Original Run: October 2, 2021 - March 26, 2022 Number of Episodes: 24 Genre: Action, Fantasy, Historical, Supernatural Based on the Series Created By: Rumiko Takahashi
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon: The Second Act. Reader discretion is advised.***
The three granddaughters of the Great Dog Demon, Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha (voiced respectively by Sara Matsumoto, Mikako Komatsu, and Azusa Tadokoro), continue their journey.
On the horizon, a calamity is building. It is up to the strength of this trio of half-demons to save not only the feudal world but the modern one as well. Fortunately, our heroes can count on the guidance of season warriors, loyal friends, and, most importantly, each other.
But amongst their challenges, Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha must live up to the legacies set by their legendary parents. In doing so, they may just become legends themselves.
Yes, Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon: The Second Act (Yashahime 2) was better than its predecessor, which surprised me greatly. Although I was not betting on this series to tank, I expected it to toe the line and retain its near-perfect middling qualities.
If you read my review of season one, you’ll know I said Yashahime survived because of the nostalgia provided by its now classic parent series, InuYasha.
In essence, Yashahime only works if you are a fan of InuYasha. Otherwise, much of this story will likely have little meaning for you.
Now, had Yashahime season one built more of an identity for itself, I could have gone into this installment with enthusiasm. But perhaps that was why I came out of Yashahime 2 with a higher opinion of its place within the larger InuYasha franchise.
Granted, just because my opinion is higher than anticipated, I am not going to pretend Yashahime 2 changed the game. It remains a defiantly average series that is utterly eclipsed by the shadow of its far more famous predecessor.
With all that said, the legacy of InuYasha has kept Yashahime relevant. However, Yashahime has done a commendable job of never relying on that legacy. This series has been functional enough; it hasn’t fallen on its face.
That success has been all Yashahime’s doing, and season two, in particular, did this incredibly well.
As I talked about in the season one review, Yashahime is its own story, and it is a story that just happens to take place in the universe of InuYasha. As such, many familiar faces make appearances. But at its core, this series is Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha’s tale. They are the drive, the heart, and the ones who have dictated this show’s successes and failures.
Setsuna and Moroha, especially, have distinguished themselves to be strong leads. Whenever an episode centered around them and one of their solo adventures, this season was at its most fun.
And by the way, Yashahime 2 managed to balance the primary goal of its narrative with plenty of exciting side quests (provided those side quests were Setsuna or Moroha-centered; maybe you can guess where I will eventually end up).
Perhaps the most telling success Yashahime 2 pulled off was the inclusion of certain iconic InuYasha characters. I suspected we would meet some old friends again in the season one review, and it turns out I was right.
There was one unforgettable moment in this season that (to be fully honest) I expected to see. This moment was as close to a certainty as you can get, and if you’ve seen season one, you probably have an idea of what I am referring to. But in an attempt to be as spoiler-free as possible, Yashahime 2 brought in characters who could have easily become all-encompassing.
Yashahime, to its everlasting credit, said, “No.”
This season didn’t ignore these characters; they had roles to play. Except, this wasn’t their story; they weren’t the protagonists. That title was Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha’s, and theirs alone.
Therefore, even when this season was at its lowest, it was its own thing. To carve an identity out of the InuYasha umbrella was always going to be a difficult task. But to do it in a decently positive light, that’s impressive.
Towa, let’s just get it out of the way.
Towa is not a good protagonist. Keep in mind; Yashahime is from the same franchise that gave us Inuyasha and Kagome, a pair of heroes that are easily one of the most iconic in all anime. That is a high bar to match.
To Yashahime’s strength, Setsuna and Moroha did a pretty damn good job of carrying that torch into the next generation. They were strong, brave, clever, quick on their feet, and adaptable. On the other hand, Towa was a walking piece of plain white bread.
To give credit where it’s due, Yashahime 2 Towa wasn’t as dangerously naive as Yashahime 1 Towa. She didn’t do anything this season that was annoying or frustrating. It was clear that this installment wanted to move away from that type of character.
However, Yashahime 2’s response gave us a painfully dull Towa instead. Given that she is arguably the primary lead among our three heroines, this was a problem. She was a joke when up against Setsuna and Moroha.
Towa’s brand of toughness was more akin to she didn’t know how to f&$@ing listen. Most of this season’s obstacles would have merely been inconveniences had Towa not kept doing the exact opposite thing people told her to do
And then there was this season’s ending, and as I am writing the section, I am quickly forgetting it. It was big and flashy but not much of anything else. It failed to leave an ounce of impact.
Of course, this series never truly sold me on its main goal. I was more into the heroes exploring the world of a demon-filled feudal Japan.
Yashahime certainly had the look, atmosphere, and spirit of InuYasha, but it never managed to recapture that original spark. I suppose if you want to see what happens after “The End,” then there would be no harm in checking this series out. Other than that, you can find a better adventure anime.
I did not check my facts before writing this sentence, so I might end up sounding like an idiot. Nevertheless:
I doubt there will be a season three. This story had its say and its finale. I’m not sure where else it can go.
So, what we ultimately got was a respectful nod to anime staple. There was no disrespect or degradation. If you’re a fan of the original, then it might be nice to make a return to the world you once enjoyed. However, this series never reached the level of “must watch.”
For that reason, Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon: The Second Act has earned a stamp of approval but not necessarily a glowing recommendation.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? How would you advise Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon: The Second Act? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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