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YU YU HAKUSHO #13 + EUREKA SEVEN #13 -- Watch & Learn

Villains. Sometimes they're stupid. Sometimes you can hang with them.

They can go on a double date!
They can go on a double date!

Oh, that Rando. What a dumbass. Foiled by fungus!

This episode was the most evocative of DBZ so far. You had the power-ups, the mid-air soliloquies and even the outrageous mega-hair. I found the last ingredient to be the most amusing, actually, just for the fact that this mane erupts out of nowhere when Rando’s guise was such a pitiful Q-ball. It’s tantamount to Krillan sprouting a Super-Saiyan ‘do, and doubly amusing for the fact that this demon’s presumably-more-monstrous form looks something like the love-child of Jem and Adam Ant. Cultural idioms aside, I was still expecting something a little more… demonic.

Man, and if you want to talk about points of sympathy and/or identification for your lead, I’ve got to say I was feeling about as pissed as Yusuke did about the bait ‘n switch Botan uses to get him to train with Genkai. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the whole “call to destiny” segment of Dr. Campbell’s revered mono-myth ever rolled in terms that are so far from the heroic and so close to the Laz-E-Boy. She essentially bribes him into training with this sage by promising him Super Bowl tickets. Actually, I’m not even sure if the game’s that big. That’d be hilarious if only just the Japanese equivalent of March Madness or something.

This episode was titled "Yusuke vs. Rando: 99 Attacks." Look it up and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Watch an anime, learn something about the world. I have actually wondered if there’s a different naming scheme for the fingers in Japan, and here’s an episode to educate me.

Anybody else feel like Renton and Anome’s young minder look like twins, too? Maybe there’s only so much differentiation in facial structure that can be achieved when you’ve got sparse rendering, but it was impossible not to think this while these two buddy’s face were set side-by-side. Oh, wouldn’t it be so cute if Eureka and Anome had matching boyfriends?

Whether or not Renton’s a literal or metaphoric for double for this junior office, it was nice to see him finally show some nerve and/or initiative. I’ll raise my wrench to the kid for his various switcheroos with the engine parts. It’s been a while since Renton was back with his gramps - - was he actually working at a garage? The kid did make his own sky board. Has he been displaying his skills all the time, but it’s one of those details you only notice after a second, close watch?

One of you lunatics brought up the notion that the show’s held back on defining the “evil empire” so as to convey a sense of “bad company, good employees.” These guys’ little outing ending with what’s basically a “Hey man, let’s hang out soon, seriously” exchange does go down a lot easier since we don’t exactly how awful these bad guys are. Some of you have also warned me that this’ll get progressively more touchy-feely. Should I expect it to just come down to them all just becoming friends?

This episode was titled "The Beginning." Watch it here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

MisterXon Dec. 19, 2011 at 5:51 a.m.

Great article. Very amusing.

Lurkeroon Dec. 19, 2011 at 6:04 a.m.

It's weird how Eureka 7 doesn't establish a true good/evil dynamic for a while. As you have seen the beginning of the show is mostly random adventures and exploration. I wonder if they did this because they knew they would have 52 episodes rather than 26.

paulungaon Dec. 19, 2011 at 6:57 a.m.

HAHAHA "Some of you have also warned me that this’ll get progressively more touchy-feely. Should I expect it to just come down to them all just becoming friends?"

You have no idea.

Waleson Dec. 19, 2011 at 7:29 a.m.

You are right in that they wanted to show the contrast between Dominic and Renton with their relationships with Anemone and Eureka respectively. As well as you'll see a major one when a plot revelation is made later on down the road that shows just how closely related Dewey and Holland are.

On an aside, Renton was more mechanical savy in the manga than the anime but in a few episodes, you'll see him a bit more useful in the tool department.

yoshimitz707on Dec. 19, 2011 at 10:29 p.m.

I think you've got those episode numbers wrong, Tom.

zerodualityon Dec. 21, 2011 at 5:21 p.m.

