Inu Yasha Vol. #28 -

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: 24.98
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Inu Yasha

Inu Yasha Vol. #28

By Luis Cruz     April 11, 2005
Release Date: April 05, 2005

Inu Yasha Vol. #28
© Viz Media

What They Say
After the disappearance of Naraku, Kagome and Inuyasha spend a day in Kagome’s time for a much needed rest from the days of battling demons and searching for the shards of the Shinkon Jewel. Now, if only Inuyasha would stop visiting the Higurashi Shrine, Kagome could concentrate on her homework!

Meanwhile, back in the Feudal Era, Koga searches for traces of the missing Naraku, only to encounter the female Wolf-Demon, Ayame. When she claims that Koga promised to marry her, Koga doesn’t know what to do… nor does he even remember making such a promise!

Features Three Episodes:
Gap Between the Ages
The Female wolf-Demon and the Lunar Rainbow Promise
Koga’s Bride-To-Be

The Review!
Where in the feudal era is Naraku? Our intrepid band of heroes attempts to answer that question as season four of Inu Yasha opens up.

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; 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.

The front cover is a montage of Inu Yasha (with cool baseball cap), Kagome, Koga, and Ayame set against a purple background. The upper right corner of the front cover bears the "Fourth Season" logo. At the bottom is the series logo and volume title; the volume number is in the lower right corner of the cover.

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 with a few screenshots from the episode on the reverse. Viz continues to retool the back cover layout and continues to make it increasingly more clean and readable.

Viz has retooled the menus once again; gone is the parchment paper motif. This current iteration of the menus features a hexagon that plays clips from the episodes while the standard instrumental piece plays in the background. An image of Koga is to the right of the hexagon, and the menu items are on the left. The menus are very sharp and functional but lack the harmony with the series content that the parchment paper menus had.

The extras include the standard fare of the Japanese and English cast list, a line art gallery, and the Japanese promos for the episodes. Rather than a plain text list for the cast, each character has a picture with the English and Japanese voice actor's name next to it. For the line art gallery, there are only three character reference sheets, but you can zoom into the art work and move across them. In addition to the standards, Viz has included the English trailer for the first movie.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The third season of Inu Yasha turned out to be a very entertaining experience but ended up pretty much where it began. The quest for our heroes has not changed; they still seek to find and destroy Naraku and reclaim the Sacred Jewel. As the fourth season opens up, it provides a slightly different take on the established plot. This time, our heroes have not a single clue on where to find Naraku.

After their climatic battle in Naraku's castle, Naraku's demonic aura and scent has completely vanished; Kagome can also no longer sense any vibrations from the Sacred Jewel. With no leads to go on, the fellowship decides to rest before resuming their quest. Kagome returns to her time and finds that no rest awaits her there, only a difficult test at school.

Naturally, Inu Yasha grows restless waiting for Kagome to return and shows up uninvited at her home. What follows is a light-hearted and cute romp for Inu Yasha in the modern world. His journey to take Kagome her lunch ends up making him a hero on the local news when he foils a bank robber and saves a little girl from a burning building. This story does little to advance the plot or the relationship between him and Kagome, but one cannot help but smile and chuckle as Inu Yasha comments on just how dangerous Kagome's world (and its curry) can be.

The remainder of the volume focuses on Koga and a long forgotten promise he made one moonlit night. The wolves of the North are facing formidable invaders on their lands; the elder sends his granddaughter Ayame to track down and bring back Koga and his jewel fragments to aid them. Ayame has another reason to bring Koga back; long ago, he promised that he would marry her.

Koga does not recall any of this and simply wants his revenge on Naraku. As his and Ayame's paths cross the fellowship, an amusing love triangle springs as Koga declares to Ayame that Kagome is the only fiancée for him. Toss in a hair demon that was cast off from Naraku's body, and you have a hearty dose of comedy and action for two episodes.

What was most appealing about this story arc was that it finally added some depth to Koga's character. Until this point, Koga was pretty much a convenient plot device to stir up the emotions between Kagome and Inu Yasha, provide some comic relief, and push Inu Yasha to be even stronger. Beyond his desire for revenge, we did not get to see beyond the surface of Koga as we have with the other characters.

Through Ayame, we learn that Koga is pretty much the rebel of the clan of wolves. He does not hold much to their traditions and feels that the elders should not be blindly followed. While this could pretty much be inferred from his behavior, it is refreshing to see that the writers are attempting to flesh out his character in much the same manner as they have for the main cast, Sesshomaru, and Naraku.

It will be interesting to see if Koga's development continues through this season and if Ayame becomes the latest recurring character in an already packed series. Signs point to "yes" as there is just something amusing about seeing Koga chased by Ayame in much the same manner he chases Kagome.

In Summary:
While not off with a bang, the fourth season of Inu Yasha opens slowly but with a purpose. Koga gets a healthy dose of character development in this volume and helps establish him a bit more than just the comic thorn in Inu Yasha's side. Even though the plot has not shifted much beyond "find Naraku", this latest season appears to be building off the previous season's energy and looks to be shaping up into an equally entertaining ride.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,Line Art Gallery,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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