Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #05 (Mania.com)

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Release Date: Wednesday, September 01, 2004



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Togashi Yoshihiro
Translated by:Lillian Olsen
Adapted by:

What They Say
THE FOUR BEASTS
Yusuke Urameshi was just another street punk until he died in an unexpected act of self-sacrifice... and came back. Now he's the Underworld's official supernatural detective, charged with keeping the peace between the mortal and immortal realms.

That peace has been shattered. A gang of demons call the Four Beasts is infecting humanity with a swarm of nasty supernatural brain bugs. The only way to control the bugs is with an enchanted whistle... and the only way to the whistle is straight through the Four Beasts! Yusuke and his fellow delinquent Kuwabara have descended into the Underworld to do a little exterminating, but two human teenagers can't take down the toughest demonic criminals on the supernatural plane! Good thing they've got backup...

The Review
Packaging:
Set up similar to Shueisha's original version, Viz has the human members Team Yusuke in their in their school uniforms acting as cold as possible. The color looks a bit better than previous volumes that were a shade or two off two bright for some reason. This image is framed around Viz's Shonen Jump GN cover layout, this time in yellow, with large volume number on the right bottom corner and the mangaka to the left on a gray to black background. The back cover has a portrait of Keiko next to Viz's long description blurb. I have to say I feel that the dialogue bubble stating that Shonen Jump is the world's most popular manga is a little tacky for my taste. The logo used by Viz is okay. It's nowhere near as humorous or creative as the original, which had spirits inside the kanji for YuYu.

Print quality looks really good, so the issues I had in earlier volumes appear to have been taken care off. Viz has also done a decent job with the omake, which include a review of the series so far, "If I Were Ever Reincarnated" segment, lots of bumper art and a preview of volume 6. Viz also included a few ads - Bleach and Rurouni Kenshin.

Artwork:
The art of YuYu is really interesting. Most of the character designs for supporting characters tend to have more detail than those of main characters, but facial expressions and the transition from regular to SD versions is very good. YuYu relies a bit on its sight gags and with some weird faces making funny faces you really get a good share of laughs from the art as well as the writing. Backgrounds can be pretty detailed at times which really helps out the already complex but easy to follow layout. Lots out of panel characters, varied panel sizes and interesting perspective made for a fun experience.

Translation/SFX:
SFX are all overlaid. Personally I do not like this technique as I feel as if I am not getting all of the art that was there. Luckily things are done in a tasteful manner so it's not a total loss. Most signs are overlaid. This manga is right to left; so no problems here.

VIZ does a solid job with the translation. I thought this would be tough translation because of the comedy but it really flows very well and doesn't really seem to be far off original content. Yuusuke's name is shortened to Yusuke; everyone else seems to be fine (so far). They provide a decent amount of helpful cultural notes, which were mainly placed in the panel gutters. There are a few Americanizations here and there, but I have come to expect that for Shonen Jump titles (especially those with anime versions in America).

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Tower of Terror arc continues and after surviving Kurama's battle, the gang of four have escaped briefly only to run into the second of the Four Legendary Beasts - Byakko the White Tiger. The team has realized that the ideal way to reaching the top of this tower and the final beast is by taking them on one-by-one. Each member would take on a different opponent, with the perfect result being a victory for each member of Urameshi's team, which would mean the defeat of each Legendary Beast. After the first battle such a thought should have been considered wishful thinking, nevertheless these warriors have not begun to consider any other result.

Moreover, with the battle is being fought on two fronts, negative results would lead to dire consequences in the human realm. Imagine if the spirit realm were to gain more influence on the human realm. Humanity is full of strong warriors, however there are no rei-guns, no reiki swords and definitely, no rose whips available to the majority of them. What if someone like Keiko was wrapped up in this battle? Who would protect her? Too much to risk and Yusuke knows this. And equally important his friends, Kuwabara, Kurama and even Hiei understand the importance of this now, as well.

Comments
The tournament aspect of YuYu has begun and I am not too thrilled. I have always felt that this series was stronger without battle scene after battle scene. What helped me give this volume a B- was the drama in the human realm. This is something I wish would be further pursued. The idea of having a spirit detective should be able to take advantage of how the characters, at least some of them, are able to easily do their work in both realms. Since this series became a fighting manga, Yusuke and now Kuwabara, have spent most of their time in the spirit realm (often eating up volumes fighting their way through a tournament). The human realm and the problems that have to happening there, has been ignored. Togashi was able to bring not just drama but action back there and he does it by using characters that readers are lead to believe are weak and incapable of defending themselves. Through adversity and desperation even those who we think are the weakest among us can be strong and capable of powerful feats in their own way. Ideas like teamwork and friendship are also commendable but they could be done in so many different ways (as was the case at the start of the series).

It is not that I do not like action. I also like how Togashi is able to mix in existing legends, like the Four Beasts and Enma, to this fantasy title. Seeing fight, after fight, after fight gets boring and this seriously is only the start of this trend. Many readers can get past that, and I did when I first read this series years ago, but it does not have the replay (re-read??) value I thought it would have.



Mania Grade: B-
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 7.95
Pages: 206
ISBN: 1-59116-521-0
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left