Madoka blames Akiyama for driving her brother crazy, leading to his death. She snatches the dog and jumps out the window. Natsuno meets her in a park, and they have a duel, which Natsuno wins. After the battle they become cordial. Kazuhito then figures out that Hiiragi was responsible for perpetuating the slasher rumors, in order to break Akiyama’s slump. Natsuno hears all of this and chastises Hiiragi, warning her to stay out of affairs. Hiiragi later admits she dealt with the real slasher before Natsuno’s investigation began.
Even had this been an exceptional episode, we still wouldn’t have kept watching InuHasa. Any way you slice it, fifteen shows is too many, and we’re much more interested in the other Gonzo series (Kimi no Iru Machi), so this will be the last InuHasa episode we review. It goes out on a decidedly low note, filled with awful dialogue, random twists, and its centerpiece is an escalating battle full of cheesy cliches that even the characters admit is completely pointless. It also featured way too much of the loathsome, one-note masochist Hiiragi Suzuna, who frankly gives masochists a bad name.
There remain elements of a potentially interesting story: how Kazuhito ended up in a dog’s body; if and how he’ll be able to escape it, for instance. But at this juncture we just don’t see the profit in continuing to wait for the series to get around to telling that story to our satisfaction. Akiyama Shinobu says she believes in her readers and would do anything for them, but there’s nothing she can do for us. If the writers of this series gave a crap about their audience or their product, they would have put more care into these last few episodes. So we’ll put just as little care in our final assessment of InuHasa:
It’s a dog.
Rating: 3 (Bad) (Dropped)
Harumi’s sister Madoka captures him and addresses him as her brother, but otherwise she can’t hear him speaking. When she steps out to buy pickles, he is rescued by Natsuno, who vows to make Madoka pay, until he tells her she’s his sister. When they investigate the burnt remains of an Akiyama Shinobu book in the park, Madoka confronts them, but Natsuno and Harumi escape. Later that night at her place, Harumi surmises that Madoka is the slasher, attacking anyone associated with books by the author that “stole her brother.” Madoka crashes through Natsuno’s window and grabs Harumi once more.
Whenever Madoka used to speak with her brother (whom she clearly loves very much; probably way too much), apparently all he’d talk about was Akiyama Shinobu, even lending the books for her to read. When Harumi suddenly died, we’re supposed to believe Madoka finally snapped, and she decided to fixate on Akiyama as the subject of her rage. So she’s going around town burning his Akiyama books and cutting anyone she sees with the book on them, believing his devotion to Akiyama is what did him in. That’s a pretty random, far-fetched line of reasoning, but at the end of the day, she’s not wrong: Akiyama Shinobu did kill her brother; just not the way she thinks. His obsession for her books had nothing to do with it.
Rather, the fact that Akiyama herself (AKA Natsuno) simply sat there while a shotgun was pointed at her, forced Harumi to literally take a bullet (or rather, a cartridge) for her. Mind you, he didn’t know she was Akiyama at the time; it was just a coincidence. If Madoka actually knew that’s what went down – that Natsuno’s inaction got him killed – she’d have a legitimate reason to be mad. But for a character we don’t know to suddenly go insane and start cutting people, unaware of Akiyama’s true identity, because of one out of the hundreds of authors her brother read? It’s pretty darn thin. Then there’s the little matter of why she thinks this little Dachshund is her brother, despite the fact she can’t hear him talk. Is it just because he took the Akiyama book bait? Is it, again, because she’s INSANE? Or…is it because a wizard did it?
Rating: 5 (Average)
Harumi meets Natsuno’s masochistic editor, Hiiragi Suzuna, and learns that despite all the writing she’s been doing, Harumi has been in a slump since he was murdered. Suzuna also mentions a slasher going around the neighborhood, and Natsuno decides to investigate. They determine that every victim has been in possession of a Akiyama Shinobu book. Natsuno and Harumi bump into rival author/idol Akizuki Maxi, who mocks Natsuno’s bust. When the pet store owner’s afro is cut, Natsuno spots the culprit and chases after him, while Harumi falls for a trap and ends up back in his apartment, the captive of his own little sister, Madoka.
