Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #15: Settle The Score (of 32) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, September 04, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, July 08, 2003

What They Say
Yusuke Urameshi has survived many battles in life, death, and beyond. But as his teacher and mentor heads toward her own destruction, the Spirit Detective finds himself unable to do anything about it!

Still locked in a deep slumber recovering from his ordeal, Yusuke dreams away as the nightmarish confrontation between Genkai and Toguro begins. The history of Genkai and Toguro is finally revealed as the last chapter of their twisted relationship turns the page on a new beginning in Yusuke’s life.

The Review!
Serving as a good transition set of episodes, there are sizeable changes made with this volume that set the stage for the future.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The track for this features a decent if pretty normal stereo mix. There’s little in the way of directionality and nothing going to the rear speakers at all. Most of the dialogue is center channel based but the music and most of the sound effects make use of the full left/right channels.

The transfer here looks pretty good with the masters here being in quite good condition. There’s hardly anything in the form of nicks or scratches or other print damage. Cross coloration is pretty minimal overall and everything looks good for colors and saturation. The animation itself doesn’t come off as striking since it’s mostly done in natural colors and nothing really vibrant. The openings and endings are done with alternate angles so you can see the translated versions or the original versions depending on the language you select in the menus.

There’s a gray border around the artwork on the front of the package here, and once again we get some poor looking artwork that looks more like soft fuzzy shots from the show mixed together into an unappealing collage. The back cover provides a couple paragraphs worth of show summary and a couple of small animation shots. The episode numbers and titles are listed as well as the discs features and extras. The insert provides the artwork from the front without the border and larger, a very nice touch. The reverse side provides an episode summary for each one on the disc, going into more detail than the back cover.

The menu retains the widescreen feel as well as the match-progress boxes to contain the selections while they use the imagery underneath of the arena itself and the crowds watching it. Access times are nice and fast and moving around is pretty logical, though the language selection area still strikes me as not being all that clear.

The extras are roughly the same kind as the previous volumes, which means some new text items and the like but also some of the same things we’ve seen already. The character profiles return again and we get another look at the textless opening and ending. Yama’s notebook is the main place for new items, with more behind the name translations showing up. There’s also a behind the kanji piece, some on the super titles and more fighting techniques.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While there’s a drop down to just three episodes here, it serves well in continuing to block off various segments of the show that feel natural ending areas. This volume brings the conclusion of the semifinals and then moves into some shake-ups in the cast.

The semifinals close out rather nicely as we get to see Team Toguro really go to town with just three of their members showing up, which comes across as an insult to the opposing team. Unfortunately for them, they’re simply outclassed in just about every way and are easily dispatched. The fun comes in actually getting to see some of the Toguro members use their powers instead of just standing around looking impressive. They’re definitely varied and quick to kill, which doesn’t let them show off much. Toguro’s brother does get to have some fun dialogue though as he messes with their heads some.

Time spent away from the semifinals involves some quality time between Genkai and those around her. Yusuke is still sleeping off his acquisition of new powers, but Genkai ends up meeting most everyone and says a few choice cryptic phrases. We’re sort of screwed from the surprise from the start since the episode is titled “The Death of Genkai”, something series like this have done in the past. Nothing like a little telegraphing eh?

With Toguro coming to meet Genkai, we start to learn more of their past and some interesting bits about Toguro himself, such as his change from human to Yokai fifty years past, a time when both he and Genkai were actually teammates in the tournament. While a lot of this is done throughout her fight with Toguro, it does a good job of really giving more depth to both characters as we learn more of their motivations, both in the past and in the present.

As mentioned earlier, this disc really serves as a closure to all the fights that have led up to the expected finals between Urameshi and Toguro. The post semifinal episodes bring closure to other aspects of the show and set things up for the next one, mostly focusing on Genkai and her relationship with Yusuke and how it’s moved to Yusuke now. Things go by pretty fast here with just the three episodes and several nicely done fight sequences. Leaving with an anticipation style cliffhanger, it really gets you eager to get the next volume as quickly as possible.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Yama's Notebook,Character Profiles,Textless Opening,Textless Ending

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
MSRP: 24.95
Running time: 62
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Yu Yu Hakusho