New version of 'Inu-Yasha' to air online


POSTED: Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Whenever the big guns of the anime and manga industry show up at an anime convention, big announcements are virtually guaranteed to follow.

Such was the case last weekend at the New York Anime Festival, when Viz announced plans for its newest online anime simulcast: “;Inu-Yasha: The Final Act,”; continuing Rumiko Takahashi's story of the half-demon Inu-Yasha, the time-traveling schoolgirl Kagome, and all the allies and enemies they encounter as they gather the shards of the Jewel of Four Souls.

The first episode will debut on Viz's Shonen Sunday Web site, shonensunday.com, and at hulu.com on Saturday. The time was not available at press time.

The original “;Inu-Yasha”; series ran for 167 episodes and aired in Japan from 2000 to 2004. U.S. fans may remember the original series more from its run on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup. While the original series covered 35 volumes of Takahashi's manga, this new series will be an animated adaptation of the events of the final 21 volumes.

Some of the other major announcements coming out of New York:

» Rights to the “;X”; and “;Initial D”; anime, once the properties of Geneon and Tokyopop, respectively, have landed at Funimation. The latter series will feature new English audio and the original Eurobeat-infused soundtrack, a move that will please those who cringed at how Tokyopop treated the English dub.

» Speaking of Funimation's English dubs, the voice of Alphonse Elric in “;Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”; will be changing. Aaron Dismuke is out, presumably because he's aged out of the role; in is Maxey Whitehead. Other announced roles include Bryan Massey as Isaac and J. Michael Tatum as Scar.



Sad news to report from Japan, as manga artist Yoshito Usui, known for his series “;Crayon Shinchan,”; was found dead Sept. 19 in what apparently was a hiking accident.

According to a Mainichi Shimbun report relayed on Anime News Network, Usui, 51, told his family Sept. 11 that he was going on a day hike to climb a 4,665-foot-high mountain on the border between Nagano and Gunma prefectures. His wife reported him missing the next day. His body was found about 130 yards below a cliff a week later. Police believe he died the same day he went on his hike.

Usui worked well enough in advance for his manga to continue in Japan through November. The English-translated version is being released by CMX. Local fans will remember the anime adaptation subtitled by JN Productions and aired on KIKU in the 1990s; the rest of fandom at large knows Funimation's English adaptation.


Jason S. Yadao is the author of Rough Guides' “;The Rough Guide to Manga,”; available this fall. For more anime and manga news and commentary, check out “;Otaku Ohana”; at blogs.starbulletin.com/otakuohana. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jsyadao or e-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).