Yu Yu Hakusho Episodes 21 & 22 Analysis

So, that’s the end of the Saint Beasts arc as we begin a new one, the Yukina Rescue arc.

While the beginning of the Saint Beasts arc was exciting, I felt that ultimately it was the most disappointing of the storylines so far.

The excitement of having the main group of characters together quickly wore off after the first couple of episodes, and things were only really entertaining up until the end of the Byakko fight. After that, things became more boring, with the cast having to defeat Suzaku at the end of the gauntlet before them.

Episode 21 sums this up, with much of the episode being pretty much exactly the same as Episode 20, with Suzaku repeating the same attacks and techniques for the most part. Then we have the rest who continue to go nowhere just battling away at the cultivated people, while Botan and Keiko remained trapped in the school as they did for the majority of the arc.

The way the battle with Suzaku ended was wildly contradictory. It was shown that the demon had regained all of his health by rejoining his body with that of his clones, but the damage inflicted previously by Yusuke’s Spirit Gun somehow remained.

Suzaku preparing to attack Yusuke in the Saint Beats arc of Yu Yu Hakusho.
Suzaku’s plans were eventually thwarted.

Yusuke is able to win after tapping into his life energy, leaving Yusuke on the point of death upon victory. This also doesn’t quite make sense with what we have seen so far. We already know that reiki use can tire the body, so what makes the use of life energy any different? If I had to explain it, I would say it is a critical well of energy to keep the physical body operational.

Keiko and Botan and the fate of the Earth’s population are saved in the process, but we learn that Keiko is still kept in the dark about Yusuke’s activities. Botan told her that Yusuke was doing some kind of detective work, but failed to mention that he was battling strong supernatural demons. Strange she wouldn’t realise this though, considering she was being pursued by a bunch of zombie people.

I also felt the idea of the bug flute was a little lame, but it was satisfying to see Suzaku’s stupid bird Murugu vaporised at the end. So, yeah, I didn’t like this arc too much. But it’s over now, and the next one appears to be much more interesting.

The ice maiden Yukina, and by coincidence Hiei’s sister being used for gems by an evil businessmen raises questions. This makes me think that in the world of Yu Yu Hakusho, demons and supernatural creatures are more well-known by the general populace.

This makes a little more sense considering that Shizuru, Kuwabara’s older sister, doesn’t consider Koenma’s video and its contents to be especially strange. Like her brother, it appears that she is also very spirit sensitive.

Hiei personally delivering the mission to Yusuke I thought was a nice touch. This helps to show that Hiei is now trusting of Yusuke and his abilities, to the point that he believes the spiky teenager can help set his sister free.

I personally was surprised to see the Toguro brothers introduced here. As someone who had never seen Yu Yu Hakusho before, I already knew about these characters as they are iconic villains of the series. I know that the following Dark Tournament saga is where they’re most prominent, so it’s surprising for them to show up an arc early.

What I also like that Episode 22 touches upon is that even though a demon is being used by a human, other demons have no problem in abetting this situation. As long as they can benefit in some way, they are happy to do so. This is another example that most demons have no sense of morality whatsoever, and live by little rules.

The businessman Tarukane, summons the demon Hirue to take care of Yusuke and his friends, but is easily defeated. This marks the first time that Yusuke and Kuwabara have been able to defeat a demon with little effort, and shows their great progress as fighters.

It was a shame that Hirue only lasts a hot minute, as his demon form was very frightening looking like some kind of strange Lovecraftian horror. The design deserved more screen time, and could have been better used in the previous Saint Beasts arc or something.

The demon Hirue as depected in Yu Yu Hakusho.
Hirue had an unusual and unsettling design.

Episode Conclusions

I think I have already said much about the Saint Beasts arc, and feel that it’s most likely going to be the weakest arc of the series, knowing that we’re still not quite into the good stuff yet.

This new arc I know is pretty short and only lasts a handful of episodes, so it will be interesting how it blends together with the Dark Tournament saga, especially as we now know that the Toguros are involved.

What did you think about these two episodes of Yu Yu Hakusho? Do Yusuke and Kuwabara have what it takes to rescue Yukina? Leave your thoughts below.

Check out the video version of this article here.

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