We now get to the year 2002—the year Ashley Scott brought the Huntress to life on the TV screen, and the same year I became an anime and manga fan. We especially get to the female character that got me to buy my first manga, and thus began my comic book collecting hobby. We now get to talk about Kikyou (桔梗) from the popular Inuyasha (犬夜叉) franchise in Japan that also spawned a passionate fan following around the world.
Welcome to Part 3 of my origin story as a Helena Wayne Huntress fan!
While I was really bummed out that the badass female archer died in the first episode she appeared in, I nonetheless decided to continue to follow the series. The episodes that followed did at least reveal some new details about the character's past that I found intriguing. It wasn't until I walked into a comic book store with a friend one day that I came across Kikyou's resurrection story in the manga section of the store.
Flipping through the manga book, I realised this was the original source material and that the series creator was a woman named Rumiko Takahashi (高橋留美子). Since the anime adaptation was still on the 'Yura of the Hair' story arc, it was still long ways away from Kikyou's resurrection episodes. Since Kikyou was the only reason I was invested in the series in the first place, I decided not to wait for the anime adaptation to get to that story arc. I therefore bought the manga instead. What I learnt I about Kikyou's past and future made me a fan of her for life! But let's get to the year 2004 for more details!
As you can imagine, streamlining Kikyou's past in order to follow her character development in the present storyline was a bit of a daunting task. Luckily, however, the anime streamlined all of her past history (as informed by the manga) into a one-hour TV special called 'Fateful Love Song Before We Met' (めぐり逢う前の運命恋歌), which aired in Japan in the spring of 2004. This was also the first episode I watched in the original Japanese language. This one-hour special was very helpful for better contextualising events in both the manga and anime, which only made me love the character even more!
So what's so special about Kikyou that I'm devoting an entire post to her? This is a long story, so let's start at the beginning: