InuYasha – The Final Act Unleashed Same Week as Japan Across Asia on Animax

Sep 14th 2009
11 September 2009, Singapore – Five years on, after 167 anime episodes told the tale of timeless love between half-dog demon warrior Inuyasha and time-travelling schoolgirl Kagome Higurashi on an epic adventure to a cliff-hanger, the curtains are finally drawn for the long-awaited conclusion of Inuyasha

Inuyasha – The Final Act is set for an Asia-wide premiere within the same week as the series' debut in Japan, first and exclusively on Animax! The brand new 26-part fantasy, action and romance anime series premieres 10 October 2009, airing Saturdays 8pm (SEA, PH, SA) / 7pm (WIB) / 7.30pm (HK) / 11.30pm (TW) on Animax, within just five days of each episode's premiere broadcast on Japan's Yomiuri TV.

Definitely the BIGGEST anime title of 2009, Inuyasha – The Final Act will deliver the grand finale to the popular Inuyasha franchise that has captivated fans the world over since starting as a manga series in 1998. The brand new series comes to Animax hot on the heels of the anime and youth entertainment network's same-week-as-Japan broadcast of 2009's most-anticipated title Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and world's first same-time-as-Japan simulcast anime Tears to Tiara in April 2009.

“We are very proud to deliver a third surprise to Animax viewers this year with Inuyasha – The Final Act in a highly-coveted same-week-as-Japan broadcast. Inuyasha – The Final Act represents our latest effort and on-going commitment in bringing the best programs within the fastest time to Animax viewers,” said Gregory Ho, Vice President & General Manager, Animax Asia.

Inuyasha – The Final Act is the direct sequel to the first Inuyasha anime series that aired in Japan from October 2000 to September 2004. Based on Rumiko Takahashi's (Ranma ½) 2002 Shogakukan Manga Award-winning ‘Inuyasha’ manga series, the first anime series brought on TV the action in the first 36 volumes of the manga. Picking up from where the action left off, Inuyasha – The Final Act will bring to life the remaining 20 volumes of Takahashi's work.

Returning to the chaotic and mystical era of feuding warlords in Japan, Inuyasha – The Final Act is set to unravel the fates of titular half-dog demon warrior Inuyasha, his love and time-travelling schoolgirl Kagome, as well as their comrades, fox demon Shippo, cursed monk Miroku, and demon slayer Sango. Continuing their quest to gather the scattered shards of the power-enhancing and wish-granting ‘Jewel of Four Souls’, Inuyasha and friends are headed towards the inevitable showdown with demonic villain Naraku, who seeks the jewel's might for world domination.

Producing Inuyasha – The Final Act is none other than Sunrise, the famed anime studio behind global hits including the Gundam franchise, Cowboy Bebop, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion as well as the first Inuyasha anime series. Reuniting the key cast and crew from the Inuyasha anime series, Inuyasha – The Final Act is helmed by returning director Yasunao Aoki (Yakitate!! Japan), with storyboards by scriptwriter Katsuyuki Sumisama (Naruto, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing), and character design by Hishinuma Yoshihito (Yakitate!! Japan). Viewers will also welcome back Kappei Yamaguchi (Death Note, Ranma1/2) as the voice of protagonist Inuyasha, and Satsuki Yukino (Bleach, Full Metal Panic!) who reprises her female lead role as Kagome.

Fuelled by its immense popularity, the Inuyasha franchise already extends well beyond the manga and the two Inuyasha anime TV series. In theatres, four Inuyasha anime movies with story arcs outside the main storyline were released each year from 2001 to 2004, and have chalked up box-office takings of more than US$20 million in Japan alone. In videogames, nine Inuyasha game titles were produced from 2001 to 2007 for Sony PlayStation and Sony PlayStation 2, as well as handheld consoles Bandai's WonderSwan, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS.

In addition to the same-week broadcast, Animax will also be embarking on an online initiative to offer viewers “catch-up TV”, for those who miss the episodes on-air, to catch up online. The episodes will be made available on the Animax website ( HYPERLINK "http://www.Animax Asia.com" www.Animax Asia.com), seven days after its telecast. In other words, fans will be able to catch the premiering episode of Inuyasha – The Final Act online from 17 October onwards. Each episode will be kept on the site for a month.

Inuyasha is a wildly popular and iconic franchise that continues to capture the imagination of audiences worldwide. We decided to kickstart our ‘catch-up TV’ initiative with the world's biggest anime title of 2009, to reinforce our commitment to our viewers and truly deliver to them, a world less ordinary,” added Ho.

Airing in original Japanese audio with English and local subtitles in relevant territories (please refer to your local cable guides) and in the same week as Japan, Inuyasha – The Final Act is set to take Asia by storm this October, first and exclusively on Animax!

See ANNEX A for detailed show synopsis and production information.
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Inuyasha – The Final Act premieres 10 October 2009
Airing Saturdays 8pm (SEA, PH, SA) / 7pm (WIB) / 7.30pm (HK) / 11.30pm (TW)
in the same week as Japan, first & exclusively on Animax

About ANIMAX ASIA
Launched 1 January 2004, ANIMAX is Asia's first youth brand specialising in the fastest growing youth entertainment genre – anime; along with youth programming including exclusive original productions, music, technology, gaming and lifestyle shows.

