Inu Yasha Vol. #17 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • 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. #17

By Luis Cruz     June 21, 2004
Release Date: April 27, 2004

Inu Yasha Vol. #17
© Viz Media

What They Say
Inuyasha and the others come upon some puzzling ruins. Finding the buried remains of Demon Slayers, they determine that they must have discovered Naraku's castle... now empty. When Sango's kid brother, Kohaku, is found fleeing from a demon, Sango chooses to believe that he has escaped Naraku's control. Or... has he?

Kohaku's Lost Memory
That Unforgettable Face!
Inuyasha's Soul, Devoured

The Review!
After an emotional set of episodes, Inu Yasha dips back into mediocrity despite more insight into Inu Yasha's background.

The Japanese audio was used for my primary viewing session; Viz maintains the high quality of audio that has been present throughout the series. The action sequences utilize the front soundstage very well, while the dialogue was clear and blended well with the music. The track was free from distortions, drop outs, or other problems.

Viz also maintains the high level of quality on the video in this volume. From the lush, green forests to dark, foggy canyons, the scenery is detailed and contains vivid colors. The video appears to be free from any problems associated with the digital transfer. As with previous volumes, the original Japanese credits and episode title cards have been replaced with English equivalents placed directly onto the video transfer.

Against a bright yellow and orange background, the front cover contains a collage of our heroes and Kohaku. The upper right corner of the front cover bears the "Second Season" logo. At the bottom of the front cover, some scenes from the episodes are displayed.

The English logo is three-fourths of the way down from the top of the cover; below it are the volume title, episode titles, and the Japanese logo respectively. A small volume indicator is just above the Viz logo.

The back cover retains the placement of the synopsis, screenshots, and disc specifications seen on previous second season volumes. Inside the case is a one-page insert that has the front cover shot on one side and the chapter listings beneath some screenshots on the reverse.

The main menu consists of a simple picture of a temple gate in the background; the menu items are within the temple gates. Tetsusaiga is in the left portion of the screen and has scenes from the show playing on its blade, a very subtle effect. The final touch has Miroku flying around the screen on his tanuki. When you select a menu item, a brief animation of the flying tanuki plays. The menus are intuitive, easy to use, and look really sharp.

The extras are the standard fare of the Japanese and English cast list, a line art gallery, and the Japanese promos for the episodes.

Content:(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the emotional events involving Kagome and Inu Yasha, the writers attempt to extend the emotion onto Sango. After coming across the remains of Naraku's castle, Sango comes face to face with her younger brother Kohaku once again. However, he no longer seems to be under Naraku's control and has lost his memory. Bickering quickly ensues between Inu Yasha and Sango.

Sango believes that Kohaku and her can begin a new life together free from Naraku's interference. Inu Yasha believes quite the opposite, as he smells the foul scent of yet another Naraku trap. The group has little time to sort things out as Kagura and a demonic legion appear to take the jewel fragment embedded in Kohaku's back.

Inu Yasha proves to be correct, as the demons divide the group up leaving Kagome and Kohaku alone. Kohaku is compelled by Naraku's will to kill Kagome; however, he cannot complete his task. Sango sees that Kohaku is under Naraku's control and vows to kill Kohaku and follow him after in death. Before she can complete the act, Inu Yasha stops her and tells her that a human heart still beats in Kohaku despite Naraku's control. While Sango absorbs this information, Kohaku and Kagura escape.

While the previous volume managed to pull the right strings, this story that spanned a pair of episodes managed to pull none. The difference with this story is that it does nothing to further the plot or the character development. We already know that Sango is an emotional wreck due to Naraku's continued hold over her brother. With his escape once more, Kohaku is simply a convenient plot device that can be used to pad the story out further.

The final episode has Sesshomaru consulting with Bokusen-Oh, a 2000 year old tree that was used to make the sheathes of his and Inu Yasha's swords. Sesshomaru learns that the source of Inu Yasha's transformations is the demon blood within him. When separated from Tetsusaiga and his life threatened, Inu Yasha's demon blood takes over to protect him. However, being a half-demon means that Inu Yasha cannot handle the power the demon blood brings. If he is exposed to it for too long, he will become a mindless monster killing everything in his path until he is dead himself.

Naturally, the next event in Inu Yasha's life has him tangling with a moth demon named Gatenmaru. Gatenmaru manages to part Tetsusaiga and encase him and Miroku in a poison cocoon. While Gatenmaru gloats, Inu Yasha's demon blood slowly begins to boil.

Predictable from start from finish, this volume does little to draw the viewer into the story let alone advance the plot. Apart from the revelation about Inu Yasha's transformations, there is little in this volume that we have not seen before. Naraku's bag of tricks appears to be very small, and the viewers are forced to watch him pull the same items out again and again.

As Inu Yasha plods along, it just is not finding the right balance between the relationship aspect and the "power up until we finally face the ultimate boss" aspect. This one leans too heavily toward the latter and falls solidly into the "easy to skip over" pile.

In summary:
While more entertain than other titles, this volume of Inu Yashadoes little to rise above mediocrity. The episodes are predictable and have little payoff for the viewer. In terms of the overall storyline, little work is done to advance it or to develop the characters with the action that occurs. This volume clearly easily be skipped or watched on the endless Adult Swim broadcast runs.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,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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