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.

Additional posts about Inuyasha:

Manga Review: Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 10

Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 10 combines Volumes 28 through 30 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 10
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 14, 2012

The first volume that’s included in this omnibus focuses exclusively on the Band of Seven storyline and brings it to an end. We get to see Miroku and Sango with the Living Buddha, and we find out why he’s helping Naraku. While the Living Buddha gets a chance at redemption, it’s not through the efforts of Miroku and Sango. Instead, it comes through a chance encounter with Kikyo. This is one of those moments where Kikyo shows that she’s retained at least a small piece of the humanity that she had during her life, and that she isn’t always just the bitter reincarnated priestess that she tried to portray herself as earlier in the series.

We also get to see the final showdown between Inuyasha and Jakotsu. With Inuyasha in his human form due to the barrier surrounding Mt. Hakurei, it appears that the battle is tilting in Jakotsu’s favor. But when the barrier breaks at Mt. Hakurei, Inuyasha reverts back to his half-demon form and gains the advantage. However, Inuyasha doesn’t completely kill Jakotsu, which is a decision that turns out to be a mistake. Renkotsu takes Jakotsu’s Shikon Jewel shard, bringing an end to Jakotsu. But Renkotsu doesn’t get to enjoy the enhancement very long, because Bankotsu takes all of Renkotsu’s shards. Renkotsu learned a lesson, too late, and he learned it the hard way. He was a fool to think he could outmaneuver Bankotsu.

This leads to a final showdown between Bankotsu and Inuyasha and Naraku works at making his return. Not surprisingly, the fight between Bankotsu and Inuyasha is intense, especially after he acquired all of the Shikon Jewel shards from the other members of the Band of Seven. The busy, action-packed panels of this fight help to emphasize just how major and epic of a battle that’s taking place here. But just as Inuyasha gets the deciding blow in, the walls and ground suddenly transform into flesh… which turns out to be part of Naraku as he works toward his resurrection. By absorbing the Shikon Jewel shards that are in the mountain, Naraku’s transformation is complete. With this resurrection, Naraku is poised to become an even more formidable adversary. Also in this volume, something is expelled from the mountain, and Kagura is tasked with keeping it safe.

At the beginning of the second volume, Kagome finds a way for herself, Inuyasha, and the others to save Koga and escape from the mountain. The resurrected Naraku finds Kikyo nearby, and they get in a confrontation. Before pushing her over an edge, he tells her what Kagura left with. There’s also a brief fight between Naraku and Sesshomaru, but Naraku gets away. Inuyasha and Kagome arrive and find out what happened to Kikyo. This event with Kikyo ultimately propels the events that take place through the rest of Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 10.

Inuyasha hears a rumor about a wandering priestess and thinks it might be Kikyo. Kagome gets jealous, of course, but she still lets him leave to see if he can find her. But it turns out to be a trap to capture Kagome. It’s revealed that what Naraku expelled from the mountain was his human heart, and it has taken the form of a baby. This baby wants to find the darkness in Kagome’s heart and attach itself to that darkness, so Kagome can be used to find the remaining Shikon Jewel shards. Unfortunately, Kagome does have a small bit of darkness in her heart: her jealousy toward Kikyo and Inuyasha’s feelings for her. Kagome manages to regain her consciousness, and Inuyasha makes it in time to save Kagome, but this incident forces Kagome to really examine her feelings toward Inuyasha, as well as her jealousy of Kikyo.

This volume also sees Miroku and Sango confront their feelings for each other. This is spurred on by an incident that happens at a village that is home to women who have lost their husbands and children to war. These women have been possessed by a giant salamander demon that’s trying to regain its form. The women are used to lure men to a temple, where the demon flays the men and takes their hides. Sango becomes jealous of Miroku’s flirting with the women of the village and wanders off on her own. She is captured and forced to swallow one of the salamander’s eggs. We get a confrontation between Sango and Miroku, which ends with Miroku knocking the egg out of Sango. This is what leads them to admit their feelings for one another, with Miroku basically proposing to Sango. But he has a condition: nothing will come of their relationship until Naraku is defeated and the curse of the wind tunnel is broken. While this conversation doesn’t necessarily resolve everything between them, it’s at least a step in the right direction. I couldn’t keep from grinning when I was reading some of Miroku’s dialogue here, knowing what I know from the ending of the Inuyasha anime adaptation and what I’ve seen in the Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon anime.

