kurama vs. bakken

YYH 30 Day Challenge Day 9: Favorite Fight

I’m going to cheat and say Kurama vs literally half of Team Mashotsukai / Team Masho / Team Shadow Channelers. Here’s Hiei with the scoop. 

We’re sort of conditioned to see Kurama as a wickedly clever badass, so I always like that Hiei usually gets this dig in whenever he’s watching Kurama bleed. Hiei and Kurama have completely opposite philosophies when it comes to battle– Kurama likes to spend time understanding his enemy and formulating the most perfect counterattack, while the only thing Hiei cares about is how fast he can incapacitate his opponent. Hiei can adjust his strategy as he goes, but the change he makes is usually a variation of “kill it harder.”  

There’s upsides and downsides to both approaches, but that is beyond the scope of the blog post.  

I would say this is probably one of the definitive Kurama fights. The image of Kurama with the rose whip ponytail is certainly one that stayed with me. Up to this point, Kurama’s opponents have been Genbu, Roto, and the Ichigaki castoffs. We’ve certainly seen his ability to plan on the fly, to spot possible advantages and weaknesses, and to be a ruthless son of a bitch when you cross him, and now we get a better sense of that reckless streak he showed by throwing his body between Yusuke and a damn sword. Which makes sense– if they lose the tournament, they’ll probably all die anyway. If Kurama can set Yusuke up to win the round, then what happens to him can be dealt with as they go. In the worst case scenario, even if Kurama dies, Kai from the Ichigaki team has already offered to fight for them and could potentially be their alternate. 

He has a level of respect for Gama and Touya that he didn’t have for any of his previous opponents, though. Kurama refuses to kill both of them, and while Gama goes on to sacrifice himself anyway, Kurama and Touya become friends. 

Gama was a challenge because Kurama didn’t know enough about his powers to realize what he was doing until he’d done it. Fighting with paint? Say what?

Touya is not that subtle. Ice is cold, ice is sharp, ice is coming straight at your face. Touya is a challenge to Kurama because Touya knows his basic strategy – outthink and counterattack – and he seriously does takes steps to prevent that. Kurama is just that teensiest bit faster, but Touya is right on the level. He anticipates most of Kurama’s potential counterattacks and he ups the lethality of his assault when he realizes Kurama really should have figured out a move by now. 

The fact that Touya just watched Gama strategically exsanguinate and is still horrified by how Kurama beats him tells you a lot about just how twisted Kurama’s mind is.   

And just as a quick tangent: I’m typically a huge sub snob. There are things I think the FUNimation dub did better, but Kurama isn’t usually one of them. But I was rewatching clips of this fight on youtube to help get my thoughts together and John Burgmeier’s involuntary yelps of pain in this fight are a m a z i n g. A+ acting.

Kurama really has to dig deep inside himself, literally, to defeat him. He beats Touya on the ten count, and it was literally all he could do. He snarks in at least one version (I can’t remember which) that he’s in much, much worse shape than Touya. Touya pops up again during Risho’s fight just a little worse for wear– still feeling his wound, but not COLLAPSED ON THE GROUND BEING EATEN BY A PLANT. Remember, this is the same plant Kurama used to kill Roto that he just planted in his own blood!  

 As soon as his victory is official, he passes out. 

There’s not a lot to say for Kurama vs Bakken, except he’s pretty when he gets beat up, isn’t he? This is the scene that launched a thousand Kurama/Yusuke fics and for good reason. 

Wonder what I’ll talk about for favorite Dark Tournament fight…