Hello, my internet readers! I would like to talk about a series that is dear to my heart. One that I have been interested in since the days of old. And by that, I mean I’ve liked this series since a little before ten years ago. Meaning, this series is pretty old. But it’s one of those good ‘90’s series’ that everyone goes on about. You know, because anything from the 90’s is significantly better than anything that ever was or ever will be. At least according to the internet. I’m babbling now aren’t I? Well, I suppose I should go on with the series: Yu Yu Hakusho.
This series focuses on Yusuke Urameshi, a young delinquent who refuses to go to school, and is a bully that no one, save Kazuma Kuwabara will take on. Even the teachers despise him. He has one childhood friend named Keiko Yukimura, who wants nothing but the best for him and gets frustrated when he doesn’t do right. On a day like any other, he has decided to skip school. As he walks around town, he notices a little boy who is playing with his ball too close to the street. Helping the little kid once and warning him not to play next to the street, he starts on his way through town. He sees the kid has not listened to him and also notices a car who’s drivers are not paying attention to the road. He pushes the child out of the way, getting himself killed in the process.
Greeted by the Grim Reaper, named Botan (oddly dressed in a pink kimono with a smile painted on her face) she says that she is going to take him to the Spirit World. When he meets its ruler, (or rather acting ruler) Koenma, he is told that he wasn’t supposed to die and that there is a way for him to come back to life. His spirit is sent back to the Living World, and with Botan at his side he starts on the road to regain his body with a few obstacles, including keeping his body from being cremated. He is even forced to throw an egg -given to him to monitor his good deeds to come back to life- into a raging fire to save Keiko, which supposedly ruins all his chances to return to the world of the living. But because he risked his chance for revival for another person’s life, he is returned to his body. After being returned to his body, Yusuke begins to see things most other people can’t like demons and apparitions. Reluctantly, he becomes Spirit World’s Spirit Detective, investigating cases handed to him by Koenma through Botan. As a weapon, he is given the ability to shoot Spirit Energy from his finger, aptly named the Spirit Gun.
It is through his cases that he meets two of the other main characters Hiei and Kurama, and the audience is reintroduced to Kazuma Kuwabara. Hiei and Kurama are first introduced during Yusuke’s first case. They, along with an unimportant third villain, had stolen priceless artifacts from Spirit World to fulfill their own needs. Hiei is explained as a very violent demon with an ulterior motive, a bad attitude and three eyes. Kurama, who is a demon inhabiting a human body under the guise of Shuichi Minamino, wants only to protect his human attachments. Last of the main characters is Genkai, an old psychic woman who Yusuke meets during his second case becomes his mentor (the only teacher Yusuke actually likes). Many arcs are explored, with more characters introduced and couple characters even dying. (If it’s a shounen series, the main character has to die at least once. It’s an unspoken rule. They always get revived.)
This series is really really good, even if it is a bit dated. I started watching it on Cartoon Network’s anime block Toonami (I think I may have mentioned it before) YEARS ago. They started it on Midnight Run, uncut. My mom found out I was watching something with cuss words and violence in it and made me stop. Then they re-aired it edited for the younger folks like me at the time. No cuss words or blood, so I could finally enjoy it. Then it started airing uncut again at five in the morning. And I liked the series so much… I actually got up at five in the morning to watch it.
I love the characterization of all the main characters. But all the female characters EXCEPT Genkai and Kuwabara’s sister Chizuru have ‘useless anime girl’ syndrome. Meaning all they do is yell the main characters names over and over again and do nothing for themselves. But, it’s 90’s anime. What can you do? But like I said, characterization is amazing and fits for all the non-annoying ones. My favorite has to be Hiei, just because I love the antihero character.
This is one of the few series (like Fullmetal Alchemist and Soul Eater) that I can only watch in English. I guess because I grew up on it…? I don’t know. I have seen a few things in Japanese including Original Video Animation (OVA), but I definitely choose English over Japanese for this series. Which is VERY odd for me.
We have FOR SURE of the episodes in box sets at Greenbrier (Shout out to Greenbrier for having all the episodes!). As for the manga, we only have up to volume 11 of that series probably because it’s an old title. The series isn’t necessarily HARD to find, but… volumes are harder to find than you’d think. Anyways, that’s all for this post. I hope you give this series a try if you haven’t yet. Stay Golden, my friends!