Takashi, Rumiko. InuYasha. Vol. 1. VIZ, 2003. 182 pages.
Kagome, a modern Japanese teen, is transported back into Japan’s ancient past when she is dragged back through a well by a demon. Kagome’s family lives in an old shrine and her grandfather is always trying to teach her about ancient artifacts, but skeptical Kagome wants nothing to do with any of it. However, once she finds herself living during Japan’s feudal period, she wishes she would have paid more attention. Once in the past, Kagome meets Inu-Yasha, a dog-like half demon who was bound to a tree by who seems to be Kagome’s ancestor. It soon becomes apparent that Kagome was not pulled to the past by some mysterious accident; a demon yanked her through the old well because she possesses the mysterious Shikon Jewel, a powerful stone that could be used for great good or terrible evil.
InuYasha is an exciting story of adventure and mystery with some fantasy throw in for good measure. Kagome is a character many teens can identify with because of her flippant attitude; however, Kagome’s character goes much deeper than that, and Takashi reveals that she is also a scared girl in an unfamiliar place. Takashi has created an entourage of memorable characters in InuYasha, including the graphic novel’s namesake; even though Inu-Yasha is a demon, one cannot help but enjoy his antics.
The artwork throughout InuYasha is breath-taking and extremely detailed. Takashi draws facial expressions extremely well, but she also accurately depicts landscapes and animals as well. One could definitely understand the story by merely focusing on the pictures alone, as Takashi’s illustrations clearly relate to the story at hand.
The cover of InuYasha depicts a running Kagome superimposed on a close up of Inu-Yasha’s face. While the cover is not particularly striking, it is colorful and will attract teen readers who wish to find out more about the boy with dog ears.