As you can see, we are changing the format starting from today, as we are looking at not just two, but eight episodes this time around, with Episodes 25 – 32 of Yu Yu Hakusho. The reason for this is to help cover the series in faster time, and to provide a little bit more of a wider scope as we analyse the series.
Over these episodes, we see the Yukina Rescue Arc and the Spirit Detective Saga come to an end, with the opening episodes of the Dark Tournament Saga.
Thoughts on the Spirit Detective Saga
I’m going to start here by giving my opinion on the Spirit Detective Saga now that this opening portion of the series has come to a close. I knew going into the series that this portion was known to be not as good as the rest, so I was not surprised that I found it pretty uninteresting.
The problem is that even at the Episode 20 mark, it still doesn’t feel like the series has properly gotten started and found its feet. There are other series that take a good while to get going, Armored Trooper Votoms that we have covered here being one of them, but it really shouldn’t take up to 20 episodes or more. The series should have established itself by that point.
That said, I feel the Spirit Detective Saga does do a good job in introducing us to the characters and the world of Yu Yu Hakusho as a whole. The first few episodes with Yusuke’s death and trying to regain his body I thought were wonderful, and the quest to recover the artefacts was also entertaining.
The Genkai Tournament Arc did introduce us to some of the combat the series is known for, but the characters are not skilled enough yet to make this quite so interesting. The Saint Beasts Arc in my opinion seemed somewhat unnecessary, while the Yukina Rescue Arc did help push things further along.
The Dark Tournament Arrives
The aforementioned Yukina Rescue Arc did a great job to set things up for the new Dark Tournament Saga we now find ourselves in. We found out that the Toguros were working for Sakyo all along, with a view to having Yusuke and Kuwabara compete in the tournament. Tarukane was pretty much just small fry, who ended up meeting a brutal yet comical demise.
Even with another bout of training, how our heroes hope to survive the tournament is anyone’s guess. Yusuke and Kuwabara were completely rag-dolled by the Toguros at Tarukane’s mansion with the taller Toguro only using 20% of his power. Even though they have now improved, they are still unlikely to be a match for the gruesome twosome.
When the taller Toguro approached Yusuke in the city, the teenager was so frightened by his presence that he turned into a quivering mess. I personally didn’t enjoy the scene with Toguro destroying the parking lot, as he was intimidating enough already and it just felt a little naff.
Despite the Toguros, I feel it is the humans like Sakyo that are the real villains here. Those spectating at the tournament are the very rich and other upper-class socialites.
I’m still rather intrigued about how knowledge of demons and the supernatural is so common knowledge among humans in the world of Yu Yu Hakusho, but at least this sheds some light on things. Considering they and all the competitors can fit on one small island, it appears to be only a small cabal of humanity. Due to their activities, they intriguingly say themselves that they have sold their souls to the Devil.
Joining Yusuke Urameshi at the tournament is of course Kuwabara and their new allies Kurama and Hiei. Also there is Genkai, who for some reason has adopted some sort of disguise.
Yusuke and his motley crew first have to take on Team Rokuyukai, a crew of demons who intriguingly reside in the human realm. They proved to be rather tricky opponents, but in the end Team Urameshi were able to emerge victorious.
Kuwabara takes on the childlike Rinku in the first match-up, with the ginger-haired teenager narrowly defeated. It was a very close fight, and we find out that Rinku was the second strongest of the opposition, with Kuwabara being most likely the weakest as we know from the series so far. Therefore, Kuwabara actually did a rather good job.
Kurama then takes on the devious Roto, and is able to withstand his cheap tricks and find a way to defeat the adversary in brutal fashion. Hiei then takes on Zeru, who was teased as being incredibly strong. Hiei feeling this, decides to use brute force to win the match, unleashing the terrifying Dragon of the Darkness Flame attack to vaporise Zeru.
Unfortunately, this move causes Hiei to lose the use of one of his arms this early in the tournament. With much more powerful opponents surely around the corner, this is likely to cause a severe problem at some point.
These last two fights give us a good look at just how strong Hiei and Kurama are. The battle between Zeru and Hiei had some beautiful looking animation that really had the wow factor. Hopefully we will get many more scenes like this as the series continues.
Hiei also demonstrates he can sense ki during this fight, Dragon Ball style. We had seen him and others like Kuwabara sense reiki and yoki before, so this isn’t exactly a surprise, but I think it is worth mentioning here.
The Mysterious Chu
For the final battle, Yusuke takes on the drunken Chu and the leader of Team Rokuyukai. Up until this point, Yusuke had appeared to have been in a deep sleep, but did commentate during moments of the previous fights. It was teased that from his new training, Yusuke is now able to turn off parts of his consciousness to conserve energy.
Chu drew the short straw and initially sat out the fight due to being an extra sixth member, after losing a game of rock-paper-scissors with the other five. Despite being outwardly goofy, his drunken master style proved to be very dangerous and the battle with Yusuke went to the wire, or rather, a knife’s edge.
Team Urameshi is victorious, with only Chu and Rinku surviving from Team Rokuyukai. In the end, Chu and Rinku appear to be more benevolent demons, and seem to have a large amount of respect for Yusuke and his friends when all is said and done.
The Peanut Gallery
While the tournament is taking place, we also have Botan together with Keiko and Kuwabara’s sister Shizuru who have tagged along. Keiko, not having really glimpsed demons before, appears to be horrified by what she is witnessing. She tries to interfere in Yusuke’s match several times, which becomes a little annoying. Shizuru has no such fears, stubbing her cigarette out on a confrontational demon.
Shizuru does get in trouble though when she is cornered by demons in the stadium’s corridors. Sakyo ends up saving her, so we shall see where that goes. Other members of the Black Black Club are also in attendance, presumably all having teams in the tournament.
Koenma and his assistant are also there to watch the proceedings, and while these characters are welcome, I do think there are too many characters commentating on what’s going on throughout this arc so far.
Saying Hello to Sayonara Bye Bye
Starting with Episode 30, we get a new ending theme in Sayonara Bye Bye. As the series by this point has definitely taken a turn into being something a little different, this change feels fitting.
I was a fan of the last ending theme in Homework Ga Owaranai, and having listened to the music of Yu Yu Hakusho before, all the ending themes and insert songs are great and well worth a listen.
People said that the series picks up for the Dark Tournament Saga, and having watched these episodes I definitely subscribe to that. Not that the Spirit Detective Saga was bad, but you can tell that the series has now really started to find its feet.
The series is still yet to hit the heights however, but I can see more potential from here and that things are only going to get better.
What did you think about the start of the Dark Tournament Saga, and how do you feel overall about the Spirit Detective Saga? Leave your thoughts down below.