This time my feature on anime will be on the exciting Inuyasha! I was pretty confused on how I should go about reviewing an anime series because there’s just a lot to it right? So here’s how it will go. The anime adaptation of Inuyasha has 7 seasons, each comprising a fixed number of episodes.
This post will contain the overall review of a series as a whole. If you’re looking for just that.
If you’re looking for a season by season recap that highlights the important parts of the story that you have to keep track of, that too will be available (minimal spoilers alert!). The links are as follows –
Another set of posts that I will be posting is an episode by episode summary of each episode (this ones has a lot of spoilers) in a particular season- the links for which you can find it here.
Inuyasha also has four feature films as well, which are separate posts linked here –
So without any further ado, here’s the full series review of Inuyasha.
Country of origin : Japan
Language : Japanese
Directed by : Masashi Ikeda (Episodes 1-44) , Yasunao Aoki (Episodes 45-167 as well as 26 episodes from Inuyasha-The Final Act)
Written by : Katsuyuki Sumisawa
Voiced by : Kappei Yamaguchi, Satsuki Yukino, Kōji Tsujitani, Houko Kuwashima, Kumiko Watanabe, Tarako
Music : Kaoru Wada
Studio : Sunrise
Original run – 16 October 2000 – 13 September 2004 , 3 October 2009 – 29 March 2010 (Inuyasha : The Final Act)
Number of episodes : 167 + 26 (Inuyasha : The Final Act)
The story starts in modern day Tokyo. Kagome lives on the grounds of an old shrine with her Grandpa, mother and brother. One day she goes to retrieve her cat from an enclosed well that is located in the shrine.
Suddenly Kagome is dragged into the well by a centipede like demon, but instead of hitting the bottom she emerges out of the other end of the well – at the Sengoku period of Japan.
She then meets Kaede, an old priestess in the village. She then explains that the reason Kagome was dragged here by the centipede demon was because Kagome is the reincarnation of the old priestess Kikyo, who was the protector of the Shikon Jewel of the Jewel of the Four Souls.
Kikyo was a priestess who protected the jewel from going into the possession of the demons. However as her final act, she bound the half dog-demon Inuyasha to a tree with her arrow, and died. As she was dying, she requested the jewel to be burnt along with her body so that it does not fall into the wrong hands.
Years later Kagome , the reincarnation of Kikyo is now born with the jewel in her body.
As Kagome witnesses Inuyasha bound to the tree, she is attacked by the Centipede demon who takes the jewel from her.
Amidst the struggle Kagome removes the arrow from Inuyasha freeing him. Inuyasha then kills the demon, but the jewel is stolen by a crow demon.
In a last attempt Kagome shoots an arrow at the crow, shattering the jewel into many shards that then get spread across Japan.
Keade binds Inuyasha with a necklace that makes him fall on the spot when Kagome ironically commands “Sit!”
Although Kagome and Inuyasha don’t like each other, the two decide to find the shards of the jewel. Inuyasha wanting to finally be one a fully fledged demon and Kagome realising the results of what would happen if it fell into the wrong hands. The two then meet several allies and enemies along the way, as they collect the shards and realize who the real enemy is.
What did I feel about this series?
It’s completely nostalgic to me, because this is one series I really enjoyed as a kid. Now watching it as an adult my perspective has changed, but I’m still enjoying it!
A good half of the first portion was just with Inuyasha and Kagome bickering and finding shards of the jewel. At the point I just felt I’m seeing a new demon every new episode with the duo somehow defeating it, and was ALMOST thinking of stopping it due to repetition.
However at that point there enters Inuyashas’s past, the real reason why Kikyo and Inuyasha tried to kill each other, the origins of the Jewel and several new characters that breathed in some fresh air, creative plot lines and entertainment along the way. More or less Season 1 was a foundation to the entire story of Inuyasha. At this point, having finished watching Season 1, I think it has laid a good groundwork on the plotline and the characters and I’m excited to see the reveals in the seasons to come!
Coming to Season 2, the groundwork from Season 2 has expanded to form a more intricate storyline. Coming to Inuyasha we had seen in Season 1 about his weakness – that he becomes a mortal on every new moon and is virtually powerless. But it looks like he has another “weakness” – that he has strong demon blood in him that could convert him to an emotionless, uncontrollable killing machine. Something that Inuyasha is not. But what stops him?
This season also gave a good insight into the use and power of the Tetsusaiga – how it helps Inuyasha and it’s immensely powerful battle techniques. At this point though I wonder one thing – would Inuyasha’s dependency on his sword be a weakness? I’m guessing in future seasons we may see the plot develop in that direction?
It was not just the Tetsusaiga but also many other swords including Sesshomaru’s Helsing sword – Tenseiga – a strange combination of swords for both brothers indeed. Meanwhile coming to the relationship between Inuyasha and Kagome looks like that is going from love triangle to love quadrilateral what with the addition of Koga, the head of the wolf demon tribe who has now proclaimed his love for Kagome.
Miroku and Sango have their own challenges with their wind tunnel and Kohaku respectively that it further fuels their need to bring an end to Naraku. These two don’t fight in the battles as much as Inuyasha does, but I hope that they can get their sweet revenge against Naraku at least.
