Hanyou no Yashahime made it’s debut today in both Japan and in the US, much to the enthusiasm of both Japanese and Western fans alike. While I personally haven’t watched the first episode myself since I’m busy with other projects at this time, I did at least learn from Japanese Twitter that Kikyou does appear in the first episode in a flashback sequence.
The first episode of Yashahime depicts the epilogue chapter from the Inuyasha manga Rumiko Takahashi wrote and illustrated nearly a decade ago. One of the details revealed in that epilogue was a youkai (demon) Kikyou had sealed away over 50 years ago using the same fuuin no ya (arrow of sealing) spell she used on Inuyasha prior to her death.
The major reveal that caught my attention today, however, did not come from the new series, but from Kikyou’s Japanese voice actress herself, Noriko Hidaka:
— 日髙のり子 #nonko40th (@nonko_hidaka531) October 3, 2020
In the tweet, Hidaka-san states:
Recording #HanyouNoYashahime was nostalgic! Very nostalgic! 😂😂😂
And Kikyou is being targeted as usual… 😳🏹 #Inuyasha
I don’t know what this means, but it sounds to me like Kikyou might end up having a bigger presence in this series than one might expect. While I am personally not expecting her to have a major role in this series since the story is focusing on the heirs of the original series protagonists, if Noriko Hidaka recorded lines for Kikyou in this series, it’s possible we might end up seeing Kikyou in kami (god) form. This might actually be pretty cool to see!
This could also mean an opportunity for Willow Johnson to come back into the role of Kikyou for the first time in a decade. Hopefully she doesn’t turn down the opportunity to reprise the role, or it won’t be worth watching the show in English! Willow as Kikyou was one of the reasons I liked the English dub version in addition to the original Japanese language version.
I guess we’ll see what happens!