During these two episodes, Genkai’s tournament to determine her successor finally comes to an end, and the next arc begins with some familiar faces becoming reacquainted with Yusuke.
Yusuke is once again able to overcome his battle with Rando with a large helping of luck thrown in. Rando appeared to be immensely powerful and well out of Yusuke’s league, although our rebellious hero did put up a valiant fight in the face of the yokai’s onslaught.
Last time, I said that Yusuke’s luck in beating his opponents was one of the possible downsides of this arc, but it works well here. Rando’s penchant for using other people’s techniques becomes his undoing, as although he could copy and use them, he didn’t really have total mastery of them. This, combined with his toying of his opponents.
Yusuke, therefore, ends up becoming Genkai’s chosen successor. Interestingly, for a shonen series, we don’t get a short training arc, but instead are treated to a flashback montage of sorts of Yusuke’s training in Episode 14. I personally think this was a good decision, as I feel the series hasn’t really kicked into full gear yet, and needs to start getting more into the meat and potatoes of the story.
Thankfully, this seems to be the case with Yusuke having to venture into the Demon Realm with Kuwabara, in an effort to foil a grievous threat to humanity. While Yusuke is now significantly stronger than he was previously, he has once again been thrown into a perilous situation.
Koenma, probably realising he was pushing his luck having Yusuke go it alone so far, provides some assistance, in the form of Hiei and Kurama. With this, we finally have the main group of characters come together.
One interesting thing that I learnt since watching Episode 8 was that Hiei was not originally intended to be a returning character, but was loved enough by fans during the original manga’s run that he was integrated into the main cast.
Hiei doesn’t seem entirely enthusiastic about helping in the gang’s mission, still being fixated on recovering the treasure he lost. After only one episode, one of the great things here is the beginning of a prickly relationship between himself and Kuwabara forming, who has little idea of how powerful his three-eyed ally in this adventure is.
Speaking of Kuwabara, at this point you would probably call himself and Yusuke friends. He helped Yusuke getting out of that jam against Rando, and having witnessed what he has is keen to join his rival on his adventure. To such an extent, he was more than happy to throw himself into the Demon Realm, even if he may be underequipped to do so.
We also get the return of Keiko here, who had been badly missing Yusuke since he had competed in the tournament and embarked on his training with Genkai. With Yusuke and Kuwabara in the Demon Realm, and Botan still on Earth, I imagine that Botan will find her before long. Like Kuwabara, she will likely be introduced to the strange spiritual goings-on.
At the end of Episode 14, Yusuke and his motley crew find themselves trapped beneath the Wall of Betrayal. I imagine the way to break free shall be to all try and make a break for it at the same time, working together to defeat the obstacle.
These episodes were great, and were some of my favourites so far. It seems like the series is finally starting to heat up and get going properly with Hiei and Kurama returning. The stakes involved also continue to get higher for Yusuke, so will he be able to cope?
Will Yusuke and Kuwabara be able to cooperate with their new allies? How will they escape the Wall of Betrayal? Leave your comments down below.