Inu Yasha Vol. #55 -

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. #55

By Luis Cruz     June 29, 2007
Release Date: June 26, 2007

Inu Yasha Vol. #55
© Viz Media

What They Say
The final volume!

With the last shard of the Shikon Jewel in their possession, Inuyasha, Kagome, and their comrades seek to end their long battle with Naraku. Their pursuit leads them to a demon-shaped mountain, but what they believed to be Naraku's hiding place turns out to be a trap. Now, fighting desperately to survive, Inuyasha must believe in his bond with Kagome in order to break free of Naraku's deadly trap. Will this be the end of our heroes, or will they finally vanquish their evil foe?!

Contains the following episodes:
Episode 164: Possessed by a Parasite: Shippo, Our Worst Enemy
Episode 165: The Ultimate Key to Defeating Naraku
Inuyasha Special (Episodes 166+167): The Bond Between Them, Use the Sacred Jewel Shard!

The Review!
Thank God that's over; now let's never speak of this again.

The Japanese audio was used for my primary viewing session; after one hundred plus episodes, it would be ironic if Viz managed to ruin the audio quality. However, irony strikes not this day; 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 turns in another stellar video experience; anything I can add to this section is redundant. Viewers will have a gorgeous viewing experience to match their audio experience.

The front cover features Inu Yasha and Kagome from a key scene of the finale. The series logo is across the bottom of the cover with the volume name and logos underneath. 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. Viz adds a flourish by giving the cover a glossy, metallic look.

Inside is a mini poster of the cover art; the reverse side features all of the DVD covers used for the TV series volumes. This side is a good reminder of just how much time and money one can invest in the series.

The main menu features a picture of our heroes in front of a mountain. Transition animations are kept to a minimum, and music loops in the background.

Viz provides the usual Japanese and English cast list, two brief line art galleries, and the Japanese promos for the episodes. For this final volume, they also included an eight minute clip show featuring narration from the dub actors and a Q&A session with the main English voice actors at the wrap party.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The animated saga of Inu Yasha finally reaches the end of its journey with the fifty-fifth volume. Where the manga was continuing, the animated series could not end with any sense of closure for the story or the characters. All one could hope for would be an ending that would excite and entice the viewer to continue reading the manga. They did not succeed in this task and only showed that the circle of mediocrity that has plagued the series remains unbroken.

An unexpected clue to Naraku's location and plan arrives in the form of a parasite chrysalis. These demons attach themselves to larger demons and feed off their aura. One parasite attaches itself to Shippo causing him to pull nasty pranks on everyone near him. Hilarity was meant to ensue, but the story could not even muster a meager chuckle. The trail of bugs soon leads to a mountain demon, literally an entire mountain that is one demon.

Naraku stole a sacred sphere from the demon in order to mask the aura of his heart. Kikyo briefly meets up with the fellowship to inform them that Naraku's heart is a separate entity, and that they must destroy the heart to kill Naraku. Armed with this knowledge, the fellowship runs about, battles with some random demons, and is eventually lead by Kagura into a trap. They escape the trap, and all the various incarnations of Naraku flee the scene to hide another day.

The final scenes show that the road goes ever on, and the fellowship will follow it to Naraku no matter where it takes them. That sentiment sums up the entire series; we already know that they will chase Naraku until he is dead. What the ending should have provided was a reason to follow their story via the manga. However, there are no new plot lines or character threads to capture the audience's interest. It is just another iteration of the same material; there is nothing fresh to hold onto and wonder where it will lead.

This finale was a disappointment not because of the open ending but because it lacked the "wow" factor. There was no grandiose battle to make you cheer, no surprise plot twists to make you gasp, no moments between our heroes to make you misty eyed. The series left the stage through another set of formulaic episodes rather than with a grand flourish.

In Summary:
Inu Yasha is an example of a series hobbled by its own popularity and the inability of its author to plot out an ending. While it had its memorable moments, the series dragged on far longer than needed. Once we arrive at this final volume, the plot and character development is moving on fumes, nearly all interesting aspects exhausted. Due to the never ending story that is the manga, there is no resolution to the story leaving it open for continuation. However, it does not exit the stage leaving the audience wanting more; all it promises is the same material it has already flogged for 167 episodes. It ends not with a triumphant howl but with a pitiful whimper. But to quote a long-running, popular US animated series: It's an ending; that's enough.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

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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