A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although some episodes of this fantasy-themed anime are tween-friendly, there is a fair amount of fighting, mostly between different species of demon. While older kids should be fine with it, younger kids could get a little scared. Other than that, there's a bit of salty language (of the "damn," "bastard," and "crap" variety), some innuendo and partial nudity in later episodes (nothing overly graphic), and one of the main characters has a nasty temper -- but teamwork usually rules the day.
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What's the story?
INUYASHA (voiced by Richard Ian Cox) is a half-dog/half-human demon who's controlled, via magic beads, by a time-traveling Japanese schoolgirl named Kagome (Moneca Stori). Together they lead a team that includes a monk, a fox demon, and a demon slayer on a quest through feudal Japan to locate the shards of the Jewel of Four Souls. They must keep the Jewel out of the hands of Naraku, who needs all the shards to become a full demon. Kagome is a strong female character -- the reincarnation of a powerful priestess -- and possesses the strong powers to fulfill her task of protecting the Jewel. InuYasha, which has some cartoon violence and suggestive scenes, and airs as part of the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup, is tamer than many of the other shows in that group.
Is it any good?
InuYasha features a lot of characters and a lengthy backstory, making it difficult to follow when jumping in at midpoint. Erratic scheduling doesn't help (not all episodes are broadcast, and the ones that are shown sometimes air out of order), nor does the fact that the original Japanese series ceased production before the story's natural end (four feature-length movies have been produced so far to continue the tale). Still, the show weaves an interesting tale of adventure, romance, and fantasy, and depicts strong female characters. When Kagome becomes attracted to InuYasha, her crush sometimes lends the series an air of middle-school drama, but overall the show offers teen and older tween girls a fascinating fantasy world to explore.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what this show has in common with other anime series -- and what sets it apart. What makes it more kid-friendly than other anime shows? What makes it a fantasy? What are the main differences between fantasy and science fiction genres? Families can also discuss what it means to work together as a team. What happens when one member of a team loses patience and strikes out on their own? How does that affect the rest of the team?
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