Meanwhile, Kagura and the baby are peering into the souls of priests, with the hopes of finding the location of the final Shikon Jewel shard. A priest manages to split the baby in two, but not before the baby sees a clue as to where the jewel shard might be. But, it turns out the baby was meant to be split in two, and one half becomes a young boy named Hakudoshi, who rides a flaming horse named Entei. Every time I saw the horse’s name show up, I had to keep reminding myself that Entei isn’t simply the name of a Pokemon.

Inuyasha figures out where the final shard is, which is his father’s grave. Unfortunately, the black pearl that he needs to get there is gone. Myoga takes him to see Hosenki, who crafted the black pearl. He’s dead, but his son continues his work. He is out of black pearls and has to make more… but since he’s still in training, it could take him 100 years to make one. Hosenki and the black pearl were recently referenced in a flashback episode of Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, so I had an “a-ha!” moment while reading this volume. I expect I will have more of these moments as I read through the Inuyasha manga and refresh my memory on the story and events of the series.

This volume ends with Inuyasha needing to figure out how to get there, and Hakudoshi and Kagura give him a hint. As the others say in the manga, it’s likely a trap… but the volume ends with Inuyasha deciding to take their hint. It’s safe to say that at least part of the next volume of Inuyasha will be focusing on this storyline. I thought this was a great place to end, and it encourages readers to want to read the next volume in order to find out what happens next.

I was glad to finally see the Band of Seven storyline come to an end. I also appreciated seeing the groundwork being laid for the story to progress. Naraku’s resurrection, as well as the various new elements introduced in this volume, help the reader feel as if the plot is finally moving again.

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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Manga Review: Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume Nine

Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume Nine combines Volumes 25 through 27 of Rumiko Takahashi’s Inuyahsa 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 Nine
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: November 8, 2011

The entirety of the volume focuses on Inuyasha and the group’s run-ins and confrontations with the Band of Seven, which is a group of seven powerful mercenaries that Naraku has brought back to life using the Shikon Jewel shards.

This volume begins right where the previous volume ended, as Miroku, Sango, and Kagome encountered Mukotsu, a member of the Band of Seven who is a poisoner. At this point, Mukotsu has paralyzed Kagome with his poison, and Miroku and Sango are trying to save her. While Miroku and Sango make a valiant attempt, it’s ultimately Sesshomaru who saves her. Not on purpose, of course. It’s just that Kagome and the others just happened to be at the spot where Sesshomaru was going on his quest to look for Naraku. While his rescue wasn’t planned, I still thought it was a rather neat twist.

Later, as Inuyasha tries to lead the others to safety in order to let them rest and find a way to get the poison out of them, he is attacked by Ginkotsu, a member of the Band of Seven who kind of looks like a feudal era version of a steampunk cyborg. This was definitely one of the more unusual choices that Takahashi made when it came to the characters that made up the Band of Seven. Ginkotu’s job is to force Inuyasha to a nearby temple, where Renkotsu, another member of the Band of Seven, awaits with plans of an ambush. He’s able to hide the truth and appear as if he’s the chief monk of the temple… although Kagome is able to sense a shikon jewel shard in him. Unfortunately, she is unable to talk at this point and is unable to point this fact out to anyone. This ultimately leads to a confrontation with both Renkotsu and Ginkotsu.

But it turns out that Inuyasha and his crew aren’t the only ones being pursued by the Band of Seven. Koga and his crew are being targeted as well, since Koga has Shikon Jewel shards in his legs. Of course, this ultimately leads up to Inuyasha’s group and Koga’s group having to band together to take on their pursuers. As usual, the dialogue interplay that takes place between Inuyasha and Koga throughout this entire volume is amusing.

Kikyo becomes involved in the story when she reaches a small village near Mt. Hakurei, the “pure soul mountain” that repels demonic energy. While at this village, she encounters a doctor named Suikotsu, and she’s surprised to discover that he has a Shikon Jewel shard in his neck. But this shard is pure, which confuses Kikyo. If you can’t tell by the name, it turns out that Suikotsu is a member of the Band of Seven. However, he appears to basically have “multiple personality disorder,” and has two distinct personalities: the calm doctor and the vicious killer. His other personality comes out when the other surviving members of the Band of Seven descend on the village with a tank and wreak havoc.

After this battle, Inuyasha aids a weakened Kikyo, which of course, makes Kagome jealous. She tries hard to hide her jealousy, but it’s still obviously there. Fortunately, only a small fraction of the story in this volume focuses on this jealousy, since the bigger focus here is on the Band of Seven and trying to track down Naraku.

