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.

Additional posts about Inuyasha:

Manga Review: Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 17

Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 17 combines Volumes 49 through 52 of Rumiko Takahashi’s Inuyasha manga into one volume. 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 17
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 12, 2013

The first two chapters of this volume finish off the storyline with Kanna and the mirror demon that began at the end of Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 16. After a brief battle where it seems like Inuyasha should be losing, he manages to turn the tide and regain the power of his Tetsusaiga. Afterward. Kagome, Inuyasha, and the others show compassion to Kanna, but Naraku decides to order Kanna self-destruct to kill Inuyasha and Kagome. He doesn’t succeed, but Kanna gives Kagome information and a hint for destroying Naraku before she’s brought to an end. For the time we saw Kanna in the series, she had no emotion, and didn’t seem to feel pain. But perhaps Kagome and Inuyasha showing compassion to Kanna managed to awaken something inside of her to betray Naraku before her demise. This is something the reader never would have expected from Kanna.

The next four chapters see Inuyasha and the others learning about a demon who steals people’s bones. It’s said that the demon takes on the guise of a beautiful woman, so it’s not surprising that Miroku wants to investigate. Sango decides to join him to make sure he doesn’t get into trouble. These four chapters focus on Miroku and Sango as they find the demon and take it on. In the process of fighting the demon, Sango’s Hiraikotsu, which is made of demon bones, becomes something that the demon wants. When Sango uses it, the demon actually takes bites out of the weapon. The fight with the demon causes Miroku to use his wind tunnel again, and his wound spreads more. While Kagome and Inuyasha come to save their friends, this is ultimately a story that focuses on Sango and Miroku. In the end, it’s Sango who saves the day… but she has to apply a corrosive salve to her boomerang bone, and it adds additional damage to her weapon.

The next four chapters see Sango and the others going to Totosai to see about getting Hiraikotsu repaired. Totsai says he is unable to do anything because of the poison salve, and he recommends that they go see a potion master named Yakuro Dokusen so he can extract the poison from the weapon. Myoga makes one of his occasional appearances and offers to lead the group to the potion master. The potion master isn’t happy about the corrosive poison being applied to the weapon, and at first says he won’t help… until he sees that the owner of the weapon is a beautiful woman. Sango is told to exterminate demons in an urn, and when they’ve been quieted the poison in the urn will become medicine. It’s interesting when Sango discovers what the demons are and what she has to do in order to take care of Hiraikotsu. Meanwhile, the potion master realizes that Miroku has been poisoned pretty badly. He gives Miroku a potion that can stop the pain associated with using the wind tunnel but isn’t able to stop the spread of the wound. Miroku decides to take it, and it turns out this actually has a connection to Sango’s trial. At this point in the series, Takahashi is focusing on building Miroku and Sango as a couple, and this story was another way to intertwine these two characters and to continue building their relationship.

The next five chapters focus on Sesshomaru and his Tenseiga. His quest to learn more causes him to run into Shishinki, who had fought Sesshomaru’s father. It turns out that Meido Zangetsuha was Shishinki’s move, but it was stolen by the great dog demon. He also knows information about Tenseiga, which links it to Inuyasha’s Tetsusaiga. When Sesshomaru and Shishinki fight, Inuyasha and his group arrives, and Inuyasha tries to jump in. Sesshomaru doesn’t want the help, but Inuyasha insists. At the climax of the fight, Sesshomaru and Inuyasha’s swords resonate with each other and bring about Shishinki’s end. With what’s revealed here, Sesshomaru seems to get the wrong idea of his father’s intentions when it came to Tenseiga and Tetsusaiga.

This is followed by a one chapter story that sees Kagome returning to modern day. Unfortunately, the rest of her family won a trip to a hot springs, so they’re not home. Kagome goes through her day and finds herself feeling lonely, and Inuyasha makes an appearance. The two of them have an important conversation, and it seems they’re acknowledging their feelings for each other. Unfortunately, before they can act on this, Kagome’s family returns. At first, this chapter kind of feels like a throw away, since the chapters of Kagome returning to modern day Japan tend to fall into that category. However, the conversation that takes place here starts advancing the relationship between Kagome and Inuyasha, so it’s actually rather important. After all this time, I was happy to finally see these two acknowledge that they have mutual feelings for each other.

The next 10 chapters focus on Naraku setting a trap to try to capture Kohaku and his shard, while at the same time, Sesshomaru is trying to come to terms with what he’s learned about Tenseiga. It turns out that, thanks to what Kikyo did in the previous volume, Naraku can’t touch Kohaku’s shard. And it turns out that when the potion master repaired Hiraikotsu, it was changed… but Sango wouldn’t know how until she used it. When she uses it on Naraku, it wraps itself in Naraku’s aura and tears him apart. Naraku isn’t dead, but he’s not whole anymore, either. Afterward, Byakuya of the Dreams appears and gives Sesshomaru a shard from Kanna’s mirror. He goads Sesshomaru to coat Tenseiga with the dust of the pulverized shard so Tenseiga can steal Tetsusaiga’s power. Sesshomaru challenges Inuyasha, and an epic fight between the brothers takes place. At the end of the fight, some surprising things happen. But one of the events ends up being important for something that takes place later in the volume.

