InuYasha, Seventh Season Box Set – DVD Review

 

 

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Review by: Kiki Van De Kamp

Publisher: VIZ Media
MSRP: $99.94 US
Running Time: 525 minutes
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now

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At journey’s end, the last stand is always the best.

Kagome’s shoes are worn out and tattered at the end of the long journey.

We have followed the girl dressed in her school’s uniform ever since she discovered the portal that would lead her down an old wishing well and into the Feudal era where she met a boy named Inuyasha pinned to the Sacred Tree. The journey she embarked on with this half-breed hero was a long one as they met new companions that would travel with them on the quest to secure the scattered shards of the powerful Shikon Jewel. At last, this quest is finally drawing to a close in InuYasha, Seventh Season Box Set, and we will miss the journey we embarked on together.

Beginning with episode 147 and ending with episode 167, this 21 episode set starts with the InuYasha special that chronicles the sweet-yet-tragic love story between Inuyasha and Kikyo. The story has been told before, oftentimes in parts throughout the series, but it isn’t until now that we discover the true significance between what went on between Kikyo and Inuyasha as well as between Kikyo and a still-human Naraku. What happens between the three, as Kikyo’s young sister sees it, starts a chain reaction of events that lead up to Kagome’s journey and the battle against the demon Naraku. It’s still the reason that Inuyasha is still running to Kikyo in this Seventh season.

That, as they say, is in the past because in the present we find Naraku turning to the evil Princess Abi (and her killer birds) for help as he comes ever closer to the border between the living world and the next world. Inuyasha and the others have been catching up to Naraku since the events that unfolded in Mount Hakurei as the location of the last shard of the Shikon Jewel can be found in a familiar place outside the realm of the living. Of course, he isn’t going to make it easy for Inuyasha and the others to cross into the other world either so he lets Hakodoshi and his demon horse battle the band of heroes. While Hakodoshi escapes, the demon horse’s life comes to an end.

With one threat out of the way, though, the good guys are nowhere near winning the war and even more so when it is discovered that Kikyo is still around yet badly injured from the last encounter with Naraku. Despite knowing that she might lose Inuyasha to Kikyo, Kagome decides to help heal Kikyo when she is asked by Kikyo’s shikigami to help their master. With Kikyo healed, the group unknowingly realize they have two other allies and they come in the form of Kohaku and Kagura.

Kagura knows that Naraku holds her fate in his hands but that doesn’t stop her from pushing the good guys in the right direction. Mainly, a big part of her does so because of her growing admiration for Inuyasha’s brother, Lord Sesshomaru. The more complex ally, though, is Kohaku that breaks Naraku’s hold over him after having slain numerous innocent lives in the palace that is caring for the infant version of Naraku. While still following Naraku’s orders – to Sango’s horror – the young man plans on betraying Naraku soon. Sango feels horrible for letting Kohaku continue living but her desire to save her brother is strong. In a heartbreaking episode, we can see Kohaku is tortured by the fact that he can’t run into his sister’s arms.

Oh, but when Inuyasha and the others do manage to cross to the netherworld where a presence near the grave of Inuyasha’s father, the battle for the last jewel shard spells the beginning of the end. It seems an old friend of Inuyasha’s father holds the last shard and won’t give it to anyone even the son of a close friend. Lord Sesshomaru does show up to battle Naraku while Inuyasha learns a new move that could defeat Naraku called the Adamant Barrage.

The majority of the episodes follow Inuyasha and the others as they hurry to catch up with Naraku but is still able to break away for some episodes that are less serious. In one episode, Kagome manages to sneak off to her timeline only to find out that Inuyasha followed her through the portal. Her friends even meet Inuyasha and think he’s cool. In another episode, Shippo has been infected by a parasite that makes him pull some mean pranks on local villagers. And then there’s the episode about Rin as she is kidnapped, rescued by Lord Sesshomaru and is given the choice between staying with the demon or living with the humans again. Guess which one she chooses?

In the final episodes of the series, Inuyasha and his friends do manage to catch up to Naraku in a massive battle that almost seems impossible to win when Inuyasha uses the Shikon Jewel to fight Naraku. I won’t go into what happens at the end but know that the finale leaves things open for the InuYasha movies. If this had been handled differently, the ending would have felt like a total rip-off but somehow it’s rather comforting that the series ended this way.

Season Seven of Inuyasha is ultimately the series finest hour and the box set’s final 21 episodes are some of the best episodes of this lengthy series. It’s been a long journey, indeed, but one we were glad to follow since the very first episode. Is this the best final episode ever? I wouldn’t say that but it does make for a good intro to the movies that will help finish this wonderful fantasy tale.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: A+
As Kagome and the others locate the final shard of the Shikon Jewel, Naraku makes an attempt to finally acquire the power he has been searching for since the very beginning. A look into the past sees that Inuyasha and Kikyo’s relationship is what started all of this in the first place. In the end, Inuyasha and his companions face off against Naraku in an epic finale.

VIDEO QUALITY: A
The episodes look crisp and clear on DVD and you will love the overall presentation that has consistently made these box sets the best way to see InuYasha.

AUDIO QUALITY: A+
The voice acting for both the English and Japanese cast are top notch and do a brilliant job of bringing these characters to life. I do love the Japanese voices but there’s something comforting in hearing Richard Ian Cox voice Inuyasha. The original music by Kaoru Wada is simply unforgettable and I love the opening and closing theme songs.

EXTRAS: C+
We would have loved new exclusives extras for the box set but we certainly do like the wrap party Q&A with the English dub voice actors and definitely love The Finale with the Japanese Cast feature even more thanks to some interesting comments from the Japanese voice actors. There’s a clean opening and closing theme song feature as well.

OVERALL: A+
The Seventh and final season of InuYasha does not disappoint and, despite some weaknesses in the final episodes, manages to end the series on a memorable way that makes viewers look forward to the movies. Inuyasha’s final battle is definitely his best so these final 21 episodes will not fail to excite fans. Inuyasha, we will miss you.

COMPLETE SERIES GRADE: A+

Rumiko Takahashi has certainly created a timeless and epic story with the InuYasha series and the anime does justice to her work in every possible way. We have gladly followed Kagome and her companions on this lengthy yet riveting adventure and will remember it fondly for many years to come. This is one of those series animation fans should consider a Must Own whether you’re into anime or not.

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