Illusions test the mettle of Sango and Miroku; will they destroy Naraku or themselves?
What They Say
Kagome's spiritual powers are restored, and divine light is revived in Naraku's Shikon Jewel. However, Naraku uses this as a decoy to lure Sango into his trap.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One item this episode makes clear is what relationship the series has actually developed depth. It is not Inu Yasha and Kagome being tested by Naraku; their relationship has always been a matter of circling about Kikyo until they meet. Miroku and Sango are the ones that have grown into characters you actively care about.
Magatsuhi is dead by Sesshomaru's hands, which has two side effects. Kagome's spiritual power is unsealed, and this in turn somehow reactivates a tiny LED in the Shikon Jewel. This ray of hope is turned into two deadly traps by Naraku. First, he leads Miroku to an illusion of a final confrontation; will Miroku sacrifice his life and open the Wind Tunnel one more time?
Sango's illusion is more insidious; she is forced to weigh one life against another, as Naraku's illusion holds the real Rin in its hands. Both choose to stop Naraku; Miroku is saved by the helping hand of Inu Yasha, while Kagome's arrow manages to drop Rin out of harm's way. While a predictable outcome, both are willing to face the consequences if it means saving the one they love.
Inu Yasha and Kagome have done the same, but the emotion behind Sango and Mirkou's choices are stronger due to the overall treatment of their characters. The two have found love in extraordinary circumstances and know that it could be literally sucked away from them in an instant. With Kikyo in the way for so long, the connection between Inu Yasha and Kagome simply fails to connect as strong the bond forged between the good monk and the demon slayer.
The overall plot for this episode was predictable as ever, but it is the choices Miroku and Sango are forced to make that salvage it. It is one of the few "adult" decisions the series has fostered upon its protagonists; pity it waited until the very end to write a good, mature story for any of the characters.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles