Genkai (幻海, Literally meaning: Sea of Apparitions) was the master of the spirit detective Yusuke Urameshi and was also a mentor for Kazuma Kuwabara. She is voiced by Hisako Kyoda (older) and Megumi Hayashibara (younger) in the Japanese dub and by Linda Young in the English dub, and Caryl Marder in the English dub of Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie - Poltergeist Report.
Usually, Genkai has the appearance of a small-built aged woman, wearing martial arts clothing and occasionally a purple cap with the maji '霊' (れい Spirit, Soul). She has light, wavy pink hair that stops at her shoulders and brown eyes. However, as a young woman she has a more vibrant shade of pink in her hair, which she wore in a braid. And when she was a young woman she was considered the most beautiful warrior in all the land.
Her disguise during the Dark Tournament was very similar to her normal outfit. The main difference is she wore white bandages all across her head, to hide all of her face except for her right eye. However, this was to cover her much younger appearance from the Reihado-ken's effect. During the battle against Team Ichigaki, her hair is tied in a low ponytail. However, her hair remained loose when she fought against Shishiwakamaru, Suzuki, and Younger Toguro.
Her clothing has remained the same throughout the series; a long, red sleeveless tunic with green trim, a thick purple lining on the right area of the chest that is folded under a green sash. Underneath her tunic is a long-sleeved white shirt, matching white martial-arts pants, and purple shoes.
During the flash back of her in the Spiritual World in her younger appearance, she is wearing an outfit similar to her normal one, however her tunic now resembles a qipao. The color of her sleeveless tunic is light green with a red finish, and her belt is now purple to match her shoes.
Genkai was an old-fashioned woman with great strength and determination. She put her mind and body through extensive training to allow her to create and control the Spirit Wave orb, which contributed greatly to her rather cold and hard demeanor. She viewed Yusuke as a slacker at first, often putting him through grueling and life-threatening training regimens, but soon came to love him like the grandson she never had. Quite noticeably, she appears to be a pragmatist first and foremost, as when she told Kuroda the hitman that she didn't care what kind of profession the winner of the tournament was, seemingly unfazed by any moral shortcomings the candidates had. From this, it can be inferred that she was the type of person who will do almost anything she deems necessary to accomplish her goals. This mentality is what compelled her to push herself and others beyond their apparent limits.
This isn't to say that she is without decency or remorse, however. During Kuwabara's match with Shorin, she called the match in the latter's favor when he began sadistically torturing the former, preventing his death. (She also completely healed the injuries Kuwabara sustained during that match of her own free will and without prompting.) During Yusuke's match against Randō, she refused to call it in the latter's favor, revealing that though she would keep her word and teach her techniques to the victor, she truly did not want to teach Randō unless she had no other choice. Later, during the Dark Tournament competition, Genkai used her spiritual powers to release a group of mentally-enslaved humans from their master's mind-control. She did so in order to both spare their lives, and to spare Yusuke the torment of having to kill them in order to set them free.
Genkai's love for Yusuke was also frequently proven, as in addition the deed above, she would often place her own welfare at considerable risk to protect him. When he was later reborn as demonkin, she tried to help him through the difficulties he faced and was clearly pained by what little she could do for him. When he eventually settled on returning to the Demon World, she stood by stoically as she watched him depart, resolved in knowing that letting him go was probably the only way he could ever come to terms with what he had become.
In contrast to her "aged master" persona, Genkai has a love of video games. She owns her own private arcade in her mountain compound and has modified some of the games to be used to evaluate spiritual abilities. She also claims to have won Game Battler twice, and during the battle with Gamemaster, she beat the AI enemy without losing a single life. On top of this, she owns a standard game console and controllers.
