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Inu Yasha: The Movie - The Complete Collection [2 Discs] [Blu-ray]

The four Inu-Yasha theatrical features pit the cast of Rumiko Takahashi's "feudal fairy tale" against new foes: The search for the shards of the Shikon Jewel falls by the wayside as Kagome, Inu-Yasha, Shippo, Miroku, and Sango tackle these supernatural enemies. In Affections Touching Across Time (2001), the moth-demon Menomaru seeks to reclaim the powers of his father, who was defeated by Inu-Yasha's father during the attempted Mongol invasion of 1274. The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass (2002) evokes the Japanese legend "The Tale of the Bamboo-Cutter," when Kaguya appears, claiming to be the legendary Moon Princess. Swords of an Honorable Ruler (2003) reveals that Inu-Yasha's father, the Great Dog Demon, possessed not two but three swords: Tetsusaiga, Tenseiga, and Sounga, which are linked to Earth, Heaven, and Hell, respectively. When the Sounga is accidentally freed, its aura raises the soul of Takemaru, the samurai who murdered Inu-Yasha's mother. The villains in Fire on Mystic Island (2004) are the Four War Gods, powerful demons on the island of Houraijima, who preserve and augment their power by sacrificing half-demon children. The later films are darker and more violent, although the directors balance the mayhem against familiar comedic elements, especially Kagome and Inu-Yasha squabbling. The features all reflect larger budgets than the television series, as the filmmakers employ a variety of CG effects: explosions, lightning bolts, insects, monsters, and strangling tree roots. Affections Touching Across Time stands out as the handsomest of the films, with designs that suggest the woodblock prints of Kawase Hasui. The set includes CD's of the movie soundtracks and a booklet on the traditional Japanese instruments they feature, although more information on composer Kaoru Wada would have been nice. A must-have for Inu-Yasha fans. (Rated Teen: suitable for ages 13 and older: violence, grotesque imagery, brief nudity, alcohol use, risqué humor) --Charles Solomon

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