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Day: August 18, 2020

Inuyasha is back in its successor show: Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon

Animated cartoons and TV shows are practically the bread and butter of our childhood and our teenage years. But anime is something that you discover when you’re either a child, a teen, or an adult, and usually, it’s mostly your teen years that you discover it. Fortunately for me, I was exposed to it at a very young age, and even though I say that Hamtaro is the first-ever anime that I’ve watched, the anime that made me an anime fan, was Inuyasha.

Inuyasha is a relatively well known although seemingly forgotten Shonen anime, as it was pretty popular given the timeframe of its original run time between October 2000 to September 2004, four movies released between that timeframe, with the fourth and currently final movie being released in December 2004, and this was in Japan. The anime dub version in America started in the late summer of 2002 and it didn’t end until the late winter of 2011. Must’ve been some sort of licensing issue for that big gap between 2003 to 2010 until it came on the Toonami block of Adult Swim, every Sunday morning at 5 and 5:30AM. Yes I was one of those kids during the weekends. The manga copies were made and released as early as the fall of 1996, with the final release being in the summer of 2008, which prompted Inuyasha to come back a second time to TVs in both Japan in October of 2009 and October 2012 in America with Inuyasha: The Final Act, which concluded the long story of Inuyasha from the manga after 193 episodes and four movies. I remember watching the entire series over when I was a middle schooler, and it was the first ever anime I binge watched from beginning to end, powering through 7 seasons and actually never watching any of the movies now that I think about it. And since Inuyasha ended, I’ve kinda had this hole in my heart for a show I grew up watching. 

Until now.

After 10 years since The Final Act aired, Viz Media announced on the 6th of August that Inuyasha is coming back for a third stint on our TVs as Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon. The show will progress in a new way that continues the storyline of all the previous characters of the show from the original two stints. It will still have the original cast of characters, but this time, it’ll have the children of the characters as the new main characters. While the announcement is pretty much new for this next generation advancement of the show, my excitement has went above and beyond the roof, as besides knowing that there was going to be a sequel back in May, having full conformation that there’s a sequel, that will begin airing on October 3rd, it makes me extremely happy. It also seems to be a massive coincidence that it’s starting 11 years to the day that The Final Act aired, and when it starts airing, it’ll be 20 years since Inuyasha first aired on October 16th, 2000. I’d say I feel old, but I literally am 20, and I won’t accept feeling old when this show airs, because the history of Inuyasha is as old as me.

Inuyasha is an anime that absolutely pulled me in to watch a lot more anime as I grew up, and to know that it’s coming back as a sequel/spin-off this upcoming October, makes me a very happy person to know that a show from my childhood is having a third run that will continue on the story from where it last left off, and where it all started 20 years ago. It’s gonna be very interesting to see where Yashahime goes from here and how it will progress the story that Inuyasha has set up to make this show possible. My expectations are admittedly high, but only time will tell about how this show will pan out.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna spend the rest of this month watching nearly 200 episodes of this show, and then four movies to catch myself up to this sequel.

Manga Review – Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution

If you’re a 90’s baby like me, chances are that you grew up on Pokemon. Between the video games, the anime, and the trading card game, Pokemon was all the rage during the turn of the millennia. For fans since the very first generation, one of their earliest and most impactful memories with the franchise is watching Pokemon The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back.

from IMDB.com

By now every pocket monster fan knows the story of Mewtwo, a human-engineered Pokemon who seeks to find his true purpose by plotting vengeance against mankind. It is probably the Pokemon anime’s deepest and most emotional story and arguably still holds up as the best movie in its catalog. Its legacy is so strong that on Pokemon Day 2020 (February 27), a CGI remake was released worldwide on Netflix entitled Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution.

Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back - Evolution (2019) - Photo Gallery - IMDb
from IMDB.com

While critical reception for the remake received mixed reviews, it is now accompanied by a manga adaptation written and illustrated by Machito Gomi. The release of the manga is significant because it marks the first time that a literary adaptation of the movie will be made available for purchase to the public. The original release of the 1999 movie also featured an accompanying manga written by Toshihiro Ono, but it was only published in a single issue of CoroCoro Comic and never in a collected volume.

Mewtwo Strikes Back! (manga) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven ...
the cover to the original manga published in CoroCoro (from Bulbapedia)

For fans who have been waiting over twenty years for the manga adaptation of Mewtwo’s plight, their prayers have at last been answered. Mewtwo Strikes Back – Evolution remains faithful to the classic story with gorgeous artwork that harks back to the original movie’s animation.

Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back - Evolution manga adaptation releases ...
from NintendoWire.com

For those familiar with the story, there is not much to be surprised by the manga’s narrative. Nearly every scene from the movie is replicated in a monochromatic fashion. While this may seem repetitive, it actually channels a lot of nostalgia, especially if you haven’t watched the movie in some time. Gomi’s artwork provides a unique charm to the classic Pokemon featured and his depictions of battles spring off the page. The duel between Ash’s Charizard and its clone, along with Mew and Mewtwo’s great clash are two of the most exceptional scenes I’ve seen in any Pokemon media.

from Pokemon.com

The detail in Gomi’s illustrations infuses personality within each Pokemon, being especially noticeable with Mewtwo himself. He writes and draws Mewtwo so that he displays much more emotion in regards to his mission, making him a much deeper and more engaging character. I felt that, in contrast to the original movie where Ash and Pikachu were still the real stars, the manga actually treats Mewtwo as the main character of the story.

Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution is a solid outing in Pokemon’s manga library, and is long overdue for fans of the 1999 movie. Machito Gomi chooses to limit changes to the story as much as possible and instead focuses on igniting readers’ nostalgia while providing Mewtwo with much-needed character development. As if the world’s strongest Pokemon wasn’t captivating enough, Gomi adds an almost-human element to his character that makes him relatable to readers.

image

While Ash, Misty, Brock, and Pikachu hold down their traditional roles, Mewtwo finally receives his just due and appropriately outshines them. I recommend this manga to any Pokemon fans wishing to relive their childhood or any new fans who have yet to experience the greatest story in all of the franchise’s lore.