R1 DVD Reviews
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 00:00
After some half-decent stories last time out, I was hoping that this batch of Inu Yasha episodes would produce something decently enjoyable. What we get, though, is a story of human / demon love gone wrong, and a little more insight into Naraku's latest scheme - neither of which really filled me with enthusiasm. Ah well. On with the detail...
139 - The Great Duel at Shoun Falls!
While Inuyasha continues his battle against Hoshiyomi, Kagome has been kidnapped by the other three demon ninja, who take her to Hoshiyomi. Knowing that the situation is beyond him, Akitoki runs to Inuyasha, hoping he'll be able to save Kagome and turn the situation around - but before he has the chance to do anything, the demon ninjas retreat, taking Kagome with them. Hoshiyomi seemed to be headed for Furai Shrine, so that becomes the gang's next stop, but as they approach they discover a barrier that has been placed around it - and each member of the party has their own opponent to defeat before they can try to break through it. Inside the barrier, meanwhile, Hoshiyomi is carrying out a ritual - with Kagome the intended sacrifice...
140 - Eternal Love: The Naginata of Kenkon
With his naginata restored, Hoshiyomi is ready to use its power to 'save' humanity - by killing it, naturally - and it seems that nothing Inuyasha and the others can thrown at him can even scratch him while he's protected by the naginata's power. Akitoki's heartfelt explanation of how human feelings can be a good thing gives Hoshiyomi cause to pause for a moment - long enough for the spirit of Tsukiyomi, the woman who had 'betrayed' him, to possess Kagome's body and try to make her former lover see the errors of his ways...
141 - Entei, The Demon Horse Unleashed!
Kagura and her little charge are continuing their visits to the region's holy men, and it seems as though the infant has finally found what he's looking for. Inyasha and the others are still finding evidence of their search, though, most recently in the form of a village that was almost destroyed after its holy man was killed, leaving a demon free to terrorise the villagers. Once Inuyasha has slain the demon, the local chief tells them of the woman and child who rumours say were responsible for spree of slayings - giving the gang the proof they need to connect the killings to Kagura. What they don't know is that their latest victim is the famous demon-sealing priest Shinsen. Shinsen, at least, seems capable of fighting back - but not before some of his seals are undone...
So, first up is the conclusion of the demon ninja story, where being spurned by a human female seems to have been the trigger for Hoshiyomi to go off the deep end. I always thought that it was a woman spurned that you had to watch out for, but Hoshiyomi is planning to use the power of the naganata to unleash all sorts of vengeance. Go figure. Kagome gets to play peacemaker in a way, joined by the spirit of Tsukihime - she who did the spurning that started all of this - but it all plays out in much the same way as any other Inu Yasha filler episode. Enjoyable, up to a point, but done a hundred times before and not bringing enough new to the storyline to make it really worthwhile.
With Naraku's hands on the final episode on the disc, though, we're at least away from filler, and I've always held something of a soft spot for Kagura. She hasn't yet rediscovered her sense of rebellion, and is closely following Naraku's plan - and that comes down to finding the location of the final shikon shard. There's also a certain amount of fun - and surprise - that comes from finding that their target this time around is more than capable of fighting back. Yeah, so Naraku has allowed for that possibility as well (no surprise there, unfortunately), but that at least meant that events didn't quite follow the usual predictable pattern. With Inu Yasha firmly stuck in its ways, anything unexpected - no matter how small - tends to be worth noting.
Overall, though, still a long way from being the best that Inu Yasha has to offer, even with a few little surprises thrown in for good measure. Or, to put it another way, a pretty much normal volume of the series.