"You should know better than to corner an animal like a fox, Karasu. We have a tendency to show our teeth."
Yoko Kurama (妖狐蔵馬 Yōko Kurama?), also known as Shuichi Minamino (南野秀一 Minamino Shūichi?) and Kurama the Yoko in the English Dub ( translated as Southern Field and Excellence First, respectively) is one of the main protagonists 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.
He is voiced by Megumi Ogata (Shuichi) and Shigeru Nakahara (Yoko) in the original Japanese and John Burgmeier in the FUNimation English dub, Candice Moore also voiced Kurama in the Animax Asia which is a different English dub. He is called Dennis in the Filipino dub of the anime. He is voiced by David Hayter in Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie and by Hideo Seaver in Yu Yu Hakusho the Movie: Poltergeist Report. Kurama as a child in the FUNimation dub is voiced by Kate Bristol. In the Filipino dub of the anime he was voiced briefly by Rose Barin during the Artifact Recovery arc and during the Saint Beast arc and onwards, he was voiced by Jeremy Emmanuel Joya. In the Brazilian Portuguese dub, Kurama is voiced by Eduardo Ribeiro.
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 his most common appearance is in his human form (Minamino), he is referred to as Kurama, with the exception of his classmates such as Yuu Kaito, Maya Kitajima, his mom and his foster family.
- As with Hiei, Kurama's name simply "popped into [Togashi's] head" when developing the characters. Togashi applied the kanji to the sounds he chose based on his senses. And not from the mountains as the common rumor was. The surname, Minamino, comes from Yoko Minamino (南野 陽子), a Japanese actress and singer.
In the anime, his human form has bright green eyes and long vibrant deep red hair, with two long forelocks on either shoulder and the rest on his back. In the manga, he has brown eyes and he's a brunet. In the Two Shots chapter, he used to wear shorter hair (above his shoulders). As Shuichi, he is occasionally mistaken for a female because of his long hair and delicate features, which he detests. While he often wears his pink school uniform matching pink slacks and a jacket with gold trim in the anime, it is dark blue in the manga.
Towards the end of Season One, he is seen wearing a white martial arts outfit similar to his school uniform with gold trim and a pink sash tied around the left side of his waist and the folded sleeves on both of his sleeves and pants and the high-neck on his uniform are dark blue. He stopped wearing it midway through the 2nd season (presumably because it was ruined in his fights against the first two members of Team Mashoutsukai). After recovering from his injuries and assisting Yusuke Urameshi at the end of the Demon World Tournament, he was seen wearing a white long sleeve Chinese button with purple outlines, black pants and his martial arts shoes.
For the remainder of the series, he often wears a light-colored Chinese-style battle outfit with yellow plane and blue trim. He is also seen in a flashback in the Three Kings Saga, a flashback of him meeting Hiei, where he has short hair. In Chapter Black Saga, he wears his battle outfit during the Dark Tournament Saga but minor changes as the yellow plane and blue trim changed from green plane and pink trim.
While in his demon-fox form, he has slender golden eyes, prominent silver fox ears, tail, and long flowing hair. He wears a white sleeveless yukata with split sides, along with matching martial arts pants and shoes.
In Poltergeist Report Movie, when Kurama was seen shirtless, he had a lean build with a well sculpted chest, biceps, and shoulders, but the bandages cover most of his torso. In later parts of the movie he was seen wearing the same battle outfit in the Dark Tournament as his Chinese inspired battle outfit is a red plane and yellow trim.
In the All or Nothing chapter (2018 OVA), Kurama wears the same casual look in the Chapter Black Saga, but without the leather jacket. He wears a long sleeved pink sweater shirt, blue gray jeans and black leather shoes.
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.
In the face of adversity, Kurama has the uncommon ability to shun all emotions and shine a blank slate, thinking three to four steps ahead to clutch the pinch and seize control of the situation. Coupled with his vast intelligence, his detached emotional state is perhaps his greatest asset.
Despite his physical appearance, Kurama has very high durability, shown in almost all of his matches. Because of his analyzation lenience, he is always the most injured in his fights, but manages to pull a trick out of his hat to decide the match. This is well defined in his match with Karasu.
As Yoko Kurama, he is much more cruel, vindictive, and merciless, retaining all of his intellectual capabilities. He enjoys toying with his enemies in a sadistic manner, as shown in the semi-final rounds of the Dark Tournament Competition and against Karasu. The transformation into Yoko was attained inadvertently earlier in the tournament with the age regression technique of Ura Urashima (through Suzuki). Later on in the series after Yusuke's defeat at the hands of Sensui, Kurama seems to take on his demon form, though he states it is just a change in physical appearance due to his exposure to substantial amounts of demon energy (a product of the tunnel's completion). However, he retains his human personality without becoming cruel and merciless.
