The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Inuyasha aka Inu Yasha aka InuYasha
Company: Sunrise
Genre: Action/Comedy
Format: 167 episodes
Dates: 16 Oct 2000 – 13 Sep 2004

Synopsis: Higurashi Kagome is a typical high school girl whose family takes care of an ancient shrine. One day, a giant centipede-like demon breaks through a boarded up well in the shrine and drags Kagome inside in an attempt to get at the Shikon jewel inside Kagome’s body. Kagome awakens to find herself in feudal Japan. In the ensuing battle with the centipede demon, Kagome frees a half-demon, Inu Yasha, from a spell that was to make him sleep for all eternity. In the confusion after the centipede demon is defeated, the Shikon jewel is shattered and its shards scattered all over Japan. Kagome and Inu Yasha team up to recover the jewel shards to keep them out of the hands of demons who would use them to increase their powers.

The Highlights
Plot: Look at the number of episodes… what do you think?
Pacing: Same question as above.
Ending: Doesn’t end.
Music: Great openings and endings, but the show itself reuses too much music.
Artwork: Very consistent and good quality.
Characters: Interesting enough, but are too static.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A high school student is plucked from daily living, discovers she has powers, and must use them to fight the forces of evil while trying to live an ordinary life. You guessed it, I’m talking about Inu Yasha, a series that uses this tried and true premise while doing nothing special with it. Let me tell you, 167 episodes of “nothing special” is more monster of the week than anyone should have to put up with. I’m practically performing a community service by warning you.

The plot serves only to tie the monster of the week episodes together. For every fifteen or so monster of the week episodes something significant happens and a little beam of light shines through the dark clouds of repetitive storytelling long enough to provide a little hope of real entertainment. This hope is then dashed on the rocky spires of endless filler. Inu Yasha’s greatest sin is not the endless merely-slightly entertaining episodes, but that after four years of airing on TV, there is no conclusion to any of the events in the story. The viewer is just dropped off in the middle of the denouement with no answers and no closure. With twenty six or so episodes this is bad, but with 167 it is unforgivable.

Despite all my negativity, Inu Yasha does have a few things going for it. The individual episodes are rarely terrible and the whole show does have an epic feel to it. The animation quality stays consistent throughout with only the occasional dip in quality (you try animating the same show for four years without some outside help). The openings and endings combine fantastic music with appropriate images of the characters in a way that really sets the mood. When the tone of the show changes, the openings and endings reflect the change. The characters themselves change very little for the amount of episodes given, although they do have some interesting traits. How many other shows have a monk with a black hole in his hand? The character antics are funny for a while, but just fail to elicit laughter after you’ve seen them for what seems like the millionth time.

Some people love this kind of long running consistency in their anime, and Inu Yasha will whet those appetites as well as any other series. In fact, if you are one of those people, then you’ve probably already seen Inu Yasha. This little fact allows me to recommend Inu Yasha to no one, while not having to worry about causing any one to “miss out”.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed by: Kuma

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