Inuyasha (1997)


Volume 3

Inuyasha - Volume 3 (1997)

Author/Artist: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shounen Sunday Comics

Inuyasha and Kagome help a samurai save a princess from a possessed lord. Kagome battles a cursed Noh mask in the present. Inuyasha and Kagome meet a young kitsune seeking revenge on a pair of Shikon fragment-possessing youkai brothers.

The Tsukumo no Gama story is pretty good. It gives Inuyasha and Kagome more experience working together and we start to break down his bad guy facade a little further. The historical in-joke with the guest characters is pretty amusing too. The Noh mask story is good as a horror story, but narratively speaking, it creates problems down the line, which tends to happen in time travel stories. The Noh mask story also features the debut of would be romantic rival Houjou, who remains a fairly peripheral character in the manga but gets more play in the anime. He starts out as an anchor to the present day world, but as Kagome goes further down the metaphorical rabbit hole, he becomes increasingly irrelevant. We close the volume with the introduction of Shippou and the start of the Raijuu Brothers story. Shippou is in many ways a retread of Ten from Urusei Yatsura. I can understand if you don't like the bratty half-pint character, but he makes a good comedic foil for Inuyasha and he brings out Kagome's big sister side. Though not geared for combat, his abilities can be used creatively in a pinch. I'll talk more about Hiten and Manten next time where we get most of their characterization.

The Noh mask story has some suitably horrific imagery. The amalgamated mass of bodies it forms is really something.

This is a solid entry, though far from some of the strongest stories in the series. If you're already collecting, then you'll want to full set, but for a more casual reader, this isn't as much of a must buy as the previous two entries.

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