YuYu Hakusho (Manga) Volume 11 Review

With the finals of The Dark Tournament starting the last battles start with Kurama going against Karasu a fighter who uses explosives as his weapon of choice and Kuwabara going up against Elder Toguro while Hiei fights Bui. With Hiei's fight has a little more give and take it still ends up feeling like another time where Togashi-sensei felt like he couldn't be bothered to write Hiei beyond the almost unstoppable juggernaut he's become in the series. While Kurama's fight with Karasu and Kuwabara's with Elder Toguro are far more interesting due to the psychological element be it Karasu's odd psychosexual obsession with Kurama. Or that you have Kurama who has a fighting style based subterfuge and quick close quarter striking. Going against an opponent that uses long distance explosive attacks. All while having some of the most exciting and tense page layouts in the past six volumes. Yet really it is Kuwabara versus Elder Toguro that stands out the most for me as it takes to diametrically opposed characters the sadistic and maniacal and violent Elder Toguro who wins as much by psychological torture and simply being hard to defeat. Against stalwart and good-hearted Kuwabara. That makes for great character writing in a tournament setting all the while Younger Toguro continues to be built up as this almost nigh undefeatable man mountain. Who has sold out whatever amount of honor he had for physical strength making for an opponent that while a challenge does not sink the ludicrous levels of overpoweredness of Majin Buu or Sōsuke Aizen in Dragon Ball or Bleach . Very much setting up a fight that will be worth the wait if pacing keeps the brisk pace of this volume while also capturing characters personalities in a handful of crisp dialogue exchanges, in particular, Elder Toguro taking his time to just drive home the death of a major character that he was unaware of. Or little bits of character shading like Younger Toguro being a teetotaler or Koenma being more interested in his own self-preservation. Or Botan being overly empathetic and having to be comforted by Shizuru. All fo this showing that Togashi-sensei can write multifaceted or compelling characters even when constricted by the genre conventions of a Battle Manga.

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