Monday, November 18, 2013

Anime Blu-ray Review: Inuyasha: The Final Act Part 1

Inuyasha: The Final Act was a 26 episode series that was produced in 2009 to wrap up the story from the original Inuyasha anime series. In late 2012, Viz Media released the first 13 episodes on DVD and Blu-ray under the title Inuyasha: The Final Act Part 1. This review focuses on the Blu-ray pressing of this release.

Inuyasha: The Final Act picks up right where the seventh season of the Inuyasha anime series ended. Throughout the episodes on this set, there are occasional "flashbacks" to events that took place in the first Inuyasha series to refresh the audience's memory about why certain things are happening in Inuyasha: The Final Act; fortunately, this doesn't happen so often that it bogs down the storytelling.

After going through the seven seasons of the original series, Inuyasha: The Final Act almost feels like a "warp speed" telling of Inuyasha. The first two or three episodes feel a little jumpy, but after that, the remaining episodes felt more natural. I think this was due in part to the fact that the seventh season of Inuyasha ended in the middle of a story arc; this meant that the first couple of episodes had to wrap up that story arc before moving on.

The animation in Inuyasha: The Final Act looks rather similar to what was seen in the original Inuyasha anime, but it also incorporates computer animation a little more blatantly than the original series. However, even with that small change in the animation, watching Inuyasha: The Final Act felt like I was reuniting with an old friend.

I would definitely recommend Inuyasha: The Final Act to anime viewers who are already fans of Inuyasha. However, viewers who are not already familiar with the Inuyasha franchise won't get much out of this series until they've seen all of the non-filler episodes of the original series.

As for the Blu-ray itself, the box says that the video is 1080p High Definition 16 9 video, with DTS-HD Audio in English and Japanese. When I watched this Blu-ray set, I thought that the image quality looked noticeably better than the DVD sets that I own for the original Inuyasha anime series.

When it comes to the bonus features in this set, they're basically the standard extras I've come to expect from Viz Media releases. First is "Production Art," which is 15 pages of line art for the episodes on this release. "Storyboard Art" is available for episodes one, two, and four; each episode has three pages of storyboards that can be viewed.

"Original Japanese Trailers" runs for a little over two minutes, and includes three trailers in all. Unfortunately, the audio is in Japanese without any English subtitles, so it's hard to understand these trailers unless you have enough knowledge of the Japanese language to pick out what's being said in the audio.

The "Original Cast Credits" runs for four minutes, and includes a translated version of the Japanese credits for all 13 episodes in the set, and then is followed by the credits for the English adaptation.

The final extra is "Sneak Peek"; this feature only includes the trailers for Neon Alley and Kekkaishi that appeared at the beginning of both of the Blu-ray Discs in this set. Also, there's no menu for this bonus feature, so this feature launches directly into the trailers and plays them back-to-back. Personally, I thought this extra was a bit of a waste.

This is a release I would highly recommend adding to your anime home video library if you're a fan of Inuyasha. If you have the capability to view Blu-rays, I would recommend picking up the Blu-ray pressing of Inuyasha: The Final Act Part 1.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of the Inuyasha: The Final Act Part 1 Blu-ray that my husband and I purchased.
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