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InuYasha
voice cast: Satsuki Yukino / Moneca Stori, Kappei Yamaguchi / Richard Ian Cox

creator: Rumiko Takashi

303 minutes (12) 2000
widescreen ratio 16:9
Fabulous DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Trudi Topham
You get 12 episodes of InuYasha because that's how long it takes this anime series to get started. It'd get moving sooner, but it has to spend the first five minutes of each episode recapping all that's gone before. Sometimes it pauses mid-episode for a quick recap, too. You may have slid into a coma for a minute or two there, and InuYasha wouldn't want you to miss a thing!

It also exposits like no there's tomorrow. You hear characters' inner thoughts, or they have unnecessary dialogue explaining what's just happened or is about to happen, for those too lame of brain to pay attention. All in all, if your IQ is below 100 or you're just too lazy to follow storylines, this is the anime for you.

Ultimately this is a great shame, because InuYasha could be so much better than it is. It has an interesting core concept: modern schoolgirl, Kagome Higurashi, lives with her family at an ancient Shinto shrine. They are there as its caretakers. One day she falls into a well on the property and emerges into a feudal Japan where demons and legends walk the Earth. It transpires that she is the reincarnation of a Miko (a woman in the service of the shrine) who died several years previous to Kagome's arrival, and carries within her the Jewel of Four Souls - a stone that can grant great power to any demon that wields it.

Kagome hooks up with InuYasha, a half-human half-demon boy whom her ancestor had trapped with a spell after he nearly gained the Jewel for himself, but in the ensuing kerfuffle the Jewel is shattered into countless pieces. Now any demon can pick up a shard and have increased power.

InuYasha needs the whole Jewel to pursue his dream of becoming wholly demon. Kagome needs all the shards to prevent demons getting hold of them. Together they form an unlikely team fuelled by Kagome's belief that InuYasha has some good in his heart, and InuYasha's unrequited love for Kagome's ancestor, to whom she bears a startling resemblance.

Off they go; searching for tiny pieces of a jewel that they can usually only located by finding the demons that have already grabbed one. Kagome hops between both time periods, desperately trying to keep up with her schoolwork and save lives, and she's an extremely likeable character for this kind of anime: she's smart, independent, and capable of thinking on her feet.

I'd think about buying this for children between the ages of seven and 12, but I suspect even they would get a little irritated with all the repetition. As entertainment for adults it has some of the right ingredients, but not enough.

Unusually for anime releases there are actually a few extras on these discs, albeit the same set of extras on both. There are the original Japanese promo trailers, an American trailer, a full credits listing, text-less opening and ending videos, and a line-art gallery. Nothing particularly exciting, but at least it shows some effort has been made.

Overall it's not bad, but it's not good. It's in that sad and lonely place where I can neither love nor loathe it, and I suspect that by this time next month I'll have forgotten half of what happened in it.
NEXT

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