Book Review: Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 3

October 7, 2016

Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 3 cover

I hope everyone is doing well, and looking forward to the weekend.

Things have been going fairly well, aside from having to run some maintenance over here, and glad that I can finally relax a bit.

As many of you guys should know, I got some books from Amazon last month and I have been going through the ones that I have on hand, out of the 23 or so that I ordered overall, two of which were preorders.

Today, I will be reviewing another one of the titles from that order, which is called Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 3 by Yoshihiro Togashi.

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

Yusuke Urameshi has finally returned to the living world permanently and is determine to go back to doing whatever he feels like doing.

However, the spirit world has other plans, as they want Yusuke to still get involved with matters concerning both the spirit world and the living world, and Yusuke is going to have his hands full by being tasked with looking for four different demons who have their own goals to achieve in living world.

While the first volume was great, the second one really left me disappointed, enough so that I regretted buying the whole series.

However, after reading this volume, I have to say that I really liked this volume.

I really liked how I was, yet again, pulled right into the world of Yu Yu Hakusho within the first few pages.

Now, a lot of you guys might be thinking that this is no big deal, because I am a fan of the series, though, unlike A Certain Magical Index, I am more in favor of the anime than the original source, but that has nothing to do with why I was pulled into this work.

Over the course of my life, I have read numerous titles, both the prose books that many people would rather I spend my time reading and manga, and while I cannot always find the big messages in a work, like Weston Kincade noted that I did in a post on his old blog, I can tell if a writer is good or has some talent by how quickly they draw me in, not to mention it really helps in determining whether or not I can overlook even the smallest of flaws that are present.

There have been books that took an awfully long time to become even remotely interesting, such as The Book Thief, and then there are those that have done a great job of pulling me into the world of the book.

Yoshihiro has been able to capture my interest for three books in a row, in spite of this series not starting off as the fighting series that many of my generation thought it was around the time that I really got into anime.

If this is not the mark of a good writer, I am not too certain what is, because a strong theme is not enough to make a work great, even though that is why a lot of the so-called classics get called classics to begin with.

Yet again, if Yoshihiro's health was not a major issue, I would most likely want to check out more of his recent works and support him in his endeavors, but all I can do right now is wish him the best of luck with whatever amount of time he has left on this planet, especially considering how many hiatuses HunterxHunter has experienced.

I also liked how different things were from the anime.

Now that the manga exclusive events have concluded, for now anyway, there have been many events that popped up in this volume that were aired as part of the anime, and with how high of a reputation the anime has, it is going be relatively hard to match the anime if things went occurred the same way they did in the anime panel for panel, especially considering how much more emotionally invested I was in the anime adaptation of the events found in the first two volumes.

After all, the fight between Goku and Frieza in Dragon Ball Z: Ressurection F was pretty much the same fight that was shown in the television series and felt very inferior because of it.

Likewise, with Yoshihiro's supposed inability to unleash emotional feels when necessary, things would feel way more inferior to the anime.

However, because things were a bit different, I ended enjoying my time reading through these events.

For example, when Yusuke comes to school after being revived, Yusuke decides to skip P.E. and when he returns, he gets suspected of stealing items that went missing, things seemed to make more sense in this volume.

While I do kind of like anime version of these events a bit better, which occurs in episode 6, and is available to watch on FUNimation, even if the real culprit was obvious for different reasons, I think the way the incident was handled in this volume was a bit better, and much more believable.

In the anime, we only get Yusuke's perspective on things and Yusuke deciding not to go to P.E. was not even shown, only a hint of it was present by showing him loitering somewhere, and nothing really happens around Yusuke when he was talking with Koenma.

Here, however, we not only get to see Iwamoto committing the act that he wants to frame Yusuke for in his stead, along with Yusuke deciding not to attend P.E., but Iwamoto notices that Yusuke's eyes are not on him when Koenma appears and I wamoto asks Yusuke is going to hit him.

In my eyes, things are not going to just stop when a being from heaven or the afterlife shows, so that the two can have a conversation. People are really going to notice that something is up and check things.

Good job, Yoshihiro, the anime may outshine the manga overall, but you actually made something more believable in this one scene.

If Studio Pierrot did not do what they did, I highly doubt that Yoshihiro would able to stand a chance against the greatness that is the anime adaptation, though Yoshihiro himself has a long way to go before he can truly be great.

Not only were things a bit more believable in the manga because of the differences, but it also explains things a bit.

To illustrate my point, I will again use the events that occurred around the time Yusuke returned to school, though this time, I will not focus entirely on the Iwamoto incident.

When Yusuke gets back to school in the anime, everyone seemingly acts like it is just another day, with a few people surprised that Yusuke was once again among the living, but with how horrible his reputation was, I just did not get how he would be welcomed back so easily.

At this point Studio Pierrot seemed to be doing something simply for the sake of things, just like Satoru's final confrontation with Yashiro in the anime adaptation of Boku Dake ga Inai Machi.

I deserved some kind of explanation, whether it was Yusuke commenting on the matter or actually seeing how he was let back in.

However, in this volume, Yusuke says that Keiko told him that strange people showed up around the time Atsuko went to convince the principal to let her son back in, and later on, when the incident with Iwamoto occurs, makes Yusuke's reaction much more understandable, as opposed to suddenly being the kind of son that a mother would be proud to have that he is in the anime.

After seeing so many areas where the anime outshines the manga, I am glad to finally be seeing stuff that the manga did better at overall, which makes me glad that I decided to give the manga a try.