Spirit Detective Saga
Genkai holds the Disciple Selection Trials (referred to as the Genkai Tournament in the anime) to determine who she will select to be the rightful heir to her powers, should she die: an apprentice whom she will train, bestowing upon him or her the unfathomable knowledge of the Spirit Wave. Yusuke is ordered by Koenma to enter so that he may flush out the demon, Rando, who wishes to learn Genkai's power and then use it to his own sadist ends. He is initially reluctant to comply with Koenma's orders, but after Botan offers him a ticket to the next mixed martial arts match at Tokyo Dome in exchange for his cooperation, he readily agrees. After arriving at Genkai's compound, he meets up with Kuwabara, his old rival. Genkai puts the candidates through a series of rigorous preliminary tests which involve the drawing of lots (which indicate whether a candidate has sufficient spirit energy to contend), arcade games designed to test one's spirit energy and a race through the dark forest, home to ancient demon spirits and beasts. During the final stages of the tournament, Genkai fears that Rando will win, but despite Botan's feelings, she refuses to do anything, as it would be unfair. Luckily, Rando loses by having his own technique backfire on him, something Genkai scolds him for.
Dark Tournament Saga
Genkai, now posing as the Masked Fighter, helps Yusuke and becomes the fifth member of Team Urameshi during the Dark Tournament competition. While fighting the Team Ichigaki, the mask was ripped off and revealed a young woman, further concealing her identity. However, right before the fourth match, Genkai reveals her true identity to Yusuke. Genkai explains that she is going to transfer most of her Spirit Energy through her succession technique the Spirit Wave Orb, explaining that despite the danger, it was the only way for Yusuke to defeat Toguro since Yusuke is no match for Toguro at his present level and Genkai herself is too old to defeat him. Genkai puts Yusuke through the test, which nearly kills him, but successfully
integrates the energy into his body. Afterwards, she fights Shishiwakamaru, who takes off her mask and sees an old woman. Outraged, Shishiwakamaru attempts to have her disqualified, only to be stopped by Toguro, who explains that her spirit wave technique is able to change her appearance. Toguro also mentions that it had been a long time since they last saw each other.
Aware that she needs to conserve her remaining Spirit Energy to use against Toguro, Genkai, using Shishi's energy against him, wins the match. Genkai then fought the "beautiful" Suzuka. However, this streak comes to an end when her former teammate, the Younger Toguro kills her with a massive single punch to the stomach after he deflected her third and final blast from her Spirit Wave. And despite Botan's reluctance to see her friend die, she takes her to Spirit World.
Chapter Black Saga
Later, it is revealed that Genkai was brought back to life and had been healing in a secret compound all this time. She sends three psychics, who had come to her compound seeking her advice and help reinserting Yu Kaito's soul (which he had removed by his own power) into his body, to test Yusuke and his friends with them winning in the long run with the intent of teaching them that they need to be more careful on their new mission, not being irrationally overconfident in their abilities as they all (with the exception of Kurama) have demonstrated in the past as well as during Genkai's elaborate ruse. She is instrumental in the group's formulation of a plan to uncover the guilty party behind the opening of a tunnel to Demon World. After suggesting they divide into two groups, Genkai, along with Yusuke, Kaito, Yanagisawa, and Kido, discover Murota in an underground coffee shop (gambling establishment in the manga), and subsequently, after an abrasive encounter spearheaded by Kido, accept his adoption of their cause. During the scuffle with the psychic, Genkai showered some rare praise for her disciple, acknowledging him as winner of the Dark Tournament and saying he fights like a genius when he has to.
After Murota is injured by Sniper, she sees through the supposed "bullet," exposing it as a pencil eraser fired telekinetically from a distance of over 500 yards, also deducing that it was timed to happen when Sensui looked at the group from the crowd. In the hospital, she destroys many of the Doctor's viral insects with her energy, as well as her considerable physical prowess. In the anime, during this encounter, she also protects Shizuru and Keiko, who are in the hospital looking for Kuwabara and Yusuke, respectively. After the Doctor is defeated, Genkai heals him up abit so Yusuke won't carry the guilt of unintentionally killing him.
