Yu Yu Hakusho - A New Apprentice Uncut, Vol. 3 2002 Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
It’s a requirement of every action anime that the hero undergo some kind of training with an older and more powerful master of… whatever. That finally kicks in in the third volume of Yusuke Urameshi’s journey, “Yu Yu Hakusho - A New Apprentice”—lots of fighting, magical powers, and a surprising revelation about Yusuke’s psychic classmate Kuwabara. Oh yeah, and a bad guy too.
Yusuke is sent to the mountain abode of the aged psychic Genkai, who is selecting her final apprentice ; he’s secretly there to weed out the devious power-stealing demon Rando for Spirit World. As an odd twist, one of the countless applicants is also Kuwabara—and the two boys quickly take the lead in the competition, whether it’s bizarre video games or a deadly trek through Genkai’s swamp.
When there are too many contestants left after the swamp, Genkai decides to winnow down the numbers with a one-on-one tournament—and Yusuke quickly encounters a particularly nasty foe who can beat him senseless in the dark. And Kuwabara is set against an opponent that he doesn’t seem able to beat, until he expectedly generates a special new weapon of his own.
Unfortunately, the tournament pits Yusuke against the deadly ninja bodyguard Kazemaru, whose shuriken are able to track their target. And Kuwabara is pitted against a deceptively childlike little man. Which one is Rando? Seriously, guess!
We’ve seen that Yusuke Urameshi can kick large quantities of butt and has the spirit gun, but now it’s time for him to get a crusty old mentor and some formal training (in true action anime style). “Yu Yu Hakusho - A New Apprentice” seems to be gearing up for Yusuke to have all that, but first he has to figure out (with only his unused brains to guide him) who Rando is and somehow defeat him. God help the world.
Unsurprisingly there’s a lot of fighting in these four episodes—ki swords, psychic helmets and a few clever twists (such as Yusuke using his cigarette)—and some rather fun competitions to see who is eligible. One fun scene involves a karaoke machine and the tone-deaf Kazemaru, as well as a punching machine and a rock-paper-scissors video game. And Yusuke spices things up during the swamp trip by going up against a “lethal man-bat” who talks like Gollum.
After some episodes devoted to Yusuke’s work as a spirit detective, we do get to see a bit more of Kuwabara and Yusuke’s antagonistic friendship—they bicker, gripe (“Don’t be an ignoramus, Urameshi!”) but they really do care about each other, as when Kuwabara is badly injured. And the big rough’n'tough guy also gets a new weapon of his own—a spirit sword, a blade made out of his ki during one of the fights (“But how do I turn it off?”).
“Yu Yu Hakusho - A New Apprentice” is a pretty solid introduction into this mini-arc, although it never gets around to FINISHING the storyline. So be sure to have the fourth volume on hand.