By Kellen Scrivens
13 December 2004 — Hello once again Earth-2.net, my name as always is Kellen Scrivens and as you can see I have myself a nice new banner (thank you Fat DJ) to ensure that I will never have a column/review of mine go Sonic free ever again. And it happens to be a good time to have it seeing as how today's review will have nothing to do with the blue hedgehog.
Today's column, as the title may imply, is going to be on my first impressions of the anime InuYasha which I have been watching for a week and a half now. First let me give you a little backstory on how I stumbled upon this show: Well I'd seen a lot of commercials for the show and thought it looked pretty good, the only problem being it had never been on at a really good time. Well last Monday at about 7:25 PM, as I was watching the end of Dragon Ball and was ready for the beginning of Dragon Ball Z, a little graphic began to appear at the bottom of the screen to say what was on next. I thought it would say DBZ as usual, but this time it said InuYasha. At this point I went through the Five Stages of Grief in five minutes. I was pretty mad because I'd seen all but the last 15 episodes of DBZ and thought the show was pulled. (It now airs on Fridays.) By the time the show started I was ready to give it a chance.
When "The following program contains mature situations and is intended for an older youth audience" was showed on the screen and I knew it wasn't going to be edited as heavily as many other animes — which is a very good thing in my book.
On the bad side: Much of the joy I was beginning to feel disappeared when I saw the opening of the show, which was completely confusing and coupled with an incredibly annoying J-Pop song called "Change the World". Now as a great man once said, you never judge a book by its cover — so I continued to watch.
The first episode begins with the half-demon InuYasha stealing a jewel (which will allow him to become full demon), but a girl named Kikyo stops him by hitting him with an arrow that pins him to a tree — allowing her to recover the jewel. Kikyo, being mortally wounded, tells her sister Kaede to make sure the jewel is burned with her, and it is. Flash forward 550 years to present day Japan and we meet Kagome — just your average teenage girl until a twist of fate occurs. While looking for her lost cat, Kagome enters a dry well near her house only to meet a demon named Madame Centipede. She manages to fend Madame Centipede off, but come out of the well 500 years in the past — in feudal Japan. At first she has a lot of trouble finding out where (or when, as the case may be) she is. She eventually sees the sleeping InuYasha and is puzzled by what she sees, after nothing happens she is found and taken to a village by Kaede — now 50 years older. Mistress Centipede then shows up and basically destroys the town. Kaede tells Kagome that she needs to help them. After some running she finds InuYasha again and is faced with the option of freeing the half-demon or not. Eventually she does, but only after Mistress Centipede finds the jewel which was inside of Kagome. InuYasha defeats Mistress Centipede without much difficulty and Kagome recovers the jewel before InuYasha gets the chance.
The second episode picks up exactly where the first one leaves off. InuYasha attempts to steal the jewel from Kagome but thankfully Kaede puts a spell on InuYasha in which if Kaogme tells InuYasha to "sit boy" InuYasha crashes face first into the ground. This eliminates the threat of InuYasha getting the jewel. Back at the town, which is being rebuilt, Kaede reveals Kagome is the reincarnated Kikyo. While investigating some weird activity, Kagome and InuYasha find a demon bird which snatches the jewel from Kagome, allowing it to grow to a massive size. Though Kagome takes care of the bird with an arrow, she breaks the jewel into a thousand pieces — which are strewn over a great distance. Kagome finds one small piece of the jewel as the episode ends.
In the third episode, Kagome gets fed up with InuYasha's attitude and the fact he won't call her by her name and causes her to say she's leaving. She heads back to the dry well only to be met by the Demon of the Hair, who promptly sends Kagome back down the well and steals the shard of the jewel just as she's having second thoughts. DotH then proceeds to take over the village and kick InuYasha's ass for the better part of the rest episode. Thanks to Kaede however, InuYasha is convinced to go to the well and get Kagome (who at this point loves to be back home) as the first part of this two-parter comes to an end.
The fourth episode begins with Kagome enjoying her now once again normal life, but that doesn't last long as InuYasha shows up and convinces (and somewhat forces) Kagome to come back to the past because Kagome is the only person that can see DotH's hair webs and traps. The two of them together face DotH with Kaogme as the brains and InuYasha as the brawn. After almost being killed, InuYasha is saved by Kagome who discovers DotH's weakness (a red skull) and she is defeated. Kagome retrieves the shard of the jewel as Kaede remarks on how there is now an alliance for the ages.
The fifth episode begins with our first look at pureblooded demon Sesshomaru who destroys about 15 dogs with no problem and easily steals a boat from an army. He goes on to terrorize his half-brother InuYasha, dragging his human mother (who had been brought back from the dead) into the mix. After being beaten on for awhile, InuYasha is able the free his mother briefly before she sends all of them to the border of the human and spirit worlds. While there, a paralyzed Kagome notices that the reflection of InuYasha's mother has no face as the show comes to an end.
The sixth and final episode I've seen to this point picks up where the fifth one left off. Not very long into the episode it's discovered that Sesshomaru planted the demon that appeared to be his mother. He then also is able to discover the location of the tomb of their demon father and the location of Tetsusaiga, a powerful sword. Both Sesshomaru as well as InuYasha and Kagome go to the tomb where both InuYasha and Sesshomaru fight it out as they both attempt to free Tetsusaiga. Though both fail, it's Kagome who frees the sword.
Well there's the synopsis of the episodes for you and quite frankly, I've loved every minute of it. In the span of six episodes, this show has become my favorite anime. I really am happy that it's getting a decent timeslot now and that they decided to start from the very beginning. That being said, I'd sure appreciate it if during an IM conversation details about the show weren't revealed — though there are some that already have. *cough*Skyre*cough*
One last thing I need to touch on is that I must commend The Ocean Group for not editing this show at all. It airs on YTV in Canada and didn't just push the envelope, but threw it all the way back to Japan. There have been many bloody scenes, a lot of sexual innuendos, Kagome bathing nude, and the most shocking (to me) was when InuYasha screamed, "You bastard!" at the top of his lungs.
Well in my Saturday Mornings for the 21st Century guide I said that while One Piece was a show that made the best first impression of any anime I'd seen, but still could only give it a 4.5 out of 5. Well this show has completely reworked my idea of a good first impression. The great voice acting, incredible story and lack of massive editing gives this show an easy 5 out of 5.
As always, if you want to comment or have questions, email me at Kscriv@hotmail.com.