~Inu-Yasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale~

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Title: Inu-Yasha

Translated: Literally - "Dog-Demon"

Form of Anime: Series/3 Movies/Manga

Released in the U.S.: Yes

Ryo Dark says: Another goodie by the fantastic Rumiko Takahashi.  This anime has something for all viewers and is most definitely recommended!  I heart Sesshomaru.

This anime is one of my all-time favorites! This one is by the famed manga-ka (manga artist), Rumiko Takahashi, who also did Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikkoku, and Lum*Urusai Yatsura. This series is set half in feudal Japan, and half in modern-day Tokyo. It's about a young girl, Kagome (pronounced *KA*gome, no matter what the English dub tells you!!), who is from modern times, who falls through an old well on her property (which is an old shrine with a *lot* of history behind it!), and the well takes her back into the Feudal Era.

In the Feudal Era, fifty years before the story begins, there is a young Miko (priestess) named Kikyo, who is protecting a special jewel, called the Shikon no Tama (the 'Jewel of the Four Souls'), which gives extremely heightened powers to demons. A hanyou (half-demon), Inu-Yasha, attempts to steal the jewel and take Kikyo's life. Kikyo shoots him with a magic arrow, imprisoning him in sleep against a tree. But Kikyo has been mortally wounded, and asks her sister, Kaede, to burn the Shikon no Tama with her body, so that it would never find its way into evil hands. Fifty years pass...

When Kagome falls through the well, she finds herself not in Tokyo, but in a forest. The first "person" she sees looks like a mingling of a human and a dog -- white hair, white dog ears, claws and teeth (everything else appears human... you guessed it! It's Inu-Yasha!). She can't resist the urge to rub his furry ears (yes, this is actually somewhat important!), but is spotted by some villagers, who shoot arrows at her, then tie her up and take her to the village, where the old wise-woman, Kaede (yes, she's back! and fifty years older!) takes one look at her, and realizes that this young girl is the spitting image of Kikyo. Then a centipede-monster attacks, wanting the Shikon no Tama (but it was burned with Kikyo's body!)... Kagome runs to the forest where she saw Inu-Yasha. Almost at the tree where he slept, the monster catches up with her, and bites her side. *Something* pops out... and Inu-Yasha wakes up at Kagome's scream. That something is the Shikon no Tama, which was somehow *inside* Kagome's body. Kagome frees Inu-Yasha from his magical imprisonment to rescue her from the monster, who had swallowed the Shikon no Tama. Inu-Yasha kills it... then when Kagome pulls the Jewel out, turns on her. Kaede puts a magical rosary around Inu-Yasha's neck, to which Kagome affixes a 'word of power'...Osuwari! (SIT!)...which slams Inu-Yasha to the ground.

Things happen, monsters come to take the jewel, and Kagome accidentally hits the Jewel (which had been swallowed by a crow demon) with an arrow, and it shatters. The Jewel shatters, and the pieces scatter *everywhere*. Kagome, who can see the Jewel inside of a demon, and Inu-Yasha, with his demon weapons and strength (and everything) must team up in order to find all of the shards of the Jewel (each of which are now as powerful as the entire Jewel had been originally.)

Along the way, the pair is joined by several other great characters: Myouga, a demon flea, who seems to have the power of lessening paralysis spells (and other damaging spells) by sucking the blood of the bespelled...and is also an amazing coward; Shippou, a young kitsune (full fox-demon) (with a tail as big as he is... o ***KAWAII***) who can shape-change into just about anything; Miroku, a rather...lecherous...Buddhist monk with a curse/power of an abyss in his hand; and Sango, a demon huntress with a bone to pick with a certain someone.

The two main "bad guys" in this series (there are many enemies, but the group destroys most of them, taking their Shikon shards ^_^) are Inu-Yasha's half-brother, a full demon named Sesshoumaru (who is drop-dead **GORGEOUS!**), who detests his younger half-brother; and Naraku, a demon who wants... well, no one really *knows* what he wants, besides chaos.

Want to know more? Watch the series or read the manga!

Music: 4.5 stars out of five! (**lot** of fun to sing along to, really engaging!)

Animation: 5 stars out of five! (Rumiko Takahashi's work is always wonderful!)

Plot: 5 stars out of five! (Always leaves you desperately wanting more, and you can really get into the story.)

Character Development: 5 stars out of five! (Really cute characterizations, hysterical, and the growth of the characters and their relationships is really wonderful)

Overall: 5 stars out of five! (a definite must-see!!)