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Series are multiple stories that go together; the order they are listed in on the tables of contents and directory pages are their chronological orders within the universe, not the order they were written or posted in. A tilde (~) denotes an original fiction series, while an abbreviation such as HP denotes a fanfiction series.

Requiem Romantic: On Shipping Sesshoumaru and Inu no Taishou

I was, essentially, commissioned to write this essay explaining and supporting the Inu no Taishou/Sesshoumaru pairing for the LiveJournal group ship_manifesto. The person who requested I write it is the one who posted it, with her own additions; this is the original version and explains my views of it.

Title: Requiem Romantic
Author: Lythande
Fandom: Inuyasha
Pairing: Inu no Taishou/Sesshoumaru
Spoilers: All of the important (that is, Sesshoumaru-related) manga, some of the third movie
Warnings: Incest

I should note that the anime and manga of Inuyasha have subtexts that are substantially different, especially where Sesshoumaru is concerned – the anime makes it seem that Inu no Taishou’s goal was for his children to work together and for Sesshoumaru to accept Inuyasha as an equal, whereas the manga subtext indicates that Sesshoumaru is being systematically humbled and is intended to accept Inuyasha as his better. This is a pretty significant difference, and because I don’t particularly care for the anime, and so haven’t watched it in some years, the characterizations and subtexts are all from the manga. The third movie’s characterization of Sesshoumaru, in specific, should be ignored, as ‘power-hungry’ and ‘hateful’ are actively out of character for him.

—–

Inu no Taishou back

Roles:

Beautifully Chilling – A Truly Merciful Heart Shrouded in Ice

Beautiful yet inhuman, delicate yet dangerous, merciless and yet inexplicably sentimental – Sesshoumaru, arguably the most powerful youkai of the fuedal era, is best described in absolutes and contradictions. He is an unrepentant killer who is given a sword meant for a “truly merciful heart”, and it accepts him as its master. He views humans with unmitigated contempt, yet takes two children under his protection, putting his life in danger for either of them.

Throughout the series, he is shown to grow more respectful and more emotional; he never does quite manage to learn humility, but he is able to acknowledge that Inuyasha is ultimately the master of the Tetsusaiga – that someone is better or more worthy of something than he. The fact that he doesn’t yet at the end have the “truly merciful heart” that could save a hundred lives in one stroke with the Tenseiga indicates that his growth is not yet complete, either.

Omnipotent Enigma – Lord of the Western Lands

Very little is known of the man who was Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha’s father. Even his name is lost, and he is known only by his title; he is Inu no Taishou, the great dog general, although fanon would name him ‘Touga’. At the time of the series he has been dead for two hundred years, yet his far-reaching will in the form of his inheritance swords still shapes his two sons, forcing them both to reach their respective potential.

——-

Relations:

Sesshoumaru is demonstrably obsessed with his father. Throughout the series he was counseled repeatedly to let go of his attachment to his father’s mementos, and it was only by eventually doing so that he was able to finally ‘surpass’ his legacy and stand on his own as a taiyoukai, a full demon lord in his own right. This shows that for the first 53 volumes of manga, and all the time preceding, he was unable to let him go although he had been dead for over two hundred years.

Sesshoumaru’s obsession may or may not have been with the man himself, but it seems clear that he yearned for, at the least, his respect and approval. His ceaseless desire for the Tetsusaiga was not a desire for the power of the sword itself; he is not a power-hungry person and has no attachment to his tools. Rather his hunger was for the honor and the unspoken acceptance that being given the precious sword would have granted him – and when he could not have it naturally, he sought to win it by force.

Despite treatment that he sees as insulting and cruel, such as being passed over for the powerful sword, which even has a shield to repel him, Sesshoumaru honors his father deeply. He bypassed Naraku in the middle of a fight for the last jewel shard to smack Inuyasha for desecrating his grave, and has never spoken of him with anything less than respect (though in truth after his initial quest for the sword he rarely speaks of him at all, moodily sitting out of conversations on the subject of his father). At the point when it was revealed his newly-powerful sword was only a cast-off piece of Tetsusaiga and destined to be returned to it, he was so deeply hurt that he stood unmoving as he was attacked and would have been killed if not for Inuyasha’s interference.

