Yu Yu Hakusho Episode 3: Kuwabara Helps His Friends

This episode focuses on Kazuma Kuwabara, a delinquent like Yusuke; Kuwabara has a few friends that he hangs out with, as illustrated in a scene where he and his group protect Keiko from other delinquents who try to extort her. This scene shows Kuwabara’s honorable side – he only fights when it’s to defend others, a contrast to those he fought (who desire money, and are willing to aggravate others to obtain cash). The teacher who confronts him and his gang over their behavior initially wishes to revoke the special work permission granted to one of the delinquents, named Okubo, but seemingly promises to not pursue that option if Kuwabara agrees to avoid conflict for a week, as well as the team achieving at least 50 points on an upcoming science test; he intends to expel Kuwabara, however, in order to improve the value of the school’s stocks. This demonstrates the teacher’s desire to abuse his authority for profit; Kuwabara and his friends, by contrast, wish to honor their promise, with Kuwabara upholding his end of the deal by refusing to throw a single punch when fought by the delinquents from before. Kuwabara also studies hard to fulfill the second condition; the teacher speaks condescendingly of him when observing him study in class, illustrating that he does not believe Kuwabara has the mental faculty to improve (Kuwabara got a 7 on the previous exam).

The teacher’s deceitful nature serves as a great contrast to Kuwabara’s decent nature; while he may be a delinquent, Kuwabara is loyal to his friends, and would do anything to help them out of a difficult situation, even if it means getting beat up in the process. By contrast, the teacher show more concern for his shareholders than the students of the school where he works – if a disobedient student’s removal can make the school more profitable, he would eagerly expel that student rather than actively help the student improve socially. One other teache, Takenaka, defends Kuwabara, however; he objects to his colleague erasing one answer from Kuwabara’s test, forcing him to correct his malicious action. This shows that someone working for the school looks after the students – Takenaka doesn’t take any nonsense from his fellow teachers, and would not abide any wrongdoing. He demonstrates his honorable side by confronting a colleague over his untoward behavior – at least one person at the school has a good moral compass, and would address an injustice committed by someone. Yusuke also intervenes to help Kuwabara; although he does not currently have a corporeal form, he enters Kuwabara’s dreams to assist in his studies.

Episode three of Yu Yu Hakusho illustrates how authority can be abused for personal gain – a teacher with profit on the mind attempts to have a student expelled in an effort to improve the value of stocks, showing that wealth is more important to him than the students he supervises. Takenaka’s intervention shows that not everyone observes the same greedy motivations, however; at least one person takes his job as a teacher seriously, and wants to help students. Authority and wealth can go to people’s heads – someone like the malevolent teacher can be encouraged to exploit his own social power over another, with his own personal success taking precedence over treating someone else with respect. It takes the efforts of others to obstruct the teacher’s actions, showing that terrible people can be defeated; Yusuke and Takenaka both help Kuwabara earn a decent grade, with Yusuke possessing another student in order to protect Kuwabara from aggressors. The episode ends with Kuwabara receiving a 53 on his science test, satisfying the teacher’s condition of a decent grade, even though the teacher attempted to go back on his promise by erasing one of Kuwabara’s answers; atrocious behavior is punished, and Okubo can continue supporting his family with his job. The horrible teacher was rather dismissive and condescending, wanting Kuwabara to fail so that the school would look better profit-wise; Kuwabara ultimately triumphs in the end, thanks to both his own effort and those of Takenaka and Yusuke (the latter helping as a spectral entity). Being a loyal friend is leagues better than a duplicitous desire for money – Kuwabara has two allies willing to fight for him, and he honored his promise to the teacher, showing him to be a better person than the teacher he made a promise with.

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