If you're a fan or watch the Inu Yasha series, there are some SPOILERS ahead in case you haven't been keeping up with the manga.
While I'm more of a fan of the anime version of Rumiko Takahashi's Inu Yasha (the anime ended quite some time ago at episode 167), I did make it a point to look at updates to the manga online... at least until about a year ago. Imagine my surprise to check out Wikipedia on some charactes only to find out that there have been a couple of significant character deaths in the ongoing fantasy-adventure series.
Gone long after her time.
The more important recent death is Kikyo, the undead miko/priestess and ancestor of series' female protagonist Kagome Higurashi and former lover of Inu Yasha. After several close calls throughout the series, Kikyo finally, truly bites it after losing to her longtime nemesis Naraku, ultimately failing in her extended mission to try and stop the demon lord and his designs on the Shikon No Tama (Sacred Jewel). While this is a heavy blow to Inu Yasha, Kikyo is able to share a final moment with her first love before she finally gives up the ghost, her soul finally departing for the heavens amidst a promise to protect her beloved even after her (second) death.
The second significant death is Kanna, the child-like Youkai of Nihility who has been around for quite a long time (even longer than my personal fave, Kagura), a silent but very menacing presence. In recent issues of the manga, she stepped up her attack on the heroes, but finally succumbs after an extended battle. While she has been dismissed as soulless and totally obedient to her master, Naraku, her final parting message to Kagome- a revelation of what can destroy Naraku- reveals that there was more to her than met the eye.
I have to say though that neither death really affects me as much as Kagura's did years ago- Kikyo's a surprise, but I can't really feel bad for her seeing as how she's been dead for years anyway and this is actually a release for her- her absence though from now on in the series will surely have a big effect on things from now on, as she won't be the 'ace in the hole' for Inu and the gang. As for Kanna- well, as an enemy character you know she was going to die sometime- she went as understated as she lived, and that was at least fitting.
With Kikyo's death, the Inu Yasha manga is surely headed for it's finish, though Takahashi has stated that she wishes the series to progress and even surpass the 500-chapter mark (it's just shy of 480 as of now). Further anime installments have been speculated, but none yet confirmed. I'll probably try to grab the manga if I can soon, seeing as how things seem to be moving significantly. I want to see this story finished, at least. I wanna see how it all ends...