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InuYasha: The Movie the Complete Collection (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

April 16, 2013 by  



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Four “InuYasha” films for $21 on Blu-ray?  You better believe it!   Not only is it cheaper than the older DVD box set but all four films are presented with better picture and audio quality. You are definitely getting your money’s worth with this Blu-ray release!  “InuYasha: The Movie the Complete Collection” is highly recommended!

Image courtesy of © 1988 Akiyuki Nosaka/Shinchosa. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: InuYasha: The Movie the Complete Collection

YEAR OF RELEASE: InuYasha the Movie 1 (2001), InuYasha the Movie 2 (2002), InuYasha the Movie 3 (2003), InuYasha the Movie 4 (2004)

DURATION: InuYasha the Movie (100 Minutes), InuYasha the Movie 2 (100 Minutes), InuYasha the Movie 3 (98 Minutes), InuYasha the Movie 4 (86 Minutes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080i High Definition, English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Subtitles: English

RATED: TV 14

COMPANY: Viz Media

RELEASE DATE: March 26, 2013

Originally created by Rumiko Takahashi

InuYasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time

Directed by Toshiya Shinohara

Scenario by Katsuyuki Sumisawa

Music by Kaoru Wada

Character Design by Hideyuki Motohashi, Yoshihito Hishinuma

Art Director: Tsutomu Ishigaki

Art: Hiroyuki Hasegawa

Chief Animation Director: Hideyuki Motohashi

Producer: Masuo Ueda, Michihiko Suwa, Mikihiro Iwata

Production by Kyoto Animation, NTV, Shogakukan Productions Co., Ltd., Sunrise, TOHO, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation

InuYasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass

Directed by Toshiya Shinohara

Scenario by Katsuyuki Sumisawa

Music by Kaoru Wada

Character Design by Hideyuki Motohashi, Yoshihito Hishinuma

Art Director: Tsutomu Ishigaki

Art: Hiroyuki Hasegawa

Chief Animation Director: Hideyuki Motohashi

Producer: Masuo Ueda, Michihiko Suwa, Mikihiro Iwata

Production by Avex Inc., Kyoto Animation, Shogakukan Productions Co., Ltd., Sunrise, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation

InuYasha the Movie 3: Swords of an Honorable Ruler

Directed by Toshiya Shinohara

Scenario by Katsuyuki Sumisawa

Music by Kaoru Wada

Character Design by Hideyuki Motohashi, Yoshihito Hishinuma

Art Director: Tsutomu Ishigaki

Art: Hiroki Nomura

Chief Animation Director: Hideyuki Motohashi

Producer: Masuo Ueda, Michihiko Suwa, Mikihiro Iwata

Production by Kyoto Animation, Shogakukan Productions Co., Ltd., Sunrise, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation

InuYasha the Movie 4: Fire on the Mystic Island

Directed by Toshiya Shinohara

Scenario by Katsuyuki Sumisawa

Music by Kaoru Wada

Character Design by Yoshihito Hishinuma

Art Director: Tsutomu Ishigaki

Chief Animation Director: Yoshihito Hishinuma

Producer: Masuo Ueda, Michihiko Suwa, Mikihiro Iwata

Production by Sunrise

Featuring the voices of:

Kappei Yamaguchi/Richard Ian Cox as Inuyasha

Satsuki Yukino/Kira Tozer as Kagome Higurashi

Kouji Tsujitani/Kirby Morrow as Miroku

Ken Narita/David Kaye as Sesshoumaru

Houko Kwashima/Kelly Sheridan as Sango

Kumiko Watanabe/Jillian Michaels as Shippo

Toshiyuki Morikawa/Paul Dobson as Naraku

Noriko Hidaka/Willow Johnson as Kikyo

Taiki Matsuno/Scott McNeil as Koga

Izumi Oogami/Janyse Jaud as Kagura

Yuuichi Nagashima/Don Brown as Jaken

Emi Motoi/Nicole Bouma as Ai

Fumiko Orikasa/Rebecca Shoichet as Asagi

Nobuo TobitaTed Cole as Kyora

Nobutoshi Canna/Kristian Ayre as Ryura

Tadahisa Saizen/Ward Perry as Gora

Takeshi Kusao/Jason Simpson as Jura

Yu Kobayashi/Gabe Khouth as Dai

Yuki Masuda/Justine Wong as Moegi

In a mystical version of feudal-era Japan modern-day schoolgirl Kagome and half-demon Inuyasha are drawn together across time to protect a land ravaged by demons! In these four feature films our heroes take on new challenges and strange foes. With their crew of demon-slaying friends Kagome and Inuyasha face the adventures of their lives!

