Inu Yasha Vol. #06 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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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. #06

By Luis Cruz     September 24, 2003
Release Date: June 03, 2003


Inu Yasha Vol. #06
© Viz Media


What They Say
Ripped Off Again: Inuyasha, Kagome, and Shippo encounter a young monk named Miroku who seeks the sacred Jewel for reasons of his own. The shards Kagome carries are stolen by Miroku, and Inuyasha must act to retrieve them.

The Review!
A new member joins Kagome in her quest for the Jewel fragments while the schemer behind Inu Yasha and Kikyo’s tragic past is revealed. The story keeps growing in a mostly entertaining set of three episodes.

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. Spot-checking the English track shows that the actors are still doing a decent job with the material; the English track should provide dub viewers with an equally enjoyable experience.

Video:
Viz continues to give this series a great video transfer; the picture is sharp, colorful, and, to my eye, defect-free. The only minor quibble one could have would be with the size of the subtitles; they still feel a bit too large considering the amount of action that takes place during the episodes. It is a minor quibble and does not detract significantly from the viewing experience.

As with every Viz disc I have reviewed, this volume replaces the original credits and title cards with English equivalents placed directly onto the video transfer. While this practice does not bother most, my preference is to have the original video intact from start to finish. It is even more of an annoyance since Viz has stopped placing clean versions of the opening and ending in the extras section.

As other company’s releases have borne out, DVD technology allows the original Japanese credits and English translated credits to coexist on the same disc. Viz is not utilizing this technology, and my video review grade reflects that.

Packaging:
Kagome, Inu Yasha, Miroku, and the mysterious Naraku are posed on the front cover. The rest of the front cover is consistent with the previous volumes 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:
There is not much to say; if you have seen one Inu Yasha menu, you know what to expect. A brief transition animation is played when flipping between menus providing the only delay in using the menus.

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. Where, o where, have the clean versions of the opening and ending themes gone?

Content:(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
We are introduced to a new character named Miroku in the aptly titled Mystical Hand of the Amorous Monk, Miroku. Miroku is a wandering monk who just happens to enjoy the company of beautiful women. While bathing at a hot spring, he spots Kagome and her Sacred Jewel fragment and decides to take it for his own purposes.

With the help of a tanuki, Miroku manages to do just that the next day. Inu Yasha, Kagome, and Shippo give chase and confront Miroku in a small village. It is here that Miroku reveals the terrible power of a wind tunnel contained in his right hand. Kagome manages to render Miroku unconscious; after he wakes up and gives Kagome a quick grope, they launch into some exposition to give the background for Miroku.

Miroku’s grandfather was chasing a shape-shifting demon known as Naraku over fifty years ago. Naraku gave Miroku’s grandfather the curse of the wind tunnel, a curse that would be passed down to his all of his descendants. Miroku is searching for Jewel fragments to increase his power so he can kill Naraku and rid himself of the curse. One other important fact comes out from Miroku’s narrative; Naraku is the demon responsible for tricking Inu Yasha and Kikyo into thinking the other betrayed them. Inu Yasha vows to find Naraku and kill him for this.

Despite Inu Yasha’s disdain for Miroku, Kagome decides that they should all look for the Jewel fragments together since it will naturally lead them to Naraku. The Cursed Ink of the Hell-Painter has the group doing just that despite tensions between Miroku and Inu Yasha.

This was the weakest episode of the lot, as it revolved around a human painter that possessed a bottle containing ink and a Jewel fragment. The painter could make paintings made from the ink come to life though the ink did possess some life of its own. This episode was predictable and did little more than give Miroku a chance to see the various powers Kagome and Inu Yasha possess.

The volume closes on a high note as Sesshomaru returns in Naraku and Sesshomaru Join Forces. As the episode opens, we see Sesshomaru attempting to use other demon arms as a replacement for the one he lost to Inu Yasha and the Tetsusaiga. None of them are suitable as they decay too rapidly. However, Naraku approaches Sesshomaru with a suitable replacement, one that will not only decay but will allow Sesshomaru to wield Tetsusaiga.

Naraku also gives Sesshomaru a hive that is designed to stop Miroku’s wind tunnel. Sesshomaru makes use of these tools to steal Tetsusaiga away from Inu Yasha. As Sesshomaru shows just how powerful Tetsusaiga can be, things look grim for our heroes until Kagome shows off a surprising power of her own.

At first, I was disappointed by the revelation that Naraku was the one responsible for deceiving both Inu Yasha and Kikyo; it felt too soon for something that important to be revealed. However, this final episode turned that opinion around. Naraku hates Inu Yasha for some reason, but Inu Yasha has yet to indicate that he even knows who Naraku is. Also, Naraku appears to be manipulating people and events much as he did years ago. But why is he pitting Sesshomaru and Inu Yasha against each other and to what end? Is this plot his own, or is he carrying out someone else’s instructions?

These are intriguing questions, ones that are helping the series steer just enough away from the "find the item/beat the bad guy" formula. Something larger and sinister is working in the background. It will also be interesting to see how Naraku and his lecherous ways integrate themselves into the group dynamic. Aside from the middle episode, this volume contained a decent amount of plot and action; it was not quite as entertaining as the previous volume, but it continues to hold my interest in the series.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

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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