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February 11, 2013 / TeknoKai

Why I Love Anime – Case in Point, Inu Yasha

Hello, friends of the interwebs.  Hee.  Hope everyone is fine today.  I have been quite busy lately, but I finally have time to relax for a bit.  And when I relax, I invariably start watching Anime.

Yes, I’m a total geek.  I know that.  Heck, I own it, and proudly!  But some of my *not~quite~so~geeky~acquaintances* want to know, why?  The worst question I always get is, “Aren’t they all just cartoons, anyway?” *To which I usually *Facepalm**

No.

To put it simply, they aren’t just cartoons.  Anime has intricate storylines and plotlines and generally has characters face up to situations they shouldn’t be able to withstand, just like any good fiction book does.  Only with animated characters.  Who talk, and move, and do all sorts of fun things onscreen.

When I’m asked about anime, I usually have one favorite that I readily suggest to people who want to try it out.  Now, mind you, I have watched a LOT of anime.  for an *almost* complete list of what Ive seen and am currently watching (honestly, I do try to update it once in a while!) check out my list at http://myanimelist.net/animelist/TeknoKai and you can see how prolific an anime consumer I am.  But for newbies, you don’t want to suggest “Death Note”, or something like “Negima!? Magister Negi Magi” or even “Soul Eater” to someone who has never tried out the genre.  At least not until they get their feet wet!   (Which is to say, I absolutely love all three of the above anime.  I just wouldn’t want to suggest one that is so intense that it scares new watchers away from the genre.)

No, my mainstay suggestion to anyone who wants to try out an anime is one of my all time favorites, and I’m going to tell you why I like it so much. Maybe it will even induce you to try out an episode or three, and who knows, you may find that you like it!  At the very least I’m going to get to expound on one of my favorite subjects for a bit…so…

When I am asked by someone why I like Anime, I tell them to go check out Inu Yasha.  This is a “classic” anime here in the US – one of the first regularly broadcast on late night Cartoon Network when they first started showing Anime.  It is a gem of a story, and it has drama, action, adventure, and one of the best soundtracks you’ll ever want to hear.

Inu Yasha starts out when Kagome, a typical Japanese schoolgirl who lives with her family in a shrine that her grandfather runs, falls down a well on the shrine’s property.  She comes out the other end in Feudal Japan, just in time to see Inu Yasha, a half-demaon (his father was a great demon, his mother was a mortal) awaken from a curse that bound him to a tree (a tree that still exists in the shrine grounds, to this day!) for the last 50 years.  Kagome finds out that she is the modern day resurrection of the priestess Kikyou, who bound Inu Yasha to the tree in the beginning!  Kagome finds that in her resurrection, she also has inside her the Shicone Jewel – a sacred jewel that can grant its owner one true wish.  The demons want it as bad as the humans, and it is removed from her body.  As a bird demon is stealing it, Kagome lets fly an arrow which strikes the Shicone Jewel and shatters it into a thousand shards.  Thus begins one of the most epic anime adventures ever – Kagome, Inu Yasha, and sme friends they meet along the way, try to recover the shards and recreate the jewel purely, before the evil demon Naraku can complete it and defile it to use it for his evil wishes.

The story is as good as any you’ll get in a fiction novel, and the visuals are stunning.  So, again, is the soundtrack.  So if my little review hasn’t yet convinced you that you’re missing something good if you haven’t watched Inu Yasha, here are my TOP 10 REASONS I LOVE INU YASHA:

10)  The title of the first episode of the entire series is so great and complete that it actually sums up the entire series: “The girl who overcame time, and the boy who was just overcome.”

9)  The fact that the main character, Kagome, is from modern times, but almost all of the action takes place in the past, in Japan’s feudal era.

8) Shippo.

Shippo

This little fox demon, who joins the group early on, is one of the most fantastic characters of the show.  He is a child, and joins the group because he lost his father, and he provides an infinite amount of humor to the series.

7)Miroku.

Miroku

This “Sex-crazed” monk, who openly tries to add humor as much as possible, is actually on of the most caring and charitable people you will meet in the show.  His true love is our number

6)Sango.

Sango

This demon hunter from the Demon Hunter’s village saw her entire family get slaughtered by her little brother who was possessed at the time.  She sets out to find her brother Kohaku, free him from his possesssion and bring him home.  She’s also a kickass fighter who isn’t afraid to stand up to anything for the people she cares about.

5)Kagome.

Kagome

Yes, I know she’s the main character, but that should just tell you how much more about this show there is to love.

4)  Inu Yasha.

Inu Yasha

The main man himself.  He’s such a deep character that you really, really get to like him, even though there are times he does and says things that will totally piss you off.

3) Tetsusaiga

Tetsusaiga

Pronounced “Tet – Sigh – Guh”, it is the ultimate legacy left by Inu Yasha’s father – a sword of nearly infinite power made from his own fang,

and

Tenseiga

Sesshomaru with Tenseiga

Pronounced “Ten-say-gah”.  Another sword left to Inu Yasha’s older half brother Sesshomaru.  The problem is, any swipe with the Tenseiga will not damage the living, but it will heal the sick and bring back the dead.  Sesshomaru has a big hang up about this because he feels that his father slighted him in his inheritance by leaving him a sword he basically cannot use (Sesshomaru does not start the series off as the caring and compassionate type!) while leaving his younger (and only half-demon) brother such a powerful weapon.  But that is also why my

2) reason for loving Inu Yasha is actually, Sesshomaru.

Sesshomaru

Of all the characters who grow and mature over the series, no one does it quite so thoroughly as Lord Sesshomaru.  He gains friends, something he never even wanted in the past, finds people he cares about and wants to protect, and ultimately learns that his father left him the Tenseiga to teach him a lesson.  As soon as he learns that lesson, which is that he should give up the hatred and anger he feels at Inu Yasha over being “slighted” and relinquishes his desire for Inu Yasha’s Tetsusaiga, He finds his father left him an even greater weapon, one that he could not weild until he no longer hated his younger brother.  Which brings me to that weapon, and my number

1) reason for loving Inu Yasha, Sesshomaru’s Bakusaiga.

Sesshomaru with Bakusaiga

Pronounced “Bok – sigh – gah”, it is the ultimate weapon that Sesshomaru’s father could have left to any of his progeny.  Sesshomaru just had to grow up enough to realize it before he could access it.

Now, if that didn’t make you wonder “What the hell is he talking about, and is it really that good?  Should I go try this Anime stuff out?” Then I have hopelessly failed at my attempt tonight.  But I have a feeling that I didn’t fail.  Go on, try out Inu Yasha.   You know you want to.

Have a great week!

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