The next two chapters have a focus on Shippo. Inuyasha and the others find an inn to stay at. Unknown to them, though, there’s a fox demon disguise and trickery exam taking place there. Shippo is mistaken for a participant, and his involvement helps to bring about hijinks for Inuyasha. While this particular story doesn’t do anything to progress the overarching storyline, it’s a light-hearted breather that’s needed at this point. The story has been moving along rather quickly by this point in the volume, so the reader needs some kind of a break before the overarching story continues on.

The next five chapters introduce Hitomiko, a priestess who is overtaken by Naraku’s spider silk and passes away. Unfortunately, the villagers didn’t follow her burial instructions, so she comes back and is controlled by Naraku. Inuyasha and the others come to the village, and Naraku orders Mitohiko to use her spirit powers to steal Kagome’s power and kill her. This story focuses on the confrontation between Mitohiko and Kagome, and it’s revealed that Kagome isn’t utilizing her full spiritual power… that something has blocked her from doing so since her birth. What’s been fueling Kagome’s power this volume has been the bow that Kikyo gave to her in the previous volume before her death. While Kagome is able to prevail in the end, Mitohiko’s words about Kagome not utilizing her full spiritual power haunts her.

This is followed by a one chapter story of Kagome returning to modern day Japan. She learns that entrance exams for high school are coming up, and she starts trying to study for them. Her grandfather brings her an amulet for her studies: a replica of the Shikon Jewel. He reiterates the story of the jewel, and at first, Kagome isn’t paying attention. But then he says a part of the story that she didn’t remember: “whoever possesses the Shikon Jewel should make the correct wish.” As Kagome thinks this over and how she kept forgetting the legend of the Shikon Jewel when she goes back to Inuyasha’s time, she realizes who it is that’s been blocking her from using her full spiritual potential. And at this point, I believe that phrase from Kagome’s grandfather is some kind of clue for how to defeat Naraku.

In the final six chapters of this volume Sesshomaru encounters Magarsuhi, a manifestation of the dark side of the Shikon Jewel that was unleashed by Naraku. Inuyasha and the others come across this encounter, and an exciting and climactic battle takes place here. Sesshomaru discovers something surprising right at the end of the fight (which is also right at the end of the chapter). This discovery brings about an important development for Sesshomaru, and it ended up being a great note to end this volume on.

I thought that Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 16 included impressive development for the story and the series, but Volume 17 has surpassed that. I don’t think it’s simply due to the fact that this is a four-in-one release instead of a three-in-one release. We’ve finally reached a point in the series where Takahashi was ready to progress the story toward its conclusion, and she does it in a big way over the course of the 40 chapters that are included here. At this point, it’s getting quite obvious to the reader that the story has to be getting closer to its conclusion due to the developments and discoveries that take place. I’m really looking forward to reading Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 18 to find out what’s going to happen next.

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.

Additional posts about Inuyasha:

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.

Additional posts about Inuyasha:

Manga Review: Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 15

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.

Additional posts about Inuyasha:

Manga Review: Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 14

Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 14 combines Volumes 40 through 42 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 14
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 12, 2013

The first three chapters in this volume finish off the story with the swordsmith named Toshu, who forged the Dakki sword and now wants to make the demon blade his own. By killing Ryujin, it has become a true demon blade… and he now has his sights set on Inuyasha and Tetsusaiga. Both Inuyasha and Toshu want to steal energy from the other’s sword, and this causes an impressive sword fight to take place between the two of them. Obviously, Inuyasha was going to have to win out in the end, but it was interesting to see what caused Toshu’s undoing. And with the defeat of Toshu, Tetsusaiga takes Ryujin’s power. While this seems to be a good thing on the surface, acquiring this power ends up causing problems for Inuyasha as the volume progresses.

The next chapter sees Kagome taking Inuyasha to modern day Japan to so he can heal up from the previous adventure. She tells Inuyasha to stay at her house and rest, but of course, he doesn’t listen. Later, he tries to help fetch ingredients for dinner, but let’s just say that Kagome is not happy with Inuyasha for bringing back carp from the neighbor’s koi pond and catching birds. Inuyasha does one more thing right at the end of the chapter that causes problems for the Higurashi family. Poor Kagome. But this was a light-hearted chapter that was needed before starting into the next storyline.

We return to feudal Japan, and the next three chapters focus on a storyline of a cat demon at a temple. Inuyasha and the others go to what they think is a deserted temple… but there’s a nun there, and she offers them shelter from the rain. The nun is beautiful, so the lecherous Miroku flirts with her, much to Sango’s dismay. They discover there are cat demons in the temple, and that the nun has been possessed by a cat demon. Kagome finds herself in danger, and of course, Inuyasha comes in to save the day. This storyline marks the debut of the Dragon-Scaled Tetsusaiga, which is a more powerful version of the sword. Unfortunately, it feels hot to Inuyasha after he uses it. This marks the beginning of the issues that Inuyasha has with Tetsusaiga in this volume.

