Thoughts on Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon Episode 1

Yashahime can be found on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Youtube

Happy October 3rd, Yashahime release day!

Spoilers for Inuyasha and Yashahime episode 1

Back when this sequel was announced in May, I made a post about it, basically detailing my waffling on how I felt about it. Since that post, I’ve come to mostly look forward to it. So I’ve been counting down the days, lemme tell you. So here are my thoughts, now that I’ve watched episode one:

Weirdly, the biggest emotions I’m feeling right now are dread mixed with sadness. The first episode isn’t sad at all, mind you. On the contrary, it’s got some good comedy in it and I really liked it, but I just have a feeling something bad is going to happen.

So this episode opens on Towa sitting in a feudal lord’s castle, being grilled about where she came from. It flashes from there back and forth to shortly after Kagome returns to the feudal era. A lot of the episode is actually spent there, and we see them fighting the Root Head demon from the trailer. It was really nice to see all the characters again – the whole main cast pretty much. It’s immediately noticeable that everyone has grown and matured. Things that would have been a dramatic argument in the original show were discussed calmly three years later in this sequel. It was just so nice to see the character growth.

I was expecting this episode to set up the main plot for the series, but I suppose it’ll take more than twenty minutes of show time to do that: other than flashing forward to Towa, Setsuna and Moroha together, it hasn’t (yet) explained how it got to that point. That is why I feel so much dread.

From the trailer to the movie posters, there are two people in particular who haven’t made an appearance while Towa, Setsuna and Moroha are doing their thing: Kagome and Rin. Both of them, while in the episode during the fight with the Root Head demon, haven’t been hinted at at all during the later time setting. It’s… unsettling.

Mind you, we only saw the three girls during the later time period, so it’s not guaranteed any of the other characters will be later in the show, but the lack of them being featured on the posters and images and stuff makes me worry.

So the Root Head demon – it’s obvious while ‘defeated’ in the first episode isn’t actually so. And honestly, the set up for how it got there was pretty nice. It wasn’t just ‘it showed up one day’, but actually had a reason that made sense why it was there and why it was in Kaede’s village in particular. So as said, this Root Head demon I don’t think is quite done, and I feel like it’s going to be the catalyst for… whatever happens for all the characters.

I don’t like it. It makes me feel so nervous, augh.

As mentioned earlier, this episode has some good comedy. Moroha is definitely Inuyasha and Kagome’s daughter, to put it plainly. She’s such a great combination of them that it’s hilarious just to see her being herself. Setsuna you can tell is a bit stoic like her father, which is also funny in its own way. Towa’s interactions with the feudal lord are pretty funny. Towa, unlike Kagome in the original series, is actually concerned about preserving the timeline. Her facial expressions when being confronted with a book brought back from modern time is great, and so is the one when she sees Kagome’s old bicycle seat, which was found in a river.

That part honestly made me gasp a bit, and lends to my worry about Kagome: why was her bike seat in a river? It looked old, and like it had been there for a while. It showed that clip, and I went ‘oh no. Oh no, this is gonna make me sad, isn’t it’.

We don’t get to find out what happened in episode one though, they’re gonna make us wait. It’s gonna be tortuous and it’s gonna make me cry. It’s gonna, it’s gonna.

So overall: I really enjoyed this episode. They set up some good hooks for future plot points, and I really liked the back-and-forth setting way of telling what’s happened so far. The episode was definitely worth the wait, and I am excited (I also dread) to see more.

If you watched this, do tell me your thoughts. As far as I know, none of my friends are watching so I have nobody to talk about it with.

 

Coffee Time: Rereading Mockingjay a decade later

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)I realize there’s been a bit of a gap between my post about Catching Fire and this, but life is life, y’know.

Obligatory spoiler warning

As stated in my original post about The Hunger Games, I bought the prequel recently and realized I hadn’t actually read the original trilogy since they first came out back in 2011 or so. So I figured I’d reread the whole thing and compare my opinions from then, when I was 20, 21 years old, to my opinion now, being a decade older. The first two books, my opinion of them was more or less positive, just as it had been the first time I read them, but I noticed I liked different things about the books than I originally did. If you’re interested for some in-depth thoughts, you can find my post about the first book here, and the second book here.

So out of the three, Mockingjay definitely had the biggest difference of opinion between 20 year old me and 30 year old me.

