Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 15 combines Volumes 43 through 45 of Rumiko Takahashi’s Inuyasha manga into one volume. In addition to putting these 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 15
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 14, 2013

The first four chapters of this volume finish off the story about Kinka and Ginka, a pair of brothers who are joined and fight each other. In their culture, they are born with two heads, but the stronger head devours the weaker one and matures as a single demon. Unfortunately, they find their battle interrupted by Moryomaru, who intends to devour both of them in order to gain their blood to strengthen his armor. Inuyasha tries to save them, but this proud set of brothers fall for a trap that was set by Moryomaru. Moryomaru manages to devour Ginka, but with a combined team of Inuyasha and Kinka, along with some surprise help, Moryomaru is weakened and flees. This turns out to be the first of two occasions in this volume where it looks like Inuyasha is going to take down Moryomaru, but the villain is able to flee before Inuyasha can finish him off. That is one of the frustrating things about this volume, especially when you realize there’s still 11 more volumes remaining for the series. Also, the characters of Ginka and Kinka (or at least similar characters with the same names) make an appearance in the Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon anime spin-off of Inuyasha. But what makes this confusing is the fact that this Ginka and Kinka storyline makes an appearance in the Inuyasha: The Final Act anime. And this isn’t the only thing in this volume that is re-used in Yashahime.

The next three chapters see Sesshomaru working at perfect Tenseiga’s new powers, while Inuyasha and his friends come across a Numawatari, which is a man-eating swamp. But this demon isn’t easy for Inuyasha to take on, because the Tetsusaiga’s Scar of the Wind cannot cut the swampy water. Inuyasha ends up getting some unexpected help from Sesshomaru. However, Sesshomaru can’t help but sneer at Inuyasha for turning the Tetsusaiga into something “vulgar” because of the new energies that it has absorbed. Sesshomaru also insinuates that Inuyasha doesn’t know how to master the new powers of his blade. This leads Inuyasha to make another visit to Totosai, and the sword maker tells Inuyasha that he needs to find Yorei Taisei, the great holy spirit, and train under him. The idea of the man-eating swamp was something else that ended up being used in an episode of the Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon spin-off anime. It’s been interesting to notice some of the concepts from Inuyasha that were recycled for Yashahime. However, the main purpose of this chapter is for Inuyasha to learn about Sesshomaru’s updated Tenseiga and being told by Totosai to train under Yorei Taisei.

The next six chapters see Inuyasha and his friends finding Yorei Taisei. Unfortunately, a demon extracted his liver for because of the power it has. Inuyasha is sent to hunt down this demon and retrieve Yorei Taisei’s liver… but the appearances of the villagers have been altered to make them look like demons. Yorei Taisei starts putting chains on Tetsusaiga in order to keep Inuyasha from killing innocent people, and it becomes clear that he can only draw the sword once he finds the demon who stole the liver. Over the course of this story, Inuyasha is given red herrings for finding the true demons, especially the demon who took the liver. Inuyasha also learns about the concept of the demon vortex, which is an eddy of demon energy. However, a demon only has one real one even though he can see several at the same time, so Inuyasha has to figure out how to determine which one is the correct one. This concept of the demon vortex is important, and it shows up multiple times in the volume after this story’s conclusion. The twist at the end of the story was entertaining, but it was also predictable.

The next seven chapters have a focus on Koga, who is hunted down by Kai, a young member of a wolf tribe whose brother was kidnapped and his clansmen killed by a demon sent by Naraku. But before Kai goes to find Koga, Byakuya gives him a Shikon shard and tells him to get Koga’s Shikon Jewel shards before sundown. If not, Kai’s little brother will be killed. Well, Kai doesn’t get the jewel shards, but he does manage to bring Koga to Byakuya. Inuyasha and his friends find Kai’s slaughtered clansmen and they end up stumbling into the fight between Koga and the demon. Koga asks them to stay back and he starts using his Goraishi, the wolf demon sacred item he acquired in a previous volume. Koga takes down the demon, but the fight escalates and forces Koga to accept Inuyasha’s help. As much as it hurts Koga’s pride to accept the help, he knows he needs it. The fight keeps escalating, especially once Moryomaru joins in, which is why it takes seven chapters to tell this story. Midoriko’s will over the shards in Koga’s legs plays an important role in this story, as well as in one other in this volume. But once again, Moryomaru manages to get away just as it seems like Inuyasha is going to successfully destroy Naraku’s heart. I couldn’t help but feel a little bit of frustration by this turn of events, since we already had a similar “psyche” moment earlier in this volume. And at the end of this story, Koga sends his two sidekicks away to take care of Kai and his brother so he can begin traveling with Inuyasha and the others.

The remaining chapters in this volume lead up to a confrontation between Naraku and Moryomaru. But during this, Koga tries to leave Inuyasha and the others, only to encounter Kikyo and Kohaku. When it seems like Moryomaru has defeated Naraku and absorbed him, the Shikon Jewel shards from both combine to almost form a complete Shikon Jewel. Unfortunately, this now makes Kikyo more determined to try to acquire the shards in Koga’s legs. But during this confrontation between Naraku and Moryomaru, there are a lot of twists and turns to keep the reader interested in following what’s going on. It becomes an intense reading experience.

While I did enjoy reading Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 15, it was a little frustrating how it seemed like progress would be made regarding Moryomaru not just once, but twice, in this volume… and in the end, there was no progression because Moryomaru managed to get away and strengthen himself. However, with the confrontation between Moryomaru and Naraku, we finally get some kind of progression for the story. While one of these two may be gone, the other still remains and is back at large. And already knowing there’s still more 11 volumes worth of story to get through, it makes this progression a little bittersweet. It means that this was ultimately only a baby step to progress the story, and that there’s still a bit more to come before the series can reach a resolution.

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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