This show’s intro made some long-in-advance promises, brother. I’ve wondered what Tony the Tiger’s evil, albino cousin’s deal was since the first episode. I even started to suspect he was just a generic monster they cooked up to give some spicy imagery to illustrate the theme song. Not so! Little did I know, I was basically see the first 16 episodes (or more?) boiled down into a two-minute music video.
See for yourself. See and understand…
Kuwabara’s spirit sword is another thing that was teased in that clip way ahead of its actual introduction. While the punk finds some seriously inventive ways to use that weapon in this episode (cat kabobs!) I found it terribly amusing that the crew cared so little about any accusations of it ripping off the light saber that they actually ripped the sound effect straight from STAR WARS. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard an anime pilfer directly from Ben Burtt’s work. I recall M.D.GEIST’s rather blatant theft of the X-Wing's sounds, right off the top of my head, and there are a bunch I’m forgetting at the moment.
Is it homage? Parody? Theft? I’ll leave that up to you.
Once again, I wonder if there’s a lot of allusions I’m missing here, because I think it’s so amusing how this mythos has been so loosely established so far. The Saint beasts and their realm are just sort of taken for granted and, while we do have Yusuke’s near-death experience there to explain his abilities, no explanation’s really been offered for why Kuwabara has these super powers. He just… does.
And that’s fine. Not every fantasy plot needs rolls and rolls of exposition. I just can’t help but smirk when I try - - and fail - - to recall the point where this show segued from simple suburban antics to sprawling gothic heroism.
Look up this episode, "Byakko, the White Tiger" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.