As the time approaches for my yearly re watch of Yu Yu Hakusho I feel almost required to do this post. I most likely was going to do this anime but probably not this soon. As it being one of my favorite anime of all time, I HIGHLY recommend everyone watch this anime beginning to end at least once. Well lets get into it…
Yu Yu Hakusho, also known as Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files, is a Japanese manga and anime series. The series tells the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a teenage delinquent who is struck and killed by a car while attempting to save a child’s life. After a number of tests presented to him by Koenma, the son of the ruler of the afterlife Underworld, Yusuke is revived and appointed the title of “Underworld Detective”, with which he must investigate various cases involving demons and apparitions in the human world. The manga becomes more focused on martial arts battles and tournaments as it progresses.
Yusuke Urameshi is the main protagonist of the manga & anime series YuYu Hakusho. He is a Spirit Detective who is tasked with protecting Human World from various supernatural threats over the course of the series. His closest friends and greatest allies include Kuwabara, Kurama, Hiei, Keiko, Genkai, Koenma and Botan. He is also the de facto leader of Team Urameshi and the general person to look to when the going gets tough. Yusuke has grown up in a very neglectful environment. He’s short tempered, impulsive, and likes to intimidate those who are afraid of him. Underneath his bold, cocky attitude, he has a joking and kind nature. One of his most notable traits is his desire to fight, which becomes more noticeable as the series progresses. Yusuke has been noted on many occasions to be rather unintelligent, and, at times, just plain stupid. However, as his teacher Genkai later notes, he “can be a genius at fighting”. Yusuke’s desire to fight is more out of enjoyment of a good brawl, and surprisingly Yusuke doesn’t like killing if he can avoid it.
Botan is a guide to the Spirit World and close friend to Yusuke Urameshi. She is a spirit charged with ferrying souls of the deceased to the Spirit World to face their final judgment. As opposed to the idea of there only being a single one, she is one of many grim reapers. Genuinely helpful and well-meaning, she can be somewhat clumsy and short-sighted. She’s also bubbly and cautiously-optimistic, but can be a bit of a scaredy-cat. She sometimes tends to be a motormouth. She used to view Yusuke as an interesting subject to study until she develops a bond with him, and becomes a valuable ally and close friend.
Kazuma Kuwabara, more commonly known as Kuwabara, is one of the main protagonists of the series, along with Yusuke Urameshi, Kurama & Hiei. He is the younger brother of Shizuru Kuwabara. He also seeks to become Yukina’s lover. Kuwabara was described as a stupid and ugly person. However, he is extremely loyal to his friends and has a very strict code of honor. He would do anything for his friends and for love. He can be clumsy, reckless, and is also stubborn, persistent, and also has a great sense of humor. He doesn’t give up a fight, even if he’s injured. He has a temper, but not as bad as Yusuke’s. He has a kind heart and an honest nature. He does not fight girls. Kuwabara is considered the kindest of the main characters.
Yoko Kurama in the English dub, Kurama the Yoko, also known as Shuichi Minamino, is a main protagonist in the anime/manga series of YuYu Hakusho. The word Yoko, despite being portrayed as a name in the dub, actually literally translates to “demon fox” in Japanese. Yoko Kurama is the name of the original, silver-haired fox demon. After he was wounded by being chased, he put his spirit into the newly born human baby, Shuichi Minamino. It is at this point, and later through aging, that Kurama’s psyche is in control. A theme throughout the series is his acceptance as a human being & his balancing of the two personalities. He can switch between both bodies almost at will after the Dark Tournament saga. Even though he is commonly seen in his human form (Minamino), he is referred to as Kurama. Kurama is the most calculating, cunning and analytical member of the main characters and perhaps in the whole series. He is able to carefully look past his feelings and see the real situation at hand, which has been demonstrated on more than one occasion. He is extremely perceptive, able to quickly recognize the patterns and mistakes that his opponents make, which gives him an edge. In battle, while his preference is to concoct strategies based on deduction of his opponents’ fighting abilities and style, his natural battle instincts are also highly tuned. He is capable of slashing another person’s head off in just an instant, relying only on impulse. However, his care for his friends and family are the backbone of his fighting drive, as he would sacrifice just about anything to protect them and thus making him a reliable teammate despite his cunning front. Kurama has a very kind heart, and several villains in the series will use this ploy against him in order to beat him.
Hiei , also known as, Jaganshi Hiei (Jaganshi is an epithet meaning “Master of the Evil Eye”), is a main character in the anime and manga series YuYu Hakusho. Hiei prefers to keep his distance from others, so he often comes across as aloof and elusive. He has a rather cynical and even misanthropic view of the world around him, often belittling and mocking humans and their emotions and the significance they place on friendship and life. And while he is relatively taciturn, he occasionally squabbles with and insults his teammates, especially Kuwabara. It is obvious that deep down he holds a certain amount of respect and kinship for his teammates, but seems to be closest to Kurama and Yusuke. As a fighter, Hiei is very unbiased when it comes to his enemies. He shows the same degree of ruthlessness to his foes – regardless of age or gender. This is seen when he terrorizes Ruka and the Masked-Fighter with threats of death as his power is returning. According to Kurama, however, he has an honor code that prevents him from going all out against an opponent he perceives as weaker than himself.
For an in-depth look at Genkai check out Genkai Analysis.
Prince Enma Jr., usually addressed as Koenma, is an ally of Yusuke and Genkai, as well as the son of the ruler of the Spirit World. Being a prince, Koenma has many subordinates, especially the ogre, Jorge Saotome. He has a rather bossy attitude, commanding those around him to accomplish his tasks, whether they work for him or not. He gets along with Botan, however he has a sort of sibling rivalry with Yusuke.
Team Urameshi, captained by Yusuke Urameshi and owned by Koenma, are the main five fighters who participate in the Dark Martial Arts Competition on Hanging Neck Island.