Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #03 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 7.95
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-59116-183-5
  • Size: Tall B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #03

By Eduardo M. Chavez     July 12, 2004
Release Date: January 01, 2004

Yu Yu Hakusho Vol.#03
© Viz Media

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

What They Say
Yusuke Urameshi is back! When the teenage delinquent surprised the Underworld by dying heroically, he was given a chance - just one - to return to life. Now, having passed his trails in the spirit world, Yusuke is back in his body and ready to reclaim his turf from the other street punks. But for someone who's been to Hell and back, a normal life on the streets is no longer possible. Yusuke picked up some otherworldly powers while he was deas, and the Underworld is about to offer him a job as its official supernatural detective!

The Review
Set up similar to Shueisha's original version, VIZ has Yusuke in full yanki outfit (long coat with gang tags on it, over long pants with belt.). This image is framed around VIZ's Shonen Jump GN cover layout with large volume number on the right bottom corner and the mangaka to the left on a green to gray to black background. The back cover has Yusuke in a Sherlock Holmes type of detective outfit to the right of VIZ's blurb. I have to say I feel that the dialouge bubble stating that Shonen Jump is the world's most popular manga is a little tacky for my taste. Logo Check!! (2003 Megs)... The logo used by VIZ is okay. Its nowhere near as humorous or creative as the original which had spirits inside the kanji for YuYu. Their are some really nice notes and omake: preview of next volume, character info, "If I could be reincarnated as anyone" segment.

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 overall facial expressions and the transition from regular to SD versions are 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. This volume also has some nice sketches of Yusuke on the volume header and a couple chapter headers. They are very nice. I wish they were in color but just having them there is a treat.

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 an okay job with the translation. I thought this would be a tough translation because of the comedy but it really flows very well and doesn't really go too far off original content. There is a little more slang here than before and honorifics are not used at all.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the re-incarnation arc ending with volume two, volume three moves into the action heavy spirit detective arc. Just as soon as Yusuke was able to get around at a normal pace out come the recruits. Koenma has sent up Botan to "persuade" a certain young hooligan to help keep a sense of balance between the living and the Underworld.

While a part-time job would eat into his free-time Yusuke is in, as he knows that there are enough people around that are giving him problems and things could only get worse with demons, ghouls, and monsters around. Being a supernatural detective is not an easy job. Not just anyone has supernatural sensitivity or the ability to control their "reiki" (spirit energy). But with a few supernatural gadgets and maybe a little training someone with afterlife experience like Yusuke should be able to handle himself in due time.

Evil never waits. Yusuke was called out for duty immediately and he does not have a chance to really practice with some pushovers. His first case involves three wanted criminals. These underworld outlaws have stolen some powerful supernatural artifacts. Yusuke could really be outclassed here and he might not have a chance to take these guys down all at once. But Yusuke was never good with math. Once he found the whereabouts of this trio he attempts to arrest them all. He had his hands full with just one of them; imagine the outcome if they all decided to resist him instead of fleeing.
Beat up and doubting himself, Yusuke now understands that he has to use all of his tools to survive in this business. He was lucky to survive against one of these demons. Without a plan he might not be able to get any of the artifacts back. One by one he takes each one down.

Goki was a tough one as his body was as hard as steel. Yusuke's physical efforts were no where near enough to take him down. Street smarts got him out of this one and boy did he get lucky fighting someone as thick headed as he is. Kurama on the other had was actually looking for someone like Yusuke to help him. Kurama has an attachment to the living world. Poor judgement in his past forced him to make a decision on his life and he owes his current life to humanity. While Kurama might not feel the same way about every human there is at least one person that he wants to give his life-force for. While Yusuke did not have to hurt his knuckles with this arrest, he still gets really close to losing his life again to obtain another artifact. Finally, Hiei turned the tables on Yusuke. He wants all the artifacts for himself and he is willing to go through Yusuke to get them. A human should be no match for a demon like him. Give Hiei a demonic weapon and the odds should not be in favor of a mortal. But here is where we start to see Yusuke's physical skills. Up to know Yusuke's determination, compassion, and wits have been keeping him alive. Now Yusuke shows off just how talented he really is when his emotions are tested. Hiei takes Yusuke to the edge as he places a curse on Yusuke's close friend Keiko. But this only brings the bast out of Yusuke making him almost untouchable. His concentration was excellent; easily tracing the movements of the very fast Hiei. His own speed was increased catching up to and occasionally surpassing Hiei as he attacked with powerful blows. And when everything else failed he was smart enough to take a chance with everything he had left.

Three bad guys arrested; three artifacts collected; and completed in less than a week. All of it done with little experience. Koenma takes care of that as well. With little time to rest Yusuke was again off on assignment but this one will also involve some actual spiritual training. How does a mortal train their supernatural abilities??

With the start of the spirit detective arc YuYu turns toward more of an action theme. We still get some of the good compassion and comedy that made Yusuke such a fun character but now we get to see the tough guy side of him put to the test. So far Yusuke is up to the task but he has had a few slip-ups on the way. I like that. Yusuke is an anti-hero type that has compassion. He is not perfect but he uses his street smarts to get by and he learns from his mistakes as well as his lucky calls. Add to the mix a some interesting supporting characters - the honorable idiot Kawabara, the caring Keiko, and the reformed demon Kurama - and YuYu keeps up the upbeat comedy but now adds a1nother level with some decent action. I am not sure how that will hold up for fifteen more volumes but right now I am having a lot of fun.

For those looking for a good action comedy YuYu should be in your collection. Other series could be all action with little character development and awkward comedy. YuYu has a good mix of action and comedy that relies on the growth of the characters to change the mood of the story. Yusuke as he develops is an interesting protagonist. He is not at all someone you should look up to in the real world but in the underworld you may want to keep your distance.

For those looking for more of what you saw in the first volumes you may want to rethink this series. The spirit detective arc is going to increase the action with every volume. Yusuke, and soon Kuwabara, will be in hand to hand, spirit to spirit combat for a while and the sweet stories that were in the resurrection arc will soon become rare.

I have to admit YuYu initially got me hooked with the first two volumes when I first read it in the 90's. I love the concept of a yanki turned hero. And while I am not a fan of shonen fighting manga Yusuke's development kept me reading more. Volume three presents some the traits that will be brought to the forefront as Yusuke grows as a young man. He has a ways to go but seeing that potential there makes me very excited for the future of this series.

Recommended .


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