Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon Episode 3: The Dream Butterfly Review (Spoilers!)

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Plot: Having entered the modern era, Setsuna and Moroha take their battle with Mistress Three-Eyes to the modern era. Towa breaks her sword trying to save Setsuna, but discovers that she can create a sword made out of demonic energy from the hilt. Together, they defeat Mistress Three-Eyes.

Towa tries to reunite with her long-lost sister, but Setsuna doesn’t remember her at all. Setsuna, angered at Towa’s implications and insistence, challenges her to a battle. Towa doesn’t want to participate, but is suddenly overtaken by the wooden demon, Hitokon.

Setsuna is not about to hold back in the battle, but the tides turn when Hitokon switches hosts to Towa’s little sister, Mei. Setsuna aims to cut the demon out of her face, but Towa vehemently defends Mei and refuses to let her face get scarred.

Choosing to back down, Setsuna puts them all to sleep and uses a special concoction made by her fellow demon slayers to remove the demon and kill it.

Later that night, Setsuna discusses her situation with Moroha. She cannot accept Towa’s claims so easily, even if they are both half-demons that smell of Sesshomaru. It’s not simply that she’s stubborn – she actually doesn’t remember Towa and she doesn’t respect Towa as her sister considering how leisurely and weak she seems.

Years ago, Setsuna was attacked by the dream butterfly – an entity which ate her dreams, memories of her past and made her unable to sleep or dream ever again.

Hearing her plight, Towa blames herself and confronts Setsuna.

Breakdown: Ladies and gentlemen things. Are. HAPPENING!

On the old cast/timeline side, we…kinda get confirmation on the timeline. Kaede said it’s been over 15 years since the well was closed, but we basically figured that out. I’m still erring on the side of around 20 years, but she probably would have said 20 years, so…eh.

We also get in-universe confirmation that Setsuna and Towa are Sesshomaru’s kids, though still no confirmation on who their mother is. (Rin is seemingly not still in Kaede’s village, though, at least as far as I see.) They also all but confirm that Moroha is Kagome and Inuyasha’s kid. (I remain confused about why her powers seemed dragon themed, though. Where do dragons come in with a half dog demon and a human priestess?)

The first episode’s story actually wasn’t a complete waste of time, kinda, because we learn that the demon Hitokon is a part of the Root Head demon that Inuyasha and the others fought at that time. It merged or gained powers from the Sacred Tree, which allowed it to open a portal to the modern era.

It’s dead now, though, so that’s a problem.

The first episode was still basically a waste of time, though, because we could have just gone over it in the B plot with Kohaku and Kaede talking about it.

Anyhoo, Sesshomaru seems to have somewhat abandoned his kids? Maybe? According to Setsuna, she started a ‘rite of courage and cowardice’ which Kaede explains as basically being a trial by fire – children are just thrust into the world on the their own to see if they survive. This makes me a little suspicious that Sesshomaru might have been responsible for the forest fire that drove Towa and Setsuna apart.

I can’t imagine Rin would’ve been cool with all of this, but she did mostly just do whatever Sesshomaru said.

I suppose this means Sesshomaru is still alive and around somewhere, but as for where literally everyone else is

It’s a bit suspect, because Setsuna’s fluffy boa literally does come right out of nowhere. Between the last time Kaede saw the twins as babies, the last time Towa saw Setsuna and when Setsuna had returned to Kaede’s village, she somehow managed to obtain one. I theorize that she was actually with Sesshomaru for a couple of years after the fire but then lost her memories via the dream butterfly. I just can’t see any other way she would have obtained it. Towa never got one, so it can’t be something they just get, right? Also, she says she doesn’t remember Sesshomaru but claimed she was on the rite of passage, so who sent her on this mission? Did she lose her memories after she came back to the village?

Got some cool battles going on here as well as some new abilities being put on display. I love that Towa basically has a Spirit Sword ala Yu Yu Hakusho (It even basically turns into the Spirit Flyswatter at one point) that she even discovers in the same way Kuwabara discovered his.

Moroha was a delight, again, though we still haven’t really delved into her character’s story at all. I can’t imagine Inuyasha and Kagome are pulling the same ‘rite of courage and cowardice’ thing that Sesshomaru is. I love how she’s goofy and high-spirited but also very knowledgeable about weapons and demon lore. Makes her a pretty unique character.

I feel like the reasoning behind Setsuna not remembering Towa is a little on the cheap side. I dunno, I’ve reached a point where any plotline involving lost memories just makes me roll my eyes.

