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The Hidden Melancholy of Sesshōmaru's Mother

Like most Millennials, the '86-born Koriander also watched Inuyasha in her teen years, following the series from start to finish.

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The Often Forgotten Matriarch

On a throne in a purple kimono with yellow, gold, and green butterflies woven in sits Sesshōmaru's mother. She isn't even given the dignity of a name in either Inuyasha, Inuyasha: Final Act or Yashahime.

Similar to her son, she is usually devoid of emotions, save but for brief waves of curiosity, mild concern, and on rare occasion, humor at the prospect of another character facing some form of misfortune.

And yet, despite being a dog demon, Sesshōmaru's mother not only has a good heart, but she also has good reasons for her aloof attitude.

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Sit, Toga!

Before the events of all three anime, Sesshōmaru's mother was married to fellow dog demon, Toga.

While the details of their relationship remain rather sparse, at some point, she really did care about him. She will sometimes mention his more charming side and make remarks about the things he tried to teach other demons.

She didn't share in his love of humans, but she did understand why he gave their son the Tenseiga and the lesson he wanted to teach Sesshōmaru about caring for someone other than yourself.

From the few flashbacks and episodes she has appeared in, it seems as though this was a relationship that soured over time.

It's not known how long there had been a distance between them, but it was just long enough for Toga to cheat on her with the human Izayoi, eventually having Inuyasha with her.

Between relationships, Zero also flirted openly with Toga, even brazenly showing up to Sesshōmaru's mother's home to brag about the potential of stealing him away.

No doubt, this is a lot of drama to drink in.

While Sesshōmaru's mother has claimed to have moved past the end of her relationship with Toga, it isn't hard to imagine that perhaps there is a twinge of hurt still left behind, especially when Izayoi looks somewhat similar to her, and she has not had another date in over 500 years.

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Sit Sesshōmaru!

Much more stressful than having a husband drift further and further away is having a willful son with a permanent chip on his shoulder like Sesshōmaru.

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Many times, Sesshōmaru's mother has had to scold her child for having a miserable attitude and no respect for the gift of life, but she's never hated him. To the contrary, she's given him chances to sit with her at the palace, but each time, he chooses to forge his own path, living in the woods with Jaken.

His disdain for humans being far worse than hers must have led her to a feeling of puzzling amusement, when he finally came to her for help when eight-year-old human child Rin had died.

Despite having no attachment to the child herself, she eventually used the Meido Stone to resurrect Rin, warning them both that she wouldn't be able to do it again.

Now initially, this seemed like a beautiful moment. The child Sesshōmaru had been raising since episode 35 of Inuyasha had not only been brought back from the dead, but she was going to have the chance to grow up normally.

What's more, Sesshōmaru had finally learned to value not just human life, but life in general, completing the lesson Toga had left for him.

Now he could go on raising Rin with a new outlook on life.

... At least, that's how it looked when Inuyasha: Final Act ended.

Instead, he ends up marrying and impregnating Rin right after the end of Final Act, just barely beating out the birth of Inuyasha's daughter Moroha by a few months.

While underage marriage and grooming were common practices during the feudal era of Japan, they were every bit as wrong then as they are today.

It's even more disgusting when you realize that Sesshōmaru, even through Yashahime, is still barking orders at Rin, keeping a power over her.

Rin still refers to him as "Lord Sesshōmaru" and still has to ask permission to do basic things, in stark contrast to Kagome and Sango, who have loving names for their husbands and are free to do as they please.

Given the historical timeline of the series, one must wonder if Sesshōmaru's mother feels even the slightest bit responsible for resurrecting Rin, just so that her son could have a child bride to control.

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Sit Towa! Sit Setsuna!

Sesshōmaru's mother did not meet her twin granddaughters until they were fourteen.

This was not her choice, either.

Sesshōmaru had snatched the twins away from their underage mother Rin immediately after their birth, and left them in a forest he would later allow Zero to set on fire when they turned four, causing Towa to be sent through time, while Sesshōmaru from a distance had Jaken send Setsuna to be raised by Shiori until she was eleven.

After that, Setsuna was sent to Kaede's home while Towa struggled in the 21st century.

It isn't until the second season of Yashahime that Sesshōmaru's mother meets her granddaughters, and they aren't even given a lot of time to get to know her, given that they must pass a deadly test before time traveling with their cousin through the wheel with Akuru.

Towa especially expresses something of a desire to get to know her grandmother, and on the surface, it seems as though Sesshōmaru's mother is at least amused by them, especially since Towa looks the most like her but carries Toga's personality, while Setsuna looks more human, but shares her aloof attitude.

She muses that the girls may have what it takes to save the future, but she really just wants them to make this specific task fun for her to watch.

Still, she holds a smattering of care for them, as she warns Towa not to use a certain weapon that may kill her.

She may also find amusement in knowing that Sesshōmaru purposefully dressed Rin in the exact same fabrics she's been wearing for centuries, and that her granddaughters have worn kimonos cut from similar cloths.

Sesshōmaru's mother may come across as cold, but it could just be because she is carrying more hurt than what she is willing to address.

© 2022 Koriander Bullard

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