Yu Yu Hakusho

Title:Yu Yu Hakusho
Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files
Yu Yu Hakusho: Poltergeist Report
Yu Yu Hakusho: Spirit Detectives
Yuu Yuu Hakusho
Yuyu Hakusho
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: AMANO Yuri
CHIBA Shigeru
HIYAMA Nobuyuki
OGATA Megumi
Original Concept - TOGASHI Yoshihiro
R1 License - FUNimation
Yusuke Urameshi is a punk high school student who loves fighting fellow students, especially rival Kazuma Kuwabara and his gang of thugs. One day while cutting class, a little girl walks in front of a car and Yusuke pushed the child out of the way but in the process, dies. Since his final act was one of selflessness, the ruler of the Spirit World, Koenma-sama, decides that he deserves another chance. He decrees that Yusuke will now be a Spirit Detective and his guide will be Botan, who's normal job is to lead people to the afterlife.

After lucking through his first cases, he undergoes special training from the master Genkai and is joined by former rival Kuwabara, and former youkai opponents Hiei and Kurama to solve cases (1st season). Then, the five are picked to be special guests of the Dark Tournament (2nd season) which they must win or lose their lives. Next, a former Spirit Detective with incredible powers decides to remove the barrier between the Human Realm and the Demon Realm. Finally, Yusuke must return to the Demon Realm along with Hiei and Kurama as they each join forces with one of the rulers there. Yusuke can survive youkai, but can he survive the love of fellow classmate Keiko? Will Kuwabara win the heart of female youkai Yukina-san?
[TV series, 1992-95, 112 episodes, 24 min, based on the manga of the same name by TOGASHI Yoshihiro-sensei; see also: Yu Yu Hakusho : The Movie, Yu Yu Hakusho: Meikai Shito Hen - Hono No Kizuna]
"白書" ("hakusho") means "White Paper" (i. e. legislative proposal), that's where the "files" resp. "report" comes from.

1min Season 2 Trailer - ANN Video
Episode Details 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 6 5 6 6 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:108#1552]
Yuyu Hakusho is one of the few Toonami titles I never had a chance to see too often during the block's peak of popularity in the early to mid 2000s. It is a shounen battle anime following in the vein of titles like Dragon Ball Z and Saint Seiya that were popular during the time period where you have superpowered heroes fighting evil forces, training to increase their power, participating in battle tournaments and characters often bragging about their powers and abilities. Yuyu Hakusho follows a number of the cliches typical of these titles, but does have some elements to it that stick out compared to DBZ and Saint Seiya.

The main group of heroes portrayed in the series aren't your typical pure-hearted bunch as they consist of delinquents and demons who aren't entirely pure in their motives in combating evil threats. Despite their questionable upbringings though, the members of the group do get fleshing out of their characters and backgrounds to show that their upbringings are rather complicated and that their current personalities are the result of whatever complicated pasts they had. This fleshing out also extends to many of the villains that Yusuke and his group encounter in later episodes of the series, an element that would be adopted in later popular shounen battle titles like Naruto and Inuyasha. The only flaw to the depth approach with villains here is that the series usually does this when the villain is close to death or about to be defeated without any kind of proper buildup, an issue that is also carried over to more recent shounen battle titles. However, the series does provide reasonable depth and buildup to Sensui's disillusioned and manipulative character in YYH's Chapter Black saga, which made his character one of the more complex ones in the series and what contributed to Chapter Black being the best saga in the series for me.

A number of the battles in the series also involved strategy and intellect, aspects that were lacking in popular battle anime of the period as they involved more showing off over-the-top powers and techniques. Kurama and a number of other characters in YYH are known to use their intellect and strategy often to dispatch their foes, usually contending with foes that relied more on power or who are just as equal as them in cunning and intellect. Those not as notable with their brains are also shown to occasionally rely on strategy when the situation calls for it. While Yuyu Hakusho does usually resort to showing off crazy powers and abilities, it isn't the dominating focus in many of its battles.