The next four chapters introduce a new character named Byakuya. Throughout his appearance in this volume, it’s obvious he has a connection with Naraku, but it’s hard to tell if he’s working for or against Naraku. Byakuya is a bit of an enigma, and this really doesn’t change by the end of the volume. During this story, Inuyasha and the group learn about a poisonous water demon called Mizuchi. At one point, Inuyasha can small both Mizuchi  and Moryomaru, and it turns out the water demon ate a piece of flesh that fell into its swamp that most likely came from Moryomaru. Inuyasha uses the Dragon-Scaled Tetsusaiga to absorb the demon’s venom, and the sword feels hot to Inuyasha afterwards. Byakuya watches the battle from a distance and finds a way to disrupt things. Later, Byakuya comes before Inuyasha, and he can tell right away that there’s a connection with Naraku. While Inuyasha manages to take down the Mizuchi with the Dragon-Scaled Tetsusaiga, the sword is still giving him issues. Totosai, the swordmaker, comes along and says the problem isn’t with the sword… it’s with Inuyasha himself, because of the fact that he’s only a half-demon. While there is a chance for Inuyasha to be able to control what happens with the newly powered-up Tetsusaiga, he has to choose his opponents carefully. Inuyasha’s desire to control his powered-up sword becomes a running storyline in this volume, and Byakuya will make several more appearances as well.

The next four chapters focus on Meioju, a large turtle-like demon who wants his shell back, which was taken by humans and used to make armor. We learn through exposition provided by Byakuya that Moryomaru is interested in the Meioju in order to better protect himself. The Meioju manages to acquire its shell, while Sesshomaru arrives and confronts Byakuya. Meioju, meanwhile, tricks Inuyasha into using the Diamond Spears, so Moryomaru can steal them. Right at the end of this story, we see that Kikyo and Kohaku have teamed up together to take down Moryomaru.

The next seven chapters see Moryomaru going through a transformation, Kikyo and Kohaku trying to go after him, Sesshomaru arriving and joining the fray, and Inuyasha jumping in as well. At one point, when Moryomaru mocks Kagura for developing a soft heart and dying a pitiful death, this stirs something in Sesshomaru, and he angrily begins attacking Moryomaru. Sesshomaru’s Tokijin breaks in the process and he sustains some injuries. Later, Totosai comes to Sesshomaru because Tenseiga has summoned him. It has acknowledged a change in Sesshomaru’s soul, and Totosai re-forges Tenseiga, giving it the ability to open the path to the underworld. But I think this portion of the story, where the reader begins to see a change in Sesshomaru’s soul, is one of the best parts of this volume. Unfortunately, at the end of this story, Moryomaru lives to return for another day.

This is followed by another one chapter story of Kagome taking Inuyasha to modern day Japan so he can heal. Once again, she asks Inuyasha to stay at her house while she’s at school, but he doesn’t listen. Poor Kagome is trying to take a makeup quiz at school, and she’s having a hard time remembering the math formulas she needs, and even wonders if she knows this material. But just as she’s starting to remember the information she she needs, Inuyasha arrives and distracts her… which of course, makes Kagome forget everything. Again, the reader needed this breather after the action-packed and busy story of the previous seven chapters.

The next four chapters see Inuyasha and the others going up against Nikosen, a demon who was once a hermit sage, that devours the vital sap of trees. Inuyasha wants to take on the demon right away, but Kagome reminds him that it’s the night of the new moon (the night that Inuyasha becomes fully human and loses his demon abilities). Foolishly, Inuyasha tries to take Nikosen on, anyway, but when the night comes, he is unable to do anything. Inuyasha was able to chop off the demon’s head before then, and Miroku and Sango go after it because it has a Shikon Jewel shard in it. Unfortunately, it turns out the demon can generate additional heads onto its body, which is near Inuyasha, Kagome, and Shippo. The demon has a seimeikan life-force stalk, which is what Inuyasha and Kagome have to try to destroy. Meanwhile, Byakuya has set a trap for Nikosen’s first head and destroys it. Of course, when the morning comes, Inuyasha gets his demon abilities back, and there’s an impressive fight between him and Nikosen. By striking the life-force stalk with the Dragon-Scaled Tetsusaiga, Inuyasha discovers that he doesn’t get hit with an energy backlash. It turns out the stalk had the power of a senki (a sage), and now that the Tetsusaisa has absorbed it, the sword will never hurt Inuyasha again. Right at the end of this story, Kanna comes to Moryomaru and claims to have run away from Naraku.

The final three chapters in this volume begin the story of 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. They have only managed to wound each other, so they continue to fight to try to kill the other, even though they leave destruction in their wake. Kanna encourages Moryomaru to devour Kinka and Ginka so his armor will become stronger. The volume ends with Inuyasha and Moryomaru in a battle.

The thing that interested me with the characters of Kinka and Ginka is the fact that they re-appear in the Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon spin-off anime. When I read the next volume, I’ll see how their storyline was resolved here, and to see whether their appearance in Yashahime makes sense.

