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on October 31, 2002
Rumiko Takahashi is one of the, if not the, most famous female manga artist in the world. With titles such as "Ranma" and "Maison Ikokku" in her resume, she has established a worldwide following and has garnered a reputation as the Queen of Romantic Comedy. Her latest undertaking, "Inu-Yasha", has already gained a cult following in the US and, like her other manga series, has been made into a successful anime series that has just a strong following in America. American publisher Viz, having already published twelve volumes in the US, now brings us the anime.
At first glance, "Inu-Yasha" seems like a typical anime series. Kagome, a Japanese high school girl, is transported to the feudal age of Japan through a magical well, where she unwittingly awakens a cocky, imprisoned half-demon called Inu-Yasha. You see, Inu-Yasha was after the Shikon no Tama, a powerful jewel that could grant him his wish to become full demon, but a village priestess called Kikyo stopped him with a mystical arrow. Suffering from untreatable wounds, Kikyo decides to die and take with her to her grave the Shikon no Tama. But get this: Kagome is apparently Kikyo's reincarnation, and she just so happens to have the Shikon no Tama with her! Then, through a bizarre set of circumstances, the jewel ends up shattering and scattering all over Japan, and now Inu-Yasha and Kagome have to team up and find these pieces.
Typical, huh?
Not quite.
You see, "Inu-Yasha" is a lot deeper than the first set of episodes will have you believe. Sure, it looks like something you'd find in just about every other fantasy anime series out there, but truthfully, the meat of the series is found in later episodes, when Takahashi demonstrates her true (if not bizarre) genius. But even with this in mind, the first three episodes found on this DVD do a really good job of starting the series and drawing you in. The characters are likable and three-dimensional, and the plot is executed at a reasonable pace. And with Takahashi's unique sense of humor spread all over, you know this series is over-the-top as well as dark and intriguing. Overall, the first three episodes are well done and should give the viewer a general idea of what to look forward to, even though Takahashi's plot twists are completely unexpected.
Visually, "Inu-Yasha" is one of the cleanest series around. The artwork isn't as clean as, say, that of "X: TV", but it's definately sharp and crisp enough to make an average viewer go "wow!". Character models present marvelous representations of their manga counterparts, backgrounds are vibrant and fully detailed, and movement is smooth and fluid. In short, "Inu-Yasha" is a beautiful series that does justice to its source material.
Sound wise, the music is a beautiful compliment to the visuals. It's not the most memorable of soundtracks, but Kaoru Wada's melodies are beautiful and wistful and can get emotional when they need to be. The one complaint I have, however, is that the songs tend to repeat themselves quite often and some songs are often nothing more than variations of other songs. But overall, the series' soundtrack has no real complaints. And the opening and ending...well, the ending song is really haunting and ends each episode on a perfect note, but who's idea was it to use a Korean boy-band song as the opening?
As for the English dub...to put it simply, the dub is above average. It does have its problems, but overall it's enjoyable. Richard Cox does a marvelous job as the half-demon Inu-Yasha, bringing the cocky anti-hero to life wonderfully. Monica Stori, unfortunately, stumbles at the beginning as the heroine Kagome. Many complain about her sounding too young, but I feel her biggest problem was that at first she didn't feel comfortable with her role. In later episodes she improves remarkably, but starting out she sounds somewhat stale and flat. Pam Hyatt does a respectable job as Kaede, but she can sometimes sound unenthusiastic and it's somewhat weird that she speaks in Old English and no one else does...
...which brings me to the dub's biggest problem: the script, written by Trish Ledoux, who also wrote the script for "Ranma". Trish has an annoying habit of using "Trishisms," which are cliches and catchphrases, in her scripts and it's these Trishisms that bring the dub down. Adding in her own "touches" such as the phrase, "Toto, I don't think we're in Tokyo anymore" makes the script feel dumbed down. Granted, the script doesn't drastically alter the story in any way, but these Trishisms are the biggest thing holding the quality of the English track back.
So in general, for die-hard fans of the show, the dub will be debatable because they associate the characters so much with the original Japanese voices and thus anything that doesn't fit will render the dub a travesty; nitpicking and complaints such as "they pronounce names differently" or "this voice sounds off" or "Kagome says, 'Sit, boy!'" will definately be popping up in many reviews to come. But for casual anime fans who won't have to go into the show with this kind of baggage for an incredibly popular series, the dub should satisfy.
