Manga Monday- InuYasha

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Inuyasha, also known as Inuyasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi. It premiered in Weekly Shōnen Sunday on November 13, 1996 and concluded on June 18, 2008, with the chapters collected into 56 tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan.

The series follows Kagome Higurashi, a 15-year-old girl from Tokyo who is transported to the Sengoku period after falling into a well in her family shrine, where she meets the half-demon dog Inuyasha. When a monster from that era tries to take the magical Shikon Jewel embodied in Kagome, she accidentally shatters the Jewel into many pieces that are dispersed across Japan. Inuyasha and Kagome start traveling to recover it before the powerful demon Naraku finds all the shards. Inuyasha and Kagome gain several allies during their journey, including Shippo, Miroku, Sango and Kirara. In contrast to the typically comedic nature of much of Takahashi’s previous work, Inuyasha deals with darker subject matter, using the setting of the Sengoku period to easily display the violent content.

Written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi, Inuyasha premiered in Japan in the November 13, 1996 issue of Weekly Shōnen Sunday, where it ran until its conclusion in the June 18, 2008 issue. The chapters were collected into 56 tankōbon volumes published by Shogakukan, with the first volume released in May 1997 and the last released in February 2009. In 2013, a special “Epilogue” chapter was published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday as part of the “Heroes Come Back” anthology composed of short stories by manga artists to raise funds for recovery of the areas afflicted by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

Viz Media licensed the series for an English translated release in North America. Initially, Viz released it in monthly American comic book format, each issue containing two or three chapters from the original manga, but eventually abandoned this system in favor of trade paperbacks with the same chapter divisions as the Japanese volumes. Viz released its first trade paperback volume in March 1998. At the time, American manga reprints were normally “flipped” to conform to the American convention of reading books from left to right by mirroring the original artwork; among other effects, this caused right-handed characters to appear left-handed. Viz later stopped flipping its new manga releases, although Inuyasha was already well into printing by the time this change was made with volume 38. As of January 11, 2011, all 56 volumes have been released in North America. From November 2009 to February 2014, Viz reprinted the series in their “VizBig” format, combining three of the original volumes into a single omnibus with slightly larger pages and full-color bonus art that was previously reduced to grayscale, and in the original right to left format. Viz Media also issues a separate series of ani-manga volumes which are derived from full-color screenshots of the anime episodes. These volumes are slightly smaller than the regular manga volumes, are oriented in the Japanese tradition of right to left, feature new covers with higher quality pages, and a higher price point versus the regular volumes. Each ani-manga volume is arranged into chapters that correspond to the anime episodes rather than the manga.

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