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Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon
Episode 15

by James Beckett,

How would you rate episode 15 of
Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon ?
Community score: 3.8

Last week was a boondoggle, there's no getting around that, so I went into it knowing that “Farewell Under the Lunar Eclipse” just had to be better than “The One Behind the Forest Fire”. That's a low bar, but the point remains that finally, after fourteen goddamned episodes, the show has finally seen fit to stop jerking us around and explain what happened with Inuyasha, Kagome, Sesshomaru, and Rin. Well, kind of. Or at least, it starts to do that, before all of the crappy writing gets in the way again…but it also finally reveals who the twins' mother is! It's Rin, which is, uh, certainly a choice for the show to make…

Shit, I'm already forgetting why I was hoping for the best this week. I guess I should give the show credit, as the reveal technically answers to a lot of the unnecessary mysteries I've been complaining about; it's just that the way this information is incorporated into the plot is…well, it's bad. Again. I know that I must come across as some kind of Inuyasha hater by now, but I promise you, I am really trying to give Yashahime the benefit of the doubt – it just keeps making such sloppy and lame choices in telling this story, and those kinds of fundamental shortcomings accumulate exponentially over time. Hell, it kind of says something that my main complaints about this episode aren't even centered on how it is now confirmed that Sesshomaru and Rin made the sex together as husbando and waifu.

This is a gross and stupid development that I do not like, true, but I've resigned myself to dealing with it since Yashahime premiered. There's no use complaining any more than I already have, so let it be known that every review I write from here on out will contain the implicit criticism that I am one hundred percent against Rin's turn as Seshomaru's puppy mama. But yes, believe it or not, the Rin thing isn't this episode's biggest problem; that dubious award would go to everything else that happens in the story. I hate using the term “fan fiction” as a pejorative, because there is a hell of a lot of kickass fanfiction out there of all kinds, so let me specify that “Farewell Under the Lunar Eclipse” has all of the hallmarks of bad fanfiction: The pacing and plotting that feels made up as it goes along, the edgy and over-written original villains pale in comparison to their predecessors, and the original cast are treated less like characters and more like puppets who exist purely to provide fan-service and plot contrivances.

First, we learn that Riku commissioned a jewel smith named Hosenki II to create the Black Pearl out of Green Rainbow Pearl Magic and the metaphorical (?) tears of Inuyasha's mother Izayoi. Inuyasha and Kagome barely question it when Hosenki comes to deliver the Black Pearl and the rouge as keepsakes, and Inuyasha just sticks the pearl in his eye because that's what he's learned to do with his parent's magical heirlooms, I guess. Later, Riku shows up out of nowhere and tells Kagome that every 500 years sees a bunch of debris falling to Earth from the Grim Comet (yes, that is its real name), and since it was up to Grampyasha the Great Dog Demon and Kirinmaru to explode it back in the good old days, Inuyasha and Sesshomaru have to do it now. Kagome basically accepts this sight unseen, and so the two brothers shuffle off to fix this cataclysmic problem that is totally a real thing that has always existed in this universe. Don't worry, though, the comet isn't actually a big deal – Inuyasha and Sesshomaru take care of it without any problem whatsoever. (It kind of looks like a fragment of the comet still ends up falling to Earth, but it is never brought up again, so who the hell knows if that is actually important).

Instead, this is when we cut to just after Towa and Setsuna being born – all of the births happen offscreen, because the show can't be bothered to treat pregnancy as anything other than a plot device – and Lady Zero shows up to threaten Sesshomaru's kids, on account of Kirinmaru being dead set on killing them. Why does Kirinmaru hate them so much? Well, after Sesshomaru randomly slices the Gold and Silver Pearls out of Joka's arms and just decides to stick them in his kids' eyes, he meets up with Kirinmaru, who is awake after all of these years for some reason, and who definitely knows Sesshomaru from all those times they've interacted in the past. Here, we learn that there is apparently a long-standing prophecy that Kirinmaru would be defeated by a half-demon, which is why he wants to kill Inuyasha so badly, and Sesshomaru's kids, and the soon-to-be-born Moroha.

Yes, everyone, after all of this time that Yashahime has spent tip-toeing and wink-winking, we have arrived at where Kirinmaru is basically Voldemort, and the three Princess Half/Quarter-Demons are three Harry Potters in one. Cool. That's one or two mysteries down, I guess. Still, none of this addresses why Sesshomaru proceeds to trap Kagome and Inuyasha in the spooky realm of the Black Pearl for fourteen years and counting without telling them anything beforehand, or why he allowed Zero and the Rape Demon to burn down the forest that Setsuna and Towa had been crawling around in their whole childhoods, or what the hell any of this has to do with Rin getting stuck in the tree.

The show is still playing things close to the vest when it comes to the basic details of this messy and needlessly obtuse setup, to the point where we're only just now getting to a basic understanding of what the hell Yashahime is actually about, despite being fifteen episodes into a two-cour series. To be clear, everything we don't know if Yashahime could get me to give a damn about the answers and stories it is providing. It's just so hard to care about Towa and Setsuna's underwhelming adventures, though, and that doesn't give me hope that there will be satisfying answers to Sesshomaru's mysterious motivations, or Riku's whole deal, or whatever. At this point, I'm struggling to imagine how Yashahime will even be able to make up for all of this lost time and wasted potential.


Odds and Ends

• I will admit, I kind of love that Moroha ended up being raised by Koga and his tribe, of all people, if only because I can think of nothing on Earth that would piss off Inuyasha more than to know that Koga technically got to be the father of Kagome's child.

• We have officially reached Day 2851 of the “Where the Hell is Shippo!?” Crisis. We can only pray that the Goodest Boy of the franchise returns in time to right all of these wrongs.

• Also, is the final scene supposed to imply that the whole episode is a story being told by Riku to us, the audience???

•Before I forget, here's a minor correction to last week's review: It was pointed out to me in the comments that it technically does make sense that Towa's phone could still have battery power, because they have that bike-powered generator that we always see in the post-OP bumper. So I concede that one logistical point to Yashahime (though I will remain forever mad at the episode's incredibly stupid moral about cell-phone addiction).

Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon is currently streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.
Save on Anime Streaming Subscriptions with Funimation.

Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon is currently streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.
Save on Anime Streaming Subscriptions with Funimation.

James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.

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