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Inuyasha: The Final Act is meant to continue where its early 2000s prequel had left off in the continuing plot of Inuyasha and his allies trying to stop Naraku and his plans with the Shikon no Tama. I might as well address the major issue with this series first that comes in the form of its pacing. A good chunk of the anime is quite notable for rushing through many of the major events of the series from the manga, which include cutting out, rearranging or altering key scenes. This has the negative effect of reducing any time that could be focused on how said events effect the characters, developing the events that lead to key points in the series from occurring or getting into dramatic scenes. The third is especially a notable one here as a few major characters in the series die due to Naraku's manipulations, yet their deaths lack much of the emotional punch they could have had thanks to Final Act's pacing. |
Things finally start slowing with the pacing towards the middle of the series when Magatsuhi makes his presence felt and the final battle with Naraku unfolds. This made for the genuinely engaging high point of the series as things concerning the true nature of the Shikon Jewel are revealed and Naraku pulls out all the stops to try killing off Inuyasha and his companions in their final battle, whether through his usual manipulations or through directly attacking them. The anime adds in some scenes and developments not seen in the manga such as Kagome going through her high school exams and one of Naraku's incarnations getting some fleshing out that the manga never went into. They're decent little touches for the anime, though the latter development lacks some of the punch it could have had thanks to the fast pacing throughout a good chunk of the series. The later episodes also suffer through a few rather convenient developments that serve to make more pleasant resolutions for events in the series, particularly with the title's ending.
Visually, Inuyasha: The Final Act retains the animation style employed through the first series, while sporting slightly smoother details and more moments of fluid animation this time around since Final Act's length is nowhere as large as the first series. The soundtrack retains much of the insert musical pieces used from the original series, while incorporating J-Pop themes for opener and closer sequences. The insert tracks still fit in well with key scenes, but the J-pop songs are mood killers that aren't too fitting with Final Act's mood.
Overall, Final Act's a step down in quality compared to the first series. While having slightly better quality visuals and the later episodes being quite engaging for the final battle with Naraku, the title's pacing for a good chunk of its run still killed much of the buildup and suspense that led up to the latter. It's somewhat regrettable that the anime adaptations of the series had to end on an underwhelming note such as this.
Last updated Sunday, July 13 2014. Created Sunday, July 13 2014.
Through 17 episodes...While there's much that needed to be trimmed from the original source manga material that had not been adapted into anime form, a bit too much is cut to speed things to a conclusion. That's unfortunate. Episode 16 saw the writers add FILLER after cutting so much from other places. ^_^;
Last updated Tuesday, April 13 2010. Created Tuesday, November 17 2009.
(All episodes watched):|
I went into this show kind of embittered at the way the lengthy original series cut off abruptly in the middle of nowhere. I felt that I was owed a credible conclusion and needed it to justify all the time I had spent long ago watching filler episodes on Adult Swim. My memory was blurred and my expectations were relatively low, but I was pleasantly surprised by this episode. This was like deja-vu; the animation is absolutely identical to that which I vaguely remembered, and one by one familiar characters reappeared, behaving in their typical manners. I would think thoughts like 'oh yeah, that's what's-her-name's brother', and was surprised at how much I really did remember about them. I would have a hard time accurately describing most of the characters from shows I watched last spring, much less the entire cast from a series of several years ago. The only significant difference was that it was in subtitle mode now. Best of all, I'd forgotten how skillfully written and pieced together this show was when the plot was actually going somewhere--I don't see that often in new anime series. I can't remember if the flashbacks had taken place in an episode long ago or this was just setting the stage for the final season. This was a pleasant surprise; the episode effectively brings me up to speed and leaves me looking forward to the next one.
Yes, this is actually pretty fun! I'd forgotten how skillfully Rumika T's story fit together when it wasn't in long-term filler mode. I was surprised when a major character apparently bought it in episode two; there had been countless fights in which nobody of any importance got more than a scratch (which was frustrating), and suddenly this person was picked off--it almost seemed a waste of a good character. Still, the story moved steadily onwards in an understandable manner. Episode three, the "Fox Demon Exam" was amusing. Afterwards I was tempted to dust off my VHS tapes and rewatch some of the Inuyasha saga from the old days.
There are problems. Like fight scenes in which one magical/spiritual/whatever weapon interacts with another, which in turn interacts with yet another, until I've lost whatever track I once had of what's going on and why things turn out the way they do. The opponents have built up such vast arsenals of magical weaponry that it's almost impossible to keep track of them all. If I could, things would probably make a good deal more sense, but I can't. It feels like the usual excuse to stretch the story out as long as possible by continually adding new measures and countermeasures. Especially frustrating is when in the end one side breaks off the fight without anybody on either side having gotten much more than a scratch. It seems like a cop-out.
I liked episode nine in which Sesshomaru undergoes a strange test of his will and heart in the underworld. His mother was an interesting character, and I liked the banter between her and Jaaken. Yet another major character almost bought it (as happened in episode eight), but with a little second thinking it was clear that fans of the series wouldn't have tolerated the loss of this person. Anyway, this episode was a nice change from the usual flow of the plot.
Even though Kanketsu got a sort of fresh start since I'd forgotten all but the basics of the interminable original series, I'm now feeling the same vague frustration and impatience for something really new and original to happen. Almost anything would be better than Naraku and Inuyasha's people hammering away at each other like irresistible forces on immovable objects. It gets kind of corny when the team agonizes over whether they should sacrifice one person or let Naraku have what he wants--if that were to happen, everybody would be dead before they knew it, right? In spite of a number of supporting characters getting knocked off, the stars seems immortal, which kills some of the suspense. I'm still enjoying the show, but with only a half dozen episodes to go (I presume) something's got to happen, doesn't it?
The conclusion was kind of strange because after trying time after time to defeat Naraku and always failing by a hair, it turns out that beating him doesn’t solve everything after all. There’s one more deadly--no, worse than deadly—-opponent waiting. That was kind of neat, since we get something unexpected when we pretty much thought we knew what was going to happen. The ultimate battle with Naraku himself was kind of like the ending to a 26-episode series after two or three hundred, so this final twist was a wise move. What finally happens to him was interesting and unexpected. After the crisis has been resolved we get a series of farewells to our beloved characters, showing us what they do with themselves now that peace has finally returned to the land. The romance that takes off was a little surprising, because after seeing it hinted at forever but going nowhere, I had subconsciously concluded that nothing would ever happen. But it's nice to see how things work out for everyone. So, in the end I guess the quality of Kanketsu was pretty much identical to that of the original series.
My favorite line: "He's not cutting? Such an egotist" --Kagura
Last updated Friday, May 14 2010. Created Sunday, October 11 2009.