Anime Review: Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie – Poltergeist Report

May 1, 2017

Poltergeist Report DVD cover

I hope that everyone had a good weekend, and even enjoyed
yourselves during my long break.

I got some software a while back and made some preorders, and
my budget has gotten a bit tight because of that, so I took the break because
of that, and work on something else, but I did not completely forget about this
place, since I planned to delve into my DVD collection and check out a title
from the past.

Today, I will be reviewing that title which is called, Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie – Poltergeist Report.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier
post
, I will will not go over it again.

Spirit World is in great danger when the River Styx begins
to overflow to the point where flooding begins, and Botan heads out to get help
from Yusuke and the gang.

However, when the four find out that something is going on,
it becomes apparent that both the human and spirit world are threatened by residents
of a world that was sealed away long ago.

Yukina sad over Botan

Even though I reviewed all 19 volumes of the manga last
year, it has been quite a while since I watched anything of the anime, so I
decided to revisit the series once again.

And, after watching this movie, I must say that I was
largely unimpressed.

Normally, I like to talk about both the good and the bad, so
that I can be as fair as I possibly can, in spite of the flaws to be found and
my own biases, as can be seen from my reviews of The
Garden of Words
, The Chapel
Wars
, and The Whistler.

Unfortunately, every reviewer, regardless of whether they do
written reviews like I do or video reviews, though video reviews on YouTube do
not really take advantage of all the upsides to the visual medium, comes across
a title where they cannot really see anything good about it, no matter how much
they wanted to like it, and they have to accept the fact that they must rip it
a new one, so that people know what not to do.

For me, this is the first title since the start of this blog
back in 2011, which is probably not as great as the content I have now, even
with the mistakes I make, that I could not really think of anything that really
impressed me, and I have to make an exception to my methods, even though I have
been fairly harsh with anime this year.

From the first few moments that I started watching this
movie, I wanted to turn the movie off right then and there, but I did not do
that because, as a fan of Yu Yu Hakusho, I wanted to at least give this
a chance to redeem itself and I know that nothing in this world is perfect.

If I had to say why, it is because of two reasons.

First, this movie felt more like a DBZ movie than a Yu Yu
Hakusho movie.

One of the best things about Yu Yu Hakusho, at least
the anime, is that I felt like I was immersed in the world and could actually
feel for the characters and understand what they were going through, with some
of the best examples being Genkai's final test and Yusuke's awakening against
Toguro, not to mention that I actually felt like I was having a good time.

However, that was nowhere to be found in this movie, and
that greatly disappointed me.

In fact, the only thing that was present was action.

What the heck, Studio Pierrot? You did such a good job
adapting the manga into anime, and outclassed Yoshihiro Togashi in numerous
ways, but you guys fail to deliver anything as great as the series was?

You guys should be ashamed, because this movie is not really
going to impress fans of the series, regardless of who dubs it, since there are
people that really want FUNimation to redub this movie, but that will only make
the movie only marginally better than Central Park Media's version, which is
what I own.

I might be able to accept this kind of thing from DBZ, which
I will admit that I do have some interest in, but not Yu Yu Hakusho, one
of the best series from the time that I got into anime and would have no
problems recommending it to people today.

Unfortunately, because Studio Pierrot did not really get
what made the television so great, aside from little to no filler, it makes me
wish that FUNimation is never allowed to touch this movie, as it deserves to
never return to where I live, though I do think FUNimation does do a pretty
good job with the titles that they get today.

Hopefully, Studio Pierrot does not create anything as
terrible as this in their future works, because their work with the Yu Yu
Hakusho
television series is good enough that I would have wanted to
support them, and this has kind of hurt their reputation in my eyes.

The other thing that made it really hard for me to immerse
myself in the work was the action itself.

While I do like a few series that are action-oriented, much
like the stereotype where I live of what men like says, that does not mean that
I would be happy if there is action for the sake of appealing to men because
that action must be exciting to begin with, as was the case with Mikoto Misaka's
fight against ITEM in episodes 8-10
of A Certain Scientific Railgun S, or volume
5
of the Railgun manga.

In the case of this movie, the fights never really made me
feel as excited as I felt when I saw Yusuke fight Toguro in the Dark Tournament
finals, or even when Yusuke fought Yomi in the Demon World Tournament, and it
just added to why I felt like this movie should just end, instead of continuing
to be dragged out.

Really, Studio Pierrot? You not only fail to deliver what
made Yu Yu Hakusho so great, but you even failed to make the one thing
that was preserved to be on par with what could be found from in the television
series when it was at its best?

I may have hated this movie going into this review, but now
I not only wish that FUNimation never gets the license to this movie but I also
wish that Studio Pierrot never made this movie to begin with.

When people watch a movie, they do not want to feel like
their time has been wasted because it does not even meet the bare minimums of
what makes a great movie, which is why I do note really enjoy seeing the movies
produced where I live today too often.

