Well, it seems to be official. Rumiko Takahashi will finally bring the InuYasha manga to an end with the next issue. That’s 558 chapters in 56 volumes over a period of almost 12 years. Will the ending be worth it? Come on. There’s no story in the world that justifies 56 volumes. I suspect most fans feel more exhausted than thrilled at this point.
But what about the anime series that ended 4 years ago, having caught up to the manga and run out of material? Will some animation studio pick up the series and finish it, now that it has an ending? Or will fans who slogged through the first 167 episodes be left without ever knowing whether Naraku got his just deserts, and whether Inuyasha and Kagome ever got off the dime and admitted their feelings for each other?
I’m not making any predictions about a new anime. The original series was quite popular, so a new series might well be successful. On the other hand there is a reason that studios prefer to adapt a manga that hasn’t finished yet: if the audience knows how the story will end they may not feel the need to watch the anime.
The ideal is probably for the studio and the mangaka to coordinate their efforts so that the manga and the anime finish at about the same time–but that is difficult to pull off. (As in many other areas, Cardcaptor Sakura is an example of how to do things right.) Given Rumiko Takahashi’s obvious difficulties in bringing a long story to a conclusion, it’s understandable that no studio was willing to attempt this with her.
Nevertheless, in spite of my objection to the length of the series and its ridiculous non-ending, I found it pretty compelling. If they do make another anime series to wrap up the story, I’ll probably end up watching it in spite of myself.