Episode One-Derland – Yashahime: Half-Demon Princess

Plot: Over a decade has passed since Kagome made the decision to stay in the feudal era with Inuyasha and the others. Now a new generation faces the challenges of the demon infested world.

Breakdown: What-what-what-WHAT!? Twix is reviewing a show the same week it premiered?! 2020 IS a crazy year!

As much as Inuyasha tended to irritate me as time went on, I can’t deny that it holds a special place in my heart. So when I heard that they were going to be making a new series based on the children of the original characters, I actually got excited and had every intention on watching it the instant it came out. And I did.

Like many fans of the original, I wondered about who these kids were, who the mother of Sesshomaru’s kids was, what kinds of powers they had, what enemies they’d face, what hopefully Naraku-free threat they’d be facing as the big bad – but I especially wondered where the original gang was in present day. What do they look like? What are they up to? Are they all still alive?

And the answer to all of these questions is!

Pbbbbtttt I dunno.

While I did enjoy watching this episode, I’ll be frank, it’s not a very good first episode. 95% of it is flashbacking to Kagome a mere six months after she decided to stay in the feudal era. The group battles a demon that Kikyo sealed many years ago and….that’s it. It doesn’t reveal absolutely anything more than what we knew of at the end of The Final Act.

And, oh, just for nostalgia sake, let me rant about this, please.

Kikyo……I really, really hoped we would finally be beyond the Kikyo crap. Seriously. It was, by far, the worst thing about the original series barring Naraku being an unkillable pain in the ass. But…nope. Kikyo gets brought up a ton in this first episode, and we get that same old song where Inuyasha keeps information from Kagome because of Kikyo’s involvement and Kagome gets irritated because of it.

I nearly burst a blood vessel.

At the very end, Kagome seems to assert that she was more irritated that Inuyasha didn’t have faith in her to not get upset, but it also contradicts an earlier statement where Kagome was like ‘Nyehh if I was Kikyo, you’d let me do the dangerous battle thing nyeeehhhhhh!’

This had better be just a one-off incident, because I am not about to sit through anymore of this love triangle bullshit – especially when, now, it’s with a fully dead 100% pure grade-A nonliving third party. At this point, all it does is really highlight that Kagome seems like the runner-up here. It probably isn’t going to be constantly happening as I imagine most of the new series from this point on will focus on the new kids (most of the old cast don’t even get shown in the OP and ED) but still…I’m keeping my eye on you Yashahime

That being said, credit where credit is due, Kagome is a lot more tolerable than she was previously. She’s clearly matured and grown stronger and braver. She’s an active participant in battles, she comes up with smart ideas (though sometimes reckless…) and she’s not as hotheaded as she was previously.

Although, I do have to point out something important. Inuyasha still has his curse beads on.

I get it. The ‘OSUWARI/SIT BOY!’ thing is a staple in the series, but it’s also kinda dated. Even halfway into the series, I was wondering why he still had those things on. In one of the movies, the beads actually break and, at the end, Kagome puts a new set on him. It was probably done to meet the status quo with the series, since the movies are questionable in canonicity, but still. Why does she insist on keeping those beads on him?

They were initially put on him to keep him from causing trouble because he was untrustworthy, threatening and wanted the jewel. He caused a lot of destruction trying to steal it when Kikyo was alive. After he mellowed out, the beads were still seen as necessary because he’d sometimes become full-ish demon and the beads would help bring him back to normal. But eventually that also stopped being an issue.

After that, the beads just started being a boyfriend collar, and throughout the entire series Kagome would slam him into the ground whenever she pleased. Sometimes, she’d get so pissed at him, several times completely unwarranted, that she’d do it numerous times in a row.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. They’re also part of his character design. She probably doesn’t even use them anymore. She’s 18 now. She’s matured and level-headed and—she used them in this episode because she was a little bothered that Inuyasha didn’t have faith in her to not get upset over the Kikyo stuff (given that she has such a spotless record in that regard.)

Can we just bite the bullet and say the A-word? It’s abusive.

I think we’ve moved beyond the days of ‘Haha, knocking the guy around is funny because he’s the guy, but if the genders were reversed this would clearly be horrifying.’ Seriously, imagine if Inuyasha put beads on Kagome that slammed her into the ground whenever he got annoyed by her.

I did really enjoy seeing Sesshomaru be a team player in this episode, even assisting Kohaku in his hunt for the demon, though he didn’t directly help. He did visit Rin briefly, but he didn’t say anything to her.

No, it’s still not clear whether she’s the mother of Sesshomaru’s kids. I’d say she’s not because the ages aren’t matching up very well, unless….*barf*, and I have no clue where that red streak in their hair would’ve come from. Setsuna does have the same hair color as Rin, but that’s about it. Setsuna has purple eyes while Towa has red eyes, which don’t line up with either Sesshomaru OR Rin, soo….*shrug*

Anyhoo, let’s finally talk about the new stuff. In the present day…er…the old present day…..not the modern era, we meet Towa Higurashi (As we’ll see later, gauging from the trailers, she was raised by Sota in the present day, so she adopted his last name.) She is the titular ‘Yashahime’ or half-demon princess. She’s been captured by some lord who is interrogating her about modern day stuff they found in relation to Kagome, who at this point is a well-known legend of sorts. One of those items is a Japanese history book, so they want to know what their fate is. Towa freaks out because she doesn’t want to change history.

