Shin

Inuyasha Wind -Symphonic Theme Collection-

Ah… yet another album from the Inuyasha series. Although there are quite a few CDs available from this series, this one is special.
All of the songs on here were arranged by Kaoru Wada (responsible for composing the soundtracks to the series) and his colleagues and were performed by the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. Some of you may be thinking “but most of the music from this series is already orchestrated”, and you’re right. But most of the tracks on here are the well-known vocal tracks from the series! Namely, the famous ending songs we’ve come to love (the ones performed by Dream, Do As Infinity, Ayumi Hamasaki, BoA, etc).

I’ve included a handful of samples in my review for your listening pleasure.

Wind -Symphonic Theme Collection-
Composer: Kaoru Wada
Arrangement: Kaoru Wada, Akira Senju, Toshihiko Sahashi, Tomoyuki Asakawa, Kazuki Kuriyama, Michiru Oshima, Takayuki Hattori
Performance: The Japan Philharmonic Orchestra
Catalog No.: AVCA-14753
Release Date: 07/09/2001
Production: Avex Mode

Track List (arranger’s initials are next to each track)
01. Change The World (KW)
02. Every Heart (AS)
03. Owarinai yume (TS)
04. Dearest (TA)
05. Fukai mori (KK)
06. Shinjitsu no uta (KW)
07. I am (MO)
08. Grip! (TH)
09. My Will (KW)
10. Inuyasha genso (KW)

As mentioned before, some people may get the wrong idea about this album because the music from the series is already orchestrated. But if you’re a fan of the vocal tracks, you shouldn’t miss this album. “Change The World” (1st intro song) is the first track. The track quickly builds up the brass section and bursts into the melody. Then it quiets down considerably to the point where you can hear the xylophone in the background, then yields to the brass again. This is MUCH better than the original vocal version. I didn’t like the vocals in that at all. The only weird thing on this track is the ending… which sounds a bit like Star Wars. You have to listen to it to understand, lol. Not bad, but there’s better. The next track is “Every Heart” (the 4th ending song). This one has a very lovely melody and stays soft for the most part. After the 3 minute mark the volume rises and you reach the climax (hehe). It’s like the perfect ending theme to a love story. The song ends quietly with a gentle flute.
Listen to sample of “Every Heart”!

“Owarinai yume” (3rd intro song) has a catchy beat to it. It’s the only track on this album to use percussion this way. That, combined with the relatively low and quiet melody line, makes it quite suitable to act as karaoke music, lol. Seriously, if you enjoyed the original version of this song, you can sing along nicely with this arrangement. This track also reminds me of music styles from the ’80s… which isn’t necessarily a good (or bad) thing. Next in line is “Dearest” (3rd ending song). Layers of strings control this song very nicely. This arrangement could have been soooo much better. Only string instruments are used (including harp). Now don’t get me wrong, I love string pieces, but it lacked depth… perhaps from the absence of some type of percussion.
Listen to sample of “Dearest”!

“Fukai mori” (2nd ending song) is next. Great track! I loved the original version done by DAI and this one does not disappoint. It even has the familiar acoustic guitar starting things off! The brass and woodwinds start the melody line, followed by the strings. If you listen to the song closely, it’s almost as if the brass section and strings are taking turns, and occasionally meld together. I love it! It has great percussion too, sometimes sounding a bit electronic (effectively though), not overpowering and does the job of keeping the piece flowing. You also hear an electric guitar in this piece. Awesome track, probably my favorite one on this album.
Listen to sample of “Fukai mori”!

Next we come to “Shinjitsu no uta”… another wonderful track. It starts off very low and quiet with piano chords and then with strings. It slowly builds up to the main melody, but never reaches a peak as most of these arrangements do. It stays soft throughout the entire piece and has a somber feel to it. It’s pure ecstasy when you start hearing the hypnotic main melody from the piano chords and the harmonic strings swaying back and forth. My only gripe on this track is that is stayed too quiet for too long and then ended too quickly. All in all it was short but sweet and was enough to earn the spot of 2nd favorite.
Listen to sample of “Shinjitsu no uta”!

Next is “I am” (2nd intro song). This one starts off very cheerful and bouncy. It then quiets down a bit when the strings take over. You later hear more prominent brass after that and towards the end of the track. “Grip!” (4th intro song) comes next and is very different from the original. This arrangement is another soft piece. The main melody starts off with woodwinds at the 01:45 mark, rises in volume a bit, then descends just as quickly. The make-up of this song is very similar to “Dearest”, despite being arranged by two different people. As we near the end of the album we get to “My Will” (1st ending song). Woodwinds again start the melody off and are then taken over by low strings and brass, setting a solemn mood. Then an oboe sings the main melody, strings join, along with sleigh bells. Things get soft again when the oboe re-acquires the melody with accompanying woodwinds. The strings and sleigh bells then end the piece with the aid of a timely english horn in the background.
Listen to sample of “My Will”!