Ugh…when we heard of a new Gonzo series that wasn’t a Last Exile spinoff coming, this isn’t exactly what we had in mind. After a promising introduction, this episode was a huge step down from the previous two. Compared to most of the other series this season, the clumsy, animation is starting to wear thin, as is the random S&M crap and boob envy weaved into the plot, none of which is remotely funny. We realize there’s a human in that dog body, we just aren’t fans of animal abuse, no matter how silly and ridiculous the circumstances, and are finding it hard to understand Natsuno’s intense hostility towards the person who saved her damn life.
As for her editor Suzuna and her rival Maxi…well, they both come off as patently stupid, banal characters with no substance or nuance whatsoever. Harumi’s sister Madoka is slightly better, but that’s not saying much. She apparently liked her brother very much before he died, but is now aware that he’s a dog and has kidnapped him for some reason, again begging the question of why everyone feels the need to tie him up. With thirteen other series to keep track of, we have little time for inconsistent, half-baked nonsense. We’ll give it one more episode to change our minds…otherwise, it’s Dropsville.
Rating: 4 (Fair)
Natsuno Kirihime takes Harumi Kazuhito for a walk to his apartment building. She learns that while his library was in room 102, he actually lived in 101, and that’s the room the key his killer stole opened. Sure enough, the killer is in the next room, and they chase him to a bridge. Natsuno tries to take him down, but while living in Harumi’s room he read all of Akiyama Shinobu’s books, and uses tactics from them to fight back as well as the books themselves as armor. Natsuno finds an opening and kicks him onto the edge of the bridge, and tells Harumi to finish him, but Haurmi doesn’t want to kill him. Natsuno breaks down, blaming herself for Harumi’s death, but he doesn’t blame anyone.
The OP of InuHasa is really lame. The ED isn’t that much better. But in between? We’re left scratching our heads…not because we’re on the fence about whether we love or hate it (it’s more in between), but because it’s so darned random! Early on it’s your pretty standard investigation, only to getting to Harumi’s place requires walking past various side characters, apparently to introduce them. Despite her claim her sister is a policewoman, Natsuno decides to take matters into her own hands, not only figuring out where the culprit lives, but chasing him down to make him pay. Is this the same character who just sat back and wrote while Harumi died protecting her?
Well, yes, because as it turns out she feels horrible about Harumi getting killed. She serves the killer up on a platter so Harumi can take his revenge, but the boy stuck in a dog’s body has a more evolved sensibility: killing some guy won’t restore him to humanity; on the contrary. But yeah, the extended battle with the guy was simply nuts: who would of thought he’d poke through the books in Harumi’s place and actually use the fighting skills (and hypnotic dance moves) that may have possibly worked on someone other than their original author. It was the most “literary” fight we’ve seen in some time. The OP, ED, and general animation quality may suck, but this series is bursting with original and very random ideas and situations.
Rating: 6 (Good)
Harumi Kazuhito is a student and compulsive reader who lives alone in Tokyo, and whose favorite author is the prolific, diverse Akiyama Shinobu. While in a restaurant, he is shot by an armed robber and killed. He is reincarnated as a Dachshund, waking up in a pet store, and quickly purchased by the same red-eyed woman named Natsuno Kirihime, whose life he saved from the robber. She can read his thoughts, and is initially very abusive, but turns out to be Akiyama, and gives him access to her massive library and human food. One day she announces they’re going out to “settle a score”, and arrive at his former apartment.
Welcome to the Summer 2013 season! We begin with GONZO’s “Dog & Scissors”, a series that’s patently absurd on its surface, and infused with some very hit-and-miss interpersonal comedy and simply average animation. However, it sets things up very assuredly and the situation that results: that of an obsessive reader (in dog form) moving in with an obsessive writer, is one that carries potential for a lot of fun. Basically, Kazuhito has a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, and he is a dog now, but he’s going to try to make the best of things.
Kirihime, for her part, seems willing to help him out in that regard, bringing him into her home. Part of that is because she could read his thoughts when no one else could; part of it could be an obligation to his well-being after he saved her life at the cost of his own. We love her sumptuous bachelorette pad and lifestyle as active and diverse as her writing: learning and experiencing as much as she can in service of her writing. The random cuts to J-idols on TV and the undertones of BDSM involving a dog are the least interesting elements of this story, but not enough for us to pull the cord; we’ll be staying on this gravy train for now.
Rating:7 (Very Good)