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[R1 DVD box art]
AKA: 犬夜叉 完結編 (Inuyasha Kanketsu-hen)
Genre: Fantasy / comedy
Length: Television series, 26 episodes, 24 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Viz Entertainment
Content Rating: 13+ (Violence, deaths.)
Related Series: Inuyasha TV series, Inuyasha movie 1-4.
Also Recommended: Ranma ½, Zakuro, Chrno Crusade.
Notes: Based on the manga by Rumiko Takahashi, published by Shogakukan Inc.
Rating: Four StarsFour StarsFour StarsFour Stars

Inuyasha: Final Act

Synopsis

After many days and nights hunting for shikon shards, both Inuyasha and his team as well as Naraku, brushes up on those final touches on their respective plans, heading off for the final confrontation.


Review

When I rounded off the original Inuyasha at 167 episodes and about halfway into the manga, I was thinking something the lines of "Man, if they ever create an anime version of the remainder of the manga, will I have to sit through another 160++ episodes?"

Apparently, in 2008 or 2009, Sunrise listened and answered with "Nah! 26'll do."

No, seriously; they covered the entire remainder of the manga in about.... 1/6th or 1/7th the amount of episodes. I imagine the board of directors, when asked by the staff about how they planned on dealing with the sequel, strapped rockets on everyone's chairs and lit all their fuses.

And it works. Maybe a little bit too well, because the show barely have time to breathe, much less put any filler material in there. We start off as team Inuyasha is tracking down Hakudoshi and the baby, just as Naraku is doing the same. Most of the shards have also been gathered, and somehow fused into a nearly complete jewel by itself, the missing pieces basically being reduced to the two Koga has in his legs and the one keeping Kohaku alive.

Nearing the endgame, various confrontations start getting a little fatal even for characters who have followed us from the beginning. Some of you might have concerns about whether the important stuff from the manga made it into the anime, so seeing as it did, that's one armageddon averted, I guess. So yes, manga fans, the big Kagura scene? It's in there. So is the episode about Sesshoumaru and Rin (and the Tenseiga.) Everything.

While we're on this subject, there's something I have to bring up. Basically, the music. Kaoru Wada still does the excellent in-show score, but seeing as Final Act seems to be dead set on following in the original's footsteps, this means having each episode begin and end with pop music. Sometimes really inappropriate pop music. Imagine, for a second, a certain last scene with Kagura, one of Naraku's hench... women. Final Act actually does this scene credit, with nice usage of CG for the field it's taking place in, and Wada's score swells with the emotional impact of the scene itself.

And then the episode ends, and you hear "With you" by AAA as the credits roll. (Google it.) It's just inconceivable that anyone would think ending a pivotal (and very emotional) scene in an episode with bad Eurovision Song Contest music could ever be a good idea. All I'm saying is that it's a good thing you can skip these when you watch them on DVD or Bluray.

Speaking of which, I'm not entirely sure if Inuyasha: Final Act is worth getting on Bluray. While the art and animation is certainly decent enough, and I'm guessing various parts near the end might be worth the visual upgrade, I'm... going to go with the opinion that the DVD version is probably enough for most people.

Thankfully, the dub is not only up to scratch, but a bunch of the voices in the show actually sounds like the actors had a hoot doing them. This goes doubly for a lot of the one-episode characters, like the old drunkard guru who helps Sango repair her huge-ass boomerang. (Bonerang? Naw, that sounds vaguely dirty.) I was a little worried when I heard they had swapped out some of the voices, most notably Kagome and Sesshoumaru's actors. Thankfully, Kira Tozer hops straight into the role as Kagome, and while her voice is slightly different, it was easy to adjust to it. Michael Daingerfield as Sesshoumaru takes a little more time getting used to, but it's certainly doable. I still miss David Kaye, though.

It feels kind of odd finally being done with Inuyasha: Final Act. Despite kinda counting as shonen fare, the show is surprisingly light on actual fighting (and heavy on adventure, romance and plotting), but more importantly, Final Act comes to a conclusive end. (Let's ask ourselves; how many long-running TV shows do that these days?) I can't really say whether the average shounen fan would be willing to drop shows like One Piece or Fairy Tail for this, but manga fans should definitely be satisfied with how Inuyasha: Final Act turned out.

The pace shift'll whiplash the hell out of you, but The Final Act continues -- and brings closure to -- one of my favorite shonen diversions.Stig Høgset

Recommended Audience: Various demons still die en masse, and while the show still isn't even close to as bloody as the manga, but I'm pretty sure I saw some blood in there this time. Possibly.

Still no boobies, though.



Version(s) Viewed: Bluray release, bilingual.
Review Status: Full (26/26)
Inuyasha: Final Act © 2009 Sunrise, Shogakukan Productions Co., Ltd.
 
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