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YU YU HAKUSHO #26 -- Watch & Learn

He's back, and his shirt's already off again!

The shirt goes, but the shades stay.
The shirt goes, but the shades stay.

I’m always impressed by how shonen fighters can be so self-aware that they can calculate exactly how much of their strength they’re using at any given time. I can understand having a general idea of the basic fraction - - I’m using half, now, and I used a quarter earlier - - but once dudes like Toguro start getting into precise percentages, it starts seeming more… clinical than you’d expect from such instinctual guys. Hell, I just ran an obstacle race this weekend and I’ve got no way of telling you how far I was from my limit.

So, sooner or later, I’m expecting this show will start actually breaking out the XP counters. That’s probably what those un-translated captions that introduce every new character and attack are all about.

We’ve arrived, at last, at the start of the much-ballyhooed “Dark Tournament” saga. I’m so pleased to find that it’s got the added dimension of all these reprobates getting invited to a mystery island. From ENTER THE DRAGON to MORTAL KOMBAT, I’m always a sucker for that sort of premise. It also looks like the team competition model’s going likely to fall somewhere between those of KING OF THE FIGHTERS and the old school SURVIVOR SERIES, so this is just hitting all four pillars of entertainment for me. It’s already pumping up the absurdly macho “preposterone” I like so much with Toguro’s latest bout of shirtless threats and the ridiculous barrage of punches Yusuke endures while hanging from a cliff edge with two balls-and-chains on his ankles. The latter makes Rocky’s whole stroll up the Philly art museum’s steps look like some soft training by comparison.

There actually were a fair number of moments to chew on in this one, from Kuwabara getting shot down by the ice queen to Yusuke and Keiko’s emoticon-faces introducing me to how those ass-awful 4Chan memes started. However, the most amusing part to me was Toguro’s comeback. Yeah, it wasn’t a cheat of plotting (especially considering how ridiculous the rival boss’ bet turned out,) but usually you expect there to be at least one episode before a villain’s inevitable “resurrection.”

Look up this episode, "Toguro’s Return" 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

kashif1on Jan. 31, 2012 at 6:06 p.m.

So your continuing, cool. And now you've properly been acquainted with the show's first great villain, also probably the most influential villain from the show. While I consider the arc after it to be better, the Dark Tournament is some of the best anime I've ever seen, have fun.

mrflukeon Jan. 31, 2012 at 6:13 p.m.

nice your continuing, you wont regret it duder, a awesome awesome arc

cowdrunkon Jan. 31, 2012 at 7:16 p.m.

Up untill now I've been going off of my slightly faded memories of the last time I watched this show, now I need to go find my dvds to properly enjoy the episodes to come. :)

I hope you enjoyed Toguro's gravely, menicingly calm threats (minus the smashing of buildings of course), there will be more of them.

Afroman269on Jan. 31, 2012 at 7:16 p.m.
Good to see that you're continuing with the show. I think the chapter black saga is pretty weak except for some cool episodes in the beginning of it but I loved the way the dark tournament saga ended that I would have been extremely satisfied if the series just stopped there.
yoshimitz707on Feb. 1, 2012 at 12:21 a.m.

Woo, you're continuing! Let's take it all the way to the end!

KingSolomonon Feb. 1, 2012 at 1:03 a.m.

awww I will re read it all.... If your keeping this up, heck ill have to find all my favorite episodes!

Top8caton Feb. 1, 2012 at 8:39 a.m.

YES! I woke up today to such a pleasant surprise while I was viewing giantbomb, lo and behold YYH #26 was up on anime vice, oh man! 'Son I am Excite'

Let the tournament begin!

Maajinon Feb. 1, 2012 at 1:24 p.m.

Oh, god bless you, Tom!

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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