The story takes a turn when a boy from a village takes Imuyasha and the others to Hijiri Island. It’s the home of a hakushin, a great monk who became a living Buddha and is enshrined in the island’s temple. The boy is looking for his father, who hasn’t come home from tending to the hakushin. It turns out Mt. Hakurei is nearby. The twist here, of course, is that Bankotsu is on the island, even though it’s close enough to Mt. Hakurei to affect demons. Another twist that’s revealed is that the hakushin seems to be favoring Naraku, which hampers Inuyasha and his companions’ abilities to get the upper hand in the fight against Bankotsu.

Suikotsu comes back into the story, first in his evil form. In a battle between Sesshomaru and Jyakotsu, Rin and Jaken try to get away on a bridge. Suikotsu finds them, and the bridge they’re on breaks, and all three of them fall into the river below. Suikotsu and Rin are swept away, and Suikotsu reverts back into the mild-mannered doctor. He takes Rin with him to the village, and the villagers ask him to leave. Even though his face doesn’t change, the rest of him reverts back to evil and he starts attacking the villagers. When Sesshomaru arrives to rescue Rin and battles Jyakotsu, it turns out the one who saves Rin isn’t Sesshomaru… it’s actually Kikyo and her sacred arrow going through Suikotsu’s neck. It was actually kind of nice to see Kikyo doing something like this, and that it isn’t always Sesshomaru that saves Rin. It’s nice to be reminded that Kikyo still capable of performing the occasional good deed for someone else.

The volume ultimately culminates with Miroku and Sango trying to investigate a cave near Mt. Hakurei, since they won’t be negatively impacted by Mt. Hakurei’s purity. They discover that Kagura and Kanna are there, which makes it seem like Naraku should be somewhere nearby. Inuyasha goes after them after Kagome worries about how long they’ve been gone. The volume ends with Renkotsu finding Inuyasha, and Inuyasha losing his demon powers after getting so close to Mt. Hakurei. The audience is left with a cliffhanger about how Inuyasha will handle Renkotsu, as well as a shocking discovery that Miroku makes. Both of these cliffhangers work as a perfect place to end of the volume, because the reader has double the reason to want to continue on to the next volume in order to find out how these events and revelations will be handled and how they will affect the story.

There’s so many instances of the Band of Seven being able to get away before they can be taken down. Yes, they do lose some of their number over the course of Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume Nine, but most of them are able to come back later for another battle. After nearly 500 pages, there really hasn’t been a lot of forward progression in the characters being able to take down the Band of Seven. It’s been a while since I watched the Inuyasha anime, so I can’t remember how much more of the Band of Seven storyline we still have to go before its finally resolved. However, I have a sinking feeling that a lot of Inuyasha VIZBIG Volume 10 will also be focused on the Band of Seven storyline. But even with how much time the Band of Seven storyline takes, I still do enjoy the Inuyasha series overall.

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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My Favorite Anime Opening Themes From the 2000’s to the Present

Recently, I posted a list of my favorite anime opening themes that came out between the 1970’s and 1990’s. This is a follow-up to that post, and it is a list of my five favorite anime opening themes that came out between 2000 and the present.

Instead of publishing this as a top 5 list, I will be sharing my favorites by organizing them in alphabetical order. I will be using the titles to alphabetize the list.

For whatever reason, WordPress is not allowing me to embed YouTube videos into my post. Instead, I have made the title of each song a link to a YouTube video.

V6 – “Change The World” (Inuyasha)

Fans of Inuyasha will recognize this as the first opening theme song for the series, which was released in 2000(!). It’s hard to believe that the Inuyasha anime premiered 20 years ago.

“Change The World” is a catchy song musically, and the vocalist for V6 delivers the lyrics so earnestly and so enthusiastically. This is a perfect blend to make this a memorable song and stand out as an exceptional opening theme for an anime series.

Joe Inoue – “Closer” (Naruto Shippuden)

This song was used as the fourth opening theme song for the Naruto Shippuden anime series. Of the theme songs for Naruto Shippuden, this one has always stood out to me. It’s catchy as heck, and I love the feel of this song musically. Whenever I hear it, I can easily see the visuals from the opening credits in my head.

When the final theme song soundtrack was released for Naruto Shippuden, there weren’t enough tracks to fill the disc, so they had fans vote for their favorite themes. Not surprisingly, Joe Inoue’s “Closer” was among the fan-chosen songs that appeared on that soundtrack. And according to Wikipedia, if it’s accurate, “Closer” was only the second single of Joe Inoue’s career. Wow!

Dean Fujioka – “History Maker” (Yuri!!! On Ice)

From the first note of this opening theme, you can hear there’s something special about it. It doesn’t sound like a typical anime opening theme song, which catches your attention immediately. Also, it’s one of those rare anime opening themes that’s sung entirely in English.

