Inu Yasha Vol. #44 (of 56) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, August 10, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, August 01, 2006
What They Say
Shippo convinces a group of gullible young fox-demons that he is their hero, persuading them to be his followers and getting himself in big trouble! And in a village filled only with women, the lecherous Miroku is beset by temptation, until Sango becomes possessed by a demon and is forced to attack him!
Contains episodes 130-132:
Shippo's New Technique, The Heart Scar!
Trap of The Cursed Wall Hanging
Miroku's Most Dangerous Confession
One big confession cannot compensate for a mostly boring volume.
The Japanese audio was used for my primary viewing session; after one hundred plus episodes, it would take an extreme blunder to ruin the audio quality Viz has maintained over time. This volume exhibits the same high quality, problem-free stereo track you can find on every volume of Inu Yasha.
As with the audio, Viz has their routine down pat and turns in another stellar video experience. At this point, anything I can add to this section is redundant. Viewers will have a gorgeous viewing experience to match their audio experience.
The front cover is a collage of Sango, Miroku, Inu Yasha, Kagome, and Shippo. The series logo is across the top of the cover while the volume name and logos are pushed to the bottom. The back cover contains the requisite synopsis, screenshots, and disc specifications. Inside the case is a one-page insert that has the front cover shot on one side and the chapter listings with a few screenshots from the episodes on the reverse.
A new season means a new menu layout; the main menu features a picture of Inu Yasha standing by a banner waving in the wind. A piece of Japanese scenery floats by in the background. Transition animations are kept to a minimum, and music loops in the background. They suit the material better than the last iteration and are more appealing.
Viz stays the course and provides a Japanese and English cast list, three brief line art galleries lacking the zoom functionality seen previously, and the Japanese promos for the episodes.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One long standing gripe I have with Inu Yasha appears at the beginning of each new season. After the excitement of the prior season's finale, the series shambles around doing very little to advance the plot. Eventually, the series figures out what new arc the characters should follow, and away our characters go. On rare occasions, this stalling tactic can be enjoyable if the right mix of comedy and character development is present.
The previous volume is a good example of stalling with good entertainment; it kept me laughing and entertained despite it being filler material. Conversely, this latest volume fails to elicit any laughs or excitement. It starts off with a Shippo centered episode; he has once again fallen in love with a cute human girl. However, a group of lost fox demons proclaim him to be their legendary hero. Hilarity was to presumably ensue, but the antics of the fox demons were more annoying than humorous. As a comedy element, Shippo works best when he is playing off of Inu Yasha; it would have been more enjoyable watching them do nothing but squabble for the episode.
Finishing out the volume is a story about a demon controlling a village of women. When Miroku's flirtations place both his and Sango's lives in peril, he is finally able to open his heart and speak his true feelings to Sango. While Naraku is alive, they are only comrades, but after that, he wants them to spend the rest of his curse-free life together.
It is a moment long overdue but comes off as anti-climatic. The build-up to the moment is perfunctory especially when compared to the earnest feelings they expressed inside Mount Hakurei. The moment itself was well done but just did not elicit much excitement. However, it does give hope that the pair will finally be developed beyond the "does he or doesn't he love me" angle.
Sango and Miroku's relationship finally takes the large step everyone has anticipated; however, the majority of the volume delivers little else to make it noteworthy. The beginning of a new season always seems to spin its wheels before gaining some traction and moving forward. This volume is no exception but features very little humor or character development making the wasted motion only passably entertaining.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Panasonic RP-82, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and optical audio cable
Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: A-
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Viz Media
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Inu Yasha