Speaking of Naraku, his evil techniques seem to have moves in from puppets and demonic wasps to actual reincarnations of himself – Kagura and Kanna seem to be the ones that are staying well and alive with him while some other perish. I expect more reincarnations to come in future episodes and seasons perhaps, considering that Naraku is after all an amalgamation of so many demons. But even the feared Naraku has a weakness – the Onigumo in him – is it really a part that can be let go? Or is it actually his strength? Another doubt that I had was doesn’t Onigumo’s presence make Naraku a half demon? He should be having a time of weakness like Inuyasha has perhaps? I guess we need to wait and see on that one.
Season 2 was a good build up on what Season 1 had laid upon. It gave us a better insight into our lead characters along with the addition of a few more new characters and of course formidable demon enemies. It wasn’t as repetetive in a way as Season 1 was and that made it more enjoyable to watch.
Coming to Season 3, one highlight was thay there was a good buildup in the relationship between the characters, they seem to be feeling it more and feels even more deeper than they thought perhaps? I guess it’s at this point that all the famous fan debates over which pairing they liked arose! Haha!
Aside from that Inuyasha also turned out to be a very formidable opponent for Naraku. Season 3 didn’t show much of an improvement in Naraku’s strength – you could say that it probably highlighted his weaknesses more – weaknesses that Inuyasha had very nearly overcome!
I had mentioned that initially in Season 1 I was having this feeling that we were just seeing a new demon every episode that Inuyasha and team would somehow magically defeat. That had a good development at this Season, because now we have concrete villians with actual connections to our main storyline that fuel through a set of episodes and battles instead of just one. That got me to feel that this Season had me more engaged into the series too! Also almost all the characters had some new thought process or story arc webbed out for them – be it Sesshomaru, Kagura, Miroku , Sango – which made me feel the storyline would broaden and become even more engaging in further seasons.
Coming to Season 4, I’m glad to see repetitive demons for running episodes were nearly absent in a way! We did have lots of filler episodes but the entire season was used in a smart manner to build up a band of villians – the band of seven and stopped delicately by broaching on the mysterious Mount Hakurei! The season may have not pushed the plot but it has us yearning for Season 5!
I must say the series just keeps getting better and better! Season 5 definitely had the most intricate of plots so far with the story behind the purifying barrier behind Mount Hakurei, tha band of seven and the new and stronger Naraku. We just couly stop watching each episode as it came by and I was really happy to see some more dedicated screen time for Miroku and Sango as well. Naraku has taken it up a notch and so has our characters. This season also came with a lot of emotional proclamations for our characters as well! For all those people who have their favorite ships – this season was the season for that!
And the final section although Season 6 and Season 7 (also known as Inuyasha : The Final Act) are two separate seasons, they are tightly connected to each other so I’m going to discuss about them as one unit. And what an ending that was. The nearly sixty episodes across both the seasons concluded the story perfectly. It was an amazing amalgamation of drama, action, story, emotions and what not.
Its true I’m pretty new to anime as such but I have always read one thing about Inuyasha everywhere and that’s about how it’s rare for anime series to expand to more than 100 episodes unless it’s doing that well. After the series run I must say I’m dying to read the manga and will update on that.
Inuyasha’s plot is just like how it’s described, a feudal fairy tale. Although there is a crossing of the modern world and The Sengoku era of Japan it’s safe to say that majority of the story was in the Sengoku era. The only crossings were when one demon was there in the modern world, and the occassional instant ramen, band aids and bicycle that Kagome takes to the feudal era! The setting and the story worked together perfectly and so did the characters.
Let’s face it, there are a LOT of characters even if we remove all the filler characters. Aside from the constant feature of Inuyasha it was nice to see that the supporting cast held in on the story though. Although I didn’t feel that until around Season 5. Upto season 5 I felt the other characters were just watching Inuyasha battle every other day! And coming to that, that one factor may be the only thing I may not have liked in the series. Up until season 4 there were a lot of episodes where Inuyasha was seemingly battling one new demon and the next. Sure it was for the shards but maybe that story could have been twisted out a bit? In the later seasons too we had these one episode demon battles but they turned out to be crucial in developing maybe a new offensive attack or skill. And that makes me come to ask one thing – there were some villians that stayed for a few episodes. In the first meet-up with Inuyasha he naturally uses his Wind Scar technique which considering the power of their enemy, doesn’t work. What I didn’t get was why he kept using the same technique again and again on the same villian despite knowing it doesn’t work.
And another thing not that I’m really pointing aa a fault but how come they always shout out their plans and attacks right in front of the enemy? Funny as it is, it did sometimes help us keep up with the story and the battle so I will let that pass!
So all in all what did I feel about the series? It’s a must watch of course! A true classic as far as anime is concerned! Initially I watched this as I just wanted to finish a series I started when I was a kid, but once I wrapped this up I can tell you for sure that this series is one I won’t forget, be it the story, the character and everything!
The series also has four spin off films and a new upgraded series starring the children of the characters coming in October 2020! You can check them out in the links at the top of the post! Have you watched this series? Let me know what you feel in the comments!