Overall, the first volume of "Inu-Yasha" is a solid release. The only complaint I have about the show is that the content of the series was toned down from the manga to meet television standards (no full frontal nudity, not as much violence, etc.), but that's only a minor complaint. Many will complain about the episode count per DVD, but just remember that the Japanese got only two episodes on the first disc and you may feel better (maybe). But if you're still unsure as to whether you'll like this series or not, you can catch it on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block in a very, very lightly edited format. And since the show gets better as the series progresses over its 90+ episodes (it's still running in Japan, by the way), there will be plenty more "Inu-Yasha" to get excited about in the future.
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VINE VOICEon September 8, 2002
The famed Rumiko Takahashi's -- known for her very popular series like Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikkoku, and Urusei Yatsura -- most recent masterpiece is the story that encompasses many different genres, a sample being: love, action, suspense, and comedy. You wonder how epic the story is? Inu Yasha still has yet to conclude in Japan. Right now, it is currently at episode 86 with no signs that it's ready to finish anytime soon. The second Inu Yasha movie is scheduled for this winter in Japan.
The series is named after a half-human, half-demon called Inu Yasha. One day on her fifteenth birthday, Kagome entered a well that was inside her family's shrine. Little did she know that she would be transported to the past in a time where many youkai (demons) dwell. There she realizes that she is the reincarnation of a past priestess named Kikyo who had the destiny to purify and protect the Shikon no Tama, a jewel that manifests and increases the evil desires and power of youkai and evil humans. Kagome wandered throughout the new place where she had arrived and found Inu Yasha, a dog-like half-youkai that Kikyo had sealed before her untimely death. Kagome had discovered the Shikon no Tama hidden within her while an encounter with a youkai. However, the Shikon no Tama had been shattered and dispersed after battling a different youkai. After learning more about this time, Kagome eventually accepted her destiny to find and protect the Shikon no Tama (while still juggling school work) as well with the help of a likeable cast of strong warriors.
As the story progresses, it branches out a lot and becomes deeper and more complicated. New enemies, new friends, and new loves are all revealed. The only problem with this anime that I had was the addition of filler episodes. I can take a few but they just seemed to have a series of them or at the worst times. They ruined the progression of the story especially when it just started to pick up. Even though they are there to help the character development, when the series has reached a length of like eighty episodes, viewers feel they know the characters well enough already.
The music is very well done. Some background tracks are very nice and smooth that help express the mood. The battle, action, and suspense scenes do help increase tension. The vocal songs have a nice variety of mood settings with the lyrics expressing the tone of the series at that certain point of the series. All the songs are avextrax done by Avex, a well-known Japanese music company with famous artists and groups like Ayumi Hamasaki, Namie Amuro, and Do As Infinity. The opening song is called, "I want to change the world," performed by V6, which has a nice mellow tune to it that fits the start of a story and adventure. The ending song is called, "My Will," by Dream that is a very nice song. It expresses feelings through an upbeat version of a slow song. It has an upbeat tempo but is slowed down and performed with a nice, smooth voice.
Viz brings a reasonable dub to Inu Yasha. Inu Yasha is now being shown on Cartoon Network's late block of more mature anime, Adult Swim. Currently Adult Swim features other anime like Cowboy Bebop and Yu Yu Hakusho. The voices fit with the characters. I had a few problems with some translations and pronunciations. They translated the phrase, "Osuwari ('Sit' as a command)" as "Sit Boy." I can understand the need to fill in the syllables but it just sounds weird to me. They pronounced a name very oddly. They pronounced Kaede (emphasis on the Ka) Ka-EE-deh with a VERY strong emphasis on the 'e.' But I do commend them on trying to keep the old Japanese feel to it by having terms like Shikon no Tama remain in Japanese.
Final Note: I think Viz will pull out a very solid release and with the story being solid as well, many will continue to pick up this series in the future. The only problem I have is the three episode per DVD release. It's a good thing that the price has been dropped five dollars however, with such a long series, I don't think three episodes per DVD will cut it. I hope that maybe later, Viz will pull it up to four or five episodes per each DVD.
