Yu Yu Hakusho Episodes 17 & 18 Analysis

Things get more serious over these next two episodes of Yu Yu Hakusho, as more formidable foes come to challenge our heroes.

Byakko was arrogant, and allowed Kuwabara to outsmart him on two occasions. Using his Spirit Sword repeatedly for Byakko to gobble up the energy was a risky strategy from Kuwabara, and meant that he pushed himself to the very limit.

In the lava pit, Kuwabara should have lost, but once again used some quick thinking to outsmart his beastly opponent. With all means of escape closed off and with nowhere to run, using the Spirit Sword this time as a pole vault to deliver the decisive blow was an ingenious one.

It’s clear that Byakko was much stronger than Kuwabara, so the fact that the redhead was able to come out victorious is quite the victory indeed. I’d say that this fight for Kuwabara was almost like the equivalent of Yusuke’s fight against Rando, where both were able to win despite overwhelming odds.

Despite falling into the lava, Byakko somehow survived, but the next Saint Beast Seiryu was not kind to him in defeat, to say the least. Seiryu’s treatment of Byakko, smashing him to pieces and spitting on his decapitated head, showed the evil of this bunch of characters and the threat that they pose. This also proves a rather bizarre moment, as we as the audience and our protagonists then suddenly have sympathy for Byakko who was once the enemy mere moments before.

Hiei easily dispatches of Seiryu however, showing how strong his abilities are as he barely breaks a sweat. As a viewer, you could perhaps criticise this fight for being so short, but personally I was fine with it. I feel it helped the pacing of the arc, and that adding another episode to this fight would have caused things to drag a little.

Kurama also mentions that Hiei seems to have softened up, as a result of seeing Yusuke and Kuwabara’s camaraderie and being influenced by it. Hiei appears much of a loner, so perhaps he’s just content being part of a proper team.

There have definitely been some changes regarding Hiei since his first appearance. As stated previously, he wasn’t supposed to be a recurring character originally. It’s noticeable that his character design has been altered a little, with him having softer eyes making him look less sinister than he used to. You could say that Hiei’s change of heart is a bit too sudden, but honestly, it’s not too jarring and appears to have been handled correctly.

Seiryu was no match for Hiei’s abilities.

With Seiryu out of the way, only the Saint Beast leader Suzaku remains. Unfortunately, Suzaku has now turned his attention to Keiko, realising that she is Yusuke’s weakness and someone he can use to his advantage. Botan is now having real trouble keeping things under control in the Human Realm, so will Yusuke and his gang be able to put a stop to things in time?

Episode Conclusions

These episodes were more great fun, and I must say that this Saint Beasts arc is really helping to show the potential of what is to come in Yu Yu Hakusho. At the moment, one of the aspects I most like is seeing Kuwabara coming through despite being in over his head. It’ll also be interesting to see just how powerful Yusuke is when he goes up against Suzaku, and to see the results of his training.

What did you think about these two episodes of Yu Yu Hakusho? Will Yusuke be able to defeat Suzaku, and will Keiko be safe? Leave your thoughts below.

Check out the video version of this article here.


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