Later on, Genkai helps heal Botan's wounds after Shinobu Sensui's attack on Yusuke's apartment. She suggests Team Urameshi be deployed into Demon's Door Cave as a first wave of tactical offense, while she and the remaining psychics stand by as a second line of defense. It was not to be, however, as the group (excluding Botan) were all forced into the cave when they found themselves confronted with Amanuma's territory. During the all-to-real game of Goblin City, Genkai demonstrated superior skill with the joystick when she successfully won a game described as a "classic flight shooter." Later, she waits outside the cave as Koenma and Yusuke fight the former spirit detective.
Three Kings Saga
After Sensui was defeated and the world was finally in peace, Yusuke was going through some personal problems, Genkai directed him to Kuroko Sato, a former Spirit Realm Detective, in hopes of her being able to help him. Koenma was apprehensive about this course of action however; as Kuroko, despite her independence, remained loyal to Spirit World. Seeing as his father had ordered Urameshi's death by any means necessary, Genkai was appalled to find she may well have signed Yusuke's death warrant by sending him to the former detective. Later at Genkai's temple, Yusuke says his goodbyes to his former teacher and everyone else before leaving for the Demon Realm.
Six months later, Kurama had Genkai aid him by having her train Rinku, Chu, Toya, Jin, Shishiwakamaru and Suzuki for six months in hopes of fulfilling his promise to Yomi of delivering six powerful S class fighters. In the final episode, Genkai called everyone to her temple and announced her decision that after she dies then Yusuke, Kuwabara, Shizuru, Yukina, Keiko, Kurama and Botan would all inherit her temple and the land surrounding it. This was done in order to pass on her dream to have the area become a home for any yōkai that chose to live peacefully in the Human Realm and to help breech the gap between demons and humans, hoping that the two races would one day learn to coexist. She is last seen in the OVA, telling Hiei not to view his sister as a child (in a scene that heavily implies Yukina learned who her brother is). In the manga at this point Genkai has died of natural causes, but still makes the same speech through a letter. Around the time of her death, she possesses Pu in his big form one more time to help Yusuke make a decision saying that if they were wrong she would join him as they got on their knees and apologized to everyone. In the manga, at the time of her death, she leaves her vast land to Yusuke and his friends.
Powers and Abilities
In her prime, it can be argued that Genkai was that of an Upper B Class, similar to Younger Toguro at full power. She has consistently been noted to be one of the most powerful characters in the series and Yusuke would not be half as powerful if it were not for her training and Spirit inheritance. However, as a result of her aging, Genkai has grown weaker, albeit while still remaining much more powerful than the average human. In battle, Genkai possesses a great amount of fighting experience, thus shaping her into a keen minded fighter and master tactician. She was the first to explain to Yusuke on the loss of his Spirit Gun and why his energy had been so slow to return, as well as notice that Kuwabara and Yusuke's energy levels were too low to visualize the attacks of the Team Ichigaki. Her skills and battle prowess were even praised by Toguro, who claimed that she makes all tactics useless against her. However, as noted by Sensui, she lacked the proper mindset to learn and master Sacred Energy.
- Spirit Wave (霊光波動拳, Reikō Hadōken): Genkai's personal fighting style, coveted by humans and demons alike. It works by using one's body as a center for spirit energy (instead of only one's finger like in the Spirit Gun), in a sense, making your whole body a weapon. Doing so returns your body to the time it was at its peak. In Genkai's case, her early twenties. According to Genkai, the Spirit Wave also granted numerous abilities including healing wounds, purification, and even destroy medium sized rocks.
- Healing: With her help, Kuwabara was able to survive after having several of his bones broken by Rando, and recovered at a much faster rate. Her abilities are so great that even doctors were stunned how rapidly he recovered. She also used this a few times during the Chapter Black saga, notably healing Minoru Kamiya aka the Doctor to avoid for Yusuke to carry a guilty conscience for being forced to try to kill him.
- Paralyzing Touch: Genkai was able to freeze Yusuke's arm just by touching it, preventing him from killing M1, M2, and M3.
- Soul Return: Genkai returns Kaito's soul back to his body twice. If this was done improperly, Kaito's soul would have been lost forever.
- Spirit Barrier: Formed a shield to prevent Zeru's flames from consuming Shizuru, Keiko and Botan during the Dark Tournament; later used to defend against Yakumo's energy blast. Raigo was shocked by the fact that someone was able to defend against Yakumo's attacks.