Praises aside though, there are a good number of issues that keep me from wanting to rate Yuyu Hakusho as highly as Rurouni Kenshin. As discussed above, the series still dabbles fairly heavily in the cliches of shounen battle anime having its fair share of plot conveniences, heavy focus on battle scenes, cliched villains (Rando and the Saint Beasts are nowhere as fun to see compared to Younger Toguro and Sensui) and wasted plot potential.

The fourth element is worth mention because there are a couple major elements to the series that had potential to offer some nice developments, yet are wasted. Keiko is seen as Yusuke's love interest throughout much of the series, yet Yuyu Hakusho never provides enough time with the two to have one convinced that they are a couple worth rooting for. The Three Kings saga offered up the opportunity to see a side of the demon world that was never explored at all in earlier episodes of the series. While YYH explores what connections Yusuke, Hiei and Kurama had to each of the three powerful demons that dominated the realm, the saga isn't as well-paced as the three earlier sagas as the series rushes through its developments and makes a pretty stupid excuse to set up another battle tournament when it seemed like conflict was going to arise between the forces of the three mentioned demons. Even with the battle tournament setup, it only runs for 5 episodes and lacks the suspense of the Dark Tournament saga when Yusuke and his team had the odds stacked against them in many of their fights.

In terms of presentation, the visuals and music for YYH are nothing too notable. Artwork quality is pretty standard for an early to mid 1990s title sporting drab color, washed-out details for scenery and the typical drawing style of character designs being the big-eyed variety with details varying from simple to decent. Animation shortcuts are a regular occurrence in the series as it makes use of techniques like still shots, reused animation frames, and speed stripes. The soundtrack to YYH consists of suspenseful and energetic tracks that do their part in enhancing battle, serious and comical moments; though nothing of particular note greatly stuck out for me with the show's music.

Overall, Yuyu Hakusho has some major story and character elements that allowed it to stick out from shounen battle anime of its time period and are now a convention with modern shounen battle titles. It still sticks fairly strongly to the cliches of the genre and doesn't really do much else to break the mold of it. But if you are an action anime fan that wants to at least have a little something extra added to your titles besides crazy powers and action, then Yuyu Hakusho is a decent fix for your enjoyment.

Last updated Wednesday, November 27 2013. Created Wednesday, November 27 2013.
Rent Jan-Chan [series:108#967]
Rent++ (and many would consider this series a fun BUY)

If you enjoy this series, then you should check out Flame of Recca which shares a similar storyline.

Last updated Monday, December 01 2008. Created Monday, December 01 2008.
Buy 7 7 8 6 10 9 manganime [series:108#1633]
I loved this anime, being a big fan of DBZ this is very similiar and I would recommend this to DBZ fans, although the fights are not as long which some people may prefer.

The first few sagas are not too exciting in my opinion but once the Toguro enters the scene this anime did not disappoint, The Dark Tournament, Sensui and Demon World Tournament were all great! And the ending was satisfying unlike many good animes which end up having a blunt ending!

Also the English Dub of this is freaking great, captures the character's personalities really well.

Last updated Saturday, May 03 2008. Created Friday, May 02 2008.
Buy Forbin [series:108#1573]
Drama : Med/High
Comedy : med
Action : High
SciFi : High
Ecchi : Med

It's been a long 3 1/2 years. First disk was released Apr 2002 and July 2005 marks the last disk (#32). (This series happens to last 9 Anime Seasons - 13 episodes per season)

At first I was thinking this would be some Dragonball Z clone, and in a lot of respects it is. But it's story line is a LOT less '20 episodes on talking about fighting abilities' and Yusuke is no Goku. He's more of a real person learning how to use his abilities. And he doesn't have 5 super saiyan modes to help. Most of the time he gets the crap beat out of him just so he can see how well he can use his abilities. In fact mostly uses the good old fashioned Spirit gun he got from the Beginning.

The last episode (Yusuke the Future) was absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed it a LOT. While this isn't as high rated as say RoD TV I still think it's worth a Buy.

Last updated Monday, July 25 2005. Created Monday, July 25 2005.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:108#1393]
In this we have the good guys and the bad guys. WE have the demons and the spirit world. I enjoyed watching this while it was on Saturday evenings on cartoon network. There was a differet theme to it and a different way they went about it.