Like people who read fiction, people want movies that give
them a temporary escape from reality, and the lack of any exciting fights does
not allow me to lose myself as much as what I would wanted.

This is not how one should make a movie, yet this is what
Studio Pierrot delivered, and it greatly overshadowed whatever I could possibly
have found that would have been so great about this movie, and it just makes me
want to do what Kuwabara did at Yusuke's wake.

I, like everyone else, want to talk about what works of
fiction did right, but because this is one of the reasons I had to make an
exception and skip right to what I hated, I cannot think of any particular way
that Studio Pierrot could have improved things.

Another thing that was not so great about this movie was
that it had yet another save the world plot.

Now, stories found today may not exactly be original, as the
storylines have all been done time and again, but the way the plot is written
or executed can make a work feel different from the rest, and stand out from
the rest of what is already out there, or, in the case of this movie, just
another work with a cliched plot line.

Unfortunately, the staff that Studio Pierrot had working on
this movie could not execute things properly, and it could not stand out from
the crowd.

Not only did they make this movie feel more like a DBZ movie
than a Yu Yu Hakusho movie by not delivering what made the television
series so good, but they even made it feel more like a DBZ movie by executing
the plot in a way that does not feel like it is an original work.

This is not only a let down when compared to the greatness
that is the television series, but it is also a joke when compared the quality
delivered in the manga by Yoshihiro Togashi, because this movie has just as
many problems as modern day anime, with the exception of letting the opponent
know how a move operates, which is about the only good thing that could be
found in this movie.

If this were Studio Pierrot's most recent work, I would have
decided to never get anything produced by them ever again, because this shows
complete ignorance about what makes anime, or even fiction in general, so great,
and warrants the criticism it is getting from me.

Fortunately for them, since this was made way before I knew
what made a great story, I can give them a bit more slack, as people can and do
improve over time, but not enough to overlook the issue enough to downgrade it
from a major issue.

The thing that I hated the most though was the dub itself.

As most of you guys know, I do not particularly care whether
I watch something subbed or dubbed, though I do prefer dubs because I do not have
to be in perfect condition like I do with subbed anime, but the dub utterly
ruined my enjoyment.

Yes, it might be because I am so used to the voice actors
that FUNimation got to dub Studio Pierrot's anime adaptation of the manga, but
the dub itself made things feel less realistic and really downplayed the
turmoil that everyone was going through.

Now, Central Park Media, and its various labels, was not
entirely bad at dubbing anime when they were around, since their dub the first
three seasons of The Slayers, which are viewable on FUNimation, was
actually very enjoyable and bearable, but this is certainly not their best.
These guys were a professional dubbing company, yet they delivered something
along the lines of Sony's Rurouni Kenshin dub than Media Blaster's Rurouni
Kenshin
dub or even their own dub of The Slayers.

True, the quality of dubs in the 90's and early 2000's may
not exactly match the kinds of dubs produced today, but this does show that there
is at least some valid point to argument of subs being better than dubs that is
thrown around by people that do not want to acknowledge dub fans as true anime
fans, and I am kind of glad that Central Park Media no longer exists.

Dubs are supposed to make things easier to immerse oneself
in, since font size and color of subtitles do not pose as much of a problem as some
of the so-called true anime fans seem to ignore, and a dub that makes
things feel less realistic makes it even harder to get immersed in a work.

Not only did the dub make it the whole movie feel more
unrealistic, it also made the things that would have been funny, like
Kuwabara's crush on Yukina, not funny at all.

This is one of the few things that was actually carried over
from the television series quite well, and would have been something that I
felt like applauding Studio Pierrot for doing right, but Central Park Media did
not really let this scene be funny.

Really, Central Park Media? Do you call this a great dub? If
so, then you deserve to be where you are right now.

While I kind of doubt that this movie would be any better if
FUNimation redub this, at least enough for me to want to purchase this movie
again, I have no doubt that I would have at least been able to laugh a bit if
they did somehow get the license to this movie, and is the reason why I said
that this movie would only be marginally better if FUNimation did redub this.

For now though, I cannot in my right mind suggest the dub to
anybody, and hope that this movie remains hard to find.

Because Studio Pierrot utterly failed to deliver what made
the television series so great, thus making it feel unoriginal, more of a DBZ
movie than a Yu Yu Hakusho movie, and cannot create the temporary escape
from reality, and Central Park Media made things even worse, by making things
feel less realistic and taking away the humor, this was one of the worst movies
I have seen.

Considering that the negatives that were present
overshadowed whatever good this movie may have had to the point where I had to
skip right to what I hated, which has me heart broken right now, this movie was
a complete waste of time.

I recommend everyone, regardless of whether they are a fan
of Yu Yu Hakusho or not avoid this movie like the plague and either buy
the manga or the anime (season 1, 2, 3, 4)
instead.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on Patreon,
and get a chance to recommend anime titles, or buy the products that I linked
to from the actual links in this review, so that I can find more worthwhile
anime to watch, as well as do whatever it is you normally do when you find
something that impresses you.

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