I really enjoy the sound in this series. I think that the music is excellent, and sound effects are fitting. The dub is truly excellent, and I'm excited to see more and more series receiving nice dubs these days. Kaede's old English lingo is ridiculous, but of course, the Japanese language track is included, and switching between these two tracks is the scope of the audio options. All of this nice sounding stuff is handed to us cleanly in stereo with nothing to complain about.
The video definitely matches the audio in terms of quality. This whole series is gorgeously animated at practically OAV standards. On the DVD, all of the colors and lines look excellent and I had a hard time finding any problems. It's nothing groundbreaking or astonishing, but I thought it went alongside the audio well for a nice experience.
They're in for the long haul coming up with covers for this series, with a probable 30+ discs when it's all done (in a number of years, unless they pick up the pace in releases). I see that they're borrowing designs from the Japanese covers, which is A-OK, but sooner or later they'll have to start coming up with new ones. That'll be interesting, because so far, all three region 1 Inuyasha discs have astonishingly similar packaging. There is nothing wrong with them at all, and in fact I quite like the designs. But all of the discs have Kagome looking bewildered and Inuyasha looking menacing. This disc (second) tosses Yura in the back, and the third has Sesshomaru. I do quite like the designs, and especially the side "band" which is black. But I do look forward to seeing some innovation. But it's the disc that really counts, right? Speaking of which...the printing on the disc is very cool. In full color, it's essentially the graphics on the cover rearranged.
I was kinda reluctant to start actually buying Inuyasha. I had a practice of taping every episode from Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. However, I started doing this a bit late, and only captured episodes 26 to 36, plus the first two, before they took it off the air. I knew that it was probably coming back, but I got impatient and picked up all of the discs out; eps 1-9 represented a considerable amount that I hadn't seen, and early ones at that.
Right when I inserted the first disc into the DVD player, I was reassured; I had done the right thing. I seriously like the main menu. Perhaps it was the sickness of a fan that had not seen the show in a few weeks, but the music and animation (along with slick design) of the menu seriously got me pumped up. They are quite well designed, though only the main menu has the music and animation, which isn't bad after all; all we need is for the player to take 2-3 seconds loading every time you select a different option. A problem I seem to have with almost all DVDs is distinguishing what is and isn't a highlighted option, and this is no exception. I never really get lost, though I feel it requires more effort than necessary (I never get confused or have to double check as to what is highlighted in a videogame).
The extras won't be giving you much excuse to go poking around those menus. All of the DVDs thus far have a line art gallery, which is interesting and good for a look or two, though it'll probably be close to worthless to anybody who reads the manga and sees similar black and white pictures all the time. Also, while the packaging doesn't mention this, the Japanese promos for the episodes included on the DVD are tossed in. (For those not familiar, that would be the "On the Next Episode!" shorts). Thankfully the show holds up well on it's own.
This disc contains episodes 4-6. It's an enjoyable bunch full of action, though I felt the storytelling is slightly lacking against the content on the first disc -but you can't blame it for that. 4: Yura of the Demon Hair, showcases the showdown between Inuyasha/Kagome and Yura, who controls masses of thin, sharp strands of hair from her fingertips. When Kagome ends up figuring out how to defeat Yura, Inuyasha can't help but respect her more than before...
Episode 5 introduces the villain that everybody loves to hate-er, loves to love, in "Aristocratic Assassin, Sesshomaru". I couldn't help but smirk at the name of this episode; I had to think of Treize Khushrenada from Gundam Wing, who shares David Kaye's English voice with Sesshomaru. Going along with the idea of his servant Jaken, Sesshomaru tries to use Inuyasha's mother to lure him into divulging the location of their father's grave. He starts falling for it, and although she sees the truth, Kagome is paralyzed. But you know they get out of it, somehow...
In episode 6, "Tetsusaiga, the Phantom Sword", Inuyasha and Sesshomaru duke it out at their father's grave, where the Tetsusaiga is hidden. An enchantment blocks Sesshomaru from acquiring the sword, and Inuyasha seems to lack the strength to pull it out. Both are astonished when Kagome succeeds in dislodging the sword accidentally, holding the hilt to pull herself up.
These episodes showcase an obligatory series of gags and repartees between Kagome and Inuyasha, and while this goes on for a good long time into the series, they are still learning to deal with each other and there are some awful funny ones in here. By the time they cut it out later on, Miroku is around so it's all good.
I have to say that overall I found this worth the money. But the series is long and the DVDs only have 3 episodes each (awww come on...why not five? Or at least four...), you might have a hard time with finances. Then again the discs come out 1-2 months apart, so it's slightly akin to mortgage payments. In any case, try getting these at a place like Amazon.com or Buy.com, where they are $5 off retail in the first place, and knock an extra few off if you preorder. $17.50 per disc is quite better than $25 when there are going to be over 30 of them.
And one last thing. Yes, I used a PS2 to watch this. And yes, I said earlier that I was happy after inserting disc 1 into my DVD player. After watching disc 1, my family kicked me off the 63" HDTV and banished me to the PS2-equipped 35" GE (video stores, pffft). So as much as it embarrasses me to say this on my first review, I am reviewing disc 2 and must be technical as to what I watched it with. So there you have it.
General Electric 35" Television ('93), Playstation 2 console, Denon Stereo Receiver and Bose Acoustimass module with mini cube speakers.