In the anime, it is portrayed that he and his demon form have different personalities. This is due to the fact that while a demon, his ruthless demeanor along with the change in his voice, make Kurama seem like an entirely different person. However, this misconception is cleared when Kurama states that his demonic spirit, merged with the human body of Minamino Shuichi over time, and that his transformation is only between his human and demon body. So rather than being a demon inhabiting a human body, he "is both the demon Kurama as well as the human Minamino Shuuichi."
Kurama is on good terms with Yusuke, Kuwabara, and Hiei. His friendship with Yusuke is because the Spirit Detective spared his life and willingly offered his own life to the Forlorn Hope (one of the Artifacts of Darkness) to save Kurama and Shiori, Kurama's human mother. While his friendship with Hiei is due to his collaboration to vanquish the demon Eight Hands. He also has a tendency to plan for all possible futures, one that may or may not be, because he believes that nothing is ever certain and that you must be prepared.
Sometime before he he gained his reputation, he met Kuronue, a fellow thief; they shared similar values, becoming good friends and stealing various important artifacts together. However, after successfully obtaining an unnamed rare antiquity, they were captured in a bamboo spike trap, that would mortally wound Kuronue. Unable to save his friend and Kuronue pleading for Kurama to save himself, he reluctantly fled, leaving him guilt ridden centuries after the incident. Kurama later became a master thief renowned as the "Legendary Bandit" and an A-class ranked fox-demon. At some point, he and his second-in-command, Yomi, decided to gain power through theft of very valuable items from secure facilities in Demon World, even gaining a group of like-minded individuals. However, too many of his lieutenant's impulsive and rash decisions, had cost Yoko several of his henchmen, in combination with Kurama having to save Yomi several times. Eventually, Yoko sent a hitman to punish Yomi, using false information of a well guarded treasure as bait; the assailant would blind him and Yoko left him for dead.
About 15 years before the his encountering with Yusuke, he was killed by one of the Spirit World's Elite Soldiers (known as Hunters by demons) after a failed theft, his spirit retreating to the human world. Where he comes across Shiori Minamino and implants his soul into her soulless and dieing unborn child. He originally planned to stay in the human world long enough to regain his energy, detesting being trap in a human body and humanity in general. Until the day he learned empathy for humans during a childhood incident, where Shiori selflessly saved him from falling onto a floor covered in broken glass at the cost of permanent scars on her arms.
As he aged and gained more control of his demon energy, his mother grew ill, causing him to join forces with Hiei and another demon named Gouki, to steal the Forlorn Hope the Spirit World. His life was spared, in the process of sacrificing it, by Yusuke's willingness to sacrifice himself to save Kurama and his mother because he knew that if Kurama had died, Kurama's mother would be hurt from the loss of her only child, just like his mom did when he had first died (of course, he realized that his mom would be sad again). Afterward, he would be indebted to Urameshi for his selfless deed.
Spirit Detective Saga
After he, Gouki, and Hiei steal the three artifacts from spirit world, Kurama tells them he must leave their alliance. Hiei is initially furious, and chases after Kurama when he leaves at the sudden appearance of Yusuke. He later shows up when Yusuke defeats Gouki, asking Yusuke for a meeting. Despite Botan's warning, Yusuke agrees to go.
Kurama takes Yusuke to a hospital, where they meet his mother. Yusuke is confused why a demon could have a human mother, and why he would care so much for his mother. Kurama explains his past, and his mother's sickness. He feels that he somehow caused it, by putting her through emotion pain. Suddenly, a nurse asks Kurama to come back inside, where his mother's doctor tells him she only has a few hours to live. Kurama activates the artifact, the Forlorn Hope, which would grant him one wish.
However, this would come at the cost of his life. Yusuke urges him to stop, then asks the mirror to take his life instead. Luckily, the mirror grants the wish without sacrifice because of Yusuke's compassion (or in the English manga and Japanese version the mirror only took half of the life force from both Yusuke and Kurama to fulfill the wish). Kurama wakes up and quickly leaves to go see if his mother is alright, which she is.
