Anime Vice News

YU YU HAKUSHO #28 -- Watch & Learn

A show for everybody who likes to beat up smartass kids.

I played around with the colors on this. Now it's a Lichtenstein!
I played around with the colors on this. Now it's a Lichtenstein!

Anybody who’s ever crashed an 11-year-old’s birthday party at a Lazer Tag arena and just totally shut him and his friends down (!!!) knows that, more often than not, the little smartasses have it coming. So don’t act like you didn’t get as much sick enjoyment as I did watching Kuwabara beat up this demon-child who looks like he just walked away from playing with a sticker book on the set of a KrissKross music video shoot. If the kid’s baditude wasn’t just asking for a beating, the stupid stickers on his face certainly were.

In other words, as I’ve said, this show is just strategically targeting all sections of the knuckleheaded male power fantasy. It’s got simple goals and it accomplishes them with simple finesse (while still managing to be more sophisticated than pseudo-intellectual drivel like STEINS GATE, ha ha.) Actually, if we’re going to compare our preposterone-soaked apples and oranges, it’s worth contrasting this with DBZ, again. The mythology isn’t nearly as rich as the one so familiarly concerned with Super-Saiyans and their various extraterrestrial foes, but the show makes up for it with sharper storytelling, in my estimation. This episode’s just a showpiece for one bout, sure… but I get the feeling it would’ve been broken up into four or five parts if this were DBZ.

Hell, we probably wouldn’t even be past the pre-fight pose-downs and charge-ups.

To throw another pop cultural comparison on top of the pile, I finally realized why this toon’s been reminding me of THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, so much. It’s not just the ghostly subject matter, nor the dated animation style… it’s the music. The spooky synthesizer themes they’ve been using throughout the whole series, so far. They play it even during the most bombastic fights, creating this unusual juxtaposition of tone that underscores even the most exuberant portions with a sense of dread unease. Comedy-horror’s a notoriously hard sub-genre to pull off and, as far as I can see and/or hear now, music might be the key to the balance.

Look up this episode, "First Fight" 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

AgentJon Feb. 4, 2012 at 6:49 p.m.

Later in the series, the mythology will get a power boost as we get more acquainted with the workings of the demon world.

EganTheVile1on Feb. 4, 2012 at 7:21 p.m.

This arc was awesome, I'd compare it to the Frieza arc of DBZ for the reason a villain sees some redemption against a greater evil.

zaldaron Feb. 5, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.

um yeah a show about beating people up is more sophisticated than a show about time travel and human agency. Riiiight. Sigh trolling for my disdain I see....

Top8caton Feb. 6, 2012 at 11:53 a.m.

Whoa, sneak upload. I'd not see this coming, I feel that one thing this show has going for it is its ability to manage time just enough to wet your whistle, but not enough to spoil your appetite. As you said, it knows just how to talk to that brute part of the male mind.

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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