ANEMONE, not Anome.

zaldaron Dec. 21, 2011 at 7:58 p.m.

@paulunga said:

HAHAHA "Some of you have also warned me that this’ll get progressively more touchy-feely. Should I expect it to just come down to them all just becoming friends?"

You have no idea.

not exactly.......unfortunatly that might have been better. When you watch the last episode just have the beatles all you need is love playing....and some heavy liqueur and you might get through it (no one spoil it more than this ok)

As for yu yu..what can I say more about a generic DBZ clone than it is a generic DBZ clone?

AgentJon Dec. 21, 2011 at 10:04 p.m.

@zaldar said:

As for yu yu..what can I say more about a generic DBZ clone than it is a generic DBZ clone?

Blasphemy! BLASPHEMY I SAY!

In all seriousness though, that comment is akin to calling Bleach a Naruto clone, or vice versa.

shiro11on Dec. 22, 2011 at 9:19 a.m.

@AgentJ said:

@zaldar said:

As for yu yu..what can I say more about a generic DBZ clone than it is a generic DBZ clone?

Blasphemy! BLASPHEMY I SAY!

In all seriousness though, that comment is akin to calling Bleach a Naruto clone, or vice versa.

Calling YYH a DBZ clone is like saying every anime with a mecha in it is a clone of Gundam or Evangelion.

shelson Dec. 22, 2011 at 10:43 a.m.

A sequel to eureka seven is on the work for 2012:

ANN

site

LordTerminalon Dec. 22, 2011 at 8:25 p.m.

You're gonna have to step up the W & Ls on E7 a bit there buddy. No pressure but like shels said, a sequel was announced and I'm sure there's going to be a lot of spoilers you'll get caught off-guard by in the process.

And as for Eureka and Anemone having matching boyfriends.....oh ho boy are you gonna be surprised.

zaldaron Dec. 22, 2011 at 8:34 p.m.

@shiro11 said:

@AgentJ said:

@zaldar said:

As for yu yu..what can I say more about a generic DBZ clone than it is a generic DBZ clone?

Blasphemy! BLASPHEMY I SAY!

In all seriousness though, that comment is akin to calling Bleach a Naruto clone, or vice versa.

Calling YYH a DBZ clone is like saying every anime with a mecha in it is a clone of Gundam or Evangelion.

no not at all. All of the shonen shows you mention here (DBZ, Yu Yu, Bleach) all focus on powerups, battles of steadily increasing power, plot arcs that consist of finding and destroying a single big bad (who may or may not come back), fighting tournaments and little to no real character development. MANY MANY shows that contain mecha are very different than either eva or gundum. In fact those have really no relationship to each other at all. Gundum actually fits in with yu yu with the description given above while eva is a show with actual philosophical point, character development, and is about much more than simply fighting.

Still not sure why he is even covering yu yu this is watch and learn after all thought it was supposed to be about shows with some sort of intellectual heft. Why I am here.

AgentJon Dec. 23, 2011 at 1:42 a.m.

@zaldar said:

@shiro11 said:

@AgentJ said:

@zaldar said:

As for yu yu..what can I say more about a generic DBZ clone than it is a generic DBZ clone?

Blasphemy! BLASPHEMY I SAY!

In all seriousness though, that comment is akin to calling Bleach a Naruto clone, or vice versa.

Calling YYH a DBZ clone is like saying every anime with a mecha in it is a clone of Gundam or Evangelion.

no not at all. All of the shonen shows you mention here (DBZ, Yu Yu, Bleach) all focus on powerups, battles of steadily increasing power, plot arcs that consist of finding and destroying a single big bad (who may or may not come back), fighting tournaments and little to no real character development. MANY MANY shows that contain mecha are very different than either eva or gundum. In fact those have really no relationship to each other at all. Gundum actually fits in with yu yu with the description given above while eva is a show with actual philosophical point, character development, and is about much more than simply fighting.

Still not sure why he is even covering yu yu this is watch and learn after all thought it was supposed to be about shows with some sort of intellectual heft. Why I am here.