The final track on this album is pretty much a long arrangement of Inuyasha’s familiar theme, which is orchestrated on the original soundtracks… meaning it’s really nothing new. It has several variations of the theme- slow and soft, loud and commanding, etc, almost like a medley. It’s the only song that wasn’t an explicit arrangement of an original vocal piece, but does a decent job of wrapping up the album. Overall, this collection of arrangements is a wonderful musical experience. These songs are ideal for fans of the original pieces and especially for those that are fans of orchestral music. Even though they were all orchestrated, they had seven arrangers on the job, and the difference in styles is sometimes quite evident. I would actually recommend this album over the OSTs first, since this is the music that most Inuyasha fans may be more familiar with. Either way, this album will be a great addition to your collection!

By Dragon627

Inuyasha: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass

Director: Toshuya Shinohara
Original Story: Rumiko Takahashi
Producer: Michinhiko Suwa, Masou Ueda, Mikihiro Iwata
Art Director: Tsutomu Ishigaki
Art: Hiroki Numura
Running Time: 100 Minutes

Review:
Inuyasha and the gang while still on trail for Naraku, they stop and seek shelter; it’s that time of the month again and Inuyasha is in his mortal-human form, and is vulnerable. Unfortunately, Naraku takes his chances and seeks him out. The gang tries their best to stall him, but to no avail. Luckily, it’s sunrise and Inuyasha is ready to kill some spiders. After a dramatic battle, Naraku is destroyed; however, never thinking this day would actually come our team is now faced with the hard the question, what do we do now?

With his wind tunnel gone, Miroku leaves to return to his grandfather’s grave. Sango too leaves in search for her brother. It seems our team is back to Inuyasha and Kagome, oh yeah and Shippo, he decides to stick with them as he’s too chicken to go out on his own. Well it’s back to go look for those jewel shards.

However, our team isn’t the only to benefit from Naraku’s death. Kugura and Kanna, especially Kagura, are now free from Naraku’s control. Kagura dreams have come true, but why does Kanna tell her to follow her. Anyway, Kagura follows her. Kanna leads Kagura to shrine in a valley where she meets, Kaguya a celestial being trapped in a mirror. Kaguya offers Kagura her deepest desires if she does Kaguya a favor. Kagura is intrigued, she always wanted her freedom from Naraku, but could she have wanted something more?
Kagura decides to help Kaguya; now Kanna and Kaguya set out on a mission to retrieve five mystical objects that were used as a seal to keep Kaguya inside her mirror.

After a bunch of encounters, which I won’t ruin for you, they collect each item and Kaguya is released. Now Kaguya sets her eye on the celestial robe, which coincidentally is in the hands of Hojo who is traveling with Kagome and Inuyasha.

Kaguya plans on sending the world in eternal darkness, and if she gets her hands on the celestial robe she’ll be almost invincible.

The team, coincidentally, reunites, but this time not to fight Naraku but a new foe of even greater power. Can our team win a battle when even time isn’t on their side. (Sorry for the cliché couldn’t think of anything better Very Happy )

Characters:

Inuyasha
Still consumed with the dream of one day becoming a full demon, Inuyasha is still on the hunt for the sacred jewel shards. With Naraku, seemly, out of the way Inuyasha can concentrate on finding them. Little does Inuyasha know that Kagome loves him as a half breed; will it be let his dream of being a full demon die for Kagome, even when Kaguya offers him the chance to be one?

Kagome
Still putting up with Inuyasha brashness, Kagome worries about what will happen they find the last jewel shard. What will she do then, she thinks the only reason she returns to the feudal ear is because she needs to collect the jewel shards, which she broke. Will Inuyasha still want her around after he becomes a full demon? Kagome loves Inuyasha as a half demon, but is it enough to keep Inuyasha from becoming one.

Miroku
With his wind tunnel gone, Miroku doesn’t know what to do with his life now. He’s gotten so use to chasing down Naraku for so long he doesn’t know what do when it’s over. The wind tunnel and Miroku, in a sense, has become one; it’s part of him even though he fought for so long to get rid of it. Also Miroku misses touching Sango’s ass, and is quite happy when he runs into her again. How can anyone ever get enough of the perverted Monk, Miroku? Very Happy

Sango
With her vengeance on Naraku seemly carried out, Sango, like Miroku, doesn’t know what to do. She doesn’t have use for the jewel shards after all. While she is going visit to surprise Kagome and Inuyasha, Sango runs into Kohaku coincidentally; however Kohaku, her brother, doesn’t remember her at all. Sango naturally brings Kohaku with her, trying to bring back his memory somehow. While Sango is happy to be reunited with her brother, she can’t get the feelings that he can’t remember who she is off her chest.

