The third Saint Beast has almost no presence in the plot; in fact, he could easily have been removed from the story arc with little effect. His only role is to kill the second Saint Beast (Who had apparently been killed by Kuwabara moments before; had he been actually dead, no one would have complained), and then be killed by Hiei in one of the shortest fights in the series. However, it all makes sense once you realize that Hiei was originally supposed to be a one-shot villain, but became so popular that the author wrote him back into the story. In order to do so, the author had to make last-minute changes to the plot so that Hiei would have something to do — and since all of this was added in at the last minute, neither Hiei nor the Saint Beast he fights have much effect on the plot of that story arc.
Makes sense. Although I assume Seiryu would still need to appear if Hiei hadn't been brought back as he and his fellows were based on these constellations.
In the anime, Seiryu did serve the purpose of showing that while he has been a cold blooded killer, Hiei still has honor, and doesn't take kindly to killing a comrade. If anything, Hiei is loyal.
Why would a tournament that encourages "winner via killing" and also only allows ONE substitute per team no matter what make it MANDATORY that there be five people on each team in the FINALS or face instant DQ?
To make it exceptionally rare that anyone actually wins said tournament, thereby avoiding having to actually give out the promised "Anything you ask for with no exceptions" prizes the winner is supposed to receive. Big promise gets people to enter, technicalities keep anyone from winning, no prize is handed out, sorry, better luck next time. Classic scam.
Actually (at least in the anime dub), the team only had to have all 5 members if they hadn't already used a sub. A team that had lost members and subbed someone in could still compete, but a team who had not yet made a substitution needed five people.
On this subject, who else was on Toguro and Genkai's team and where are they now?
I always assumed that Genkai was actually the fifth member of Team Toguro, and that the other three were just kept on for fifty years.
The tournament rules make it clear that the winning team only needs to win three out of five matches. Three members of the team are alive when the anime takes place: Genkai, Younger Toguro, and Elder Toguro. The other two members likely died in the final round.
Interesting this isn't mentioned yet, but when Rando was killed off, it is very likely all ninety-nine of the techniques he stole are now Lost Forever. Sure, it may be a good thing some of them won't be learned again, but it's a bit tragic to think how many unique moves vanished in one kill and how meaningless the slain trainers' lives were.
Yukina and Hiei are confirmed to be twins in the Three Kingdoms arc. It's stated that the Ice Maidens/Koorime reproduce asexually every hundred years. It's also stated in Kurama's internal narration that Hiei isn't old enough to remember the really bad stuff Mukuro's done in the past, and if Yukina had children, it's highly unlikely that they'd never be mentioned, given that family is important enough to both Hiei and Yukina that they each independently went on a quest to find the other. Therefore, Yukina is probably not yet of childbearing age. Hiei's voice is pretty deep, so they're probably both somewhere in the middle of youkai puberty.
From what I remember Koorime reproduce once every century. So the twins are probably passed youkai puberty (or at their "teen" years to fit the human age frame) but not at that time of the century for reproducing.
^You mean "improbably". Please read Occam's Razor. For them to be well into their "teen"-equivalents would require Yukina's ovulation cycle to start significantly after puberty, developmentally speaking, which doesn't make sense. The big landmark of cis-female puberty is the ovulation cycle starting. With Ice Maidens, their ovulation cycle is a century long. Even if the whole species's ovulation cycles are synchronised, which is not actually indicated in the series, then logically Yukina and Hiei would have been born at around the same time as a whole bunch of other ice maidens, and thus would be hitting puberty at the same time as all the other ice maidens of that generation, and it only makes sense that said puberty would be timed to the species's ovulation cycle because that is what puberty is for. If you really want to plausibly put them in their teen-equivalents, it makes way more sense to have Yukina be using some sort of youkai birth control because she doesn't feel ready to be a mother yet.