2 min read

Consequences in "Juromaru and Kageromaru"

The Inuyasha episode "Juromaru and Kageromaru" is kind of weird. It is weird to me in that its scene-level consequences don't look like the stereotypical example. but it is also weird because even the episode-level consequence doesn't look like the stereotypical example.

The show's main villain, Naraku, has created a new bad guy duo (Juromaru and Kageromaru) and dumped them in the main characters' path. Coincidentally, their sometimes-rival Koga the wolf-boy is in the area and meets the bad guys first. He realizes they're too strong for him and quickly retreats, crossing paths with the main party on the way out. Koga has a change of heart and returns to fight the bad guys with them. Together, they defeat the bad guys so that by the end of the episode Koga has become sort-of-an-ally.

(Should give a proper recap here, but I can't find a sufficiently complete one for my purposes and don't feel like rewatching and writing one. See the wiki.)

I'll give just one example of weird scene-level consequences. There is a scene where Koga returns to his two men after tangling with Juromaru and Kageromaru. The enemy outclasses him and he knows it, so he runs away to regroup. What happens is that right away they ask him: Why'd you run away? Koga has this thing for the show's protagonist, Kogome, and normally is protective of her. Koga's men point out he left Kagome behind under the protection of Inuyasha only – his rival in love. Once they point this out he rushes back to the fight to protect Kagome.

The episode-level consequence is weird, too. The villains (Naraku and his minions) don't gain a significant advantage. The heroes don't gain any sort of weapon. It's not even like they convince someone to fight against Naraku that wouldn't have fought have done so anyway. Koga is on a revenge quest against Naraku for his own reasons and was in the process of executing that quest when he entered the episode. Instead, the consequence of this episode is that Koga the wolf boy becomes much more willing to fight with our heroes. This is interesting! it's not the conventional kind of advantage I tend to find in examples of scene/story consequences.

In retrospect, I think the whole point of this crossed-paths thing in the episode is that it gets us to this episode-level consequence effectively. Inuyasha and Koga are each too proud and jealous to team up by default – so they each have to fight alone and find out that they aren't strong enough that way. They have to see how it is necessary for them to fight together so that they will. Then, through fighting together, they get a little more used to the idea.

These things aren't weird in the sense that they are unusual for a story to do. Rather they seem weird to me in that they are not like the typical examples I would have thought of or that I would expect to see in an explainer about how scenes should have consequences.