos worn by women, Kaguya has no obi sash that ties her kimono together. As such, her robes flow loosely when she floats or flies, billowing in some places rather unflatteringly, similar to Miroku. Kaguya also wears pearls around her neck; this piece resembles Inuyasha's Beads of Subjugation, due to the turquoise, tooth-like beads that separate every third pearl from the next three pearls. However, the color scheme is different (Kaguya—turquoise beads with pearls; Inuyasha—grey fangs with black beads) and numbering as well, as Inuyasha's beads are grouped into fives not threes. Kaguya also adorns her hair with two fin-likekanzashi hair-ornaments; both a light purple. It is not clear what sort of footwear Kaguya employs with her kimono, but in keeping with the fashion she wears, it can be assumed that she wears bamboo sandals with tabi socks.
As the Queen of Eternal Night, Kaguya's style of dress becomes far more macabre and menacing. Discarding her kimono, Kaguya wears a very distinct set of armor. It is comprised of shell-like pauldrons with red edges on her shoulders and a double-breasted plate on her chest that wraps around her back as well. This central plate connects in the middle of her chest with a large red coil. Similar coils wrap around the vambraces on her forearms (made of the same material as her other armor pieces) as well as the forearms themselves. These can be used as weapons to ensnare or impale her enemies. The center coil that runs from her breastplate almost resembles a segmented worm of some kind; tendril-like pieces jut out above her collar bone. A coiled circle in the middle forms the centerpiece of her armor and is located just above her heart. From her pauldrons drapes a large, red, floor-length cape. Kaguya also wears a black, floor-length skirt; tied around her waist by a red, floor-length sash. She replaces her earlier fin-like ornaments with three hairpins (two on one side of her head, one on the other), which she can enlarge at will and use as swords. Contrasted with her kimono, Kaguya's armor is far from conservative, and is very revealing and provocative. Kaguya also wears a peculiar type of armored legwear that protects her shins and feet, but leaves her toes uncovered. While it is in her possession, the Celestial Robe floats around Kaguya's waist, tied in two knots at the front. The Robe circles her back in a loop and connects to the first knot. Below is another, smaller loop, that connects, by way of the second knot, with the rest of the Robe, which is tied in a bow, with two large loops that hang about Kaguya's legs.
In her guise as "Princess of the Heavens," Kaguya acts in a very refined manner, like any high-born member of the nobility, as her title would suggest. She is almost always smiling and seems to keep herself in a good mood at all times. She often recites poetry from the original Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, and sometimes waxes philosophical at points, musing on the beauty of the Moon and how it is best viewed with a physical body (a dichotomy that admittedly few are in a position to take a stance on, given her unique circumstances). Building on her natural refinement, Kaguya is typically very calm and calculating; thus, losing her temper would be unthinkable. Her serenity is essentially a tool to accentuate her own beauty and gracefulness. Even when facing off against enemies, Kaguya maintains her poise and graceful bearing, yet she usually treats her foes with arrogant disdain and blatant sarcasm.
Like most daiyokai shown in the series, Kaguya is incredibly egotistical and believes herself invincible. Even while trapped in her mirror, she is completely self-assured in her abilities and does not perceive Inuyasha or any of his friends as potential threats. Even when Kagome fired a sacred arrow at her, pinching off a piece of her kimono in the process, Kaguya merely weighed the advantages of absorbing Kagome's spiritual powers, not even deigning to consider Kagome as a real threat. This was further displayed when Kagome threatened to fire at Kaguya again; Kaguya scoffed haughtily at Kagome, daring her to try it. Because of Kaguya's immense power, she was in fact able to simply redirect the arrow, thus establishing her superior fighting prowess and, to a large extent, justifying her arrogant, aristocratic disposition.
This low estimation of her enemies' abilities also led her to spare Inuyasha and Kagome's lives, even despite Kagura's misgivings and her foes' vulnerability. Kaguya simply did not perceive them as potential threats. This may also derive from Kaguya's single-minded determination. Kaguya is a very goal-oriented person, ruthlessly pursuing her objectives in a careful and methodical manner. Since she had, at the time, only been concerned with obtaining the Robe of the Fire-Rat and using it to free herself, the fact that Inuyasha and Kagome might come back to oppose her likely did not occur to her. Nevertheless, this rather tepid reaction was only due to Kagome and Inuyasha not figuring into her plans. Conversely, in other instances when the same duo actively stood in her way, Kaguya reacted with overwhelming force. In general, due to her intense drive, Kaguya reacts with severe annoyance at the least bit of resistance or interference in the pursuit of her goals. When Inuyasha and Kagome tried to keep Kaguya from obtaining the Celestial Robe, she quickly dispatched them with her mirror; this proves that Kaguya's fierce nature only reveals itself when individuals get in her way, since, as soon as she got what she wanted, she immediately left yet again, ignoring the potential threat posed by Inuyasha. Again, whether this is due to her single-mindedness or her genuine disdain for Inuyasha's fighting ability is difficult to determine.