- Spirit Energy Tracking: Used during the screening exam she held to find her successor. Genkai knew everyone's positions within the forest by reading their Spirit Energy signatures.
- Telescopic Vision: Genkai can extend the range of her vision. During the Black Chapters Arc, she projected the trajectory of the eraser that hit Murota to as far as 500 meteres.
- Flight: While training Yusuke for the Dark Tournament she was levitating by a cliffside.
- Superhuman Speed: Despite her age, she can run faster than any younger individuals. This was seen during the race at Genkai`s haunted forest. However, her speed cannot be compared to that of Yusuke or Hiei's in the Chapter Black Saga, where the power levels dramatically changed.
- Kiai (気合砲, Kiai-hō), also known as Kiai cannon: When the self-proclaimed Rei Experts of Kyushu (mountain villagers in the English anime) confront Genkai about their rejection during the trial of lots, she deduces that they're too thick-headed to listen to anything but force. She then releases an invisible blast of Spirit Energy from her body and directs it at the two goons. The power of the energy wave forces them across the courtyard and into the compound gate. In the manga, she claims that in her youth, she could have achieved the same effect just by looking at them.
- Shockwave: Genkai unleashes a burst of invisible Spirit Energy out of her hands to clear smoke while attempting to check on Mitarai and Botan.
- Spirit Gun (霊丸, Reigan): In the Dark Tournament, Genkai demonstrated her ability to use a far-more powerful version of Yusuke's Spirit Gun by firing a massive blast strong enough to reduce a very large stone to pebbles, as well as the forest behind it, before it hurled up into the sky behind it.
- Spirit Shotgun (ショットガン, Shottogan): Genkai uses this technique, which blasts out a spray of energy bullets that look vaguely like her clenched fist, to clear an entire barge of the demons looking to compete in the Dark Tournament.
- Spirit Wave (修の拳, Shu no Ken, translated as Fist of Cleansing): A purification technique that Genkai uses to free the enslaved fighters of Team Ichigaki. After chanting, a giant tornado of Spirit Energy appears at her finger tips, and then she unleashes a large burst of energy, in which attacking foes are caught and paralyzed. Then she strikes her opponent in the chest. If the opponent is evil, they will be destroyed, but if they are pure of heart, their bodies will be purified as well. In the manga, she describes it as one of the Five Great Fists (daiken), the others being Offense, Defense, and Wisdom. Considering its deadly nature,this seems to be one of her most powerful techniques but also one of the most difficult to perform given the long chant and the sheer amount of Spirit Energy required. She mentions having not used it for 20 years. Not to be confused with her Fighting Style, or Yusuke's close-ranged blast, which all share the same name in the English dub.
- Spirit Wave Orb (霊光玉, Rei Kō Gyoku, translated as Spirit Light Jewel or Spirit Orb in the VIZ Manga): The unofficial succession technique of her fighting style, and the bulk of her power, Genkai tests Yusuke one last time when she integrates it into his reserves. The process is painful, and death is a very-real possibility, but Yusuke succeeds out of his characteristic bullheadedness.
- Spirit Reflection Blast (霊光鏡反衝, Rei Kō Kyō Han Shō, translated as Spirit Light Mirror Repulsion): Genkai used this technique on Shishiwakamaru. It works by using the opponent's energy as a source of power, rather than your own. Though this technique allows one to siphon an enemy's spirit/demon energy and turn it against them, it requires one to touch her opponent (or at least something he or she is holding, like Shishi's sword) and to match the harmonics against them. Thus, she is unable to use it against enemies who fight from far away or enemies who can change the harmonics of their energy, like Suzuka, thus she only uses this as a last resort.
- Spirit Cuffs (呪霊錠･修の行, Jū Rei Jō: Shu no Gyō, translated as Cursed Spirit Shackles: Path of Training, or Aura Locks and Aura Handcuffs in the VIZ manga): Used to increase spirit energy reserves, a bearer of these cuffs needs to actively cycle spirit energy throughout their entire body in order to simply move, let alone fight. They can be released by shouting a "password," which frees the person from the cuff's constraints. The term Ante was used in the original Japanese, Avitus in the English dub, and Ante Up in the VIZ Manga.
