When Viz Media announced back in May that the beloved anime and manga series, Inuyasha, would continue the stories of the humans, Yōkai, and half-demons of medieval Japan with Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, with the involvement of series creator Rumiko Takahashi, weebs everywhere were ablaze with excitement. Finally, after ten years of Inuyasha: The Final Act ending, we would know more of what happened to our beloved heroes of Inuyasha, Kagome, Sango, Miroku, and everyone’s favorite bad boy Lord Sesshomaru. However, we found out we wouldn’t be following them, but their scions! And now the first episode, “Are kara no Inuyasha,” is here!
Sesshomaru now has twin daughters! Towa and Setsuna! The former of whom has somehow gone to Kagome’s original time and is now back in the past? And Moroha! The daughter of Kagome and Inuyasha! We were excited, but also ablaze with questions. Where has everyone gone? Why and how did our main trio get separated from their parents? And, perhaps the topic of the most debate, who is Towa and Setsuna’s mom?!?
The creators know they have a monumental task with this series. This is both a direct continuation of the stories of our original beloved heroes and it must set a solid starting point for our new heroes. The first episode, “Are kara no Inuyasha,” manages to set a good balance on this front. Through the framing device of a captured Towa being told the story of her Uncle Inuyasha and Aunt Kagome slaying a demon after the events of Inuyasha: The Final Act, the episode cleverly plants seeds (no pun intended) for what the main conflict might be and clues to uncover the mysteries of the questions posed above. In this, the first episode is very much a prequel for the series, setting the story up while smartly using nostalgia to have previous watchers invested.
Perhaps the one disappointment, as a result of this technique, is that we don’t get very much of our main trio of Moroha, Setsuna, and Towa. But what we do get of them sets up their personalities strongly. Moroha, like her father Inuyasha, is very much the rowdy and abrasive teen who fights first and asks questions later. Setsuna, much like her father Sesshomaru, is cool and collected and doesn’t speak much. Towa, who has been thrust from the modern age like her Aunt Kagome, is clever, curious, and witty, and also never loses her cool like her father. But they are, of course, not carbon copies of their relatives. Even though the episode doesn’t give us a lot, it’s enough to gather our investment.
The retelling Towa hears is a retelling of the singular chapter Rumiko Takahashi had published as part of a charity for the reconstruction efforts after the 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. Taking place six months after the end of Inuyasha: The Final Act, Towa hears the story of how Kagome, Inuyasha, Miroku, and Sango bravely faced off against the “Root Head demon” which still seeks the Shikon Jewel even though it’s been destroyed! (This pesky jewel will never leave our heroes alone!) In many ways, this acts as an extra Inuyasha episode, but it’s also a meaningful epilogue.
It shows how our heroes have grown since their final battle with Naraku. In particular, it shows how far Kagome has grown. She is still a priestess in training, but we wonderfully get to see her use her powers and abilities in full action and confidence against this new demon. She and Inuyasha also continue growing in their relationship, understanding each other even more after (finally) fully admitting their love for one another. While we are all understandably about where she, Inuyasha, and the others have gone to in the current time setting, getting to see their growth is so satisfying. It’s clear that the creators want this investment in these characters, from both old and new fans, and they are so pivotal to Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha’s search for answers about their past.
In all, “Are kara no Inuyasha” is an excellent start to Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon. The only real downgrade is that us fans want more! But it still does a fantastic job of establishing this new setting, time, and characters, with the keen promise of more revelations on the way. Hopefully, Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon will continue to stay focused and invested in all its characters, old and new, as we go along with our trio in the search for the past.
You can watch new episodes of Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon every Saturday on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.
Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, Episode 1 "Are kara no Inuyasha"
In all, Are kara no Inuyasha is an excellent start to Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon. The only real downgrade is that us fans want more! But it still does a fantastic job of establishing this new setting, time, and characters, with the keen promise of more revelations on the way. Hopefully, Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon will continue to stay focused and invested in all its characters, old and new, as we go along with our trio in the search for the past.