The group struggles to hold up the weight of the ceiling as the creature taunts them. Yusuke suggests that Hiei be the one to hit the switch as he is the fastest of the bunch, however, Kuwabara points out that Hiei is self serving and may very well leave them there to die.
Yusuke says he trusts him anyway. The episode does toy with the idea of Hiei turning on the group after he escapes, but in the end he flips the switch and saves them.
The group moves on to face the first of the four saint beasts, a stone goliath named Genbu. He’s a bit goofy looking and his voice tries to sound threatening, but only occasionally does he pull it off. Despite these setbacks, he is a formidable foe. Kurama steps forward to take on the challenge.
He reasons that a four on one fight would be unwise since they don’t know what the creature’s abilities are so having one step forward would be more of a recon measure.
Genbu has the ability to meld with other stone (which the whole room is made of) giving him a distinct advantage. Genbu gains the upper hand until Kurama whips out his primary weapon…a rose.
Kuwabara makes a joke about how Kurama probably won’t have much luck if he’s trying to win the beast over. It’s a funny line, but what’s notable is that it’s Hiei who laughs. I mean, sure he has his deadpan snarky moments, but he’s not one for jokes. The fact that Kuwabara made him laugh is impressive.
The rose turns into a whip with thorns that can cut through anything. Kurama manages to slice and dice the creature, but Genbu only reassembles himself. Even a slice through the head doesn’t seem to have much impact.
It’s revealed during the fight that Hiei recruited Kurama into his team so that he wouldn’t have to face the red head as Kurama is apparently more ruthless and his precision and intellect make him a worthy adversary. It’s still hard to imagine. I know that Kurama is one one to underestimate, but just the fact that he’s so much more pleasant makes it hard to believe that he’s more ruthless than Hiei.
Kurama does manage to find Genbu’s Achilles’ heel and exploits it to win, though not after sustaining a significant amount of wounds. It gives Kurama a reason to sit the next few rounds out and Kuwabara agrees to take the next one.
We finally get to see Kurama get into a real fight and we get a sense of his fighting style.
The fact that it was Kurama who was wounded gives us a taste of the kind of threat they face. Even Hiei points out that if Kurama is hurt as badly as he is that they might have a problem.
It’s a pretty straight forward episode, but it makes for an entertaining time.
Anime fans in the local Wichita area can pick up this series in its entirety on DVD at their local Best Buy or order it online through websites like Amazon.com.