Inu Yasha Vol. #05 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Inu Yasha

Inu Yasha Vol. #05

By Luis Cruz     August 03, 2003
Release Date: April 22, 2003


Inu Yasha Vol. #05
© Viz Media


What They Say
For half-demons, there is a period of time when their powers and abilities disappear. Inuyasha has lived this secret all his life. But now in his weakened state, he has to face a demon possessing a shard of the sacred jewel!

Also, back in Kaede's village, an evil witch named Urasue defiles Kikyo's grave and steals her ashes. To what evil end will the witch put her ashes? Fearing the worst, Inuyasha and the others set off to recover Kikyo's remains..

The Review!
Audio:
For my primary viewing session, the Japanese audio track was listened to; as with previous volumes, the front soundstage was utilized well during the action sequences while the dialogue was sharp and clear. There were no discernable problems during playback providing a rich audio experience.

Video:
Viz continues to give this series a great video transfer; the picture is sharp and colorful and, to my eye, defect-free. The subtitles are large and yellow and could still be reduced slightly in size.

As with the previous volumes, Viz’s practice of replacing the original credits in the opening and ending with English versions reduces the overall grade from the "A". The technology is there for English and the original Japanese credits to co-exist on the disc, if only Viz would start using it.

Packaging:
An orange background is the setting for Kagome, Shippo, and the human form of Inuyasha. The rest of the front cover is consistent in its placing of the titles and logos. A volume number is still absent from the cover.

The back cover follows suit as the placement of the text, screenshots, credits, and specifications is consistent with previous volumes. Inside the case is a one-page insert that has the front cover shot on one side and the chapter listings on the other.

Menu:
The menus also follow suit with the packaging and retain the layout and functionality seen in previous volumes. There is not much else to say; if you have seen one Inu Yasha menu, you know what to expect. There is nothing wrong functionally with the menus, but the main menu remains a bit too busy for my tastes.

Extras:
The extras are a list of Japanese and English voice actors, a line art gallery of some character design sheets, and the Japanese promos for the episodes.

Content:(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Mystery of the New Moon and the Black-Haired Inuyasha starts out the volume with Kagome, Inuyasha, and Shippo rowing down river looking for more fragments. They rescue a girl named Nazuma and follow her back to her master’s temple. What none of them know is that the master is really a spider demon in disguise.

Adding to their woes is the fact that Inuyasha turns completely human during the night of the new moon. The spider demon absorbs all of the jewel fragments and is prepared to kill Inuyasha when dawn breaks. Inuyasha regains his demonic powers and kills the spider demon, and the group finds the jewel fragments have calcified into one solid piece. Aside from this handy plot device to fuse the fragments together, the episode has some touching moments as Kagome's feelings for Inuyasha begin to grow stronger.

The demon Urasue invades the village and steals Kikyo’s buried ashes and some grave soil in the aptly named episode Kikyo’s Stolen Ashes. Kaede is injured in the attack but insists on accompanying Inuyasha, Kagome, and Shippo to face the demon.

Urasue intends to resurrect Kikyo by baking her ashes and the soil in her demon kiln. Once the Easy-Bake Kikyo is ready, Urasue commands her to hunt down the jewel fragments. Easy-Bake Kikyo does not move as Kikyo’s soul did not enter the newly created golem. Urasue realizes that Kikyo’s soul must have already been reincarnated; cue the warning shout from Kagome.

Kagome is holding on for dear life as Inuyasha and Kaede fight off some Urasue’s Easy-Bake soldiers on a rope bridge. Urasue spots Kagome and recognizes that she holds Kikyo’s soul. She captures Kagome and leads us into the final episode Return of the Tragic Priestess, Kikyo.

Urasue manages to extract Kikyo’s soul from Kagome but is surprised by the results. Kikyo is driven only by hatred for Inuyasha and blasts Urasue aside. She brands Inuyasha as a traitor and as the cause of her death. Inuyasha told her fifty years ago that he wanted to become human and live with her; she brought him the jewel, but he ended up sinking his claws into her and taking the jewel from her. This was the cause of her fatal wound.

Inuyasha has a different recollection of those events. It was Kikyo who betrayed him; after telling her he wanted to be human, she ambushed him and tried to sink several arrows into him. This is why he went on the rampage for the jewel so he could become a demon.

Kagome’s portion of Kikyo’s soul manages to wrest itself from Easy-Bake Kikyo and place itself back in Kagome’s body. A portion is left, but Kikyo is now a demon driven by her hatred of Inuyasha. The episode ends with Kikyo falling off a cliff despite Inuyasha’s attempt to save her.

The last two episodes on this disc are probably the best to date. It had the perfect balance of action, character development, and plot development. Kagome begins to feel a bit of love for Inuyasha while Inuyasha pines for his lost love of Kikyo that can be seen in Kagome. There is clearly some larger force at work that set Kikyo and Inuyasha up for this great tragedy, but to what end? Kikyo took the jewel to the grave, and no one attempted to claim it for fifty years. Do they not want a half-demon and human becoming romantically involved?

While the mystery of Inuyasha and Kikyo’s relationship is revealed, the series has thrown a larger mystery into the works. The series has now shifted from being exclusively a quest for the jewel with a touch of romance and has become a quest to unravel the people behind the tragedy fifty years ago. The routine that was established with the previous volumes has been shaken up, and I like the results.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Line Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Pioneer DVL-919, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and audio cable.

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