Sesshomaru and Kagura are canon.
1) Wasn't Sesshomaru willing to let Kagura drown in the river, only jumping in to save her after Rin jumped in?
2) Didn't he hate her/show annoyance towards her until after she died?
3) Didn't Sesshomaru move on from Kagura's death very easily? His reaction to Rin's death was bigger!
4) I thought that Kagura's feelings for Sesshomaru were one-sided?
5) I thought that Sesshomaru only had compassion for Kagura?
6) Then what about seeing her as a sister or a family member?
7) But when Tenseiga said that his heart has been changed in a way that it hasn't been before, didn't it mean that this was the first time that Sesshomaru tried to save someone that he didn't love since when he saves Rin it hurts him personally?
8) When Tenseiga said that Sesshomaru's heart now has what it was lacking because of Kagura, didn't it mean that this was the first time that he really grieved over and had sorrow and anger for someone else's death?
9) But Kagura died! Doesn't that mean that Sesshomaru/Kagura can't possibly be a canon pairing?
10) But didn't Sesshomaru save Kagome and Jaken and all those people too?
11) Don't they have to be married or kiss or something for them to be a canon couple?
12) But Kagura is Naraku's incarnation, an incarnation of Sesshomaru's enemy!
13) I thought that Rin was Sesshomaru's love interest since Rin is alive and Kagura is dead?
14) Are you saying that I have to like Sesshomaru/Kagura instead of whatever I like right now?
Q: Wasn't Sesshomaru willing to let Kagura drown in the river, only jumping in to save her after Rin jumped in?
A: Actually, Sesshomaru didn't jump in after Rin either. He kind of just stood there. After Rin jumps in he pretty much just ignores her. Sesshomaru didn't actually try to save anyone from that river until after JAKEN jumped in. Only then did he move. So what are you trying to say? That he doesn't care about Rin either, and that Jaken is the ONLY person that he cares about?
Also, Sesshomaru did the exact same thing when he first met Rin. When he first saw Rin's dead body after she was killed by wolves, Sesshomaru was originally going to ignore her and leave her dead (manga chapter 131, page 5). He paused because of her smile, but Sesshomaru didn't actually save Rin until AFTER Tenseiga pulsed and told him to save her (manga chapter 131, page 7).
However, that doesn't mean that he doesn't care, now does it? Sesshomaru is like that. That's just kind of how his personality is. He's the "stoic" character who likes to pretend that he cares about nobody, and deny that he has any good in him. But that doesn't mean that he doesn't care-it just means that he's struggling to keep his persona on and TRY not to care...
Although he failed. He saved her anyway. Kagura was the largest, heaviest and the most burdensome out of all of them, and she was wet and unconscious. It would have been much easier to just ignore Kagura, and yet he didn't.
Plus afterwards, Sesshomaru stayed there. He didn't leave until after she woke up and he knew that she was okay, which he definitely did not have to do.
Sesshomaru also warned Kagura not to do anything that would get her killed (by telling her that any further actions on her part were futile because Naraku already knows that she's going after his heart) and watched her leave with a very worried expression on his face (manga chapter 350/351).
Q: Didn't he hate her/show annoyance towards her until after she died?
A: When and where does Sesshomaru show any hatred or annoyance towards Kagura in any way, shape, or form? Sure at first he was wary of her because he didn't know her and because she was Naraku's detachment, but he soon gets over that. As a matter of fact, Sesshomaru was very tolerant towards Kagura-she used to yell and scream and curse at him and he'd just stand there, allowing it (manga chapter 203, page 16). Kagura was the one who expressed disdain towards Sesshomaru, not the other way around. Sesshomaru never said one abusive WORD towards Kagura, even while she was standing there screaming at him. He let her get away with EVERYTHING, including KIDNAPPING RIN.
When Kagura kidnapped Rin (manga chapter 219), Sesshomaru blamed Naraku and choked Kohaku, but didn't say a word to Kagura-he acted like he didn't even care about it. No mention of it, even though Jaken constantly reminded him that it was Kagura. In fact, after a little while, he took it upon himself to go to her and not the other way around. When they were looking for the gateway to the path between this world and the next and Kagura was just standing there (manga chapter 318), Sesshomaru hopped on the rock, got closer to her, and asked her what she knew even though during the encounter before, she had kidnapped Rin.
