Manga Review: Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 16

Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 16 combines Volumes 46 through 48 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 16
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 13, 2013

The first three chapters of this volume focus on the Yama’arashi, a demon that’s being controlled by one of Naraku’s sliver spears. This demon has a lot of quills, which are poisoned by Naraku’s miasma. Each quill is an independent creation, which makes it hard to fight. Inuyasha and the others split into two groups to fight the demon, with Miroku and Sango riding on Kirara to separate off from the others. At the end of the previous volume, we learned that Miroku needs to stop relying on his wind tunnel after being poisoned by miasma that was purged by Kikyo. But when Sango is in danger, Miroku tries using his wind tunnel to save her. He notices the wound starts spreading but is willing to risk his life to save Sango. Fortunately, Inuyasha arrives in the nick of time before Miroku takes on more than he should. Sango has no idea of how fatal Miroku’s actions are, since Miroku asked Kikyo not to tell her. While it’s nice to see how much Miroku cares about Sango, I wish he wouldn’t act quite so recklessly and risk his life. And with this story, the reader realizes that Miroku trying to hide this risk from Sango will be a running thread in the story but is left wondering just how long it’ll be until Sango finds out the truth.

The next 14 chapters are very important for progressing the overarching story. It begins with Naraku hatching a plot to kill Kikyo and corrupt Kagome, by using special spider silk to capture Kikyo and manipulate Kagome. Because of this plot, Kikyo has to send Kohaku away with her shikigami because she is longer able to protect him and his Shikon Jewel shard. Unfortunately, this means that Naraku can now try to get either Kohaku’s shard or Koga’s shards. When it’s discovered that Kagome has been corrupted, she is sent on a quest to retrieve a sacred bow at a mountaintop mausoleum. But this quest forces Kagome to face her feelings concerning Inuyasha and Kikyo. This was a plot point that needed to happen, and I think it was handled well. This section of the manga includes a lot of twists and turns, as well as a couple of major events for story progression. Also at this point, Koga loses his Shikon Jewel shards and Kikyo is able to prevent those shards from being tainted by Naraku before she dies.

Meanwhile, Kohaku is found by Sesshomaru, Jaken, and Rin. This leads to Sesshomaru meeting up with his mother because he wants to learn how to expand the Tenseiga’s Meido. She has a Meido Stone that the great dog demon left her for safekeeping and she uses it to put Sesshomaru to a test. She has a demon spirit away Rin and Kohaku, and Sesshomaru goes into the Meido in order to save them. When Rin dies and Sesshomaru can’t revive her with the Tenseiga, he finds himself doing some soul searching in regards to Rin. Sesshomaru passes his mother’s test, and she uses the Meido Stone to revive Rin. Sesshomaru’s mother makes it clear that a person can only be revived once with Tenseiga. But after going through this test, Sesshomaru begins to open a merciful heart. I thought that this was some wonderful character development for Sesshomaru and marks an important turning point for him as a character.

The next three chapters see Inuyasha and the others come across a village surrounded by flowers. It turns out that the flowers feed on people’s worries and troubles and causes them to cry tears of blood before becoming seedbed for the flowers that are grown by Lord Kaou. Kaou senses Inuyasha’s feelings about Kikyo and her death and tries to capture Inuyasha; fortunately, Kagome comes to the rescue. This story forces Inuyasha to realize that he hadn’t noticed how much Kagome had been hurting due to his own grief. I appreciated seeing both Kagome and Inuyasha having to confront their respective feelings in this volume, and I think this will serve as the beginning of a true relationship between these two characters.

The last four chapters of the manga see Kanna return, using her mirror to summon a demon. But this isn’t an ordinary demon. It has a sword exactly like the Tetsusaiga, and it has the same powers… while Inuyasha can no longer use his sword’s power. Near the end of the volume, Inuyasha begins using his demon energy, yet he’s not losing his mind. Meanwhile, Kanna is taking the damage that Inuyasha is inflicting upon the demon. It’s very clear at the end of the volume that Naraku is trying to set up a battle between Inuyasha and Kanna. This was a great place for the volume to end, and it makes the reader want to go on to the next volume to find out what happens next.

Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 16 has a strong focus on character development and on finally advancing the story. This was a refreshing change of pace after having some of the volumes before this one feeling like they were “spinning their wheels.” I hope to see this trend continue with the remaining Inuyasha VIZBIG volumes.

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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