Shippo
He’s the only that still remained with Kagome and Inuyasha after Naraku was ‘killed’. Shippo is pretty much the same wimp he always was, although this time he does act a bit braver, but nothing to jump up about. He does call Miroku an idiot quite often, since it’s obvious that Miroku is doing all the wrong to get Sango attention.

Hojo
Charitable and clumsy, yep, it’s the ancestor of Kagome class mate. Hojo’s family has been entrusted with the celestial robe and clumsy Hojo has been given the duty to throw the celestial robe into the volcano. O_O Let me explain, the Hojo family was told when the full is up the in sky for more than one night, they are to throw the celestial robe into the volcano, to prevent the world from falling into darkness a.k.a don’t like Kaguya get her hands on it.

Kohaku

Sango’s long lost brother, Kohaku has been entrusted with one of the seals that keep Kaguya inside her mirror. However, he isn’t strong enough to defend himself. Luckily his older sister comes in and saves him before he’s hog food, literally; unfortunately for Sango Kohaku has no idea who she is. Kohaku goes with Sango only to try and obtain the relict before it’s too late. Oddly, there seems to be spider symbol, one like the one Naraku carries on his back, on Kohaku’s shoulder, what could his mean?

Kagura
Finally free of Naraku hold on her, Kagura is finally free; but is this what she really wants. Kanna leads her to the shrine where Kaguya is sealed away, Kaguya promises to give Kagura what she really wants if she helps her.

Kanna
This is the most I’ve ever seen this demon talk yet. After Naraku is ‘killed’ Kanna leads Kagura to the shine where Kaguya is sealed away; together Kagura and Kanna break the seal on Kagura. Is Kanna free, or has she found a new master to serve?

Naraku

This half demon is like a cockroach, you just can’t kill this guy. Faked his own death merely to get Kaguya to lower her guard. Naraku has always takes great precautions to keep himself alive, and only seeks to become more powerful. Will he absorbs Kaguya body and gain immortality, let’s hope not for Inuyasha’s sake.

Kaguya
Believes herself to be a celestial being, Kaguya is in denial; merely a powerful demon who, like Naraku, absorbs other demons—and possiby a celestial being—in order to become more powerful. Kaguya, who was sealed away by Miroku’s grandfather many years ago, plans to send the world into perpetual night. She has the power to see and grant anyone’s deepest desires with her mirror. Kaguya, like most full demons, hate half breeds like Inuyasha and Naraku; but Kaguya does fear Naruku, since he plans to absorb her. Will Kaguya desires come true, will the world be frozen in time?

Grading:
Story/Plot 8.5/9.0
Characters 8.5/9.0
Music 8.5/9.0
Animation 8.5/9.0

Opinion:
This is definitely a better movie compared to the first, Inuyasha: Affections Touching Across Time. The graphics are way better than the series, and better than the first movie. The characters are much more in-dept, the most I’ve ever seen in this series so far. The music is what you’d expect so no surprises there. The story is much more interesting than the first. The interesting to see was how important Naraku is to the team; he was the glue that stuck them together. We got a glance of what would happen if they were to actually kill Naraku.
Unlike the first movie, this one actually looks like a movie. However, because of the story and characters it’s best that you actually know what the series is about and quite familiar with a few characters. Inuyasha the second movie is a great addition to Inuyasha franchise and a great movie if you love Inuyasha.
Oh and thanks to the previews available on the DVD the next movie is got me crossing my fingers, for a quick US release, Inuyasha vs. Sesshomaru. *drools*

By Cherubim

Inuyasha: Affections Touching Across Time

Director: Toshuya Shinohara
Original Story: Rumiko Takahashi
Producer: Michinhiko Suwa, Masou Ueda, Mikihiro Iwata
Art Director: Tsutomu Ishigaki
Art: Hiroki Numura
Running Time: 100 Minutes

Review: *Note: I’m writing this review from the perspective of someone that knows what Inuyasha is already and is familiar with the general story. If you’re totally new to the series–where have you been all this time!–you might be a bit confused.*

Two hundreds years ago Inuyasha’s father stop a powerful demon from invading the country, he sealed a way the demons power. However, when Kagome cracked the jewel shard and scattered the pieces across the country, she awakened the son of the demon, Menomaru. Menomaru is only filled with vengeance at the dog demons and wishes to kill him to avenge his father; however, time beat it to it Inuyasha’s father is already dead. Menomaru has devised a plan to release his family energy that is trapped in their family’s tree of ages. He sends his warriors out to capture the fang of destruction, a fang which the dog demon left to one of his sons’. Menomaru plans on finishing what his father started years ago, totally conquering the world. After realizing that sesshomaru isn’t the one carrying the fan, Menomaru and his two henchwomen set their eyes on Inuyasha.

