I have this enduring wish that one day I’ll open up my mailbox and find a letter with an ominous wax seal inviting me to compete in a death tournament on some mysterious island in Southeast Asia. No exaggeration. So you can imagine how tightly the premise of this arc has already seized my imagination. The cases for these box sets repeatedly promises that YU YU HAKUSHO is “a straight-up, pull-no-punches fighting anime” and I very much appreciate a show that’ll wear that so proudly on its sleeve. Deeper themes can go crawl up their own asses. I have absolutely no problem just watching this and identifying with Team Urameshi as they crack the skulls of demons for however many straight episodes.
Who cares about the “big game” this weekend. I’ve already got chips, dip and big foamy hand out for this. We’re only an episode in and the team’s already kicked the shit out of a boat-load of these uglies. It’s like watching some 90 yard touchdown right after the first kick off.
With all that said, it’s looking like the show’s already setting up for a serving for the broccoli of action adventures - - the often-frustrating human interest element. Maybe it’s kind-of silly that Keiko’s been seesawing in her understanding of Yusuke’s extracurricular activities (just as silly as Botan’s seesawing about when she precisely keeps that under wraps,) but the notion that the secret comes out during a girls’ slumber party in the same way that somebody confessing their crush would is just too damn amusing for me not to appreciate.
I’m going to have to be the smark who doesn’t play along, though, when it comes to the secret fifth member’s supposedly mysterious identity. It’ll just have to be a red herring about Genkai, because those mummy wraps ain't enough to fool me, oh no.
Look up this episode, "The Dark Tournament Begins" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.