It's summer time and I have plenty of time to catch up on my anime that I have been neglecting for the past year or more. I read all of the Inuyasha mangas after the original anime series ended and sought to watch this "proper" conclusion to the series when the mangas weren't fresh on my mind.
Since I have so many close friends who quickly got addicted to this anime in it's original iteration, I figured it was long overdue for me to watch this series to finish the journey that the original anime ended prematurely.
The episodes of the Japanese anime series InuYasha Kanketsu-Hen (The Final Act) are based on the last 21 volumes of the manga series of the same title by Rumiko Takahashi, continuing where the first adaptation left off. The series follows the half-demon INUYASHA, the junior high school student KAGOME HIGURASHI and their companions MIROKU, SANGO, SHIPPO and KIRARA as they search for the final fragments of the shattered Sacred Shikon Jewel and approach their final battle with NARAKU. Viz Media licensed the series as InuYasha: The Final Act. It was released in Animax Asia and Animax India. The original staff and cast from the first InuYasha anime adaptation were brought back together for the new series. The series premiered on Yomiuri TV on October 3, 2009 where it ran for twenty-six episodes, concluding on March 29, 2010.
Viz Media licensed the new adaptation before it premiered and aired its English subtitled version online through Hulu, releasing episodes within a day of their original Japanese air dates. As of April 14, the entire series remains available for free on Hulu in the United States. As of episode 14, the English episode aired first. Animax Asia aired the series with their own English subtitles, on its television stations and its online video service.
Voice actress Kelly Sheridan was the first to announce through her Facebook fan page on May 11, 2010 that work on the English dub for The Final Act had begun. Kira Tozer replaced Moneca Stori as KAGOME HIGURASHI and Michael Daingerfield voiced SESSHOMARU in the place of David Kaye. Kirby Morrow, the voice of MIROKU said on VoicePrint with Trevor Devall and guests that Michael Daingerfield was able to mimic David Kaye near perfectly. On December 17, 2010, Paul Dobson announced on a podcast episode of VoicePrint with Trevor Devall and guests that he would be going back to the Ocean Group studio for his final recording session of InuYasha: The Final Act on December 23, 2010. Viz Media released InuYasha: The Final Act set 1 on Blu-ray and DVD on November 20, 2012 and set 2 was released February 12.
The English dub, InuYasha: The Final Act, began broadcasting in the United States and Canada on Viz Media's online network, Neon Alley, on October 2, 2012. Currently, there is no confirmation that the continuing series' English dub will be aired on American broadcast cable. On May 21, 2012 Jason DeMarco (the former producer of Toonami and current vice president of strategic marketing for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim) had said that they had discussed airing it on Adult Swim's newly resurrected Toonami block. -- VIA WIKIPEDIA
WHERE TO WATCH?
The on DailyMotion has all of the episodes in ONE place if you are looking to watch them dubbed in English, even though I have personally enjoyed Inuyasha in both English and Japanese, but it's the English cast that I find to be a much better fit. Hulu has all of the episodes available through their service as well if you have means to access their archives.
As for subtitled episodes, those can be easily found on YouTube and DailyMotion as there seemed to be a lot of people uploading full episodes to their channels.
If you got the cash, you can easily find the complete series on both DVD and Blu-Ray format.
THE VERDICT (SOME SPOILERS)
There's no cause to be concerned about this is STILL the Inuyasha we know and love. Those who are worried about the change in English voice actors should not be alarmed. Michael Daingerfield is a dead-on match for David Kaye as Sesshomaru while Kira Tozer fits perfectly as the role of Kagome Higurashi, replacing Moneca Stori.
Much like Dragon Ball Z: Kai, this is a "rushed" series - meaning it's straight to the point without any lengthy filler. While it does not cover everything in the last portion of the mangas, it does focus on the most important parts. If you are a hardcore Inuyasha fan, you would benefit from reading the mangas prior to watching this as it fleshes out a lot of the key events more than this anime does. For example, after Inuyasha obtains the Dragon-scale Tetsaiga in the mangas, he then acquires a fire and lightning-based attack for it after defeating two demons harboring that ability. Moryomaru is shown absorbing two demons that fit the description of those same demons in the anime, but Inuyasha doesn't acquire a new attack for the Dragon-scale Tetsaiga at all. This series seems to graze over the key events just enough to get by before tying up most of the loose ends in the series before the inevitable final encounter with Naraku.
You have to be STUPID not to sense something between
Sesshomaru and Kagura. This was my favorite scene
between these two.
I would best describe the series' progression like this. The first act picks up immediately where the original anime series ended, following the new-found alliance of Moryomaru, Kagura, Hakudoshi, and the infant holding Naraku's heart. This is where we see the rise and fall of Naraku's several incarnations. I cannot express in words on how much I loved Janyse Jaud as Kagura. The second act revolves around the mystery behind the true purpose of Sesshomaru and Inuyasha's memoirs from their father - Tenseiga and Tetsaiga. While the two sons of the Great Dog Demon master their swords, their allies strive to master new techniques and acquire new weapons for their final encounter with Naraku. This chapter truly shines as all of these unique groups out to destroy Naraku are finally on the same page (for the most part). Believe it or not, but Inuyasha's allies can actually hold their own in battle now, rather than Inuyasha doing all of the work with Tetsaiga. The final act (cliched I know...) concludes with Naraku pushing their hatred of him to new heights to stop him once and for all. Seriously... Naraku goes to new depths to prove that he's the biggest jerk of them of them all when it comes to anime villainy. All of their abilities are pushed to the limit in this last deadly trap staged by Naraku as he harnesses the full power of the Shikkon Jewel.
After the smoke clears and all of the fighting is over, we are granted with the proper ending to this series that we should have gotten at the end of the original anime series. After roughly 197 episodes in the original series along with the additional 26 more episodes in this series, it's was well worth the wait. My only complaint on the ending is that Kagome and Inuyasha's romance was a bit forced and seemed like they pushed to for the solid "happily ever after" ending to silence the raging fangirls.
Sue me, I'm going to go ahead and spoil this as y'all KNEW this was coming eventually. Took them long enough, I must say...
At the end of the day, if you're an Inuyasha fan, then you should definitely check this out. Newcomers to the series are better off starting with the original anime first as will be completely lost here. Inuyasha: The Final Act may cut some corners, but it does accomplish what it was made to do - act as a proper conclusion to the Inuyasha anime. I'm giving this a 9 OUT OF 10.