Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #09: Deathmatch (Mania.com)
Review Date: Sunday, April 13, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2003
The Dark Tournament continues as Team Urameshi continue their deadly battle with Team Rokuyukai
The audio is excellent. The Japanese dub is very good, but the English dub is the best of the two. The characters sound more dynamic and they show a lot more emotion. The left channel gets the most of the background but the right one is as equally good.
The colors are very bright on DVD as compared to the Adult Swim version currently on TV. This is the best I have ever seen YuYu on DVD. The only problem I can see is the colors get a little drab when multiple animations are seen. Other than that, this is a great transfer for a 10 plus year old show. The openings and endings are both selectable in either Japanese and English, and they are both accessible through alternate angles.
There is a gray border with Japanese writing while a cover shot is inside of the border. The front cover shot is of Yusuke and his opponent, Team Rokuyukai leader Chu as they are staring each other with Yusuke's foot pressed up against a knife that is on the ground. The front cover shot is good as it sets up the impending match between team leaders. The insert in the DVD has a large picture of Yusuke and Chu in front, while in the back it has a summary of the episodes that will be on this DVD. The back cover has a shot of Yusuke's face embedded on the background. The back cover presents a small summary and some screen shots of what will be in this DVD.. There is also the episodes that will be in this DVD as well as the titles of the episodes. The extras that will be on this DVD are also on the back cover. Overall a very good design on the Yu Yu packaging.
Deathmatch's main menu starts out as they show fading shots of each of the Team Urameshi members and then it goes to a widescreen shot of the Tournament match floor. The main menu is done very good as it has four sections to it: Play All, Episodes, Languages, and Extras. The menus access is very fast and it never really slows at all. The menu access is also incredibly easy and it runs very smooth.
The extras on this DVD are the Opening and Two Closing Textless songs. There are also extras on a YuYu action figure, some trailers including one for DBZ: Super Android 13, Yama's notebook, and some character profiles. The extras on this DVD are pretty good considering there are 4 complete episodes on this DVD.
Content: (Spoilers included, be warned!)
This is volume number nine in the series and is the second volume in the Dark Tournament saga. Team Urameshi continues their battle with their first round opponent Team Rokuyukai. These are the uncut episodes on this DVD, and it shows with a lot of blood, language, and tons of violence. This is the most action packed of the volumes so far, as every episode has a fight, if not two.
The first episode is # 29 Flowers of Blood in which continues Kuwabara's fight against the Child demon Rinku and his serpent Yo-Yo. This is one funny match, because it's so funny that Kuwabara can't even put any offense against a kid and his yo-yo. At the mid-point of the episode Kuwabara loses and sets his team 1-0 when he couldn't get back in the ring before the 10 count. The episode continues as it is now Kurama's turn to fight, his opponent is Roto the knife in the skin demon. Kurama easily handles Roto until he makes a threat to Kurama's human mother Suichi and he is forced to lose, it's almost over until Kurama secretly puts a demon seed into Roto's body and he dies as a result of it.
The best episode would have to be episode 30 which is called Dragon of the Darkness Flame. This is essentially Hiei's episode as he fights with the supposed leader of the Rokuyukai team, Zeru. They both do their finishers but Hiei counters as he uses his Jigan Eye to survive Zeru's fire attack. At the end of the fight, Hiei finishes him with one of the coolest finishing moves I have seen in Anime, The Dragon of the Darkness Flame. Just watch as his silhouette goes through the screen and watch the horror on Zeru's face as he dies and only his cinder is left.
That isn't even the end, as Yusuke finally wakes up from his sleep to fight Team Rokuyukai's real leader Chu. Chu is a drunken master and provides some of the funniest moments from these episodes. He is so funny because he can't even stand on his two feet and he loses his spot on the Rokuyukai team because of the fact that he got stuck on Scissors when playing Paper, Rock, Scissors. Another funny moment is when a demon in the crowd calls him a Pathetic Drunk substitute fighter and he gets mad because they called him a "Substitute". They both fight to their deaths and as they waste their Spirit energies, they have to finish the match by doing a Knife Edge death match. In the end, Yusuke beats Chu when they both exchange crushing headbutts but alas Yusuke's head is too strong for Chu's. The episode ends as Yusuke gives spectator Toguro a flipping of the bird.
Thus concludes the Deathmatch DVD of YuYu Hakusho. This DVD is just a really great DVD. It has some great action, some great laughs, and a great storyline. If you're a YuYu Hakusho fan, you really owe it to yourself to check out this volume.
Sony 32 inch Trintron TV, Sony DD Receiver, Lasonic All Region DVD Player, MTX Speakers
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Yu Yu Hakusho