Inu Yasha Vol. #35 - 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. #35

By Luis Cruz     November 10, 2005
Release Date: October 25, 2005


Inu Yasha Vol. #35
© Viz Media


What They Say
Meet four members of the Band o Seven: The strange and effeminate Jakotsu with his deadly snake-like sword; the poison master, Mukotsu; the half-man, half-machine Ginkotsu; and the Band’s tactician, Renkotsu. The deadly group, revived by Naraku, sets out to divide and conquer Inuyasha and company, who fall into trap after trap! When Kagome, Sango and Miroku succumb to Mukotsu’s poisons, will Inuyasha be able to fight the resurrected mercenaries and save his friends at the same time?

The Review!
The Band of Seven begins to reveal themselves in the latest volume of Inu Yasha and provides a small boost to the long-running series.

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 Inu Yasha, Kagome, and the first three members of the Band of Seven. The series logo is across the top of the cover while the volume name and logos are pushed to the bottom. The back cover contains the requisite synopsis, screenshots, and disc specifications, but the background colors and the font make the text less readable than previous volumes. 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:
Viz changes the menus again but continues to produce clean, usable menus. The current iteration of the menus features a picture of Inu Yasha and Tetsusaiga on the left of the screen with rotating images overlaid on the moon. Menu items are along the bottom of the screen. Transition animations are kept to a minimum; while not as visually appealing as previous designs, the menus continue to be well done.

Extras:
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)
After wandering aimlessly for quite some time, the fellowship is given a clear course of action when they come across the Band of Seven. Still lurking in the shadows, Naraku has sent out Kohaku with seven jewel fragments to resurrect a vicious band of mercenaries called the Band of Seven. Koga has already dispatched Kyokotsu, the weakest of the seven, and Inu Yasha is about to face the next member of the band.

Wielding the snake sword and finding Inu Yasha to be incredibly cute, Jakotsu stands in the fellowship's way and proves to be a formidable foe. The snake sword's twisting ability makes it impossible for Inu Yasha to unleash the Wind Scar; before either side can gain a clear advantage, another member of the band lays down a thick fog of poison.

Inu Yasha decides to head off on his own and track down Jakotsu for answers about the band's connection to Kohaku and Naraku. Mukotsu, a master of deadly poisons, uses this opportunity to abduct Kagome and take her to his cabin for a quick marriage ceremony. Sango and Miroku give chase but also fall victim to Mukotsu's poison.

Things look grim for our trio until salvation comes in the form of Sesshomaru; Sesshomaru kills Mukotsu but states that he did it only because Mukotsu was in his way. Before he leaves, Sesshomaru learns from Inu Yasha that the band is likely connected to Naraku, but no actual trace of Naraku has been found yet. With poison racing through their systems, Inu Yasha sends the trio off with Shippo and Kirara while he battles the bizarre cyborg Ginkotsu. The volume ends with Ginkotsu seemingly falling to Inu Yasha's attack and with the rest of the fellowship trapped by a disguised member of the band named Renkotsu.

While the action through the volume is standard fare for the series, there are signs that the story is taking a turn for the better. The Band of Seven are happy to be resurrected and content to battle the fellowship, but they clearly do not know who Naraku is or what his motives are. The members introduced are slightly distrustful of their benefactor and question just what he has in store for them.

It is an interesting wrinkle in Naraku's latest but familiar plan; Naraku has control over minions created from his own body like Kagura. However, the Band of Seven is bound to him only by the fragments of the jewel they have been given. How long will they allow themselves to be manipulated for Naraku's purposes before their own desires and ambitions take precedent?

What is even more welcome is the fact that the story appears to be finally moving forward towards a goal. It is clear that the goal will not be reached quickly, but combining interesting characters with a sense of purpose for the plot helps make the journey entertaining.

In Summary:
While not a strong volume, the introduction of the Band of Seven gives the story a sense of purpose and direction that has been lacking for some time. There is finally a goal for the fellowship to reach; it may not lead to Naraku for some time, but the Band of Seven appears to be interesting enough to make the journey worthwhile. Only time will tell if this holds true, but this volume is a step in the right direction and manages to renew my interest in the series.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Line 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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