Rant: What's Wrong With Most HP/YYH Crossovers
I've been on a YYH kick lately, having been watching the anime. I've naturally also been reading the fics on fanfiction.net, and have found several HP/YYH crossovers, including two C2communities. Some might remember my little mini-rant on the subject some time ago. Well, now that I've much more experience in the genre, and more time for introspection, I thought I'd write up a more coherent analysis of the stereotypes in the genre. And why they suck.
First, in an echo of my previous post, let's talk about power levels. There is simply no way that I can believe that Voldemort or any other creature or person from the canonical Potterverse can be anywhere approaching a threat to the YYH gang.
Let's look at the record for HP-verse wizards. The most destructive accomplishment we've seen is a single spell which killed a dozen or so muggles and took out a block, done by Peter Pettigrew. The most powerful spell they have is the Avada Kedavra, which can be dodged by above average human reflexes, as we see Harry do in the graveyard scene of the fourth book.
Now let's look at the Reikai Tantei. In his first appearance, as a class D youkai, Hiei was moving so fast that he appeared to be teleporting. Yusuke was able to keep up with him. Kurama, while slower in pure speed, nevertheless was nimbly dodging all of Genbu's rock shards (until he consciously decided to stop dodging) during the Four Beasts Arc. Kuwabara, while the slowest of the four, was still much faster than any human as seen in his training for the Dark Tournament. Indeed, any of the four Tantei could suceed in dodging crossfire from any dozen or so Death Eaters long enough to leave the physically untrained wizards gasping in the dust.
Power-wise, do we even need to ask? By the end of the Dark Tournament, Yusuke and Hiei were knocking out the sides of a good sized colliseum arena, much less a city block. Kuwabara could cause his spirit sword to elongate and turn midair like a homing missile, and the Makai plants Kurama used against Karasu could gobble up any opposing wizard before he could get a word out.
Face it. There is no way that any wizard, Voldemort included, who can hope to face any of the YYH gang and hope to win the "duel". He'll be a smear on the ground in 1 second flat.
The only way for Voldemort to be a credible threat to the Tantei would be if he was hiring youkai to fight for him. This isn't as farfetched an idea, since we've seen non-powered humans such as Sakyo and the crime boss who kidnapped Yukina hiring multitudes of youkai lackeys as bodyguards. Obviously, youkai in the human world don't mind working for humans for the right price or for protection from being deported back to Makai by the Reikai.
Of course, youkai being the largely arrogant creatures as they are, the only reason they do serve their masters is because they are treated respectfully at the least by humans who are fully aware of their frailty. Given Voldemort's general attitude toward his lackeys, and his skewed methods of reward and punishment as seen in the books, I also have my doubts on whether he can actually keep all but the most desperate and low ranked youkai in his service. Naturally, these are also the youkai that the Reikai Tantei would have the least amount of problems dealing with.
Now, before we move off the subject of villains and foes, let me just address one more issue: Dementers. I've seen several fics where the Tantei end up facing dementors, and in each case so far, the running theme seems to be that the only thing that can harm the dementors must be a patronus cast from a wand, and that those of the Tantei facing them end up in dire straights from the influx of bad memories, espeically the two youkai with ugly pasts.
Can I just say how stupid that is? We've *seen* both Kurama and Hiei deal with mental attacks before. Heck, one of the explicit powers of Hiei's Jagan was to give him telepathic-like abilities, including the shielding of his mind. Kurama, when facing the Gourmet in the Sensui Arc who had absorbed a telepath's powers, could effortlessly keep his foe from reading his intentions with just a moments pause for readying himself. I find it hard to believe either of these two youkai could be so affected by dementors.
As for defeating them, does anyone believe that Yusuke's spirit gun blast, which can knock down mountains by the end of the Sensui Arc, or Kuwabara's spirit sword, which can slice through the barrier between worlds... can't affect dementors? If you do... well, I have no words. No words.
Characters - The Tantei
As for my second overall issue with the standard HP/YYH crossover, that would have to be the reccurent theme of the Reikai Tantei quartet being sent as undercover students at Hogwarts. Can I just say how stupid that idea is? Pop quiz. Can anyone name a single instance where the Tantei were sent on a mission that required actual undercover investigation? Or even more than just "hit everything until they stop moving"?
Yusuke's recovery of the three artifacts? Nope. He was given a tracer to go straight to the youkai in Gouki's case. The other two artifacts bearers - Kurama and Hiei - came to him instead of him seeking them out.
Genkai's tournament? Nope. Yusuke's only job there was to prevent the hidden youkai from winning and taking up Genkai's mantle by winning the tournament himself. His job wasn't to find out who was the youkai. It was to beat up everyone else up against him.
The rescue of Yukina? Nope. They were told where to find the bad guy responsible, and their only job was to go crashing through the front door and demanding her release, or else.
The fun-house trials right before the Sensui Arc? Well, it was the only instance where they were forced to use their brains instead of their brawn. And surprise, surprise, Kurama was the only one who suceeded any of the trials. Hiei and Kuwabara both failed miserably. And in the end, even Yusuke only passed the last trial by luck and guesswork.
Quite frankly, only one person of the Tantei is qualified for any kind of discretionary undercover work, and that's Kurama. But let's look at each of the others and just why it's a bad idea to send them on this kind of job.