Kaguya is also extremely vain, given that her entire life has been dedicated to the pursuit of greater beauty and eternal youth. She reacts very negatively to any criticism or skepticism that she is a true celestial being. This vanity is what leads her to be so self-absorbed and narcissistic, only augmented further by her immortality and unlimited power. It is likely this aspect of Kaguya's personality, so oriented towards aesthetics, that causes her to react with such hostility towards half-demons. As a general rule, most demons look upon half-demons with disdain for being weak and part human. Kaguya's feelings are less like disdain and more akin to overt hatred. She calls half-demons "unsightly" and does not consider them beautiful at all, completely unlike herself. Whereas she is the pinnacle of perfection, Kaguya views half-demons as imperfect and of all the creatures that pollute her ideal "Eternal Night," the ones least worthy of existence. These hostile feelings may belie Kaguya's own insecurities, as well. Since Kaguya is not a true celestial being, but technically a "half-demon" herself, Kaguya may be reminded of her own charade in the form of half-demons. This is perhaps why Kaguya, despite her self-proclaimed hatred of half-demons, was willing to take on Inuyasha as her servant and grant him his wish to be a full-fledged demon. It is possible that Kaguya saw reflected in Inuyasha her own desires to pursue perfection and leave her weaker, demon state of being behind. Another factor, though, is likely that Kaguya likes to demonstrate her power to grant wishes and show off before her terrified foes as their best friend was turned into a brutal demon
Finally, of course, the most prominent reason behind Kaguya's hatred of half-demons is Naraku. Naraku represents the antithesis of everything Kaguya values; namely, beauty and power. Because Naraku is a haphazard collection of lower-class demons, his true form is extremely ugly. For someone like Kaguya, who values aesthetics above all else, that such a disgusting creature like Naraku exists in the world would be completely anathema to her. Secondly, Naraku's powers prior to his reconstruction at Mount Hakurei (which occurred only after Kaguya was defeated by Inuyasha's group) were negligible in comparison to her own, and Kaguya would have disdained him for that as well. Also, of course, Naraku attempted to absorb Kaguya once in her past. The idea of someone as perfect herself becoming a part of someone as vile as Naraku would have constituted the most revolting idea Kaguya could imagine, and it is something that Kaguya would never get over emotionally. It so disturbed her that she remained dormant in her mirror for 50 years waiting for Naraku to die. The fact that she and Naraku gain power through similar methods (i.e. absorption of others to gain their strength), giving them something in common, could not have helped matters. When Naraku returns after revealing that he had faked his death to lure Kaguya out of hiding, Kaguya's long-held anxiety breaches her well-polished, confident veneer and she experiences a rare moment of concern and fear. With the Celestial Robe in her possession, however, this moment fades when Naraku actually tries to confront her. Kaguya does not even consider her old foe Naraku a threat anymore and defeats him with ease.
Perhaps fitting in with her general aristocratic attitude, Kaguya has little regard for the lives of others. In its most extreme form, this aspect of Kaguya's personality is evidenced in the fact that Kaguya's overall goal in life is to freeze time and rule over a world of "Eternal Night." This is an overwhelmingly selfish goal, as Kaguya essentially wants to end the existence of every other living creature and rule over an empty, frozen world, inhabited solely by herself. What stands to be actually gained by this is unclear; in fact, Kaguya's motives are never clearly stated. Kaguya seems very attached and possessive of her "Eternal Night." She proclaims at one point that no one would ever "separate" her from her "Eternal Night" ever again, as if it were a living, tangible thing. It is possible that Kaguya simply believes that she is the epitome of perfection and so self-absorbed in her own existence that she looks at every other living creature with disdain and seeks solitude in an empty void to contemplate her own greatness. The fact that Kaguya also believes she deserves an entire planet just for her own personal enjoyment, albeit one frozen in time and void-like, is also thought-provoking. Ultimately, in contrast to the ambitions of other powerful yōkai such as Naraku, Menōmaru, or Sesshōmaru, all of whom desire personal power and even world-conquest, Kaguya's goals seem rather nihilistic in comparison. It is possible that since Kaguya is an "immortal, heavenly being," her motives are simply beyond mortal comprehension.
