Ah-ha! I knew Kuwabara was going to get that “spirit sword” from the intro soon (though not as soon as this.) At a certain point, you just have to embrace the procedural quality of all this shonen “leveling up” and, to that end, I did smile nice and wide over how this dude hasn’t figured out how to turn off his sword yet. A gag about him having to walking around school all day with this fiery protuberance coming out of his hand, so inconveniently, for a whole episode would actually be a worthwhile one.
Yes, I can be that easily amused. Sometimes, at least.
For whatever reason, I found the dialog between the hitman and Genkai to be the highlight of the episode - - even over the introduction of Kuwbara’s signature weapon. It’s a brief scene, sure, but I find it infinitely fascinating whenever characters have an oddly-detached self-awareness about their own nature, and whenever characters use a serious, procedural logic to describe out-of-this-world circumstances like these. Thus, I suppose it was a very niche sort of “fan service” for me when the two precisely hashed out whether it actually was OK to use lethal force in this tournament, or if such an invitation was just a set-up to disqualify wicked participants.
You don’t get any Honorary XP for correctly guessing if Yusuke’s going to survive this duel in the dark against the one dude with the “spirit vision.” You, me and everybody’s old auntie knows the kid’s going to beat his ass. The bigger question probably lies in whether he’s eventually going to join the “Ghost Files” crew, too, but… seeing as how he isn’t in the spoilerific intro, I’d say the chance of that aren’t too high.