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YU YU HAKUSHO #22 -- Watch & Learn

A man this eager to take his shirt off is perhaps more threatening than any demon.

A man this eager to take his shirt off is perhaps more threatening than any demon.
A man this eager to take his shirt off is perhaps more threatening than any demon.

Alejandro Jodorosky, one of my creative idols, may have an impressive breadth of taste, but I simply can’t picture him getting inspired by a shonen series like this without getting the titters over such a ridiculous mental image. All the same, it’s worth commenting that this episode’s premise bears some similarity to a wickedly funny short he wrote for an issue of METAL HURLANT a few years back.

The surrealist yarn featured a little boy who miraculously gained the ability to weep tears of gold and was subsequently exploited by his cash-strapped family until they achieved an opulent lifestyle. At first, they beat the kid to get him crying. Then, after he grows callous to physical abuse, they start inflicting verbal and emotional abuse on him. Once his heart hardens to this, in turn, they then start exposing him to the suffering of the world to get him crying. It all escalates until the boy grows so dead inside that he figures out how to make his tears poison and then tricks his family into drinking them with the empty promise that they’ll grant immortality.

Somehow, I don’t think this dilemma with Hiei’s sister will spin out on such a grim note - - I suppose it all comes down to the fact that she’s weeping pearls instead of liquid gold - - but the notion’s still amusing to a morbid mind like mine.

I’m actually glad to see that this show’s tonal pendulum has swung back to what I preferred so much before - - a better balance between the high school punk shenanigans and the spirit world stuff. Though, I don’t know how well the reveal about Botan’s little white lie holds, even within the logic of this universe. Did Keiko just forget about all the zombies and assorted vermin who were attacking her?

Still, this mutated mob boss’ operation may not be the most epic scheme, but I am more eager to see how these spirit detectives put the hurt on these goons than I was for the Saint beasts.

Look up this episode, "Lamenting Beauty" 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

KingSolomonon Jan. 24, 2012 at 1:51 p.m.

So yeah this is where the show gets really good.

I always felt the show goes back and forth between this next sort of plot and a straight up fighter. Its all well worth it to be honest, its why this show will stay one of the best.

cowdrunkon Jan. 24, 2012 at 5:42 p.m.

Oh Toguro, with your Guile hair cut, pointy sunglasses, and insta muscle. One of my favorite bad guys ever. :)

@KingSolomon said:

So yeah this is where the show gets really good.

Also he is totaly right and you should consider watching past episode 25 or where ever it is you were planing to stop :P

Afroman269on Jan. 24, 2012 at 6:01 p.m.
Toguro is a lot of fun. I definitely enjoyed the anime more once he showed up.
Top8caton Jan. 24, 2012 at 7:41 p.m.

@cowdrunk:

I agree, you HAVE to watch the Dark Tournament. there is a substantial amount of content that many many many animes have reused, reworked, and even parodied, it would be criminal not to.

shiro11on Jan. 24, 2012 at 9:56 p.m.

@cowdrunk said:

Oh Toguro, with your Guile hair cut, pointy sunglasses, and insta muscle. One of my favorite bad guys ever. :)

@KingSolomon said:

So yeah this is where the show gets really good.

Also he is totaly right and you should consider watching past episode 25 or where ever it is you were planing to stop :P

Everything up to now is really just the prologue of the series.

cowdrunkon Jan. 24, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.

@shiro11 said:

@cowdrunk said:

Oh Toguro, with your Guile hair cut, pointy sunglasses, and insta muscle. One of my favorite bad guys ever. :)

@KingSolomon said:

So yeah this is where the show gets really good.

Also he is totaly right and you should consider watching past episode 25 or where ever it is you were planing to stop :P

Everything up to now is really just the prologue of the series.

The Dark Tournament realy is the meat and potatos of this series, most of the significant character growth and develipment happens during that arc. Stopping so soon is like stoping just after appetizers, sure they are good but the best stuff comes in right afterwards. :D

mrflukeon Jan. 24, 2012 at 11:44 p.m.

yep you have to watch the dark tournament saga, really the best part of the series .

AgentJon Jan. 25, 2012 at 1:21 a.m.

While I would go a step further and request you continue through the Chapter Black saga (comes right after the Dark Tournament) I would at the very minimum agree with the other commentators, looking to see this continue for one more season.

zaldaron Jan. 25, 2012 at 2:25 p.m.

Isn't a 25 episode prologue a little long though? You are likely to get people like me who will watch the first few episodes and go nope not for me...who might like some of the darker more intellectual stuff (assuming this is that though thats what has been said to me earlier in this thread or at least what I understood).

Top8caton Jan. 26, 2012 at 3:18 p.m.

@zaldar: Its hard to explain, but YYH is one of those shows that never really feels like a chore and you always have this unshakeable feeling that its holding out on you for something grander. Unlike a show like Cowboy Bebop where its so dense that every episode feels like is own contained move, so youre emotionally exhausted by the end. YYH has a way of feeding you buttered rolls, its tasteful and filling, but its not the meat and potatoes.

zaldaron Jan. 29, 2012 at 1:21 p.m.

@Top8cat: This would be the difference between light entertainment and thought provoking entertainment to a T. I prefer the latter (and originally thought that was what was the focus of this column).

Top8caton Jan. 31, 2012 at 4:53 p.m.

@zaldar: I wasn't calling out Cowboy Bebop or anything(One of my all time favorites) just using it as a comparison for the different styles

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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