"We wanted to create something that could answer any question, I.D. any character and didn't treat the series like a typical action title."

- Harley and Dylan


Inuyasha - A Feudal Fairy Tale is Takahashi's latest manga. The manga tells the adventure of Kagome, a modern day middle school student who by accident travels back in time to the Sengoku period of Japan.

Kagome is soon joined by the half-demon Inu-Yasha, the lecherous monk Miroku, the demon slayer Sango and a young demon fox Shippo. The group travels together as they try to defeat the evil demon Naraku and restore the sacred jewel Shikon no Tama.


The Inuyasha Companion is a fan site dedicated to Rumiko Takahashi's latest - and longest - manga, Inuyasha.

By the time Takahashi started publishing Inuyasha, Harley and Dylan had already decided to follow everything she did. It was a big decision for the brothers to take on a third website at that point, and it moved the project from a hobby to something more serious. This was the true genesis of Rumic World.

The brothers created The Inuyasha Companion in October of 2000. In 2002, soon after the site became a part of Rumic World, the Inuyasha anime debuts on Cartoon Network at midnight. Rumic World's traffic sky-rockets virtually overnight, and continue to increase significantly each week thereafter.

Question and Answer


Were there a lot of Inuyasha fansites around when work first began on The Inuyasha Companion? And how did that make you feel about creating an Inuyasha fansite?

Harley: There were a few, not really a lot since this was a few years prior to the anime debuting in America.

Dylan: When we opened the site on October 29, 2000, the anime had just debuted in Japan on October 16th, so all the attention an anime generates for a series wasn't there quite yet. But there were a lot of small, one page sites.

The biggest one at the time was Chris Rijk's site, which dealt with providing text translations of the manga from week to week.

Who made The Inuyasha Companion? Or was it teamwork? In which case, how was creating a site with someone else different from doing it by yourself?

Harley: This was the first time that Dylan and I worked together to build a site, and then when I was living in Japan, I did a total site redesign since I was able to read the manga weekly and write summaries for the anime the night they aired on television for the first time.

Being in Japan, and having all this new information coming in, I felt the site needed a redesign, especially since the anime was about to start in America.

Dylan: And being in the United States when the anime debuted on Adult Swim, our site just went through the roof in terms of visitors. It became the site that was by far the most popular and brought visitors to the rest of Rumic World. I have never seen a surge literally overnight in the number of visitors like I did after Inuyasha aired in America.

I want to say before the anime debuted we were getting maybe 150~200 unique visitors a day to The Inuyasha Companion, and afterwards, literally hours after the show was on TV for the first time, 1500 and up per day, a tenfold increase. Of course, this lead to some bandwidth issues.

Were there any techniques used on this site that were new or different from the other sites?

Harley: The current design was the first time I really made much use of frames. It might be a little dated now. I probably should switch to div layers now truthfully. We played with some Java elements on the character page, where you could highlight a characters name and a little picture of them would appear in a box. I think I ripped the coding off of NBC.com actually. The loading time was sort of heavy for that, so I did away with it.

How do you feel about Toshifumi Yoshida providing you with first-hand information? What impact did that have on the site?

Dylan: That was our first big "get". Harley was writing a retrospective on Ranma ½'s tenth anniversary or something, and asked Toshi if he could ask him some questions about the series, and Toshi was nice enough to say yes. As just sort of an aside he told us that Viz was starting work on Inuyasha, and actually asked us about ideas we might have regarding the casting, because we were very familiar with, and fans of, the Ocean Group (since they handle the dub work for nearly all of Takahashi's work here).

The only person that we suggested that actually got cast was Kelly Sheridan as Sango. Looking back we had some off the wall suggestions. Paul Dobson, who wound up playing Naraku, we suggested as Inuyasha. Carly McKillip for Kagome, Cathy Weseluck for Shippo, John Payne for Miroku and Miriam Sirois for Kikyo.

Honestly, I was just dumbfounded that he would be interested in hearing our opinions in the first place! But that really goes to show what a great guy Toshi is, and how accessible he is to the fans.

Harley: Sometimes Toshi would say that there was something he didn't feel worked quite right after watching it on Adult Swim, and so he would mention getting the actors to re-record a line or rewrite something a little differently before the DVD release.