However,

I finally give a crap about the actual story and characters now, not just the old cast.

I mean, there’s still not much to go on, but I am getting invested.

Golly, I’m actually excited about next week’s episode. I wonder what new things we’ll see–

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AH! NO! Please no! Why are you here?! Why is it implied that you’re part of the well or the tree of ages something!? Go be dead!

Alright, alright, I have to chill out. There’s obviously not going to be any love triangle stuff, Inuyasha and Kagome are nowhere to be seen, and I’d assume she’s not going to do anything bad.

…Although what was up with her saying “Daughters of Sesshomaru, I have a request for you.” Is she not addressing Moroha too? Does she not count? I wonder if she’ll be a little pissy towards her because she’s Inuyasha and Kagome’s kid. Hm.

Anyway, happy day, things are happening, the plot is getting in gear, kinda, and hopefully it will just keep going upwards from here.

Rating: 7.5/10


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Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon Episode 2 – The Three Princesses Review (Spoilers)

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Plot: Towa and Setsuna were a loving pair of half-demon siblings until fate drove them apart. Towa was thrust through time to modern day where Kagome’s now grown little brother, Sota, found Towa and adopted her. Ten years later, a now 14 year old Towa has found nothing but trouble as she’s grown up. She’s attracted fight after fight after fight, and it’s lead her to transferring schools several times.

Meanwhile, ten years have also passed in the feudal era. Setsuna has grown into a skilled demon slayer alongside Sango and Miroku’s son, Hisui, and Kohaku, as well as a recently formed band of demon slayers. They’re hunting a centipede demon that has been harassing the nearby village. Bounty hunter, Moroha, who has given herself the nickname Beniyasha, is lying in wait for the same demon. The demon is after Moroha’s red Rainbow Pearl, and when it acquires it, it next seeks out the golden Rainbow Pearl in Setsuna’s eye.

After obtaining that, the Tree of Ages suddenly glows and creates a rift similar to the one that thrust Towa through time ten years ago. Moroha, Setsuna and the demon are thrown through the rift and land right at Towa’s feet. The sisters have finally been reunited, but there’s no time for celebrations with the demon still attacking.

Breakdown: Alright, before we head to the meat and potatoes, let me get the timeline stuff out of the way.

Krystallina mentioned to me last time that it’s probably been about 20+ years since the end of The Final Act, not the 10+ years I initially thought. That made some sense to me, but now that I’ve watched this episode it’s almost certainly a more proper estimation.

Towa and Setsuna were about four when they were separated. When Towa met Sota, he was definitely an adult because he adopted her. He was 12 at the end of The Final Act, so that leads me to believe at least six years has passed since Kagome left. An additional ten years passing meshes well, but we also see Hisui, who was a baby in the end of The Final Act, and he’s definitely an adult here, so yeah, at the very least 16-20 years.

Now, still addressing stuff regarding regular ol’ Inuyasha….I have some concerns and complaints.

First of all, I made a little bit of a joke in the tags of the Episode One-Derland of this series. I asked if I should be concerned about Inuyasha and Kagome since Moroha seemingly grew up alone. Well, now I have to ask more seriously.

Should I be concerned about everyone!?

Inuyasha and Kagome supposedly didn’t raise Moroha. She’s seemingly slightly younger than Towa and Setsuna, but Inuyasha and Kagome are nowhere to be found.

Despite us getting Towa and Setsuna’s backstory in this episode, they imply that they raised themselves out in the woods, and Sesshomaru and Rin are nowhere to be found. (Given the new timeline information, I’d say it’s more likely that Rin’s their mother now, but we still don’t know.)

Also, Hisui, Setsuna and Kohaku don’t know Moroha, but Hisui and Kohaku are seemingly teamed up with Setsuna, which is why she has the moniker of demon slayer. How did that end up happening? Also, it doesn’t seem like Sango and Miroku are anywhere around either.

What exactly happened to everyone in the original cast? Everyone seems like they’re either dead or inexplicably missing.

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Now to get onto something more petty. What is up with the way this show ages people? Specifically, the way it ages old characters. Sota aged perfectly well, so did Kohaku.

