Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #14: No Return - 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. #14: No Return

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

Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #14: No Return
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.

What They Say
The final moments of the epic battle between Team Urameshi and Team Uraotogi have arrived! Yusuke is riddled with crippling pain…and he hasn’t yet stepped into the ring of battle!

After a devious trick by the cunning Ura Urashima, Kurama undergoes a startling transformation that finally reveals his true form! Kuwabara faces off against Shishi Wakamaru, but gets sent through a dimensional portal! And a weakened Genkai must uncover the truth about the shape shifting Onji and prevent her team from suffering a stunning loss!

The Review!
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, unfortunately the artwork looks more like soft fuzzy shots from the show itself mixed together into an unappealing collage. 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 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 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 another four episode release, the semifinals move quickly along, allowing us to get through more of the battles and various foes in a single episode than multi-episode battles. Those will be saved for the likes of Toguro’s group and for Yusuke to get into.

The battles here are quite fun though. The opening one brings a rather uninspired little guy to go up against Kurama who ends up losing some of his control with this particular gentleman and ends up showing his true form, something he’s managed to keep hidden since his merging with the human baby all those years ago. The actual onscreen return of the legendary fox thief is rather exciting, especially since his personality is somewhat different from the Kurama we know. Of course, he’s even more attractive in this form, something the women don’t fail to notice.

One of the more comical aspects of the battles this time around was deciding who would go up against Shishiwakamura, since both Hiei and Kurama are itching to fight more and Kuwabara wants to get in on the action. A round of junken-pow is played, resulting in many, many, many ties (after explaining to Hiei how the game works, something he masters quickly). Kuwabara’s not exactly the best choice to go up against, well, most of these people and you can feel that his time with Wakamura are going to be somewhat silly and definitely not in his favor. But it does lead to bringing in someone else to take over after he gets nailed easily by Wakamura with a ring-out.

Some more time is also spent with Yusuke as he deals with coming to grips with having all the new power in him. His battle is the kind that goes right to the edge of his limits and does a fancy dance just beyond them. The arrival of Puu though brings something of a change to things, something I don’t think Genkai had counted on or could have planned for. But watching the scenes with that little critter, he just brings so much emotion to such a small piece of fur and ears.

Things are definitely getting closer to going to the next level here, between both the semifinals and Yusuke’s own battle. While this area doesn’t feel exactly like the characters are spinning their wheels, a lot of them are just getting their comfort level set and focusing on moving up and on with things, so there isn’t quite as much anticipation with these battles. The show continues to be fun to watch though.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Yama's Notbook,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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