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Manga Review: Inuyasha Volume 16 by Rumiko Takahashi

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Inuyasha Volume 16 is a manga by Rumiko Takahashi, and it was published in North America by Viz Media in 2003. The series is rated “T+” for Older Teens. I agree with the rating for this manga; this volume has a bit more violence than usual, while other volumes have included panels that have female nudity.

The Inuyasha manga series has been described as a “feudal fairy tale.” In the series, high school student Kagome discovers that she can travel back in time to feudal Japan through a well located at the shrine where her family lives. Early on in the series, it’s discovered that Kagome is the reincarnation of a priestess named Kikyo, who had an artifact known as the Shikon Jewel burned with her at the time of her death; the Shikon Jewel is very powerful, and is sought by demons to increase their power.

While in feudal Japan, Kagome frees the half-demon Inuyasha from an enchantment placed on him by Kikyo before her death. Not only does Inuyasha want the Shikon Jewel for himself to become a full demon, but he had also been in love with Kikyo. After the Shikon Jewel is shattered into pieces and spread throughout feudal Japan, Kagome and Inuyasha must team up together to locate the shards. Along their journey, they meet and make allies with the little fox demon Shippo, the lecherous monk Miroku, and the demon exterminator Sango. In an earlier volume, the soul of Kikyo was resurrected, and the resurrected Kikyo has caused confusion for Kagome and Inuyasha’s relationship.

One of the demons trying to locate the Shikon Jewel is Naraku, who has a connection to both Kikyo and Inuyasha. This volume opens with Kagura and Kanna, two of Naraku’s “offspring,” trying to defeat Kagome, Inuyasha, and their friends. After the battle, while Inuyasha is healing from his wounds, he has an encounter with the resurrected Kikyo. Before he can fully recover, a third offspring of Naraku (an ogre named Goshinki) appears. During the battle, Inuyasha’s sword, Tetsusaiga, is broken. Inuyasha must find a way to get his sword repaired. At the same time, Inuyasha’s half brother Sesshomaru, is working at hatching a plan of his own to defeat Inuyasha.

This particular volume of Inuyasha definitely focuses more on the action than on character development; however, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since the volumes right before this one introduced several new characters to the Inuyasha universe. Even without the character development, the story is still a compelling read.

When it comes to the art, Takahashi’s style is just as impressive as it was in the previous volumes of the series. Her characters are very expressive, and she is able to effectively convey her characters’ emotions. While there are some “busy” panels during the fight sequences, these panels don’t detract from the overall story or the presentation.

If you’re a fan of Inuyasha, you will not be disappointed by this volume. Takahashi delivers the quality that readers of the series have come to expect from this manga series.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.