A very special episode of Inu Yasha reminds us that Miroku and Sango care about each other. However, a difficult decision lies before both that could change their lives.
What They Say
Episode 12: Sango's Feelings, Miroku's Resolve
In order to defeat the demons, Sango coats Hiraikotsu with poison. To cleanse it of the poison, the Master of Potions says she must defeat the demon inside the jug.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Sango and Miroku have tackled a bone demon alone, as Inu Yasha is powerless under the new moon. The miasma wound prevents Miroku from unleashing his wind tunnel; it is up to Sango to sacrifice Hiraikotsu by smearing it with a powerful demon killing acid. While the demon is defeated, it comes at the cost of a broken Hiraikotsu.
Enter the deus ex machine known as Myoga; he just happens to know of a Master of Potions that could repair Hiraikotsu. Once they meet him, he seems to be more of a Drunken Master of Potions with strange ideas. Hiraikotsu is placed in one vat of liquor that will dissolve it; it is up to Sango to enter a second vat and pacify the demons within.
One has to commend the writers of this episode; the wording used by the Master is very specific and meaningful. An observant audience will immediately understand how Sango must face this challenge. While we may know how the challenge will end, it is equally rewarding to see Sango stop and think about how to proceed. Too often, the series has the group blindly rushing into obvious traps with no plan or strategy.
Another commendable plot point has the Master recognize Miroku's condition. An easy out could have been provided for Miroku, but the story instead offers him a difficult decision. The Master's potion cannot make the miasma wound disappear, but it can allow Miroku to bear the pain it causes when the wind tunnel is used. He downs the potion to protect Sango for as long as possible.
This is the sort of meaningful plot and character development that could have been present through the entire series. Rather than curing Miroku outright, he is presented with a truly difficult decision -- remain weak and live longer or bear the pain and risk his life for the one he loves. Every decision has a price, a consequence; it was enjoyable to see Sango and Miroku's decisions have a true impact on them and the story.
This episode brings much needed life back to the series. Both Sango and Miroku are forced to make a difficult decision with either choice having a significant impact on their life. No magical cure-alls were provided allowing for the story to connect with the audience on a level it has not managed in recent memory. Astute viewers may catch the twists in the story when hints are dropped, but it is still satisfying to see both characters reach their decision. Here is to hoping the writing of this episode carries on to the end.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles