This “5 Ways I Would Fix” meme originally belongs to CaptainWHaddock and is dedicated to all of my friends, fellow artists, fans, and brethren who not only love Ayame so much as a character but also feel that she deserves so much better than how she was treated in canon from a character standpoint and a writing standpoint. Sit back, relax, and find out how Ayame can have the potential to stand on her own two feet as a heroine.
I would like to commence by wishing you all a Happy International Women’s Day, despite all the terror and the contention that occurred spearheaded by Putin’s regime towards Ukraine, which I would never in a million years condone. This is not what you are here for because I want to celebrate International Women’s Day by raising my anime discourse focusing on my favourite wolf yokai warrior woman of all time Ayame from Inuyasha. It is no surprise that I enjoyed her presence when I first saw her grace the small screen, and I was immediately taken aback by her strength, courage, valour, and determination, despite appearing in only three episodes of the original Inuyasha anime, one cameo episode in Inuyasha: The Final Act, and, most of all, her status as an anime-only character. Because I bore such vociferous sentiments of Inuyasha being paired with the little wench known as Kagome Higurashi, I always thought that Ayame would be a much better life partner, girlfriend, and, eventually, wife for him than Kagome and Kikyou combined. In fact, it is her bravery and her strength that made me fully appreciate the romantic relationship she could have and should have had with Inuyasha instead of the big-talking, bluffing, bullying Karma Houdini and miserable excuse of a wolf yokai warrior known as Kouga. To this day, I still argue that Ayame deserved so much better than that flea-bitten wretch and would be much happier with a real warrior of a husband in Inuyasha, a staunch older brother-in-law in Sesshoumaru, wonderfully supportive brothers-in-law in Shuran, Hakkaku, and Ginta, and a sweet soul sister in Shunran. Therefore, Ayame deserves so much better not only in her love life but also in her life overall as a courageous warrior woman with so much to give to the world.
Relegating Ayame to be nothing more than Kouga’s love interest is problematic because it is the only trope that she is defined by when she probably had hidden depths as a warrior who is strong, selfless, fiercely loyal to her code of honour, and tackles every obstacle with brave face. This is what the writers of the Inuyasha anime failed to address rather than just brushing her off as an anime-only character. My other point of contention when it comes to Ayame being only pegged down as Kouga’s love interest are all the misdeeds, crimes, and atrocities Kouga himself has committed but did not face any personal punishment. Every crime Kouga has committed should have served as red flags for Ayame to not end up marrying him but ditching him altogether with one swift kick to his impotent family jewels. From murdering innocent villagers, including an innocent young girl in the form of Rin, to kidnapping Kagome to not implementing his own strength and power instead of relying on the Shikon Jewel shards’ power to not taking full advantage of the historical wolf yokai warrior weapon known as Goraishi to his utter failure of avenging his comrades after they were brutally massacred by Kagura and Naraku, Kouga was in no way, shape or form fit to be Ayame’s potential husband, let alone husband by Inuyasha: The Final Act’s last episode. When Kouga unceremoniously abdicated his duties by Inuyasha: The Final Act’s eighth episode after his precious jewel shards were taken away, I saw him as the pathetic lowlife loser with an empty shell that he truly was. Worse was that I was appalled to see Kouga undeservedly acquiring his supposedly happy ending with Ayame when he did absolutely nothing to avenge his fallen comrades’ deaths, let alone join Inuyasha, Sesshoumaru, and his so-called friends in their final battle against Naraku. Kouga truthfully deserved absolutely nothing after what he failed to do. His ultimate punishment would have been repudiation from the tribe, being stripped off his wolf yokai warrior status, and being left to die by the hands of the angry villagers who wanted to avenge the deaths of their families. Looks like all Ayame should have seen in Kouga is a pathetically weak and lame shell that he attempted to cover up complete with all the iniquities he committed because his bloodlust knew no bounds and he had zero honour. What on earth were Ayame, her grandfather, and her tribesmen from both factions thinking when they perceived Kouga as her prospective husband? They should have all seen the red flags where Kouga’s dependence on the Shikon Jewel shards were concerned because he was all talk, barely any action, and having the jewel shards taken away from him by Naraku only showed that he was truly a hollow, shallow, and pathetic weakling deprived of any honour, integrity, and fortitude. Kouga deserved to be shamed, disgraced, executed, and dead without any honour whatsoever.
