Manga Review: Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 18

Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 18 combines Volumes 52 through 56 of Rumiko Takahashi’s Inuyasha manga into one volume, and these are the final four volumes of the series. In addition to putting these four 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 18
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 11, 2014

At the beginning of the volume, Kagome discovers that she is unable to purify Kohaku’s Shikon Jewel shard. They realize that Magatsuhi, the manifestation of the dark side of the Shikon Jewel, must have suppressed Kagome’s powers.

In a one chapter story, Kagome returns to modern day Japan to take the entrance exam for high school. Inuyasha is impatient for her return, so he shows up and follows Kagome to the testing location. Poor Kagome has to retrieve her bag that gets stuck in the train, and then discovers her exam ticket isn’t in her bag. Fortunately, Kagome’s mother is to the rescue. Kagome was so flustered, between the events taking place in Feudal Japan and with her entrance exam in modern day, that she seems to be losing her head a little. At least, when all is said and done, Kagome manages to make it to her test on time and with everything she needs. This chapter was ultimately needed for two reasons. First, to provide something a little lighter after the events of the previous volume, and to show that Kagome is trying to also make progress in modern day Japan when it comes to her education.

In Feudal Japan, things are kicked up a notch when Sesshomaru goes to find Magatsuhi. Unfortunately, Magatsuhi evades Sesshomaru and possesses Kohaku. Unfortunately, this causes Miroku to use his wind tunnel, which brings him another step closer to his demise. When Inuyasha and Kagome return to Feudal Japan, they get pulled into the action. Magatsuhi tries to break Kohaku by replaying the moment he killed his family over and over in his mind, but words from Sango and Kikyo’s light in Kohaku’s shard set him free. This leads to an intense fight with Magatsuhi and Naraku, with some help from Byakuya, going up against our protagonists and Sesshomaru.

At this point in the volume, the stakes keep getting upped and the story moves along at a nice clip. A lot happens here, and it’s hard to boil it all down without giving away any major spoilers. But even with the various setbacks the characters seem to face, the story just keeps right on going, and it becomes clearer that the end is in sight. The battle reaches a climax where Byakuya does something to Kagome that causes an unexpected event when Naraku is finally defeated: Kagome disappears, along with the Bone Eaters’ Well. They disappear from both Feudal Japan and modern day Japan. Inuyasha is determined to find Kagome, and he finds that the Meido Zangetsuha can take Inuyasha to where she is. Kagome is being pressured by the Shikon Jewel to make a wish on it (this was referenced in the legend of the jewel that was told in the previous volume). I knew that when this was brought up that it would have to play some kind of part for the story’s finale. Inuyasha and Kagome reunite, and with Inuyasha by her side, Kagome makes the choice that she hopes is correct. Spoiler Alert: It is.

After making it through all 56 volumes of Inuyasha, I have to say that overall, it was worth the ride to reach the story’s conclusion. My main complaint is when Goryomaru is introduced to the series, because it kept feeling like the story just wasn’t progressing anywhere. Just when it seemed like Goryomaru would be defeated, he’d find a way to keep escaping time and time again. If Takahashi hadn’t dragged the Goryomaru story out as long as she did, Inuyasha would have been an even stronger series.

I have to admit that it’s also been kind of strange for me to be reading these last few VIZBIG releases, since I’ve been watching the Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon spin-off anime. Probably the biggest thing with this is that reading these last few volumes is jogging my memory about what happened at the end of Inuyasha, and with this reminder, being able to link events from Inuyasha even more with the spin-off anime.

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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