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It Neither Disappointed nor Exceeded.
I read this manga series expecting it to be good but clichéd, with unoriginal but well-executed characters. It was. It wasn't better or worse than I expected it to be. There's a LOT of Expies from Ranma One Half, too.

To start with the expies... I enjoyed the series due to the characters, but I couldn't help but see how much of an expy Inu Yasha is of Ranma. They both are obstinate, find it difficult to say anything related to love, and even look the same, to name just a few traits. Not that this is a bad thing—I liked Ranma.

This leads me to another point. Is Rumiko Takahashi capable of drawing distinct young faces? Sure, sometimes an older character will have a dramatically different face from the rest, but Takahashi suffers from a VERY severe case of Only Six Faces. The art was also sometimes too abstract in showing what she wanted to convey. But though the art is lacking in some aspects, she is rather good at drawing proportionately and can even pull off a little High Octane Nightmare Fuel when she wants to.

The story sometimes dragged, too. It seemed as though nothing the characters could do could even touch Naraku until the very end, and lots of scenes happened that didn't have much to do with the plot at all. There were some good points to this, though: it helped the author develop the characters more. For example, Sesshomaru's gradual change from a villain to an Anti Hero wouldn't have been nearly as smooth or effective had it been speeded up.

The plot wasn't very original, either. That wasn't to say I didn't enjoy it, it's just that it was very, very archetypical—you know, the Big Fight between Good and Evil., but with a couple of Anti Heroes (Sesshomaru and a rare female Anti Hero, Kikyo) and Anti Villains like Kagura thrown in. I liked that there was a female Anti Hero(ine)—you don't see those too often.

Overall it was a good series but lacking originality. I liked it but it was REALLY long so I probably won't read much of it again. I recommend it to those who enjoy an archetypical fantasy and who have quite a while on their hands to read it in.

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