Last updated Tuesday, July 05 2005. Created Tuesday, July 05 2005.
Buy 9 10 10 8 10 10 Courtney [series:108#1779]
Yu Yu Hakusho, while not being a series of epic proportions as say Cowboy Bebop or Akira, is still revolutionary for it's genre. Yes, it is a fighting series. However, it is not that simple. Despite being a series that revolves around battles, Yu Yu Hakusho manages to incorporate some intelligence into its story that pulls the viewer in. What makes people wary of this title is it's age and the impression of being reminescent of Dragon Ball Z. However, the dated art style and DBZ similarities are only skin-deep. The animation utilizes hand painted cels that people still collect today. The character designs are very nice, giving specific traits to certain characters that highlight aspects of their personalities. The characters themselves are what drive Yu Yu Hakusho. Everyone of importance is given a full background and their actions are influenced by their convictions. Some characters (for example, Keiko) are static and help impact the decisions of the more dynamic characters. No one is there just by circumstance or to fill the role of an archetype. As I mentioned previously, the characters' unique histories influence their motives and even correlate with their attack style. For example, Kurama (the 15-year-old reincarnated Yoko) wields a rosewhip, while in it's dormant state, appears gentle and beautiful (much like the wise and bishounen Kurama) but in Kurama's hands, it can also be brutal and merciless. This series deals with death. However, the gore is never gratuitous, and there are always reasons for the character's to use their weapons in the manner of killing - for Kurama, his will to fight stems from his compassion for his mortal mother. Even the so-called villians have equally justifiable reasons for their actions. The audience is shown both sides of the fight and is left to pick who they want to support (much like in Rurouni Kenshin).
Going back to the issue of the plotline, Yu Yu Hakusho is not a typical fighting series like DBZ. While their are tournaments the characters compete in, their purpose is their to complete the story of the character's maturing. Yu Yu Hakusho is not so much a fighting series as it is a bildingsroman.
Another category in which people are disdained by is the length of the series. I agree that 112 episodes is a long time. However, Yoshihiro Togashi obviously felt that that was the length he needed to convey his story. I also want to add that there are no fillers, recap episodes, or episodes put in that don't flow with the plotline. Everything in this story - and this does not just pertain to plot - was put in for a reason.
In my opinion, Yu Yu Hakusho is a wonderfully composed story of a quartet of boys finding their place in life by means of battling opponents. There are enough themes in this show to attract all kinds of audience: action, fighting, comedy, philosophy, love, tragedy, macabre, drama, and bishounen are just a few. If you expect just a pointless fighting series, look elsewhere. I refuse to give such a fun series an average grade simply because its art style and musical score are from the early 90s. Yu Yu Hakusho is my absolute favorite anime because of it's blend of genres, the characters (Hiei is the definition of perfection, in my opinion), and the way it plays off of the audience's emotions. I have seen all 112 episodes and I have viewed this series in three languages (Japanese, English, and Portuguese). Inspite of its age, Yu Yu Hakusho remains top on my list.

Last updated Friday, January 07 2005. Created Friday, January 07 2005.
Buy 6 6 7 6 8 8 Lilyglass [series:108#1430]
I know what you're thinking: If it looks like a DBZ nad quacks like a DBZ, then it is probably a duck. This was my first thought, too, but I was very pleasantly surprised with this series. It really is just a fun shounen anime. The storyline itself is not really anything out of the ordinary, but to tell you the truth, I didn't really notice. The real enjoyment comes from the characters. There was no one, hero or villain, on this show that I disliked. I realize the animation is not the best, but for such a long series I thought it was pretty good. The background music wouldn't really work on a CD on its own, with the exception of the theme songs, but it functions well as what it is--background music. I was a little apprehensive about the English dub, but I think that's one of the things I ended up enjoying the most about the series. Justin Cook did a spectacular job, and I thought everyone else was great, too. As for the difference between the English and Japanese dialogue, they're both good tracks, but I have to say I liked the English a lot more( unlike a lot of people). The thing I liked most about this series was that most of the time it didn't take itself too seriously--so that when the time came to be serious, it was much more striking and effective. I thought the English dialogue supported that idea well. Because of this humor, I became very attached to these characters and cared about what happened to them. Yu Yu Hakusho is a very enjoyable show that delights in poking fun at itself as well as its villains. Its dramatic and serious scenes are also pulled off very well. I would reccomend this show to anyone who wants to laugh a lot, maybe cry a little, and have a good time.

