Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #07: Rescue Yukina - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 12 & 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

Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #07: Rescue Yukina

By Chris Beveridge     December 12, 2002
Release Date: December 10, 2002


Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #07: Rescue Yukina
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
Contains:
Lamenting Beauty
Yukina is a beautiful Ice Apparition whose tears transform into priceless jewels. Now, a filthy human crime lord named Tarukane has kidnapped Yukina, planning to extract her tears through torture and make a fortune! Yusuke, Kuwabara, and Botan must quickly mount a rescue mission. But why is Hiei not allowed to know?

The Toguro Brothers Gang
Yusuke’s Spirit Detective team continues toward Tarukane’s mountain stronghold, facing a small army of grotesque demon guards. It seems an alliance has formed between human criminals and demon mercenaries, with money as the bottom-line. Yet Kuwabara plows fearlessly ahead— declaring he’s in love with Yukina!

The Deadly Triad
Struggling their way to the front gates of Tarukane’s stronghold, Yusuke, Kuwabara, and Botan now face a much greater challenge: three notorious demon fighters known throughout Spirit World as the Triad! Can the Spirit Detective team fight three outlandish opponents one after another, and save the tortured Yukina?

Kuwabara’s Fight of Love
One giant battle stands in the way of rescuing Yukina. Yusuke and Kuwabara versus the leaders of the demon mercenaries, the immensely powerful—and bizarre---Toguro Brothers! What will it take to defeat the freakish duo in a fight where anything goes? Elsewhere, Kurama races to stop Hiei, who is entering Tarukane’s stronghold with his own violent agenda!

The Review!
With the conclusion of the previous arc behind us, we move off into new territory here and a bit more information about our group of heroes comes to light.

Audio:
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.

Video:
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.

Packaging:
There’s a gray border around the artwork on the front of the package here, with Yusuke and Kuwabara in action along the bottom while larger but in the background is the new action villains for this arc. 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.

Menu:
The menus are nice and simple and feature some good bits of animation with the backgrounds moving around to give it a polished and professional feel. These are quite nicely done. 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.

Extras:
The extras here are roughly the same kind as the previous volume, 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 sequences. 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)
With the Holy Beasts saga now thankfully behind us, since it was a sidestep plot that I just couldn’t get into all that much, things shift into a bit more of an interesting if predictable route here as the cast shrinks back to the core and heads off to a new adventure.

Being the creative pacifier sucker that he is, Koenma Jr. sends a videotape via Hiei to Yusuke about their next mission. This provides instant entertainment as we get all Koenma related openings parodying Hollywood ones as well as a brief amusing commentary by the characters about Koenma Jr. The tape roles and Koenma informs them that if anyone else sees it, they’ll just see weird images and won’t understand a thing, since it’s meant just for them. So Botan, Kuwabara and Yusuke listen on as Koenma Jr. tells them about an ice princess whose been captured by an evil man. This man is using her to create some very precious jewels that form from the sadness and her tears, jewels worth billions of yen.

The wealthy evil guy behind all of this is Tarukane, someone whose made it his life to acquire more and more riches. He’s set up a rather massive villa out in the middle of a forest at the base of a mountain where he’s keeping Yurika, the ice maiden, to do his wishes. Unfortunately, for some time now, she’s managed to harden herself enough not to cry, so he’s losing money on his investment. To rectify this, he’s brought in the Toguro brothers to deal with her and give her the right encouragement to start producing the goods again.

Initially, Kuwabara had no interest in taking up his reikei sword again and doing battle, but once he lays eyes in Yurika in the tape, he’s off and ready to go with the other two to deal with the situation. So we’ve got the three leads, Yusuke, Botan and Kuwabara, going into the protected mansion to free the girl, while Hiei observes from a distance. Their attack on the mansion leads to some high stakes betting inside, and we get to enjoy the results of both. The Toguro brothers employ some pretty basic but decent Yokai in their defense, and most of these battles make up the bulk of the episodes after we get some new relationship information and the general set up of the bad guys.

That’s not bad really, since this is a more down to earth style battle. With the Holy Beasts from before, you start getting into the bigger and stranger world of bad guys while here you get something that, while still weird and strange, is more tangible to the viewer. It’s not as fantastic as the Holy Beasts. You get more human interaction and more real world settings gone weird, which works really well here to me, much more so than the fantastic.

This arc has definitely helped get me back into the mood of really enjoying the series after the last arc. The humor is just right, plenty of action and an uptick in the quality level of the animation. Good stuff, even if some of the fight scenes looked like they were done in the Flame of Recca series.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Yama's Notebook,Character Profiles,Textless Opening/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.

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