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on June 29, 2003
Kagome is just your average 15-year-old girl from Tokyo who happens to live with her mother, brother, and grandfather in an ancient shrine. Kagome has no patience for the legends that her grandfather preaches about and prefers to live her life has any teenager would. Unfortunately for Kagome, she is destined to more than this. One day, while searching for the family cat near her family's well she is pulled into the well by a strange centipede demon. After somehow magically forcing the demon away it vanishes and Kagome is left at the bottom of her well as if the whole thing never happened, or so she thinks. When she climbs out of the well she finds that she has traveled back in time to Feudal Japan in the Warring states Era. Pinned to a giant nearby tree is a strange looking boy with pointy dog-ears. After being kidnapped and taken to a local village she learns that this boy's name is Inuyasha, a half-demon who once sought to possess the Shikon no Tama, a sacred jewel. Kagome doesn't understand what's going on or why she so resembles the last keeper of the jewel, Kikiyo until she discovers she herself possesses the sacred jewel and Inuyasha is accidentally awakened. Through a series of events the jewel is accidentally shattered through out the land. Now Kagome and Inuyasha are the only ones who can work together to find the shards of the sacred jewel. That is if they don't kill each other first.
Inuyasha is an anime based on the graphic by Rumiko Takahashi, the most popular female comic book creator in the world. The characters are impossible not to like. Inuyasha, who shares the main character slot with Kagome, is a complicated hero who doesn't always act heroic. Kagome is very easy to relate to, making her a heroine that you'll find yourself cheering for regardless of the odds. The story lines shown on this DVD are absolutely thrilling. Down the Well has the first three episodes of the TV show, "The Girl who Overcame Time, And the Boy who was Just Over Come," "Seekers of the Sacred Jewel," and "Down the Rabbit Hole and Back Again." The first two tell about how the jewel was found and shattered and the third one starts out the two-episode Yura of the Demon hair arc. All three of these are great episodes that fans of anime will enjoy to the fullest.
One thing I enjoy about this DVS is you can watch the episodes both dubbed or with subtitles (personally I don't have a preference but I know a lot of people detest dubs so they'll be glad to know this!). Personally I think the casts for both versions are very fitting to the characters they play (even though Kagome's voice was a bit annoying in the beginning on the dub.) The dub is decent, although whoever wrote the dub script must have had a thing for bad clichés because there are a couple of them in here that make me cringe. Besides that this is a great show and not a bad DVD either, if not pricey. The animation is impressive and very pleasing to the eye. After watching this DVD I couldn't wait to watch the next one. I highly recommend you check this series out. You don't know what you're missing!
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on November 15, 2002
I have read most of the Inu-Yasha manga, and that is what first really got me into Inu-Yasha. After each vollume of the manga I had to pick up and read the next one. Well the anime seris of Inu-Yasha is just as compelling. If you are a fan of fantasy anime,or humor fantasy you will love this seris.
Well the story mainly revolves around the two protagonists, Inu-Yasha, and Kagome. Inu-Yasha is a half demon half human creature. It is his most intamite disiear. But to become a full fledged Demon, Inu-Yasha needs the power of the Shikkon no Tama (in english, Jewel of Four Souls). Yet to get to the Shikkon no Tama, he needs to get past a village preistess Kikyo who gaurds and proctects the Jewel. Inu-Yasha steals the Jewel but pays the price. After a battle with the skilled priestess Kikyo, Inu-Yasha is cursed. And with the curse he can never break a deep slumber he was imprisoned in.
Kikyo was also heavly effected by the battle with Inu-Yasha. She wounded so terrible, that she knew that there was no chance of recovery. Kikyo told her younger sister Keade to burn the Shikkon no Tama with her remains, so that the Jewel will never again fall into the hands of evil. And that marks the death of Kikyo, or dose it?
Enter Kagome, and ordinary 15-year-old teenager that lives in Tokyo with her family. Kagmoe's family owns a Shinto Shrine, and her grandfather is kind of crazy when it comes to anchient legends and curses. Well one day when Kagome is heading to school she gets pystracked, and falls down a magical well into the anchient world that Inu-Yasha is from.
