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YU YU HAKUSHO #30 -- Watch & Learn

He's, uh, actually more dangerous than he looks.

Hiei somehow looks less intimidating in this pic.
Hiei somehow looks less intimidating in this pic.

Oh shit! When Lemmy's Australian cousin in the Lord Humungous’ gang comes stumbling into the ring with a fixing to beat your ass, you know the real trouble’s going to start raining.

I don’t know if they always succeed at it, but I’ve got to admire the show’s indefatigable efforts to keep some measure of tension throughout an arc that’s about as straightforward as you can get in respect to episode-to-episode plotting. The regular recitation of facts and stats is such an endearing trope of shonen - - something immediately translatable to boys memorizing all the figures of card games and RPGs - - and this show damn well uses it to not only pump up every new enemy, but to also add extra angles of danger to events that have already past.

You know, like the big switcheroo about how the blonde guy wasn’t actually the leader of this opposing team. Or how Hiei’s swarthy Black Dragon Hyper Combo was really more of a desperation move he performed while wearing a poker face. It really calls to mind the nigh-filibuster of a dungeon master who’s hurriedly trying to come up with some on-the-go explanations for how every single facet of a campaign is as interesting as it could possibly be.

That really shouldn’t come off as a criticism of the show, per se. Whether I’m laughing with the show or at the show, I’m still smiling while I watch this - - which is more than a lot of supposedly sound entertainment can boast. This show’s made by some dudes with a sense of humor the perfectly aligns with my own, because I’m just cracking up with each display of escalating, absurd power. Especially the aforementioned unleashing of the Black Dragon Hyper Combo. There’s all this fear and tension, and then… ZAP! The opponent’s just smoked right out of existence. Guess we don't need to worry about him anymore, huh?

Look up this episode, "Dragon of the Darkness Flame" 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

Afroman269on Feb. 8, 2012 at 6:30 a.m.
I definitely enjoyed seeing that the blonde guy was vaporized. I kept thinking that he would show up somehow instead of being defeated that quickly.
cowdrunkon Feb. 8, 2012 at 3:33 p.m.

The Dragon of the Darkness Flame was one of my favorite things in Anime for a very long time. And if you'r enjoying what's happened sofar, it just keeps getting better.

AgentJon Feb. 8, 2012 at 3:52 p.m.

Unlike those finishing attacks that most Shonen characters use, the Dragon of the Darkness flame is going to put Hiei out of commission for QUITE a WHILE. In fact, I think he skips the next two encounters.

Top8caton Feb. 9, 2012 at 9:18 a.m.

I remember absolutely loving how absurdly awesome that douches death was, and how they take Hiei's attack into account instead of taking the cheap"hes now better" approach that most shounen take. It makes you love and hate that attack.

takashichea moderator is online on Feb. 10, 2012 at 1:04 p.m.

I almost forgot about Yu Yu Hakusho. Hiei is probably one of most favorite male characters in this series. He's a cool guy who doesn't reveal much of his softer side.

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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