When I was 20, I think I rated this book three stars. At the time I wasn’t overly impressed. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure the reasoning was I had expectations about how I wanted the book to go, and when it didn’t happen, my overall enjoyment of it suffered. I remembered really wanting a stronger romance and being annoyed that Peeta had been hijacked, I remembered shipping Katniss and Gale and was bummed it didn’t happen, and most of all, I remember feeling that the whole ‘Katniss has problems with the chain of command’ plot line to be annoying, and I couldn’t understand why they just didn’t let her do what she needed to do. I was twenty, mind you, so I strongly related to Katniss, who was just a couple years younger than me at the time.

So a combination of all of the above, had me really not loving the book, nor how it ended.

Rereading it now though, I had a very different experience. First off, I was better able to invest myself in the whole district thirteen authority struggle. I totally understand why they didn’t let a seventeen year old do whatever she wanted, and I thought they handled Katniss being defiant pretty well – well as well as they could, considering they weren’t even aware of half of what she was doing. And at the same time, I could still understand Katniss’s motives when it came to ignoring orders. The point of contention between the two sides felt fuller, more nuanced, and definitely more interesting than it did the first time around.

Secondly, this time through I wasn’t really shipping anyone, so the romance, or lack thereof, really didn’t bother me. The plot line with Peeta being hijacked was also much more interesting to me, and it was interesting to see how he was making progress to overcome it, and what ended up triggering a violent episode in him. If anything, I wanted more of that plot line. I wanted a POV inside of Peeta’s head, and was a bit disappointed that all we got was Peeta through Katniss, who for a long time was bitter about it at best.

The most striking difference in my enjoyment of this book was where my expectations were. I hadn’t read the book in a decade, and I never watched the last movie, so I only had a vague rememberance about how the book ended, but it was enough not to let my mind decide I wanted it a certain way and then get disappointed. So for what the plot was, I liked it. I remember not liking how many people died in the story the first time around, but this time around, while I still didn’t love it, it felt realistic. There are a lot of YA books that are afraid to kill off characters, especially in pointless deaths, but the reality is, it happens, especially in war. So while I’m sad all the characters that died did die, it felt realistic compared to what war is like.

The only thing I didn’t care for though, and it was the same as before, was the ending. It was very rushed. While Katniss was quickly swept away from where the main story was happening and only heard about it second hand – which again is realistic – it was kinda disappointing that we didn’t get to learn more about how the world ended up, or how the power struggle fizzled out to get there. I understand that Katniss didn’t much care about it herself, which is why we didn’t see it, but I feel like a second POV from someone who was more involved would have been beneficial.

So. Overall, I did enjoy this book much more than I had ten years ago, and I’m glad I reread it. Solid 4 stars. With this third book done, I do plan on picking up the prequel before the end of the year. If you’ve read it, do let me know your (non-spoilery, please!) thoughts.

Happy reading!

Inuyasha is getting a sequel and I don’t know how I feel about it

 

Obligatory spoilers for Inuyasha

The other day it was announced that a sequel to Inuyasha, an anime/manga series created by Rumiko Takahashi, was in the works. Titled ‘Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon’ it follows the daughters of the brothers Inuyasha and Sesshomaru on a new adventure.

Inuyasha has been one of my favorite manga/anime for… about half my life, since I was 14 or 15 years old. It was my first fandom, the first show I got really nerdy about. It’s the first one that drove me to read and write fanfiction. It led me to meet some of my best friends online (that I still have to this day and have crossed the world to visit!), and it was definitely a gateway anime that just threw me neck-deep into the world of all things Japanese animation. And as an almost-30-year old, I’m still there. And I know that if I wouldn’t have discovered this show when I was a teen, I wouldn’t be the same kind of anime fan I am today (who knows if I’d be one at all?).

I guess what I’m saying is, Inuyasha has been one of my all-time favorite shows throughout my life. I’ve rewatched it more times than I can count, I’ve read hours and hours and millions of words of fanfiction about it, I’ve collected merch from it, and just thinking about it, just hearing the music from it sends me back to 2004-2006 when a bunch of my childhood friends and I would stay up late on Saturdays to watch the new episode. It takes me back to my childhood. It’s nostalgic.

So hearing it had a sequel gave me so many mixed feelings.

It was announced by Viz here, and so far, this is what has been released so far of the plot:

The series focuses on twin demons Towa and Setsuna, the daughters of Inuyasha’s brother Sesshomaru.