But, yikes! A lot of new concepts and abilities, as well as the character of Byakuya, are introduced in this omnibus volume. Not only that, it felt like there were bigger advances in the plot. The previous omnibus volume seemed to have fewer story arcs (due to more of the arcs having several chapters devoted to them), and it didn’t feel like the story moved along as much as it did in this volume. But even with this story progression, the reader can tell there’s still more of the story to tell. It’s definitely not going to be ending anytime soon, because there’s not only Moryomaru that needs to be defeated, but Naraku as well. And now there’s Byakuya to add some new wrinkles to the story as well.

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.

Additional posts about Inuyasha:

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.

Additional posts about Inuyasha:

Pawsonify Producing Officially Licensed Naruto Shippuden, Boruto, and Inuyasha Pet Accessories

Pawsonify, the leader in anime pet wear, has partnered with VIZ Media to develop lines of pet accessories based on the hit manga and anime series Naruto Shippuden, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, and Inuyasha.

Pawsonify’s deal grants them North American and South American rights to create dog and cat collars, leashes, pet ID tags, and waste bag dispensers from these top anime series. They are proud to become the first US pet product licensee for Boruto or Inuyasha, and the first cat product licensee for all three franchises in the Americas.

“Growing up I loved Naruto – the characters, the story, and the whole world that it takes place in,” said Vensy March, the founder and CEO of Pawsonify. “Naruto was some of my earliest cosplays and I always wanted to have something from that anime for my pets. We’re so happy to make pet stuff that animal-loving Naruto fans like us will enjoy!”

Inuyasha has some of the most beautiful, iconic outfits in anime,” said Kevin Cheung, president of Pawsonify.”“We are thrilled to design pet accessories that capture the spirit of the main characters and the traditional Japanese style of the series.”

“We love our pets and they are very important members of our families,” said Laura Takaragawa, Vice President Consumer Products and Promotions at VIZ Media. “Fans of Naruto, Boruto, and Inuyasha will be excited to express and share their love for these anime with their furry friends.”

At launch, products will include forehead protector-style designs for shinobi and rogue animal ninjas, Akatsuki red cloud collars and leashes, and konoha accessories in Naruto and Boruto colors. The Inuyasha line will feature designs focused on Sesshomaru, Kagome, and Inuyasha. Fans can pre-order now on www.Pawsonify.com.

Manga Review: Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 12

Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 12 combines Volumes 34 through 36 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 12
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 14, 2012

This volume continues the storyline with the rats that began at the end of the previous volume. This storyline is taking place in two different locations. In one location, where Inuyasha, Kagome, and Shippo are, they discover a demon lure has been placed on a tree. This lure is attracting the rats, and Inuyasha suspects it was placed by Kikyo, who is nowhere to be seen. Unfortunately, Hakudoshi shows up and releases large slugs on the tree. Inuyasha and Kagome try their best to defeat the slugs, but the slugs end up nullifying the effect of the demon lure… which causes the rats to head back to where they came from.

The other part of this story features Sango, Miroku, and Kohaku (who has the portable shrine). Kohaku is put into a precarious situation now that he’s face-to-face with Sango. He can’t reveal to Sango that he’s regained his memory, because he doesn’t want Naraku to realize this fact… and yet, he can’t bring himself to harm his sister. You have to feel for Kohaku because of this balancing act he’s trying to maintain. When the lure wears off, the rats come rushing back to the shrine, and the sheer number of them put Kohaku in danger. Miroku tries to use his wind tunnel to suck them up, but there’s just too many of them. A conflicted Sango ultimately saves Kohaku and is injured by the rats. A sacred arrow suddenly appears and nullifies the barrier around the shrine. Of course, it’s easy to guess that the arrow is Kikyo’s doing. But this one act allows Inuyasha to destroy the shrine and make the rats disappear. Kohaku has to make a run for it, but at this point, he decides that it’s time to find a way to destroy Naraku.

At the end of this story, we get a heartfelt conversation between Sango and Miroku, where Sango shares how conflicted she feels about Kohaku. On the one hand, she feels he’s done some despicable things, even if he was being controlled by Naraku. But on the other, Kohaku is still her little brother, and that’s why she shielded him when the rats returned.

After this story, we get a chapter where Kagome returns to modern-day Japan without telling Inuyasha. When he finds out, he becomes upset and crosses over to modern-day Japan as well. It turns out Kagome has been blowing off steam about Inuyasha to her friends, and they happen to run into him at Kagome’s house. Fortunately, his ears are covered, so they don’t realize that he’s not human. This is an amusing chapter, and it ends with Kagome’s friends approving of Inuyasha. This was a much needed breather after the previous storyline, and it also basically brings about a resolution for Kagome in modern-day Japan when it comes to her friends and Inuyasha. Now that they’ve met him, Takhashi can no longer use their misunderstandings of him as humor.

