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 Afringe Home / Reviews / Inu-Yasha 06/13/2024 



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TV Broadcasting (Japan)
30 minutes
Rumiko Takahashi
Yet another winner from Rumiko Takahashi, and with a sexy puppy-boy to boot!
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
By Holly Kolodziejczak

Inu-Yasha is the latest anime masterpiece of the prolific Rumiko Takahashi, and is currently enjoying all kinds of popularity during its run on Japanese TV. Many of you may have already seen the manga, Inu-Yasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale, as it has been licensed in the US for some time now, and now (finally! ::starry eyes::) it is an anime, produced by Sunrise.

The story opens in feudal Japan. Inu-Yasha, a half-human and half dog-demon guy is running from villagers after stealing a magical glass ball called the Shikon no Tama, or Jewel of Four Souls. Before he can get away with it, the village's priestess, Kikyou, fires an enchanted arrow at him which pins him to a tree, supposedly for eternity. The Shikon no Tama is knocked from his grasp, and he loses conciousness. Kikyou, fatally wounded, knows that the Shikon no Tama grants untold power to the evil being/demon that posesses it. In light of this, she requests that it be burned with her remains, so she can take it into the next world and see that it will never fall into evil hands again.

Fast forward to modern Japan, where a girl named Kagome lives at an ancient shrine with her family, but is very ignorant of it's history. As Kagome is leaving from her house to go to school on the day of her birthday, she sees her little brother in the entrance to the building on their shrine compound that houses an ancient well that their grandfather has said never to go near. On this morning, her brother says that he saw the cat go in there, and Kagome decides to go in after it. Just as she is retrieving the cat, a demon breaks through the well, grabs Kagome, and drags her in! Kagome, of course, freaks out and uses some kind of magical power that she was previously unaware of to fight off the demon. She finally lands at the bottom of the well, and when she climbs out.. well.. let's just say she ain't in Kansas anymore, kids...

Kagome has quite accidentally come to the world of fuedal Japan.. 50 years after the story began. Kikyou's little sister is now the elderly village priestess, and Inu-Yasha is still stuck to the tree by the arrow, unaged. In the first episode, we find out that Kagome is the reincarnation of Kikyou and has the Shikon no Tama in her body. Also in the first episode, Kagome pulls out the arrow that is sealing Inu-Yasha and sets him free.. and he says he will kill her if she doesn't give him the Shikon no Tama. Not an exceptionally bright girl, I would say - well, Inu-Yasha is pretty cute, with the puppy ears and all.. but that's no excuse.

Anyway, in another brilliant move, Kagome manages to break the Shikon no Tama into lots and lots of shards, and any monster or demon or vengeful spirit that gets even a shard becomes extremely powerful - and guess what... they can sense the shards. The task of finding all of the shards falls to the unlikely team of.. you guessed it.. Kagome and Inu-Yasha, who can also sense them. The animosity and attraction between these two offers some very interesting moments, and there is a lot of comic relief as well as a lot of dramatic tension.

The aloof and cocky Inu-Yasha is voiced by the same man who did the aloof and cocky Saotome Ranma, Yamaguchi Kappei (Ranma - Ranma , Etoh - Record of Lodoss War). Although the characters are somewhat similar, Yamaguchi-san still manages to keep the characters separate. The sassy and high-spirited Kagome is voiced by Yukino Satsuki (Milly Thompson - Trigun, Otohime Mutsumi - Love Hina), who does an excellent job, throughout Kagome's wide scope of emotions. The animation is very nice quality, crisp and clean, especially for a television series. The bg music is fitting and very nice; I am particularly fond of the opening theme 'Change The World' by V6, and the kind of ethereal ending sequence fits quite well with the great song by dream, 'My Will'. Heck, I even like the eyecatch!

There have been rumors flying that VIZ Video has it's eye on this title, as it has with most of Takahashi-sensei's animes, however, these are _totally and completely_ unconfirmed.. But hey, we can hope, right? This anime really has something for everyone. It's got plenty of bloody violence to keep the fanboys interested, just enough romance and drama (and bishounen! yummy...) to keep the fangirls watching, and comedy out the wazoo to keep anyone glued to the screen. Be forewarned though, parental units - this one has some bad language, lots of violence, and some off-color humor... You may want to check this out yourself first before sharing it with the kiddies. Definitely at least PG-13. For everyone else out there, if you come across this one, take my advice: Don't pass it up.

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