Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Inuyasha: Fire on the Mystic Island was written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa and directed by Toshiya Shinohara. The film was released to Japanese theaters on December 23, 2004. In the United States, the film was released on August 1, 2006. The film made its premiere on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block on December 23, 2006. In Japan, Fire on the Mystic Island was released to theaters just a few months after the final episode of the anime series aired on television.
The film opens with a group of half-demon children on Horai Island watching a Kikyo look-alike develop in a green orb. Then, the children stand in front of the Cauldron of Resonance, which comes to life as they watch. Suddenly, the mark of the Four War Gods (four scars on the back) appear on all the children except for Ai, the youngest. If someone has the mark of the Four War Gods on them, they are unable to leave Horai Island. Asagi (the oldest) tells Ai to leave the island, since she doesn't have the mark.
The Four War Gods discover that Ai has escaped, and they try to retrieve her; however, Inuyasha and his friends are nearby. Not only do they rescue Ai, but they are able to defeat Gora (one of the Four War Gods). As Ai recovers, Inuyasha explains that Horai Island is an island from legends that only appears in the human world once every 50 years. The last time Horai Island made an appearance, Inuyasha and Kikyo went there and met the half-demon children. The Four War Gods appeared, and Gora sucked some of Kikyo's blood. Inuyasha also received the mark of the Four War Gods. Ai asks Inuyasha and his friends to help the half-demon children, and the group goes to Horai Island to investigate.
Meanwhile, Kikyo is at a nearby village. The villagers see Horai Island and panic, because when the island appears, many demons also appear. Kikyo tells the village she will defeat the demons, and she heads to Horai Island. Sesshomaru has a run-in with Kyora, one of the Four War Gods he had battled previously; this encounter also draws Sesshomaru to Horai Island. What do Inuyasha, his friends, Kikyo, and Sesshomaru discover on Horai Island? And can Inuyasha and his friends save the half-demon children from the Four War Gods?
The DVD menu allows you to play the movie, set your viewing preferences, scene selection, and special features. Viewing preferences include choosing whether to have Japanese or English audio, whether to have the subtitles on or off, and whether to have the audio in stereo or in Dolby Surround 5.1.
There are four special features on the disc. First is a link labeled "Special Footage," and it's a feature that runs a little over 11 minutes. The first seven minutes are a "Collection of Memorable Scenes," and the Japanese voice actors chose a favorite scene that their character appeared in. The last three minutes are a "Collection of Memorable Lines." First, the Japanese voice actor for each character chose their favorite line, and the scene with the line is shown. This is then followed by the staff and cast pick for that character.
Next is a collection of the Japanese trailers for Fire on the Mystic Island. There are nine trailers in all, and the feature runs for about three-and-a-half minutes. The clean opening and ending credits are included; between the two, this feature runs for roughly 10 minutes.
The final special feature is a line art gallery, which is broken up into three sections: Main Characters, Guest Characters, and Location Sketches. There are 55 pages of Main Characters, 37 pages of Guest Characters, and 15 pages of Location Sketches.
Overall, Fire on the Mystic Island is a very good film. At 87 minutes, the runtime of the film is perfect for the story being told. This DVD should be in the collection of anyone who appreciates the Inuyasha anime series.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD that my husband and I purchased.