Last updated Saturday, June 12 2004. Created Saturday, June 12 2004.
Watch 7 6 7 5 7 Tom [series:108#1086]
This is a good anime, it's about a kid getting killed and coming back to life as a spirit detective. There's alot of fighting and alot of special attacks that get called out during the excecution (if they tell each other what they're are going to do before they do it,why doesn't their opponent just counter attack?). Hero Yusuke always seems outgunned but comes through somehow, and always comes out stronger. I enjoyed this series but I couldn't watch more than two or three episodes in one sitting, spaced out over a few days it's much better. This has far less repetition and far more brains than dragon ball z could ever hope to.

Last updated Wednesday, April 28 2004. Created Wednesday, April 28 2004.
Buy 10 8 10 9 10 9 Anonymous #1298 [series:108#1298]
i love this anime but the manga is still better

Last updated Saturday, March 27 2004. Created Saturday, March 27 2004.
Buy 7 7 8 6 7 Kari [series:108#798]
Yu Yu Hakusho can easily be compared to DBZ, as far as the fighting and coming back from the dead elements go...but the similarities clearly end there. Unlike with DBZ, with Yu Yu Hakusho you get battles that aren't too long and drawn-out. The characters, Yusuke Urameshi and his buddies, fight with spirit energy and brains.

The series is 112 episodes, with 2 movies. You have the main character, the 14 year-old cigarette smoking delinquent, Yusuke Urameshi. Yusuke doesn't smoke in the anime though. Not only is he a bad student, but he also has an alcoholic, chain-smoking mother. Within the first 2 minutes of the show, Yusuke becomes road-kill due to some careless driver. When Yusuke returns to life, he finds he's become more intuned with the Spirit Realm.

Yusuke's best friend, the dim-witted Kuwabara, is also a classmate and former thug rival of Urameshi's. Kuwabara is probably the most caring of Yusuke's crew...and also the most dumb. Along with the demon Kurama, and the three-eyed demon Hiei, Kuwabara later accompanies Yusuke on his missions. Whereas in DBZ a fight between two characters can take up to 20 or more episodes to be completed, Yu Yu Hakusho gets to the point. They kick ass and get done with it. That's what I love most about the show. There's no searching for some item to bring a character back to life. Most of the time the characters stay dead...the way they should. It has some pretty dramatic moments, a little romance, and of course a lot of fighting.

YYH is kind of old, so the animation's not so great. I don't care for the music too much, but I didn't find it unbearable to listen to...since Megumi Ogata and Sasaki Nozomu performed some songs for it. The character designs are alright, as well as the personalities of the characters. The only thing I find overdone about the show, was the relationship between Yusuke and Keiko. It's your typical boy and girl grow up together as friends, and are the only ones who can truly 'understand' each other, so they fall in love.

The dub was done by FUNimation and they did a good job with it. Justin Cook plays the 'hero' Yusuke. I honestly think Cook pulled off some really good performances in his role as Yusuke Urameshi, and I also prefer him as Yusuke. I can hear sadness in his voice during the dramatic scenes, and he's also great during fighting and comedic scenes. All in all, I'd say he did an excellent job. Cynthia Cranz plays Botan. Cranz used some sort of British accent for Botan. She slips in and out of it sometimes, but all in all she did a good job. There's also good acting by John Burgmeier as Kurama, Christopher Sabat as Kuwabara, Chuck Huber as Hiei, and Linda Young as that gizzer Genkai.

Yu Yu Hakusho can be purchased for $10.00 per DVD, or in FUNimation released boxed sets.

Last updated Wednesday, January 17 2007. Created Monday, June 23 2003.
Watch 8 8 8 7 6 8 .hack//Phil [series:108#656]
When I first saw this, I thought to myself, "huh... looks like DBZ". And well, it does. If you like DBZ you will probaly like this. I haven't seen the entire series, but it is pretty good. I will probaly finish watching it once I get done some other anime. Watching this I know I will like it, but I know it will never be good enough to be my favorite. I personally would not pay to see this, it isn't that good, but I would try to catch it on TV or use other means of watching it.
If your a die-hard DBZ fan and hate anything that you think might be a "rip-off", this is that anime.

