InuYasha 32 by Rumiko Takahashi: B+

From the back cover:
Kagome faces a difficult decision—only she can help Kikyo heal from Naraku’s miasma. Will the love triangle between Kagome, Inuyasha, and Kikyo stop her from doing the right thing?! Kohaku comes under Naraku’s power and is ordered to steal the infant Hakudoshi. Will Kohaku be able to resist? While Inuyasha and his comrades watch, Naraku shows up at the demon bird’s nest for a showdown. A series of disturbing events is about to unfold, and a path to the borderland will be revealed!

This “last shard” arc is quite enjoyable. Not only is there the whole fun taking a path to the otherworld part, it also seems to be providing many more opportunities for the supporting characters to do things. Miroku and Sango are feeling like more important members of the cast now, which I appreciate. There even seems to be a slight evolution in the relationship between Inuyasha and Kikyo, which is also good.

I’m annoyed by the blurb on the back of the book, though. It makes it seem as if Kagome hesitated before healing Kikyo, when she did no such thing. She even makes a remark about it being insulting that someone would even consider she’d let her die for some Inuyasha-related reason.

One thing I particularly like about Takahashi is the way she paces the flow of action across a page. There’s one brief bit, where a lady is sneaking away in the background over several panels, glancing back over her shoulder and all that, that really struck me. It seems sort of cinematic somehow, and just so perfectly done that, though simple, it’s impressive. Some people can just draw pretty pictures, but Takahashi excels in using them to tell a story and set a mood.

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