Jaken already told Sesshomaru about Kagura kidnapping Rin (manga chapter 219, page 7/8) so he knew that Kagura kidnapped Rin, and Rin was HIDING IN FEAR of her, and he did this. And don't tell me that Sesshomaru wasn't mad because Kagura was under Naraku's orders-Kohaku was also brainwashed by Naraku as well and Sesshomaru didn't hesitate to choke Kohaku (manga chapter 223, page 7).
When Sango tried to kill Rin, Sesshomaru was angry with her and threw hiraikotsu at her (but missed and almost got Byakuya, in manga chapter 543) and only forgave her because Sango offered her life to Sesshomaru and she also gave Rin her gas mask as an apology in order to shield Rin from Naraku's miasma (manga chapter 544, page 17/18).
Him and Koga never meet each other in the manga so Sesshomaru couldn't have done anything to Koga for killing Rin (and there's no evidence that he's even aware of the fact that Koga killed Rin when Sesshomaru doesn't even know who Koga is in the manga, and the filler episode doesn't count because it wasn't written by Takahashi).
But when Kagura kidnapped Rin, Sesshomaru acted like it had never even happened and didn't seem to care about it at all, even though she hadn't done anything to apologize (like Sango had).
He's also lied for her. When Kagura gave him the Fuyoheki shards, Moryoumaru asked Sesshomaru where he got them from. Jaken was about to tell the truth and tell Moryoumaru about Kagura giving them the shards, but Sesshomaru told Jaken to shut up and and lied about it in order to protect her (manga chapter 365, page 6/7). Not to mention the river incident. All of the above happened BEFORE she died and not after. So the relationship had been slowly progressing for a while, with him showing a bit of mistrust in the beginning only, but getting over it.
Q: Didn't Sesshomaru move on from Kagura's death very easily? His reaction to Rin's death was bigger!
A: Read the answer to the question above. Not only that, Sesshomaru blew aside a chance to kill Naraku in order to get to Kagura while she was dying (manga chapter 371, page 4). He made sure to let her know that he had come to see her specifically (which is something that he does not do, he usually tells people that he was "just passing through" or that they were "just in the way" when he gets caught helping someone). He drew Tenseiga to save her. Tenseiga didn't ask him to save her, but he tried anyway and he stayed with her until the end and he was touched by her smile.
Sesshomaru became infuriated and knowingly put his own life in danger and broke his only offensive sword despite everyone's warnings just because Moryoumaru said a few bad words about Kagura. Everyone was standing there, yelling at him to pull the sword out because it was gonna break (in the manga, chapters 406/407) and plus like Inuyasha said, his nose is sharp-so he knew that it was gonna break. He knew that he had no real way to fight without it, but risked his life anyway. If Inuyasha hadn't intervened at the last second, he probably wouldn't have gotten out alive. Even Moryoumaru had to point it out.
Tenseiga itself called out to Totosai, saying that Sesshomaru's heart had been changed in a way that it never has been before because of Kagura and that it was now ready to transform into a fighting sword (manga chapter 409, page 15). That was the FIRST time, the VERY first time that he'd been moved enough-meaning that not even Rin had enough influence on him. When he was told about it, Sesshomaru instantly knew that Tenseiga was talking about Kagura. Tenseiga didn't transform into a fighting weapon because of Rin or anyone else. It was Sesshomaru's feelings for Kagura, as confirmed by Tenseiga itself, that took his heart to that next level. He then vowed over the sword to make sure that she hadn't died in vain (manga chapter 410, page 17).
Sure sounds like he "moved on very easily", huh? Nope. He didn't. It was a huge deal. You have confirmation from Jaken, Rin, Moryoumaru, the entire Inu-tachi, Tenseiga, and Totosai that something is happening here. Not to mention Rin's support. That is NOT easily moving on.
While I do agree that Sesshomaru's immediate reaction to Rin's death was bigger than his immediate reaction to Kagura's death, the stuff that happened afterwards with Kagura were bigger than the stuff that happened with Rin.
Sesshomaru dropped his sword for Rin, but he BROKE his sword for Kagura, and breaking a sword is a much bigger deal than dropping a sword, wouldn't you agree? And Tenseiga, which can read hearts, did not transform into a fighting weapon because of Rin. Tenseiga only transformed into a fighting weapon because of Sesshomaru's feelings for Kagura. His Meidou Zangetsuha grew wider because of what he did for Rin, but Sesshomaru got a complete and total new technique and a new fighting sword because of his feelings for Kagura, and having a healing shiv transform into a fighting sword and getting a new technique is a bigger deal than a meidou growing wider.