Last updated Saturday, April 26 2003. Created Saturday, April 26 2003.
Rent Stretch [series:108#628]
Personally, I consider the first 5 episodes of the series, which cover the introduction of the main charachters and Yusuke's struggle to achieve resurrection, to be the best by far. It was touching to see him watching over his own wake, and realizing that the whole world hadn't really been out to get him after all. Perhaps because the fighting with demons had yet to begin, comedy seemed to play a larger part in these early episodes, and I thought it was pretty damn clever at times. Kuwabara is my favorite charachter, because he's responsible for the lion's share of the really funny lines (the one about a "haunted raccoon", for example). Too bad the series couldn't have kept going like that. The comedic element certainly hasn't disappeared, but it now seems to play second fiddle to the violent action. I'd read a lot of comparisons between this show and Dragonball Z, but I felt they were not really all that much alike--until Cartoon Network finally acquired some new episodes recently. As the "Dark Tournament" unfolded I realised that yeah, now I see the simularity between the two series. There now seems to be less attention being paid to charachter development (and the humor that goes with it), and more and more time spent depicting fights. Somehow Yusuke seemed more likeable as a misunderstood delinquent than as the godlike superhero he has become. How many different ways can be thought up to represent supernatural conflicts as fistfights? Maybe Yu Yu Hakusho would have been better off if it had continued to refuse to take itself so seriously. But I'm certainly not saying it's a BAD show--if that were so, I wouldn't have taped every episode I could lay my hands on, and even mail-ordered a few. The principal charachters still have far more personality to them than anybody on Dragonball Z. Yusuke is still amusing, when his original insolent, trouble-maker attitude peeks through his new persona as a responsible "Spirit Detective". The fights are won or lost for intriguing reasons, instead of just being insufferably long contests between irresistible forces and immovable objects. I also like the theme song (though it took me a long time to figure out what all of the English lyrics were).


P.S: For some reason I've been feeling nostalgic about my early days as a fan of anime, and have dusted off my old VHS tapes to rewatch the early episodes of this show. I wonder if Bleach came about to fill the niche that was left empty when Yu Yu Hakusho came to an end?

My favorite line: "He's got me by the balls and he knows it!" --Yusuke

Last updated Thursday, August 17 2006. Created Thursday, April 17 2003.
Rent 7 7 7 7 7 6 AstroNerdBoy [series:108#436]

This is a juvenile (shounen) tale of a young teenage punk who is given a second chance at life, though it takes several espisodes for him to come back to life. The series starts off seeming little more than a tale about the troubled life of Japanese teens. However, once Yuske comes back to life, it turns into a youkai-fighting series.

Season 1 is all about how Yusuke is selected to be a "Spirit Detective", how his team is formed, and the cases they go on. So we get several tales, multiple episodes long, and along the way, Yusuke and his teammates grow in power as they overcome youkai with greater powers and abilities.

Season 2 is dedicated to the Dark Tournament, where Yusuke-tachi have to fight and grow in power. This is an exceptionally long and often tedious part of the series because the fights go on and on between Yusuke's team and others. So the team picks up a lot of new abilities or unlock certain abilities to enable them to make their way through the tournament.

Season 3 is all about a former Spirit Detective attempting to open a portal to the Demon Realm to allow all the youkai through. This also enables certain humans to have special powers and abilities, so Yusuke has to battle them and stop the former Spirit Detective. This season is more interesting in that Yusuke can't just solve everything with a battle, but also must think through problems.

Season 4 is short, but picks up with Yusuke returning to the Demon Realm at the invitation of one of the three rulers there. Hiei and Kurama are also invited to return to serve the other two rulers. Eventually, this leads Yusuke to start a tournament to decide who will rule the realm. There are several interesting items exploring Kiei's and Kurama's past, and a little more about Yusuke's past. This last season of the show blows through the fights for the most part as it is more pressed for time.