Hiei battles Yusuke next, and in his Jagan form, nearly kills the Spirit Detective. However, Kurama steps in the path of Hiei's sword, then uses his blood to blind Hiei's original third eye, crippling his powers. He then uses his power to stop Keiko from becoming a demon. After a surprising spirit gun that bounces off the Forlorn Hope, Botan inquires how Yusuke knew to do that. He replies it was spur of the moment thinking, leading Kurama to laugh.
When the Saint Beasts infect the Human World with Demon World Insects, Kurama, Hiei, Kuwabara, and Yusuke go to the Demon City to stop them. Kurama faces the beast, Genbu, and unleashes his Rose Whip technique for the first time and defeats the beast, only for him to reconstitute his broken body. Kurama the senses Genbu's energy's center and destroys it, using the rose whiplash to disperse him.
While Yusuke is sent to rescue the ice apparition, Yukina, Kurama is working in Spirit World for Koenma. They both worry for Hiei, because Yukina is his sister, and he would surely have killed her kidnapper, getting him arrested. Kurama leaves to find Hiei, and witnesses, for the first time, Hiei sparing his opponent. He then comments that he didn't need to come. In the manga, he is not seen at all during this mission.
Dark Tournament Saga
In the preliminaries, Kurama fought the member of Team Rokuyukai, Roto, who threatened to hurt his mother if he did not forfeit. However, Kurama turned the tables by planting the seed of the Death Plant on him beforehand, and stalling Roto enough to kill him before he could get the chance to press the button.
Later, against Team Masho, Kurama fought Gama, a demon obsessed with make-up. He manages to win, but Gama's curses laid on Kurama's body seal his energy and keeps him from moving. This makes the next match against Touya difficult.
The first curse wears off and Kurama is able to move, but Touya has the upper hand because Kurama's energy is still sealed. Kurama tried to disengage the curse by smearing his own blood on his chest, but it does not work. Touya says to him in order for the curse to wear off, Kurama has to bleed himself dry. With no other choice, Kurama decides to sow the seed of the death plant into his own body, allowing it to take root in his imprisoned energy. At the last second before he is struck by Touya's Ice Blade, he sprouts a plant that impales Touya in the torso, nearly killing him.
The ordeal leaves him unconscious, but still standing, so he is faced against Bakken. He is nearly killed by the demon, but their leader, Risho, stops him from attacking so that Yusuke wouldn't kill him.
In a short fight against Ura Urashima, Ura unleashes a tool called the Idunn Box that is supposed to regress his opponent's age to that of a baby. However, the effect differs for Kurama, and instead, he is returned to his Yoko form. After Suzuka's defeat, he gives Kurama a potion of the Fruit of the Previous Life that would allow him to willingly transform into Yoko Kurama.
During the finals, Kurama faces Karasu, whose ability manipulates the intangible world. Kurama had taken the potion a few minutes before the match, so he became Yoko and nearly killed Karasu using a plant that could track movement. However, Karasu survives and Kurama returns to normal. Only by making Karasu bleed and then unleashing a blood-thirsty plant using his life energy as a last resort is he able to kill Karasu.
Chapter Black Saga
After the tournament ended, Kurama resumed his normal life, going back to Meiou High School. When Yusuke is kidnapped, a letter tells Botan and Kuwabara to go to Kurama's school and find him with Hiei's help so that they may retrieve their friend. After finding Hiei as well, they go to the house where Yusuke was being held only to open the door and find Yuu Kaito waiting for them. When Kuwabara, Hiei, and Botan's souls are taken in by Kaito's power of taboo, Kurama is the last shred of hope to defeat Kaito at his game and gain back the souls of his friends.
Upon Kurama defeating Kaito by making him laugh, the souls were retrieved and they go up the flight of stairs to find Yusuke. Once it was revealed that Genkai was behind the ruse, it is shown that there is a new threat of a hole to demon world opening.
The next day, the group divide into two, with Kurama leading the group looking for the hole at Demon's Door Cave. Upon discovering the underground hole, Kurama then heads back to put the groups together and report it to Koenma. The following day, Kurama does not show up at Yusuke's apartment because he decides to pay Koenma a visit, believing that he may know more than he's telling their team. When it is shown that Kurama's allegations are indeed true, it is then revealed that the leader is Shinobu Sensui, the "Spirit Detective of Darkness".
