There’s nothing unsporting about using your environment to your advantage during a fight, especially when it’s something as slight as slipping a little ciggy into your opponent’s belt. AgentJ asked me what I thought of Yusuke’s “tactic” to win the fight in this episode - - presumably because it might be seen as cheating - - and really, no disapproval ever even flickered in my mind. The MMA master already had an unfair advantage with that helmet's all-seeing “spirit vision” and turnabout is always fairplay.
That said, I don’t know if I bought the mumbo jumbo about how Yusuke was able to make himself invisible to the guy’s sight. So he doesn’t actually see people’s actual spirit energy, just the energy he’s expecting to see? Wouldn’t that make his little trick worthless a lot more often? It sounds like something that was already a little convoluted in the original material and then got even more so after it was lost in translation.
Yusuke’s solution to the second fight made better sense, even though Swastika-Head’s explanation of the precise qualities of his spirit-seeking shuriken got into some hilarious DBZ realms of battlefield exposition. Although, while we’re talking about things getting lost in translation, I wonder if they might’ve cut out another one of Yusuke’s suicidal asides. If he just fell into the mud pit accident, what exactly was his plan, then? He was going to run into Swastika-Head so the explosion took them both out? This has turned into one of the most gloriously-morbid running gags in any series, ever.
I might claim that I deduced that the meek little bald guy was actually the demon, but that would be fibbing. Oddly enough, the surprise wasn’t actually spoiled for me by the intro, but by me flipping through the character bios extra feature on the disc. Goes to show that no place, not even the disc itself, is a safe haven from spoilers.
Look up this episode, "Hard Fights for Yusuke" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.