Book Review: Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 11

November 14, 2016

Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 11 cover

Well, that was a pain.

As many of you guys know, I have reached the final ten books of my Amazon order and was hoping that I could get through them before the year was over, but my computer started acting up, which made it hard to continue with the books.

Fortunately, I did not need to test out the warranty on the machine, and things are now operational again, so I can get back to those books.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those titles, which is called Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 11 by Yoshihiro Togashi.

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

Team Urameshi has advanced to the final round of the tournament and are now short a team member, when the rules state that the final match is a best of five.

However, even though Team Urameshi was able to wiggle through two of the five matches, things start to get difficult when one of the Toguro brothers steps up to the plate and he has made it clear that he wants the heads of the members of Team Urameshi.

After having a bit of downturn recently, Yu Yu Hakusho has been getting better, and that seems to be true, especially right now.

For the second volume in a row, I found myself not wanting to put this book down for any particular reason, though I obviously had to do so, in order to satisfy the needs that all humans have to fulfill in their lives.

Consistency in quality tends to fluctuate quite in bit fiction, even more so now than in the past, and, for manga, that tends to happen from volume to volume.

However, all readers, of any kind of work, want to be entertained during the time that they spend reading that work, and that means capturing the reader's attention quickly.

After all, I highly doubt that readers are going to have the patience necessary to suffer through hundreds of pages before things start to get interesting, much like I did with The Book Thief.

So far, Yoshihiro has been able to do just that in only a few volumes, though I am not too certain how long he can maintain this kind of quality, seeing as the Yu Yu Hakusho manga made me bored far quicker than the early volumes Detective Conan, and if he can keep this up, I have little doubt that it can stand up against Studio Pierrot's anime adaptation.

In fact, if any manga were to remain as interesting as it was in the beginning, there would be a lot more people like Jun Mochizuki and Hiromu Arakawa, and people would not frown on it too much, at least those that enjoy not having the numerous reboots that most American comics, such as those from DC and Marvel, would be able to sit down and find more than only a few gems, but that is only wishful thinking.

Still, that does not mean Yoshihiro should not be praised for at least doing something right, so I will just give him a thumbs up.

I also liked how Kurama learned the secret that he wanted to know more about after his fight with with Reverse Urashima.

Over the course of my time following manga and anime, I have noticed that there are quite a few people that complain when somebody manifests a new power without really experimenting and/or the audience being shown how they figure it out, calling it out as a plot convenience, because the writer backed himself into a corner.

However, what people fail to realize is that, even in real life, things can just happen when a person is at the end of their rope. Sometimes, those things can be sort of explained through things like the Placebo effect, which heavily relies on whether or not a person believes it will work, but, other times, such things cannot really be explained.

After all, even though scientific advances has done a lot to help me growing up, it cannot explain everything, much like the man-made institution of religion cannot answer definitively what happens to us after we die, or even tell us what God's will really is.

On the other hand, if things end up being resolved out-of-the-blue, or without too much thought, too often, as is the case with Touma Kamijou in the anime adaptation of A Certain Magical Index, the excitement would disappear, because the characters have no troubles and there is no tension to be seen.

In this volume, even though Yoshihiro does not bother to show Kurama's experiments after talking to Suzuki, it allows Kurama's moment of turning back into his true form to be something that did not suddenly come out-of-the-blue, like it did back in his fight with Urashima, and it was also obvious that Kurama had been doing experiments.

By doing this, Yoshihiro Togashi did not end up ruining his carefully laid out world and kept things within the realm of possibility and makes this one of the best things that exists in both Yoshihiro's manga and Studio Pierrot's anime adaptation.

If Yoshihiro had not done this, I would have been majorly disappointed because he would have turned Kurama into yet another Touma Kamijou, as Kurama has only lost fights when he is unconscious, even though both the manga and anime shows that he tries to study his opponents.

Then again, the protagonists of anime and manga these do not really think things out too much, with a few exceptions cropping up, now that the big-name titles have ended or are nearing the end, so I highly doubt that anybody would be caring too much.

For now, I will just give Yoshihiro some props for not relying on deus ex machina too often, because it shows that he actually does plan out his works, which is something that many writers should do before they try writing a story, even though I am also guilty of writing things down when they first come to my mind too.

Another thing that I liked was how much more shocking Karasu's victory in the final round was.

While this was quite a bit of a shock in episode 57, which is viewable on FUNimation's website, it was not as surprising as it was in this volume.

If I had to say why, it would be because of the ten-count rule.

In the anime, sometime after Kurama is knocked down by Karasu's bombs, the ref starts to count, like should usually happen, and Kurama decides to attack around the time the ref is on 8.

However, in this volume, there is no vocalized ten-count around the time that Kurama unleashes his final attack.

I am not sure about you guys, but the way that Studio Pierrot had things play out made things a little obvious, because I was already a little convinced that Kurama lost, whereas I had no clue that he had lost until after Karasu was dead, even though Juri did not that Kurama was down.

Studio Pierrot may have done a lot things right, but that does not mean that their work is perfect because Yoshihiro's work surpassed the suspense in this fight.

Fans of fighting might enjoy a good fight, but if a victor can already be seen because of a ten-count, that does not mean that the results should be withheld until the next episode when the ref says something to try and get the attention of the audience.

Yoshihiro ended the chapter where right where it should have ended, and it created the greater shock of true victor of the fight.

As a result, I want to give Yoshihiro some major applause, because he has done something that is not that easy to do. Nice job, Yoshihiro, I hope that things only improve from here, since you have been able to surpass the anime adaptation's quality more than once already, which gives me good reason to continue on with the series.

The thing that I liked the most though was how this volume ended.

After Kurama lost to Karasu and Hiei defeats Bui, Kuwabara steps up to the plate and faces off against the elder Toguro and the tension goes right through the roof, especially when Toguro provokes Kuwabara.

Even though the first fight that Kuwabara and Yusuke had with the Toguro brothers back in volume 6 was underwhelming, I felt like I was on the edge my seat the entire time during Kuwabara's felt against the elder Toguro.

This is the tension that needs to be present when an arc's main villian or one of the arc's main villain takes stage, and it makes me want to read the next volume right now.

It looks like Yoshihiro really did improve the fights from what they were before, because a lot of the fights before this one were dull, and I feel like giving him quite a bit of applause for doing something that I like seeing in other people.

After all, this saga would have been disappointing if the fights that were shown in the anime adaptation kept feeling dull in the original manga, and would have given me even more reason to recommend the anime over this.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that could not be included in what I already talked about.

Because I never felt bored while reading this and at least one of the fights had a much more shocking conclusion than the anime adaptation, as well as the fact that one of the big fights was fairly interesting, instead of underwhelming, this book was rather enjoyable.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, nothing bothered me too much.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.

Considering that there was a lot that was done right, and nothing majorly wrong, this was definitely worth reading.

I recommend this to fans of Yu Yu Hakusho and fighting events, because the fights were not awfully dull and the series is not as horrendous as it was in previous volumes.

As for everyone, this might be worth giving a try, but I would suggest reading the previous volume first.

What are your thoughts on Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 11? Did you like it or hate it? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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