Yu Yu Hakusho
A Parent's Guide to Anime
Suitable for Family Viewing
Reviewed by Samantha Audsley:
The first Yu Yu Hakusho movie, (Poltergeist Report is the second), this has some nice moments but it's way too short. The usual drama is missing here - the movie chooses to stick entirely with the comedy and action elements of the TV series. It does try to be dramatic toward the end, but it comes across a bit cheesily.
The plot is concise and to-the-point: Koenma gets kidnapped while vacationing at the beach, and Yusuke and company are off to the rescue. The kidnappers demand the Golden Seal of Enma as a ransom, an item which gives its holder control of the Spirit World. The villains behind this crime are Garuga, a big stupid lummox of a demon, and his little sidekick/boss Koashura, a maniacal kid who was in Koenma's kindergarten class.
The movie, and therefore most of the jokes in it, assumes that the viewer has at least passing familiarity with the TV series. (As of this writing, the TV series is not yet availible, except as an import or fansubs, but it was just licensed, so it'll get here eventually.) It's not tough to understand, though; you get an idea of what the heroes are like almost immediately. Some of the visual humor is nice; I particularly like Botan smacking the demon thugs on the head with her trademark oar.
Overall, the movie is entertaining, but it doesn't live up to its full potential. If it were longer, the producers could have done more with it, but as it is, it's over too fast.
Parent's Guide Rating:
green (suitable for family viewing)
The worst part of this tape (I am referring to the dubbed VHS here) is the previews. The first two are fine, but then there are previews for two adult videos, which makes little sense on a kid friendly tape. Parents: stand in front of the TV and fast forward before the kids see it.
There is no profanity; it's been changed to "heck" and the like. Religious parents may want to note that the movie throws around terms like "Spirit World" and "demon."
Violence is cartoony and bloodless, and nothing worse than I've seen in your average Looney Tunes cartoon.
When Koenma is shown hanging at the beach, there are girls in bikinis, and a brief shot of a guy with a large sign over his personal zone. I'm assuming the Japanese text on the sign reads "censored." Everyone in this scene is decidedly non-human, with weird colors and horns and what not. The stuff seen here passes quickly and isn't that bad anyway.