Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #32: Yusuke Rediscovered - 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: All Region DVD
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Yu Yu Hakusho

Yu Yu Hakusho Vol. #32: Yusuke Rediscovered

By Chris Beveridge     July 20, 2005
Release Date: July 19, 2005

What They Say
Yusuke Urameshi has been fighting most of his life. At first he found himself at odds with his teachers and classmates. Then he was named Spirit Detective, a job that produced showdowns with the infamous Toguro Brothers and a former Spirit Detective, Shinobu Sensui.

But now Yusuke questions his real motivations for choosing the life he leads. And what will his new discovery do for his chances of winning the tournament? All roads lead to the future in the final installment of Yu Yu Hakusho!

The Review!
After one hundred and twelve episodes, roughly forty-five hours worth of viewing, done over three years of releases, Yu Yu Hakusho has come to a close with this volume and it ends in a very satisfying manner.

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 we get another of one of the very few really good looking covers with this one focusing on the beach sequence of this volume with the primary characters all around. The colors and designs just look really nice here and it's a good end of series cover. 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. No insert was included in this release.

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. One new extra added to this release is a series of commentaries. With the way these are set up as being available only from the extras and not on the fly over the episodes, we skimmed only a couple of them after finishing the show. At that point, I wasn't all that interested in checking out more about the show since it ended in such a solid way.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Everything comes to a conclusion with the first two episodes on this three episode volume in regards to the Three Kings arc as the tournament hits its big moments. Everything has progressed rather amicably so far and continues on that way but even though we've had some good fights so far, the real stuff is just about to happen but without all of the things that will have them run over several episodes since it's just about over.

The shift of the fights to focus on just Yomi and Yusuke isn't terribly surprising though it was one to see that Mokuru's fight ended up being shortened. As the fight between Yusuke and Yomi gets underway and they really start getting into it, their power and Yokai level gets up so high that it becomes something that causes the other events to stop and stare since the power is just so immense. Pushed to the side, the focus goes directly to the main fight and like a few other fights over the course of this series, it's really something to watch. Very few fight scenes across any number of series have you on the edge of your seat but watching as these two fight it out, two people who live for the challenge and become so single-focused on their object, is just very well done. While the overall tournament is cut short compared to previous arcs, there's no less tension here as these two raise the bar over and over.

Watching Yusuke in particular is the best part. They avoid doing any real flashbacks to the past in using old footage, but you can't help but to think of what this character was like when we first met him. The change in his character design has been a bit subtle overall and with the extension of there being a few years taking place during all of this, it's a bit more noticeable as he strips down to take on Yomi and his demonkin markings come out. This is also nicely balanced out by the way his facial expressions are during the fight as it shows just how much he loves doing what he's doing, regardless of the consequences.

The follow-up episode to everything which shifts the focus back to the Human Realm is just what was needed. Bringing back in characters that have been away for the bulk of this arc and dealing with them being a few years older as well was just right. The more dialogue driven episode which focuses on how things have changed and what's gone on since the tournament provides the right amount of closure to that arc but it also lets these characters get a final send-off of sorts. Giving Keiko some screen time again, an older and more attractive Keiko at that, as well as rounding things out by letting Ba-chan bring everyone together for her own reasons really helps with bringing everything to a close. It's a bit somber at times but it felt like the perfect way to end everything.

In Summary:
Back when this series started its release in 2002, I was really ambivalent about it since it was both so long and being released with far too few episodes per volume. It did take awhile before the show really won us over but as it progressed it was a very enjoyable tournament/fighting series that had some neat little quirks to it, a fun cast of characters and a good sense of humor about things. It knew when to be nastily violent as well as when to make the mood light and when to mix those two things. While the last arc does have something of a rushed feeling to it, it does bring everything to a very satisfying conclusion and has left me with very fond memories of the show overall. While it's easy to understand why people passed up the single volume releases, I definitely encourage folks to check out the box set compilations and see if the show is right for you.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Yama's Notebook,Character Profiles,Textless Opening,Textless Ending,Five Commentaries

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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