Aaaaaaaah! You just can’t have a properly heroic final battle if the heroes’ loved ones aren’t being threatened! It’s just not enough for a simple victory over the bad guy to be the stakes - - innocent lives must be at stake! If it doesn’t make much sense for the bad guy to be aiming his violent wrath directly at the hero’s girlfriend, then you have a clever “waking dream” where Yusuke’s fighting to protect Keiko from Toguro! Hell, you even drum up sympathy points for all those ghouls and goblins in the bleachers by sucking them up in a “Soulnado.”
The show’s so good at what it’s doing, it’s positively diabolic. Like…
20-YEAR-OLD SPOILER ALERT!!!
...Kuwabara’s brutal death. First, it's rather shockingly touching for a character who started off as your archetypal Scut Farkus bully and is currently wearing a rather ostentatious boy band get-up. I’m in denial about it lasting - - there’s no way he’s going to be gone forever! He can’t be!
Maybe the knucklehead will come back in chibi form. I’ve got to say it was just a brilliant stroke to have Genkai possessing Puu. She was far too great of a foil to remove her from the cast entirely. Also, since I’m such a hard man, I was never especially swayed by that little Furby’s cuteness, so it pleases me greatly to see him actually being made useful, now. When the dust settles after this arc, I anticipate we’ll have a bent and hilarious spin on the mentor/disciple dynamic.
Aaaaaaaah! Only one more episode left to go! I can’t believe it! I feel like this can only end with Yusuke’s pounding Toguro’s evil self into rotten goo on the pavement and I know I’m going to relish every single moment of it!
Look up this episode, "Two Great Fighters' Confrontation” and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.