Anime Meta-Review


Inuyasha Manga


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-3 of 7+
  • type: manga
  • grade: worthy
  • people: Takahashi
  • made: 1997
  • Review created: Wed Dec 6 14:26:23 EST 2000
  • mod: none

The pleasure of another fun Rumiko Takahashi manga series is mixed with the high probability of a long series combined with quite expensive graphic novels. But this is not the fault of the author, and this seems a pretty good series. It's also being animated, in a series that seems to follow the manga quite closely, so I can conveniently steal a synopsis from there.

In this story we get to follow a young japanese school girl as she discovers that the many myths surrounding her temple home aren't purely a matter of history. In fact it isn't long before she is dragged, by a centipede demon, into the demon haunted history of Japan itself. And, much to her horror, it seems she has inherited power and duties from the guardian priestess of a nearby village. The main duty being to guard a magical stone that, while useless to most humans, is a powerful artifact and demon super-charger. As a result of which the village has quite a history of fighting demons.

Indeed her first sight in this new land is a demon (marked primarily by cute dog ears), the one who struck down the original priestess, bound to a tree. Unfortunately there's still quite a few free, and they are being called by the power of the stone. Through circumstance and misadventure she comes to awaken, and partly control, the demon Inuyasha. And, even worse, during a conflict the stone is shattered and the pieces spread throughout Japan. Since each piece is capable of greatly amplifying the power of evil the fragments must be recovered. A task that will take both her powers and Inuyasha's might to acheive...but since Inuyasha wants the stone for himself, and Kagome largely wants to escape from this nightmare, and a great number of demons want the shards it looks like it will be some time before they can co-exist, let along recover the stone.

That's really a couple too many spoilers, but I couldn't really find a way to describe the story without it. This all happens pretty early, so i'm not spoiling too far ahead. And really, which might suprise those who don't know Takahashi's manga, the emphasis here is on action and a touch of horror. Mind you, this is also given substance by Takahashi's impressive ability for character, dialogue and atmosphere as well as a rich imagination. I mean, the story sounds quite typical, and is clearly set up (as seen in the opening) to have a team of powerful types hunting shards and fighting demons throughout Japan. But add in the fact that Kagome is a typical Takahashi female, headstrong and agressive, and Inuyasha, while a powerful demon, is quite complex and suprisingly innocent at times and you've got some quite entertaining human drama. Something I would expect to grow as both major and minor characters develop in the story. Like all Takahashi's material I don't expect this to be a full-on classic, but I do expect it to be rich in character, event, subtext and very entertaining to read.

One of the novel twists for Inuyasha, unlike many other `alternate world' stories is that the gateway between worlds is constant. In addition time flows at the same rate in both worlds. Thus we get to see cool things like a half demon eating `pot noodle' in a feudal style world, Kagome worrying about `homework' and her dwindling modern day life. There's also the promise of the action spilling over into the modern world, which is good fun (happens for the first time in Vol.3). There's also the hope that we'll get to watch Kagome herself grow in power and depth.

The manga is, unsuprisingly, in Takahashi's strong but seemingly simple and minimal style. While it does seem she's made an effort to include more complexity in background and setting her characters retain a somewhat simplified style. Mind you, they are pretty expressive and there's actually a lot of skill in evidence, but it is pretty low on the `wow' factor. Still, her dialog and imagination and ability to represent character are still wonderfully strong. Perhaps the only problem is that, being fairly action based, they seem best read at a fairly fast clip...ideally with the next volume standing by. Mind you, and no suprise to Ranma readers, RT's ability to represent novel action sequences is well developed.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:20 WST 2009