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"Yu-Yu Hakusho": The Proof Is "In The Blood"

Sensui, the former Spirit Detective planning to open the gates of Hell, must have the gates of his mind opened up by the heroes if they wish to defeat him. With the revelation of his multiple personalities running the show, Yusuke and Koenma battle over how to save the day. Koenma plans to sacrifice himself by trapping Sensui between Hell and Earth, but Yusuke plans merely to knock out the black angel. Will lives have to be sacrificed? The answers lay splattered on the ground.

All right, I make no apologies here: if this is the first disc of Yu-Yu Hakusho you picked up, go return it. You need to go back either to the beginning of the series or at least to the beginning of Chapter Black and have a friend explain what’s going on. We’re roughly four-fifths of the way through the series, so this is not a good starting point.

However, assuming you’ve been watching up to this point, here’s where we stand. Yusuke and his merry gang of saviors of Earth are at the final battle with Sensui. As Itsuki, one of Sensui’s generals, has trapped Kuwabara, Hiei, and Kurama, the only hope to save humanity is street-punk Yusuke and pacifier-sucking Koenma, Prince of the afterlife. But they’re not facing off against one madman, they’re facing off against seven. And the name of them all is Sensui.

Wait, what? The truth of Sensui is finally revealed. It turns out Yusuke’s misinterpreted the “Seven Generals” comment he overheard, believing that it referred to the already-dispatched psychic allies of Sensui when in fact it referred to seven manifestations of Sensui himself.

As it turns out Sensui still has a moral code: he honestly believes he has never committed a sin. As a spirit detective he’d been faced with a dilemma: how do you punish if, in doing so, you must commit the same evils as those being punished? Sensui ran into a mental block, and thus created a new persona for every moral dilemma. Need to lie? Make a new persona that can lie. Need to kill? Don’t want that to corrupt your core soul, so make a new one.

The heroes don’t have enough time to get him into psychotherapy, as the gates of Hell will soon open. Koenma’s pacifier might be the only way to save the day. In it lies the power to create a barrier to close the gate, but Koenma was saving it for the next crisis of humanity in a few hundred years. Given that we won’t make it a dozen years with the gates open, Koenma decides to worry about this apocalypse now and wing it for any future ones. Yusuke, on the other hand, believes that he can physically take down his Spirit Detective predecessor.

At this point, I feel the need to invoke a spoiler warning. Do not read the following paragraph unless you want to know the major turn the battle takes in the second half of the disc.

As Kuwabara manages to rip the demon they’re trapped in half, the back-up heroes arrive to see the unthinkable. Sensui kills Yusuke within a split-second. At this point, it’s plan B or apocalypse. The death of the main character is handled dramatically well, even forgoing the standard “Last time” voice-over to just quietly replay the events of his murder. In the last episode, everything changes. Yusuke’s dead, Koenma’s father instigates the maneuvering of the Spirit Defense Force, and the heroes take the battle into Hell itself.

As always, the show is well-written, with fleshed out characters, good animation, nice battles, and the like. I don’t know how better to describe it, so I’ll just go back to my standard saying: “It’s Dragonball Z with brains”.

The disc is handled the exact same way as all previous volumes. Character profiles, textless songs, Yama’s Notebook, and trailers. Nothing extravagant, but better than, well, nothing.

Yu-Yu Hakusho fans, this disc is a must have. If you’re new, go back to the beginning. Yu-Yu Hakusho continues to pack a punch with every episode and this disc is punchier than most.

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