When Kagome first enters this new world, she has her very first encounter with Inu-Yasha. Yet Inu-Yasha is still under the curse of Kikyo, so Kagome dose some rather funny things (i won't give it away). But then Kagome is caputred by the natives of a near by village, which is runned by the Priestess Keade, Kikyo's sister.
And soon another demon shows up, demandnig the Shikkon no Tama. Kagome is still totaly oblivious the the secret that hides in her body. The demon called Mistress Centipede chases Kagome into Inu-Yasha's forest, where the half dog demon has awakened from the curse put upon him. But he is not home free. When Kagome approcehes Inu-Yahsa, a button clicks in Inu-Yasha's head that Kagome is Kikyo's reiencarnation......
That is the basic plot for this DVD. I had to end it at that, because at the rate I was going I would end up spoiling the whole DVD for you.
When I first head that Inu-Yasha was going to be dubbed into English, I wasn't exactly thrilled. No offence to dubb fans, but the English version of most anime is not worth all that. Well the English on Inu-Yasha was surprisingly really good. Some of the better dubbing that I have seen.
With a hilliarous sence of humor, I was practicly crying because I was laughing my ... off. Kagome repetedly dose somthing to Inu-Yasha, and it is hillarious, I won't give it away, but here is a hint...
"SIT BOY!"
The reason just to get a DVD player or a DVD rom is this anime DVD. It is well worth the price
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on October 13, 2003
It's ninth grader Kagome's birthday, and it's just an ordinary day. As she's going to school, she stops at her dry well to look for her cat. All of a sudden, a demon grabs her and pulls her down the well to fudial Japan where she meets the dog-like half demon by the name of Inuyasha. The music is fantastic and is in my CD player very often. Time warping, half demons, plenty of action, and memorable characters will give you a pleasurable ride in this one-of-a-kind anime! There's no reason why you shouldn't buy this DVD!'
...Is what I would say if the price was as good as the anime. Don't get me wrong, I rate the story 5+ stars and meant everything I just said, but with only 3 episodes per disk, you will be spending a lot of your money trying to get this whole series. There's not even any worthwihile extras. Just line drawings and Japanese 'commercials' for each episode on the disk (which is just the episode preview, but with Inuyasha saying it instead of Kagome in Japanese, with no subtitles). The only good extras on this disk are the opening and ending songs with no text. But think about the price again for a second. It would take 5 disks to get only the first 15 episodes. You just spent $125 and all you got was 15 episodes. If that's not bad enough, the series lasts 110+ episodes and is still currently running in Japan. $25 per disk doesn't seem like too good of a price anymore, does it?
If you want to buy this series without wasting your life savings, do what I do. Buy the Japanese subtitled imported DVDs. You will only end up watching the Japanese version anyway when you realize how terrible the English version is. You can get them on a lot of anime stores or Ebay. On Ebay they're only around $30 per set, and on the first set there's 25 episodes. Big difference, isn't it? There's currently 7 box sets out right now. And if you absolutely MUST have the English version too, you can get the bilungual imports, which are in anime stores and Ebay as well. There's only one out right now (it's new), but there's 18 episodes on it for about the same price as the Japanese ones.
The price for these DVDs is what turns off a lot of people to this great anime. I am only trying to stop it from happening by giving you a better way to get the Inuyasha series. I stupidly wasted $... on the first 5 of these DVDs. Don't be a fool and make the same mistakes that I did.
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on May 27, 2003
It's ninth grader Kagome's birthday, and it's just an ordinary day. As she's going to school, she stops at her dry well to look for her cat. All of a sudden, a demon grabs her and pulls her down the well to fudial Japan where she meets the dog-like half demon by the name of Inuyasha. The music is fantastic and is in my CD player very often. Time warping, half demons, plenty of action, and memorable characters will give you a pleasurable ride in this one-of-a-kind anime! There's no reason why you shouldn't buy this DVD!'
