Thursday, July 11, 2013

InuYasha and InuYasha: The Final Act

***IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THE ORIGINAL SERIES OF INUYASHA AND PLAN TO THEN PLEASE GO AWAY OR I SHALL SAY "NI" TO YOU! HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!***

INUYASHA is an anime comprised of 167 episodes and it's primary story is that of a girl named Kagome who can travel back 500 years into the past of Japan to fight demons. There she meets an ill-tempered and immature half-demon named InuYasha, a cursed and lecherous monk named Miroku, and a headstrong demon slayer named Sango. All of them fight against the evil and seemingly unkillable demon named Naraku who uses deception to achieve his own ends.

Containing enough filler and enough repetitious subject matter to make the creators of the DRAGONBALL Z or BLEACH look ingenuitive, INUYASHA is about fifty episodes too long. It's almost grueling to try and watch all of it and by seasons four and five you really wonder if there is ever an end in sight.The entire show you hear about how evil Naraku is and how Kagome and InuYasha and Kikyo feel about each other and after about five seasons of this you just want the damn thing to end one way or the other. At one point I just wanted InuYasha's usually evil brother Sesshomaru to show up and just kill everyone including Naraku and the main characters. Maybe not the greatest ending but at least it'd be a freaking end.


When you finally make it to episode 167... you essentially get a thank you note for watching and a promise that they'll keep searching for Naraku and will one day destroy him.

I've met Jehovah's Witnesses who expressed more subtlety about wasting my time.

But when INUYASHA: FINAL ACT came out I breathed a bit easier. When I found out it was only 26 episodes I let out a big sigh of relief. The show is over and the ending won't take me half a year to get through, either. All the time I spent watching those episodes is not completely wasted!

I must say that, even though this show can't really be seen without having seen the most of the episodes of the original show, INUYASHA: THE FINAL ACT is easily superior in terms of animation and storytelling. The animation is better because it is quite a bit newer and it seems to be made perfectly for HD. The storytelling is a vast improvement because we cut right to the chase and all of that filler crap is done away with. From the first few episodes the characters we know and generally like or even dislike start to die off like flies. The entire show is basically a bunch of characters dying or parting ways. It's great.

***SPOILERS***

The whole love triangle between Kikyo, InuYasha, and Kagome is finally put to rest. Sesshomaru and InuYasha settle their differences (more or less). Koga finally gets written out of the story. Miroku and Sango finally get hitched.

And Naraku gets killed. Everyone knew it would happen. It was just a matter of seeing how it happened.

***OKAY, NO SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT***

While I felt that the ultimate ending to this show was too much of a crowd-pleaser, I still think the show was very good and it made me view the original INUYASHA show just a bit better since they are technically one in the same.

Despite all of its obvious flaws, INUYASHA is one of those epics that are must-see because of its reputation, but it's the sequel series INUYASHA: THE FINAL ACT that makes the show really worth watching.

I will say that the final battle against Naraku recalls the fight against Majin Buu in DRAGONBALL Z in which our heroes enter the primary villain and do battle against him (and multiple incarnations of him) for the purpose of rescuing someone. It's a neat concept and I doubt DBZ has the market cornered on that concept, but that show was the first thing I thought of when I saw everyone entering Naraku's tremendously large spider demon form.

Overall, I'm satisfied with the show. I just wish the original series had been this streamlined, but what's done is done. A great ending to a decent series.

P.S. -I also should note that two of the english voice actors are different in INUYASHA: THE FINAL ACT. Kira Tozer replaced Moneca Stori as the voice of Kagome and while this change is noticeable I didn't really mind. The more interesting change to me is Michael Daingerfield taking over the Sesshomaru character from David Kaye. Sesshomaru is my favorite character from the show and hearing his voice for the first time in the new series was a bit jarring. It's similar enough, but I wish his voice could have stayed the same. Daingerfield did okay, though. So I guess I have no real complaints. More like wishful thinking, I guess.
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