Recent Viewings- Inu Yasha the Final Act Part 1

During last weeks blizzard I was also able to get through the recent release of the final  act part 1 of Inu Yasha. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Inu Yasha, it started as a manga series by Rumiko Takahashi. It was so popular that an anime series was created as well. However, the production of the anime series eventually caught up to the manga and production ceased. Without an ending to the story, they couldn’t complete the series.

The manga eventually ended and production started up again to finish off the series. After several years we now have the first part of the ending to the epic series (it spans over 7 seasons). I recall buying season 7 when I was in college, so it has been a good 4 year gap in production at least, but, that is exactly what I want to write about.

Last week I wrote about the increased production value in a series called Initial D over the span of the four seasons that have been out so far and at the start of the CGI movement in Japan.

I won’t spoil anything in Inu Yasha so have no fear, I strictly want to discuss some of the interesting things I found in the production gap. First off, you will notice the brighter coloration of the characters. This is because the previous season of Inu Yasha were done with traditional cel style animation. If you seen some of my Japan pictures you can see that I actually picked up a few cels when I was in Japan. The reason for this brightness in the color is because the new season is digitally painted, and digitally painting and compositing allow you to reach colors that traditional cel animation and paints couldn’t. If you want to see a true range of effects you can reach with digital painting I would recommend RedLine.

To give you an idea of what the first season’s coloring looked like, here is the opening to the first season.

Here is a trailer for the Final Act part 1. As you can see the colors appear brighter than the previous opening. Also note the glows on some of the shots, lens flares and particle effect as well. There are even clips of 3D objects in the trailer that are used through out the series as well that weren’t in the first several seasons.

Inu Yasha also used more special effects for different dimensions, transitions between dimensions and even some character attacks. These added effects add an extra level of production quality. The effects look crisp and well polished. Some of the effects when done in previous seasons were simply background paintings, but by using CGI for these they can add very nice secondary effects.

If you want to really see how much CGI has evolved in not only Inu Yasha but anime in general, Adult Swim on cartoon network is actually showing the first season on Inu Yasha again and it is also showing Samurai 7 which was a transitional title between cel and digital. These two shows will give you an idea of what to look for before you watch Inu Yasha the Final Act part 1.To my knowledge the same voice actors dubbed this season too so there isn’t any new voices taking over for familiar faces.

I have continued to notice that backgrounds and special effects continue to dominate the use of CGI and not many characters are animated using CGI, they still remain hand drawn. I am very interested to see if this trend continues.

I have only been able to watch the season one time through so far, I usually try to enjoy the story the first time around and then in other viewings I really start to dissect things. I am sure this won’t be the last I mention this season and I look forward to seeing the second part of the final act next year.

Next week will bring another production update. Stay tuned, exciting things coming.

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