Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #10: The Evil Dr. Ichigaki - Mania.com

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  • 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

Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #10: The Evil Dr. Ichigaki

By Chris Beveridge     April 29, 2003
Release Date: January 21, 2003

Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #10: The Evil Dr. Ichigaki
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.

What They Say
A Day in Waiting
The drama of the first round behind them, Yusuke’s team tries to regroup. But as they soon realize, not even the quiet moments are safe on Hanging Neck Island. Preoccupied by the discovery that his Spirit Gun won’t fire, Yusuke is ambushed by a loose-cannon competitor. Meanwhile, on the rocky shore, Hiei faces the consequences of his deadly dragon attack.

Percentage of Victory
The Dark Tournament speeds into round two, plotting Team Urameshi against the Dr. Ichigaki Team, quiet fighters with a propensity for chopping off heads. But the morning before the fight, Kuwabara is awakened by a haunting dream. Their opponents are actually humans twisted by a strange experiment. And if his team loses, Yusuke will be the doctor’s next guinea pig!

Glimpse Beneath the Mask
It’s a three-on-three battle royal— with Kurama and Hiei still missing. In the heated battle, a rip on the Masked Fighter’s headdress gives a surprising peak to the warrior’s true identity! But there’s little time to ponder, as Kuwabara now refuses to fight! He senses his opponents are good at heart and implores them to save themselves! Will this sacrifice be in vain?

Ambition Destroyed: A Trial of Light
The human experiments are clearly fighting against their will, begging "Kill us" as they continue to attack. Infuriated by the doctor’s perverse manipulations, Yusuke reaches deeper into his powers than ever before, and prepares to grant their wishes. But the Masked Fighter intervenes, boasting a different and most peculiar plan.

The Review!
As if the tournament wasn’t getting nasty enough with the fight with Chu, it gets even more involved with these four episodes.

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.

There’s a gray border around the artwork on the front of the package here, a decent looking collage of characters, from the unmasked Masked Woman to the main enemy of this particular round. 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 here 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 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. 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 this volume, entitled “The Evil Dr. Ichigaki”, we end up with four episodes that contain a fairly lengthy fight sequence once it gets underway. With the first round of the tournament done, Team Urameshi gets a night of rest but ends up spending most of the next day either checking out the remaining fights or getting themselves prepped for their next round.

With the downtime, we get some good moments of letting the cast unwind a bit and feel good about how far they’ve gotten, though there’s still the determination for what’s ahead. This becomes quite strongly reinforced when their real foe, Tugoro, gets to take on one of the opposing teams all by himself. It’s such a lopsided fight as he ends up fighting all five of his opponents at once, and even brings himself up to 45% of his full power out of respect. Suffice to say, it’s a quick and brutal match as he ends up nailing them bad. But this is all done really just to remind Urameshi of what they’re really up against.

Once that’s out of the way, the show moves quickly to the second round of the fights and introduces the evil Dr. Ichigaki and his team of zombies. His warriors are all very highly skilled martial artists who have signed over their lives essentially to Ichigaki for his healing of their wounded master. Ichigaki’s plans for them, as we see in flashbacks, are rather nasty. He’s essentially attached a second heart to their backs, which overpowers them and allows him to control them fully, both physically and mentally. So he now has a group of very powerful warriors at his disposal who accede to his every command.

When the Team Urameshi knows this, particularly Kuwabara, they start changing their tactics to try and free them, as one would expect. This leads to some really amusing fights, as the most they can do is run away and try to talk sense into them, but it also allows the Mask member of the group to get more involved. We actually get to see behind the mask this time around, but that mystery isn’t explored terribly much yet, but there’s definitely something interesting going on with her.

While a lot of this was filled with an extended fight sequence, it played out nicely if just a bit overlong for my tastes. The progression in the matches is definitely picking up overall though and the team is getting pushed harder than they expected. Hopefully things move along a bit faster in the next couple of volumes, though I’m strangely enjoying these fight sequences. Good stuff, stuff I’d normally not be all that interested in.

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

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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