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Inuyasha's First-Ever Exhibit is a Nostalgic Trip to the Past

posted on by Kim Morrissy

The InuYasha anime is currently running its first-ever retrospective exhibition in Tokyo. I recently had the chance to check it out, and it's a great nostalgia trip. Although it was a small exhibit, located on the 7th floor of the Ikebukuro Parco building, it was packed with screenshots and materials from the series.

I think that the biggest highlight of the exhibit was its recreations of several iconic sights from the series, like the well that connects the Sengoku period to modern Japan, and Inuyasha bound to the tree.

We even got recreations of Kagome's bike and the Tessaiga and Tenseiga swords.

It was also neat seeing snippets of the storyboards for some of the major episodes throughout the entire franchise, including for iconic scenes like Kikyo shooting Inuyasha in the very first episode. I also liked seeing the setting design materials for the various characters and weapons that appear in the series and reading the notes that the character designer Yoshihito Hishinuma wrote as a guide for the animators. For example, there are details on how to differentiate between Kagome and Kikyo through their eyes.

Something I would have liked to see from the exhibit is a more complete representation of the anime's evolving art style. The original anime premiered in 2000 during the era of hand-painted cel animation, but by the end of its run in 2004, it had transitioned to digital coloring and compositing. The InuYasha: The Final Act anime continued the practice of digital compositing, and it was also the first time the series was made for widescreen formats. The exhibit showed off a handful of cels from the early days, but I would have liked to see more production materials from later on as well.

On the other hand, the contrast between InuYasha's cel animation and modern key animation art was made very clear in the final section of the exhibit, which showed off some Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon materials. It was interesting to see just how different Yashahime looks while still maintaining a lot of the appeal of InuYasha's character design sense.

Incidentally, the exhibit was promoting the debut of the Yashahime anime by giving out free postcards to every visitor following the anime's official Twitter account. The postcard shows a key art of the two sisters running together. Very nice!

The exhibit will run in Tokyo from November 7 to 23. It will also travel to Niigata, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka at later dates.


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