While Inuyasha doesn’t seem to pose much of a problem for Menomaru his sword, the testsiga, has a seal on it that only allows Inuyasha to harness its power; Menomaru realizes that he can’t use the Testsiga to release the seal on his family’s power, but Menomaru sees that he can use Kagome as bait to lure Inuyasha into doing what he wants. Inuyasha naturally goes to save Kagome, and does exactly what Menomaru needed him to do. Now with Menomaru’s family power released Menomaru seems unstoppable.

Inuyasha is faced with impossible odds. Menomaru’s family power increases with every generation; and it seems that Inuyasha will have to fight this alone, since Kagome has been sent back to her own time. Will Inuyasha find a way to get Kagome to return, and find away to kill Menomaru, and his seemingly never ending power?


Characters:
*Note: This Character guide will be more on the lines of describing what role the character played in the movie rather than their personalities*

Inuyasha
-As brunt as ever. Challenge by Menomaru because he (Inuyasha) is the son of the dog demon that sealed Menomaru’s family energy away 200 isn’t going to inspire Inuyasha to fight, but kidnapping Kagome will do the trick. Inuyasha as always has his moments when he’s really nice and other times when he acts like the dog he is. He’s still as feelings for Kikiyo which get in the way of his relationship with Kagome. Inuyasha really isn’t interested in settling any score his father left unsettled; he’s just after the jewel shards. Unfortunately, he’s going to have to point those ambitions to side and take care of Menomaru ass, and find a way to convince Kagome that she means more to him than just the woman that can spot jewel shards. “Oh Inuyasha when will you ever get a break.”

Kagome
-Kagome knows she has feelings for Inuyasha, but feels that she won’t ever get anywhere with Inuyasha because he still has feelings for Kikiyo. Kagome begins to question why she’s really even in the feudal era. When forced back into her own time by Kikiyo she’s begins to contemplate the idea that maybe Inuyasha and herself weren’t meant to be.

Miroku
-His feelings for Sango are becoming more obvious each day, besides the stroking of her behind. ^^ Miroku gets a chance to see first in this movie what would happen to him when the wind tunnel absorbs his body. He’s pushed to the limits with his powers when he fight a demon with the same power as his own.

Sango
-While Miroku is constantly bombarding her with love signals, Sango is not the receptive one, on the outside. Kilala, Sango’s mode of transportation and lovable pet, falls under a spell and Sango finds her self fighting against Kilala. Does Sango have the inner strength to attack Kilala even if it means that she might die if she does not.

Shippo
-Shippo is getting more afraid by the day. He’s usually seen with a lump on his after calling Inuyasha a idiot. Although Shippo is very afraid he’ll sometimes show a hint of bravery, just enough to survive anyway.

Kikiyo
-Still holding a grudge against Inuyasha. Kikiyo warns Kagome that she and Inuyasha do not belong together, whether it is testing Kagome strength or honestly telling her to leave, is still a mystery. Kikiyo doesn’t involve herself much with the fact that Menomaru is trying to consume all the souls on earth, even the ones from her own village.

Sesshomaru

-Menomaru campaign on the country side doesn’t seem to bother Sesshomaru in the least. He knows of Menomaru and his family ancestry, but won’t lift a finger to help to Inuyasha.

Menomaru
-A powerful demon filled with hatred for Inuyasha and his family. He’s already powerful, but seems unbeatable once he fuses with his family’s energy. He’s bent on taking over the world, and it doesn’t seem that he can be defeated.

Grading:
Story/Plot 8.0/9.0
Characters 8.0/9.0
Music 8.0/9.0
Animation: 8.0/9.0

Opinion:
Although I can’t specifically say where in the series this would take place it’s somewhere after Inuyasha gets the Testsiga the ability to break through barriers. Beyond the main plot, which is the fight against Menomaru, this movie focuses a lot on Inuyasha and Kagome’s relationship; Inuyasha sorta admits he has feelings for her, and so does Kagome. The story is interesting; although the chronology is a bit confusing, but that just might be me. The fight scenes, especially the final fight scene against Menomaru, isn’t any more interesting that any of Inuyasha other battles against demons. The graphics are a bit better than the series that’s currently running on [Adult Swim]. The music is what you would expect from Inuyasha–by now you should know what that is. They really don’t go to far out to say why this is a movie rather than just a mere volume, or mini saga, in the series. It’s a pretty good DVD to watch if you’re a fan of Inuyasha, and if you’re collecting the entire series on DVD.

By Cherubim

Work in progress... not home!
Trying to get all/most of the new code working before I start on the eyecandy.