Yusuke: For one thing, he's a delinquent who's infamous for ditching class almost every day, despite having both authority and his girlfriend on his case all the time. Does anyone think he'll attend classes in a place like Hogwarts (which isn't even teaching anything his native society says he'll need in life anyway), Koenma or no? Does anyone think any of the teachers can convince him otherwise when even Keiko has failed? I think not. Dumbledore will run out of excuses not to expel him within a week.
Hiei: Probably an even worse candidate for this job than Yusuke. Not only will he refuse to go to classes on general principle, but he can't even perform basic interactions with the Hogwarts students than any undercover job needs. Hiei looks down upon humans at best. Forcing him to stick around a bunch of immature, whiney brats is just asking for half the student body to be maimed if not killed.
Kuwabara: Granted, he might actually go to classes and he sort of acts his age. However, the main problem with Kuwabara is that he simply doesn't have the brains to accomplish whatever mission goal that the the whole undercover business is for. Unless he's being asked to spot the dark marks in the student body or some other direct application of his esper abilities, he's not going to be able to stick around long enough before he blows his cover.
Of course, you'd think that Koenma would be smart enough to realize this most of the time. While the little godling is quite spazzy, he's not dumb. But unfortunately, most fics prefer to take the lazy route and simply toss the Tantei foursome into Hogwarts without further thought.
I don't quite understand it, but a lot of the crossovers I've read all have the Tantei obtain pet animals while they're shopping for supplies in Diagon Alley. All I can assume is that these people have not bothered to familiarize themselves with YYH canon before they started writing.
Yusuke already has a "pet" - Puu. And when the little critter first hatched from his egg, we the readers got a good look at just how Yusuke treats pets. He doesn't. He hands them off to the first dupe willing to take care of it for him, like Keiko. Not only does he not need any more pets (especially after Puu grows up into a full-blown phoenix and becomes much more useful than anything out of the Potterverse menagerie), he doesn't want any.
Kuwabara's in the same boat in that he already has a pet. In his case, it's a pet that he loves. And we all know that Kuwabara is the very loyal kind of person who wouldn't look at anything else once something already occupies that spot in his heart. He's not going to want a pet either.
Hiei and Kurama, on the other hand, would be more likely to regard most of the animals in the shop as food rather than pets. Some authors like to give the suddenly soft-hearted Hiei a kitten and make him like it. Rubbish. Whatever softness in Hiei's heart is reserved for people who've earned it, and that only applies to his close comrades, not animals. If his attitude toward human life is as toward expendable cattle, does anyone think he'd treat a "cute animal" as a human would? Some authors also like to give Kurama a pet fox or other cute animal. They obviously think he has no memory. Kurama knows full well that to get a pet for no other reason than he likes it is an invitation to grow attached to the thing. To become emotionally attached is to create a weakness that his foes might exploit. Remember, he's had his mother threatened by his foes in the Dark Tournament. He's not stupid enough to go creating possible weaknesses for himself on the eve of a mission into unknown or hostile territory.
The only useful animal that any of them would get would be a owl for mailing purposes. However, the thing is that only Yusuke or Kuwabara has anyone to send mail to who would not find it strange that an owl is delivering the mail. Even then, they have no reason to not use the school owls. The only one they need to communicate with is Koenma, and I doubt that Potterverse owls can make a trip to the Reikai and back.
I have no problems with Yusuke and Kuwabara being sorted into Gryffindor (even if I personally think Kuwabara would do just as well in Hufflepuff), which is pretty much a given thing.
I do have an issue with the idea that the Sorting Hat being able to read Hiei or Kurama's minds (see the dementors issue), much less put them somewhere they don't want to be. More likely, Hiei would have to be restrained from burning the hat to a crisp after hearing it say two sentences.
But putting that aside, I don't have a problem with Hiei being in either Gryffindor or Slytherin, since he's got traits for both: recklessness and bravery for Gryffindor, ambition and ruthlessness for Slytherin. However, perhaps half of the fics I've seen get Kurama's house right, assuming he lets the Hat see his full self.
Kurama does not belong to Ravenclaw, no matter how much of a scholastic overachiever that Shuichi Minamino is. In every single scene we've actually seen of Kurama, he displays more of cunning than abstracted intelligence. His defeat of fellow prodigy Kaito before the Sensui Arc - games and tricks. His defeat of the Gamemaster in the Sensui Arc - by ruthlessly exploiting the emotional insecurity of an elementary school child to the point of sacrificing the child's life for the greater good. Kurama is perfectly willing to get his hands dirty if the ends justify it. Even without going into youko form, he's a Slytherin through and through.
There are more issues that I have with HP/YYH stereotypes than just these four, of course. A lot of them involve the interactions betwen the Reikai Tantei and various Potter-verse major characters. Then again, my views of the typical treatment of HP characters would take up a rant in and of itself, so I'm just going to stop here.
I'll also note that, after slogging through one too many HP/YYH fics with the problems as I've mentioned above, I've dabbled in writing up something myself. I'm not sure it will get anywhere, since the fic is mostly an exercise in doing everything differently from stereotype, as how I think it should go. That means I have no plot or ending in mind, since none of the fics I've read are WIPs that have an resolution or much of a plot yet. But if it does turn out to be going somewhere, I might be persuaded to put it up as well.