...Is what I would say if the price was as good as the anime. Don't get me wrong, I rate the story 5+ stars and meant everything I just said, but with only 3 episodes per disk, you will be spending a lot of your money trying to get this whole series. There's not even any worthwihile extras. Just line drawings and Japanese 'commercials' for each episode on the disk (which is just the episode preview, but with Inuyasha saying it instead of Kagome in Japanese, with no subtitles). The only good extras on this disk are the opening and ending songs with no text. But think about the price again for a second. It would take 5 disks to get only the first 15 episodes. You just spent $125 and all you got was 15 episodes. If that's not bad enough, the series lasts 110+ episodes and is still currently running in Japan. $25 per disk doesn't seem like too good of a price anymore, does it?
If you want to buy this series without wasting your life savings, do what I do. Buy the Japanese subtitled imported DVDs. You will only end up watching the Japanese version anyway when you realize how terrible the English version is. You can get them on a lot of anime stores or Ebay. On Ebay they're only around $30 per set, and on the first set there's 25 episodes. Big difference, isn't it? There's currently 7 box sets out right now. And if you absolutely MUST have the English version too, you can get the bilungual imports, which are in anime stores and Ebay as well. There's only one out right now (it's new), but there's 18 episodes on it for about the same price as the Japanese ones.
The price for these DVDs is what turns off a lot of people to this great anime. I am only trying to stop it from happening by giving you a better way to get the Inuyasha series. I stupidly wasted $... on the first 5 of these DVDs. Don't be a fool and make the same mistakes that I did.
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on August 31, 2004
Inuyasha - Down the Well, Vol. 1, contains the first three episodes of the anime series. This is a wonderful, scary but enchanting series also called "a feudal fairy tale." In the first disc, Kagome and Inuyasha do not like each other at all. He even threatens to kill her. The sensitive and tender relationship between them will develop in later episodes, but not here. Inuyasha is raw, and Kagome as well is a little self-centered.

Episode 1: "The Girl Who Overcame Time and the Boy Who Was Just Overcome"

Kagome's ordinary life as a 15 year-old Japanese schoolgirl is violently interrupted by a chance encounter with a horrible demon, which bursts out of an old, sealed well in her family temple's basement. The demon drags Kagome in, leaving her distraught little brother shouting after her.

At the other side of the well is feudal Japan, but Kagome does not yet realize that. Kagome temporarily halts the demon. In exploring, she finds a strange youth pinned to a tree. He is under some kind of spell. She frees him, and thus Inuyasha and Kagome have their first meeting.

In flashbacks, the characters of Kikyo and her sister Kaede are introduced. Kaede is now an old woman who has taken her sister's place protecting the village from demons.

Episode 2: "Seekers of the Sacred Jewel

Inuyasha wants to take the Sacred Jewel from Kagome, even if it means over her dead body. To protect Kagome, Kaede gives her a necklace made of teeth and wooden beads. Once around Inuyasha's neck, Kagome is able to subdue him with the words "SIT, BOY!!!!" From then on, Kagome can use this tactic whenever she needs to.

Now that the Sacred Jewel has been released from Kagome's body, demons come from everywhere seeking to steal it to increase their powers. A crow demon steals it. As he is flying away, Kagome's arrow hits the mark too well, and the jewel is shattered into a thousand pieces all over a wide area.

Episode 3: "Down the Rabbit Hole & Back Again"

Kaede tells Inuyasha that he and Kagome must learn to work together to recover the jewel shards. Neither of them is very happy about that idea. In a huff, Kagome goes back home through the well. Meanwhile, Kaede and Inuyasha are trying to cope with magical and lethal hair controlled by a beautiful but evil demon girl with the shortest skirt ever.
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on March 31, 2004
Inuyasha is a tale of its own. After the opening with Inuyasha in the old Japan fighting for the jewel shard, it begins with the young Kogome falling into a well after trying to find her cat. When she finally is able to leave the well, she discovers that she is in futile Japan in another time. Kogome is forced to pull the arrow from Inuyasha that had pinned him to a tree to save the lives of many from Mistress Centipede. From then on, the adventure begins!
Inuyasha and Kogome have indeed an interesting relationship; Love, hate, and companionship as they search for the missing pieces of the jewel shard. This anime series, though seemingly serious, really has plenty of comical relief. In fact, I find myself laughing more than being stressed about the characters' well being.
