I can’t believe I’m at the final movie of Inuyasha! For those of you who don’t know I have been going through the whole of the Inuyasha series (the manga exploration will be up later) and after finishing the series I had proceeded to the movies.
I looked into season overview, episode recaps and commentary and an overall review over the entire series, plus the movies. It was a long and joyous ride so for all things Inuyasha, you can go ahead and click this link here!
I’ve understood that a lot of people shy away from anime movies that are based off of an existing anime series fearing that they won’t understand anything since they don’t know anything about the series. But fear not! I will give an introduction into the main characters and storyline that you should know, before stepping into watch this movie. Out of all the reasons for not watching a movie, let’s cross this one off the list! Now onto the premise and spoiler free review of the fourth and final movie in the Inuyasha franchise!
The story starts off with a high schooler called Kagome who lives in modern day Tokyo (or modern when the series was released!) . She lives on the premises of a shrine with her grandfather, mother and younger brother. One day their cat ventures into the dry well at the shrine and when she goes to retrieve her cat, a centipede like demon drags her in and she passes through a magical tunnel where she lands in the Sengoku period of Japan at the other end.
The centipede demon dragged in Kagome because it wants the Shikon jewel.
The jewel also known as the jewel of the four souls is a jewel that is immensely powerful and was under the protection of a priestess called Kikyo, fifty years before the time Kagome arrived at the Sengoku era. One day a half demon Inuyasha, tries to steal the jewel and gets shot down by Kikyo to a hibernated sleep on a tree. Kikyo is fatally injured and dies and the jewel is burnt along with her body. Kagome is the reincarnation of Kikyo and is born with the jewel in her and is therefore dragged in by the demon. If a demon gets their hands on the jewel then they will become invincible.
Kagome struggles to defend herself from the demon and finally releases Inuyasha from his sleep. Amidst the battle Kagome shoots an arrow at a crow demon that tries to steal the jewel next, but the arrow hits the jewel and it breaks into many shards that spread all across Japan. Kagome is forced to team up with Inuyasha to get all the shards back. One the way they make a few friends who join them in the journey – Shippo, a young fox demon whose an orphan, Miroku , a lecherous monk who is cursed with a wind tunnel in his arm, and Sango , a demon slayer whose entire clan was slain. As the series progresses they realise their real villian is a demon called Naraku and they team together to fight against him.
So this is the premise of the series. Keep this in mind as you go ahead and read the spoiler free review of the final movie!
Title : Inuyasha the movie : Fire on Mystic Island (English), 映画犬夜叉 紅蓮の蓬莱島 (Japanese), Eiga Inuyasha: Guren no Hōraijima (romanised)
Country of origin : Japan
Language : Japanese, English
Directed by : Toshiya Shinohara
Screenplay : Katsuyuki Sumisawa
Based on : Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi
Japanese Voice Cast : Kappei Yamaguchi, Satsuki Yukino, Kōji Tsujitani, Houku Kuwushima, Kumiko Watanabe , Ken Narita
English Voice Cast : Richard Ian Cox, Moneca Stori, Kirby Morrow, Kelly Sheridan, Jillian Michaels, David Kaye
Music : Kaoru Wadu
Production company : Sunrise
Released : 23 December 2004
Duration : 88 minutes
Genre : Fantasy, Historical, Feudal
In the mystical island of Horai which appears only once in many years, a woman who looks like Kikyo (from whom Kagome was reincarnated and is a powerful priestess, in the series Kikyo was reanimated and is hence an active character), awakens the four war gods. All the half demon children get a scar except a child called Ai. Ai later seeks helps from Inuyasha as he and Kikyo had once visited the island fifty years ago. A doppelganger of Kikyo then causes scars on both Sesshomaru (Inuyasha’s half brother who is a very powerful full demon) and on Inuyasha, and they arrive separated to the island.
The story then revolves around how they fight together to defeat the war god’s and free the children, Inuyasha and Sesshomaru from the curse.
Pretty straightforward plot right? So straightforward that honestly it could as well have been a two part episode on the series than a movie?
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I did not enjoy the movie. But what I expected from four movies off of a very powerful franchise was an extension of the story rather than a feeling that they combined something they had to split across episodes into a movie. If you look at Inuyasha’s movies 3 and 4, I HIGHLY enjoyed it and that’s not just because it had really good plots but because it showed us a lot of extra storyline – things we didn’t broach enough on the main series, like Inuyasha’s parents, the relationship between Sesshomaru and Inuyasha (which in my opinion was either really distant or supposedly super close, we didn’t really get a development on that plot, it was maybe a little rushed).
The only small relief maybe was the small part where Kikyo and Inuyasha were seen fifty years ago on the island trying to find out what it is but getting hurt in the process but honestly we even have a lot of that in the series too maybe?
Despite that, I’m not going to push a verdict of bad onto this one because compared to the first movie which I felt could have been an episode as well aside from the whole sacred tree scene, I still did enjoy the movie. At the end of my Inuyasha journey I was feeling a tad bit sad and yearning for more, which happens when you watch a good series and on that note I felt it was a very lukewarm end to my journey into Inuyasha. I would still recommend this movie, maybe in the third rank out of all four movies and if you’re a newbie to Inuyasha and wanna get a feel without watching the series this movie would be my top recommendation. It wouldn’t spoil too much of the intermediary suspense in the main series but you could still get an essential feel of what makes Inuyasha so loved.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you’ve watched this, or want to, or are a die hard fan of our favorite half demon. The links for all the other parts of the movies and series can be found at the top!