You know, while I’m watchin’ and learnin’ from these long-form shows, I think a lot about the pluses and minuses of a story getting the sort of breathing room that 65 episodes afford. On the plus side, you get a real, bonafide saga and that saga gets to explore all the interesting, atypical scenarios that’d normally get cut off by run-time restrictions. On the minus side, you can’t help wondering about whether the crew maybe only has a certain amount of story they really need to tell, but their contract requires them to stretch that story out to fill whatever programming block’s been ordered.
For the most part, YU YU HAKUSHO has felt remarkably free of “filler.” It’s taken a… comprehensive approach to the mystical tournament storyline, but it’s at least offered something new and interesting to work with in each episode. There’s no DBZ-like instances of somebody leveling up for three straight episodes, in other words.
Well, there weren’t any until this episode, anyway. For some reason, this one opens with a good five or six minutes of footage we literally just saw in the last episode. Not a recap. Not some new edit that shows us something we missed. Just an abbreviated chunk of footage showing Toguro’s defeat again… just in case you missed it the first time maybe. Perhaps the studio was just pressed on a deadline?
Anyway, I’m happy that Kuwabara isn’t dead, of course, and I’m doubly happy that he faked his death to more-or-less prank Yusuke. I’m not as happy about Genkai’s spirit leaving Puu’s body, because that would’ve been a set-up for oodles of comedy. And I'm kind-of not sure what the significance of Kuwabara’s sister's “relationship” with the mob boss was (unless it was maybe just a matter of this bad girl swooning over the first employed man to offer her a light.)
I’ll have a lot more to say with the next episode, I think. The one that wraps this arc up (for sure, this time.)
Oh, and the gag about the two ref girls running for their lives only after the fox girl decides she needs to find the fish girl a man was a hoot! I adore the snarky creative licenses that the dub team takes!
Look up this episode, "Out With a Bang" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.