Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon
The year is 2020 and this anime season there is… a new Inuyasha anime? Yeah, I know I was just as surprised as you when I first heard. Inuyasha was shockingly a series I somehow missed out on watching on it’s heyday back in early 2000 when it first started airing. It’s a series I’ve always seen a lot about, however, and a series I often heard fellow anime fans express their love for. So, it was something of a shock to hear they were making a sequel series ten years after the anime was completed. I had meant to finally watch the original Inuyasha series prior to this airing but life got busy and I never get through all 100+ episodes in the end although I intend to keep watching.
The new Inuyasha series follows the children of the original series’ characters, with half-demon Towa the de facto protagonist. Something quite refreshing is how the three main characters of the series are all female, with the twins Towa and Setsuna (presumably the children of Sesshomaru), and Moroha (very clearly the daughter of Inuyasha himself and Kagome). Still, each of the three characters looks to be interesting and diverse in their own ways, Towa herself talking about how to her gender is something she struggles with, and disliking appearing as overly masculine or feminine. It’s a nice update from a series that centres around the historical era and helps bring the series itself into modern times too.
Usually I do reviews of only the first episode but this new series had something of an unusual beginning so I chose to feature the first two. The first episode itself barely introduces this new cast at all, other than showing Towa and the other two briefly bookending the intro and ending. Instead, this first episode is something of a love letter to fans of the original series going back to the same time period and showcasing an epilogue presumably which happened after the end of the original series. What relevance this will have to the main storyline of this sequel series is yet to be determined. For someone new to the series, the first episode might be rather confusing – we’re introduced to a cast of characters who clearly all have relationships and existing storylines that have come to a close. Whilst I appreciated the effort they made to include all the old characters, however briefly, it was, unfortunately, a little lost on me as a new watcher. Still, it helped to showcase how true to the original series in tone and style this sequel is likely aiming to be – the return of the same voice cast, the similar art style if slightly brighter and updated in terms of animation, the music, action, and violence all were very reminiscent of the original series and other anime of its time. It manages to make the series seem nostalgic and new all at the same time.
The second episode was where the story really began however and here we were truly introduced to the history of how Towa was separated from their twin sister at an early age and was transported to modern-day Japan, luckily being taken in by Kagome’s younger brother and raised there. Towa is a fairly likable character, both cheerful and cool, but it’s also very clear how they’ve struggled to settle into a world where their powers must be left unknown. Meanwhile, back in their homeworld, we see a frightening attack by a demon (a nice homage to the same demon type as seen in the original Inuyasha’s series beginning episode), and it’s here we’re interested in the other children and what they’ve become. Still, the episode leaves many mysteries to be solved, most notably for long time fans of the series – where are Inuyasha, Kagome, and Sesshomaru now? There are hints here and there that things did not go as smoothly after the end of the series as may have seemed – the twins wandering through a forest completely alone, Moroha clearly separated from the rest of the Demon Slayers and wearing a stitched together cloak very reminiscent of Inuyasha’s own robes.
The new sequel is off to a strong start, perhaps appealing more to fans of the original series as it lies heavily on the nostalgia, but the new cast looks strong enough for this series to stand on its own. Even whilst this is a series that has updated somewhat to the more modern era, the design of the characters and general feel still gives off that 90’s anime vibes of the original which is not a bad thing. It’s going to be interested to see the new cast learn, grow, and uncover the mystery behind their pasts.
Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon
The beginning off starts out more as a love letter to the original Inuyasha series but finds it's stride in the second episode, bringing in a new and exciting cast which leaves you wanting to know more about the mystery behind it all.