Also in keeping with her low disregard for others, Kaguya also wished to make Inuyasha her servant, naturally against his will. Kaguya found Inuyasha's desire, based in his insecurity of being a hanyō, to become a full-fledged demon revolting, due to her universal hatred of half-demons, and yet also interesting at the same time. Inuyasha constituted something akin to a plaything for Kaguya's amusement. Similarly, Kaguya did not hesitate to kidnap Kagome with the intent of absorbing her powers, viewing her, again, as a mere tool to increase her own power.
Surprisingly, however, Kaguya did not seem ill-disposed towards either Kagura or Kanna. While she obviously manipulated Kagura's desire for freedom to secure her assistance in finding all the requisite objects for Kaguya's own freedom, Kaguya seemed to have a genuine desire to fulfill her wish and never treated her or Kanna with any sort of disdain or ill-will, despite her desire to destroy all life on Earth. It seemed likely that Kaguya would have even allowed Kagura and Kanna to live alongside her in her castle. This eventuality may be tempered slightly by the fact that Kagura and Kanna were confined to the illusory Dream Castle, and never allowed into Kaguya's actual domain. Additionally, Kaguya did not seem particularly concerned when Kagura decided to betray Kaguya, and she treated her self-made foes with characteristic disdain. However, Kaguya did seem rather perturbed that Kagura had the audacity to betray her after all she had promised to do for her.
When Kaguya unveils her true form, her demeanor changes remarkably from her cheery princess masquerade. Kaguya's manner of dress is not so much refined and ladylike, but she rather wears armor and is very warrior-like. She also freely exposes her skin and attractiveness in a slightly provocative fashion. Her empress-like cape and armor in combination with her intimidating scowl and even her make-up give her the appearance of a conqueror and ruler, and far from her original princess disguise. Despite her villainous appearance, Kaguya's own beauty remains undiminished, though it has far more menacing overtones from its previous semblance of feminine grace and purity.
Kaguya's personality is also clearly changed. She openly submits to impulses of anger and lashes out at her foes. Before she was sealed, and the Celestial Robe was stolen from her, Kaguya slaughtered innocent villagers nearby, despite the fact that she had no idea whether or not they were complicit in the theft, simply to satiate her unfathomable rage. In moments of intense anger, her emotions sometimes even manifest themselves in eerie screeching sounds in the distance, at the same time that her powerful anger causes her hair to ripple. Whereas, before, Kaguya was very precise in her actions and ignored individuals who did not figure into her plans, Kaguya in her true form is brutal and merciless. She attempts to kill Inuyasha, his allies, and especially Kagome, at every turn, completely forgoing her earlier, relative restraint. She completely disregards even her own palace in her attacks, causing extensive damage and leveling entire sections with powerful blasts. Kaguya's demeanor is completely remorseless, and the only happiness she experiences is from relishing in her own personal power or in the pain she inflicts on her enemies. Kaguya also adopts a much more physical style of fighting; whereas previously she had fought from a distance with the Mirror of Life, in her true form she confronts Inuyasha and others directly, preferring to fight primarily with a sword.
- Kaguya was created as the primary antagonist of the second InuYasha movie, InuYasha the Movie: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass. She is the only antagonist from the movies to not have some connection to Inuyasha's father, the Inu no Taishō, instead having a connection to Miroku's grandfather, Miyatsu.
- Besides Naraku, Kaguya is the only shared adversary of both Miyatsu and his grandson, Miroku.
- Kaguya is the second seemingly invincible foe Inuyasha faces to be defeated by a combination of Kagome exploiting a critical weakness and Inuyasha's Bakuryūha. The first was Menōmaru.
- She is also part of a long line of powerful foes who are ultimately defeated by a combination of a sacred arrow and the Backlash Wave, though most other foes are defeated through a simple combination of the attack power of both of these powers, rather than the more strategic way in which they were actually used against Kaguya and Menōmaru.
- Along this same line, Kaguya is one of three antagonists whose defeats are triggered by the firing of a spherical energy blast, as explained above. The other two were Bankotsu and Hoshiyomi. However, Bankotsu was defeated by the Backlash Wave alone, whereas Hoshiyomi was defeated by a combination of both the Backlash Wave and a sacred arrow, while Kaguya proved immune to two consecutive Backlash Waves until Kagome shatters the Mirror of Life.
- Kaguya is the first character to thwart the Backlash Wave. She was soon followed by Sesshōmaru in Swords of an Honorable Ruler. In Kaguya's case, however, Inuyasha used the Backlash Wave a second time to redirect the augmented version of his original attack; this would be the first of two times the Backlash Wave would be used on the Backlash Wave. The second time was also later achieved by Sesshōmaru, during the Final Act.