Contains all 4 Inu Yasha movies:
Affections Touching Across Time
The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass
Swords of an Honorable Ruler
Fire on the Mystic Island

In Japan, there are few manga/anime series that have lasting power for more than ten years.  Let alone be created by a mangaka who has achieved it multiple times.

Rumiko Takashi, best known for anime TV series hits such as “Urusei Yatsura”, “Maison Ikkoku”, “Ranma 1/2″ began her manga series “InuYasha” in 1996, while in 2000 the animated series followed and a sequel to close the series was released in 2009-2010.  By the end of InuYasha, a total of 56 manga volumes were created, 167 episodes from 2000-2004 and the final 26 episodes from 2009-2010.

A very popular series that has captivated anime audiences for many years, with a franchise that led to video games, novels, soundtracks and a live action play, as customary for popular animated series, “InuYasha” also a total of four animated films created.

In 2001, “InuYasha the Movie 1: Affections Touching Across Time”; in 2002, “InuYasha the Movie: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass”; in 2003, “InuYasha the Movie 3: Swords of an Honorable Ruler”; and in 2004, “InuYasha the Movie: Fire on the Mystic Island”.

While Viz Media released a DVD box set featuring all four films in 2007, Viz Media will be releasing a Blu-ray release with all four films in 2013 in HD with lossless audio.

“InuYasha” features the following characters:

InuYasha – The half demon/half human who drawn a liking towards the human Priestess Kikyo and has some feelings for Kagome but his ego prevents him from saying anything about his emotions.  Has the ability to leap far distances, has quite a few special attacks including claws that can cut through anything.  Also, wields his father’s sword, Tetsusaiga.  His goal is to take control of the Jewel of Four Souls to turn into a demon.  Wears necklace that forces him to listen to a single command from Kagome.  When Kagome says “sit”, he drops or literally is thrown down to the ground harshly.  He and Kagome are constantly bickering.  In the first day of each month, he resorts back to human form.

Kagome Higurashi – A high school student who is a reincarnation of Kikyo.  Carries a bow and arrow as a weapon but a human who has the ability to go back to her time period through a well in her home and a well in the feudal period.  Has conflicted emotions towards InuYasha but always caring for other people.  Has the ability to control InuYasha by a special bead necklace on InuYasha that forces him to listen.  She has the ability to sense and see the jewels and the shards from long distances or on a monster.

Shippo – A young orphan fox.  Human in appearance with a big fox tail.  His father was killed by a demon and eventually gets himself into trouble while trying to obtain the crystal shards to become powerful and get revenge on the demons that killed his father.    He has nowhere to go and is eventually taken in by InuYasha and Kagome.

Miroku – A Buddhist monk who travels the countryside and performs exorcisms.  He’s a bit lecherous and likes to take people’s belongings and sell them for a profit.  But his goal is to find the evil Naruku who has taken Miroku’s right hand and given him the power of “wind tunnel”, a powerful ability that can suck anything into a black hole like void in his hand.  The hole is growing and eventually he will be sucked into it unless he finds the person who cursed him with it and gets his life back.  He eventually travels with Kagome, InuYasha and Shippo in search of Naraku.

Sango – Sango is a demon slayer who’s family was slayed by demons.  The person responsible is Naraku, thus joins Kagome, InuYasha, Shippo and Miroku to go after him.  Her main weapon is a large boomerang that is powerful and able to cut monsters in half.

Sesshoumaru – The brother of InuYasha.  A demon who can’t stand InuYasha because he’s half demon and half human and blames their father for being so weak and trying to protect a human.  The two despise each other and twice in season one, he and InuYasha fight to the death.  Has the ability to turn into a white wolf and much stronger and ruthless than InuYasha.

Kikyo – The Priestess who used to wear the Jewel of Four Souls.  Cared for InuYasha but believed he is the one that fatally injured her.  In season 1, she is brought back to life as an undead and wants her revenge against InuYasha.