This is followed by a short storyline about Yadori Sanagi, which is a parasitic nymph that possesses demons. Shippo is possessed by one, and this leads to hijinks. Unfortunately, the village they’re at wants to kill Shippo for the pranks he’s pulling, so it’s up to Inuyasha and the others to get rid of the nymph and save Shippo. This leads to the group finding a bunch of the nymphs in one area, and they suspect that the host they inhabited died. They also discover a “living mountain” demon named Gakusanjin. Naraku has removed the demon’s sacred nulling stone, which has the ability to obliterate any sign of a demon’s power. Both this demon and its sacred stone are an important element that runs throughout the remainder of this volume. A character named Goryomaru is also introduced over the course of this volume, and he becomes a very important character who ties in with the plot of the sacred nulling stone. Kagura also plays an important role in many of the events that take place in this volume.

There is also a plot point of Miroku returning to a village where he had saved a sickly girl a couple of years earlier. He said that if she got better, he’d let the girl bear his child. But it turns out the girl’s father had prayed to the guardian deity to heal his daughter in exchange for anything the deity wanted. The deity asked for the girl’s hand in marriage, so they are now trying to use Miroku to get out of that promise. Of course, this makes Sango jealous and puts her budding relationship with Miroku to the test. I liked the way this storyline was ultimately resolved, and for the most part, it appears that Miroku and Sango have gotten a little closer. Miroku isn’t going to change overnight, of course, but this is a step in the right direction.

The final story in this volume also places a focus on Miroku and Sango’s relationship. This time, the enemy is a medicine merchant who seems to prey on women. Sango starts falling for his spell, and it’s up to Inuyasha and the others to save her. This time, it’s a storyline where Miroku gets jealous instead of Sango. Fortunately, their relationship passes this test as well.

A lot happens over the course of Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 12, both with progressing the overarching story and character development. Much of the character development focuses on Sango and Miroku in this volume, but we also see some for Kohaku and Kagura. And right near the end of the volume, there’s a very important scene that takes place between Inuyasha and Kagome. Kagome spends a lot of the volume feeling jealous of Kikyo, but this final scene between these two seems to indicate that perhaps Kagome is beginning to feel at least a little more confident in her relationship with Inuyasha. There’s still a long way to go for these two, but it felt like this scene was an important step forward.

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.

Additional posts about Inuyasha:

VIZ Media Announces August 2021 Manga and Anime Releases

VIZ Media has announced the company’s manga and anime releases for August 2021.

Shonen Jump

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 5—Golden Wind Volume 1
By Hirohiko Araki

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$19.99

Golden Wind is here. The highly-acclaimed fifth arc of Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure shifts the action from Japan to Italy, as Koichi Hirose heads to Europe to find an aspiring gangster named Giorno Giovanna, the secret son of Dio Brando, scourge of the Joestar family. Organized crime meets family drama and unbelievable enemy Stands in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 5—Golden Wind.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 23 (FINAL VOLUME)
By Koyoharu Gotouge

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

In an epic confrontation, Tanjiro and his fellow Demon Slayers have fought on through the night, suffering terrible losses against the King of Demons, Muzan Kibutsuji. Dawn is breaking soon, and if they can keep Muzan at bay just a little longer, it will be the end of the centuries-long struggle. But Muzan will stop at nothing to destroy the Demon Slayers and unleash his most terrible powers. And if he can’t defeat them, he may even be able to cause the Demon Slayer Corps to destroy itself from within. All fates and destines will be decided as the sun begins to rise…

Haikyu!! Volume 45 (FINAL VOLUME)
By Haruichi Furudate

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

With the Adlers and Black Jackals match in full swing and years of rivalry and friendship thrown out into the open, Hinata and Kageyama continue to duke it out on the court. Will Hinata finally get to declare a major victory over Kageyama? Don’t miss the exciting finale.

We Never Learn Volume 17
By Taishi Tsutsui

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Of all the girls Nariyuki Yuiga tutors, Uruka Takemoto is the one who has known him (and had a crush on him) the longest. Despite her outgoing personality, she’s surprisingly shy when it comes to expressing her feelings for Nariyuki. And with her upcoming enrollment at a university overseas, it seems like all hope is lost when it comes to love…

Chainsaw Man Volume 6
By Tatsuki Fujimoto

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

A new girl named Reze has shown up and swept innocent Denji right off his feet. But is Reze exactly what she seems? (Spoiler: Nope.) Is Denji about to find happiness once and for all? (Spoiler: Nope.) Prepare for the storm of all storms when Chainsaw Man looks for true love.

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 11
By Gege Akutami

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

The Shibuya subway station is teeming with civilians and transfigured humans. Despite this dire circumstance, Satoru Gojo defeats the cursed spirits there. However, the cursed spirits possess a special item that can even seal the all-powerful Gojo. Meanwhile, an unlikely ally suddenly contacts Yuji Itadori, who is on his way to the station.

One Piece Volume 97
By Eiichiro Oda

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

The battle for Wano commences for real as the Straw Hats and their allies invade Kaido’s base on Onigashima. Luffy may have gotten stronger, but he’s gonna need all the help he can get against Kaido’s powerful forces.