Let me repeat. Yashahime, the sequel to Inuyasha, is now concerned about the time stream……

Come on, really? They were never, and I mean NEVER concerned about changing the future in the original series. Kagome came and went to the feudal era as she pleased and never once even caused a ripple in the future/present. There were one or two occasions where the presence of the shikon jewel in present day would cause demons to attack there, but that’s about it.

She brought current-day stuff with her all the time and rode around the entire countryside on her ‘iron horse.’ The only time they ever really even touched upon it was when it came to Hojo’s ancestor because Kagome was briefly concerned that she was destined to marry him in the feudal era since Hojo’s other ancestor was named Kagome (then it turned out that past!Hojo just literally renamed his new bride Kagome because that’s not insanely disrespectful or creepy or anything.)

And do I even need to point out the most obvious crime Kagome committed in the time stream in the end? Doc Brown over here decided to LIVE in the past permanently and start a family with Inuyasha.

Why is anything in the time stream at risk now?

Back to the matter at hand, Moroha, a bounty hunter who is Inuyasha and Kagome’s kid, and Setsuna, Towa’s twin sister who is a demon hunter, rush in to save Towa, ousting the lord’s aide as being a mysterious four-eyed owl in disguise. They opt to let it live since it could have vital information. In the end, they grab the modern stuff and leave.

Nope, I’m not kidding. That is all the new kids do the entire episode.

Let me address each kid, though.

Moroha is freakin’ adorable. Her clothes are reminiscent of both Inuyasha’s trademark garb and Kagome’s look when she tried to turn his robe into an outfit for herself. I love that the bow in her hair is also situated to look like dog ears. She both wields a cool new sword AND uses a bow and arrow. She’s clearly adopted more of her father’s personality, but she has Kagome’s overall appearance.

Towa’s got a really nice look. I love the white motif, and the red streak in her hair. Her suit is so awesome. Don’t know why she doesn’t have pointy ears or dog ears since she is half-demon. Setsuna also doesn’t have either. It’s weird, and a bit of a missed opportunity in the design department.

Setsuna is definitely the one who takes after their father most, even if she didn’t acquire his trademark white hair. She’s got his stoic attitude, the armor and, of course, a littler version of Sesshomaru’s fluffy boa. She’s also got a really cool glaive as a weapon.

Other than these three, the OP and ED also show us current-day versions of Kohaku and one of Sango’s three kids. Kohaku has become an awesome demon slayer, and his nephew seems pretty cool and has also become a demon slayer. We catch a brief glimpse of Sesshomaru, though he never ages or changes anyway, and we see just the slightest of glimpses of Inuyasha, but it’s not enough to actually show anything.

Look at that shot of him in the picture above – that’s about the most we see. Why he has his back turned, I don’t know. I’m not even sure every character is shown in present day on that splash image because, as much as I hate to say this, Kaede would likely be dead by then, going by feudal era life spans (she was probably in her 60s or so in the original series, and the average life span back then was about 50 or so.)

The art and animation are updated just a tad. The art stays very true to the original series, and the animation is more fluid with more dynamic shots included as well.

The music is kept very similar to the original. There are many familiar tracks, but also several new ones. The OP and the ED are alright. They might have to grow on me.

The voice acting is really good so far. Many of the characters have returned from the previous series, to my knowledge, and the new ones are pretty good so far as well, especially Moroha’s who is clearly trying to emulate Inuyasha. It’s adorable.

I don’t know if a dub is planned anytime soon, but I’d love to see it, especially considering I’ve never really watched the series in Japanese that often.

Final Verdict:

Continue Yes

While I will admit that this first episode is, narratively speaking, rather poor form for an introduction, I can’t say I won’t keep watching. Of course I will. The siren call of this franchise is too strong for me. I may even do *gasp* WEEKLY RELEASE UPDATES.

I AM excited to see what happens next, and I am still on the edge of my seat to get a current-day update on where everyone is, how they look and what they’re doing.

However, that’s just my view. This first episode doesn’t work much to get the average viewer excited, though. It was like they bookended Yashahime teasers onto an epilogue episode of The Final Act. We still have no idea what the plot of this series is yet, honestly, besides ‘The kids of the old characters do stuff.’

I feel bad for people going into this blind. You’d be very confused. I hate to say this, but I feel like you’d really have to watch the entire original series to get this off the bat. It’s rather frustrating, too, because they had all the time in the world to actually cover all of the necessary stuff in a manner that would benefit a newcomer, but they just decided to make a mostly irrelevant (?) story instead.

If you enjoy the original series, I think this is worth the watch, but if the original never caught your fancy, I doubt this would entice you much, especially since homework is basically necessary. Maybe I’ll change my tune in that regard once we get further along the line, but as of right now I can’t really think of any way to justify it for newcomers.

Next episode, we’ll be learning about the backstories of the three girls, so we still have a bit more of a baseline to build here, but with this it’s more necessary. I think their origin stories will be pretty interesting from all I’ve heard, so here’s to future episodes!


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