a.k.a. Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time
a.k.a. Inuyasha: Toki o Koeru Omoi
Long before Inuyasha and Kagome’s quest to retrieve the shards of the Shikon no Tama began, a yokai army from China attempted to invade Japan. Inuyasha’s father successfully sealed Hyouga, the leader of the demons, in the Forest of No Return, and put an end to the invasion. Now, nearly two hundred years later, Hyouga’s son, Menomaru, has awakened to inherit his father’s power. Inuyasha and company set out to destroy this new evil before he becomes unstoppable, but things are never that easy…
summary by Gatts
Highs: Emphasis on character relationships; the usual excellent music
Lows: Underdeveloped villain; animation is a mixed bag
Inuyasha’s debut in theaters doesn’t break any new ground for the series, but it’s an entertaining addition to the saga nonetheless. Fans of the series will feel right at home because most elements from its television counterpart have survived the transition to the big screen. All of the major characters make an appearance, and while ones like Sesshoumaru do not play a major role in the movie, their cameos are more than just appeasement for fans. The score is comprised of tracks similar to the action packed, instrumental pieces used in the series.
The animation as a whole is very inconsistent. At times, the style resembles that of Takahashi Rumiko’s manga, but then in other scenes it reverts to that of the series. Worst of all, the artwork takes a nose dive in a couple scenes. Although this only happens occasionally, it is inexcusable for any part to be animated so poorly. There are a few CG effects that are not well integrated and end up looking awkward, as well. Thankfully, the majority of it is a step up from the series.
Inuyasha: The Love that Transcends Time features an original plot that never appeared in the manga. Unfortunately, this means that it has nothing to do with the series and ends up a distraction from the main plot. The new villain has no motivation besides the revenge for his father cliché and the desire for more power. Even the talented Seki Tomokazu cannot save this character from being a dull enemy. While the antagonist fails to impress, the protagonists more than make up for it. The movie focuses on the relationships between Inuyasha and Kagome, and these portions are the core of the film. Menomaru is a disappointing character, but he is an effective catalyst that enables these scenes to occur.
Fans of Inuyasha will no doubt enjoy this film. The strength of the main characters makes it easy to look past the inconsistent animation and weak plot. The trademark comedy, humor and action all have a strong presence which helps to keep things moving. The first Inuyasha movie is quite entertaining, and I know that I’m eagerly anticipating the second.
Highs: Moments of great animation; action from start to finish
Lows: Moments of poor animation; several worthless scenes and cameos; standard-issue Inuyasha episode plot
One of the trendiest ways of capitalizing on a popular anime series is to intersect it with plot-unaffecting movies. This way, fans of the series can see their favorite Inuyasha characters on the big screen, while casual viewers won’t feel like they’ve missed important story elements.
In this way, The Love that Transcends Time is very much a success. This movie seamlessly transfers the best parts of the show to the theaters, but with beefed-up animation… most of the time. Inuyasha and Kagome’s love-you/hate-you waltz gets tiresome quickly, just like Takahashi’s other romantically violent lead characters Ranma and Akane. Good thing Miroku and Sango are given plenty of screen time to spice up the dialogue and comedy.
Towards the end, however, the movie really falls apart. The animation, which was previously outstanding during the action sequences, takes a severe dive and relies on reused cels. There was also about thirty minutes of useless scenes with characters that are meaningless to this movie’s plot. A case could be made for Kikyo’s role, but Sesshoumaru takes up valuable time while being nothing more than eye candy for the ladies.
After all was said and done, this movie was really just a stretched episode, replete with the blasé plot device of “You have proved a powerful opponent, but I have been saving my best attack for last!” Dragonball Z, anyone?
Inuyasha: The Love that Transcends Time can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.