Yusuke Urameshi is a teenage boy with some issues. He hates school, hates authority, but loves to fight. During one of his strolls he's killed by a car saving a young boys life. His spirit leaves his body and he's encountered by a girl on a flying broom named Boltan, who reveals to him that it wasn't his time to go, and if he wants to return to his body he must overcome one ordeal. Who exactly is this girl, and why is Yusuke given this second chance? -summary
Yu Yu Hakusho was a direct challenge to Dragonball Z, and although it would fail to become as popular or successful, for me, it was still the better show and is probably the best of all the DBZ clones out there. Now make no mistake, this is far from high art and ranks low in terms of quality anime. However, it knows exactly what it wants to be and it never strives to be anything more than low brow entertainment. Although I'm not exactly a fan of these types of anime titles, I would be lying if I said they never hooked me, and Yu Yu definitely managed to hook me to the point where I can actually marathon it. Sometimes we need to give the brain a break from the more intellectually taxing anime.
The story follows Yusuke as he soon becomes forced to work as a Spirit Detective for the Spirit World. He's given missions where he would have to kill or capture wanted demon criminals. He's given the ability to harness his inner spirit to unleash a very powerful attack through his finger called the "Spirit Gun", which in the beginning is an attack he can only use once a day. Along the way he would battle other demons that soon become his allies in battle against tougher threats.
The first few episodes are spent developing Yusuke through some interesting stories, and other faces are introduced. Things become more interesting when Yusuke has to compete in a small martial arts tournament hosted by an old fighter named Genkai, with his mission to win the tournament and learn her special technique, keeping a centuries old warrior named Rando from learning it and using it for evil intentions. This is a decent battle and as usual with these types of anime series, a newer and stronger threat will always arise to provide an even greater challenge.
Yu Yu Hakusho is one of those titles you can just dive into and start having a good time if you fall for the characters early. The characters are indeed interesting, as they don't follow the molding of the traditional shonen heroes. These guys are anti-heroes from top to bottom. Yusuke can some times care less if the world is facing annihilation in some form, as long as he can enjoy his three day weekend. And the series becomes more interesting when the characters Kurama and Hiei are added to the line up. I think these two overshadow the rest of the characters because their personalities are so much different, with Kurama being the calmest, yet possessing a merciless streak where he can kill anyone, and Hiei, recommending to wipe out all competition if it suits the mission.
The show has plenty of fun moments, but it also has its share of dull ones too. These long series are usually long because of the unnecessary padding, and this series has a great deal of that which becomes a little worse later on. There are just too many moments that drags for no good reason to meaningless dialog to just plain fooling around. It can sometimes be funny but also annoying too.
These type of titles should excel during the animation, and Yu Yu succeeds in that at times. Some of the action scenes are pretty cool and brutal, yet they also utilize the quick, re-used cel format to simulate action. I know many people find great entertainment in that, but it really doesn't appeal to me. The show does make up for it with some of the more violent scenes. Overall, the animation does appear dated yet thankfully it does get better later on. The voice acting for the dub is a lot more enjoyable to me mainly because of the dialog. The only downside would be the voice work for Kuwabara played by Christoper R. Sabat, which goes far beyond the realm of annoying as his character is heavily forced into being the comic relief. My finger is usually itching for that mute button when he's on screen, which is unfortunate since I enjoy Sabat as a voice actor. The BGM, if anything, compliments the action and comedy well enough, with the only stand out to me being the upbeat, dance influenced ending theme.
This first season collects the first 28 episodes out of 112, with the very last two actually being part of season 2 which leads into the Dark Tournament Saga. In closing, Yu Yu Hakusho is not for the anime fan who must consistently sit through the thought provoking or overly dark titles. If you enjoyed Dragon Ball Z or Bleach, then there's a real good chance you'll like this too. The season has a 620 minute run time.
Yu Yu Hakusho: The Complete First Season is a four-disc DVD set that contains twenty-eight episodes. However, the title is a little misleading. The set actually contains the entire first season, as well as three episodes from the second season. The first disc contains eight episodes, the second disc contains six episodes, the third disc contains eight episodes, and the fourth disc contains six episodes. It should be noted that on the DVD boxes, the English episode titles are used; however, on the … more
Fourteen-year-old Yusuke Urameshi, the hero of the fantasy-adventureYu Yu Hakusho, brags about being the toughest kid in Sarayashki Junior High: He lives to fight, especially with his rival Kuwabara. When Yusuke's killed saving a little boy from a speeding car, he's given another chance by Koenma, the son of the ruler of the Spirit World. If Yusuke properly nurtures a "spirit egg," it will hatch into a benevolent beast that can help him return to his body permanently; too much negative energy will produce a monster that will devour him. Yusuke temporarily wins his life back with some help from Kayko (or Keiko), the girl he secretly loves, and Botan, the pretty pilot of the River Styx. Koenma makes him a "spirit detective," assigned to tracking down evil spirits prowling the human world. Yusuke's evolution from selfish thug to good guy includes some false steps, but he defeats his first foes with a mixture of daring, imagination, luck--and kindness. He wins over Kuwabara and the demons Kurama and Hiei, and undergoes special training from super-psychic Genkai. Yusuke and his allies battle the four "Saint Beasts," demons associated with the Chinese directional animals, and rescue a Snow Maiden imprisoned by a corrupt capitalist. These episodes conclude with the opening of the Dark Tournament, a sort of supernatural WWF tag-team smackdown that will take up most of the next two seasons. This popular comedy-adventure plays like a cross betweenDragon Ball Zand a minor Frank Capra ...