(I don't remember this movie well enough to rate.)

Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time (not rated)
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This is the first movie based on the TV series InuYasha. It's set right after the second season, when Inuyasha has just learned to use his sword Tetsusaiga's ultimate technique, the backlash wave, which he had to use to defeat Ryuukotsusei, an old foe of his father's who had just been revived by Naraku. Of course, he has to use the technique again in this movie, and I thought the plot was pretty similar to that story. In the movie, there's this Chinese demon named Menomaru, whose father, the head of the Hyoga clan, had invaded Japan 200 years earlier, and his power was sealed away by Inuyasha's father. It seems each generation of the clan receives the power of the previous one, and now Menomaru can't get that power. Therefore, he wants to use Tetsusaiga to release his father's power. Of course, any pure demon cannot touch the sword, so he has to trick Inuyasha into doing it, at which point Menomaru begins to become more and more powerful, almost invincible.

While he's absorbing the power, his two assistants, Ruri and Hari, keep Inuyasha and his friends busy. Ruri duplicates Miroku's wind tunnel, Hari puts both Kagome and Kirara under her spell, to turn against their friends. Eventually they each break this spell, after hurting Inuyasha and Sango, respectively. But Kagome fears hurting Inuyasha again, and also the well she uses to travel between her time and feudal Japan is being engulfed in vines or whatever, and she fears never being able to return to her own time... so she goes while she still has a chance. And as Menomaru's powers grow, apparently all other times are getting really cold. So there's a lot of snow when Kagome gets home. She learns that wood from the sacred tree to which Inuyasha was once bound (and which had sealed Hyoga's power) had been used to make the well. And somehow, Kagome and Inuyasha manage to talk to each other, even share a vision of each other, when they're both next to the tree, even though they're separated by centuries. Finally, she decides to return to the past, and they work together to defeat Menomaru.

All in all, it was a pretty good movie: touching, funny, exciting, interesting, all that. I did have a few problems with it, though. As I said, the plot was sort of familiar, if expanded. I'd say it was basically better than the Ryuukotsusei story, though. I suppose my main problems were all the exposition that was there for the benefit of people unfamiliar with the series, and some things that seemed to me to be thrown in just because they were so familiar... but seemed more forced than in the series. Also, while I enjoyed Myoga the flea's role, and found it quite appropriate to the story, other recurring characters such as Sesshomaru and Kikyo seemed to me to be there for no good reason. Anyway, I definitely prefer the series, but I'm not sure how I'd feel about the movie if I wasn't familiar with the show. Maybe I'd like it more if I wasn't comparing it to that, or maybe I'd like it less, if I didn't already know and care about the characters. Either way, it wasn't bad....

Affections Touching Across Time * The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass * Swords of an Honorable Ruler * Fire on the Mystic Island

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