Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #13: Genkai's Test - 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. #13: Genkai's Test

By Chris Beveridge     September 04, 2003
Release Date: May 27, 2003

Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #13: Genkai's Test
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.

What They Say
During the past year of Yusuke Urameshi’s life the troubled teen has died, been resurrected, fought with and against strange demons, and entered a sinister competition where the penalty of losing is death! Yusuke only hopes that his experiences will propel his team into the final rounds of the Dark Tournament in one piece.

But as the semi-finals approach Team Urameshi’s leader is nowhere to be found! Deep in the woods he prepares to undergo the final test from his mentor, Genkai. With Yusuke facing certain doom away from the tournament, Hiei and the rest of Team Urameshi must pick up the slack against the unbelievable Team Uraotogi!

The Review!
It’s just about time for the semifinals, which means there’s a bit more fighting to do and then some big decisions to make.

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 in the menus.

There’s a gray border around the artwork on the front of the package here, which has a really nice cross sectiont heme going that has Hiei, Kurama and Kuwabara going down the strip with solid colors while Yusuke is doing a 3D style leap forward over them. 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)
A quick frustrating technical note: The 2nd episode on this volume, for those who watch with Japanese language subtitles, will realize that it's just not right. The subtitles are actually from the 3rd episode here and plain don't match up, resulting in us watching that episode in English. FUNimation is aware of the problem and has been working to correct/has corrected the supply chain for it. As they've addressed the issue and have been taking trade-ins via email (and our review is late) we're not going to beat up on them much about it.

After taking down several opponents in a row in the last volume, letting Team Urameshi move faster and further up the ranks, they finally get a skip day to deal with personal issues and to simply unwind and recuperate. Mixing this with checking out the remaining teams to see who else will be in the semifinals, since it’s now just them and three other teams to make it. It’s definitely reaching that “cream of the crop” mentality and we’re getting some truly nasty fighters.

The downtime does some good for most of the team. One of the more amusing aspects of it, though I get the feeling it wont’ be amusing later in the show, is that one of the very first things about this series comes back into play. The egg that Yusuke had to save way back at the start of his new life is brought to him by Koenma. This is the egg that would grow and reveal the inner nature of Yusuke, and if it was a demonic creature, it will consume him entirely.

So it’s not surprising that it’s a pudgy little purple creature with troll hair and big flappy ears. The critter is quickly adopted by the girls and nicknamed Puu. It’s evil reign has begun.

There’s two main paths that really get explored throughout the four episodes other than the downtime. The first is the detailing of information from Genkai about her form to Yusuke, which leads her into offering to teach him her biggest baddest move of them all, a move that requires a massive amount of condensed spiritual energy. She’s not sure he’s entirely up to it, but he can’t defeat Toguro without it. His decision to go with it keeps him from the beginning of the semifinals. His trial of going through the absorption takes up considerable time and effort.

But it’s nicely balanced with the first couple of rounds of the semifinals. With Team Urameshi weakened by two members at the moment, the opposing team lets chance play to see who fights who, though Hiei insists on taking as many on as possible. The battles here are quite interesting as the villains are starting to get nastier once you get past the first one. Hiei ends up coming across pretty well across this volume, both for his combat sequences and for the way he handles being ribbed by the others about his sister.

With this volume having four episodes, the story moves along nicely. Rounding out the last set of fights and providing some character downtime and then moving firmly into the semifinals, this series is still surprisingly enjoyable this many volumes into it. The sizeable cast and all their quirks are what really makes it fun, especially when we usually dread tournament style series.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Yamas Notebook,Character Profiles,Textless Opening,Textless 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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