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"Yu Yu Hakusho" Dead At 112 Episodes

by on October 29, 2005

Yusuke Urameshi is dead.

At least, that’s how the first episode ended. Or was that Tekken 5 or Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance? Either way, he’s been back for the better part of a hundred episodes at this point, and is currently fighting in the tournament to decide the fate of the demon realm. If he wins, everything’s safe for Earth. If he doesn’t, it’s all up to the new king of the world. He could bar anything from crossing over into our world or he could send an army there to destroy us.

Lucky is a family guy!

Yu Yu Hakusho has been FUNimation’s third-longest series so far (eclipsed by only the Dragon Ball-verse and Case Closed, though how far they go into that one remains to be seen), and it has definitely been a treat. In many ways, it’s the thinking man’s realistic Dragon Ball Z, and we’re finally at the end of the series. How does it all wrap up? Does it satisfy, or leave viewers wanting more of our favorite Spirit Detective? And did FUNimation finally cough up some extras?

“A Reason to Fight” is, cleverly enough, about Yusuke’s reason to fight. The kid has always had a reason, whether it was to regain his life, to save his gal, to defend his friends, and so forth. He realizes there’s no reason to fight in this tournament, outside of the ones he’d create himself. Is pure drive to win reason enough? The fight definitely gets tough in this match, and with Yusuke’s uncertainty, we’re not sure who will win.

“Closure” ends the fight in an unexpected way. Not to spoil, but the aftermath is very surprising and satisfactory, completely avoiding what you’d expect from a fighting show like this. As the end of the current plot, things are wrapped up enough, though a little too quickly. The episode has one incredibly saving grace of a joke, slightly breaking the fourth wall. It’s not “Newhart” shattering, but it’s definitely in line with some sitcom surprises.

On to the final episode, or “To the Future” in this case. Set a while after the tournament, all the remaining heroes meet up at Genkai’s place to reminisce about good times and prepare for bad ones. As the episode on the disc with the least action, it mostly consists of some good dialogue, and a very, very sweet ending.

Thus the tale of Yusuke Urameshi comes to a satisfying conclusion. While there will always be plots we want to revisit, or more adventures we’d love to see, any ending will be sad if done right, and to the creators’ credit, I was just plain sad.

The final spirit gun.

With the final volume of the series pressed and in my hands, I’m overjoyed to say FUNimation actually did one of the extras I was dying for. Almost overdid, actually. Depending on how you count, the disc has five or six commentaries, featuring the ADR and mixing people, the supporting cast, the writers and the leading cast. The voice of Yusuke, among many other roles, does a “Memoirs of Yu Yu Hakusho,” recalling his time on the series.

The debatable sixth commentary is nothing but outtakes and foul-ups, and neither covers the length of the whole episode nor references the one playing; I’d advise you just to turn off the TV monitor and listen. While the commentaries rarely touch upon what’s happening on screen (unless it’s something notable, like the hilarious narrator revelation), they definitely are informative and fun, so you’re going to love ’em. And the classic extras are here too: trailers, textless songs, kanji translations, and character profiles.

Yu Yu Hakusho was an excellent series and has finished its run with an excellent disc. Even if you haven’t followed every episode of the series, if you’re interested go grab this disc. Never seen YYH? Go back to the beginning and hop on the Spirit Detective bandwagon with the promise of a satisfying conclusion in the distance.

Episodes Included in this Volume
Episode 110- “A Reason to Fight”
Episode 111- “Closure”
Episode 112- “To the Future”

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