Yu Yu Hakusho - The Gate of Betrayal Uncut, Vol. 4 2002 Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
The fourth volume of “Yu Yu Hakusho” is where the series has to totally gel, mainly because the main cast is pushed together as a united fighting unit. “Yu Yu Hakusho - The Gate of Betrayal” finishes off the previous arc before hurtling headlong into a new one—and while the world is technically hanging in the balance, the real question here is whether our dubious heroes can work together without ripping each other apart.
With Kuwabara half-dead and Genkai uninvolved, Yusuke has to somehow take on the superpowered Rando—who has 99 deadly attacks, any one of which could destroy the Spirit Detective. Whoever wins is Genkai’s new apprentice… and whoever loses will probably die.
Several months later, Yusuke returns from his grueling training—but on an afternoon out with a fully-healed Kuwabara and Keiko, they’re attacked by a trio of blue-skinned thugs. Botan tells him that psychosis-inducing Makai insects are swarming through the city, and if left unchecked they will cause its destruction. To stop this invasion, Yusuke must confront the Four Saint Beasts (no, I don’t know why they’re called that) and destroy the source of their power over the Makai. Which of course, is easier said that done.
No sooner have Kuwabara and Yusuke bounced into the Spirit Beasts’ realm than they’re attacked—and rescued by Hiei and Kurama, sent by Koenma. Unfortunately cracks in the group starts showing immediately when they’re half-crushed under the Gate of Betrayal, and Hiei is entrusted with all their lives. And beyond the Gate lies Kurama’s first opponent—Genbu, a vast stone beast that can reconstruct his body even if he’s sliced apart.
“Yu Yu Hakusho - The Gate of Betrayal” marks the first occasion where the entire main cast—Yusuke, Kuwabara, Kurama and Hiei—are fighting together rather than fighting each other. It starts a bit limply in the finale of the arc involving Genkai and Yusuke’s potential apprenticeship, especially since Yusuke survives not on skill, but on pure dumb luck and his opponent’s ineptitude. Not for the first time, either.
But fortunately the two episodes that follow are far more intriguing—nasty little demon parasites, mass mayhem, and a flying eyeball that cackles like an annoying great-aunt. What’s more, the instant dislike between Hiei and Kuwabara provides some fun dialogue (“That means we only have three fighters left, and one of them is useless.” “Hey, don’t be so hard on yourself, short stuff”).
And all four characters have become a bit more solid and grounded. Yusuke comes across as more competent and capable after “grandma’s evil boot camp,” despite his attempts to weasel out of it. Kuwabara has a new source of confidence (“‘Cause I’m Kuwabara and in case you guys forgot, I’ve got a sword!”), Hiei is more sedate and acid-tongued than before, and Kurama is gets to be the smart, mature one of the group.
At the same time, we also get to see more of how Kurama fights, using his formidably brain and a razor-sharp rose vine. Moreover, Hiei shows some reluctant signs of becoming less antagonistic to his teammates.
“Yu Yu Hakusho - The Gate of Betrayal” has a so-so first episode, but the two that follow more than make up for that—monsters, bugs, and a pair of increasingly likable demons. And the story isn’t over yet.