At Yusuke's apartment, Sensui and his group attempted to neutralize Seaman who was considered now a traitor but Yusuke's allies managed to escape. It was then that Kurama calmed down Seaman and made him reflect on his acts. Then, Seaman joined Team Urameshi and then they went to pursue their enemies. It was then that Sensui attacked Yusuke in order to kidnap Kuwabara in order to have Gourmet eat Kuwabara's Dimension Sword. At that point, Kurama briefly had an encounter with Sniper, but the match was interrupted and Yusuke chased Kuwabara who was now held hostage by the Sensui Seven.
Then, the group then meets up at Demon's Door Cave. When entering the cave, Gamemaster's power has been activated, making Goblin City true to life. After everyone has taken their turn competing against him, Kurama was the one who had to face Amanuma at the end of the game. It is here that Kurama had no choice but to reveal to Amanuma that Sensui was merely using him to stall for time and it is part of his plan that Amanuma will die. By doing so, Kurama distracted him from performing well in the final level and managed to allow the group to go on to face Sensui, despite the death of Amanuma in the process. Kurama, then riddled with guilt, however, faced Gourmet upon reaching the cave.
It is then that Kurama uses his Rose Whip to reveal that Elder Toguro had not only survived the Dark Tournament Competition, but was eaten by Gourmet and then took over his body. Being incensed by the truth known that he was rather riddled with disappointment and shame in that Yoko Kurama wouldn't have hesitated to have killed, or at least, broke someone for the advantage, even a child, Kurama then uses a smoke screen to not only hide the fact that he had planted the seed of the Sinning Tree on Gourmet (Elder Toguro), but also as a way of spurring the growth of this particular plant.
After Itsuki traps Kurama, Hiei, Mitarai, and Kuwabara within the Uraotoko, a long discussion ensues as they watch Sensui and Yusuke clash. There, Kurama realizes not only the existence of Sensui's other personalities, but also what Yusuke intended to do upon realizing the power of Sensui's Sacred Energy. When Yusuke dies, and Kuwabara finally cuts the Uraotoko open with his newly-realized Dimension Sword, he, as well as Kurama (in demon form) and Hiei, chase Sensui to Demon World. The reason for the transformation was because of the emotional distress Kurama suffered from seeing Yusuke die. There, at a confrontation upon the Plateau of the Beheaded near the Forest of Fools, the three of them are completely trounced by Sensui's Sacred Energy Armor.
After Yusuke's resurrection as a Mazoku and his arrival in Demon World, all Kurama, Hiei, Kuwabara, and Koenma, can do is watch as the two of them clash. After the battle against Sensui ended, Kurama and the rest of the group return to the Human World.
Three Kings Saga
In the Saga of the Three Kings, Kurama is called on by Yomi, his former partner when he was still a thief in Demon World. Kurama's internal struggles become more apparent in this saga because of the two different aspects of himself: the human that he is when he fights alongside Yusuke and his companions, and Yoko. At this point, wherein he relives most of his past, his old personality is somewhat predominant, as it seems that he is becoming more and more like his old self, before he came to human world. In moments of duress or battle, Kurama (who had yet to fully suppress his Yoko side) would transform into Yoko.
After meeting Yomi, he has apparently improved his strength greatly to Lower S Class levels. However against the mid S-class Shachi, Kurama transforms into his Yoko self and easily overpowers Shachi. Kurama becomes Yomi's new right-hand man. After the death of Raizen, Yusuke comes to Yomi's territory with a proposition: a new tournament which will determine the ruler of the whole of Demon World. Yomi accepts and the tournament begins.
Kurama's team (made up of the surviving members of Teams Masho, Uratogi, and Rokuyokai from the Dark Tournament) qualifies easily in the preliminary round, but after the team faces stronger opponents, each member is defeated one by one. Then, Kurama fights Shigure, "The Demon Surgeon." Though Kurama is in the Lower S Class power level, he is no match for Shigure. During a fierce battle, he transforms into an Upper S Class Yoko and easily uses super speed to avoid Shigure, but willfully transforms back into his human self, stating that he will not resort to using that power.
Despite being weaker than Shigure, he is able to cause the large dormant tree they are using as an arena to bloom, having merged it with a cherry tree seed before the fight began. This causes Shigure to lose the match as his weapon gets stripped from him, giving Kurama the win. However, Kurama is unable to continue with the tournament and withdraws due to severe injuries. After his fight with Shigure, he decides to not look to the past for answers, but to the future. With his loyalty to his human mother, and his friends, he leaves his Yoko lifestyle behind, as he tells Yomi. He decides to return home to live out his human life.
