This is the first Inu Yasha movie, taking place after the hero has learned the counterattack technique. The scenario takes advantage of the best hooks of the show, such as the romance amongst the heroes and the tragedy of their pasts. It is also offers an interesting “what if” scenario where Inu Yasha is sealed on the tree again and Kagome is trapped on the present. Effectively it is a summary of whatever has happened so far, as well as a showdown of all that befalling on them at the same time. Heck, even the villains are very threatening, as they can manipulate the techniques of their enemies for their own benefit. Plus they are supposed to be amongst the most powerful of all demons, as not even Inu Yasha’s father was able to defeat them.
The above premise, combined with far better production values than the tv series are enough to create a very interesting filler mission. Sadly, just like the core story the movie suffers from the usual cop-out resolutions. No matter how tragic a situation seems to be, the power of love will be proven triumphant in the end, breaking the evil spell that brainwashes you to be a mindless slave and strands you in a different time. And no matter how powerful a villain is supposed to be, the hero’s magic sword will always be able to reflect back his attacks, empowered further with its own wind scar technique. So it is quite lame to see how all the villains were eventually beaten by their own powers, despite their specialty literally being counterattacking.
Thus the movie plays out like a fairy tale of the cheesiest kind and despite the grave situations in it, it is still reusing the same tired recycled stuff we were already getting in the tv series. And guess what, most of what you see here is actually what happens in the canon finale as well. That alone proves how narrowed its possible developments had become.
But hey, the movie was made to keep the fans of the show happy by giving them what they already knew and expected, and to hook newer viewers by throwing all the cool stuff the show has. Very successful entertaining-wise but hardly tries to offer something you won’t get by watching the main series.