The Salty Anime Challenge Day 14: An Anime that Shouldn’t Have Been as Long as it Was

This one was actually easy – Inuyasha.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved Inuyasha…to a point. It was one of those classic anime I got watch in the heyday. But it just overstayed its welcome.

Being fair, Inuyasha merely caught up with the manga at the time, so, like other shows such as Naruto, they spun their wheels until the manga could be finished and then the anime could finish. Problem is that Inuyasha started doing this for quite a while and then got canned because Rumiko Takahashi was also spinning her wheels with the manga. To her own admission, she just didn’t know how to conclude everything, particularly the relationship between Inuyasha and Kagome.

By the way, she made that admission in 2001 (The manga started in 1996). It would take her until 2008 to finally finish the manga. Inuyasha’s original run was between 2000 and 2004. Inuyasha: The Final Act wouldn’t air until 2009.

There was filler, obviously, but that’s not really the main issue.

Even without the filler, which, admittedly, could’ve been a lot worse given the length of the series (35/167 episodes), the main storyline felt like it was dragging on forever. 167 episodes of trying to piece together the jewel and defeat Naraku – two tasks which shouldn’t take anywhere near this long to complete. And that’s it. That’s the main goal. Nearly every new hurdle or enemy just felt like it was an unnecessary detour meant to keep you going in circles.

Compare these goals to the goals of other long shows. For example, Luffy wants to be pirate king in One Piece. This is a very big dream that would obviously take a lot of time and various adventures. As ridiculously long as the series is, I understand why it is still going.

Ash wants to be a Pokemon Master….have you met Ash? That’ll obviously take forever.

Defeating one demon who basically leaves a trail wherever he goes and sticks his nose into everyone’s lives because evil shouldn’t take nearly 200 episodes plus a 26 episode sequel and four movies.

I considered Naruto for this entry because it has over 100 episodes (!) of filler, and it’s a similar case of the series catching up with manga (only with Naruto they kept it on the air with filler until Shippuden was nearly ready) but I’ll come to its defense – I quite like Naruto’s filler episodes usually. I may be in the minority, but they’re typically fun and take the time to focus on other characters and different dynamics. I like having day by day adventures where the action and character interactions are still nice to watch without having the pressure of the main plot butting its head in.

Imagine if they went the way of Inuyasha – it’d be over 100 episodes of nearly catching Orochimaru or one of the Akatsuki members as they travel the villages doing random misdeeds and Naruto demanding to know where Sasuke is.

Inuyasha tends to have boring filler, especially when it centers on Shippo. And let’s not forget those stupid filler episodes that they pretend they tie into the main plot by saying ‘Rrrgh, Naraku’s behind this.’

Like I mentioned in the runner-up section of day 7, Naraku himself is a big contributor to why Inuyasha takes this spot. Naraku’s shtick gets so old and his constant escaping in the nick of time is infuriating. He’s like Dr. Claw. He gets to a point where he’s so cocky and overly evil that you want him to die because he’s so annoying, not because of the terrible things he’s done.

Naraku seems to spin his wheels just as much as everyone else. I really feel like Naraku should’ve died mid-way into the series and a bigger bad should’ve taken his place. It definitely would’ve done the pacing a favor. They have so much buildup to his final battle and, in this series, we never get it.

That’s another reason why I chose Inuyasha – it has a non-ending. It is literally ‘well, our adventures will continue on until we get the full Shikon Jewel and Naraku is defeated, but you won’t see that! Bye everyone!’

I can’t tell you how robbed I felt when the series ended like that – and I stopped following like 30 episodes before then. I’m glad we got The Final Act, but that was still five years of ‘I can’t believe that series bitchslapped me like that. I gave them the best years of my life.’

Naruto ended on a similar note, but they were already in the process of starting Shippuden by then. And it wasn’t so much a ‘bye’ as it was ‘see ya in a while!’ I addition, I don’t feel as robbed when the series basically turns into an episodic show until the very end.

Edit – I had the episode numbers wrong since the filler website included The Final Act for some reason. Fix’d.