Yu Yu Hakusho: Dreams of Power

Yu Yu Hakusho: Dreams of Power


imageWhen we left Yu Yu Hakusho, a tournament for control of the Demon Realms was just heating up. Dreams of Power picks up there. We’re done with the preliminaries and now the serious fighting begins, as contestants battle each other and plots and machinations churn on. There’s a few nice bits that fill in background details, but this disc is another one that focuses mainly on the fighting.

Episode 107: The Demon World Tournament Begins
Fighting rages on as the first round comes to a close. Combat is reminiscent of a Dragonball Z episode, with lots of yelling and over the top attacks with bizarre names. The fight that’s the centerpiece of this episode is an aerial spectacle, with both contestants flying around to deliver multi-adjective punches of doom. But all is not fighting, as we find out more about Raizen and his powers…in between the fighting.

Episode 108: Farewell, Kurama
As the tournament continues, the series shifts its focus again, coming back to the red-haired Kurama on the phone with his mother. He used to be a cute, innocent little kid. My, how times change. Now he fights in a martial arts tournament for control of the Demon Realms, facing a man with the powers of a “doctor of darkness” and some nasty facial scars.

Episode 109: Love and War
Hiei and Mukuro showdown in this episode, while Kurama tries to recover from his injuries suffered in the previous episode.

The animation is good, as usual. There’s some nice techniques in this disc that I hadn’t run into before, such as going to uncolored black and white drawings during a particularly intense moment, and some freeze-framing of big hits in fight scenes that lend them a guttural oomph. Music is very, very sparse in these three episodes. I only remember hearing it once or twice, but it was decently used.

imageAll the cool fight scenes come at a price: the plot doesn’t move much at all and if you’re antsy, you might just wind up fast-forwarding to the story bits in each episode. The fight scenes are very well-drawn, but tend to be from the “shouting a lot and then punching once” school, which might grow tedious for veteran viewers. Overall, these three episodes fit well in the series, but it feels like it’s starting to get hung up in the coolness of the big fighting tournament and forgetting about the cool plot that brought us here in the first place.

Technical/Extras: 8.0
The series is nicely drawn and the fights are well animated. Music is sparse, but well-used. The character profiles are nice. There’s not a lot otherwise, but after 100 episodes, I’d be hard-pressed for extras, too.

Entertainment : 7.5
They’ve spent 2 discs doing nothing but fighting. I was enjoying this series, and the fight scenes are still cool, but it’d be nice for something else to happen.

Overall: 8.0

Episodes: 107: The Demon World Tournament Begins, 108: Farewell Kurama, 109: Love and War

DVD Extras: Character Profiles, Textless Songs, Japanese and English Languages, English Subtitles, Scene Selection, Trailers

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