Note: While I was introduced to this series via Cartoon Network in English (which is fine), the Japanese version is better. I was stunned at how dialog in English at times bore no resemblance of what was said in Japanese. At times it was so radical that it made a small differences in the story. But FUNimation did this level of domestication knowing that they the audience watching the dubs won't care for these kinds of changes. FUNimation does an EXCELLENT job on the subtitled version of the series! All honorifics are left in place. YES! Not only that, but they leave in fun terms like "youkai" or the Japanese names of special attacks. Don't worry, you'll get an explaination of what the actual translation is.

While the show is very shounen, it isn't so bad as to be unwatchable. There is some character growth to combine with the serial nature of the series. I like the fact that early on, some of Yuske's victories are chalked up to luck. After all, it is unlikely that a 14-year old punk could defeat demons without training in his power. The writers understood this and provide said training (though not always seen by us). They do this many times through the series.

The final episode was rather nice as everyone is now in high school, and look a bit older. The writers left the door open to have other stories if they so desired, but considering that the manga had stopped and YYH is an old title, I doubt we'll see anymore.

I would like to note that during the "Chapter Black" season, at times the art/animation go right down the toilet. It is so bad at times that it is a major distraction. It doesn't happen all that often, but where it does happen, I found myself very irritated.

Bottom line: It is a shounen fight series, which means it is target audience are teen males, though it will appeal beyond that somewhat. As such, there's only so much it can do. However, it is entertaining enough to provide some mindless entertainment, which is aided by FUNimation's excellent subtitle job. So in the end, I give this a "Rent" though I do own it.

Last updated Friday, November 10 2006. Created Thursday, January 23 2003.

Rent 9 5 9 7 8 8 Ðå kïÐ [series:108#464]
This anime is very nice its one of those animes you just have to get back from were you are and see(like DBZ).Its about a very aggressive and ignorant teenager who is also very smart(not in school) who's name is Yuske Urameshi,because of this he has the power to raise his spirit level which is like how he generates energy to perform attacks and was recognised by the spirit detective and became a spirit detective who was undoubtably the strongest and most under estimated he then joins up with his famous rival kuwabara who helps him on his journey to rid the earth of the spirit demons.

Last updated Monday, December 23 2002. Created Monday, December 23 2002.
Rent 8 8 9 5 5 7 Cenit [series:108#45]
In a word Yu Yu Hakusho is dull, but dull in a way that keeps you watching the TV, pretty close as DBZ, with a stupid Goku that is somehow charming. Urameshi is a teenager that gets killed trying to save a little boy from a car accident. Once dead he meets the Gream Reaper (which is by the way a pretty girl) and gets a second chance in Earth, once back he has special powers and becomes a spirit detective, and from there everything becomes really episodic, with bad guys popping now and then and Urameshi beating them. Is good enough though, the character of Urameshi reminds me somehow of Ranma, so it's kinda of cool, to wacht but not necessarily to buy

Last updated Thursday, May 30 2002. Created Thursday, May 30 2002.
Buy 9 9 10 10 9 9 Atsumi_Yamaki [series:108#259]
I relly like YuYu Hakusho. Esecially the dub opening. Going in the crowd... Sorry. Well the characters are cool.

Last updated Sunday, May 05 2002. Created Sunday, May 05 2002.
Rent 8 8 7 6 6 Chichi [series:108#149]
If you are a fan of DBZ this series is pretty close. Since DBZ is a bit too long for my tastes this series did not score so high in my POV.
The start of the series is actually quite startling. Afterwards I feel that the plot takes a route that seems to be simply repeating the same things over again (entering competition, climbing the competition ladder, improving skill... etcetc)
What surpised me the most is that the main character actually did a transformation similar to DBZ! Although it didnt take as many episodes his hair grew and changed color.
*back to synopsis* I found that the plot was lacking although the animation was good. It does have some varience of plot but not as much as I would like there to be.
All in all, this anime is the typical shonen anime.

Last updated Wednesday, March 14 2001. Created Wednesday, March 14 2001.

Other Sites
ReiKiTantei.net http://www.reikitantei.net/index.html
A Yu Yu Hakusho fansite. Lots of information about characters, stories, humor, and more!

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