Title: Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon
Mangaka: Takashi Shiina, Rumiko Takahashi (Designed by), Katsuyuki Sumisawa (Other adaptation by)
US Publisher: VIZ Media
Age Relevance: Middle, High School
How Essential Is It?: Nice to Have
Curricular Connections?: N/A
Reader’s Advisory Tags: InuYasha, feudal Japan, isekai, sequel series, strong female characters, fantasy, action
Content Warnings: Very mild horror and violence.
Publisher Synopsis: The beloved fantasy adventure Inuyasha continues with the next generation of demon hunters!
Can the three teenage daughters of demon dog half-brothers Inuyasha and Sesshomaru save their parents, themselves, and both realms from the menace of the seven mystical Rainbow Pearls?
Living in the present day isn’t easy for Sesshomaru’s daughter Towa. She can’t remember where she came from, must conceal her mysterious powers, and is either worshipped or feared by girls she just wants to be friends with. But she has no way of returning to her own time until one day…a demon attacks and she is transported to feudal-era Japan.
There Towa, her twin sister Setsuna, and her cousin Moroha—Inuyasha’s daughter—have a mission bestowed upon them by the mystical Tree of Ages. With only vague memories of their past to guide them, the three young women set out to find their parents, heal a rift in time, and fulfill their royal destiny…
I have a confession to make- I expected this manga to be bad. I’m a big fan of Rumiko Takahashi, the mangaka behind the original InuYasha series, and the original series means a lot to me. I have incredibly fond memories of reading and watching InuYasha, and I was massively invested in the story as it was coming out. I also was incredibly disappointed by the anime which was released, which is generally considered not good. (You can read reviewer James Beckett’s descent from trying to give the anime a fair shot to pure misery HERE).
But what this manga does is that it basically takes the character designs and essential threads of the show, and fixes a lot of the problems with the anime. This is a different take on the story, with characters not acting as though they have no idea who anyone is, with backgrounds for the characters being explained upfront, and our original cast no longer looking like the worst parents possible.
Well, except for Sesshoumaru, who still impregnated Rin in this version. I’m never getting over that.
The story starts in modern Japan, which was always my favorite setting for the original series, and introduces us to Towa. Towa has that hanyou/half-demon energy, which apparently makes all of the girls at her school go crazy for her. Considering her dad was the bishounen of the early 2000s, this makes perfect sense.
What I also appreciated was that there really wasn’t an attempt by Shiina-sensei to mimic Takahashi-sensei. He instead adapted the designs to his own style, a decision that ultimately lets this feel like its own thing. There’s also a great interview with both mangaka at the end that delves into the creative decisions, which I really appreciated.
The story rocks back and forth between Towa fighting demons off first alone, then with the assistance of her long lost twin sister Setsuna and her cousin Moroha before returning to the Sengoku Jidai, and establishing what happened to the original cast.
There are also some incredible slapstick style moments, which are actually very reminiscent of Takahashi’s writing style.
In all, this feels more true to what fans wanted, and to what the tone and energy of InuYasha was. I feel more invested in this version of the story, and can actually see myself picking up this manga.
The key here is whether you should buy this manga for your library. Honestly, I wouldn’t buy it without also buying InuYasha. This is a sequel series, and it would make no sense without the original. If you do have the original, though, this is a good companion. It’s relevant to middle grade and high school readers, and will also do well in public libraries among anime fans who were InuYasha viewers. YashaHime features three female protagonists with unique identities and drives. With those things in mind, I recommend it for secondary and up, so long as you have the original series.
One response to “Manga Review: Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon”
[…] Librarian Ashley Hawkins is pleasantly surprised by the first volume of Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon. “I expected this manga to be bad,” she notes. “But what this manga does is that […]