Inu Yasha Vol. #33 -

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. #33

By Luis Cruz     August 24, 2005
Release Date: August 23, 2005

Inu Yasha Vol. #33
© Viz Media

What They Say
When Kirara mysteriously goes missing, Inuyasha and his friends wonder if they drove her away. Meanwhile, an unfortunately coincidence traps Kagome and Kikyo inside a cave that’s actually the belly of a demon who feeds on priestesses! And in another unexpected and possibly dangerous encounter, Sesshomaru meets Koga, the one whose wolves killed Rin before Tenseiga saved her...

The Review!
Inu Yasha nears the big 1-0-0 but comes no closer to Naraku or an interesting plot in the latest trio of episodes.

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.

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 Kagome, Kikyo, 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.

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 Shippo 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.

The extras include the standard fare of the Japanese and English cast list, two brief line art galleries, 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 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)
As all of the major characters in Inu Yasha are finally headed in the same direction for the same purpose, it is inevitable that the various groups will cross paths. When they do, there is the potential for the series to exit the doldrums it is in and produce some fireworks. This trio of episodes is the first attempt to do just that, but it sadly fizzles, barely producing a spark.

We start with the fellowship learning "A Very Special Lesson" when Kirara mysteriously disappears while they sleep. The episode does have some amusing moments as Shippo relates each offense the fellowship has committed against their furry friend. The entire episode plays out like an after-school special designed to teach all of us to not take our friends for granted.

It does nothing to convey any real sense of danger to Kirara; without this, the plot just does not work making for a lackluster twenty plus minutes of screen time. Kikyo and Kagome find themselves trapped in the belly of the Priestess Eater in the next episode. The writers missed a great opportunity to develop the relationship between these two rivals for Inu Yasha's attention; while it may be a bit trite to have the pair trapped together discussing their bizarre situation, it would have been more entertaining than an entire episode of "Leave me behind, Kagome. No, I won't do that Kikyo."

By the end of the episode, the writers have given the audience no new insight to this pair or their relationship, no new direction to how they approach each other. Finally, Koga and Sesshomaru cross paths briefly to remind the audience that Koga's wolves killed Rin many moons ago.

If I were to sum up this volume in one thought, it would be that the writers were attempting to do a clip show in disguise. All of the meetings between the cast do nothing but remind us of certain facts about their relationships and how they have changed over the past ninety episodes. There was little material in this volume that kept my eye fixed to the screen rather than wandering to the clock to check the remaining time.

In Summary:
While it was inevitable for the various parties searching for Naraku to bump into each other, the meetings presented in this volume leave quite a bit to be desired. They do little more than rehash the insights to how much each character has grown over the span of ninety episodes. Nothing new is learned from these encounters, and the action scenes barely hold one's interest. There are a few amusing snatches of dialogue scattered throughout the three episodes, but this is another volume that can be easily skipped.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Galleries

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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