Inu-Yasha 9 (VizBig ed.)

April 25, 2012

Rumiko Takahashi – Viz – 2011 – 56 volumes
this is an omnibus containing vols. 25-27

This took me forever and a day to read. It’s long, sure, and three volumes of manga. But normally I fly through these omnibuses, and Inu-Yasha is paced very well. This time, all three volumes deal with a massive storyline about the Band of Seven.

It was especially hard slogging through this after reading a volume of Toriko. I mentioned that Toriko’s charm is in its one-off ideas, and that the series was paced incredibly well for a shounen manga, since nothing ever lasts for more than half a volume in the parts I read. Inu-Yasha is like that, too, with even major story arcs usually only lasting for a volume, maybe a volume and a half, and the fun creature battles that I like best usually only taking three chapters.

But this Band of Seven storyline. It started in the last omnibus volume I read, and it looks like it will last at least one more volume. We don’t even get the benefit of getting the enemies introduced in order. At the beginning of this omnibus, we meet the final two of the band, and they periodically attack Inu-Yasha, Koga, and Sesshoumaru. Unfortunately, they don’t even get defeated that frequently. They simply flee (sometimes because Naraku tells them to do so), and then come back for another fight later. It’s so tedious, and they aren’t that interesting.

What is intriguing is that every character in the series is stumped about where Naraku has fled. This is slowly uncovered through all three volumes, and the final volume deals more directly with the mystery. The solution is quite interesting, and I like that the one enabling the hiding is apparently a character that Inu-Yasha et al will speak to next time. Also, the place where Naraku is hiding forces Inu-Yasha into human form, and I’m always all about those stories. That didn’t happen at all in the last omnibus, and I missed it quite a bit.

I feel bad not talking a bit more about this, but really. It’s a lot of fighting. It’s more serious than usual, and there are a lot of good moments (Kagome loses it at one point when it appears that Inu-Yasha was blown up, and I still love that Sesshoumaru is so protective of Rin), but it’s mostly just the Band of Seven throwing themselves at the protagonists again and again. I’m hoping there will be a return to the shorter stories in the next volume. They don’t even have to be that short. I’d just prefer it if they didn’t take up six volumes or whatever. But I’m still enjoying the nuts and bolts of the series, such as the characters and action and whatnot, and as long as the storylines keep the context fresh, I won’t have any problem polishing off another thirty volumes of this.

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