Naraku finally completes his Shikon Jewel collection but at what price for our heroes?
What They Say
Naraku is after the last Shikon shard, and he takes Kagome hostage.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This is a difficult episode to review; typically, an episode of Inu Yasha will either entertain me or frustrate me. This episode managed to do both by providing a solid story that involved all the characters but robs genuine emotion from it at the end. We begin with Kohaku plunging to the bottom of a ravine; this forces Magatsuhi out of his body just in time for Sesshomaru to slice him into ethereal bits.
However, this does not unlock Kagome's power; Magatsuhi left a bit of his essence in the poison coursing through Miroku. Using this, Magatsuhi uses Rin as his new host. Sesshomaru chases after her leaving the rest of the group to fight Naraku for possession of Kohaku's shard. What follows is a well choreographed battle where everyone is working together and thinking fast.
This is the sort of interaction the series has needed in every battle. Inu Yasha should not prance about with the rest of the cast playing Greek chorus on the sidelines. Teamwork and the ability to read the battle and make adjustments... these are the elements that make for an entertaining fight involving a close knit team.
However, the series once again fails to realize that magic, no matter how prevalent in your story, should have its limits. Naraku manages to finally procure Kohaku's shard. We have one of the few emotional moments in the series; Sango holds his body and cries, while Inu Yasha curses himself for lacking the power to save him. It would have been a good, meaningful death for the character, but no, the light from Kikyo decided Kohaku's life was worth more than revenge against Naraku.
When you provide so many ways to cheat death, the audience loses their connection to the characters. They cannot possibly die so why worry about the outcome of this battle? With the final conflict so near, this death would have provided that small measure of doubt that our heroes might not all see the end of Naraku. Then, you would have the audience on their edge of their seats.
This episode managed to do so much of what I have wanted to see the series do from the start. Our heroes worked together as a team to fight Naraku and made intelligent, quick decisions on the battlefield. It was a fight that kept you glued to the screen. However, it still refuses to make the difficult decision and let a major character die. You do not just cheat death with this gimmick; you cheat the audience out of a genuine emotional connection with your characters. Still, the episode did so much right that it outweighs this gripe. This is one of the few episodes of the season worth watching.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles