The Search Begins ("The Successor to Genkai! The Tournament Begins // Genkai no Keishōsha Tournament Kaishi" 幻海の継承者トーナメント開始) is the ninth episode of season 1 of YuYu Hakusho. It aired on December 5, 1992 in Japan and April 20, 2002 in the United States.


Yusuke is seen hiking through the woods. Earlier in the week, Botan tells Yusuke he has a new mission from Koenma. A powerful fighter named Genkai is about to give up their power to someone who they find worthy. However, a demon named Rando plans to take Genkai's power for himself and use it to cause chaos. Botan bribes Yusuke with tickets to a concert if he were to take the mission, with Yusuke agreeing. Back to current time, Yusuke climbs up the stairs leading to Genkai's dojo. When he reaches the top, he sees hundreds of other fights waiting around. Yusuke realizes that Genkai is actually holding a competition, where the winner will gain her power.

Master Genkai is actually an elderly woman

Among the many challengers, Yusuke runs into Kuwabara, who tells Yusuke about how powerful Genkai is supposed to be. Just then, the doors to the dojo open revealing Genkai to be a petite older woman.

Genkai cuts to the chase and starts the first round of the competition. She pulls out a huge pot and informs the crowd that they will be drawing a piece of paper from the pot to determined if they will go on to the next round or not. If a participant's paper has a red mark on it, they will move on to the next round. The reason for this test is only those with strong enough spiritual power will be able to make the paper turn red. Yusuke and Kuwabara manage to make their papers red, while a lot of the other participants fail to do so. Because of this, two participants become angry by this seemingly unfair elimination process and decide to rush at Genkai. Genkai takes one look in their direction and a surge of spiritual power releases from her, throwing the men in the opposite direction, smashing into a gate. The crowed is stunned by her power, as well as giving Yusuke and Kuwabara the motivation to claim her talent.

The second round begins inside the dojo. Inside the crowd sees an array of video games and machines. The machines that are being focused on for this trial include a punching weight

Yusuke and Kuwabara participating in the punching machine.

machine, a rock-paper-sciossors machine, and a karaoke machine. If the opponent can receive a passing on two of the three games, they will advance to the next round. These rounds test the spiritual power of the contestants as well, only passing them if they have the spiritual talent. Over on the punching machine, Kuwabara scores 129 points. Yusuke comes over and scores a 155. Another opponent comes by and score a 175. We also see a few other contestants try their luck on other machines, signing karaoke and participating in the rock-paper-scissors games. By the end of this round, about 20 of the contestants pass and continue on to the next challenge. The third round has the contestants having to pass through a dangerous forest. Genkai explains to them that there is danger lurking in every corner of the forest, so only the best will make it through. While scaring some

Genkai over looking the forest

of the contestants, most of them attept this challenge. Yusuke and the participants start to run through the forest, with Genkai having not problem running pass them, telling them she will wait for them at the end of the trail. Some of the participants fall victim to the traps inside, while others make use of their skills and traverse to the other side. Yusuke plans to take a straight path, thinking it would get him to the end point fastest. However, a large group of demon bats and their leader, Baldok, threaten Yusuke with death if he doesn't leave the forest. Yusuke does not retreat, and decides to fight the bats. While the demons are fast, they are nothing compared to other enemies that Yusuke already faced, such as Hiei's. Yusuke easily beats up Baldok, then continues on through the forest.

Three hours since the start of this challenge, challengers start to emerge from the forest, including Kuwabara. Kuwabara looks around for Yusuke, and is worried that Yusuke won't make it in time. Genkai informs them that she cannot wait any longer and that they need to proceed to the next round. Just then Yusuke arrives from the forest, explaining to Genkai that he got delayed thanks to a large bat demon. This impresses Genkai, as Baldok was one of her best defenders. Impressed, Genkai allows Yusuke to continue on to the next round.

Charecters in Order of AppearanceEdit



Zangief from Street Fighter behind Kuwabara

  • Zangief, Dhalsim, E. Honda, Chun-Li, Guile, and characters that resemble Ryu, Ken, and T Hawk from, the Capcom fighting game series, Street Fighter can be seen in the background.

Kuwabara's outfit in the manga

  • In the manga Kuwabara wore street clothes with a baseball jersey instead of his school uniform for the entire saga.

Gallery Edit

Image Gallery


e v Spirit Detective Saga
Episodes: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25
Anime: Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3|Season 4
Manga: List of Chapters

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.