Black Clover Volume 26
By Yūki Tabata

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

The battle to protect the Heart Kingdom continues. The Clover Kingdom knights may have won round 1, but Vanica and her minions won’t go down quietly. Just what is the secret to her power, and is there a way to counter it?

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War Volume 20
By Aka Akasaka

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

Will Tsubame tell Yu she returns his affections on graduation day? Unfortunately, Yu’s gaming addiction may have an impact not only on his grades but on how Tsubame views him. Hopefully his ruthless academic coach Kaguya’s diabolical plan will keep him from failing. On the other hand, someone else gets unexpectedly low marks this exam period. Then, on Valentine’s Day, which of the gang will give or receive romantic chocolates, friendship chocolates or obligatory
chocolates?

Fight rumors with rumors.

Shojo Beat

The King’s Beast Volume 3
By Rei Toma

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

Rangetsu hasn’t given up on vengeance, but nothing about the imperial palace is simple. Now that she knows and trusts Prince Tenyou, she has come to see that her most important duty is to keep him alive for the sake of all Ajin—even at the cost of her own life.

Yona of the Dawn Volume 31
By Mizuho Kusanagi

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

The Kingdom of Kohka triumphs over Sen Province, but Hak is gravely injured and Yona is unable to speak. Meanwhile, while tending to injured soldiers, Yun shows interest in the Sky Tribe’s medical techniques. Advisor Keishuk invites him to Hiryuu Palace to learn more, but what is Keishuk’s true motive?

Kaze Hikaru Volume 29
By Taeko Watanabe

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

After attempting to seduce Sei, the aristocrat Yoshinobu begins to tell her about his past. With Sei’s support, Yoshinobu makes up his mind to take on the role of shogun. However, his decision to call off the Choshu expedition and request an imperial order to stop the fighting enrages Councillor Ito to the point that he decides to overthrow the Bakufu. Nakamura Goro, who is on Ito’s side, has always had feelings for Sei, and he comes up with his own plans to separate her from troop captain Soji, who is the love of her life.

VIZ Media

Star Wars: Guardians of the Whillis
Adapted by Jon Tsuei, Illustrated by Subaru

On Sale Date: August 10, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$14.99

The Force is with me, and I am one with the Force.
– Chirrut Îmwe

Presiding over the Kyber Temple on Jedha, the Guardians of the Whills, Baze Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe, had hoped to maintain a peaceful balance despite the growing presence of the Empire in their Holy City. Yet they struggle to stay true to the Force as stormtroopers threaten to take over. When a rebel named Saw Gerrera appears offering them a chance to help Jedha, Baze and Chirrut must decide if they’re willing to compromise for peace, or if Saw’s plan is too dangerous to risk?

Star Wars: Guardians of the Whills introduces Baze and Chirrut before they meet the Rebellion members who turn the tide in the fight against the Empire in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Writer Jon Tsuei and manga artist Subaru bring the origin story of this fan favorite duo to life in a new manga adaptation based on the novel by Greg Rucka.

© & TM 2021 LUCASFILM LTD Copyright © 2021 Disney
Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disney Cruella
Story by Hachi Ishi

On Sale Date: August 3, 2021
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: USA$14.99

You don’t become a legend by being nice,

She wasn’t born Cruella. Gifted with talent, innovation, and ambition, Estella dreamed of becoming a fashion designer, but the world seemed intent on making sure her dreams would never come true.

The life of an amateur thief is hardly a glamourous one, but in 1970’s London, at the crossroads of fashion, Estella has a vision for herself and her designs, if only she can afford it. Witness Estella’s life on the streets with her best friends and partners in (petty) crime, Horace and Jasper, before the infamous diva Cruella emerges to make sure no one gets in her way.

Pokemon: Sword & Shield Volume 1
Story by Hidenori Kusaka, Art by Satoshi Yamamoto

On Sale Date: August 10, 2021
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: USA$4.99

Excitable Casey and easygoing Henry share a dream of participating in gym battles. For Casey it’s a chance to become reunited with her missing Pokemon. For Henry, it’s a chance to search for the legendary Rusted Sword and Rusted Shield.

Radiant Volume 14
By Tony Valente

On Sale Date: August 10, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

Relentlessly hunted by antagonists known as Domitors, Seth tries to fend off his pursuers and ends up discovering a new and surprising ability. Meanwhile, after being rescued by the alchemist Hurlä and the cheerfully oddball kids of the Droplet Gang, Seth’s friends Mélie and Ocoho set out to find him and their other missing friend, Doc, who has been taken in by the Inquisition after being mistaken for a kidnapped child. Unfortunately Doc’s lousy luck lets him down even more when he meets up with an old and not at all welcome acquaintance.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition Volume 14
By Hiromu Arakawa

On Sale Date: August 10, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$19.99

In an alchemical ritual gone wrong, Edward Elric lost his arm and his leg, and his brother Alphonse became nothing but a soul in a suit of armor. With long-sought answers in hand, all that remains in the brothers’ quest to restore their bodies and save their country is to prepare for the reckoning looming on the Promised Day.