Q: I thought that Kagura's feelings for Sesshomaru were one-sided?
A: Incorrect. It was implied that Sesshomaru returned Kagura's feelings all the times that he tried to save her and when he became infuriated that Moryoumaru insulted Kagura and broke Tokijin over her (manga chapters 406/407), and it was COFIRMED that he returned her feelings when Tenseiga transformed into a fighting weapon because of Sesshomaru's feelings for Kagura, and then he vowed over the sword to avenge her (manga chapters 409/410).
Anyone who's actually read Rumiko Takahashi's works before knows that if a character's feelings are one-sided, then she makes it very OBVIOUS that their feelings are one-sided and she makes the other characters state that their feelings are one-sided over and over again like she had with Koga/Kagome and Naraku/Kikyo. Rumiko would not have written in something like "Sesshomaru's Tenseiga, which was previously only a healing shiv that couldn't cut anything, transforms into a fighting weapon and gains a new offensive technique because of Sesshomaru's feelings for Kagura and then he vows over the sword to avenge her" in there unless she was trying to show that Kagura's feelings WERE returned.
I also know that Takahashi has a habit of introducing brand new characters just to serve as love interests for other characters, and then forgetting about them. In Ranma 1/2, which is another manga that was written by Rumiko Takahashi, Rumiko introduced a character named Akari to be a love interest for Ryoga just to try give Ryoga a happy ending, and the Akari character was only around for one or two chapters at maximum. Takahashi pretty much forgot about Akari afterwards. Ukyo was also given a new love interest in the form of an effeminate transvestite ninja master, and the ninja was also only around for one chapter and then forgotten about.
Sometimes she does this just to deter the fans from shipping pairings that she doesn't want them to ship. So I get the feeling that the same thing happened during the "Inuyasha" series. In Urusei Yatsura, which is another manga that was written by Takahashi, Ryuunosuke was given a love interest in Nagisa, however Nagisa was only around for one chapter and then forgotten about afterwards; so the same thing probably happened with Sesshomaru and Kagura. Everything with Kagura probably happened because Rumiko Takahashi realized that people were shipping Sesshomaru and Rin together in a romantic manner and then she decided "hey look, I made Kagura follow Sesshomaru like she has a crush on him, why don't I elaborate on that a bit more?" and then she put all the Sess/Kagura stuff in there in order to try to deter the fandom from shipping Sesshomaru with Rin, and then she forgot about it afterwards like she usually does.
So yes, Rumiko introduced Kagura as a love interest for Sesshomaru in order to try to deter the fandom from shipping Sesshomaru with Rin, meant all the Sess/Kagura stuff in a romantic manner, and then she forgot about Kagura afterwards as usual. Takahashi does that kind of stuff all the time.
Q: I thought that Sesshomaru only had compassion for Kagura?
A: Tenseiga said that Sesshomaru's heart has been changed in a way that it HASN'T BEEN BEFORE. Sesshomaru's heart has what it was LACKING because of Kagura, there was a CHANGE in his heart because of her. This means that Sesshomaru felt something for Kagura that he did not feel for anybody else in the series before.
It can't be compassion that he had for Kagura then, because Sesshomaru's heart was NOT lacking in compassion. All those times when Sesshomaru saved Rin, when he saved Jaken, and when he saved Kagome from Mukotsu, he was showing them compassion. We've seen Sesshomaru show compassion to others plenty of times in the series before-for Rin, for his brother, for Kagome, for Jaken etc. so it can't be that.
The only kind of feeling that Sesshomaru has never shown to anyone else in the series before that his heart was LACKING in is the romantic kind.
Q: Then what about seeing her as a sister or a family member?
A: Relationships like the ones between families and lifelong friends (like the relationship between Sesshomaru and Rin) take time to develop. In order to love someone like family, you have to know them much better than that. A family relationship like the one that Rin and Sesshomaru have takes time to develop, what with Rin following Sesshomaru for anywhere from a year to three years and living with Sesshomaru and whatnot. Sesshomaru and Kagura didn't even know each other very well, so that can't be it. She only visited him a couple of times.
