Wait - - this arc still isn’t over?!
Well, it looks like I spoke too soon in the write-up for the last episode. You know, all that nonsense about feeling excited for this storyline’s finale. Apparently, there are actually a couple more episodes left, so my speaking is perhaps the only thing happening “too soon” around here.
As it happened, I was joined by my pal (and recent interview subject) Marlan whilst watching this. He made a rather pointed observation about how this adheres rather amusingly to the more... shall-we-say “talkative tropes” of the fight shonen drama. Most pertinently, we’ve got Toguro and Yusuke exchanging monologues for the whole first half of this episode, even after they’re clearly past the point of explanation.
I did enjoy how the animators employed enough tricks of abstract cinematic storytelling during this build-up time to make it feel like F.W. Murnau was guest directing. However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed by the conclusion of the fight. Put me through 20-40 episodes of tense wind-up for a grudge and you’re basically required to give me at least 22 minutes of full-tilt cathartic release.
Plain and simple, to feel satisfied I needed to see Yusuke beat the shit of Toguro for an entire episode. It needed to be some DEATH OF SUPERMAN-style extended slugfest. 11 more minutes of additional build-up capped off with the bad guy almost serenely surrendering to a blue fireball isn’t anywhere near satisfying (even if the Spirit Gun is Yusuke’s signature attack, yeah.)
I don’t care that these two guys swore off any further surprise resurrections. Toguro needs to come back next episode just so he can be wrecked properly.
Look up this episode, "Toguro’s Desire” and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.