Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #25: In The Blood - 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: 24.98
  • Running time: 82
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Yu Yu Hakusho

Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #25: In The Blood

By Chris Beveridge     August 14, 2004
Release Date: August 17, 2004

Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #25: In The Blood
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.

What They Say
Yusuke is in the midst of the greatest battle of his life... and it's a battle that even he knows he might not win! Realizing the end may be near, Koenma reveals a secret of his own that just might buy the heroes a few moments to regroup.

After hearing Koenma's plan, Yusuke denies the Prince of Spirit World to put it into practice. Yusuke realizes he cannot defeat Sensui and comes to terms with his fate. Kuwabara watches in horror as the unthinkable happens... again.

The Review!
Just as things start to hit the extremes, Yusuke keeps reaching inside for that seemingly endless reserve of power and ability.

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, and not straying from the past covers, it's a bit murky in general. The art used for this particular cover manages to not look as collaged together as past covers since it's just got the two characters and they don't seem to be from completely different materials, so there's less shiftiness about it. 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 layout maintains its letterbox feel but places text in the letterbox sections such as the volume title and selections along the bottom. Some static artwork from the show is through the center along with the name of the current arc. 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 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 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 the like.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Yu Yu Haksuho is a show where even when it hits a standard of four episodes per volume, it feels like it goes by far too fast and it's too long until the next volume. With the way these arcs escalate and the battles get more intense, I envy those with the ability to wait for the box sets as they'll be able to fly through this and really build up the energy and enthusiasm that gets lost when the individual volumes finish.

As the battles do get more intense here and some of the final options are starting to be dragged out, there continues to be two main storylines that run through here plus an interesting tangential one. With the battle getting uglier and uglier and the damage in the cave so strong, those outside have noticed that Botan has disappeared. She's returned to the Spirit World where she's brought to Yama's attention just exactly what's going on. Though it doesn't take too long out of the four episodes, it provides some really interesting information about how things will finally play out. That little nugget, as interesting as it is, pales against the main story though.

Koenma's attempts to take down Sensui prove to be illuminating on a few levels. First and foremost is that we get to learn exactly what that little pacifier is really all about and it isn't what I expected at all. The truth about its powers gives a light into the larger picture of the multiple worlds and the future of humanity which reinforces the long view that those in the Spirit World usually take, as well as those in the Demon World. The importance of what's happening is really amplified by Koenma's maneuvers here and it's something that really sinks into Yusuke, though he doesn't show it. Even though he's been beaten senseless by the Kazuya aspect of Sensui, he's still not ready to let Koenma do what he needs to do.

Yusuke's ability to keep slugging it and going at it is something that continues to be one of his strongest points and while at times, like in parts of this volume, it gets to be something of a crutch and just a little too much, it does make for great dramatic sequences. With him working both with and against Koenma to take down Sensui, the battles between them continue to be a lot of fun to watch. The level of brutality in the continual slugfest is something that I normally just can't get into but this show manages to keep me interested in it and on the edge of my seat sometimes. With Sensui being forced to adopt into a different personality in this round, it manages to go up a few more notches as well, especially as we get a few more looks into his past.

What continues to be one of the best parts of the show focuses around my favorite character of Kuwabara. While they've essentially been locked away for much of this part of the arc inside the Yokai, as the battle comes to one of its first big climaxes things change that situation and they're able to be more interactive in everything. Just like in past arcs, there are things we learn about Kuwabara and what really makes him what he is that allows everything to push forward in a far more interesting manner. There's just simply something about this character and the way he carries himself in spite of all the power he really controls that is highly appealing and this volume takes him out of the cage he's been in for a bit and sets him on a path that gives him a chance to play against a past incident.

In Summary:
Yu Yu Hakusho continues to be a very fun and fast moving tournament style series that keeps my attention and has me looking forward to each volume. The show also manages to be hard to really review since it's always ratcheting things up and you end up spoiling entire sections. In the end, this volume did not disappoint when it comes to moving the fighting along, keeping the drama alive and still bringing more plot into play that heightens the stakes. Good stuff.

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

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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