Inuyasha is the embodiment of turn of the millennium Anime

Inuyasha is the embodiment of turn of the millennium Anime

For better or worse, Inuyasha is the perfect poster child for anime in the late 90s and early 2000s, when the industry was struggling with technology.

The Inuyasha the series is an iconic anime from right around the turn of the millennium, a time when technology was on the rise, but the series on air just hadn’t quite caught up. Here’s everything that makes Inuyasha such a perfect case study of anime of the time, both the good and the bad.

Created by Rumiko Takahashi, also known for Urusei Yatsura and Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha was a series that broke down some of the strict demographic lines of anime. While the story was ostensibly a fantasy action series for young boys (Shonen), it had a heavy focus on romance which made it more appealing to girls as well. The show’s cast of pretty boy demons certainly didn’t hurt its popularity with female fans, either, and the point-of-view character as present-day schoolgirl Kagome Higurashi in a fish-out-of-water plot sealed the deal. Inuyasha was an important part of Adult Swim’s anime offerings at the time, and the series gained many late-night fans on the channel.


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Inuyasha’s plot is certainly interesting, dealing with concepts like reincarnation and revenge, setting up love triangles, and introducing many characters who each had their own compelling reasons for being involved. However, as a traditionally animated series, Inuyasha also suffered from many of the common budget-saving tactics of the time. Inuyasha’s attacks often take place in the dimension flashy backgrounds, so they can be reused over and over again in different contexts. The show’s reuse of animation is arguably its biggest problem today; it was designed to be watched on a week-to-week basis, and would often take up significant portions of an episode summarizing common backstories and plot points, such as how Inuyasha first met Kikyo and was sealed to the Tree of Time. Trying to monitor Inuyasha is likely to result in a lot of fast forwarding through footage that in some cases has been watched a dozen times or more. Inuyasha is also from the inconvenient period where widescreen anime was not standard, so the beginning of the series is in a 4:3 ratio, while the follow-up series which was completed adapting the manga in 2009, Inuyasha: The Final Actis widescreen.

Inuyasha remains a classic

Inuyasha Wind Scar

Despite these flaws, Inuyasha is still very much a classic series from the era. As mentioned above, the grades tend to be the strongest quality. The series has a memorable cast, all of whom are quite different from each other. While Naraku is certainly a one-note villain, those who work under his control like Kagura tend to be more complex, yearning for freedom and trying to rebel while carrying out his order letter. And while Inuyasha may not be known for its fight scenes the way some of its contemporaries were, the series still has some very cool fights, and Inuyasha himself has a decent array of abilities at his disposal. The new sequel series, Yashahimeis pretty faithful to the original in every way – even down to the pacing issues.

Fans of anime who haven’t checked out Inuyasha should give the series a chance, if only because it has something for everyone. While the original may be a bit dated in terms of pacing and animation style, it brings with it everything that helped make anime the massive international success it is today.

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