If it failed to outshine the anime in any possible way, I would not really see any reason why people should read the manga instead of watching the anime, especially considering that the anime is one of those titles that people say is actually better dubbed than subbed.

Fortunately, Yoshihiro was not that kind of failure, because he explained what should have been explained, and, as a result, deserves some major applause.

Keep up the good work, Yoshihiro.

Another nice thing about this volume was that I was finally able to feel tension in the situations that Yusuke got himself into.

Back in the previous volume, I hated how the incident Keiko running into the fire did not make me feel like I was the edge of my seat the whole time, which lessened the impact of Yusuke choosing to save Keiko, along with the fact that Yusuke asked Koenma for help, instead of Yusuke doing something himself.

However, when Yusuke was finally tasked with recovered the treasures stolen from the spirit world, I did not want to put down this book at all because I did not know whether or not Yusuke was going to survive against Hiei and Goki, even though I had a good idea that he was going win because of my experience with the anime.

While Yoshihiro may not have improved as much as I would have liked him to, he is at least doing something right in fighting portion of this series.

This is the Yu Yu Hakusho I know and enjoy, and Yoshihiro is finally delivering.

If the fighting was not as intense as it was, I would have even more to steer people more towards the anime the manga.

And, as a result, I looking forward to reading the other 16 volumes to come after this.

The thing that I liked the most though was how Viz stopped with the false listings.

In the first two, Viz Media listed content in the table of contents that was nowhere to be found in the digital editions, even though they may have existed the print editions, which made it seem like Viz was not doing their job.

However, in this volume, when I look at the table of contents, I see chapters 18 through 26 listed, and I get chapters 18 through 26, like I expected to see.

Table of contents are supposed to be listing what I can find in a book, and Viz Media has finally done just that, after two volumes where it seemed like they were slacking off.

Good job, Viz. This is wanted to see from you guys all along and you finally delivered.

Hopefully, this kind of issue does not resurface, otherwise Detective Conan may end up being the only series worth buying from you.

This turnaround deserves quite a bit of applause, because it takes a lot effort to fix one's mistake, and makes me much more willing to check out the other titles that they decide release.

Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked.

Because Yoshihiro has been able to keep things interesting for three books in a row and that events happened differently from the anime, making it so that things were explained and becoming more believable, which helped to make outshine the anime for once, as well as the fact that Viz Media finally seems to be doing their job, this ended up being a very enjoyable book.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor talk about, there was only one thing that really bugged me, and, unfortunately, it is something that has existed in both of the previous volumes.

I did not get the strong emotional feelings that I wanted to feel.

When Yusuke is tasked with getting the treasures back and finishes dealing with Goki, Yusuke comes into contact with Kurama, who asks to have three more days, in exchange for turning himself in, and when he finds out that his mother's health is detoriating quickly, he finally makes a wish to the mirror he stole, which Kurama told Yusuke would cost him his life.

Like the incident with Keiko in the previous volume, I wanted to feel Yusuke's feelings, as he decided to give some of his life force, so that Kurama's mother could remain happy, since Yusuke remembered how much his own death affected Atsuko, but those feelings just did not come across to me as powerfully as I wanted it to.

However, in episode 7 of the anime, when Kurama made his wish, I could feel Yusuke's genuine concern for Kurama and how his mother would feel if Kurama sacrificed his life her, and gave me a real sense of happiness when the whole ordeal was over.

The reason the anime version of these events had so much more feeling was that, aside from Yusuke sacrificing his life, instead of only part of it, both Yusuke and Kurama bore their souls to one another and Studio Pierrot even included a flashback of some sorts of Atsuko crying, whereas in this volume Kurama was the only one who seemed to be bearing his soul.

This is one of Yusuke's first acts of selflessness after being revived and it really needed a strong emotional feeling, because he understood that the decisions we make affect those who care deeply about us, not knowing that the mirror would spare both him and Kurama.

Really, Yoshihiro? I knew that you had issues bringing out the emotional feels, but after 20 or so chapters, you have started working more on this weakness.

Instead, you continue to give off a lock emotional of feeling.

This is no way to write things, especially since FUNimation's dub gives off a very powerful emotional feel with a single use of profanity.

No wonder the anime is seen as superior to the manga, because the people behind the anime, and even the director handling the voice recordings for FUNimation's dub, brought the maximum potential of emotional feels from these events.

As a writer, it is important to know when you want to make the reader feel something, and Yoshihiro still fails to deliver in this aspect.

Maybe, he improved in the titles he published after completing Yu Yu Hakusho, but right now, he is still incapable of doing something important, especially because Yusuke is supposed to no longer be a delinquent at the end of this series.

Please, Please, Yoshihiro, you need to learn how give off the emotional feels that all of the great anime and manga titles have been able to exude, and, if you cannot do that, then the only thing you should be credited with would be creating the material material that brought about one of the best fighting anime ever made.

While there was only one thing wrong with this volume, the fact that it has been an issue for three straight volumes really hurts the quality of this release enough to make me doubt whether Yoshihiro Togashi can really do what it takes to write a great series.

Despite the fact that Yoshihiro still has problems putting emotion into his work, the good outweighed it enough to definitely make this worth reading.

I recommend this to fans of Yu Yu Hakusho and fighting series.

As for everyone else, this is worth giving a try, especially because the manga was able to outshine the anime for once, even if it was just a little while.

What are your thoughts on Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 3? Did you like it or hate it? If you liked it and saw the anime, do you think that this volume handled a few things better than the anime, like I did, or does the anime still outclass the manga? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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