|Dark Tournament Saga|
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The Dark Tournament Saga is the second and longest saga of the YuYu Hakusho series. It spans from chapters 52 to 112 of the manga and episodes 26 to 66, making it the longest saga in the series. As the name suggests it, the saga focuses on the Dark Tournament competition, a tournament associated by wealthy humans on the Hanging Neck Island.
Preliminary - The Return of Toguro and The Departure to Hanging Neck Island (Episodes 26-27)
Yusuke goes on a date with Keiko (against his will), meanwhile in spirit world it is revealed that Toguro threw his fight with Yusuke to give Sakyo Tarukane's fortune. After the two discuss Yusuke's potential Toguro kills an insanity driven Tarukane and heads off. Toguro meets Yusuke and forces him to come with him. Toguro then reveals 60% of his power, scaring Yusuke and Kuwabara who was watching from a distance. Yusuke then agrees to the Dark Tournament as Hiei and Kurama were also watching. In preparation Yusuke goes to train some more with Genkai, while Hiei and Kurama train Kuwabara. The quartet reunites at the boat for the Dark Tournament, while a fifth unknown fighter joins. The five head onto the boat and Yusuke falls asleep due to his training. The host then reveals that only one team will be allowed to go to the Dark Tournament and the attendees have a battle royale where Team Urameshi ends up being the last ones standing.
Round One - Team Urameshi vs. Team Rokuyukai (Episodes 28-32)
Team Urameshi and Team Rokuyakai are the first match, where Yusuke is still fast asleep. A boy named Rinku steps in and agrees to fight. He is pitted against Kuwabara. The two fight and Kuwabara managed to wound the boy, but sadly he is caught in his yo-yo's and ultimately loses the fight when he stays out of the ring for 10 seconds. With 0 - 1, Kurama steps in and is pitted against Roto, who reveals that he knows about his alias and fake mother. Roto then forces Kurama not to fight back as he beats him savagely and begins to torture him, but Kurama throws a pebble at him and after more torture Roto begins to feel pain and Kurama reveals that when he threw the pebble he also threw a seed in and when Roto asks Kurama to lick the scum off his boots he starts to feel pain and Kurama's death plant begins to grow, as Roto begs for mercy he learns Kurama doesn't show any and dies. The score is 1 - 1 as the third match involves Hiei being pitted against Zeru. The two fight and it seems Zeru has the upper hand, until Hiei unleashes the Dragon of the Darkness and disintegrates Zeru, but at the expense of his right arm. Hiei wins the match and the score is 2 - 1. After witnessing Kurama and Hiei's abilities Gaou and Imajin attempt to flee, but are killed by Chu for such a cowardly act. Chu then steps in to fight as his alcoholic smell finally wakes the long sleeping Yusuke who steps into fight. The two prove to be an even match, until they both emit all of their spirit energy and decide to have a knife-edge death match, where the two savagely beat each other, until Yusuke finally wins and the score is 3 - 1, making Team Urameshi the winners.
Round Two - Team Urameshi vs. Dr. Ichigaki Team (Episodes 33-36)
After their first fight Yusuke is left unable to use his spirit gun, while Hiei's right arm is too injured to even grip a sword. Kurama meanwhile watches the other teams and how strong they are. A group of demons then attempt to kill Yusuke, who is left helpless as he is unable to use his spirit gun. He is saved by another demon who wishes to fight Yusuke properly. After Yusuke and Kuwabara arrive they find Toguro fighting alone against 5 other demons. Toguro then reveals 45% of his power to them and easily beats them before pinpointing Yusuke in the audience. The next day, Hiei and Kurama are ambushed and struggle due to Hiei's injury. Meanwhile, Yusuke, Kuwabara and the masked fighter face the Ichigaki team 3 on 3. Although the team refuses to fight due to learning that the fighters are under Dr. Ichigaki's control. The Urameshi team initially falls back, until the Masked Fighter frees them from the mind control and Yusuke finishes Dr. Ichigaki.
Round Three - Team Urameshi vs. Team Masho (Episodes 37-43)
A nurse named Ruka asks Hiei and the Masked Fighter to come to the tent to be treated, but oddly doesn't ask Kuwabara (most likely not seeing him as any immediate threat). This turns out to be a trap as Hiei and the Masked Fighter are trapped behind a barrier, leaving only Yusuke and Kurama able to fight. Yusuke and Jin agree to 5 wins. The first match pits Kurama against Gama. Gama at first overwhelms Kurama, who seems to be done for, but Kurama then uses his rose whip to kill Gama. In his second match Kurama is still at a disadvantage, but manages to win, but had to use a death plant to save himself. Next a fighter named Bakken steps in and takes advantage of the unconscious Kurama, beating him savagely until Risho stops him as Yusuke was about to kill him. After that Yusuke steps in the ring and at first is lost in Bakken's sweat fog, but Yusuke uses his spirit gun blast to clear the arena and easily defeats Bakken for what he did to Kurama. Meanwhile, Ruka's barrier begins to not only wear off, but heal Hiei's arm as well. In the next match, Yusuke is then pitted against Jin. Jin at first gets the best of Yusuke, but he is able to win with his spirit wave technique. However the match is called a draw on behalf of Yusuke being out of the ring more than 10 seconds, the committee having been bribed by Butajiri. Just as all seems lost the injured Kuwabara steps in and defeats Risho, keeping the team safe from elimination. Before the semi-finals Yusuke's spirit egg hatches and reveals a spirit beast that is loving and gentle, much to the rest of Team Urameshi's amusement. Friction grows between Yusuke and the Masked Fighter, who step outside. The Masked Fighter is then revealed to be Genkai, who gives Yusuke one final test to kill her to gain her power.
