InuYasha (Action Edition) Vol. #03 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 8.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 1-56931-960-X
  • Size: Tall B6
  • Orientation: Left to Right

InuYasha (Action Edition) Vol. #03

By Megan Lavey     May 22, 2004
Release Date: June 01, 2003

InuYasha (Action Edition) Vol.#03
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Rumiko Takahashi
Translated by:Mari Morimoto
Adapted by:

What They Say
Inuyasha has a new weapon to aid him as he and Kagome fight to reclaim the Shikon Jewel - his demon-father's great sword Tetsusaiga, or "Steel-Cleaving Fang." But the Tetsusaiga has an odd quirk for a demonic weapon - it can only be wielded in defense of humanity, a feature which becomes useful when InuYasha and Kagome come across a princess in need of rescue...

The Review
A picture of Inuyasha with the transformed Tetsusaiga with Kagome behind him take up the entire cover, with just the logo at the top and shows Inuyasha doing what he does best - protecting Kagome. The logo's in a good place because it doesn't detract from the main scene. The pinks, reds and purples that appear in the background and Inuyasha's clothing really work well together and Kagome's school uniform is a nice complement. The back retains that nice shade of violet with a small portrait of Nobunaga and his monkey next to the summary.

There is a lot of detail in this volume, especially once you get to the chapters dealing with the Noh Mask in Kagome's time. Takahashi manages to pull it off to where Inuyasha does not look very strange in the modern world. She's settled into the style that she uses for this series, which is shown in how Kagome's school blouse isn't as long as it was back in the first volume.

This volume was originally published back in 1998, and a lot of the terms that gradually shifted back to their original Japanese form is still being used here, such as "Jewel of Four Souls" instead of "Shikon Jewel." However, the shift does change to those terms by the end of the book, which is pleasing to see. The only thing that remains is really the attack names, which really benefit a lot from being in their original Japanese form. They don't sound quite as hokey. Other than that, it's a clean read with the exception of something Kagome says in the first chapter of the Noh Mask arc. She says that she and Inuyasha have four shikon shards left to find, which is wrong. What she actually said in Japanese was that they'd only found two shikon shards so far. There is still a lot of shards left to find. That, coupled with several misuse of some terms, like "tail" when it should be "tale" knocks the text grade down.

As the hunt for the Shikon shards finally gets underway, we see how Inuyasha puts an unusual spin to the time travel device used in manga and the introduction of several recurring characters and one of the main members of the Inuyasha party.

The first four chapters pick up with Inuyasha, Kagome and Myouga traveling through Mushashi's domain in search of shards. They're not having much luck, and as Inuyasha points out, they may have to leave the domain in order to find more. While he's searching, Kagome stops to bathe, having brought a bathing suit after being caught naked by Inuyasha back in volume 1. While she's bathing, her clothing is stolen.

She and Inuyasha follow the assailant, who paws through Kagome's clothing looking for food. They discover it's a man, little more than a boy, named Nobunaga. Kagome thinks this is Oda Nobunaga, as much of a celebrity as you're going to get in the Sengoku Jidai, and completely flips. This sequence is hilarious as Kagome tries to get his autograph and explain who Oda is to Inuyasha at the same time. But, this isn't Oda Nobunaga. He's Takeda Nobunaga and is the youngest son of a castle retainer. The woman he's in love with, his domain's princess, has been taken captive. He goes off and Kagome persuades InuYasha to follow, causing the two to stumble onto Shikon shards.

The next five chapters revolve around a Noh Mask that survives from the Sengoku Jidai to Kagome's time. It's said that whenever someone attempts to destroy the mask, it will destroy you in turn. The mask, which has a Shikon shard embedded in it, senses Kagome's other shards when she returns to her own world to take an exam. Kagome attempts to battle off the mask while keeping her brother safe and it's only by a miracle - and Inuyasha's keen sense of smell - that he arrives in her time to save them both before Kagome has to take her exam.

The final chapter is the first part of the Thunder Brothers arc where we are introduced to Shippo, a young kitsune (fox demon) who is in search of Shikon shards. He wants the shards to lure out Hiten and Manten, brothers who have been killing people to get ahold of their Shikon shards. Shippo's father was one of the victims of the brothers. Shippo manages to run off with Kagome's shards after using his magic to trap Inuyasha and runs right into Manten, the...less attractive member of the brothers. Manten is wearing a fur wrapped around him, that happens to the fur of Shippo's father. Manten moves to kill Shippo as well, but Kagome leaps in to save him.

We're still in the early part of the series and are being introduced to various characters and how they interact with each other. The Nobunanga and the Noh Mask chapters serve to bring Inuyasha and Kagome closer in a working partnership and really shows off their intelligence. When they're not fighting, they work really well as a team. They're starting to drop their defenses around each other, which leads to some fun interaction.

We're introduced to Kagome's school friends for the first time, the hapless Hojo and her three girlfriends (later named Yuka, Eri and Ayumi.) We also get some neat sibling interaction between Kagome and Sota and Sota gets his first real encounter with Inuyasha, which leads to a case of hero worship. This arc was fun and worked to help integrate Kagome's new dual life and really counters a lot of the traditional themes regarding time traveling in that no one really knows. Kagome's friends don't know what she's doing, but her family is fully aware of it. It was also neat to see Inuyasha interact with the modern world as well.

So far, the series seems to take on a "Shikon shard of the week" pattern and is pretty episodic to this point. It's a light-hearted read for the most part and several aspects of it will make you laugh, except toward the end when you hear what happens to Shippo. The self-contained stories make this an easy volume to pick up and read if you want to look over the Nobunaga or the Noh Mask stories. Recommended.


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