However, if you do not like a lot of blood, this may not be for you. A fight scene takes place in every episode, but this is always complimented with the comedy. I find that people who do not even like anime happen to like Inuyasha. This is one of the many reasons why I say it is a tale of its own.
Buying the series may be too spendy though, because each DVD is around $20.00 and there is only 3 episodes on a DVD which is disappointing. Just when it gets good, the DVD ends. There's a few extras to the DVDs: changing language to English and Japanese, looking at concept art, and previews for the DVD both done in English and Japanese. The features really aren't anything to get excited over, but the episodes themselves SHOULD!
Watch Inuyasha...watch it again and again. This DVD, though the first, happens to be one of my favorites of the series. But, it gets even better as more characters join in the later episodes. The story development, characters, anime designs, battles, and comedy is such an excellent combination to make Inuyasha!
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on May 18, 2003
Rumiko Takahashi, "Queen of Romantic Comedy", the creator of other great animes such as Ranma 1/2, Lum*Urusei Yatsura, Maison Ikkoku, and more, does it yet again with InuYasha. Based on her EXREMELY popular manga, Inu-Yasha, the anime lives up to great expectations. It follows the manga almost perfectly, has incredible gorgeously crisp animation, excellent sound, completely loveable theme songs (even if you are like me and speak no Japanese these songs will motivate you to buy all the InuYasha CDs, trust me, I did!), totally believable well developed characters, plenty of great comedy, excellent battle scenes, delicous romance (no gross scenes at all completely acceptable for anyone 8 years and up), and a fun to follow storyline. Once you watch just a few of these episodes you will be completely hooked. This DVD contains the first three episode which introduce you to this magical story, you definitely should buy this even if you have never seen the show. There are extras such as the Japanese promos, line art, and character cast list. The DVD is bilingual with the original Japanese dialougue and the excellently dubbed English with English subtitles as well. Most dubbed animes are pretty horrible but I LOVE this one. The voices match the mouths perfectly, the dialougue changes are great, they're funnier than the subtitled translation and spice the show up, the English voice actors are SOOOO much better than the Japanese ones, I cannot stress that enough. I think that the japanese voice actors were poorly chosen and do match the characters personalities but the English ones do. The amazingly cocky Richard Cox does a great job on InuYasha, he also has done voices for Takahashi's other animes such as Ranma 1/2, he does voices for Zoids and Mobile suit gundamn as well. Moneca Stori, Don Brown, David Kaye, Willow Johnson, pretty well known English dub actors are in this as well, all voices go great with their chosen characters. I love the English version so much I won't watch subtitled! Lol. If you've been following Cartoon Network's release of the show, this is much better.
TO SUM ALL THAT UP THIS IS A MUST HAVE!
EXCELLENT WORK VIZ!
Signed,
An InuYasha Fan
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on May 19, 2004
I started reading the Inu Yasha graphic novels (manga) this year because I fell in love with Ranma 1/2 when I was in college ten years ago and I needed a good comic book fix. (I dig both American and Japanese comics, but I'm not an obsessive collector of either.) After getting hooked on the Inu Yasha books, I started renting the anime DVDs. (I understand that at least one cable network airs the show on TV, but I don't have cable.)
Both the manga books and the anime series are fantastic, a brilliant blend of adventure and humor which anyone can appreciate. Though the premise did not seem as interesting as Ranma initially (hard to beat THAT premise), more depth was revealed as the story progressed. I thought nothing could match my affection for Ranma, but I must give Inu Yasha equal footing.
And though I generally prefer books to videos, these Inu Yasha DVDs are every bit as good as the books. I love the vivid colors, and the English-language voice actors were well-chosen. (I freely admit that I have not seen the Japanese version, nor would I understand it.)
I have read other manga and seen other anime, some of it truly great. But I'm beginning to think nothing will surpass my love for Rumiko Takahashi's creations. They have universal appeal.
(If you're looking for other comic books with universal appeal, check out Osamu Tezaka's "Buddha" series. Sweet without descending into schmaltzy sentimentalism, this is truly a treasure for our time. The plot weaves together the stories of many different characters while Tezuka weaves together the old mythology with some modern philosophical concerns, the serious ancient philosophy with occasional modern jokes and gags.)
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