Training & Effects
Genkai had several harsh training methods. Yusuke had to balance himself up with only his finger on a needle for 12 hours to learn how to focus his energy on a specific point (like Yusuke's spirit punch), meditate on burning coals, sleep on a bed of nails, as well as be hit point blank by potentially lethal energy attacks to build up his energy blocking techniques. Interestingly, for a period of weeks during his initial training with her, Yusuke was forced to sleep with snakes and was not allowed to bathe or shower (something Suzuki hated during his own training with Genkai). Rinku and Jin also mention things like being forced to spend 4 weeks locked in a cave along with being buried alive with snakes and other things. Still, the effects of her training have been demonstrated (the effects on the demons were only demonstrated in the anime and just mentioned in the manga as all of them surpassing the 100,000 youkai power levels).
- Yusuke - learned Spirit Shotgun, Spirit Wave, and had his Spirit Energy greatly improved by Spirit Cuffs (in the manga, he tells Koenma that he learned how to make bursts of Spirit Energy and focus them on a target, but this was never demonstrated).
- Jin - learned Tornado Fist Explosion and gained some control over electricity.
- Toya - learned Ice Absorption and gained a better range to his Frozen Hell.
- Chu - demonstrated the capability of using Flight as well as a flying Headbutt that could shatter mountains.
- Rinku - learned how to use his toes to control Yo-Yos as well.
- Shishiwakamaru - learned Chorus of Ten Thousand Skulls.
- Suzuki - learned Rainbow Cyclone Redux.
- In the Korean dub, she was named "Chi-Toong", but retains her name in the subs and manga translation. Her voice actress was Jung Yu-Mi, who also voiced Koenma and Yukina.
- Genkai's true age is likely 70+ (she was 20+ when she created the Reiko Hadoken).
- In a 2007 poll by Oricon, Genkai was tied with two other characters as the fifth best anime "master" with a 6% vote.
- Genkai was shown as a smoker during the Genkai Tournament saga in the anime. This was actually intended to play a role in Yusuke's match against Kibano, due to the fact that Yusuke's smoking habits were omitted from the anime and the cigarette was vital to the plot.
- Genkai's hair was braided when she was younger, which may be the reason it is wavy as she got older.
- Genkai's voice actress, Linda Young, is also most notably known for voicing Frieza, one of the major villains of the Dragon Ball anime series.
- Biscuit Krueger, a character from Hunter X Hunter, bears some similarities with Genkai:
- Both had their students undergo very harsh training.
- Both are capable of transforming into a younger version of themselves.
- The pose how Genkai fires her Spirit Gun technique is comparable to the posture Biscuit taught to Gon and Killua to emit their aura.
- In the Filipino dub version of the anime, she was named Master Jeremaiah.
- In the Filipino dub, her old version was voiced by a male voice actor instead of a female voice actress throughout the series since Filipino translators initially thought that she was male. Not until the Dark Tournament arc where her younger version was revealed that she (her younger version) was voiced by a female voice actress. Her old version was still voiced by a male voice actor even when Filipino translators learned that she was female for the series to be consistent.
- After her revival at the end of the Dark Tournament arc, she appears moderately younger (although still old) than her previous appearances. It is unexplained as to whether this is part of her revival or merely a result of improved animation quality as the series progressed.
- Genkai's appearance as The Masked Fighter slightly resembles Master Roshi's appearance as Jackie Chun in Dragon Ball, except Genkai helps Yusuke, whereas Master Roshi was trying to defeat his student.
- In the English Dub, Yusuke tends to call her "Grandma" if he's in a good mood or "Old Bat" when she angers him. In turn, Genkai calls Yusuke "Dimwit."
|e v||Team Urameshi|
|Members:||Yusuke Urameshi | Kazuma Kuwabara | Kurama | Hiei | Koenma | Genkai|