By now, I can’t help but think about the line from ALIEN3 where Ripley says to the Alien, “You’ve been part of my life for so long, I can’t remember anything else.” The foxy ref harps on how long this rematch between Yusuke and Toguro has been built up for, and it’s maybe a little sobering to realize that this particular arc has been building for over forty episodes. Different things were going on in my life when this arc started. I was practically a different person when this arc started.
That’s commitment, friends. Adamant commitment.
The Kuwabara/Elder Toguro grudge hasn’t had nearly as much build-up, but there were a good couple layers of catharsis to the gruff ginger’s victory here. Like I’ve said, I like how the series allows enough room to play out all the steps of a sort of dream logic in these battles.
Kuwabara can’t kill Toguro because the little demon can rearrange the placement of his vital organs? Well hey, why doesn’t he just slice him up in all places, comprehensively? Or, better yet, make his spirit sword bigger so he can snuff him out in one fell swoop?
YU YU HAKUSHO's one step ahead of you, there. Or, at least, keeping pace with you.
Of course, the show pulls out another one of its regular tactics by diminishing that success by Elder more-or-less cheating his way out of his death… but then we get the wonderful, nasty, satisfying twist of Younger Toguro turning on him. It’s maybe only a very brief and transitory “face turn,” but it got me finally wanting to root for this muscle monster in the 80's sunglasses.
That's exactly the sort of heat they should be building for this impending, season-ending title match.
Look up this episode, " Hate Explodes: Kuwabara Attacks” and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.