Kouga saving Ayame from the Birds of Paradise also proved to be a bad move on the writers’ part because we the viewers were fully aware of his atrocities in Episode 35, and Episodes 83 and 84 were even cheaper attempts to make him more likeable and more sympathetic with his backstory of rescuing Ayame from those creatures. These episodes made Kouga even more despicable and more of a hypocritically low-down, good-for-nothing cheat who deserved none of my sympathy and all of my rage after what he did to those villagers and especially to such an innocent little girl like Rin. Even after kidnapping Kagome does he have a “change of heart” and Inuyasha’s so-called friends are quick to forgive this lowlife? Please! Ayame should have just ditched him for good after what horrible atrocities he did. Enough about Kouga because dealing with him would have given me an aneurysm right now. How about instead of Kouga saving little Ayame from the Birds of Paradise, we have a younger Inuyasha? When I remember the flashbacks Inuyasha had when he was a child being pursued by various demons in Episode 73, I not only felt sorry for him but also realised that he deserved better. This would work as an alternate universe scenario, as Inuyasha would prove to himself that he can be strong on his own and face his own fears even at such a young age. As little Ayame is being pursued by the Birds of Paradise, young Inuyasha swoops to her aid, showers the Birds of Paradise with punches, kicks, claw marks, and bite marks galore before finally incapacitating them. Young Inuyasha extends his hand to see if little Ayame is all right, which she responds by tackling him in a hug and smothering him with kisses, thus making young Inuyasha blush. The young dog hanyou and the little she-wolf yokai head to the lake to go fishing, with her thanking him for rescuing her. Little Ayame would even tell Young Inuyasha that she would like to be his wife one day when they grow up. His response is a steadfast yes and proclaims to her that he will be strong for her by playfully flexing his biceps complete with a huge grin on his face, assuring her that he will keep his promise. No sooner than he keeps his promise by being integrated into Ayame’s tribe, raised by her grandfather, and trained by all the brave warriors in wrestling, hunting, boxing, kickboxing, and weightlifting. Inuyasha’s intense training with Ayame’s tribesmen and the love her grandfather would bestow upon him would make him fully worthy of Ayame’s hand in marriage, despite them still being really young. By the time Inuyasha reaches 14 and Ayame reaches 11, they would even end up receiving the blessings of Ayame’s grandfather The Wolf Elder as well as Sesshoumaru’s and Inuyasha’s father Toga for them to be united in holy matrimony. Given how Inuyasha would be fiercely loyal to Ayame and how Ayame would proudly claim Inuyasha to be her greatest champion and supporter, their marriage would end up lasting a lifetime. Making their matrimony even more beneficial would be having children who would pass down their parents’ strength, might, courage, valour, stamina, determination, and perseverance. Furthermore, Inuyasha and Ayame would be the couple who could never stop kissing each other and would enjoy every single passionate kiss they give to each other with glee and true love.
Inuyasha’s and Ayame’s love life does not stop at them being happily married, having children, and living as prosperously as they can, but their relationship is also steeped with trust, genuineness, and truthfulness. They are not afraid to be honest with each other and would be entirely open to whatever ails they have, especially when it comes to Inuyasha’s contentious relationship with his brother Sesshoumaru. There is no doubt that the show’s and the manga’s canon made Sesshoumaru incredibly ruthless, cruel, condescending, and borderline abusive towards his younger brother to the point where their fraternal relationship is rife with animosity. Being the headstrong, determined, and valorous warriors that she is, Ayame would never back down from giving Sesshoumaru a piece of her mind, not with her fists but with some home truths that would shatter his icy shell. She would admonish Sesshoumaru for his inability to acknowledge his own flaws when he is too preoccupied with putting others beneath him down just because he thinks he is the strongest combatant ever. She would also put her foot down and state that his and Inuyasha’s animosity, venom, and ruthlessness against each other is entirely futile because they are, first and foremost, brothers of the same blood whether they like it or not. Finally, Ayame would give Sesshoumaru one ultimatum that would be the final nail on Sesshoumaru’s pride’s coffin. She would tell him that, if he dares kill Inuyasha, he might as well kill her because he is already diminishing his own bloodline from ever flourishing. If Sesshoumaru does not get his pride in check, drop his condescending attitude, and hatred towards Inuyasha, he might as well just live alone and done for, while she and Inuyasha can just abandon him, and she will never call herself his sister-in-law. After that firm talking-to, Sesshoumaru would realise that Ayame not only cares for Inuyasha unconditionally but can also prove herself to be a strong, capable warrior who is excellent with her choice of words. This would make Sesshoumaru rather comfortable in the fact that Inuyasha’s wife is not the lowly wolf yokai with a relatively shady reputation but the wolf yokai warrior queen he has come to admire, respect, and give his undying allegiance and support to her. At least he can rest assured that Ayame is not like Kikyou who just wanted Inuyasha to be human after she acquired the Shikon Jewel and Kagome who abused Inuyasha with the Beads of Subjugation. Sesshoumaru would even admit to Inuyasha that he is fortunate to have somebody as formidable, powerful, and independent like Ayame as his wife, thus going out of his way to say that she is worthy of being Inuyasha’s equal and of Sesshoumaru’s undying respect. Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha would then bury the hatchet thanks to Ayame, although they still have moments where they are competitive towards each other. At the very least, it is not in an “I’ll kill you” fashion. Rather, it is in a way that would aid Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha challenge each others’ strengths and still acknowledge each other as brothers all thanks to Ayame pitching them together in her own special way.
