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Inuyasha the Movie: Swords of an Honorable Ruler is the third of the four Inuyasha movies, released in 2003.

The film centers around So'unga, the previously unknown third blade of Inuyasha and Sesshomaru's father; unlike the other two, though, So'unga is pure evil. With neither one able to stop the blade on their own, Inuyasha and Sesshomaru are forced to team up to stop So'unga.


Inuyasha the Movie: Swords of an Honorable Ruler provides examples of:

  • Alternate Character Reading: Combined with mistakenly reading the character for "fang" as "sword," this trope is what causes Grandpa Higurashi to mistakenly identify Sou'unga as the Kusanagi toward the beginning of the film. "Sou'unga" means "cloud-gathering fang," but Grandpa reads it as "Murakumo Sword," which resembles the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi's alternate name of "Ame no Murakumo no Tsurugi (Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven)." When Souta notices that his grandfather has misread one of the characters, his mother notes the correct reading and the sword's actual name.
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  • An Arm and a Leg: The first thing the Inu-no-Taisho does when he encounters Takemaru after he announced that he killed his pregnant wife is to chop Takemaru's left arm clean off and then runs off to revive her with the Tenseiga.
  • Annoying Arrows: The Inu-no-Taisho gets shot several times by Takemaru's archers, but this does jack squat to his combat efficiency.
  • Arrows on Fire: Takemaru orders his troops to burn down the Inu-no-Taisho's palace in this manner.
  • Artifact of Doom: The terrible Sou'unga: The Sword of Hell. Sou'unga can not only create the devastation of the dragon vortex, but it can possess its wielder and force them to commit murder wherever and whenever possible.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Inuyasha and Sesshomaru.
  • Ascended Extra: After only appearing briefly a few times in the first movie and having a very short cameo in the second, the third movie has Sesshomaru as one of the primary characters.
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  • Badass Transplant: As part of its partnership with Takemaru, Sou'unga presents him with Sesshomaru's severed left arm to replace the limb that the Inu-no-Taisho cut off. Takemaru promptly accepts the deal and grafts the arm onto himself.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Sesshomaru punches Sou'unga away from him at one point. It draws blood, but doesn't otherwise have any significant effect on his ability to use his hand.
  • Big Bad: So'unga plots to manipulate its user into killing everything that lives out of blood thirst and drives the film's plot by trying to possess Inuyasha, Sesshomaru and later Takemaru for this purpose.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: The film opens with Inuyasha's birth, with his mother Izayoi dying in the process as a result of Takemaru stabbing her with a spear. When the Inu-no-Taisho arrives, he uses Tenseiga to resurrect Izayoi, and then subsequently dies fighting off Takemaru, but not before he gives her the robe of the fire rat and naming their son.
  • Body Horror: While controlling him, So'unga sprouts Combat Tentacles that wrap around Inuyasha's arm and pierce his hand, anchoring it to the hilt of the sword.
  • Burn the Undead: Those slain by So'unga arise as soulless minions of the sword. The only way to put them down is to burn them.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Sesshomaru's second most powerful technique, the Dragon Strike, makes its debut; proving instrumental in the Big Bad's defeat.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: As detailed under Body Horror above, So'unga anchors itself to Inuyasha's arm by piercing his hand and constricting his arm with tentacles.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: Played With. The only way to destroy So’unga is with the Tessaiga and Tenseiga, meaning that Inuyasha and Sesshomaru will have to join forces. This makes Jaken practically burst his gut laughing over this, proclaiming that hell will freeze over before that happens. Inuyasha’s companions agreed. But towards the climax the brothers do end up working together, but not without constantly arguing with each other.
  • Demonic Possession: So'unga possesses Inuyasha when he takes hold of its hilt.
  • The Dragon: Takemaru becomes this to So'unga, which manipulates his hatred for its own ends, while Takemaru is turned into its user, allowing it to strike and kill and Takemaru's death is what prompts So'unga's final transformation and last stand.
  • Enemy Mine: Inuyasha and Sesshomaru are forced to join forces to defeat So'unga.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Inuyasha during the entire time So'unga is controlling him. One good example is when So'unga attempts to force him to kill a woman and child; Inuyasha actually bites into his own arm to hold the blade back and allows Miroku and Sango to get them to safety. He decides to separate from his friends and other civilians in order to protect them from So’unga, but this doesn’t last long.