Did the dog general feel anything for Sesshoumaru? It’s hard to say. Certainly they weren’t in any normal sort of relationship when Inu no Taishou was killed, given that he was obviously in love enough with Inuyasha’s mother Izayoi to die for her. In fact, looking at the few clues in the series, I could more reasonably argue that Inu no Taishou did not even like Sesshoumaru, and certainly didn’t respect him. Doesn’t that make it more tragic that Sesshoumaru so obviously wants his attention and respect, then?

——-

Reflections:

Their relationship is open to all sorts of interpretation. Might it have been inappropriate? It might or might not have been. If there was love, was it love one-sided on Sesshoumaru’s part? Was their relationship abusive and left Sesshoumaru messed up? Was their story loving and tragic?

Personally, I find it hard to envision a healthy relationship for them; that wouldn’t exactly fit with what’s shown in the series and the sort of attitude Inu no Taishou seems to have had toward Sesshoumaru. However, I actually find that attitude fascinating, especially in conjunction with Sesshoumaru’s obsession, and tend to take a somewhat dark view of the pairing; with some effort you could interpret it however you like, but I find this most realistic and it is what I prefer.

The fact that they are completely inhuman is also intriguing. On the one hand, they are taiyoukai, powerful but wild entities connected to nature who consider humans little better than animals, and themselves far above their little world and their little societies, even hunting them as prey and food. On the other hand, they are dogs – really and truly dogs, unrepentant predators with simpler emotions and motivations and even a dog’s mentality. It’s implied that they even lose a lot of their intelligence when they’re in their true canine form. Their own society seems to be anarchic and shallow, based if anything on personal strength and hierarchy rather than commonly acknowledged rules – more like a dog than a human world. The kinds of interactions they might have had is almost limitless, and there’s so much fascinating unexplored grey area to look into.

Incestuous pairings may not be for everyone, but I feel it’s more likely than normal for them based simply on the fact that they don’t have anything like human morals, if the two shown extant dog youkai – Sesshoumaru and his mother – are any example, and they are anything like the other youkai in the series. They don’t apparently have any real society in which it would be judged ‘acceptable’ or ‘unacceptable’, nor would Inu no Taishou seemingly have any greater authority to which he would answer, much as Sesshoumaru does not now that he is dead.

I won’t actually say anyone should follow this pairing, since I’m not here to convince anyone… but I will respectfully point out that the only other viable options for Sesshoumaru yaoi are Inuyasha and Naraku; they have their places and this pairing has its own. The desire for something new was a lot of how I found this pairing, and I hope some others are as intrigued as I was.

——-

References:

If you just want information on the series, I find the Wikipedia entries would be a good place to start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InuYasha .

As for stories, it may be gauche to advertise yourself, but InT/Sesshoumaru is a rather uncommon common pairing, especially where Inuyasha is not involved. Therefore, I will offer my own “Home” series as an example. Take note that this site (and these stories) are not suitable for minors. I can’t call it definitive, even for myself, but it’s one version of how I see them.
Homecoming
Home in Memory
Home in Body
Home in Mind
Home Bound
Home Wrecker
Or just go here, where they are in the order they are written, as opposed to the above list, which is chronological in-universe.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4937693/1/Pride_In_the_Name_of_Love
– “Pride In the Name Of Love” by Jezz-Ra, a massive epic that includes Inu no Taishou/Sesshumaru, among other pairings. I admit I stopped reading at the point where Sesshoumaru told Rin he would have taken her as his mate, but it was suggested to me and I dutifully include it.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5688067/1/Unreal – “Unreal” by God of Insanity, a Naraku/Sesshoumaru story with a lot of Inu no Taishou/Sesshoumaru. It’s actually unfinished, unfortunately.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4915479/1/My_Lord_Father – “My Lord Father” by Salome Sensei. The author describes them best: “This series of 100-word drabbles describes the passage into young adulthood of Sesshoumaru through his intense, turbulent, and intimate relationship with his father, the Lord of the Western Lands.” The 40-ish drabbles go more into the canine aspect of them and seem to actually keep Sesshoumaru in character, so I highly recommend the story.

Sesshoumaru’s icy character is almost always sacrificed to pair him with anyone, and this pairing adds a built-in excuse for it in his youth, so… beware and be careful out there.

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