Kurama rejecting his yoko nature, however, was an addition made exclusively on the animation. In the original story told by the manga, such resolve was not shown or hinted just like his fight against Shigure. In fact, the entire fight with Shigure was not shown in the manga at all, although Kurama did state that he didn't know how he beat Shigure and used up most of his youki in this battle, indicating Kurama had a extreme difficult battle. He then lost to Kujou, one of Raizen's Friends in the third round. After the end of the Demon World Tournament, Kurama goes back to Human World.
Kurama he finishes High School and then gets a job at his stepfather's company. He lives like a normal human being from then on alongside Yusuke, Kuwabara, and his other friends — except for Hiei, who decides to continue living in Demon World.
In this OVA, Shunjun appeared before Yusuke. He told the news to the young Spirit Detective that the Gate of Judgement has been seized and both Koenma and Botan have been held hostages with the terrorist demanding the removal of demons from the Human World and restoring the Barrier. Then, Yusuke called Demon World ruler Enki and requested him to gather his old friends. As Team Urameshi was gathered, they left their bodies and went into the Spirit World.
With the help of Kurama, they devised a plan and needed Kuwabara's help to enter. As the infiltration was successful, they took the guards one by one. After that, they made their way the hostage room and launched a surprise attack, taking all of the terrorists. Yusuke wanted to know how can they stop the cannon that was aimed at the Human World, but the terrorist leader just said they were three colored buttons which marked three options. Yusuke then told everyone to evacuate and Kuwabara, Hiei and Kurama to go to the Human World and tell everyone they know to evacuate as well.
At the end, fortunately, Yusuke ended up pushing the blue button, which ended up being the correct one. As a result, Yusuke ended up successfully the mission and both Spirit World and Human World were sound and safe once more.
In the manga, which deviates after the end of the Demon World Tournament, he does not entirely give up the demon world or the detective lifestyle as Yusuke frequently calls on him for help in solving the cases for his Spirit Detective business. There is a severe change of story after the Three Kings Saga, mainly in that not only does the Barrier come down, but demons pop up in human world frequently, often appearing on talk shows (Koto, Juri and Ruka from the Dark Tournament are seen being interviewed by a popular TV host). Considering he decided not to attend college and stay with his family instead, it could be an indication he intends to leave his human form behind once his family does not need him anymore since he is not trying to conform entirely to human ideals of "going to college and getting a high paying job". In a bonus OVA, he is shown to enter the second Demon World Tournament alongside Yusuke, Hiei, and Kuwabara.
Powers and Abilities
- Vast Intellectual Approach // Unparalleled Precision: Perhaps one of Kurama's most powerful abilities. On countless occasions it has been demonstrated upon the sheer depth of Kurama's intellectual capabilities. Coupled with his innate ability to conceal his emotions in the face of adversity, and his power to summon plants from the demon world, his mind makes Kurama one of the most powerful characters in the series. Along with his centuries of experience as a fighter, Kurama has molded himself into a master strategist, tactician, and analyst. He is frequently the first person to point out or find a weakness in his opponent's abilities or fighting style and exploit them to his advantage. The weakness of this is that in his attempt to understand and come up with a way to defeat his opponent, he tends to go easy on his opponent at first and is often the most injured of the four. Still his ability to think several steps before the enemy almost always ensures his victory.
- Astral Projection (アストラル・投射, Asutoraru Tōsha): In the All or Nothing chapter, Kurama demonstrates the ability to naturally separate his physical body with his spirit in order to enter the Spirit World.
- Energy Concealment: It is the ability to control and reduce the latent energy of a user, which can be attained after an intense training, seclusion and if the user is an adept martial artist.
- Flight: a special ability where the user manipulates their Energy so that they can levitate or fly. He can do this only in his transformation of Yoko Kurama.
- Super Speed: is the ability of moving at great speed, which creates the illusion of Teleportation. Kurama acquires this ability after awakening his powers as Yoko Kurama and surpassing the A Class level. He uses this for more advanced movement and dodging, and as a base for other movement techniques.
- Teleportation: Kurama has shown on numerous occasions the ability to teleport.
- Yoko Kurama Transformation: As his Demon Energy increases, he obtains the ability to transform his body back to his former Yoko Kurama form when he powers up during battle. However, Kurama declines to depend so much in this form as of his final battle during the Demon World Tournament and embraces his human form in order to grow in power.
- Accelerated Growth: Kurama is able to speed up the rate of growth of plants, allowing him to create a forest in mere seconds as a means of hiding himself. He can also control the plants he grew to do certain tasks.