Kaede – The sister of Kikyo, she is shown in past clips of Kikyo as a young little girl but currently she is 50+ years older, wears an eye patch and assists InuYasha and Kagome with information in their missions when they need her.

Naraku – The main evil who has manipulated everyone in order to get his hands on the crystal shards.  Very evil demon and the main enemy everyone is after.

Kikyo: Continuing from the first season, we learn that Kikyo was brought back to life and driven by her hatred towards InuYasha for deceiving her.  Eventually she finds out the true facts about what took place the night she passed away and  learns that it was Naraku’s evil work in play to deceive both of them.  She vows to get her revenge on Naraku.  But to do that, she must stay close with him and thus she pretends to be on Naraku’s side.

Koga: Koga is the leader of the southern yokai-wolf tribe and has three shards that give him incredible speed and power.  He develops a crush on Kagome (especially since she can sense the jewel shards) and thus he and InuYasha are often fighting with each other.  Koga wants revenge on Naraku because his tribe was nearly all wiped out because of his deception.  Although he is there to help Kagome and even InuYasha, he is on no one side but is their ally.

Kohaku: The younger brother of Sango brought back to life by Naraku.  Has an impure jewel shard given to him by Naraku that keeps him alive but he has lost all memories of his sister and can easily be used by Naraku to fight against InuYasha and friends. He is part of Naraku’s crew.

Kagura: Naraku’s creation and second “detachment”.  She is a wind sorceress (introduced in episode 40) that is lethal and deadly and has killed many innocents but at the same time,  she hates Naraku and wishes to be free of him.  Thus she tries to play the hands of InuYasha and possibly use him to kill Naraku.

RIN: An orphan girl who helps nurse Sesshomaru in the woods after he was badly injured in a fight against InuYasha (episode 34).  Rin’s family was killed by bandits and so, she has been living alone by having to steal food.  She’s mute and but communicates via hand gestures or facial emotions.  Because Sesshomaru wields the Tenseiga (which heals), he returns the favor back to the girl after she was killed by wolves.  Despite Sesshomaru’s uncaring attitude towards humans, he appears to tolerate her for some reason.  Rin shows a loyalty towards him and eventually becomes part of Sesshomaru’s group.

 

Here is a brief spoiler-free synopsis of each film:

In “InuYasha the Movie 1: Affections Touching Across Time”, we learn that 200 years ago, InuYasha’s father defeated the powerful Chinese moth yokai known as Hyoga.  With a Shikon Jewel fragment having freed Hyoga’s son, Menomaru, he now wants revenge on anything related to InuYasha’s father and that is by destroying InuYasha.

Along with his two minions, Ruri and Hari, the three attack InuYasha and friends.  Ruri duplicating Miroku’s Wind Tunnel, Hari possessing Kirara and Menomaru cursing Kagome, can the group find a way to beat Menomaru?

In “InuYasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond Looking Glass”, as the group continues their search for Shikon Jewel Shards, Kagura and Kanna continue on without Naraku (who is thought to be dead).  The two find a mirror inside the shrine and they awaken Kaguya, Princess of the Heavens. Kaguya promises Kagura her eternal freedom if she can recover five items that will free her from the mirror.

The two end up confronting InuYasha and friends and Kaguya ends up using her power to kidnap Kagome.  Now the group must try to rescue her.

For “InuYasha the Movie 3: Swords of an Honorable Ruler”, we see a past when InuYasha was about to be born.  We see Takemaru killing Lady Izayoi before InuYasha’s father arrives.  When InuYasha’s father arrives, he resurrects Izayoi with the Tenseiga and he tells her to escape with his son InuYasha and gives her the Cloth of the Fire Rat to protect them from the burning palace.  And the final image shows InuYasha dying in the fire as he tried to face Takemaru.

In the present time, Kagome’s grandfather finds a sword which is to be kept in the storehouse.  Kagome’s younger brother finds it and the sword reveals itself to be Saiya and is seeking out InuYasha.  But why does the sword want InuYasha?

For “InuYasha the Movei 4: Fire on the Mystic Island”, a small group of children on Horai Island watch a woman that looks like Kikyo in a green orb. Immediately, the Cauldron of Resonance comes to life and the mark of the Four War Gods (Ryuura, Juura, Kyoura and Goura) appear on all of the children’s backs except the youngest child, Ai.  Asagi, the oldest child tells ai to run and leave the island and the Four War Gods try to go after her.  But just in time, InuYasha and the others come to her rescue.  Which leads to a battle between InuYasha and friends and the Four War Gods.

