Mania Grade: A
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- Art Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: A+
- Text/Translatin Rating: A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 8.95
- Pages: 192
- ISBN: 1-56931-947-2
- Size: Tall B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
InuYasha (Action Edition) Vol. #01
By Megan Lavey
April 13, 2004
Release Date: March 01, 2003
InuYasha (Action Edition) Vol.#01
© Viz Media
Translated by:Mari Morimoto
Adapted by:What They Say
Kagome is a modern Japanese high school girl. She has always been the sort who never really believed in myths and legends, even though her grandfather is obsessed with old stories, the family house is crammed with mystical talismans, and everything around her seems to have a legend attached to it. But that all changes one day when a hideous, otherworldly creature pulls her out of her own world and into Japan?s ancient past! There she discovers more than a few of those dusty old legends are true, and her destiny is linked to one legendary creature ? a doglike half-demon called InuYasha!The ReviewPackaging:
A picture of InuYasha shares the dominant spotlight with the part of the original demon, Mistress Centipede, who pulled Kagome into the well. A shot of Kagome, probably passing between times, is over both of those. The logo is at the top. Black bars line the top and the bottom, the top one saying ?Action? and the bottom with the author?s credit and the volume number. The artwork used is the same one for the Japanese tankouban, and it also fits with what?s going on in this volume of the manga. Yura of the Hair is on the back.
Now it?s time for Megsie-chan?s logo check! I like it a lot better than the original manga logo I saw in stores. They took the anime logo and dropped it onto the manga book. It?s varying shades of red with lens flares scattered in each letter. Claw marks are on the top right of the I and bottom left of the Y. Over the U, there?s a small sihoulette of InuYasha running. Over the ?sha? is the original Japanese logo, which is a nice touch.
I think the logo fits the series from what I?ve seen. It?s attractive and causes the title to stand out on the shelf without it being overly tacky. I remember grumblings over when the anime was first released, but I think this logo fits the series better than the old one.Artwork:
If you?ve seen one Rumiko Takahashi work, you?ve seen it all. Kagome is thin and pretty, but she manages not to look like any of the female characters from Ranma. InuYasha, because he?s so different, stands out on his own. The amount of gratuitous nudity is extremely down from series such as Ranma 1/2, but the story is also more serious. SFX are translated and integrated pretty well into the artwork. Text:
Overall, this is translated pretty well. Reading it for the first time, what threw me off is the old-fashioned language that Kaede and the villagers speak in. It?s almost like I?m reading the Bible when I hear them. While I?m sure this was done to convey the feel of the time period, it reads odd. Another way to handle it would be like how they?re dealing with Rurouni Kenshin, having them speak very formally, but in plain English. A few comments Kagome makes, such as when she tells InuYasha, ?Later, dude!? are a little discomforting, but do not take away much from the overall read. Review:
Kagome Higurashi?s been forced to put up with her grandfather?s tall-tales and legends all of her life. On the morning of her 15th birthday though, she and her brother go into the family well-house to chase the family cat out. In the process, she is pulled through the well to the other side thanks to a monster, who is after something called the Jewel of Four Souls. Once there, she finds a boy with strange ears pinned to a tree with an arrow. Before she has time to absorb this, she is found by a group of villagers and captured. It is then Kagome realizes that she?s in the Sengoku Jidai, or Warring States era of Japanese history.
Once in the village, she meets the village priestess, Kaede, who tells Kagome that she reminds her of her dead sister, Kikyo, killed 50 years ago. Before they can get much further in their conversation, the village is attacked by the same monster that pulled her through the well. She leads the monster away from the village and back to the tree with the boy pinned to it, which she now knows as InuYasha. He awakens, calls her Kikyo and tells her to kill the monster. They fight over her not being Kikyo. Meanwhile, the monster attacks again and bites Kagome?s side, forcing a jewel to pop out ? the Jewel of the Four Souls. InuYasha once again Fearing for her life, Kagome does so, breaking the seal on him. Enraged, InuYasha attacks the monster, then once it?s defeated, threatens to kill Kagome if she doesn?t give him the jewel.
Kaede uses this chance to throw a rosary on InuYasha and yells at Kagome to use a subduing spell on him. She yells out the first thing that comes to her mind, ?Sit!? Now with InuYasha somewhat calmed down, Kagome is told a brief history of what happened 50 years ago ? that a wounded Kikyo shot and sealed InuYasha after he attacked the village to get the jewel. She died shortly thereafter. Eventually, the meat of the story is introduced as Kagome accidentally shatters the jewel in trying to rescue it from a crow monster that stole it ? thus starting the quest for the pieces of the jewel as Kagome and InuYasha are tag-teamed to find them.
This volume serves well as an introduction to the series. You meet the core characters plus some secondary characters that figure into the plot. So far, there?s two ongoing plots ? the main one of collecting the jewel shards and a secondary one of what happened 50 years earlier to cause InuYasha to be sealed and Kikyo dead. There is the sense that there is more to the story than both Kaede and InuYasha are letting on.
I like the character of Kagome. The story starts out similar to that of ?Fushigi Yugi? or ?12 Kingdoms? ? a schoolgirl is sucked through to another time/world as a means to achieve an end. However, I like Kagome because she acts more mature about the situation than Miaka. While she does want to go home, once she shattered the jewel, she accepts responsibility for her actions and starts to help get them back. Even when she does go home and attempts to put the situation out of her mind, she can?t.
InuYasha is an extremely complex character. At first, he comes off seeming as if he was one of the bad guys, just seeking the jewel for his own means. Yet, you can tell there are hints of a good person inside of him ? that no matter how gruff he is, at his core he seems to be a decent person. It has the possibility of deep character growth.
The other neat thing introduced in this volume is that Kagome actually goes back to her own time. Then InuYasha comes and takes her back ? opening up the chances of action on both sides of the well and how Kagome?s family reacts to what?s going on with her. I like this because Kagome?s family isn?t abandoned in all of this, as typically what happens in stories like this.
This is a series that I would highly recommend, even though it?s 36 volumes and growing, and the price is right for it now. For those expecting the episodic nature of Ranma 1/2, it?s literally non-existent, here. This is an epic with plenty of action, history, and hints of romance as there is definite friction between InuYasha and Kagome already. I?m looking forward to going back over the second volume and seeing how the story takes this.