InuYasha-Volume 1 (2000)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Teaser Trailer-Japanese Promos
Credits-Textless Opening And Closing Credits
Trailer-Studio Ghibli Collection,His And Her Circumstances
|Year Of Production||2000|
|Running Time||97:07 (Case: 96)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
Richard Ian Cox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, next episode teaser|
Kagome Higurashi is an ordinary girl living with her ordinary family as caretakers of an ordinary shrine. Her whole world is turned upside down when she is pulled into an ancient well by a centipede demon and emerges in feudal Japan. Somehow, a strange object, the Sacred Jewel, has appeared inside Kagome and the demon will stop at nothing to remove it from her. Lost and disoriented, Kagome releases Inuyasha, a half human half dog-demon from what should have been an eternal curse. Inuyasha willingly helps destroy the centipede demon . . . but then he wants the Jewel for himself. With the help of Priestess Kaede and a magical subjugating necklace (think Monkey's headband and Tripitaka's chanting), Kagome resists Inuyasha's attack and learns to control Inuyasha with a simple "Sit boy!" Always mumbling and complaining, Inuyasha makes it his task to protect the Jewel (at least until he can remove the subjugating charm), and when the Jewel is accidentally (and conveniently) split into thousands of pieces and scattered across the world, Inuyasha and Kagome become reluctant companions on a quest to gather the Sacred Shards. If a demon were to find just a single shard . . . .
From the long-running manga by Rumiko Takahshi (creator of Ranma 1/2 and Urusei Yatsura), Inuyasha is all about action and adventure from the opening frame. Despite what sounds like a fairly clichéd opening and its status as a monster-of-the-week quest, it's a very enjoyable and engrossing series. Its popularity and appeal can be put down, I think, to the excellent chemistry between Inuyasha and Kagome: their bickering and individual sarcastic wit make for plenty of humorous interactions, but you can tell that, sooner or later, Inuyasha will develop a soft spot for Kagome. It may of course be later given that series runs for well over 150 episodes, with rumours of further episodes to come. There are also several movies that are sure to get a release here if Inuyasha proves popular. I, for one, am interested to see where the series will go and can only imagine I will enjoy it more and more.
Volume 1 includes the first four episodes of the series:
1. The Girl Who Overcame Time . . . And the Boy who was Just Overcome
2. Seekers of the Sacred Jewel
3. Down the Rabbit Hole and Back Again
4. Yura of the Demon-Hair
Madman give us a very good video transfer that ultimately falls just short of the mark. Inuyasha is presented full frame in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
This is a nice sharp transfer with almost no noticeable low level noise. Colours are solid and nicely rendered, with deep blacks. As far as artefacts go, fine lines occasionally display some very mild aliasing, the worst example of shimmer occurring at 51:10. Interlacing is also a consistent issue and, in combination with 3:2 judder and the absence of PAL speed up, suggests that Madman have once again gone the NTSC-PAL conversion road. Otherwise, there is nothing at all to complain about. A very good transfer indeed.
Subtitles are Madman's usual yellow and are a relatively accurate reflection of the Japanese (not "dubtitles"). Song lyrics are also titled.
The disc is divided into 21 chapters, including chapters for opening and closing credits and advertisements for the next episode.
Inuyasha's audio transfer is also very good. We are offered English Dolby Digital 2.0 as default and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0, both surround encoded. I listened to both tracks.
Dialogue is very clear and easy to understand, although English dialogue has been mixed at a slightly lower volume and doesn't blend into the soundstage as naturally as the Japanese. Both tracks are very clean with no audible hiss or distortion. The English track is, as usual, poorly acted. It translates the Japanese dialogue well without too much extrapolation. A major point of irritation is the translation of Kaede's line. In some kind of misguided attempt to capture the antique feel of her language, the translators have replaced every "you," "your," and "yours" with "ye." "Ye" is usually used to address a plural number of persons (Oxford English Dictionary) and its grammatical misuse in Inuyasha becomes highly irritating. Once again, I'd recommend sticking with the Japanese track.
The score is provided by Kaoru Wada and suits the series well, reflecting both the adventurous and playful aspect of the series. The title songs are composed by Miki Watanabe (Opening - Change the World) and y@suo otani (sic) (Closing - My Will). Neither song sounds particularly relevant to Inuyasha's storyline or characters (so far), but are somewhat catchy, if slightly annoying.
Surround presence is there, but by no means aggressive. Much of the action is kept front stage and most of the dialogue is centre-focused. I noticed the occasional directional effect (like falling planks) at 37:57, but the rears are mostly used to support the music. The subwoofer gives subtle support to the many fight scenes and a good thump whenever Inuyasha is commanded to sit.
|Surround Channel Use|
A few extras, though nothing outstanding.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 release Inuyasha (Vol 1) contains only three episodes and includes character art. The Season Boxsets though (27 episodes per season) are distributed across 5 discs (instead of 9). The Region 2 Japanese release of Vol 1 contains only two episodes, character art and several trailers. Since we get four issues per volume (and there are 167 episodes and rumours of more to come) I'd call Region 4 the clear winner on individual releases. The Region Box Set is perhaps the better option if you chose to buy overseas.
A great start to what looks like a fun series, Inuyasha comes recommended.
Video is nearly perfect but has a few NTSC-PAL issues.
Sound is nice and clean with some decent surround presence.
Extras are average.
|DVD||Sony DVP-S336, using Component output|
|Display||LG Flatron Widescreen RT-28FZ85RX. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.|
|Speakers||DB Dynamics Belmont Series: Fronts: B50F, Centre: B50C, Rears: B50S, Sub: SW8BR|