VIDEO:

For picture quality, all four films are presented in 1080i 16×9 video.  Because these films were made between 2001-2004, the films are upconverted.  With that being said, the benefit of watching a film that has been upconverted is much better than a TV series because of the better production quality.  Even the 2001 film “Affections Touching Across Time” doesn’t look soft and looks better that a lot of the upconverted anime films that I have seen.  Of course, the more recent the film, the better production quality, so the fourth film “Fire on the Mystic Island” does have a slight edge compared to the older films.

But people should not worry as all four films that have been upconverted in HD looks amazing on Blu-ray!  Colors are vibrant, picture quality just looks better than it’s previous DVD counterpart.

AUDIO:

All four films are presented in English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. It’s important to note that if you want to watch with Japanese with English subtitles, you can’t select subtitles or audio but have to go through the setup menu to make the changes.

There is a significant difference between the English and Japanese lossless soundtrack.  The English has a better dynamic range and utilizes the surround channels for sound effects and music, while the Japanese lossless soundtrack is primarily front and center-channel driven.

With that being said, all films, especially the English lossless soundtracks sound very good.  I have to admit that I expected a similar dynamic range for the Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack to its English counterpart, but that’s not the case.  While the soundtrack is crisp and clear for the Japanese lossless track, the English track does get a nod for better use of the surround channels.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Inuyasha: The Movie the Complete Collection” comes with production art, English credits and trailers for each film (except the first).

As a long time fan of Rumiko Takahashi’s works, one thing that I have learned is that you really can’t go wrong with any of her longtime series.  While I grew up during the “Ranma 1/2”, “Urusei Yatsura” and “Maison Ikkoku” years, I have also been captivated by this ongoing storyline of “InuYasha” and the series’ characters.

While I enjoyed the TV series, the films are much more emotional, relevant to the series and of course, the production quality is much better than its TV series counterpart.

With the first film “Affections Touching Across Time”, I suppose what I found appealing for the first film is the fact that the storyline revisits InuYasha’s father, specifically an old enemy of his father and also the connection between InuYasha and Kagome.  The first time I watched the film, I thought it was a very touching and emotional film building the relationship and connection of these two characters.  You see a little of it in the TV series but the films really explore their bond.

By the second film “The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass”, this film brings back Kagura but also explores the fact that Naruku may be alive.  But for Kagura fans, it’s definitely one of the major battles featuring Kagura and InuYasha but it’s great to see the series’ antagonist show up for the second film (as most anime series tend to feature an enemy just created for the film version).

The third film is actually one of my favorites as it deals with InuYasha’s birth but also an enemy named Takemaru that is connected to the death of InuYasha’s mother and his father.  The third film was definitely one of the darkest films and a storyline in which we see both brothers, InuYasha and Sesshomaru actually working together.  Similar to the first film, we get to know more about InuYasha’s family but in this case, the death of his parents.

And for the final fourth film “Fire on the Mystic Island”, InuYasha and the others take on the Four War Gods and once again, everyone shows up in the film in battle.  Where this film focuses on children who have been possess by the Four War Gods, the film is not too childish and focuses on plenty of action.

As for the Blu-ray release, it’s important to remember that this is an upconvert of the animated films presented in 1080i.  I know there are people who try to shy away from upconverts but in this case, because of the higher production value put into animated films versus a TV series, each of the four films presented in “InuYasha: The Movie the Complete Collection” look very good!

The release of the four “InuYasha” films on Blu-ray for $20 is an excellent deal.  Considering that on DVD, these four films as a set used to be priced around $50-$60.  Also, with the upconvert to 1080i, colors are much more vibrant and overall picture quality looks so much better.  The same can be said with the lossless soundtrack, although the English dub soundtrack seems to sound much better and utilized more for the surround channels versus its Japanese lossless soundtrack.

Overall, four “InuYasha” films for $21 on Blu-ray?  You better believe it!   Not only is it cheaper than the older DVD box set but all four films are presented with better picture and audio quality. You are definitely getting your money’s worth with this Blu-ray release!

“InuYasha: The Movie the Complete Collection” is highly recommended!

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