A crush, however, does not take so long to develop, you very well can have a crush on someone that you don't know very well, and crushes CAN very well stir intense emotions in someone (like the feelings that Sesshomaru's been shown to have for Kagura). Koga developed romantic feelings for Kagome the first time that he met her.
And once again, Tenseiga said that Sesshomaru's heart has been changed in a way that it HASN'T BEEN BEFORE. There was a CHANGE in Sesshomaru's heart because of Kagura, his heart has what it was LACKING because of her. This means that Sesshomaru felt something for Kagura that he did not feel for anybody else in the series before.
It can't be filial love that he had for Kagura then, because Sesshomaru's heart was NOT lacking in platonic love. We've seen Sesshomaru show platonic love to others plenty of times in the series before-for Rin, for his father, for his brother, etc. so it can't be that.
The only kind of feeling that Sesshomaru has never shown to anyone else in the series before that his heart was LACKING in is the romantic kind.
Q: But when Tenseiga said that his heart has been changed in a way that it hasn't been before, didn't it mean that this was the first time that Sesshomaru tried to save someone that he didn't love since when he saves Rin it hurts him personally?
A: So if THAT was what was notable about Sesshomaru's situation with Kagura...then why didn't Tenseiga change into a fighting weapon after any of the shit-tons of other times when Sesshomaru saved someone that he didn't love? He didn't love Kagome and he saved her from Mukotsu (manga chapter 240, page 2). Sesshomaru didn't love Jaken, but he saved Jaken with the Tenseiga after Jaken was killed by Kaijinbo (manga chapter 159, page 7). He didn't love that otter papa and he saved the otter papa.
Tenseiga said that there was a CHANGE in Sesshomaru's heart, his heart now has what it was LACKING because of Kagura. This means that Sesshomaru felt something for Kagura that he did not feel for anybody else in the series before. Sesshomaru has tried to save people that he didn't love plenty of times in the series before. So it can't be that.
Let's face it. The only kind of feeling that Sesshomaru has never shown to anyone else in the series before that his heart was LACKING in is the romantic kind.
Q: When Tenseiga said that Sesshomaru's heart now has what it was lacking because of Kagura, didn't it mean that this was the first time that he really grieved over and had sorrow and anger for someone else's death?
A: Actually, the first time that Sesshomaru really grieved over and had sorrow and anger for someone else's death was when his father died.
Sesshomaru was clearly very affected by his father's death and had sorrow and anger for his father, as evidenced by the fact that he continuously dwells on receiving his father's acceptance and becomes very angry when he thinks that his father favored Inuyasha. So if the only thing that Sesshomaru's heart was lacking in was grieving over someone's death and having sorrow and anger for someone else...then why didn't Tenseiga transform into a fighting weapon when Sesshomaru grieved over his father's death? Why didn't Tenseiga transform into a fighting weapon when Sesshomaru very clearly displayed sorrow and anger for his father?
Because that's not what Sesshomaru's heart was lacking in. The only kind of feeling that Sesshomaru has never shown to anyone else in the series before that his heart was LACKING in is the romantic kind.
Q: But Kagura died! Doesn't that mean that Sesshomaru/Kagura can't possibly be a canon pairing?
A: Just because she died doesn't mean that the feelings don't exist. In tragic romances one party usually dies before the other. Kagura was probably killed off because the whole Sess/Kagura thing was supposed to be a tear-jerking, tragic thing. Just because she died doesn't mean that Sesshomaru and Kagura did not have feelings for each other. In Ranma 1/2, which is another manga drawn by Rumiko Takahashi, Soun's love interest was dead throughout the entire thing.
Just because one party died before the other doesn't mean that the feelings don't exist. Think back to the loved ones that you lost-does the fact that they died mean that you never loved each other? No. If they have feelings for each other then it's a canon pairing, whether one party ends up dying or not. And Sesshomaru and Kagura definitely do have feelings for each other, which makes them a canon pairing.
Kikyo is also dead. Do Inuyasha and Kikyo no longer count as a canon pairing?
Q: But didn't Sesshomaru save Kagome and Jaken and all those people too?
