Thursday, December 14, 2023

Yu Yu Hakusho - Episode 4


Episode 4
The reason for their invitation to the island becomes clear, as the quartet are informed about Sakyo’s intention of putting them in a mini tournament with some Yokai for the delight of bored gazillionaires in search of an otherworldly gladiator good time. Should they win, Yusuke gets to be reunited with Keiko; Hiei with his sister Yukina (Ai Mikami). Along the way, Kurama is ambushed by Karasu (Hiroya Shimizu) and his bombs, forcing him to unleash his white fox form. Even though his Yokai form doesn’t prove to be enough, Kurama defeats the enemy with a clever plant seeding technique. Hiei squares off with a giant axe wielding Yokai called Bui whom he beats with his black dragon technique after they get bored sword/axe fighting. Kuwabara runs into Keiko and falls in love at first sight with Yukina. As the trio find a way to safety, they are chased by a bloodthirsty Yokai and then cornered by the older Toguro. Meanwhile, Yusuke finds himself in the main arena and comes face to face with the younger Toguro.


And then our deepest fears came true. I’m sorry to break it to you this way, my bros, but our initial speculation has been correct all along. This is an ultra condensed version of the anime, with various subplots merged and others ignored altogether. The writer and the director handpicked interesting scenes from the anime and combined them for an extended five-hour TV movie. Personally, I don’t know whether I should be happy, sad or both. This live action rendition is enjoyable if all you care about are visuals. Those fight scenes, man, are awesome. I can say that over and over again. Awesome. The problem, however, is with the exposition. Those individual Kurama/Karasu and Hiei/Bui fight scenes alone are their very own multi-episode arcs in the anime. Juxtaposed here with each other and not even lasting 20 minutes, this version just lacks the complexity of how the plot in the anime unfolded, giving us awe-inspiring form but lacking in substance. At this rate, I don’t think there would even be a season two.

“Training under Genkai, Kuwabara mastered the spirit sword and Yusuke inherited the Spirit Wave Orb. During that time, Keiko was kidnapped by the Elder Toguro. Yusuke and company learned that Hiei's long-lost sister Yukina has also been captured, so they headed to Kubikukuri Island to rescue them. In the meantime, Genkai is assassinated by Younger Toguro, who had once trained together with her.”

<<Episode 3                                          Episode 5>>

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