Inu Yasha Vol. #52 -

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. #52

By Luis Cruz     April 03, 2007
Release Date: April 03, 2007

Inu Yasha Vol. #52
© Viz Media

What They Say
Inuyasha and comrades arrive at the border of the afterlife using the path opened by Naraku. Once there, they find the last shard of the Sacred Jewel inside the remains of Inuyasha's father, protected by a powerful demon. Upon hearing that the Sacred Jewel shard desired to come to the land of the dead to keep the Jewel from being restored, Inuyasha must decide whether to leave the coveted shard there or fight the demon protecting it and take it by force.

Contains episodes 155-157:
Demon Protector of the Sacred Jewel Shard
The Final Battle at the Graveside: Sesshomaru Versus Inuyasha
Destroy Naraku with the Adamant Barrage!

The Review!
The old dog learns a new trick; if only the series would follow his lead...

The Japanese audio was used for my primary viewing session; after one hundred plus episodes, it would take an extreme blunder to ruin the audio quality Viz has maintained over time. This volume exhibits the same high quality, problem-free stereo track you can find on every volume of Inu Yasha.

As with the audio, Viz has their routine down pat and turns in another stellar video experience. At this point, anything I can add to this section is redundant. Viewers will have a gorgeous viewing experience to match their audio experience.

The front cover is a collage of Sesshomaru, Naraku, Kagome, and Inu Yasha. 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. 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 episodes on the reverse.

The main menu features a picture of Miroku standing by a banner waving in the wind. A piece of Japanese scenery floats by in the background. Transition animations are kept to a minimum, and music loops in the background.

Viz stays the course and provides a Japanese and English cast list, two brief line art galleries lacking the zoom functionality seen previously, and the Japanese promos for the episodes.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When a portal to the land between life and death opens, Inu Yasha and the Fellowship chase after Naraku and the final missing jewel fragment. Arriving at the grave of Inu Yasha's father, they find themselves facing a barrage of adamantine spears. Hosenki, the demon that created Inu Yasha's black pearl, is the one firing the spears and also happens to be protecting the final fragment. He claims the fragment chose him to protect it from being contaminated with evil; Hosenki's death was meant to carry it into the afterlife and away from everyone's grasp.

Clearly, this plan has failed miserably, and Naraku manipulates the Fellowship into doing the dirty work of extracting the fragment from Hosenki's armored body. The battle for the fragment rages for all three episodes and features a guest appearance by the taciturn Sesshomaru. Inu Yasha powers up Tetsusaiga with Hosenki's adamantine barrage; this combined with Kagome firing Kikyo's arrow nearly polishes off Naraku. However, he manages to escape once again resetting the plot back to "We have to find Naraku".

Devoid of any meaningful plot or character development, the only saving grace for this volume was the heat of battle. It paced the action and added some comedic touches that had me chuckling, a rare occurrence for the series these days. Tension was building, and it almost had me believing that something significant might come out of this encounter. However, any hope of having the plot or characters move in a significant direction were dashed by Naraku's predictable exit.

In Summary:
The arms race continues to heat up between Inu Yasha and Naraku, but an interesting story is still left out in the cold. The volume salvaged some interest by mixing in some comedic touches with some decent battle scenes. It managed to build some tension and have you believe for a second that there might be grave consequences from this encounter. The tension is quickly deflated, and we are back to the start of the same tired pattern seen for over one hundred episodes.

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