Yu Yu added so much more depth to the shonen genre. Yes, there's some similar themes, but many of those were established even before Dragonball.

*Spoilers, not for Tom's eyes*

Yu Yu Hakusho has moral dilemmas throughout its run. Letting innocents controlled by an evil troll bastard kill you over harming them, whether Toguro's choices and actions were right, whether Yusuke should have killed that doctor, whether Sensui's ends justified the means. DBZ contributed much, and there's certainly no hate for the franchise from my corner, but Goku and his friends are never confronted with anything resembling a moral dilemma (save MAYBE for Krillin and his hangups with Android 18).

Yu Yu was also much more quickly paced through its duration. There are no multi-episode powerups, and I think the longest single fight never stretches longer than two episodes (MAYBE 3 for Yusuke-Sensui round one).

Yu Yu didn't invent interesting villains, but Dragonball never had them. I mentioned many of the reasons above. Are Frieza, Cell, and Buu all that memorable? What about Vegeta and Picollo before they joined the "party"?

Speaking of interesting characters, Goku is about the opposite of deep, and while he's still enjoyable in his own way, he was already an anime cliche when he debuted in the 1980s. Sure, the bad boy isn't a blaze of originality either, but Yusuke is right up there with Onizuka (of GTO fame) in top anti-heroes.

Finally, each of the main players had their own motivations. While Picollo and Yamcha and others just kind of... stuck around after their time in the limelight was over, Hiei and Kurama had their own ambitions which came to fruit in the final arc of Yu Yu.

These are just some of the reasons why Yu Yu stands apart. I'm sure others have other, better reasons, and I hope they'll chime in.

zaldaron Dec. 23, 2011 at 3:37 p.m.

@AgentJ: hmm...well I missed all of this when I saw it. I hope you are correct as that would make me happy. I only watched through the tournament episode and I didn't see enough to make me stay.

To somewhat repeat what has all ready been said, the parralells between renton and Anemone's minders are very intentional thematically as well as obviously. Stay tuned to this space...

AgentJon Dec. 23, 2011 at 11:29 p.m.

@zaldar said:

@AgentJ: hmm...well I missed all of this when I saw it. I hope you are correct as that would make me happy. I only watched through the tournament episode and I didn't see enough to make me stay.

To somewhat repeat what has all ready been said, the parralells between renton and Anemone's minders are very intentional thematically as well as obviously. Stay tuned to this space...

That's fair. I think it's true with a lot of shows that missing some episodes, whether early, late, or in the middle, can seriously hamper enjoyment of the series (and cause you not to see what the creator intended). If I'm completely honest, I may not have stuck around long enough to see what I consider the best parts of Yu Yu Hakusho if I hadn't absolutely loved the dub (which I consider to be among two best I've ever seen).

For most of their runs, DBZ and Yu Yu were parallel to each other (with the later beginning and ending during DBZ's reign). It developed its own cult following due to many of the reasons I stated above. If you get another chance with it, start with the Chapter Black saga. It may (MAY) swing your opinion of it a bit. If not, that's okay. There's people out there that enjoyed "This Ugly Yet Beautiful World". I can't understand them either, and that's okay :P

AgentJon Dec. 25, 2011 at 11:02 p.m.

@zaldar said:

@AgentJ: hmm...well I missed all of this when I saw it. I hope you are correct as that would make me happy. I only watched through the tournament episode and I didn't see enough to make me stay.

To somewhat repeat what has all ready been said, the parralells between renton and Anemone's minders are very intentional thematically as well as obviously. Stay tuned to this space...

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/yu-yu-hakusho/blu-ray-season-4

This review really does a good job of making clear the depth at the core of the latter half of this series. Worth a read, even if you never plan on coming back to the show.

Dig Deeper into Yu Yu Hakusho

Yu Yu Hakusho follows the adventures of Yusuke Urameshi, a spirit detective, and his eclectic group of allies as they tackle various cases involving humans, demons, and their worlds.

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