DVD Corner's blog

News, dvd and blu-ray reviews

Inu-Oh Blu-ray Review

“Inu-Oh” is a little too clunky for its own good. 

Based on the novel “Tales Of The Heike: Inu-Oh” by Hideo Furukawa, “Inu-Oh” is an anime film by director Masaaki Yuasa (best known for “Mind Game” and the “Devilman Crybaby” series). The 14th century set tale revolves around the bond between a cursed and deformed young man (who later names himself Inu-Oh) and a blind young biwa player (Tomona) who become music superstars that honor the spirits of the once defeated Heike people (and hopefully give them peace). Elsewhere in the story are key subplots involving Inu-Oh and Tomona’s fathers, communing with spirits (and spirit journeys), dances, a special sword, the Shogun trying to silence the truth, Inu-Oh’s curse changing, Inu-Oh and Tomona’s origin stories, and the past war between the Genji and the Heike.

Clocking in at 97 minutes, director Masaaki Yuasa and writer Akiko Nogi overstuff this adaptation with a bit too much. Between the big time jumps, the odd transitions, the peculiar edits, and the plethora of subplots that tie into the overarching narrative, it’s hard to get into the rhythm of the busy and choppy story. Oh, and let’s not forget this is also a rock opera so there’s a weird mix of past and present here. To be fair, the music elements are the most exciting visual and audible element of the story. The performances are nothing short of lively (particularly the whale number) thanks to the beautiful animation by Science SARU studio. It really does feel like you’re watching an actual concert at times (albeit an animated one).

Thematically, the story is a deep and engaging tale about storytelling, spirits, music, and family, but as a whole it doesn’t quite gel together like it should. Sure, it’s a bold and ambitious take on the material, but the unwieldy structure of the story leaves a lot to be desired. It almost feels like it should have been a series as the story and characters would have more time to breathe.


Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? The unique animation style shines in hi-de.

Audio Track: Japanese and English 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The English dub is subpar so stick with the original language Japanese track. An English Descriptive Video Service track is also included here.

* DVD copy
* 1 trailer and 4 teasers
* A 12 minute interview with director Masaaki Yuasa that covers everything from adapting the novel to animating scenes.
* A 14 minute “Q&A At US Premiere” from the Los Angeles premiere with moderator Dino-Ray Ramos and director Masaaki Yuasa.
* “Yuasa Draws Inu-Oh”- Masaaki Yuasa draws some sketches.
* “Scene Breakdown” of Inu-Oh’s performance.


January 24, 2023 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: