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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » InuYasha Season 2 Box Set
InuYasha Season 2 Box Set
VIZ // Unrated // November 8, 2005
List Price: $99.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted April 6, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The Show:
 
Rumiko Takahashi is known as the "Princess of Manga" in Japan.  During her 25+ year career in comics, she's created one hit after another, many of which have been turned into successful anime shows.  Rumiko had her first big comic in 1978, the year she turned professional, with Urusei Yatsura (also known as Lum.)  While this series was still going on, she also started Maison Ikkoku, and followed that up with fan favorite Ranma ½.  As if that wasn't enough to cement her reputation in manga history, she's also the creative force behind the darker Mermaid Saga, an assortment of shorter works that have been collected under the title Rumiko Takahashi Anthology, and the topic of this review, fan favorite InuYasha.

Viz has been putting out InuYasha one volume at a time, and then releasing entire season sets a little later.  With a series as long as this one is, clocking in at 167 episodes altogether, that's a nice way to do it.  The second season has now been released in an attractive set and will surely please fans of the show.

Series background:

As told in the first episodes, Kagome Higurashi is a typical teenage girl.  On her 15th birthday she goes looking for her little brother and discovers him near a centuries-old well that is on their property.  He's afraid that the family cat has fallen down the well, and Kagome, being a good sister, investigates.  Peering into the dark shaft, the poor girl is grabbed and pulled in.  Fighting free she manages to climb out, but things have changed drastically.  She's now in feudal Japan and her life becomes much more complicated.

It turns out that Kagome is the spitting image of another woman, Kikyo, who was in love with the half-demon Inuyasha.  Unfortunately, the two were tricked by the demon Naraku into betraying each other.  The half-demon ended up imprisoned and the woman died, all because of an item that grants demons terrific power, that Shikon jewel.

While being attacked Kagome ends up freeing Inuyasha, and when the Shikon jewel is shattered soon after, the pair team up to reassemble it.  Only Kagome can sense the jewel fragments, and Inuyasha wants to take revenge against Naraku.  They are joined on their journey by aa colorful assortment of characters including a monk named Miroku, and Sango a demon slayer.

This season:

The show just keeps getting better and better.  This season was excellent, building on the success of the first year's shows and coming up with some great story lines.  New characters are introduced, the evil Naraku becomes more powerful, some problems with Inuyasha's older brother Sesshoumaru pop up and there is some very good character development with the main characters growing as the series progresses.

One of the characters who gets examined the most is Inuyasha himself.  He's half demon, and has to struggle against the evil part of himself.  In one episode when he is near death, his sword Tetsusaiga broken, the demon part of Inu comes to the front, and he loses control.  Totally demon, he revels in death and destruction.  It's revealed that Tetsusaiga, forged from one of his father's fangs, controls the demon side of Inuyasha.  He has to master the sword in order to stay in control of his emotions, but he also starts to wonder what will happen if he becomes all demon.  Would he kill his dearest friends?  This is something that is the cause of much concern.

Another character who has more than one side turns out to be Sesshomaru.  In a rather touching episode Inuyasha's older brother is nearly killed by his sibling, only saved at the last minute by his sword.  Deeply wounded, a young orphan girl, Rin, brings the demon some food.  Trying to steal some fish from a pond in a nearby village, Rin is caught and beaten mercilessly.  When she brings Sesshomaru some more food the next day, the mute girl can only smile when the demon asks her how she obtained her wounds.  Returning to the village though, she discovers it being attacked by a wolf pack, and is killed herself running to Sesshomaru.  When the evil demon finds her dead body however, viewers discover that he's not as cold as callous as he appears to be.

One of the things I enjoyed about this season was the good mix of shows that it contained.  Not content to just hit one note over and over, the tone changes every once in a while.  They'll throw in a comedy episode or a filler episode that develops a characters personality more.  This variety is nice, and keeps the shows in this season fresh and fun.

The DVD:

This season set comes on five DVDs which are housed in a fold out case with a slipcase.  There is a one-page insert listing the episodes on each disc.

Audio:

This set comes with the original Japanese language track and an English dub, both in stereo.  I alternated audio tracks for a few shows and found them both to be very good, though I prefer the Japanese track a bit more.  Both languages were free from hiss, dropouts, distortion and other audio defects.  The dialog was easy to hear and the music came through clearly.  A solid sounding set.

Video:

The full frame color video looks very good.  The image is bright and colorful and the lines are very sharp.  The level of detail is fine, and there are no print defects to speak of.  On the digital side, things also look very good.  A little minor aliasing is present, but it doesn't mar the picture.  A very nice looking set.

Extras:

This season set doesn't include all of the extras that the original discs had, but we're mainly missing out on art galleries and Japanese promos for the episodes, so it's not a huge loss.  All of the extras are one disc five, and they start off 24-minutes worth of 'special footage', basically a clip show that recaps the events of the first season.  This is really nice for those who haven't seen all of season one, but they really should have put this on the first disc, rather than waiting until the final volume.

There's also a trailer to the second Inuyasha movie and textless opening and closings.

Final Thoughts:

This was a very good set of shows.  This season really has an epic feel to it, yet manages to have enough comedy episodes to keep the mood high.  If you've never seen the program before the bonus featurette on disc five does a good job of bringing viewers up to date, and the show itself manages to fill in most of the other holes.  An enjoyable show offered at a very good price, this one is easy to recommend.

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