Inu Yasha Vol. #24 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Inu Yasha

Inu Yasha Vol. #24

By Luis Cruz     December 13, 2004
Release Date: December 07, 2004

Inu Yasha Vol. #24
© Viz Media

What They Say
The fight against the mysterious Muso continues! Although he seems to be an incarnation of Naraku like Kagura and Kanna, he doesn't seem to be under Naraku's control. After seeing Kagome, something awakes within Muso, memories of a past that involves Inuyasha and Kikyo. Inuyasha heads to see Totosai in order to find a way to increase the power of the Tetsusaiga.

The Review!
A good mix of action, exposition, and character development keeps the third season going strong in the latest volume of Inu Yasha.

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. The original Japanese credits and episode title cards have been replaced with English equivalents placed directly onto the video transfer. Viz continues to use white subtitles which I am finding less readable than the yellow subtitles used previously.

The front cover is a montage of Inu Yasha, Kagome, Muso, and Naraku. They are set against a blue background. The upper right corner of the front cover bears the "Third Season" logo. At the bottom of the front cover is the series logo and volume title; the volume number is just above the right of the series logo.

The back cover contains the requisite synopsis, screenshots, and disc specifications. Inside the case is a one-page insert that has the front cover shot on one side and the chapter listings next a screenshot from the episode on the reverse.

The main menu is rendered as pieces of parchment paper containing scenes from the episodes. Each menu item has a jewel fragment next to it; sub-menus continue the parchment paper motif. The menus look great and balance being artistic with being functional.

The extras are the standard fare of the Japanese and English cast list, a line art gallery, and the Japanese promos for the episodes. However, Viz has put a unique spin on the cast list and line gallery. Rather than a plain text list, each character has a picture with the English and Japanese voice actor's name next to it.

The best change continues to be the line art; there are only three pieces of artwork, but Viz allows you to zoom into the art work and move across it in this close-up mode. It is a great feature, one I hope Viz continues to use while finding a way to include more pieces of work.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While the series is a group effort, some of the best episodes of the third season of Inu Yasha have been when a single character is the focus. The last episode of this volume continues this trend. But first, the fellowship must finish their battle with the regenerating Naraku offshoot known as Muso in the first two episodes.

Inu Yasha seemingly destroys Muso with the wind scar, but he feels uneasy by the victory. And he has good reason to; Muso regenerates well away from the fellowship and begins to feel strange memories stir within him. From Kanna's mirror, Naraku watches Muso and decides to send Kagura to watch over him and inform the fellowship of Muso's whereabouts.

Muso wanders along and eventually finds the cave where Kikyo tended to the bandit Onigumo. As he lies in the cave, his memories are finally unlocked; he is actually Onigumo and has been imprisoned inside of Naraku for fifty years. The fellowship finds him and attempts to destroy him. However, Muso's regenerative abilities prove to be more than Inu Yasha can handle.

Miroku discovers Muso's weak spot but cannot exploit it before Naraku spirits Muso away. Naraku desires to reabsorb Muso into his body and does just that. The remainder of the episode is mostly exposition revolving around why Naraku wanted to reabsorb Muso. Surprisingly, it is done quite well and does not feel boring or awkward after nearly one and a half episodes worth of action. It resolves a few lingering questions but sets up a few new plot threads to keep the story fresh.

We now reach the gem of the volume, as Inu Yasha heads off alone to see Totosai. Inu Yasha wants to find out if there is a technique to defeat Naraku's barrier, but Totosai only wants to take a bath. Due to a misunderstanding, Inu Yasha believes the preparations for Totosai's bath is training for a new technique. Inu Yasha has company in this endeavor; Bunza is a lynx demon who seeks the training of Totosai to liberate his homeland from an evil demon.

Away from the fellowship, Inu Yasha is free to show just how much he has grown from his exposure to Kagome and the rest of the group. He does not have to put up a gruff exterior in front of Bunza; he speaks to Bunza kindly and treats him almost like a little brother. However, the writers do not take it too far; Inu Yasha is still rash and shows it when he learns that Totosai only wanted a bath. He storms off before Totosai can tell him that there is a technique he can teach Inu Yasha. His gruff exterior is also put back up when he rejoins the fellowship.

It is this characterization that was sorely missing from the bulk of season two; the action and exposition of the first two episodes moved the overall plot along very well. It resolves a few questions while setting up events that will carry the series for another story arc. But it is the last episode that represents what I enjoy most about the series.

Takahashi's work shines the most when the characters grow and change from the events around them. You can see the culmination of seventy episodes events on Inu Yasha as he interacts with Bunza, and it is the perfect capstone for this volume.

In summary:
The third season of Inu Yasha continues to be a vast and welcome change from the second season. In this volume, we get a healthy dose of action and exposition, but none of it feels stale or boring. The final episode allows the viewer to see Inu Yasha in a different light while he is away from the rest of the group. We get to see how much he has learned and grown personally over the past seventy episodes. Worth a recommendation for the last episode alone, this is definitely a volume of Inu Yasha that one should pick up.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Episode Promos

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Panasonic RP-82, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and optical audio cable


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