ANIMAX offers youth and young adults a place to escape to. An extraordinary world where anything is possible. A world where they can express their thoughts, communicate their passion and exercise their creativity. A world which celebrates the joy of youth and recognises them for who they are; a world of fun, happiness and excitement… In short, A World Less Ordinary.

Reaching 40 million viewers in 23 million homes across 20 countries, ANIMAX is wholly-owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and managed by SPE Networks – Asia which also operates AXN, AXN BEYOND and SONY ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION. Visit HYPERLINK "http://www.Animax Asia.com" www.Animax Asia.com for more.

ANNEX A
Inuyasha – The Final Act Synopsis
In the first Inuyasha anime series, Kagome Higurashi, a schoolgirl in modern Tokyo falls through a well into feudal Japan where she meets Inuyasha, the titular half-demon born to a dog demon father and human mother. It turns out that Kagome is in possession of the Jewel of Four Souls, a power-enhancing and wish-granting artefact sought by humans and demons alike.

Originally seeking the jewel to turn himself into a powerful full-fledged demon, Inuyasha then falls in love with Kagome. However, as demons and villains of all forms try to possess the jewel, it gets shattered and scattered, and it is left to Inuyasha and Kagome to retrieve the scattered shards before the jewel falls into the wrong hands.

Inuyasha – The Final Act continues from where the first InuYasha TV anime series left off as Inuyasha and Kagome along with comrades Shippo, a fox demon; Miroku, a cursed monk; and Sango, a demon-slayer, continue their battle against the minions of demonic villain Naraku for the mighty Jewel of Four Souls.

Inuyasha – The Final Act Production Information
Inuyasha originated as a manga series of the same title created by Rumiko Takahashi and stretches a total of 56 volumes that ran for more than a decade, from November 1996 and concluded in June 2008.
As the direct sequel to the first Inuyasha anime TV series that adapted volumes 1 – 36 of the manga, Inuyasha – The Final Act picks up on the action from volume 37 to the 56th and final volume.
The first Inuyasha anime TV series stretched 167 half-hour episodes, was directed by Masashi Ikeda (Mobile Suit Gundam Wing) for episodes 1 – 44, and by Yasunao Aoki (Yakitate!! Japan) for episodes 45 – 167, and aired from October 2000 to September 2004.
Production of Inuyasha – The Final Act is handled by Sunrise, the studio responsible for the first InuYasha TV anime series, as well as global hits including Gundam, Sergeant Keroro, Cowboy Bebop, Witch Hunter Robin, and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.
Inuyasha – The Final Act is directed by returning director Yasunao Aoki, with storyboards by returning scriptwriter Katsuyuki Sumisama (Naruto, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing), and character design by Hishinuma Yoshihito (Yakitate!! Japan) who also led character design in previous Inuyasha movies.
Kappei Yamaguchi (Death Note, Ranma1/2) returns as the voice of protagonist Inuyasha and Satsuki Yukino (Bleach, Full Metal Panic!) reprises her female lead role as Kagome Higurashi.


Inuyasha theatrical movies
The movies follow arcs outside the story of the Inuyasha manga and TV anime series:
Inuyasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time (2001): Inuyasha's team battles a demonic villain previously sealed by Inuyasha's father but is brought to life by a jewel shard.
Inuyasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass (2002): Inuyasha's team is disbanded after the apparent defeat of key antagonist Naraku, but a new threat surfaces in the form of Kaguya a demon threatening to cast the world into eternal night.
InuYasha the Movie 3: Swords of an Honorable Ruler (2003): centers on a destructive magical sword that was sealed but has re-surfaced and is being sought, forcing Inuyasha to work with his antagonistic brother Sesshomaru to avert the impending disaster.
Inuyasha the Movie 4: Fire on the Mystic Island (2004): sees Inuyasha trying to save children caught on the mysterious island Houraijima by the four deities of war, the Shitousin.

About the creator
Riding on the popularity of the Inuyasha franchise and various other works, Rumiko Takahashi was the best selling female manga-ka (comic artist) in history, with over 170 million copies of her works sold as at August 2008. Beyond the popularity worldwide, Inuyasha garnered critical acclaim as the manga series won the Shogakukan Manga Award for the Shonen category in 2002.

In addition to Inuyasha, notable works from Takahashi include
Ranma ½ - also adapted to a long-running anime series, this comedic manga series follows 16-year old martial artist Ranma Saotome, who, as a result of an accident, transforms into a girl when splashed with cold water.
Maison Ikkoku – is a slice of life manga series revolving around the comedic and romantic relationships of university dropout Godai, his love interest Kyoko, and the rest of the unruly tenants in the house called Maison Ikkoku.
Urusei Yatsura – winner of the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1981, is a comedic manga series following unlucky and lecherous young man Ataru Moroboshi, who gets married to the princess of an invading alien force.
RIN-NE – supernatural-themed manga centering on girl who can see ghosts after an incident in her childhood, and helps a shinigami (god of death) perform his duties of guiding spirits to re-incarnation.
In fact, Rumiko Takahashi was in 2004, the highest paid manga-ka in Japan, and the second highest paid individual, as she paid up 142.7 million yen (US$1.3 million) in income tax, according to Japanese National Tax Agency's annual list of income tax-paying individuals in the country. (Income tax rates in 2004 ranged between 10 – 37%, dependent on income levels.)


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