A: There's a difference beween a one-time passing through thing and having a relationship with someone, not to mention that Tenseiga didn't change into a fighting weapon for any of those instances and only transformed into a fighting weapon because of Sesshomaru's feelings for Kagura, meaning that this instance is different from those and that Sesshomaru felt something for Kagura that he didn't feel for anybody else. That means that this was the first time that this had happened, it was special, more notable and different from those instances. It obviously had a much bigger emotional impact on him and played a direct hand in changing him than those instances. Tenseiga only transformed into a fighting weapon because of Sesshomaru's feelings for Kagura.
Q: Don't they have to be married or kiss or something for them to be a canon couple?
A: Actually, Rumiko Takahashi is notorious for not giving her canon pairings resolutions like that and dancing around in circles, teasing her readers. In Ranma 1/2, which is another manga that was written by Rumiko Takahashi, Ranma and Akane spent the majority of the series denying their feelings for each other and they didn't officially get together until the very last chapter of the manga, as we discussed above. And when they finally did admit their feelings for each other, they didn't go any further than holding hands, even though they were engaged. Inuyasha and Kagome never kiss (in the manga-Final Act and Movie 2 don't count because none of that was written by Rumiko Takahashi). Plenty of her canon couples never get married. You don't need full out make-out sessions for the couple to be a canon pairing. Plus the Japanese like for their romances to be more subtle.
As long as both characters have feelings for each other, no matter how it turns out from then on, it's a canon pairing. And as we have discussed above, Sesshomaru and Kagura do both have feelings for each other, despite not having the time to develop the relationship past a certain stage-which makes them a canon pairing.
Q: But Kagura is Naraku's incarnation, an incarnation of Sesshomaru's enemy!
A: When and where in the anime or the manga has Sesshomaru ever been shown to care about this? I know that Jaken doesn't trust Kagura because she's Naraku's incarnation, but Sesshomaru never once goes up to Kagura and tells her "oh, I don't like you because you're Naraku's incarnation" or anything like that. He never once does anything of the sort.
Even when Sesshomaru met Byakuya (manga chapter 401, page 14), he only attacked Byakuya for smelling like Naraku (and that only happened with Byakuya and never happened with Kagura.) Sesshomaru didn't say anything to Byakuya about the fact that he was Naraku's incarnation either. He's never been shown to dislike any of Naraku's incarnations strictly for being Naraku's detachments.
Q: I thought that Rin was Sesshomaru's love interest since Rin is alive and Kagura is dead?
A: Rin is canonically a SUPPORTER of Sesshomaru/Kagura. She gets very happy about the possibility of the couple, and tells Jaken to trust Kagura more because of it, seemingly trying to get them closer together (episode 167 of the anime, manga chapter 343). Would Rin act like this if she had any romantic interest in Sesshomaru whatsoever? Nope. Would Rumiko Takahashi have written her this way if she had ever intended for Rin to be Sesshomaru's love interest? Nope. Plus, Rumiko's made her feelings on pairings like those very clear when Miroku proposed to Koharu when she was eleven, and everyone was DISGUSTED and shocked by the fact that Miroku, a grown man (the age of adulthood during the feudal era was 14 so Miroku was an adult by the standards of that time when he proposed to Koharu), had proposed to a child, even though Koharu had returned to Miroku when she was grown up (manga chapter 147, page 8).
The manga is over, and Rin has gone to live with Kaede. There is no future. There is nothing after chapter 558. Those 558 chapters are the story, they are the series, they are the canon. There's nothing after that but the epilogue bonus chapter, and during the one-shot bonus chapter 559, Sesshomaru merely continues to protect Rin and there still isn't the slightest hint of anything romantic between Sesshomaru and Rin. Whether a pairing is a canon pairing or not has nothing to do with whether the characters are dead or alive or not-it's about whether or not they have feelings for each other.
Takahashi made it so that Sesshomaru and Rin have no romantic feelings for each other during the series (but more of a platonic father and daughter thing), whereas Sesshomaru and Kagura do have romantic feelings for each other during the series. So it's obvious what the canon romantic pairing is. Kagura being dead and Rin being alive does not change the ROLES that they played during the series.
That's like saying that Inuyasha/Shippo is more canon than Inuyasha/Kikyo because Shippo is alive and Kikyo is dead.
Rin was meant to be more like an adoptive daughter. For more on that, go here: sesshomaruandrin.blogspot.com
Q: Are you saying that I have to like Sesshomaru/Kagura instead of whatever I like right now?
A: NO. You can like/dislike whatever you want, as long as you don't deny that this is the canon pairing.