Book Review: Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 8

November 7, 2016

Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 8

I hope everyone had a nice weekend, and had enough time to dissipate any stress.

Aside from copious amounts of noise pollution, things have been going well, especially now that I can sit down and do things I need or want without such disturbances.

Around the week of the 14th of October, I took a break from covering the books I got from Amazon, so that I would not get burnt out on the books, as well as continue working on a story, but I recently got back to those books and finished half of the 24 books I ordered.

Today, I will be reviewing another one of those titles, which is called Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 8 by Yoshihiro Togashi.

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

The match with the Dr. Ichigaki comes to a close, as the humans tricked into a sick experiment are put through a trial by Team Urameshi's mystery fighter.

However, the tears of joy end when the tournament committee forces Team Urameshi to go through the next match with only two able-bodied fighters, and Yusuke may end up having clean things up on his own.

Even though this series seemed like it was going downhill, there were still signs that this series was not necessarily bad, such as when Yoshihiro was finally able to deliver emotional feels better than Studio Pierrot's anime adaptation in the previous volume.

After reading this, I can only say that I kind of liked it.

Fortunately, there were a few things that I liked, so I do not have to skip right into the stuff that I did not like.

From the very first moment I opened this book, I did not feel like putting it down for the majority of the time.

While I would have liked it better if it held my attention all the way through, it is at least a good start in keeping me entertained.

After all, how can anybody feel entertained if hardly anything is able to capture one's attention?

I certainly was not entertained by The Book Thief because it took too much time to capture my attention.

If I had to say what the big thing was that contributed to this was, it would have to be because, yet again, the fights were not that boring, inspire of them still moving a bit too quick for my liking.

Quick fights may not always be the best, as fans of events like UFC would be able to tell people, but if the fight is boring, nobody would want to see it, regardless of the length of the fight, and it seems like Yoshihiro make have finally learned that lesson.

As disappointing as things ended up being in this volume, it sure is nice that Yoshihiro did not do something as egregious as he did back in volumes 4 and 5, which makes me want to give him some minor applause.

I also liked how Yusuke almost did something, without regard to what the rules of the tournament were or what the crowd thought of his actions.

After Kurama took out Gama and Touya, Kurama lost consciousness and Bakken starts pounding on him, until one of the other two members of Team Shadow Channelers, or Team Masho in the anime, orders him to stop, pointing out what Yusuke is doing.

While many people would probably do what Yusuke did, if it was somebody that they were close to or cared about deeply, like a little brother, little sister, or their child, I do not think that too many people would do it if they were going to incite a crowd, since herd mentality is very powerful and the ways of dealing with being outnumbered are not feasible for everyone, this how we should be operating, regardless of whether the situation was peaceful or not.

Unfortunately, we all tend to act like A Certain Scientific Railgun's Mikoto Misaka, who tends to refuse something she wants because people think that it is childish, and this, like acting a certain way because society says you should, leads to many people regretting their choice, instead of happiness.

In the case of this volume, I would have been mad if Yusuke just sat back and watched, because he has been a team player for most of the series so far.

Another nice thing was that was present was the humor.

Even though many of the funny moments to be found here are also present in the anime, as the events found here are covered in episodes 35-41, which can be viewed over at FUNimation's website, there is still one thing that does not exist because the Studio Pierrot's anime adaptation tends to stretch a few things out.

In the anime, when the three humans were freed from Ichigaki's control, Ichigaki gave Team Urameshi a bit of trouble, before Yusuke goes on the offensive, drawing focus to Yusuke's rage.

However, in this volume, after Ichigaki transforms, he goes to attack Yusuke, but Yusuke send him flying before making contact.

This fight was not one of my favorites in Studio Pierrot anime adaptation, but this was the highlight of the volume for me in the comedy department, because I was laughing at the fact that Ichigaki did not even land a hit before Yusuke laid the smackdown.

Ichigaki was a joke in both versions this series, and because Yoshihiro did not drag this one out, I have to give him some major props.

As good as the anime was, it could have been so much better if it did not drag everything out, including the moments when Yusuke and friends face off against fodder like Ichigaki.

Then again, if Studio Pierrot did that, there would have probably been no possible for Yoshihiro's original work to outdo the anime that was released after it.

The thing that I liked the most though was how Yusuke took out Bakken.

While this also occurred in episode 39 of the anime, I enjoyed it more here because it showed that Yusuke really was angry about what Bakken did.

In the anime, Yusuke takes a few blows and tries to find out where Bakken was, before blowing away the fog and turning Bakken into a demonstration, with some moments where Yusuke calms down a bit.

However, in this volume, when Yusuke takes the stage and Bakken engulfs the arena in fog, Yusuke tests Bakken, mocks him, blows the fog away, and quickly lays the smackdown on Bakken, who pleads for mercy because of some broken ribs.