However, guess who Towa saw when she got to the modern era?….Buyo….Kagome’s cat…..How the hell is this cat still alive? I thought, maybe, it was just for that one shot, and it’s not outside of the realm of possibility for Buyo to still be alive six or more years after The Final Act…but he’s also in the OP, meaning he must still be around for the main series….which takes place an additional ten years after Towa came to the modern era. Not only would it be very unlikely for Buyo to still be around after all that time (he certainly wasn’t a kitten in Inuyasha) but he hasn’t aged a day.

Speaking of people who haven’t aged a day, remember how I said I wasn’t certain if the promo shot of the group was accurate since Kaede likely wouldn’t have been alive after ten years in the feudal era? Well….it’s 20 years later….and she’s still alive…and looks no different, in the slightest.

Kagome’s grandpa is also alive and well, which is more reasonable in present day, but he also looks exactly the same as he did back in the original series.

Kagome’s mom also looks identica—oh, please excuse me. I forgot. She’s certainly showing her age by…having a few Mr. Fantastic-esque gray stripes in her hair and nothing else different, down to her clothes.

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You guys, uh, getting lazy or what?

Well, enough of that jazz. What of the stuff in the new generation? While this episode certainly has more substance to it than the previous episode did, I can’t deny that I wasn’t really impressed. Nothing stood out or seemed really cool, outside of a few attacks Setsuna and Moroha did. Even the battles were kinda lame, especially considering they got lazy with their monster selection (masked as fanservice, I guess) by having their first enemy be Mistress Centipede – the very first demon Inuyasha and Kagome fought together. I know it’s not the same one, but it might as well be.

Inuyasha dispatched that one fairly easily, but a group of demon slayers and the children of Inuyasha, Kagome and Sesshomaru could do nothing against it….

They also basically make a new Shikon Jewel situation with the mysterious Rainbow Pearls, which I think are terribly named because they’re red, gold and silver….Not only are there, seemingly, not seven of them, but only one of them is an actual color on the rainbow spectrum.

They’re little gems that demons want because they make them more powerful. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a freshly baked MacGuffin.

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I am still interested in the stories of these girls, especially since we don’t know what the driving plot of the series actually even is yet (in regards to what their goal is) but they really need to bring more to the table to keep me locked on this series, because, as it stands, it really feels like they’re still running on fumes from the original series.

Towa continues to be an interesting character. I love her view on the norms of society, particularly in regards to gender roles, but I don’t much care for that scene near the end.

Her little sister, Mei, who is Sota’s biological daughter, yells to her that she knows Towa really wants to be cute and girly, but she’s basically trapped in a world of fighting and wearing boys’ clothes because she keeps beating bullies and gang members who confront her. Towa responds that there’s a part of her that can’t answer that question immediately. In narration, Towa explains that she hated that boys were expected to be masculine and girls were expected to be feminine, but now it’s “time to stop being stubborn” about that idea because it’s not worth making Mei cry.

*huff*

I want to say that was just badly worded, but….Nyrrhhhhhh. I get it to some degree. She should stop fighting if it’s putting her family in danger and making her sister unhappy, but it’s worded like ‘Yeah I should just be cutesy and girly like I’m supposed to be. Darn me for being stubborn.’ I can’t even really get fully behind the not-fighting aspect because she’s not seeking out fights, at least from what I saw, she’s just defending herself against assholes who keep attacking her.

Towa did have the most going on in her story, both with development and action, but it was also not all that interesting. It was a very familiar plotline where the super-skilled main character pisses off the local thugs after beating them, so they take the MC’s loved ones hostage and force them to concede in battle, but MC soon decides ‘enough is enough’ so they unleash their hidden power to fight them off. Only in this instance ‘unleash her hidden power’ is basically just jumping really high and fighting the same way she was previously.

She does at least get to win fights in her part, but she’s a half-demon, daughter of Sesshomaru no less, fighting nearly comical fully human thugs. It’s hardly tension-filled.

Like I said, I am still interested in this series, but most of the things I want to see are related to the original cast. I haven’t really latched onto the new group yet…..besides Moroha. I am loving her more every minute, but we didn’t get much of her specific backstory in this episode. She just appears and fights a lot, but I love her spirit. She’s such a cool kid. It’s also really cool to see her sword and her arrows in action. She actually has an ability that allows her to rain sacred arrows onto her enemies, which is awesome.

All in all, it’s getting better, but it’s still a slow roll and they’re still not delivering on anything involving the original cast outside of a few side characters. I know the series is not about them, but it’s frustrating watching a spin-off of a beloved older series and not getting practically any current information on the original characters.

Rating: 6.5/10

Next time….

….Previously


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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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