InuYasha (Action Edition) Vol. #06 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Sunday, May 23, 2004
Release Date: Monday, September 01, 2003
Translated by:Mari Morimoto
What They Say
Resurrected by magic, the priestess Kikyo has been changed by her journey through death. Will her thirst for vengeance against Inuyasha also doom Kagome? And will Inuyasha be able to choose between these two - the woman he once loved, or the girl who carried her reincarnated soul? Then, we meet a Buddhist priest named Miroku who carries within him his own little corner of hell...
This is the first cover that features the cast beyond Inuyasha and Kagome, so we get a nice montage piece with Inuyasha, Shippo, Miroku and Kagome against a colored background. The logo goes over the top of the picture, only obscuring part of Inuyasha's hair, so the meat of the picture is visible. The back features a picture of the reincarnated Kikyo.
The book is flipped and the SFX is translated and this is really the first time in the series that having the book flipped causes a story arc problem - namely with Miroku's wind tunnel (Kazaana). In the anime and in the original manga, Miroku's Kazaana is in his right hand. However, because of the flipped artwork, it makes him appear as if the tunnel is in his left hand. The translation leaves out the references to his right hand, but it still makes it odd when you go back and forth between the anime and the manga.
Nothing special about the translation leaps out at me here. It's about as standard as the series has gotten at this point. I had to laugh when Kagome commented to Miroku that he made her feel like she was a prize in a cereal box, which came across much funnier than the original. (the original line was, "Hey, don't make me sound like I was a freebie!")
The action from the past volume rolls right into this one, as we get what turns out to be the most plot-advancing volume in this series thus far - in addition to the introduction of one of my favorite characters.
Inuyasha and Kikyo face off against each other and Kikyo attempts to shoot Inuyasha. Her arrow is repelled by Tetsusaiga, which Inuyasha quickly throws away. We get treated to a flashback where Kikyo tells Inuyasha about how the jewel can make him human. Then we go back to the present and he grabs hold and hugs Kikyo, trying to make amends. Instead, Kikyo uses this one soft moment to attack Inuyasha again. However, he refuses to kill her.
Suddenly, Kagome's body reacts and she sucks back in her soul from Kikyo. However, she does not get all of it back. Kikyo remains alive thanks to retaining a small part of the original soul - the hatred she felt toward Inuyasha at the moment of her death. Kikyo runs, tumbles and falls from a cliff, but Inuyasha catches her. Kikyo vows that the day she dies is the day Inuyasha will as well and lets go of him. She falls over the side and he returns to the others.
Kagome wakes from her sleep while Kikyo, still alive, pulls herself from the river. Kagome tries to cheer Inuyasha up and manages to do so, making him wonder about how she makes him feel while Kaede muses over Kagome being more than just her sister's reincarnation.
We then meet an odd Buddhist monk named Miroku, who is also collecting Shikon shards (isn't everyone these days?). He runs across Inuyasha, Kagome and Shippo in the middle of camping out and sees Kagome's jewel shard. He kidnaps Kagome, her bike and the jewel shard and manages to knock Inuyasha down a cliff. Kagome leaps off and goes after Inuyasha, but Miroku manages to get away with the jewel.
But what amazes them is a trick Miroku did with his left hand, using the wind to suck Inuyasha toward him at one point. They follow Miroku to a nearby village and the men quickly get into a fight. Just when Inuyasha thinks he has Miroku beat, the monk pulls a glove off his right hand and tries to suck Inuyasha in as a threat. Kagome leaps in to save him and Miroku quickly seals off his hand before either Inuyasha or Kagome are hurt, leading Kagome to believe he's not a bad person.
Miroku reveals that he is on a quest to seek vengeance on a demon named Naraku, who caused the black hole in his hand - known as the Wind Tunnel (or Kazaana in Japanese). Naraku and Miroku's grandfather fought many times over the course of several years, culminating in Naraku piercing the grandfather's hand with a sealing scroll, forming the wind tunnel. Each generation inherits the wind tunnel, it growing bigger each year until the person who has it is swallowed whole. Miroku and his father both inherited the curse. It's also why he constantly seeks women to try and produce a heir for him - and promptly asks Kagome to do so. She, of course, turns him down.
Miroku also reveals that Naraku almost came into possession of the Shikon Jewel 50 years earlier. That, combined with the knowledge that Naraku can take on different forms, quickly allows Inuyasha to connect point A with point B and realize that Naraku was behind the deception between him and Kikyo. After finding this out, and a side story that allows Inuyasha and Miroku to work together for a little bit, Miroku formally joins the party.
This volume has a lot packed into it. From the conclusion of the Kikyo arc to the introduction of Miroku and all that it brings, you've got a lot to work with. And after the angst of being with Kikyo, Miroku does provide some good laughs.
The character himself is unlike anyone we've come across before in the series. He's very quirky and humorous, but also knowledgeable. Miroku is calm where Inuyasha isn't and is also more mature and street-smart than Kagome. So he really balances out the growing fellowship. He also adds an important time factor into the equation. If they don't stop Naraku, Miroku's going to die. Nothing can change that other than killing Naraku. It's a sobering thing to think of.
As for Kikyo, you wonder what she'll do now. You know she'll come back later, she's too juicy of a character just to let wander around out there all alone.
This is a key volume as it pertains to plot. You finally figure out who exactly deceived Inuyasha and Kikyo, learn how strong Kagome really is and get a fun addition to the cast in the form of Miroku. We also get two of the major themes in the series - we must now go seek vengeance against Naraku and who will Inuyasha choose: Kikyo or Kagome? But while it starts off strong, the ink painter's arc at the end only serves as a means of forcing Inuyasha and Miroku to work together and to show off the powers of our newest member of the fellowship. It's one of the weaker stories in the series thus far, but is needed after all of the plot thrown at us during the majority of the book. Highly Recommended.
Mania Grade: A-
Art Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: All
Released By: Viz Media
Size: Tall B6
Orientation: Left to Right