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A Reader of Fictions: Harder to Breathe - Maroon 5

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Harder to Breathe - Maroon 5


Author: Rumiko Takahashi
Pages: 56
Publisher: VIZ Media

Brief Summary:
Kagome falls into a well and travels through time. There she awakens a foul-mouthed half-youkai, a hanyou, named Inuyasha. She is a reincarnation of Kikyou, the woman who killed him (although obviously that didn't stick). As Kikyou's reincarnation, she is tasked with guarding a jewel, which she immediately breaks into fragments (Oops!). Inuyasha wants the jewel, so that he can become a full youkai and show his brother that he's more awesome. Inuyasha and Kagome team up to travel the world in search of fragments of the jewel, which are wreaking havoc everywhere.

This took approximately forever to get through. There are so many freaking volumes. At first, I enjoyed it, because it was kind of funny and silly. Unfortunately, it's incredibly formulaic and repetitive, kind of like episodes of The Power Rangers. You know what's going to happen, but it takes all of time to get there.

Basically, for about fifty of the volumes, they keep having skirmishes with the big bad of the series, Naraku. He's a hanyou like Inuyasha, determined to use the Shikon no Tama to become a full youkai and to be the most powerful dude in the world. He creates an evil league of evil to help him in his quest, and is generally a pain. Worst of all, whenever the good guys are winning a battle, he dematerializes, so that he can fight another day. Can anyone explain to me why only the bad guys have this power?

Speaking of power, Inuyasha and his brother have a lot of it, more than anyone else apparently. Apparently being hanyou is to power as being a muggle-born witch has to do with magical ability, which is to say that it has very little to do with it. However, what drove me completely crazy was that Inuyasha has like three attacks for thirty-some volumes of the series. He doesn't learn anything! He continues to fight like an idiot, and finally gets attacks because other people help him out. Inuyasha does not really seem like a hero who would be able to defeat anyone intelligent enough to target his weaknesses.

Okay, so as a shounen, it's not that great, because the action is so mindless and repetitive. How about the romance elements? Those are better at least, right? Not in my opinion. For longer than I deem acceptable, Inuyasha continues to be torn between Kagome and Kikyou. I get that it's a complicated situation, but that is so not cool. Plus, Kagome's like 14 or something at the beginning. Sheesh.

The other romance of the series is Houshi and Sango, which I definitely did not ship either. Houshi really creeps me out because of the way he asks every woman he meets if she'll bear his child. Sango would probably be my favorite character, because she kicks so much ass, but she always becomes so girly and not like herself around Houshi. Ugh!

The art is not great, though it does have a certain charm. However, this charm dissipates over time. In a lot of long manga series, the art gets better along the way, but not so here.

This definitely turned out not to be my thing. The story is weak (seriously, how did Kagome pass middle school?) and so is the characterization. However, this is one of the most popular manga there is, so keep in mind that lots of people probably would not agree with my reactions.

Note: My song choice may seem a bit odd here. These lines reminded me of all of the boasting by Inuyasha, especially early days. The song also captures the melodrama and constant miasma of the later volumes.

Rating: 2/5

"How dare you say that my behavior is unacceptable
So condescending unnecessarily critical
I have the tendency of getting very physical
So watch your step 'cause if I do you'll need a miracle"

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Blogger Lynn K. said...

(Just spied this in your 2012 list :D)

Ahh, such nostalgia. Although I will forever love Inuyasha because it was THE anime that got me started on anime and Japanese seiyuu loving when I was 7/8, I really don't like the manga art at all. I only googled to find out which chapter had interesting bits and read the ending (it was long before The Final Act was announced). I liked the ending though, it was sweet.

January 4, 2013 at 11:27 AM  

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