Although the first episode of YashaHime was arguably a bit more of an “episode 0” than the start of the core story, it provided a unique introduction to the series along with heaps of InuYasha nostalgia. Before the next episode airs we wanted to share our first impressions of YashaHime so let’s get going!
Introduction of the New Characters
First and foremost there’s our new main characters, the titular half (and quarter) demons Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha. We see the most of Towa as she’s being interrogated by some feudal lord for a large part of the episode and definitely get a glimpse into her self-assured, somewhat cocky attitude that feels about right for Sesshomaru’s daughter although she’s certainly more playful than he ever was. When Moroha and Setsuna come in to save the day we see a little bit of their personalities as well with Moroha’s unsurprisingly InuYasha-like aggressiveness and Setsuna’s calm intensity. They’ve clearly already formed a team so we’re assuming that the story proper will start with how that all happened but they’re certainly an interesting bunch and it made for a unique introduction.
In terms of their character designs, Towa probably stands out the most, largely due to her white hair with the cool red streak and matching uniform that sticks out even more in the feudal era. Moroha’s outfit, particularly her hairbow, is also quite distinctive with its red color scheme and prominent stitches. Setsuna’s design is more reserved, like her personality, with the most notable part of her look being the Sesshomaru-like fur decoration on her demon slayer armor. All of their weapons seem cool with Moroha’s use of both a presumably demonic sword and holy arrow being particularly interesting, we’re excited to learn more about their abilities and weapons in detail!
Familiar Faces & Feelings
Picking up surprisingly shortly after the Final Act, the first episode of YashaHime was actually mostly focused on the core cast of InuYasha and what they’ve been up to, most importantly their children and Kagome’s adjustment to feudal life proper. These segments were dripping with classic InuYasha charm, not only because of characters but also the familiar “monster-of-the-day” episodic structure focusing on a demon called Root Head which vaguely hints at some new evil being awakened in the world without giving away anything that specific. The fact that it didn’t know the Shikon Jewel was gone was kind of funny. That, along with Miroku making a big deal about his Wind Tunnel curse being removed, felt almost like a not-so-subtle reminder to the viewers as well, which was funny.
The updated designs for the old characters were also cool to see. It’s probably largely down to personal tastes but we’re, in general, a fan of how they came out, particularly for Kohaku who looks rad as a more mature demon slayer with his giant Kusarigama and cape. Miroku strangely looks a bit younger to our eyes and there’s some fairly subtle changes in the rest of the cast too that might be fun to compare for longterm fans but likely won’t offend.
A New Era of Music
Likely attempting to echo InuYasha’s first OP “Change the World” by fellow Johnny & Associates boy band V6, “NEW ERA” by SixTONES is similarly youthful and upbeat but is definitely noticeably more modern sounding, as would be expected. While its heavy use of English lyrics might slightly raise some eyebrows, this is pretty solid OP musically, especially the chorus, if a little bit generic. It’s got that shounen energy going with the main cast of characters running across the screen and seems like a song that’ll only get better with more listens so we’ll see how that turns out. We absolutely love the classic style bumpers with the main cast goofing around after too, it really adds to the charm.
The ending “Break” by Uru was a bit more surprising and sonically unique. While the subdued, ethereal electronic buildup does feel slightly similar to InuYasha’s first ED "My Will", and also its seventh “Come” to some extent, the style and concept of the visuals is completely different. The connection to the three colored jewels that represent each of the main trio that also featured prominently in the OP is an interesting touch, although their significance hasn’t been spelled out in the show yet. The traditional Japanese art theme with intricate patterns and temari balls and such is pretty and meshes nicely with how the characters are rendered in the beginning and end. While arguably not as evocative as the best of InuYasha’s EDs, particularly visually, “Break” nevertheless leaves a memorable impression.
In terms of the OST, we’ve only just gotten a taste of what’s to come but were definitely hit with pangs of nostalgia hearing several familiar tracks in the first episode. Kaoru Wada is back with some beautiful orchestral works incorporating some traditional Japanese elements and instrumentation that are sure to please, we just can’t wait to hear more!
All-in-all, it’s obviously too early to form a nuanced, complete view of YashaHime at this point, particularly considering the somewhat unorthodox nature of its first episode, but it shows a lot of promise already, particularly for fans of the original series. How it differentiates itself with its new cast of characters and plot line will largely determine if it’ll be as beloved as its predecessor, particularly in our modern, hyper-saturated era of seasonal anime. In any case, this is an amazing moment for the fans! We can only hope that it can live up to our high expectations as the adventure moves forward!
What do you think of YashaHime so far? Hoping for the original English dub cast to reprise the roles somewhere down the line? Let us know in the comments section below and be sure to stick around Honey’s for more of all things awesome, anime and otherwise! Look forward to continual coverage of YashaHime. Until next time, see ya~!