Throughout most of this series, and rumors from other delinquents where Yusuke lives, Yusuke was all about fair play and Yusuke's rage was not only about his comrade being in danger, but that somebody was doing it when that comrade was already incapable of fighting.

Going with that personification, I think that this is what Yusuke would have really done, because this guy was asking for it.

However, Studio Pierrot turned Yusuke into yet another Goku, if only temporarily, by leaving Yusuke wide open for Bakken's deception.

Yet again, Yoshihiro keeps things consistent with Yusuke's past, and because of it, it made this scene much more believable in the manga than the anime.

Good job, Yoshihiro, it looks like you have managed to overtake Studio Pierrot's anime adaptation yet again.

If this keeps up, the manga might actually have a chance against the anime, but that can only come about if Yoshihiro can bring out the maximum amount of emotional feels during the big moments of the Dark Tournament saga, and I will be disappointed if he cannot deliver.

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

Because things were mostly interesting and Yusuke did something without regard for what would happen in the future, as well as the fact that there were funny things found only in the manga and that Yoshihiro did not have Yusuke go off character, this book was fairly decent.

Although there were things that I liked about the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor too talk about, there were only two things that bugged.

First, the Jin fight was kind of boring.

After Yusuke defeated Bakken, Jin steps up into the ring and tried to get Yusuke into better spirits and complimented him on the smackdown, but after that I felt like putting this volume down.

Now, Jin's fight was not one where I would expect tension that is created by danger, like Chu, but it was supposed to be one that was interesting because it actually seemed like fun.

Studio Pierrot pulled this off perfectly, and FUNimation's voice acting added to the overall experience, and I could not stop watching once things started.

Unfortunately, in this volume, that fight was not that fun at all.

If I had to say why, it is because the fight did not last long enough.

True, the fight is not technically over, because Koto is still counting down at the end of the volume, but, like a few other fights, this one would have benefited from being stretched out.

Come on, Yoshihiro! You need learn when your quick pacing actually hurts work instead of helps it.

This is why good stories naturally flow from slow to quick pacing and back, because pacing is one of the most basic ways to add some spice to a story, outside of the way the writer puts down their words.

Unfortunately, because he did not do that, I have to put this down as a minor issue, and hope that Yoshihiro's more recent works did not make this mistake.

The thing that I hated the most was that there was a hint of content missing, even though there was no content missing.

During my entire time reading manga, there has pretty much always been a clear beginning and end with each volume, but there has only been one instance so far where content was missing in the official releases of the various manga that come out here.

That time, for me, happened roughly a year ago, when Yen Press released the final volume of Judge, and it tarnished my faith in the publisher because it did not seem like they were doing their job and they had quite a few questions that the original publication answered.

However, that volume at least had a definitive end, in spite of its major flaw.

This volume, on the other hand, seems to be screaming that there is supposed to be more.

During the fight win Jin, the wind master, Yusuke delivers a Spirit Wave attack, Aura Blast in the Viz translation, which sends Jin flying, and then the scene cuts over to demons outside wanting Jin to get up and Yukina, who most likely just arrived, is looking for tickets, but nothing occurs after this point.

Thinking that Viz may have omitted content, I went around looking at online scans, which is difficult because the numbering on a few sites is different than what is in this volume, I found out that I really looking at the end of the chapter and volume, but the release from Viz says nothing about it being the end of the volume.

Really, Viz? You have been in the manga publishing business for quite a while and you forget to denote that I have reached the end of the volume? That shows that you did not check things too much before releasing this for the Kindle.

Yes, some of Viz's other work does not say that the volume has ended, but they at least felt like an end to the volume, and, in the case of Detective Conan, include a few of the bonus material, like Gosho's afterword and the Mystery Library.

However, there is nothing like that here.

How are readers supposed to know that they reached an end when the end does not feel like an end?

In my eyes, there is no better way to irritate readers, even if they get page counts in the reading app they use.

Even though I know that the problem is not as huge in Viz Media releases of Detective Conan, I sure hope that they do not make this mistake in future releases, otherwise I will only purchase Detective Conan volumes from them and nothing else.

Please, Viz, at least say that the volume is over. That is all I want to see. I, and many other readers, do not expect any more than that.

While there were two things wrong with this volume, the fact that Viz did not make it clear that I reached the end of the volume hurt the quality of the release.

Despite the fact that there were some problem, the good balance things out enough to make this worth reading.

I recommend this mainly to fans of Yu Yu Hakusho, but because of Viz Media's mistakes, I recommend finding a different publisher than does English releases.

As for everyone else, this is worth giving a try, but like the fans of the series, I would recommend staying away from Viz Media's release like the plague.

What are your thoughts on Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 8? 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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