He used our messageboard as a reference to see what people were digging and what they thought needed work. For example, there was a scene between Kagome and Inuyasha in episode 13 where Inuyasha was near death, and Kagome was caring for him that some board members thought could be done with more emotion, and that got redone for the DVD.

We never told people on the board it was Toshi they were talking to, so they could be honest and it wouldn't turn into a bitchfest or an ass-kissing contest. It was really interesting to see how bringing the show to America worked. Plus Toshi was very passionate and knowledgeable about Takahashi's work, which showed in the finished product.

When the Inuyasha anime began airing, the site's traffic skyrocketed, was that something you were expecting? How did you deal with it?

Harley: I didn't expect it to skyrocket nearly as much as it did. We weren't able to deal with it very well. I quickly learned that our webhost wasn't some company but a server in some guy's basement, and all of a sudden we were getting a lot of emails from him about exceeding our bandwidth.

The popularity of the site was something we should have been happy about, but it wound up being pretty stressful having to deal with the site going down, and then having to pay these overages to get it back up. Eventually I got tired of the downtime and extra money and went elsewhere, which the guy wasn't too happy about. I guess he had gotten used to his extra money.

Were there a lot of people volunteering to help build the site? When you create a website, do you expect people to join in and help, or were you planning on doing this all by yourself, and if people join, all the better?

Dylan: No, not really. Trish Pellerito started writing up episode summaries for us after Harley came back from Japan. Ultimately we want to do the work ourselves if for nothing else "quality control" reasons. Trish was the only time that I can remember us having someone outside the site who contributes in such a large way.

Harley: That's not to say that if someone out there has some rare stuff we might not have they shouldn't send it over. Ha ha ha.

The site contains a lot of interesting information, especially the Miscellaneous section. Where did you find all those information? Any advice on info-gathering?

Harley: If we ever come across something interesting we write it down and save it for later. As for advice, speaking Japanese helps a lot in terms of finding things. The "Inuyasha Okuki Kaiden" book has a lot of good information in it. It came out in Japan about four years ago, and Viz is about to publish it English. So having that gave us a four year head start.

So the "Inuyasha Ending" Contest is still going, what do you think of Inuyasha's seemingly never-ending run in Shonen Sunday?

Dylan: Good question! There have been a few times now where we've thought the manga would be ending "this year". This year being 2004, 2005, 2006, and now 2007. I STILL think it will end this year though. Takahashi obviously has things she wants to say with the series. With the possible exception of the Dragon-scaled Tetsusaiga story arc I think everything she's doing is certainly moving the series towards its conclusion.

Harley: But yeah, the contest is still waiting for a winner.... I can remember laughing when some people guessed a ridiculously high chapter number, but it looks like they knew something I didn't.

The history of Inuyasha as a series in a way mirrors the growth of anime on the internet. None of Takahashi's previous series ever got torrented as they were coming out back in the days, what's your though on that?

Dylan: Torrenting and scanlations and everything have certainly changed the manga/anime industry in this country. I understand the appeal of it, but ultimately I think it's damaging. It's much more impersonal to read a manga online than it is to hold it in your hand and turn the pages. Also the industry loses money, if someone downloads stories and then never pays for the tankobon or graphic novel.

For instance, I just paid $40.00 for a four panel gag strip that Takahashi did in 1997. Now this strip has never been collected in any books, so imagine the difficulty of finding this one particular issue of Big Comic Spirits from ten years ago. We've been waiting years for this to turn up. Thankfully its age and rarity will likely prevent it from ever getting scanned and put online, but imagine my frustration if that did happen. We've spent a lot of money and time trying to find this, so I would be really upset if it was just given away by an overzealous scan fan.

Any interesting stories you'd like to share about The Inuyasha Companion?

Harley: When I was in Japan, I bought a little Sango keychain thing to hang on my backpack. One day I saw a cute Japanese girl at this restaurant on campus with an Inuyasha figure on her cell phone, so we started talking and became friends.

She actually turned out to be a Kagome cosplayer and really enjoyed the site. She was surprised that in America we're allowed to use actual images from the manga and anime without asking permission, since in Japan you have to actually get permission (and maybe pay a fee too? I'm not sure).