Sesshomaru learns a very, special lesson from his mother.
What They Say
Episode 9: Sesshomaru in the Underworld
Sesshomaru asks his mother how he can expand Tenseiga's Meido, the Path to the Underworld. In response, his mother uses the Meido stone that Sesshomaru's father gave her.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
We finally meet Sesshomaru's mother in a contrived plot device aimed to power up Tenseiga and to attempt to give his character more depth. Mother possesses a Meido stone from Sesshomaru's father; if he ever came looking to power up Tenseiga, she was to use it to open up a portal to the underworld.
A demon dog pops out of the portal; Sesshomaru's Meido Zangetsuha technique cannot kill it. However, the dog is able to use the opening to the underworld to steal away Kohaku and Rin. Sesshomaru follows and soon learns that compassion and respect for life has stolen into his heart. This unlocks Tenseiga's hidden power but leaves Rin dead, unable to be revived a second time by Tenseiga. Call forth the Deus Ex Machina! Mother’s Meido stone revives Rin; Kohaku and Sesshomaru leave with the knowledge that life can only be returned so many times. She must have never met Kikyo.
The saying "It's the journey, not the destination" is applicable; seeing Sesshomaru openly care about Rin has less impact given his appearance throughout the series. He has been stoically one dimensional, walking about occasionally throwing insults at Inu Yasha, Naraku, and various minions. His initial loathing of humans is understandable given his demonic heritage. How and why did Rin break through this prejudice? We simply arrive at the point he decides to let her tag along and then arrive at the point where he decides a sword is not worth the loss of her life. Instead, another emotional moment is left flat because we have little substance behind it.
Sesshomaru has been a stoic player with no peeks behind the mask. We have learned little about why he chose to keep Rin with him or why he has grown fond of her. This negates the impact this episode's emotional moment was meant to have. We know Sesshomaru is going to care about Rin at the right time and somehow she will be saved. Even the humor in this episode fell flat. The best one can say is that the pieces and story inch forward towards a conclusion.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles