(167 episodes + a few movies and OVAs + a 26-episode conclusion series)
What’s it about ?
Adaptation of a fantasy manga series by Rumiko Takahashi, of Ranma 1/2 fame.
Kagome, our protagonist, is an ordinary teenage girl. One day she falls at the bottom of a weird well in the backyard of her family’s property, and ends up in a world that looks like Feudal Japan, except slightly more fantasy-ish.
Inuyasha, a dog-man spirit stuck to a tree, is the first thing she sees outside the well. She doesn’t know he’s been trapped there 50 years ago by Kikyo, the head priestess of the nearest village, and is thus probably bad news ; the local villagers don’t take well to Kagome trying to free him.
Kaede, Kikyo’s apprentice and now the village elder, calms things down a bit. For one thing, Kagome does look a bit like Kikyo (which would mean more to me if Takahashi could draw more than one young female face). For another, she seems to be able to effortlessly spot supernatural stuff, something even Kaede has trouble with. (I get the impression that Kaede is trying her best to carry Kikyo’s legacy despite not having much of any natural talent for it.)
A serpent-ish monster then shows up, having followed Kagome from the well ; it’s after the small orb of power that’s somehow in her body. Ultimately, only an alliance of convenience with Inuyasha can defeat it… only for him to immediately turn on Kagome. Wait, isn’t the title character supposed to be a good guy ? [Actual text from the next-episode preview.]
Decent for a daytime shonen action show of the time (it’s definitely not Pierrot-like), but the shortcuts are easy to spot.
This is okay, I guess. Decent setup for the classic “stranded in a parallel world” plot, with characters sketched out enough to be pleasant to follow. Obviously Inuyasha isn’t going to be a long-term antagonist, but at least his initial heel persona makes the start of this a bit fresher.
But there’s no way in hell I’m going to watch 200ish episodes of this. The initial TV series obviously got padded to hell and back (not that Takahashi needed much help, considering how the manga ran for 12 years), and it’s just not compelling enough to justify this kind of time investment to me.