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Are Hanyou Sterile? by NattiKay Are Hanyou Sterile? by NattiKay
tl;dr:

Having been in this fandom for a while, I've come across a handful of fans who believe that Inuyasha, like other famous hybrids, is sterile simply because he is a hybrid, nothing more, end of story. While this is a legitimate possibility, it's not an absolute. Why? Because sterile hybrids aren't so simply for being hybrids--they're sterile because of an odd chromosome count. Hybrids in which both parents have the same number of chromosomes, such as "grolar bears" (grizzly/polar bear) and "camas" (camel/llama), are, in fact, fertile.

The question then falls to how many chromosomes youkai have, which is never explained in the series (nor does it need to be). Thus, it is up to personal interpretations, theories, and opinions.

So if you, as a fan, decide that youkai should have 44 or 48 chromosomes or something and therefore hanyou would be sterile, then great! That's your opinion and you're free to have it. Personally I prefer the idea that youkai, like humans, have 46 chromosomes so that their hanyou offspring are fertile, but hey, that's just me. Either interpretation can be supported by science and neither are disproven by canon! :)


I'm planning on making other parts at some point. If I ever get around to it, they'll cover things such as the "litter" theory (which I'll say upright doesn't work), hair colors, and the involvement of youki in hybrids' features.


Also, before anyone starts whining about how I'm "taking this too seriously" or "looking too deep into it" or whatever...I don't care. As a fan, I'm allowed to look into any aspect of the series as deeply or as shallowly as I please, as are you. Anatomy/biology and genetics are things I find interesting and enjoy learning about, and I like to apply my nerdknowlege to things like this because I genuinely enjoy doing so. So please take your "you're taking this too seriously" complaints somewhere else.


Background texture belongs to WanderingSoul-Stox.
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:iconshinjiteflorana:
ShinjiteFlorana Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Student Writer
This is super awesome, and i am just as big a nerd as you and looked into this as well. Although i think a sterile Inuyasha is quite compelling a character trait, being fertile is also super interesting.
thanks for making this! ^o^
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:iconnattikay:
NattiKay Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014  Student Filmographer
No problem; I enjoyed making it! 

And if you liked this analysis, I also have a part two on tumblr that you might also enjoy. :)
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:iconspacecanine:
spaceCanine Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Semi-Canon thing, but in the fourth movie it is said specifically that Horai Island is place for humans, demons, their hanyou children, and their children can live in peace without being persecuted.
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:iconstudioyokai:
studioyokai Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014
Fun fact: actual mortal dogs (and their very close relatives, wolves) have 78 chromosomes. Humans have 46. In order to breed with humans at all (which we know they can because INUYASHA), inuyōkai must have either 44, 46, or 48 chromosomes, so that the chromosome count of the hybrid child is either only 1 off, or completely even. 

Which means that inuyōkai are MUCH closer related to humans than they are to mortal dogs or wolves! Despite the shapeshifting, despite the canine form, they're more human than they are canine. In fact, they're possibly closer to humans than our real-life "closest" relatives, the chimpanzee and bonobo. I say this because those have 48 chromosomes, so just going by chromosome count you would think they could produce at least an infertile hybrid, but they can't; other factors cause them to be incapable of reproducing with humans. Which is shocking, because the only reason we have 46, is two of our chromosome pairs merged - so recently, in fact, that not long ago, they looked closer and found a specific chromosome where you CAN SEE THE LINE where the edges meet up, and they can actually identify exactly which two chimp/bonobo chromosomes that one used to be. Yet we still can't reproduce. NATURE!

This really does bring up interesting possibilities if one wants to go into the origins of yōkai species in a fic, doesn't it? :3

Also, sidebar: Actually, not even all hybrids with uneven chromosome counts are infertile. Some females out of this kind of pairing can reproduce so long as it's with one of the two parent species; it's been observed in female mules (who can sometimes mate with donkeys or horses), ligers and tigons (I forget which is which, but both ligers and tigons are tiger/lion hybrids, one from male lion and a tigress, the other from a male tiger and a lioness). 

However, if one decided to go with the "differing chromosome counts" thing, that means that Inuyasha would still be out of luck (at least without the aid of magic), because he's not a girl :P Shiori might be better off though!
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:iconnattikay:
NattiKay Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014  Student Filmographer
Yup. In fact, wolves and dogs not only share the same number of chromosomes, but also a staggering 99.8% of their entire genome! That 0.2% accounts for all the differences in every single dog breed. Quite fascinating.

Yes, I have heard of female ligers being able to breed (though their offspring did have health problems), however, no fertile male has been recorded. However, as this explanation is directed primarily Inuyasha, who of course is male, I figured there wasn't much of a need to mention it here.
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:iconfofafie:
FoFaFie Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014
DBZ Gohan half saiyan half Human had kids... just saying. 
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:iconcassielee43:
cassielee43 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That was both informative and cute! I support your nerdiness! 
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:iconashwolf-forever:
AshWolf-Forever Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014  Professional General Artist
This is so awesome!
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:iconthekerbalflyer:
thekerbalflyer Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014   Photographer
Great job. Personally I think that Inuyasha would be able to have kids.
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:iconkogalover4ever:
Kogalover4ever Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
That looks amazing
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