  • Handicapped Badass: Despite just having his arm cut off by the Inu-no-Taisho, Takemaru simply picks up his sword again and proceeds to confront his foe anyway, causing both of them to die in the resulting inferno.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Three yokai say that humans are the world's most selfish creatures, and that their greed for power knows no bounds. The demonic sword So'unga seeks only humans as allies, because it is believed that they quickly fall to evil. Ultimately inverted, however; Inuyasha explains that humans don't give up easily when it comes to fighting for their friends because they're selfish and power-hungry,
  • I Regret Nothing: Takemaru says this about fighting the Inu-no-Taisho to the death. See See You in Hell.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Takemaru kills Izayoi during childbirth when he realizes she will never love him.
  • Ironic Echo: "Humans are more arrogant and greedy than any other living creature." Inuyasha agrees.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • After the Inu-no-Taisho cuts off his left arm, Takemaru orders his troops to set his enemy's palace ablaze, then goes to fight the dog on his own, leading to both their deaths in the inferno.
    • The revenants created by So'unga can only be destroyed by fire, which means that even the normally useless Jaken and Totosai have to join the battle, using their fire powers to keep the zombies at bay.
  • Kusanagi: Subverted. Kagome's grandfather thinks the sword kept sealed at the Higurashi family shrine is the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, the sword of the Japanese Imperial Regalia. He is very wrong.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Despite the Inu-no-Taisho cutting off his left arm, Takemaru seemed to be fairly unfazed by the injury and later fights the Inu-no-Taisho in a duel that results in both their deaths.
    • the Inu-no-Taisho is dying from his wounds from his battle with Ryūkotsusei, yet runs at full speed and fights his way through an entire army of samurai to get to his wife’s side as she’s in labor, then fights Takemaru to the death.
  • Necromancer: So'unga raises an army of zombies.
  • Oni: When a So'unga possessed Inuyasha wanders near some stone statue, the sword's evil aura reawakens a trio of Oni (red, blue and green) who were the "protectors of the land" and try to stop him, only to be butchered and brought back as zombies. The zombiefied red oni ends up picking up So'unga and becoming the sword's vessel for a while. He also kidnaps Kagome and Rin from the battlefield and later tries to stop them from escaping before being finished off by Inuyasha.
  • Papa Wolf: The Inu-no-Taisho tore through an army of samurai trying to finish him off, all to get to Izayoi who was in labor with their son Inuyasha. Even though he was already dying from his wounds from the battle with Ryūkotsusei, yet being shot at Annoying Arrows DID NOT stop him either in his already critical state. Keep in mind when Takemaru shows up and announced that he killed Izayoi, he left out that their newborn son had survived the birth, making it seem that both had perished. He was PISSED at Takemaru and immediately runs through and cuts off his left arm! After reviving Izayoi with the Tenseiga, he gives her the robe of the fire rat to ensure her and Inuyasha’s safety out of the burning castle as he stays behind and fights Takemaru to the death.
  • Screaming Birth: Subverted. The beginning shows Izayoi in labor with Inuyasha, but she makes very little noise except for heavy breathing and quiet moans of pain.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: After the Taisho's death, the spirit Saya possessed the scabbard of the sword to keep the evil power of the blade locked away. Unfortunately, the sword fell through the Bone-Eating Well, and because of the time travel Saya's power ran off sooner than expected.
  • See You in Hell: Takemaru delivers one to the Inu-no-Taisho just before the burning palace collapses and kills them both.
    Takemaru: "I have no regrets about fighting you to the death. Let us journey together into the netherworld."
  • Status Quo Is God: During the course of the film, Inuyasha's Beads of Subjugation are completely ripped apart in the process of liberating him from So'unga's control. By the end of the film, Kagome has had the necklace repaired and dupes Inuyasha into putting it back on, much to his annoyance.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Inuyasha's response to the above, asking if Kagome doesn't trust him without it. She says that of course she does — she just doesn't want him to run off on his own again.

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