And then there was one.
What They Say
Episode 8: Among the Twinkling Stars
Kikyo tries to purify Naraku and his Shikon shards. She also tries to purify Midoriko’s will that controls the shards in Koga’s legs.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Kagome has managed to obtain the magical Macguffin (the bowstring of Midoriko), but Naraku has absconded with everyone save Inu Yasha. Koga’s shards are in peril, but this could prove Naraku’s undoing. Kikyo sees that they have been purified and could destroy Naraku if he consumes them.
When he does contact the shards, his power is diminished slightly allowing a well-timed appearance from Inu Yasha to destroy a demon vortex and open up Naraku’s body. The Shikon Jewel is now a glistening, tantalizing target.
Naraku attempts to hide the jewel inside Kikyo, but Kagome and Kikyo turn this plan against him. Instead, they try firing the jewel, now purified with Kikyo’s spiritual energy, directly at Naraku. However, the plot god demands that things drag further on. Naraku's demonic energy overcomes Kikyo’s energy, and he also taints and absorbs Koga’s shards.
And Kikyo finally and irrevocably dies; sadly, this comes far too late in the series to really have an impact. It was less an emotional farewell and more one of relief. We can finally move past the well worn plot device of Kikyo showing up causing Kagome to be jealous and Inu Yasha to be emotionally conflicted.
The actual battle with Naraku was mildly entertaining, which is all one can hope for anymore. The major battles have been the bright spot of the series; rather than simple matters that level up a sword, they have had real consequence on the story and characters. Koga can no longer be the cocky arrogant wolf; Miroku must carefully choose when to open his wind tunnel or face certain death. If these points had come earlier, this might have turned out to be a more engaging series.
Kikyo is finally dead, but this comes far too late in the series to really affect the plot or characters. What should have been an emotional farewell was simply a sigh of relief that we have shed an overused plot point. However, the battle of Naraku was fun to watch and beyond Kikyo’s death provided some significant changes to the overall character dynamic. It is worth a watch simply to see how each side manages to think quickly in the midst of the chaos.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles