Episode 6 and you know, it was okay. I believe that the initial euphoria from having more Inuyasha has worn off and we are starting to fall into the groove of the show. Now before we begin, it is imperative to remind audiences that I think shows like Inuyasha, or really anything pre 2009 Rumiko Takahashi are not really meant to be held up to the episode by episode scrutiny.
The original show was a mostly episodic romp that had twinges of the plot, but for the most part operated on the same bases as a Saturday morning cartoon, designed to extend itself as long as it was popular. Suffice to say, the original Inuyasha had its fair share of meh episodes, where nothing much happened or it just didn’t wow. You don’t really notice as a kid, but as an adult you’re like, “Oh, something should be happening.”
Yashahime is no different. Episode 6 is “meh” as it points out the show’s major flaw, which currently is Towa. We’ve mentioned before that Moroha is the standout of the three princess half-demons. She has energy, clear motives (she’s just trying to make that money), and is an overall joy to watch interact with the world. Towa on the other hand isn’t really any of those things. Frankly, there are interesting aspects to her character conceptually. Half-Demon raised as a human thrown back into feudal Japan? Sick. Shows a hesitation to killing that could lead to a more nuanced look at the endless bloodshed of the Inuyasha world? Amazing. A clear motivation and drive beyond hanging out with her dog demon boyfriend? Fan-freaking-tastic.
But despite all this, there’s something so stiff with her character. She lacks movement (if that makes any sense). She appears rigid and doesn’t really engage with the world. A majority of her dialogue is “we have to find the dream butterfly for Setsuna!” And beyond that she just seems like fish out of water. Which isn’t bad, it’s just strange to compare this almost timid character to her introduction in the first few episodes. It’s hard to believe that this Towa is the same who was kicking the crap out of generic anime thugs. The show really put her out as being this almost Yusuke Urameshi character and I do hope we get that back.
As for the episode itself? The three leads kill some demon ghost cats that are ravaging a village. It’s a simple Inuyasha monster of the week that firmly establishes that as opposed to wandering the countryside as our past heroes did, our current lot will be given assignments from Moroha’s bounty hunter contact that will weave its way into the plot.
I like this shift and a clearer sense of direction. Of course, I loved the noble nomad life of the Original Inuyasha crew, but this directness helps make the show feel less nebulous, especially with this episode’s implication that Moroha is doing bounty work and collecting money for an actual reason that is sure to be plot-related.