Manga Review: Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 13

Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 13 combines Volumes 37 through 39 of Rumiko Takahashi’s Inuyasha manga into one volume. In addition to putting three volumes into one book, the physical size of the book has also increased and the pages were flipped back to their original right-to-left orientation.

Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 13
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: November 13, 2012

The first half of this volume has a strong emphasis on Kohaku, Kagura, and Hakudoshi. Inuyasha and the others encounter Kohaku, who has been trying to hide the fact that he has regained his memory in order to take down Naraku. When Sango witnesses Kohaku doing things that seem to be helping people instead of hurting them, she starts to wonder if perhaps Kohaku has regained his memory. This realization, though, causes Sango to be confused and have mixed feelings regarding her younger brother. There ends up being a brief period of time in this volume where Sango and Kohaku are reunited, and Kohaku travels with Inuyasha and the others. Sadly, this doesn’t last, because Kohaku feels he still has his mission to accomplish. But the reunion between the siblings was such a sweet moment and was one I was wanting to see for a long time.

Meanwhile, Hakudoshi convinces Kagura to let Moryomaru, a demonic construct that is being controlled by Naraku, out of confinement. But as it’s revealed during the first half of this volume, Kagura, Hakudoshi, and Moryomaru are all trying to find ways to betray Naraku and gain their freedom. But Naraku realizes Kagura and Hakudoshi’s treachery. Naraku makes it possible to weaken Hakudoshi and allow Miroku to use his wind tunnel to take care of him. But Naraku appears and toys with Kagura… while he gives her her heart back, he injects miasma into her that slowly begins to kill her. This is a frustrating moment, because while Kagura has finally gained her freedom, she ends up having that freedom for such a short time.

In this volume, we get a couple of notable appearances from Sesshomaru. The first time, he appears when Inuyasha is trying to fight Moryomaru on the night of the new moon (when Inuyasha’s demon power is weakened). The other is when Sesshomaru comes across Kagura as she’s dying. He realizes that his Tenseiga is unable to save her, and all he can do is watch her die. Inuyasha and the others come upon the scene as Kagura passes away. Kagura had been a villain all this time, so I hadn’t expected her death to affect me as it did. Yes, she did have the occasional moment when she took actions that could have potentially redeemed her, but in the end, she was still a villain. Takahashi made Kagura just enough of a sympathetic character to make her death have an impact on the reader.

But with both Hakudoshi and Kagura gone, this turns Goryomaru into the new main villain for Inuyasha and the others to face. Kikyo returns to the series, realizing that if she doesn’t do something, she will wither away before finishing off Naraku. This leads into Inuyasha and the others visiting a cavern where a priestess lived hundreds of years ago. The priestess, Midoriko, used spells to extract demons’ souls and purify them. Midoriko was the one who created the Shikon Jewel, and when they see a mummy in the cave, it has something glowing in its chest. Kikyo uses her soul collectors grab the object in the mummy’s chest, which she uses on herself. But Kikyo has now unleashed Midoriko’s power, which she plans to use to take down Naraku when he tries to finish the Shikon Jewel and defile it. This is the point where Kohaku leaves Inuyasha and the others… it seems he wants the shard in him to be used to complete the Shikon Jewel so Kikyo can finish off Naraku, even though this would mean that Kohaku would die. At this point, both Goryomaru and the influence of Midoriko (through Kikyo) are important story elements that run throughout the rest of the volume.

Right at the end of the first half of the volume, Koga and his two sidekicks return, and they are important characters throughout most of the second half. After an encounter with Moryomaru, Koga decides to go to the burial ground of the wolves to retrieve a legendary weapon. Of course, a weapon of this caliber is being protected by a three-headed wolf and is not going to be easy to acquire. Two chapters focus on Koga’s battle, where in the end, he ultimately gains possession of the weapon. Unfortunately, it’s revealed that the weapon isn’t necessarily as strong as one would think it is, and it can only be used once to protect Koga from Midoriko’s will that’s controlling the shards in his legs. This seems to be strongly hinting that this weapon will be used at some point in the series. It’s just a matter of when Koga will have to use it and what event will trigger the weapon’s usage.

We then get three chapters about a girl trying to strengthen her sword by having it absorb demon powers. The girl befriends Shippo, under the pretenses that she lost her father the same way Shippo did. Poor Shippo gets fooled not just once, but twice. The first time, Mujina (the girl) hides the fact that she’s wanting to power up the sword in order to take over the world. The second time, it’s revealed that the girl is actually a male giant raccoon dog. The sword is taking away Tetsusaiga’s power while fighting with Inuyasha, but the raccoon dog is still defeated in the end. The sword, which Inuyasha broke during the fight, is taken to Totosai. Totosai reveals that this sword is Dakki, but it is actually a badly forged copy and not the real one. Inuyasha is told that if this had been the real Dakki, he would have easily lost.

The last couple of chapters see Inuyasha and the others looking for a human swordsmith named Toshu, since he forged Dakki. Toshu is paid a visit by the demon who commissioned the sword, but the swordsmith refuses to give it to him. Inuyasha and the others take on the job of protecting Toshu, and Inuyasha fights with the demon. But the demon’s shield draws out an opponent’s power, much like Dakki does. While Inuyasha manages to defeat the demon, the volume ends with Toshu taking the demon’s power and wielding Dakki. And that was quite the cliffhanger to end on, with the person Inuyasha and the others were protecting turning on them and taking the powerful sword for himself. The reader is left wondering what Toshu is planning to do with the sword.

A lot of changes take place over the course of Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 13. We get some touching scenes here, such as Kagura’s death and the reunion between Sango and Kohaku. While we see a couple of our villains killed, Moryomaru becomes the new baddie to take their place. While Inuyasha and the others have figured out how Naraku is using Moryomaru and the infant to protect his heart, they’re still no closer to catching up with or defeating Naraku. Even though some very important plot points and character progression take place in this volume, it’s still clear that the story still has a way to go before it reaches its conclusion.

These VIZBIG editions are a great and economical way for Inuyasha fans to collect this long-running series if they hadn’t already collected all of the original volumes. Also, I’d recommend it to readers who may have the original volumes but who want to be able to read the series in its original right-to-left orientation.

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One comment

  1. momomanamu · September 19

    Inuyasha is such a great series, both in manga and in anime form. It’s been a while since I finished it. It was nice to re-remember some really good parts. Thanks for the great post!

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