- Demonic Plant Manipulation - Kurama's primary skillset is the use of his demon energy to manipulate plants. Typically, this is done by taking some inert portion of a plant, like a seed or a flower, and transforming it into either a weapon or a living plant. When choosing the latter option, the plant will typically either be an intrinsically deadly plant native to the Demon World, or a Living World plant that has been drastically altered by Kurama's demon energy.
- Leaf Blade (葉・ 剣, Ha Ken, translated as Leaf Sword): In the Two Shots chapter, a younger Kurama uses the ability have a blade that he generates from a leaf. Presumably this was before he was at the level of using his Rose Whip again. In the anime, a 15-year-old Kurama directly uses the Rose Whip.
- Parrot Grass (オウム ・草, Ōmu Kusa, translated as Parrot Grass : In the All or Nothing chapter, Kurama uses this shrub in order to deceive a group of religious terrorists who had taken the Gates of Judgment hostage and used radio check-ins to make sure nothing was going wrong.
- Pollen of the Flower of Forgetfulness - In the Two Shots chapter, Kurama uses this flower ability to erase all recent memories from Maya Kitajima, including the knowledge of her recently discovered spirit sensitivity and her love for Kurama (which she confessed during this story).
- Rose Whip (薔薇棘鞭刃 (ローズ・ウィップ), Rōzu Uippu, translated as Rose Thorn Whip Blade) - Kurama's signature technique, where he uses his demon energy to grow a rose from its seed state to its flowering state and then into a long thorny whip that's capable of cutting even through steel. With this he is able to conceal seeds of different plants with such stealth that the opponent doesn't realize it until it has already happened.
- Rose Whiplash (華厳裂斬肢, Kagon Retsuzanshi, translated as Luster Stern Rending Slash Limb, Thorn Whiplash in the Viz translation) - Kurama swiftly slashes the whip in multiple directions.
- The first two kanji in the attack's name when normally read as "Kegon" refers to the Avatamsa, a flower adornment metaphor for becoming a Buddha.
- Chou Kagon Retsuzanshi (超華厳裂斬肢, Chō Kagon Retsuzanshi, translated as Super Luster Stern Rending Slash Limb; Super Thorn Whiplash in the Viz translation) - A more devastating form of the Rose Whip. He uses this attack against Sensui in his defensive armor.
- Rose Whip Thorn Wheel (風華円舞陣, Fūka Enbujin, translated as Wind Luster Waltz Array): Kurama draws the Rose Whip and swings it around him in a circle, as rose petals scatter around and stun his opponents, while the wheel created from the whip unleashes crescent-shaped energy blades.
- Petals and Thorns - Named Petal Whirlwind in the English manga, this technique is an alternate use of the Rose Whip Thorn Wheel, generating a whirlwind of razor-sharp rose petals materializing in the palm of Kurama's hand and then swirling around him. If an opponent/attacker gets within a certain range, the petals attack and rip them to shreds. Kurama mainly uses this technique as a barrier or to take out large numbers of weaker demons.
- Seed of the Death Plant (死招き草, Shimaneki Sō, translated as Death-Inviting Grass): This is a small seed that Kurama plants in his opponent's body and can be manipulated using his demon energy. After it has had enough time to secure its roots within the victim's body, the death plant bursts forth from within, killing the opponent. Only used successfully on Roto during the Dark Tournament, unsuccessfully on Karasu, and as an impromptu blade when fighting Touya.
- Death Tree (食妖植物, Shokuyō Shokubutsu, translated as Devourer Demon Plant) - A Demon World plant, the Death Tree is a root-based plant that contains huge mouths at the end of each root. It is a carnivorous tree with an acidic saliva capable of melting flesh and bone easily. Instinctively it strikes anything that moves. In the series it appears just once, being used only to intimidate Ura Urashima during the Dark Tournament.
- Ojigi Plant (魔界の御辞儀・草, Makai no Ojigi Sō, translated as Demon Realm's Bowing Grass) - A plant indigenous to South America. When grown with demon energy, it mutates into a creature that responds to movements or heat by closing its leaves around its prey and crushing it to death. It is considered the demon world equivalent of the mimosa plant, but unlike its human world counterpart, which withdraws in response to a presence, this demonic plant actually pursues any heat it notices. Had to be summoned by incantation in the manga and Japanese-language anime; the anime's incantation was, according to official subtitles, "agron tentagram bicheon sabbat adonai", while the manga used nonsense-symbols. Only used to try and kill Karasu during the Final Round of the Dark Tournament.