As Ayame is a strong warrior, it would have been a huge pleasure to see other fighting styles incorporated rather than just her throwing leaves around like shuriken and punching the ground to vibrate to a shattering earthquake. Sure, she does have speed to outrun any cheetah in the savannah, but it would be great to see her engage more often in hand-to-hand combat, thus incorporating martial arts like kickboxing, boxing, karate, judo, mixed martial arts, and Muay Thai in her resumé. Therefore, she would have the might of Xena the Warrior Princess of Amphipolis, the fierceness of Audri Dubois’ Trini from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’ original pilot episode, the sheer discipline, unquestionable integrity, peerless agility, and indubitable honour of Thuy Trang’s Trini from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Seasons 1 to 2, and the sarcastic sass of Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, thus making her a complete warrior that enemies would tremble at the sight of her. All of her opponents would mock Ayame for being a puny wolf girl, but this insult would motivate her to give all of them a huge butt whooping thanks to her puncturing punches, her gut-busting kicks, her strangulating chokeholds, and a myriad of combat moves that give Ayame the title of being a gorgeous beauty who fights like a ferocious beast. Ayame’s fighting skills implementing various martial arts from kickboxing to Muay Thai to judo would make her an indubitably unstoppable warrior.
Ayame’s fisticuffs against felons may what define her in terms of her physical strength and her unwavering endurance in the heat of battle. However, what should have been explored about Ayame is her warmth with those she considers her friends and her family and the compassion she has for those who are downtrodden. After all, a warrior who does not have good character is utterly incomplete. She has demonstrated how steadfast, unconditionally loving, and understanding she is with Inuyasha and proved to Sesshoumaru that she is more than just a pretty face, let alone what his preconceived notions about her and her tribe were. Her firm code of honour would also make her a steadfast ally to anybody who supports her cause and fights for the greater good. She would never want to use her powers for selfish means and will always help those who are in dire need. This would also be evident when it comes to children, especially all of her nieces including Asagi, Rin, and Shiori, because she would do everything in her power to protect them from harm. Ayame would also radiate with warmth and kindness not only to the children she meets but also to her husband Inuyasha, her brothers-in-law Sesshoumaru, Shuran, Hakkaku, and Ginta, and her sister Shunran, for she considers them to be her only reasons for living the life she is currently living. Without them, she would be nothing. Therefore, Ayame’s true fortitude would also be her fierce loyalty to her friends and family as well as her compassion to those who are in great need of love and attention.
Ayame in the anime’s canon had so much promise, but her potential was truly wasted when it came to only relegating her to Kouga’s love interest, when he really did not deserve her and only deserved Kagome. Fortunately for her, I am glad that she is married to Inuyasha in my AU headcanon, I am glad she is part of the main cast of my Splendid Seven AU headcanon, and I am glad that she has found not only a true husband in Inuyasha but also strong brothers-in-law in Sesshoumaru, Shuran, Hakkaku, and Ginta, and a sweet sister in Shunran. Her physical strength and her capability of compassion, kindness, and unconditional love should never go unquestioned.
I would also love to hear from you how you would fix Ayame, and if you agree with everything I have to say. Take care, stay safe, and please keep on showing your love for Ayame as well as showing more support for Inuyasha x Ayame and the loving relationships she has with Sesshoumaru, Shuran, Hakkaku, Ginta, and Shunran as a valuable member of The Splendid Seven, everybody.
Ayame from Inuyasha belongs to Rumiko Takahashi and Sunrise.