Inu Yasha Vol. #30 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • 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. #30

By Luis Cruz     June 23, 2005
Release Date: June 07, 2005


Inu Yasha Vol. #30
© Viz Media


What They Say
When Inuyasha and his friends come upon a village being tormented by a group of monkeys wreaking havoc in their fields, the villagers mistake him for a Dog God that can rid them of their nuisance.

Inuyasha reluctantly agrees to help, but he soon discovers that the monkeys are actually a trio of sprites searching for their missing Monkey God. Placed under their spell, Inuyasha faces a bigger challenge than he bargained for...

Features Three Episodes:
The Three Sprites of the Monkey God
Nursing Battle of the Rival Lovers
Sota Falls in Love

The Review!
Inu Yasha hits the big Three-Oh (that's Nine-Oh in dog years/episode count) and gears the cast up for another long trek after Naraku.

Audio:
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.

Video:
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.

Packaging:
The front cover is a montage of Kagome, Shippo, the Monkey Sprites, and Inu Yasha. 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 a clean and readable layout of 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.

Menu:
The 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 Inu Yasha is to the right of the hexagon, and the menu items are in the lower left. The menus are very sharp, clean, and functional but lack the visual harmony with the series content that the parchment paper menus had.

Extras:
The extras include the standard fare of the Japanese and English cast list, two line art sketches, the Japanese promos for the episodes, and a textless version of the new ending sequence. 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 sketches, you can zoom into one piece of the art work and move across it.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The volume opens simply enough with the fellowship marching in no particular direction looking for Naraku. Of course, nothing is ever simple for them for too long; a band of villagers spy Inu Yasha and proclaims him to be a Dog God, the only deity capable of protecting them from the Monkey God plaguing them. Miroku quickly volunteers Inu Yasha to help the villagers frighten off the Monkey God and with equal quickness flees with Sango for a bit of rest.

Despite his protests, Inu Yasha begrudgingly heads off with Kagome and Shippo to find the Monkey God. What he finds are three precocious Monkey Sprites that trick him into accepting a magic rock. Said rock quickly fuses itself to Inu Yasha's hand and quadruples in size. The Sprites have forgotten how to undo the spell but claim the actual Monkey God can.

What follows is a lighthearted romp as Inu Yasha and the Sprites attempt to track down the stone that holds the Monkey God's spirit. There are some amusing sequences where the rest of the fellowship imagines what life would be like if Inu Yasha were to be attached to the rock permanently. The episode provides a bit of humor but primarily serves as a setup for having the Monkey God point the fellowship in Naraku's direction.

The fellowship begins to prepare for the long journey but finds Kagome overcome with a nasty cold. After camping out in the feudal era in nothing but a mini-skirt, it is amazing that she has not had more colds in the series. She can pack a ton of instant ramen, snacks, and a medical kit to take with her but apparently cannot grasp the concept of bringing suitable attire for outdoor living.

Kagome's cold turns into a nasty fever which prompts Sango to send her back to her time for some proper medical care. She agrees and returns to her home only to find out from her friends that a major prep test for high school is the next day. Inu Yasha eventually follows her to her time and manages to annoy Kagome rather quickly.

She snaps at him, but for once, Inu Yasha actually understands Kagome's feelings and attempts to help her out by fixing up his mother's home remedy for a cold. Kagome apologizes to Inu Yasha and thanks him for his kindness which is met with the typical blustering from Inu Yasha.

The volume ends with a cute episode that has Kagome's younger brother Sota asking Inu Yasha for advice on matters of the heart. Sota is smitten with Hitomi, the girl that sits near him in his class. Despite the fact that neither Inu Yasha nor Kagome can actually admit their own feelings, they attempt to encourage Sota to declare his own feelings to Hitomi. Through their attempts, Kagome and Inu Yasha briefly realize that their own hesitation is pointless. The moment passes though, and the pair slips back into their comfortable dance of distance.

I always enjoy these brief trips back to Kagome's time; it makes Inu Yasha feel very out of place and off balance. It also allows Kagome to wistfully dream about having a normal life. Each visit to this time sharpens the reasons why Kagome has difficulty expressing her feelings to Inu Yasha.

She has accepted her fate of being Kikyo's reincarnation and the new protector of the Sacred Jewel. However, she is still just a teenage girl at heart with all the desires that go with it. Yet, what place does love for a half-demon boy have in her world and those desires?

Through her talks with her friends, she does realize that there is plenty to love about Inu Yasha, but conflict about how it would work between them goes unsaid. It would be refreshing if the story could weave more of these trips into the plot rather than having them be the gulp of air before heading into dangerous waters. I do not want to see it overused, but the episodes always seem to provide some great development in the relationship between the pair.

In Summary:
A trip to the present day provides some amusing moments and great development in the relationship between Kagome and Inu Yasha. This volume is slow paced with more humor than action, but it serves as the starting point for finally tracking down Naraku. Some may not care for the "slice of life" feel of this volume, but it is this sort of character development that draws me into the series and keeps it from being only a simple formula show of "train, hunt, fight, later, rinse, repeat".

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Galleries,Japanese Promos,Textless Ending

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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