- Bloodsucking Plant (吸血・植物, Kyūketsu Shokubutsu, translated as Blood-Drinking Plant) - A special Demon World plant that can attach itself to its victim and drain them of their blood before blossoming into a beautiful, rose-like, flower once it has drained enough blood from its victim. Only used to kill Karasu during the final round of the Dark Tournament.
- Lamp Weed (アカル・雑草, Akaru Zassō, translated as Bright Weed) - Plants that act as markers for Kurama to find his way back. Used during the Chapter Black saga, as the Spirit Detectives make their way down to where the tunnel to Demon World is being opened.
- Sinning Tree (邪念樹, Janen Ju ), translated as Tree of Depravity) - A demon world plant, the tree is a carnivorous plant that feeds by siphoning the life of prey through its tendrils and roots. Upon ensnaring a victim, the tree responds to the memories of the victims, flooding the consciousness of the victim with hallucinations of wickedness, and forces them to replay their fears as it feeds off of its victims' life force, never stopping until its host is dead. If, for some reason, the victim continues to struggle, then the tree will generate extra tendrils in order to restrain its victim as it feeds. Only used once, to trap Elder Toguro for eternity, near where the tunnel to Demon World is being opened.
- Floating Leaf (浮葉科の魔界植物, Fuyōka no Makai Shokubutsu, translated as Floating Leaves of Demon Realm Plant) - This plant appears as "wings", similar to that of a butterfly, on Kurama's back that double as a glider. First used to slow the descent of Kuwabara's, Hiei's, and his, into Demon World to avenge Yusuke's death. It is used again to keep him in the air during Yusuke and Sensui clash in Demon World. Is unnamed in the English dub, but Kurama describes it as a leaf of a demon world plant.
- The Binding Fist of the Demonic Vine (樹霊妖斬拳, Juryō Yōzan Ken, translated as Wood Spirit Demon Slash Fist) - Similar to the Rose Whip in that it is composed of a vine with thorns, but this time it grows around Kurama's arm and is wielded as a sword-like weapon. Used only as an attempt to attack Sensui when they were fighting in Demon World, although he did use a similar attack, Leaf Blade, in his earlier days. It is speculated that this attack is in fact created by what are essentially rose whips manipulated and entangled around Kurama's arm, creating a sharp piercing weapon.
- Okunenju Roots (憶念樹, Okunen Ju, translated as Memory-Recall Tree) - Kurama can control the roots of the Okunenju and use them to attack his opponent. The plant, however, takes millennia to grow and requires a large amount of energy to manipulate. Kurama's match against Shigure during the Demon World Tournament took place on top of an Okunenju that Yoko Kurama had planted there thousands of years ago. Kurama was therefore able to take control of the entire arena and overwhelm Shigure.
- Bamboo Forest ( 竹・の・森 , Take no Mori ), translated as Bamboo Forest : An unnamed technique that transforms the plant first into a spear, and then by striking the ground with said spear, a large number of bamboo pikes burst out of the ground and impales the opponent several times. Used by Kurama in the second movie in order to kill an unnamed Netherworld God that impersonated his former partner Kuronue.
- Pseudo-Creature (擬似 ・クリーチャー, Giji Kurīchā, translated as Fake Creature : Seen only in the manga set after the Demon World Tournament, this parasite merges with its host on the cellular level, instinctively repairing any damage done to the host body. Unless the host's brain is destroyed, the host will stay in a 'half-life' for a very-long time. Its appearance is similar to that of the Sinning Tree, which begs the question of whether or not the two plants are somehow related.
Video Game Exclusive Techniques
- Rose Darts: This is only used in Dark Tournament on the PlayStation 2. It is used by holding the right arrow and press the R1 Button.
- Rose Whip Blossom: This is only used in Spirit Detective on the GameBoy Advance. This is done when Kurama reaches level 20 and you press R and B together. This kills almost every foe in your path depending on his level.
- Whip Sweep: It is only used in Dark Tournament. It is used by holding the left arrow and press the L1 button while in crouching position.
- Whip Repel: It is only used in Dark Tournament. It is used by holding the up arrow and press the L1 button.
- Rose Rain: Only used in Dark Tournament. It is used by holding the up arrow and R2 at a same time.
- Jumping Rose Whip: Seen in Dark Tournament only. Press R1 while in the air.
- Death Ray: In a Dark Tournament video game, it is only used when Kurama is in his Youko form. Hold the right arrow and press L2.
