However, I seem to have reached a point at which I've already archive binged on most everything that is both readily available and interesting to me. I'm sure there's more out there, but it eludes my detection. And so out of boredom, eventually I turn to series that I already know are bad. Series that I know, deep down in my heart, will hurt me. It's like a fucking drug. Friends don't let friends read hundreds of chapters a week.
And then when I reach a significant milestone, I come here to beat my head against the wall.
A warning: I do not like this series one bit. I have very, very few positive things to say about it. If you are a fan, you probably don't want to read this!
And so, without further ado, the first 100 chapters of Inuyasha.
- I KNOW, I KNOW. You can stop throwing rocks at me.
- I tried to like Kagome. I really did. God knows I like a good female character and god also knows that I tend to be the champion of generally-disliked characters (I don't know if Kagome is hated on by fandom or not, but you know what? I'd bet money on it). But Kagome? Good god.
I'll give her credit where it's due, she can remain level-headed in a crisis. But that's all the credit that I'll give her, because that's all that she's due. She's shallow and petty and airheaded and bland. Annoyingly bland. I can't think of a single defining character trait that defines who she is as a person or a character. In fact, she seems to be defined mostly in terms of Kikyou; she looks like Kikyou, smells like Kikyou, is constantly being compared to Kikyou...that would be annoying enough in a supporting character. As a protagonist? NO FUCKING THANK YOU
I mean, I'm trying not to be too harsh on the poor girl, but...she's an idiot. I mean, look at the scene where she meets old dog-ears for the first time. WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK HE'S DOING, HAVING A TEA PARTY? He's stuck to a fucking tree with an arrow through his heart! He's dead! Why are you trying to make conversation!?
Not a good first impression of the girl's intelligence, and she doesn't do much to contradict it.
- Inuyasha himself is almost as unlikeable! I don't necessarily mind jerkitude (in fact, I love it when done properly) but he's just not at all entertaining in his jerk-ness and it really doesn't add anything to the series. He's just...a jackass for no reason, towards everybody.
And he's not even consistent about it. Especially as the series progresses, he grows more and more susceptible to spurts of random non-assholeness, only to revert immediately after he's finished fighting the monster of the week. He's not even using being an asshole to hide his TRUE FEELINGS LOLOLOL, he's a legitimate asshole who just randomly stops being one when the plot demands it. It's fantastically poorly written.
And as the series progresses, he also loses the one thing that was interesting about him, which is that despite working with our Designated Heroine, he was in it for his own gain, not for her sake. By about seventy chapters in, he's all gung-ho to fight the monster of the week with no real motivation.
For about five seconds the whole mystery surrounding who set up him and Kikyou fifty years ago was intriguing. Then it turned out to be Rafiki in disguise. LOL ANTICLIMAX
I do sort of like him when he turns human, though. He should do that more often.
- Sesshoumaru, why do you exist!? seriously, I haven't seen a more boring villain in ages. Just. WHY IS HE THERE? WHAT PURPOSE DOES HE SERVE? He's a smug, annoying asshole with no redeeming features, and the fight scenes involving him are some of the most boring in the manga. Which is an accomplishment. Just. ARGH GO AWAY SESSHOUMARU.
- Guys, in the entire manga to date, one hundred chapters, there are exactly two likeable characters. Sango and Miroku. This is not an acceptable number! Especially since Miroku doesn't even show up for like forty chapters and Sango for another forty after that. The rest are either total assholes with no redeeming features, unbelievably bland, or BOTH. Kikyou is alright, and so is her little sister, the eyepatch Granny. Everybody else, I just wanted to toss off of a fucking cliff.
- These fight scenes. SO BORING. And virtually no thought is put into characters' abilities so at the end of almost every fight you get a Deus Ex Machina coming out of SOMEWHERE and fixing everything.
The only exceptions are Miroku and Sango, who are both wicked-awesome to watch in action. I must point out though that Takahashi totally wrote herself into a corner where Miroku's powers are concerned. She had to write in a CRITICAL WEAKNESS for it because otherwise he could just take the beads off his arm and take out anything instantly. A critical weakness that quickly becomes trite when Rafiki's stupid wasps show up every time he tries to do something useful. Fuck this manga.
And if Inuyasha thinks that Kagome is dead and flips out one more time...
- Rafiki bores me. Seriously. Do something interesting or gtfo. Oh wait, you won't do something interesting because your role is essentially that of a villain from a Saturday morning cartoon show. Show up, execute your plan with questionable competence, get foiled by the heroes, run away to fight another day. BO-RING.
Also, he's a fucking dumbass. I CURSE YOUR FAMILY LINE TO HAVE A NEAR-UNSTOPPABLE WEAPON IN THEIR RIGHT HANDS. GO AHEAD TRY TO TAKE REVENGE ON ME. Somehow, I don't think he thought his cunning plan all the way through.
- I feel sorry for Houjou or whatever Kagome's would-be boyfriend from the real world is called. He's so well-meaning and he keeps getting screwed over by Kagome's generation of shitty adolescent drama!
- Speaking of, ugh. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that I hate a pairing formed of two characters that I dislike intensely, but the execution of the obvious Kagome/Inuyasha direction is so fucking hamfisted that it makes me sick to my stomach. WHO IS THIS PRETTY-HAIRED BISHOUNEN!? WHY DOES MY HEART BEAT FASTER!? WHY IS HE SMELLING ME.
Ugh. Gag me.
It's a classic example of a type of romance that I hate hate hate: love-at-first-sight bullshit where they STILL dance around the issue forever and fucking ever and there are vehement denials and jealousy despite the aforementioned denials and getting angry at each other for stepping on the precious feelings that they just vehemently denied and .
Kagome is jealous of a woman fifty years dead. KAGOME IS JEALOUS OF A WOMAN FIFTY YEARS DEAD ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS.
- Takahashi would it kill you to draw a fucking background once in a blue moon? Seriously, the art isn't really terrible (just bland), but the sheer amount of whitespace due to lack of backgrounds is boggling. It feels incredibly wrong to look at. The early art also had some pretty wonky lineart, but it got tightened up over time, thank god.
- Final note: the excessive, completely unnecessary nudity confuses me. It's drawn so matter-of-factly and plainly that it can't possibly be there for titillation purposes...but if that's not what it's there for, then why does it exist? There are scenes, many of them, in which tits are on display that had to have been deliberately put there for no other reason than to add some tits to the scene.
Maybe Takahashi just really sucks at drawing fanservice, I don't know.
Despite my preconceptions, I did go into this with an open mind. I was hoping faintly for it to surprise me, the way Naruto surprised me (before it stuck Sasuke in a bucket and fulfilled my original expectations in horribly, much to my dismay). But no, shit actually does suck. And yet I will keep reading, because once I set something like this in motion I need to see it through to the end! Pity me.