But on the bright side my "Inuyasha" DVDs finally arrived all the way from Amazon. Posted in Germany which is a bit of a surprise considering they are American market editions but ours not to reason the whys and wherefores of big multinational organisations. And I got them at a very reasonable price (a smidgen under $120 at the exchange rate I got charged, for a five disk set) so can't really complain. They play perfectly on my DVD Rom drive (although I really must get myself a Region 4 player once I figure out a way to hook it up to my 20+ year old TV via my 10+ year old video that actually works.)
Tonight I watched the first episode (am surprised I actually had time to do so, but that is another story). It's fun. It doesn't have the sort of belly laughs I found in "Trigun", but the characters have depth and there's enough time travel, mystery and monsters to keep this "Doctor Who" fan watching. Wonder how long it will take me to get through the disks.
While I said it doesn't have laugh-out-loud moments, there are still some scenes that bring a bit of a smile and also quite a few quiet and touching character moments. It also helps that Kagome - a young girl who is the main character in this episode - isn't a doormat like too many of the Doctor's companions were.
The show starts with a prologue in mediaeval Japan, and then cuts to the modern day when Kagome lives. She ends up trying to find her cat, which has done the traditional cat thing of hiding itself somewhere that it can't get out of. After explaining to her terrified little brother that the thing making those strange sounds in the old well is actually a cat and not a monster, said nonexistent monster drags her into the well and back several hundred years. Ouch.
The first person she meets in mediaeval times is Inuyasha, complete with the worst haircut this side of A Flock of Seagulls and a pair of floppy ears on the top of his head. And who is at present slightly unconscious, having been pinned to a tree (with an arrow) very much like a butterfly pinned to a board in a museum. So what does Kagome do? Walks up to him and starts wiggling his ears back and forth. No shame that girl. The next thing she knows the local archers are trying to use her for target practice (which judging by their inability to hit her they need a lot of). Eventually she gets dragged in front of the village elders, presumably on a charge of inappropriate touching.
Shortly afterwards a tough old biddy with an eyepatch shows up. Vaguely like Callisto of the "Morlocks" would have been if she'd grown old normally instead of being turned into Cthulhu Chick (rassum frassum comics can't leave well alone can they). Old biddy proclaims Kagome to be the very image of her sister. Kagome is naturally struck speechless by the "compliment". Eventually she asks whatever happened to Tokyo. Which nobody there has ever heard of. (I think they called the town Edo in those days).
Next day the village gets attacked by the same monster that dragged her into the well in the first place. Eventually Kagome and company get back to pincushion boy who has been waiting as patiently as you can wait when you've got a dirty great arrow in your chest. Finally he manages to talk Kagome into removing the arrow (Kagome obviously not thinking that doing so would probably open up the entry and exit wounds and cause him to bleed to death). Shortly after which he starts glowing and proceeds to zap monster into several slices. Going by everyone else's expressions they'd probably rather have taken their chance with the monster.
Somewhere in all that Inuyasha mentions he's half human. No mention so far of whether or not it's on his mother's side. It's fairly obvious that his other half is something a bit dangerous to be around. And probably short tempered. He is, anyway. Although I suppose spending however many years pinned to a tree will do that to one.
All in all great fun to watch and definitely worth the time and effort I took trying to get the series in the first place. (I haven't managed to find any sort of mention of it on any local DVD web site... nowhere at all. It's almost certainly never been shown on TV here... TV programmers think there are only three types of cartoons: Kids' Cartoons, South Park and The Simpsons... so anything that's actually a fairly serious drama which while family friendly is definitely not a Kids' Cartoon is likely to be completely ignored. Grumble grumble).
I watched it in Japanese with English subtitles, which worked out well as I could actually understand everything that is going on (unlike what often happens when watching TV with my hearing being a bit dodgy and me missing too many important points). This way I also got to hear voice actors who understood the cultural background to what they were saying. I'm currently wondering whether to watch episode 2 next or the English dub of episode 1.