InuYasha – The Final Act – 02
As Kagura tries to run far away, InuYasha and company head to the cave belonging to the Midoriko whose soul combined with demon souls to became the Shikon Jewel. They find that inside the remains of her body is a chrysalis, and there’s a barrier around it, so InuYasha decides to watch over it by himself. The chrysalis eventually turns into one of Kikyou’s Soul Collectors, and InuYasha chases it all the way to her. Kikyou explains that she needs the soul because of the wound she got from Naraku, and indeed, taking in the soul heals her. Kohaku also senses it though, and he follows it all the way to her. Kikyou in the meantime explains to InuYasha that they have to get rid of Naraku’s soul and need the Shikon Jewel to do so. Kikyou’s plan is to complete the Shikon Jewel, when Naraku obtains it and tries to absorb it, she’ll purify it and him in that instant. Kohaku overhears all this and decides to go off as well because of his own determination to bring down Naraku.
At around this same time, Kouga is going after the Goraishi weapon that’s guarded by a three-headed beast. He’s able to obtain it and defeat the beast only after showing that protecting his friends is more important than anything else. Kagura meanwhile runs into Naraku who claims he’s going to free her, and he returns her heart to her, but he also stabs her and leaves her filled with his miasma. Nearby, Sesshoumaru runs into Mouryoumaru who has absorbed another demon to obtain a super-strong armor, and unfortunately, Tokijin isn’t much use against this armor. During the battle, Sesshoumaru smells Kagura’s blood and Naraku’s miasma, and hearing Mouryoumaru insult her angers him. He now has the power to damage Mouryoumaru’s armor, however this also leads to Tokijin snapping in half. After Mouryoumaru retreats, Sesshoumaru discards Tokijin and heads towards the scent. He finds Kagura in a field and surprises her by revealing that he came even though he knew it was her and not Naraku. Kagura is content with seeing him again, and after she disappears into the wind, Sesshoumaru tells the just-arrived InuYasha and company that Kagura was smiling.
This second episode felt a little better paced than the first one – or maybe I’m just getting more used to it – but either way I still think they’re trying to cover too many things at once. It probably wouldn’t be quite so bad if they connected some of the story pieces a little better, particularly the segment with Kouga. I still really like the action scenes though, and that segment with Kouga delivered in that regard if nothing else. Sesshoumaru’s fight with Mouryoumaru was also nice, though the ending to that felt a little lame because Mouryoumaru retreated yet again. On that note, I have to say that Mouryoumaru doesn’t seem like a very good antagonist, and Naraku beats him out in every way, particularly after what he did to Kagura. Which brings me to Kagura’s death. It’s sad to see her go, but at least she was happy, and although the scene itself wasn’t the most emotional it could have been, it was sufficient and made me like Sesshoumaru’s character even more.
Incidentally, the broadcast version of this episode on NTV has no next episode preview (I’ve seen a few comments suggesting that it’s because NTV wants more revenue from commercials), but the other versions do, like the one being offered on Hulu. In any case, it looks like next episode will focus on Shippou and Sesshoumaru.