In December 2016 I bought the Inuyasha: Complete Adventures (containing the self-titled original anime and Inuyasha: Final Act) boxset, which I finished watching on 13/3/17. I also bought separately the Inuyasha movie collection, and finished watching the last of the 4 movies on 16/3/17.
As a long-time fan of JRPGS and anime, I generally found the series to be enjoyable.
- Reasonably interesting plot
- The characters were quite varied
- There was a reasonable variety of villains
- Japanese language terminology in the dub was dutifully pronounced by the cast rather than butchered with thick American drawl.
- There was an above-average amount of humour compared to other anime series I’ve watched and far less slapstick than humour in some other anime I’ve watched (would have liked it to be a bit more frequent – will count this as a con also)
- VERY Japanese (which might be a turn-off for people who discriminate against foreign cultures for being too ‘different’ or unusual [though who are not necessarily racist, per se], but if you’re aware of that ahead of time, is something I definitely consider a PRO) – plenty of Japanese mythology and Japanese words, references to Buddhism and Shinto, etc.
- Inuyasha: Final Act’s animation quality is excellent
- The series never felt too short where it felt like one of those things where was over just as it was starting to get interesting nor felt overloaded with filler episodes that made it overstay its welcome (Naruto Shippuden, anyone? IMO Japanese equivalent of The Simpsons – i.e never seems to end no matter how many seasons or episodes).
- The plot in Inuyasha: Final Act is a highlight – the best has definitely been saved ‘til last!
- The dub is among the highest quality anime dubs I’ve come across – most of the dub actors fit their character perfectly, such that I almost found it unwatchable with Japanese audio (no offense intended to the Japanese cast)*.
*I found this with the Dragon Ball animes also – I found them almost unwatchable with the Japanese audio [mostly because of Goku and Vegeta’s high-pitched ‘squeaky’ voices], even though I love Naruto entirely with Japanese audio and subs. With video games and anime, sometimes I prefer dubs, other times it’s ‘Japanese audio or nothing’.
- The original anime tended to have simplistic dialogue that was not exactly poetic
- The animation quality – mostly in earlier episodes – was not brilliant. This was particularly noticeable when later episodes had flashbacks of early episodes – the difference in animation quality was quite obvious. Some flashbacks to early episodes of the original anime in Inuyasha: Final Act share this problem, and due to Final Act’s far superior animation, the difference in animation quality is much more obvious.
- Humour added to the series, but its use was too sparse
- Some of the voice actors were recast in Inuyasha: Final Act – most are barely noticeable, but Kagome’s replacement took some getting used to.
- Not available on Blu-Ray in Australia (if you live in the U.S, lucky you: this doesn’t apply to you!)
With Inuyasha: Final Act, the animation quality was noticeably superior, the writing was significantly better, and the pacing of both the follow-up series and individual episodes -in my opinion – was top-notch. The only detractor from Final Act was that Kagome’s voice actor had been replaced, and was noticeably different (i.e inferior), which was mildly off-putting initially but didn’t hinder my enjoyment. The movies were mostly non-canonical but still enjoyable – IMO the best Inuyasha movies were movie 2 and movie 3.
Final Score: 8.4
The anime I’ve watched all the way through are/anime films I’ve watched are: Dragon Ball (the one with Goku and Krillin as children), Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, Naruto (original anime, not Shippuden), Bleach, Soul Eater, Final Fantasy: Unlimited, all Studio Ghibli films, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, Your Name, most of the anime films shown at ReelAnime (an Australian anime film festival), etc. I’ve also watched all but the last 25 or so episodes of Fairy Tail. I would include Inuyasha (counting the two anime as one series) in my all-time top 10 anime, somewhere between 5 and 10, probably closer to 10. (Although I have plans to at some point watch Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shaman King, and Yu Yu Hakusho, so its position in my top 10 may change.)
At the time of writing, I have two Blu-ray collections to go before I’m finished with Fairy Tail (one already out, the other coming out later in the year), and I’ll write up a review for Fairy Tail when I’ve finished watching.