I suppose it goes to show that anything can work, depending on the execution. Describe a serious anime that’s been given a goofier tone by the English dub team and it’s real easy to imagine otakus gnashing their fangs over how the integrity of their beloved property’s been sullied by flippant middlemen. Yet, YU YU HAKUSHO’s dub holds such enduring esteem in fandom, with a number of you lunatics even asserting that the creative liberties taken actually improve upon on the drier source material. What gives? Again, it sounds like it’s simply a case of it just working this time.
Though, I do wonder why they didn’t take it a step farther and play around with the name beyond just adding the “GHOST FILES” sub-title. We’re nearly an entire season deep with this thing and I still have no idea what “YU YU HAKUSHO” means aside from it perhaps being some wordplay on Yusuke’s name. Any of you lunatics care to enlighten me?
The amount of material packed into this episode was actually rather impressive. I want to say there were at least three or four separate fights (which would certainly fit the packaging’s promise of this being a “straight-up, pure fighting shonen.”) Again, I got some purely visceral satisfaction out of how all these minions in the forest so far have been built up to be such ghastly threats, only for Yusuke and Kuwabara to beat them down like fifth grade bullies.
Getting back to what I was saying above how the re-interpretation likely improves on the material, I could easily see this being a case of a “winning streak” the kills tension in a serious plot but comes off as hilarious in a comedic one. You know, because it’s essentially a game of whack-a-mole with these bad guys, now.
Look up this episode, "The Toguro Brothers Gang" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.