VIZ Signature

Sensor
By Junji Ito

On Sale Date: August 17, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$19.99

Did she wander in? Or was she drawn in?

A woman walks alone at the foot of Mount Sengoku. A man appears, saying he’s been waiting for her, and invites her to a nearby village. Surprisingly, the village is covered in hairlike volcanic glass fibers, and all of it shines a bright gold. At night, when the villagers perform their custom of gazing up at the starry sky, countless unidentified flying objects come raining down on them, the opening act for the terror about to occur.

Urusei Yatsura Volume 11
By Rumiko Takahashi

On Sale Date: August 17, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$19.99

Once again, Lum has introduced a bizarre menace to Earth, causing her classmates to quake with fear—a judge who “vanishes” performers whose New Year’s Hidden Talent Show acts are deemed subpar. Later, Mendo is shocked by the
sudden announcement of his arranged marriage to a bride so secret even members of her own family don’t know her.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Volume 3
Story by Haro Aso, Art by Kotaro Takata

On Sale Date: August 17, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$12.99

One by one, Akira has been checking little items like cleaning his room and snagging a new TV off his bucket list. Now, having grown weary of the hotbed of infection that is Tokyo, Akira makes the decision to head to his parents’ home in Gunma. But to get there, he needs to get past his former boss.

Assassin’s Creed: Blade of Shao Jun Volume 2
By Minoji Kurata

On Sale Date: August 17, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$14.99

Shao Jun, the last Assassin in China, has returned to her homeland with vengeance on her mind. The Templar Order’s machinations must be stopped, and only Shao Jun stands ready for the battle to come. As she eliminates her foes one by one, the Templar Order’s plans for the Great Ming Empire begin to come to light.

Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Volume 16
Story and Art by Yasuo Ohtagaki
Concept by Hajime Yatate and Yoshiyuki Tomino

On Sale Date: August 17, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$14.99

Daryl Lorenz and his support crew have made it back into space, but they’ve got the entire Earth Federation fleet between them and the Nanyang Alliance rendezvous point. Renegade Zeon General Galle can help, but his assistance comes at a price, and getting through the blockade will require an audacious plan that only Daryl Lorenz can pull off-stealing an advanced Mobile Armor equipped with the advanced Psycommu control system right out from under the Federation’s nose.

Shonen Sunday

Komi Can’t Communicate Volume 14
By Tomohito Oda

On Sale Date: August 10, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

Komi and her brother, Shosuke, are in the country visiting their grandmother, and even the company of their younger cousin Akira can’t save them from one dismal fact—they’re bored. The visit is salvaged, however, when they run into Inaka, who knows all about having a good time in the country. It’s friendship to the rescue.

Call of the Night Volume 3
By Kotoyama

On Sale Date: August 10, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Nazuna isn’t the only one who thinks Ko is a delicious snack. And Ko isn’t the only one who gets jealous. When Ko draws the attention of four other vampire girls with nefarious intentions, he must fight for his life—even though he wants to give it up to become a vampire. But only to a certain special someone. Unfortunately, there’s a time limit on being “turned,” which raises the…uh…stakes. Then, Ko follows some dating advice that backfires. Undeterred, he tries to help another vampire and mortal mend their love/hate relationship.

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle Volume 15
By Kagiji Kumanomata

On Sale Date: August 10, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

The sun shines on the Demon Castle… but it’s supposed to be perpetual night in the Demon World. Then Zeus—Poseidon and Hades’ little brother—joins the Demon Castle staff. Everyone is in awe of him except the princess, who quickly finds ways to use the most powerful of the mythological gods to help her achieve her ongoing and current personal goals of sleeping better and opening a cat cafe. Then, in a stunning reversal of fortune, an important castle inhabitant is taken hostage. Will Syalis help the rescue team’s efforts or hinder them? Plus, a very special Sleepy Princess/Doraemon crossover episode.

Home Video

Naruto: Set 4 BD
Shonen Jump

On Sale Date: August 10, 2021
Age Rating: TV-14
Price: USA$39.99

There’s a storm brewing and its name is Akatsuki. Sasuke has a chance run-in with the murderer of his entire clan, his brother Itachi. Can he avenge the Uchiha? Meanwhile, young Naruto begins training with Jiraiya to master the powerful Rasengan. Before long a battle among legends erupts when Orochimaru dares to confront Lady Tsunade and Jiraiya, while Sasuke, burning with angst, makes a terrible choice to travel down a path of darkness. Can his friends stop him?

Inuyasha Set 6 BD
VIZ Media

On Sale Date: August 10, 2021
Age Rating: TV-14
Price: USA$39.99

No description was available for this set because the press release included the write-up for the Naruto set with this Inuyasha release.

