Yu Yu Hakusho
Volume 4 - The Gate of Betrayal

Starring (voice - English): Justin Cook, John Burgmeier, Chuck Huber and Christopher Sabat
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 05 December 2005

Yusuke is your average troubled teenage delinquent. Always getting into trouble at school and looking like he's going nowhere fast, that is, until he unexpectedly saves the life of a child who is just about to be killed by a car. This is so out of character for him even the spirit world is surprised that he would make such a sacrifice. He is given a chance to live again, but this time as a spirit detective, whose job it is to hunt down demons for return to the underworld...

Yu Yu Hakusho (1992-1995) was a very successful franchise running to one hundred and twenty-two episodes and nineteen volumes of manga as well as a computer game. So, at three episodes a disc this would take a small fortune to complete and to honest unless you're a particular fan of the show, it's not worth it. This disc contains episodes thirteen to fifteen, all under the umbrella title of The Gate of Betrayal. The individual episodes have no titles on the DVD menu. Due to its age the animation is a lot cruder, with simpler backdrops and not as much detail in the character realisation.

Yusuke vs. Rando: 99 Attacks - Yusuke, during only his second case, must fight a demon, Rando, watched by Koenma, prince of the underworld and the being which turned Yusuke into a spirit detective. Little happens in the episode other than the fight.

The Beasts of Maze Castle - Yusuke returns home following another bout of training. Meeting up with his friend and oft time bully, Kuwabara, they take on a group of demons. This is just the start of things as the friends must travel to the castle to stem the demons incursions and thwart an invasion of Earth. The episode has a lot more humour and plot than the previous episode, as such is a lot more enjoyable.

Genbu, the Stone Beast - Trapped in the castle it looks like the end for Yusuke and his friends as they are being crushed. Can Yusuke and his friends save the day? Well what do you think?

Audio is the usual English or Japanese stereo mixes, with subtitles and the print is clear and bright. Under the extras we find Character Profiles for six of the main protagonists, as well as the Textless Opening/Closing credits. These are mainly of interest as Funimation, although they saw fit to keep the original music, redubed the opening and closing number into English. Lastly a name translation for five of the man characters is included. An eclectic lot really but the profiles and name translations should help you get a little more out of the DVD.

Not a great series really and more for the younger viewer, nothing really wrong with that but the fight of the week makes the DVD seem a little repetitive.

Charles Packer

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