The twins are separated from each other during a forest fire, and Towa wanders into a mysterious tunnel that takes her to present-day Japan. Towa is then raised by Kagome Higurashi’s brother Sota. Ten years later, Towa reunites with Setsuna, who has no memories of her sister and has become a demon slayer. The two are joined by Moroha, the daughter of Inuyasha and Kagome. They travel between past and present to unravel the mystery of why the tunnel has reopened, while Towa and Setsuna struggle to reconnect.

So basically, Sesshomaru has twins with… mother not revealed. And Inuyasha and Kagome have at least one kid. The latter is kind of expected but Sesshomaru having kids?? This is blowing my mind.

And apparently it’s blowing the internet’s mind too because what does the internet do when something happens?? They make memes. And there are a lot about this sequel already. And that’s how I’m gonna explain my feelings here too. Here are some of my faves:

These two in particular really grasp how it feels to be an Inuyasha fan right now. It’s something that nobody has really talked about in over a decade and then suddenly WE’RE EVERYWHERE and it’s wonderful. I’m excited and scared but I’m totally here for it.

So the internet (and me) like I said is really going wild about who the potential mom of Sesshomaru’s twins is. Long story short for those who don’t actually watch the show and are reading this for funsies, Sesshomaru is basically an ice king. He shows zero interest in anything aside from achieving power the entire show. Romance doesn’t seem like something he’s even capable of. So the fact that he’s a father – and becomes one quickly enough that his and Inuyasha’s kids can be close in age is mind-boggling. Part way through the show though, he takes in an orphaned human girl named Rin (character development!), about who’s eight years old. She is the primary suspect to a lot of fans right now – that’s where the second meme comes from.

Demons age far more slowly than humans. Sesshomaru himself during the time of Inuyasha is supposedly roughly around five hundred years old. Inuyasha is about 150 or 200ish. And the main characters Inuyasha and Kagome – who is 15 throughout most of the series and 18 at the end – have a kid. That’s why it’s not a stretch to assume Sesshomaru and Rin – who could age ten years into an adult and Sesshomaru age absolutely nothing – could also have a kid (or two, rather).

Whoever it turns out to be though, it’s gonna make the fandom explode, just you wait. We’re all gnawing at the bit to know who it is.


But as the title suggests, I don’t know how I feel about this sequel. I am excited for it, on one hand. On the other, it scares me. Inuyasha has been done and settled for a decade now. The Inuyasha fandom had become this thing that had the show… and then a million headcanons. Basically we’ve all already decided what happened next in our heads because hey, the show ended a decade ago.

So many fanfictions have been written about essentially this stage of life for the characters – what happened after the end of the show, who ends up with who, who has kids, who ends up just continuing their show-poodle ways… and this sequel basically blows all that out of the water.

And I get that my main complaint is ‘now it discounts all the fan-made stuff’, but… I feel like after having only that stuff to go on for a decade, that’s a legitimate reason to feel unease about this. It’s like breaking a Piaget schema in my head that I’ve held as true for a long time and having to reconstruct it to something new. I’ll do it, but I’m almost(?!?) grumpy about having to.

But I’m also excited, because now I get more time in the Inuyasha universe, which is something I didn’t realize I’ve been pining for, but now that I have it, I know I totally am, and was for years.

So time for more memes, these ones to show my excitement:

And that last one really, really explains it. When I was fifteen, that was me. I was obsessed. And then I kept that obsession locked inside me for the past ten or fifteen years – it was still there, as I’ve re-watched the show countless times like I said, but now it can BLOSSOM AGAIN.

I think the best thing that’s gonna come out of this (aside from more Inuyasha of course) is the merch. It’s basically impossible to find Inuyasha figures or whatnot that don’t cost $300 right now, because nobody’s making it! All the pieces on sale are old collector pieces, and while I like collecting merch, I’m not at that level…. yet. But with this new series, I’m hoping Inuyasha merch will make a come-back and I’ll finally be able to get figures of all the characters for my manga shelf.


So overall, my feelings: Mostly excited, very curious, partly annoyed for dumb reasons.

Will I watch and/or read it? Definitely. Will I like it? Probably. Will I be annoyed every time I see one of my headcanons bite the dust? Yes.

Tell me what you think. I wanna nerd about this a bit more.