Win or die
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 08/31/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The longest and most savage arc of the "Yu Yu Hakusho" series comes to an end.... just in time for our heroes to get blindsided by a brand new threat to the world. Ah, fun.
In fact, the third season of "Yu Yu Hakusho" is pretty much packed with entertainment. While the end of the Dark Tournament Arc is all hardcore, bloody action and quite a bit of pathos, the story that follows is even darker and more twisted -- although thankfully still tinged with a sense of humour. If only Yusuke's final duel with Toguro hadn't dragged out so long, this collection would have been ideal.
Kurama barely triumphs in his duel with Karasu, until a replay reveals that he lost the point anyway. So it falls to Hiei to fight the monstrously powerful Bui with his newly retrained Dragon of the Darkness Flame, shattering the stadium and threatening to destroy everyone around him. And Kuwabara goes up against the grotesque, unkillable Elder Toguro -- who drives him into a rage with the revelation of Genkai's death.
Then there's the duel everyone's been waiting for -- Yusuke and Younger Toguro. And though Yusuke's training has given him immense new powers, he still can't beat his demonic opponent. But then a familiar voice tells Toguro the secret to unlocking Yusuke's power -- kill one of his friends. And when Toguro seemingly murders a helpless Kuwabara, Yusuke's rage and grief cause his power to skyrocket -- but will it be enough to defeat Toguro's 100%?
Then there's the aftermath of the battle. The team thinks back on the person they all miss, and in the Spirit World, Genkai has an encounter with Toguro -- revealing his true motives.
But no sooner have the teammates returned home than Yusuke is kidnapped by a trio of teenage psychics, who are keeping him in the bizarre House of Four Dimensions. His friends undergo a series of trials to get to him, only to learn the true purpose of this exercise -- someone is forming a vast tunnel to the demon plane, which could unleash tanker-sized demons in less than a month. Yusuke and friends must stop the mastermind behind this -- but they must also deal with a squad of extremely lethal psychics...
The ending of the Dark Tournament is a pretty solid one -- lots of fiery black dragons, dismemberment, Toguro's gross green muscles, and a stadium that finally collapses. It's quite a credit that after dozens of fight scenes, this series still manages to amp up the voltage for the final round of fights, and delivers a few shocking twists along the way.
The big problems: a certain dead character fails to stay that way, and Toguro and Yusuke's battle is kind of anticlimactic after Hiei's literally earthshattering duel and Kuwabara's inspired attack on elder Toguro. Ah, well. You can't have it all.
But things really heat up in the beginning of the next arc. It starts off on a rather lighthearted note ("I'd rather not explain to your teacher why I can fly")), but once the whole Tunnel-to-Demon-World plot is revealed, things take a darker turn. We're treated to some truly gruesome fight scenes, such as that of the mad doctor who uses his "territory" to poison hundreds of people at once. And it's packed with secrets and mysteries, particularly about the new bad guy.
And fortunately the stories are still liberally speckled with humor, including Kuwabara's victory dance and Hiei's tumble out of a tree ("What repulsive creature makes my ears bleed?!"). But the most hilarious scene involves the composed, dignified Kurama screaming "BAAAAAAAAA!" behind a jealous classmate, and pulling a funny face.
Yusuke has a lot of growth in this season, and not all of it is good -- sometimes he seems deeply overconfident and rather obnoxious, but he also shows a great deal of caring for his friends. And in one harrowing episode he is forced to kill another human to save others, which is little comfort to the young Spirit Detective. I'm not sure why killing humans is any different from killing demons, though.
And Kurama gets to show his intellect in a series of psychological games with a snotty psychic classmate, while Hiei turns out to have plenty of power and the "abandon" to use it, but also an ill-used ego to match. And Kuwabara again proves that he's a lot cleverer than he looks, giving Yusuke the final push to victory and helping charge through the House of Four Dimensions.
Poor Yusuke and friends. They never get a break of more than two or three days before another disaster pops up like a toadstool. And the third season of "Yu Yu Hakusho" is definitely no exception."
My favorite part of the series
Dark Almasy | USA | 02/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is in my opinion the best part of the entire series as it is about the most action-packed part, with Teams Urameshi and Toguro bringing in the final bouts of the Dark Tournament, the entire Toguro team being Monstrously strong, and cunning versus the underdogs Team Urameshi who have yet to face such a ruthless enemy under such overwhelming odds, and both sides have a few tricks to unveil making for an exciting end to a deadly competition."
K. Reed | Killeen, Texas | 10/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Series is great, and now it is getting into the most exciting seasons.
I most definately think you should buy SEASON 1,2,3, and 4 when it comes out.
This is one of the best series EVER created."