Inu Yasha Vol. #32 - Mania.com



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

Inu Yasha Vol. #32

By Luis Cruz     August 10, 2005
Release Date: August 02, 2005


Inu Yasha Vol. #32
© Viz Media


What They Say
When Inuyasha and his friends come across a demon possessing the Sacred Jewel of Four Souls, they realize it’s not just a shard – it’s the whole jewel! But the group soon learns it’s only an imitation and the demon is trying to recreate the Sacred Jewel and its powers. Afraid that the jewel’s power will be used for evil, Inuyasha and the others search out the demon jewel maker…

The Review!
Despite a new opening theme, it is business as usual for another three episodes of Inu Yasha.

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, dropouts, 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 Izumo, the demon Gyu-oh, Kagome, 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 Kagome 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 galleries, and the Japanese promos for the episodes. A clean version of the latest opening theme is also included. 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 some of the line art, you can zoom into the artwork and move across it.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While the fellowship of the jewel has a direction to follow, it seems the writers for Inu Yasha have lost their way for the past volume or two. The thirty-second volume is a step back into the right direction but still stumbles a bit in providing an entertaining set of stories. The volume opens up with a two part story revolving around a demon that is producing imitation Sacred Jewels.

The fellowship learns of this plot after rescuing a priest named Izumo from a demon carrying one of the imitation jewels. Izumo tells the fellowship that he is a scholar roaming the land in search of information regarding the Sacred Jewel and stumbled across a demon named Orochidayu giving the fake jewel to the demon that chased him.

The fellowship decides to follow this lead to see if Naraku is actually behind this plot and come across a village that has been deserted save for one young boy. From the boy, they learn that Orochidayu and a horde of demons took everyone in the village captive; he was spared only because he was locked in the chicken coop as punishment when the horde arrived.

The remainder of the tale reveals the true master behind the plot to be Gyu-oh; Gyu-oh desires to create a true Sacred Jewel but needs the souls of humans and demons as the ingredients. Gyu-oh kidnaps Kagome in order to lure the rest of the fellowship into his lair; the inevitable showdown occurs with the inevitable conclusion.

This story was decently paced and featured a good mix of narrative and action. There are a few interesting snatches of dialogue as Inu Yasha fights Gyu-oh and learns of Gyu-oh's true nature. However, the story provides little new material in terms of characterization or in terms of moving the plot forward. It does present some insight into how the Sacred Jewel came to be formed. This information might factor into the resolution of the Naraku conflict, but it will likely be covered at least one more time making this telling redundant.

The final tale focuses on Rin, the cute and spunky companion of Sesshomaru and Jaken. While searching for food, Rin stirs up a nest of Naraku's poison insects; Sesshomaru dispatches them with ease but not before a few sting Jaken and escape. Sesshomaru follows the fleeing insects in hopes of having them lead him to Naraku. Meanwhile, Jaken is being slowly poisoned to death and has only until sundown to live.

It is up to Rin to head to the village of Jinenji and return with the berries of the thousand-year plant to save him. While she braves a valley full of demons to reach the plant, Sesshomaru runs into Inu Yasha and fills a few minutes here and there with their endless sibling rivalry. Rin finds the plant and in an inexplicable move decides to climb up a cliff wall to reach the plant rather than having the flying beast A-Un whisk her up to it.

In the end, Rin reaches the plant but plummets down the ravine only to be saved by Sesshomaru. They return to Jaken just in time, and Rin is overjoyed to not have another person around her die. It was a charming little episode that gave Rin some screen time but did little else than point Sesshomaru in the same direction as the fellowship. Much like the history of the Sacred Jewel, some details revealed about Rin might come into play later on in the story, but this does not make the episode more than slightly entertaining.

While this batch of episodes did not have me watching the clock as much as the previous, there still was not much material to keep one riveted to the screen. With Sesshomaru now pointed in the same direction as the fellowship, this will hopefully mean that all the pieces are in place to start moving the plot forward. The new opening theme promises some new, powerful foes for the group; one can only hope this means that the series will soon return to the mix of action, dialogue, comedy, and stories that make Inu Yasha an enjoyable experience.

In Summary:
While not as lackluster as the previous volume, the thirty-second volume of Inu Yasha still does not manage to reach the same heights the series has seen previously. This trio of episodes does feature a few interesting exchanges and insights into the characters, but it is mostly material covered before. The episodes are entertaining enough to watch once, but nothing would be lost in terms of understanding the characters or plot by skipping over them.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

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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