Reviews: Inu Yasha

A Rumiko Takahashi classic

I think everyone agrees on that one, Inuyasha is a classic indeed.

The characters are interesting, albeit not very original, and the dynamics between them are kinda typical of a Takahashi work. Let's see: two Tsunderes leads who beat around the bush for so long it becomes really annoying; the token Mouthy Kid; a Yamato Nadeshiko with Action Girl undertones and a Handsome Lech that lusts after her and anything wearing a skirt. Add to that a very evil Big Bad, an Aloof Big Brother, a bunch of spectacularly incompetent Mooks and you've got the cast in a nutshell.

What are they after? A Mac Guffin that will grant them their wishes for power, purity etc... And sharing one's life between Sengoku era and the modern days is SUCH a pain for poor Kagome, really. And Inuyasha had it SO rough as a kid. And so did Miroku who lost his father just like Shippou and Sango who had it even worse with loosing her whole village. Sensing a pattern here? There are much more ways to give characters consistence, you know.

Don't get me wrong, I actually enjoyed the series. But really, do we need SEVEN seasons to get to the conclusion when THREE seasons would have done the trick? Do we need so many filler episodes? And this is what's a real pity actually because the show had much potential with that whole time travel thing and it could have been epic in the proper sense of the word if the fight scenes and the dialogues were a little less trite. And the way the story flounders and drags along for so long can eventually wear out even the most patient viewer.

All in all, it's still very watchable but its replay value is somewhat limited and the countless episodes make the majority of them easily forgettable. As for the manga, which I couldn't finish for the same reason, it is still pretty good stuff but, once you're done with it, you don't feel like reading it again although YMMV still applies I suppose.

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.