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Sunday July 26, 2009

Sayonara, Inuyasha

AFTER 167 episodes and numerous movie sequels and a prequel, Inuyasha is coming to an end at last.

The anime, which began airing nine years ago in Japan, is based on Rumiko Takahashi’s long-running manga of the same name about a half-demon boy (named Inuyasha) and his time-travelling friend Kagome, who’s a reincarnation of his former love interest Kikyo.

The anime proved to be very popular but many fans (like yours truly) became frustrated by the series’ many “filler” episodes and the long wait for an ending. (Inuyasha’s manga fans had a longer wait – about 13 years. The manga, which first began serialising in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday on Nov 13, 1996, ended only last month.)

This is why Inuyasha fans were abuzz when two weeks ago, websites like AnimeNewsNetwork released the news that an Inuyasha anime that will conclude the story has been given the green light.

Apparently, the anime – Inuyasha: The Final Act – will cover the final 20 volumes (Vol.37 to 56) of the manga. It will premiere between October and December.

The good news for Malaysians is that they will get to watch The Final Act on Animax (Astro Channel 715) this year.

“Fans will be able to watch The Final Act in the same week as its broadcast in Japan. Normally we have to wait for the entire season to be over (in Japan) before we can watch it,” says Animax Asia vice-president and general manager Gregory Ho during a telephone interview from Singapore where the anime channel – which takes care of the South-East Asian, South Asian, and Taiwan/Hong Kong regions – is based.

According to Ho, the anime is “very hotly contested” and it wasn’t easy to secure the broadcast rights. In fact, Animax Asia will have this show before Animax Japan!

“It’s probably one of the two biggest anime coming out of 2009, the first of which was Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood (aired on Animax in April – the same week as its broadcast in Japan).

Inuysha is a popular franchise and an iconic show that is highly anticipated by fans and non-fans alike,” he says.

Ho describes Inuyasha as an anime that is “fundamentally about a great adventure”.

“Many of us live very mundane lives and have real responsibilities – not many of us can go off on adventures but deep down we crave that kind of excitement. The heart of Inuyasha’s appeal is the great adventures the characters go on and the potent notion of true love being able to transcend time and space,” he says. – ELIZABETH TAI

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