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InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2(TV) (2009)
No synopsis for InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2.
For more about InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2 and the InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2 Blu-ray release, see InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2 Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on February 14, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Kappei Yamaguchi, Satsuki Yukino, K˘ji Tsujitani, H˘ko Kuwashima, Kumiko Watanabe, Noriko Hidaka
Director: Yasunao Aoki
» See full cast & crew
InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2 Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, February 14, 2013
InuYasha is one of those manga and anime franchises that feels like it's been around forever, and yet which is strangely absent when longtime anime fans are asked to name either their favorite series or at least shows that made a big impact on them when they first became enamored of this particular (and often peculiar) genre, despite the fact that the series had a rather popular run on Adult Swim several years ago. The manga version lasted an astounding twelve years, running from 1996 to 2008, and it was a departure of sorts for illustrator Rumiko Takahashi, eschewing her tendency toward lighter comedy fare in favor of InuYasha's darker elements, many of which were flavored with a kind of folklore feeling. As with many incredibly successful manga, an anime adaptation wasn't too far behind, and in fact (again as with many other manga), more than one series ended up being broadcast, not to mention a series of feature films. All of these disparate entries don't necessarily tie into each other (something perhaps a little akin to Tenchi Muyo! franchise), so keeping track of various story arcs can be not just frustrating at times, but actually kind of futile. This new Blu-ray offers the second half of the second anime series, InuYasha: The Final Act, a series which picked up some still unfinished strands from the manga that the first InuYasha series hadn't covered, and it's indicative of just how labyrinthine the manga is that this rather short series attempted to stuff some 21 volumes into its brief running time. While this set of thirteen episodes is probably going to appeal most to longtime InuYasha fans, even those without a long history with this particular franchise in any of its many forms will probably be able to glean enough of the general outlines of the characters and plot to figure out the basic gist of what's going on, at least most of the time.
There's simply no denying that a lot of InuYasha is going to feel familiar to anyone with even a cursory introduction to anime. Young girl with mystic powers transported to another time and place? Check. Similarly magically powered creature who's half human and half Ś well, demonŚwho forms an unlikely alliance with said girl? Check. Lots of nasty creatures who appear for no other logical reason than to keep the girl and the mutant from completing their quest to recover a priceless object? Check and mate. This is probably at least part of the reason that InuYasha has tended to inspire apathy as much as fervent adoration or even rabid hatred among many anime fans.
The two main characters in InuYasha: The Final Act are the aforementioned girl, Kagome, and her half-human half-demon partner, InuYasha. The series is fairly standard from a story perspective, transporting Kagome back in time and having her be the repository for a kind of magical jewel (somewhat in the same manner as certain elements in Shakugan no Shana), a jewel which gets broken into several pieces, sending Kagome and InuYasha off on their long quest to retrieve all of the shards and set everything back to the way it should be. What really ends up happening in this series is a fairly tired assortment of battles, in their own reminiscent of some of the unending showdowns that populated the original version of Dragon Ball Z. To paraphrase the recut Dragon Ball Z Kai, InuYasha: The Final Act rather sadly might be termed "all filler masquerading as action," for the series seems almost willfully intent on going off on tangents in any given episode.
InuYasha: The Final Act offers prefab characters in the place of anything resembling artful development. InuYasha is kind of a blundering fool a lot of the time, and Kagome is the ultimate damsel in distress. The villains (led by Naraku) keep enlisting the aid of a bunch of ogres and other beastly creatures, but somehow InuYasha and Kagome end up triumphing in the end, although the recovery of the jewel remains tantalizing out of reach, at least for the bulk of the series. This is about as rote as you can get and it requires a certain amount of patience to tolerate after a while, especially when any given episode seems like a carbon copy of every other episode, save for a few minor differentiating characteristics.
There are a couple of saving graces here, one of which at least is a little unexpected. One might assume that attempting to crowd so much manga content into so relatively few episodes might make for a hodgepodge, edited feeling series, and it certainly can't be denied that a lot of InuYasha: The Final Act just kind of lurches from battle to battle with little or no logic helping to smooth the way. That said, the series is also relatively brisk feeling, so that even when things are completely predicable and kind of rote feeling, it doesn't take that long for the series to move on to its next predictable element. This might seem like a case of damning with faint praise, but InuYasha: The Final Act is so uninspired so much of the time that grasping at straws like its pace is one of the few positives that can be mentioned. There is one other salient piece of information, though: the first InuYasha anime was faulted for having a kind of lame ending that left viewers with several unanswered questions and dangling plot threads. It's to The Final Act's credit that that "final" in the title actually has some resonance, with the series coming to an rather well wrought conclusion after what can only be termed a long, circuitous route to get there.
InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2 Blu-ray, Video Quality
InuYasha: The Final Act is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Viz Media with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. My hunch is this must be a standard definition upconversion, for the image here is pretty soft and fuzzy looking a lot of the time, although some may in fact appreciate the kind of "old school" look of the series, one that's rather reminiscent of Dragon Ball Z at times. Line detail is at least acceptably sharp, but probably the best thing about this transfer is its nicely saturated color, which often pops quite nicely and helps to make up, if only a little bit, for the overall softness of this presentation. There really aren't any major compression artifacts to worry about and there also doesn't appear to have been any efforts to either clean or digitally alter the source elements.
InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
InuYasha: The Final Act features lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mixes in both the original Japanese as well as an English dub. The two tracks are pretty identical sounding aside from the language differences. Much like with the visual aspect of the series, the sound design here is also fairly "old school", not even bothering with huge stereo separation (save for a few battle sequences where various foley effects are clearly panned left or right) and instead just kind of lumping everything together in a relatively well modulated soundfield. Dialogue, effects and music are all presented cleanly and clearly. Fidelity is very good and dynamic range is quite wide.
InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
InuYasha: The Final Act isn't downright awful, but that doesn't mean it's very good, either. This is yet another kind of middling effort that will no doubt appeal to longtime fans of the InuYasha franchise but which will probably leave others, even rabid anime fans, pretty cold. There's simply too much repetition here for the series' own good. There's a certain baseline level of enjoyment to be had from the interactions between Kogame and InuYasha, but everything in terms of plot development is so hackneyed and predictable that it becomes a chore to sit through one carbon copy episode after another. Those who didn't like the first InuYasha's ending will probably want to check this out if for no other reason than that there's at least relatively more of a conclusion in this iteration. Even longtime fans may be a bit underwhelmed by the less than stellar look of this series on Blu-ray, though the lossless audio is fairly robust.
InuYasha: The Final Act: Other Seasons
InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2 Blu-ray, News and Updates
• InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2 Blu-ray - October 18, 2012
Warner Bros. has officially announced the upcoming release of InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2 on Blu-ray. Directed by Yasunao Aoki the television anime series stars the voice talents of Richard Ian Cox (InuYasha), Houko Kuwashima (Sango), and Jillian Michaels (Shippo). ...
InuYasha: The Final Act Set 2 Blu-ray Screenshots
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