I love the upbeat and positive vibe of the song, as well as what the song is saying with its lyrics. And Dean Fujioka’s vocal performance just blows me away every time. You can hear his conviction as he sings the lyrics, and combining his vocal delivery with this musical arrangement sends chills down my spine.

Yuki – “Melody of the Slope” (Kids on the Slope)

This theme song was written by anime composer Yoko Kanno for Kids on the Slope, an anime about music. Even though the music featured in the series is jazz, this pop song includes jazz references in its lyrics, which helps to tie it in with the anime that the song was composed for.

I love the dynamics of this song, and how it goes from being soft to packing a punch and becoming catchy. The song does this at least a couple of times, and it sounds natural rather than jarring. Yoko Kanno composed another winner with this one.

ROOKIEZ is PUNK’D – “Reclimb” (Yowamushi Pedal)

When I went to watch the first episode of Yowamushi Pedal, I wasn’t entirely sure about what I was walking into. Yes, I read the description about it being about a high school bicycle racing club, but that was all I knew. I had never considered myself a fan of sports anime prior to this, so I didn’t think I’d enjoy the show. Well, the show grabbed me within its first couple of episodes, and I think this catchy opening theme song also helped.

It’s an upbeat song that you would expect to accompany a sports anime, and you can’t help but move along with it when you hear it. The vocalists on this song help to accentuate the exuberance of the music with their enthusiastic vocal delivery.

Unison Square Garden – “Tracing Orion” (Tiger & Bunny)

This opening theme is a fun and upbeat number, and not one you would initially expect for an anime about superheroes. However, as you watch the series and experience the tone of the writing, the sound of this opening theme makes a lot more sense.

I know I say this a lot, but this is a catchy song. But I think that being catchy is one of the ingredients to having a successful anime opening theme song. Sometimes originality helps, but I think that how catchy and memorable a song is helps to determine how classic and loved an anime opening theme song is in the long run.

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FUNimation Entertainment Adds the Inuyasha TV Series and Films to Its Streaming Catalog

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that it will begin streaming the first 54 episodes of the Inuyasha anime and the series’ four anime films Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time, Inuyasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass, InuYasha the Movie 3: Swords of an Honorable Ruler, and Inuyasha the Movie 4: Fire on the Mystic Island on September 29, 2020. The anime will stream in Japanese with English subtitles and with the English dub.

The 167-episode anime series based on Rumiko Takahashi’s manga of the same name ran from 2000-2004. A 26-episode sequel anime titled Inuyasha: The Final Act ran from 2009-2010.

Source: ANN

HBO Max to Add More Anime Titles to Its Catalog in August 2020

HBO Max and Crunchyroll have announced that the HBO Max streaming service will add Aldnoah.Zero, Inuyasha, Mob Psycho 100, The Promised Neverland, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica on August 4, 2020.

HBO Max launched on May 27, 2020. Crunchyroll offered 17 anime series at launch, and added four more in June 2020. Crunchyroll will offer more anime for HBO Max every quarter. Crunchyroll previously confirmed that only select content from Crunchyroll will be available on HBO Max.

The HBO Max streaming service costs US$14.99 per month.

Source: ANN

Inuyasha Lead Cast Members Kappei Yamaguchi and Satsuki Yukino Indicate Return

Voice actors Kappei Yamaguchi (Inuyasha) and Satsuki Yukino (Kagome) have both indicated on their respective Twitter accounts that they have been confirmed to return to the Inuyasha franchise. Their posts did not specifically mention the title of the upcoming Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon (Han’yō no Yasha Hime) anime spin-off, only that their participation in an unspecified Inuyasha project was “confirmed.”

Teruo Sato is directing the anime at Sunrise, and Katsuyuki Sumisawa is in charge of the series scripts. Takahashi herself is credited as the main character designer, with Yoshihito Hishinuma returning from Inuyasha to adapt her designs for animation. Kaoru Wada is also back to compose the music.

Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon is scheduled to premiere in Fall 2020.

Source: ANN

VIZ Media to Release the Inuyasha Anime on Blu-ray Disc in Fall 2019

VIZ Media announced during its panel at Anime Central that it will release the Inuyasha anime on Blu-ray Disc in Fall. The release will be the first time the anime is released on Blu-ray Disc in North America.

The 167-episode anime series based on Rumiko Takahashi’s manga of the same name ran from 2000-2004. A 26-episode sequel anime titled InuYasha: The Final Act then ran from 2009-2010.

Source: ANN