The Yashahime: Half Demon Princess news cycle to release pipeline has been pretty quick! Just five months ago, word broke out that an Inuyasha sequel of all things would be premiering in fall 2020. Of course, like all the Rumiko Takahashi classics, Inuyasha was incredibly popular in Japan and if fans here had forgotten about the half dog half human we doubt this Boruto style sequel would have happened However, Inuyasha has always had a unique connotation in western fandom being one of the most prominent gateway anime of the early 2000s; Chances were if you were fresh off Dragon Ball Z and Naruto had yet to really be a thing stateside, Inuyasha was most likely your go-to That part of the lore being unique to the western fandom, it’s fans have been particularly curious about the show’s return! Now, the first episode of Yashahime’s finally out but it’s a little hard to judge considering it’s more of an Inuyasha epilogue episode than anything else.
For those of you that really just want more Inuyasha, after its 56 volumes of manga and cumulative 193 episodes + 4 films across all iterations of the anime, the first episode of Yashahime is for you. Just as a way to assure you that you’re back in a familiar, about 80% of the episode takes place in a time after Inuyasha ends but before this new series really begins. We see glimpses of what everybody’s been up to; Sango and Miroku have had a litter of kids already, Kagome’s in training to become a priestess, and Inuyasha helps keep the piece. Even his the at times villain at times anti-hero Sesshomaru, brother of Inuyasha, makes an appearance to help maintain the status quo. We get to see everyone show off their battle acumen one last time before the half-demon princesses take over.
While we can’t yet comment on Yashahime’s new characters and story yet, we can talk about some of the anime’s more objective qualities and design choices in the meantime. As it’s original series was, Yashahime comes courtesy of Sunrise, the folks behind Mobile Suit Gundam and Cowboy Bebop, once again. You couldn’t really call this the studio’s A Game work but the episode looks pretty sharp throughout, and it does spend its budget appropriately like on the scene above. Of course, Inuyasha, Kagome, and everyone else remains true to the same classic looks they’ve always had, though Kagome’s in the stand priestess outfit no longer opting for her school clothes, but the character designs have a slightly more modern punch to them up close. Other than that, we commend the show for including visuals that both give this take on feudal Japan some individual flare as well as others that are downright creepy, that perhaps other anime would avoid.
We do see a glimpse of the current Yashahime era a the beginning and end of episode one and it postulates one interesting potential aspect of the new series; People of the past beginning to catch on to time-traveling shenanigans and how they could take advantage of that. While that threat existed in Inuyasha, it was never quite its focal point but here it could put a meaningfully different part of the story to give this show a unique identity. We already know Sesshomaru’s daughter Towa plays the lead role with her sister Setsuna and cousin Moroha, which would be Inuyasha and Kagome’s daughter, coming along for the ride. The preview for episode 2 indicates the next episode will be the real beginning of the story and there was enough to like about the first episode to see what happens next, or before speaking chronologically.
You can watch Yashahime: Half Demon Princess on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu now.