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Inuyasha

 

Grade: A-

Genre: Comedy, Action/Adventure, Magic-Girl, Fantasy

Reviewed: Sub/Dub

Episodes: 167 episodes (plus 4 movies) 

Notes:  Manga is still going. Series ended with no resolution.

Introduction:

Kagome is a 15 year old girl who accidentally falls down a well near her family's shrine and is transported to feudal Japan where demons run amuck. She awakens a dog-eared boy pinned to a tree by an arrow. Inuyasha is a hanyou (half-dog demon, half-human) who was sealed with an arrow by the priestess Kikyo 50 years ago for trying to steal the Shikon No Tama (Jewel of 4 Souls). Kagome turns out to be Kikyo's reincarnation and the Shikon No Tama is within her, which is why she's being attacked by a caterpillar demon. After Kagome unpins Inuyasha so that he can help her against the demon, she finds he's not a nice-guy hero type - he still wants the jewel! The jewel breaks and scatters when Kagome shoots an arrow at a crow demon that steals it. Even a shard of the jewel can give the possessor great powers. Kagome and Inuyasha must work together in their quest together to find the jewel shards. Kaede, Kikyo's sister and also a priestess, forces Inuyasha to wear a rosary necklace, which allows Kagome to control him by saying "sit." In their travels they meet up with Shippo - a child fox demon, Miroku - a pervert monk, and Sango - a demon exterminator.

Animation/Music/Voices:

Animation is consistently good. The character designs are mostly simple (except for Sesshomaru, Inuyasha's demon brother, who is just too cool!). Problem is most people look alike except for the hair. Kagome is supposed to strongly resemble Kikyo, but Sango looks more similar. All of Kagome's high school friends look alike, too. The action scenes are not terrible detailed enough to convey excitement and are usually just closeups of Inuyasha swinging his giant sword, Tetsusaiga. Some of the beginning and ending themes are pretty and the overall score is fine. The voices are just right in the sub, Inuyasha is just obnoxiously annoyed and enraged enough, Miroku is nice and smooth, and Sango is mature and serious, and Shippo sounds like a kid. The dub voices are generally quite good. Inuyasha's and Miroku's dub voices are similar to the sub, but Kagome's voice is more high pitched and gets annoying. Sango also sounds less mature. The voices for the other recurring characters (Shippo, Kaede, Sesshoumaru, and Naraku) are also fine. It's interesting to note that in the dub, Kaede speaks in sort of an old English dialect. Don't know if she does something similar in the original. In the dub, Kagome uses too many American valley girl type terminology which gets annoying. Kagome and Inuyasha fights are funnier in the sub.

Review:

This series is a good mix of comedy, action and drama, with a plethora of interesting characters and a few plot twists. It's mostly episodic with the continuing storyline of finding the jewel shards, killing demons, and pursuing the main villain, Naraku. Inuyasha is the character that undergoes the most development as Kagome tries to reach his human side. Miroku's calmness and skirt-chasing cover his innate terror of being consumed by the air void (black hole) in his hand. Sango's tragic past is the darkest part of this usually light series. What drives this series, however, are the love triangles. The one between Kagome and Inuyasha and Kikyo is touchingly sad. The love triangle between Kagome, Inuyasha, Kouga (the wolf demon) is hilarious. There is even a love triangle between Sango, Miroku, and every pretty girl they come across. The large number of episodes does make it seem repetitive, especially after the 100th episode, but every time Inuyasha beats up Shippo, or when Kagome tells Inuyasha to sit, or when Miroku hits on Sango, it's still funny. The series is more character driven than plot driven with good villains and supporting characters. The funny episodes work better than the action episodes, but there are some good serious episodes with Sango and her brother Kohaku who is under Naraku's control. Recommended to everyone of all ages (maybe not for kids under 6 as they might find some of the demons too scary), but not for hardcore action fans, more for romantics.