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The Demon Species (妖怪 Yōkai?, strange apparition) is a class of supernatural entities and spirits in Japanese folklore.

Appearance[]

The Demon Species often have animal features (such as the kappa, depicted as appearing similar to a turtle, and the tengu, commonly depicted with wings), but may also appear humanoid in appearance, such as the kuchisake-onna. Some Demon Species resemble inanimate objects (such as the tsukumogami), while others have no discernible shape. The Demon Species are typically described as having spiritual or supernatural abilities, with shapeshifting being the most common trait associated with them.

Etymology[]

The word yōkai is composed of the kanji for "attractive; calamity" and "apparition; mystery; suspicious."

Description[]

The original version of YuYu Hakusho was more nuanced than what can be expressed with just the English words for demon and spirit. While in the English, these creatures primarily refered to as "demons", in the Japanese they are called yokai (or spirit in English). While western demons are generally thought of as being malcious by nature, yokai aren't neceassarily (though Yusuke usually deals with troublesome ones). They are more similar to the Greek daemons. Many of the show's yokai are inspired by real-life legends, like the Oni that work in the spirit-world, or the Ice-Maidens for examples. Some yokai, are explicitly refered to Akuma and Mazoku, which are an explicitly impish or devilish type of yokai. Most yokai in YuYu Hakusho are just bakemono, a monster-type yokai.

While the yokai of YuYu Hakusho are not necessaitly "demonic" one way or another, they amusingly all hail from Demon World and eventually are ruled by a Mao (Demon King). There are several species of spirits/demons that inhabit the planes or worlds of YuYu Hakusho. Many of them appear very similar to humans and most have a humanoid features.

The following demons have their specific race explicitly stated in the anime or manga:

Debatable[]

1. Hiei: Fire Demon (Hi Yokai) or Half-Fire Demon/Half-Ice Maiden

Some sources claim he is a fire demon born from a clan of ice demons or koorime, while others claim he is half-fire demon/half-ice demon. It is assumed that Hiei's father was a fire demon because of Hiei's fire abilities, but no official material ever stated his father was a fire demon and the genetics of demons may work differently than humans. The Funimation dub considers him the former. The official site calls him a "Fire Apparition". In the anime, Mukuro states that she "finds it strangely ironic that (he was) born a fire demon. Even though his mother's people are all ice apparitions", and he claims "my curse...to be born with a nature in direct opposition to my breed." (In the original Japanese, she states that it is strange that his demon energy is of a flame-based nature, rather than discussing his species). Other sources and common speculation portray him as both a fire and ice demon, 50% each, with fire reigning dominant as Hiei's element of control and the ice aspect only serving him as a resistance to cold.[1] Many fans also speculate over whether or not Hiei has inherited the ability to cry tear stones like his mother and sister. Since Hiei is never seen crying, this remains unknown.

2. Karasu: Quest Class? The japanese translation of Karasu means Crow.

3. Yomi and Shura: Goat demon.

Though he is classified as a Quest Class demon which has materialization abilities, it is unknown if this is the name of a species or is just a description of his abilities.

References[]

  1. AbsoluteAnime.com

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