Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #18: Deadly Toguro - Mania.com



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Info:

  • 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. #18: Deadly Toguro

By Chris Beveridge     November 06, 2003
Release Date: November 04, 2003


Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #18: Deadly Toguro
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
After being informed of Genkai's death, Kuwabara strikes in rage at the elder Toguro only to learn of his amazing defensive ability. Kuwabara must somehow control his rage and keep his wits if he is to defeat the bizarre adversary in the most intense battle of his life.

Sakyo proposes that Yusuke and the younger Toguro settle the finals themselves. If Yusuke wins, Sakyo will sacrifice himself! Not to be outdone, Koenma makes the same promise should Toguro win! Yusuke's dream of making the finals of the Dark Tournament has become reality. Walking away in one piece might not be so easy!

The Review!
And with the first episode here, it is firmly shown why Kuwabara simply is… the man.

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 in the menus.

Packaging:
There’s a gray border around the artwork on the front of the package here, and once again we get some poor looking artwork that looks more like soft fuzzy shots from the show. The mixing of different forms and styles of the team captains and their backers doesn’t mesh well here with the varied lighting and all. 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 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.

Extras:
The extras are roughly the same kind as the previous volumes, 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)
As the final rounds continue, three more episodes get churned out and the action only gets more intense. This is where the low episode counts and the varied release frequency really starts to become problematic since there’s something of a climax coming soon and the next episode can’t get here fast enough.

While the previous volume finished out Kurama and let Hiei get going, it also teased with the beginning of the fight between the Elder Toguro and Kuwabara. Kuwabara found himself to be rather shocked when the Elder Toguro revealed to him that Genkai was indeed dead, something that his teammates had not told him. Part of this came down to the simple fact that both Hiei and Kurama felt her passing since she was a loss of that magnitude while Yusuke was present at the scene and was trying to believe that if he didn’t say it, she’d be able to come back. Suffice to say, Kuwabara didn’t make the connection at all and is furious about the entire thing. Seeing it replayed in front of him only pushes him further off the edge.

His battle with the Elder Toguro is fantastic. It truly does show why he is the man of this series. Kurama may have the pretty boy looks, Hiei may have that wild eye “Wolverine” style feel and Yusuke is just the rough and tumble nice guy, but Kuwabara is all about style and substance. Who else could carry off that all white ensemble of pants and trench coat with bandages around his waist while also being bare-chested? Never mind the writing in red down the back of his jacket. With his rough looks and dark hair, Kuwabara is just the character that stands out here.

With his final fight with the Elder Toguro, he manages to up and change his powers again, particularly combined with the new weapon he gained. Adding in some actual creativity on his part and his fight was just a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Always being considered the weaker of the bunch, it’s great to see him continually get up and go in kicking and doing his damndest to win, even if he does try to be a showman at times.

With that match out of the way though, things are set up for Yusuke and the younger Toguro to go to town now. This doesn’t happen as quickly as expected though as Sakyo steps into the ring and makes a wager with the other team, if approved by them and those in charge of the tournament. Acknowledging his inability to fight well in this match, he offers to make the next match worth two points, essentially making it the deciding round, if everyone agrees. Since it speeds everything up and since Toguro and Yusuke have been itching to fight for long enough now as it is, everyone agrees to it (especially Koenma since it gets him out of a fight) and the final match begins.

This is the match where it all gets nice and brutal, as if the earlier ones weren’t bad enough. Toguro and Yusuke go right in at near total power levels and try to hammer each other quickly and forcefully, each doing anything within their powers. The beginning of this match is fantastic and very much what one would expect after all this time and after the buildup of powers.

At this point, I have to wonder how many episodes this match will run before it ends and what kind of tricks are coming up after it since it’s hard to believe we’re potentially that close to the end of the Dark Tournament phase. I’m still no fan of tournament shows, but this one continues to be something I enjoy for some strange reason.

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

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP 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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