Quarter-Finals - Team Urameshi vs. Team Uraotogi (Episodes 44-50)
Yusuke refuses to kill Genkai and thereby passes her test. Genkai then gives Yusuke his final lesson in the form of her spirit orb and he must either endure the pain or die. Koto is replaced due to her ineptitude as a referee and Team Urameshi is pitted against Team Uraotogi. Hiei then claims that he wants to fight every match. However Shishiwakamaru decides to roll dice and determine the fight. Hiei is first pitted against Makintaro, who he easily defeats. Then he fought Momotaro, who Hiei struggles more with, but ultimately defeats. Around this time Genkai decides Yusuke will die if her test continues and decides to remove her power, however Yusuke refuses to give up and endures yet more pain. Kurama is then initially overwhelmed by Ura Urashima, but after having his age reversed it is enough to release Yoko Kurama to kill Urashima. Genkai later shows up to fight Shishiwakamaru, who had defeated Kuwabara earlier. The final match against Suzuki fought with Kuwabara representing Team Urameshi once more, but the match ends in a carbon copy, while Genkai defeats him in the next match.
Semi-Finals - Genkai's Death (Episodes 51-53)
Later on Genkai tells Kuwabara to make sure Yusuke stays asleep as she goes to confront the Younger Toguro. Meanwhile, Karasu, Bui and the Elder Toguro fight another team and defeat them. Kurama watches and is later confronted by the trio. Karasu then claims that one of Team Urameshi's team is going to die, worrying Kurama. Genkai beats Toguro down, but he ultimately wins with his demonic powers. Yusuke wakes up and heads after Genkai after learning of what she is doing. Genkai then says goodbye to Yusuke before dying and Yusuke angrily strikes Toguro, breaking his fingers. News of Genkai's death reaches Botan and Koenma and they begin to mourn. Meanwhile, Team Urameshi trains to rival Team Toguro, with Suzuki giving Kurama and Kuwabara gifts for their match because he doesn't like them, but he hates Toguro. Hiei strengthens himself to prepare to release the Dragon of the Darkness Flame without crippling his arm again. Yusuke tests his new Spirit Gun power and shoots a much more powerful spirit gun blast for Genkai's sake.
Finals - Team Urameshi vs. Team Toguro (Episodes 54-64)
The Dark Tournament finals start off with the first match between Team Toguro's Karasu and Team Urameshi's Kurama. Although Kurama narrowly defeats Karasu before passing out, in a twist, the fight is deemed a win for Team Toguro (Kurama passed out for a 10 count before Karasu died). The next match is between Hiei and Team Toguro's Bui. After a long match, Hiei chooses to spare Bui's life, earning him the first victory for Team Urameshi. The third match is between Kuwabara and the Elder Toguro. It is revealed in the beginning of the fight that information pertaining to Genkai's death was withheld from Kuwabara. After obtaining his Spirit Flyswatter, Kuwabara takes the second victory for Team Urameshi. The final match between Yusuke and Toguro takes place shortly afterward. Genkai, possessing the body of Pu, tells Toguro that in order to bring about Yusuke's true fighting potential, he must kill the one closest to him. Kuwabara rushes towards Toguro, intending to be the sacrifice needed in order to help Yusuke attain the power needed. Toguro then proceeds to impale him in the chest, presumably killing him. Yusuke's power is finally brought to the surface, turning the tides in his favor. However, it is revealed that Toguro has considerably held back against him up until this point.
After a heated battle with Toguro using his true power, Yusuke uses his remaining spirit energy to fire one last Spirit Gun. In the end, Toguro manages to successfully catch the Spirit Gun, only to die afterward. With Toguro defeated, it is revealed that Kuwabara, in fact, faked his death in order to trick Yusuke into going all-out. It is implied that Toguro had purposely avoided Kuwabara's vitals, as he was only interested in fighting Yusuke in his prime.
Epilogue (Episode 65-66)
Shortly after the defeat of Toguro, Koto and Juri officially declare Team Urameshi the winner of the Dark Tournament. However, Sakyo appears and informs them that he intends to destroy the tournament arena, along with himself and his work. With the press of a button, a bomb set by Sakyo is to detonate within 15 minutes, blowing up both his underground lab and the Dark Tournament itself.
With no time to spare, everyone makes a break to get out of the crumbling arena, save for a few. Keiko is traumatized and is unable to consciously react to the situation, prompting Yusuke to literally slap some sense back into her. In the anime, Kuwabara's sister Shizuru, follows Koenma to Sakyo's underground lab, in order to convince him to reconsider taking his life.
It is through his conversation with Sakyo that it is revealed that he intends on taking his ambition to create a portal between demon world and human world with him. Before he is crushed by the ceiling, Sakyo flicks his lighter to Shizuru as a momento to remember him by. Heartbroken, Shizuru is evacuated from the room, and the gang manages to escape with their lives as the arena explodes behind them.
Although relieved that it's over, Yusuke is still torn over the loss of Genkai. It is shown later that after Toguro's defeat, he specifically requested Koenma to assign him to Hell for the afterlife (or "limbo" in the Funimation English Dub) as he feels that he is unable to ever atone for his sin. As he is approaching his destination, he comes across Genkai at the crossroads. She is however, unsuccessful in changing his mind, and the two part ways once more.
As the gang gets ready to depart off of Hanging Neck Island the next day, they are surprised when a revived Genkai appears to get on the ferry with them. The ferry takes it's leave, as everyone looks out to the ocean, setting the story in motion for what's to follow.
|e v||Dark Tournament Saga|
|Episodes:||26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66|
|Anime:||Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3|Season 4|
|Manga:||List of Chapters|