Manga Review: Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 11

Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 11 combines Volumes 31 through 33 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 11
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 8, 2012

At the end of the previous volume, it was revealed that the final shikon jewel shard was located at Inuyasha’s father’s grave, which is located in the borderland between this world and the afterlife. The first three chapters see Inuyasha and the others being followed by Naraku’s saimyosho as they head to the land of fire to try to go through the gate that leads to the borderland in order to reach Inuyasha’s father’s grave and retrieve the shikon jewel shard before Naraku can lay his hands on it.

Of course, getting to the borderland is no easy task. The gate is guarded by two large stone statues. Even beyond this, there’s a catch to go through the gate… only the dead may pass through. After a fierce battle with the statues and the gate is opened, Kagura’s demons slip past and try to pass through the gate. It turns out it’s a good thing that the demons slipped past, because it would have been the end of Inuyasha and the others if they hadn’t witnessed what would have happened to them if they had succeeded in going forward. I have to say, it must have been frustrating for Inuyasha and the others to realize that Hakudoshi was using them, as well as Kagura, to test what would happen if someone tried passing through the gate in this manner. It would also be frustrating to realize that you’ve gone back to square one for trying to find a way to reach the borderland and retrieve the shikon jewel shard.

Naraku, meanwhile, finds the Bird Princess Abi, who is using blood-sucking birds to get human blood in order to cure her mother, who has been poisoned. Naraku wants Abi to join forces with him. He swears he will help her collect human blood, in exchange for something that he wants. Naraku leaves her a trident that is made from his bones. Even though Abi accepts the trident, she doesn’t trust Naraku, and I can’t say that I blame her. Princess Abi plays a large role in the story that unfolds over the course of Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 11, especially after having an encounter with Inuyasha and his group when they try to protect a village from Abi’s blood-sucking birds.

This volume also sees a noblewoman being told she has given birth to a stillborn baby. However, Kanna and Kohaku arrive with the other half of Hakudoshi from when he split apart in a previous volume, telling the woman that this other half of Hakudoshi is her baby. Kohaku stays in the village in order to protect the infant, and when Abi and her birds later appear to lay siege to the castle when she thinks there’s a connection with Naraku there, Kohaku is ordered to slaughter the villagers and escape with the other half of Hakudoshi. During this time, Kohaku starts regaining his memory of slaughtering his village and injuring Sango. His memory is totally awakened when Sango appears, but Kohaku has to hide the fact that he has remembered everything. Kohaku has now made it his goal to take down Naraku, but he has to pretend to still have amnesia in order to prevent accidentally tipping his hand. To me, this is a big change for the series, and adds another layer for both Kohaku’s character and for the story.

A mysterious woman named Hijiri is introduced, who only speaks through her two aides and has never removed her veil. After she reveals some impressive spiritual power, it fuels speculation that this might actually be Kikyo and that she isn’t dead. At one point, Hijiri’s two aides are seen taking some of the soil from Kikyo’s shrine. The aides lead Kagome to where Kikyo is, and she must make a choice as to whether or not to save Kikyo. What a choice to have thrust upon her, especially with her feelings toward Inuyasha and her jealousy of Kikyo. In the end, I applaud Kagome for the decision that she makes… even if Kikyo acted like she didn’t appreciate it. Later, when Inuyasha meets up with Kikyo, she gives him a special arrow to give to Kagome, although it’s up to her whether or not she will master it.

After Kagome helps Kikyo, there’s quite a focus in this volume on the triangle between Kagome, Kikyo, and Inuyasha. Kagome spends time trying to sort through her feelings, but by the end of the volume, it doesn’t appear that she’s found any answers or resolved the issues that are bothering her. Sometimes, she takes her frustration out on Inuyasha, especially when she believes that he’s lying to her about his interactions with Kikyo. I think this is a realistic depiction, although I had to feel bad for Inuyasha at one point, because he was telling her the truth and she chose not to believe him.

Naraku finds a way to get to the borderland after killing Abi’s mother, and Inuyasha and the others “hitch a ride” on Naraku’s method. Unfortunately, with this method, there’s no guarantee that they will be able to return to the land of the living. At the gravesite, they find that the skeleton of Hosenki, the one who forged the black pearl, is guarding the shikon jewel shard and refuses to let anyone have it.

The remainder of the volume sees Inuyasha and the others battling with Naraku over trying to obtain the shikon jewel shard. Of course, this also includes trying to get Hosenki to hand the shard over to them before the shard can taint him. Sesshomaru finds a way to join the fray, and this exciting fight is actually resolved before the end of the volume.

The last two chapters in the volume begin a storyline with Naraku ordering Hakudoshi and Kohaku to kill a large shrine rat and take his zushi. With this item, they release a bunch of small zushi nezumi shrine rats. If you use physical attacks on them, the chunks become new rats and causes their numbers to multiply. The storyline with the rats is just getting going when this volume ends.

After reading Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 11, I feel that this volume is important for moving the story forward. Several revelations are made that force some of the characters to really take look at themselves and their feelings. Kohaku regaining his memory and keeping the fact this has happened a secret from everyone is also a major development. And of course, the revelation that Kikyo isn’t dead and can still influence the characters and the story is another important event that takes place in this volume. When all is said and done, the chapters included in this volume are a game-changer for the series.

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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