Just realized that Xu Wenwu from “Shang-Chi” and Sesshomaru from “Inuyasha” and “Hanyo no Yashahime” have very similar energies.
(SPOILERS FOR BOTH FRANCHISES!)
Superpowered being who is hundreds, if not thousands, of years old
Initially seeks power and is very self-serving
Loses a fight and meets the love of his life (for Wenwu this is the same event; for Sesshomaru, it’s two separate events that happen consecutively)
Gives up all personal/political power to be with her
Has two super-strong children, whom he eventually leaves to their own devices
“Loses” his wife and struggles to let her go emotionally (Ying Li actually dies in Shang-Chi while Rin is in some kind of stasis in “Yashahime”)
Here’s the big difference, though.
When faced with the possibility that his wife is alive, despite what his children are telling him, Xu Wenwu chooses his “wife” (which is really the Dweller in Darkness tricking him) over his children. He actively fights his son, and nearly kills him, while trying to “free” her.
Meanwhile, Sesshomaru actively chooses to kill the woman threatening his children, even if it means his wife will die. The villain Zero has tied Rin’s life to her own, so that if Zero dies, Rin dies too. So when Zero threatens to kill Sesshomaru’s children, he is willing to let his wife go to ensure their safety.
In a nutshell, Wenwu chose the delusion of resurrecting his dead wife over his living children. Sesshomaru chose the safety of his children over his still-living wife.
Sesshomaru has grown enough that he can let his wife go. Xu Wenwu has not.
And while there’s some debate and a lot of unknowns in “Yashahime” right now, it seems that Sesshomaru didn’t backslide into his evil ways, despite Rin being in some kind of stasis. Wenwu, on the other hand, not only returned to his evil ways but involved his children in his misdeeds, which led to their physical and psychological abuse.
Perhaps Sesshomaru isn’t the best father either, because there are a lot of unknowns as I said, but Wenwu did come around at the end.
He willingly gave the rings to his son, and his first instinct when confronted with the Dweller in Darkness was to save Shang-Chi rather than trying to fight it.
Still, it is interesting to see the similarities and the differences between these two.
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