Inuyasha Movie 1: Love That Transcends Time
The Shikon no Tama, a holy stone that grants great powers to demons (youkai) has been shattered. A demon named Menomaru finds a shard, and uses it to initiate revenge against the inu-youkai (dog demons) that imprisoned him. The heroes must fight Menomaru as well as their own powers and fears to conquer this latest menace to the search for the Shikon no Kakera (Shikon shards).
I guess I should start by saying I've been a huge Takahashi Rumiko fan since watching Ranma 1/2. I found Inuyasha through a bout of insomnia and Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. I've been hopelessly hooked since then. With now three movies, well over one hundred fifty animated episodes and rapidly approaching four hundred manga chapters with no end in sight, this is rapidly shaping up to be one of the longest and most interesting series that I've found. Love That Transcends Time happens between the second and third seasons, just after all the main characters are introduced but before Naraku gets too involved (but that is a tale for another time).
First of, there's the characters, and there's a lot of them! For the good guys: Inuyasha is the main protagonist. I can't call him the hero, as he pisses off everyone else to often. He is a hanyou, or half demon, as his mother was a human princess, and his father was the great Inotaisho, Lord of the Western Lands. Kagome, the theoretical heroine, is a modern girl that fell through a time-bridging well and brought the Shikon jewel with her (unintentionally). She's the only character that can track the shards and locate them. She's also the reincarnation of Inuyasha's dead girlfriend Kikyo (can we see why all the girls are addicted to this show?) Miroku, a Buddhist priest out to avenge his father and remove the Kazaana (air rip) curse from his hand before it kills him as well, is also a hentai out for all the ass he can grab. His favorite target is Sango, a taija or demon exterminator, whose family was killed by Naraku. Along with Sango comes Kirara, a cute neko youkai (cat demon) that turns into a flying, fiery sabertooth lion. Shippo is a fox demon cub that Kagome rescued, much to Inuyasha's torment. Myoga is Inuyasha's cowardly retainer, often supplying information about the enemy just before running off. Kaede is Kikyo's younger sister and takes care of the village that the group calls home. That's it for the good guys.
Inuyasha's father trapped Menomaru, a Chinese moth demon, during a great war. Now that he has a shikon shard, he's out to wreak havoc and revenge, and needs Inuyasha's sword to release him from his prison. He has two flunkies, Ruri and Hari, which are pretty much interchangeable. These are the official bad guys of the flick. Antagonists are Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha's full-demon brother, and Kikyo, his walking-corpse ex-girlfriend. Can we say issues, boys and girls?
The plot of the movie is the simple, straightforward one of most action movies: defeat the bad guy, don't kill your friends, and save the girl. Unfortunately, this isn't as easy as is suggests, since both heroes are carrying enough emotional baggage to outfit all of India for a month. Kagome is still coming to terms with the fact that Inuyasha feels attachment to the walking pile of dirt and bones that was once the woman he loved, but he also is getting attached to Kagome, and is starting to realize that she is more than the simple reincarnation of Kikyo. Kagome must come to grips with both this and the fact that she also cares for him as well. Menomaru's talent for mind control and confusion further complicates this.
I would go further into an explanation, but I don't want to ruin any of the twists and turns in the movie for anyone out there. Be assured that this is at least a two hankie the first time through. I LOVE all the plot twists and character interaction during the movie. Oh, by the way, Kagome's mom does what any mom would do: gives the right advice at the right time.
With the higher end budget of a movie, the artwork for Love That Transcends Time is of better quality than the series. Not to say that the artwork is bad for the series, or anything. I love it! (or I wouldn't be selling my soul to find more of it ^_~) The backgrounds for the movie are beautiful, and there are some affects that are done late in the movie that a TV series simply cannot afford to do. The familiar styles of Takahashi Rumiko are very evident.
I also love the fact that although the story is serious, the time is taken to add a little humor to the tale (of course that isn't hard with Inuyasha ... all he has to do is insult Kagome and it's instant humor!) Shippo-chan also adds a lot to the light-hearted side of the story, being a +5 to the instant Cute Factor Meter. However it's the one liners and sarcastic responses that really hit home for humor.
Just for it being Inuyasha and the brainchild of the goddess Takahashi Rumiko I have to start with three stars. The artwork and plot give it another star. The final star is given for the humor and the hankies. It isn't often that an animated movie can cause a sob-fest, and this one did it! I guess I could be a little biased, since this is my favorite series of all time, and I've been waiting about two years to get my hands on the movie, but that's beside the point. The movie is GOOD! The action is consistent; there aren't any spots where you aren't riveted to the screen, on top of the butt-kicking.
If you aren't a HUGE Inuyasha fan, I could see giving the movie four or four1/2 stars, but seriously, give it a chance! — Erin Lewis
Recommended Audience: There is some violence, as well as mature situations and themes, though not much more than the television series. Teens and up.
Version(s) Viewed: digital source
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Inuyasha Movie 1: Love That Transcends Time © 2001 Rumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan / Sunrise / Shogakukan Productions / Nippon TV / Toho / Yomiuri TV Enterprises
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