- Death Ray Flying: In Youko Kurama form, press the down arrow and press L1
- Fruit of the Previous Life potion (前世の実 ･ の ･ 薬, Zensenomi no Kusuri, translated as Previous World's Fruits / Medicine : A potion that that was made from the Fruit of the Previous Life, a fruit handpicked from the upper realms of the Spirit World is given to Kurama after Suzuki gets beaten by Genkai in the Dark Tournament . The fruit possesses the ability to revert a person to an earlier stage in their life, serving as the basis for the smoke for Ura Urashima's Idun Box. The potion helps Kurama turn into Yoko Kurama at will. The side effect of the potion is a resulting inbalance between his human side and demon side .
- Various seeds he keeps in his hair to use as weapons.
- Kitayama finds Kurama to be the easiest of the main characters to design due to his well-proportioned features.
- Kurama is revealed to be the real name of the Nine-Tailed Fox sealed within Naruto during the final story arc of the Naruto series; its mangaka Masashi Kishimoto is said to have been inspired from the Yu Yu Hakusho series.
- David Hayter, who voices Kurama in Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie, also voiced Solid Snake in the popular video game Metal Gear Solid.
- In the Hyper Police anime, Kurama made a cameo appearance in the episode 4 when Natsuko is in the house of Sakura.
- Kurama's original manga color scheme was black hair and a blue uniform; the animators chose a red and pink version instead, possibly to give more color variety to Team Urameshi as Hiei and Yusuke have black hair and Kuwabara already wears a blue uniform.
- Kurama made a cameo appearance in Yoshihiro Togashi's second hit manga series Hunter x Hunter, in Volume 8, Chapter 69, as an action figure alongside Yusuke and Hiei, inside the room of Milluki Zoldyck.
- Kurapika, one of the main characters in the manga series Hunter X Hunter, is largely based on Kurama :
- Kurapika is a cunning, master strategist who always planned his attacks in advance.
- Both Kurama and Kurapika have the same first two syllables in their names and are the only main characters to do so.
- In the same way that Kurama was ranked second place for most popular character in the Yu Yu Hakusho manga, Kurapika was also voted in second place in the Hunter X Hunter popularity contest.
- Just as Kurama could manipulate plants in order to immobilize, capture, attack and kill his enemies, Kurapika had the ability to conjure up a chain from his aura, which was used for the same purposes as Kurama's plants were.
- He is a master martial artist.
- He bore a profound feeling of respect and love towards his friends and family, and would never sacrifice their lives in order to achieve his own personal goals.
- He possesses a calm, collective, and friendly personality that belied his sinister, wrathful, and hateful feelings towards those who had wronged or hurt him in the past.
- Chinese-style robes are his main form of clothing.
- His androgynous appearance has lead readers to wonder if he was in fact a girl. In one chapter, he is mistaken as being a girl by his archenemy.
- He is highly intelligent with a wide knowledge of the world.
- He is a boy prodigy who rapidly learned to control his superhuman abilities.
- Kurama is usually crippled in some way during his fights:
- Genbu wounds him in the stomach and he could no longer fight for the duration of the mission.
- Roto holds a button, threatening to send a signal to his demon brother to kill Kurama's mother if he fought back.
- Gama anchors down Kurama's arms and legs with his paint-based sealing techniques.
- Touya faces him while his power is sealed away by Gama's final technique.
- Ura Urashima tricks him into being exposed to the Idun Box (which ultimately works to Kurama's advantage as it transforms him into Yoko Kurama).
- Kurama is the only fighter on Team Urameshi to technically lose in the finals against team Toguro.
- Kurama hides seeds in his hair.
- During his fight with Elder Toguro/Gourmet, Kurama showed the ability to suppress all thought in his mind and fight solely on impulse. He also is capable of hiding his true plans underneath layers of false planning.
- He had a classmate named Maya who became really attached to him when he was 14, as shown in volume 7 chapter 9 of the manga and in the 2018 OVA "Two Shots".
- Kurama met Hiei when he was 14 years old (as Shuichi Minamino).
- He seems prone to taking wounds in the stomach.
- He has an incredible sense of smell and can read lips.
- Kurama planned to leave Human World to return to Demon World after regaining his strength, but it would take an estimated 10 years to do so. In the end, he never left because of the sacrifice of his human mother.
- During the Three Kings Saga, Kurama's Yōki is stated to be 1,902 (In the manga) and 8,902 (In the anime). When transforming into Yoko Kurama his Yōki is 152,000.
- This means Kurama has roughly a twentieth of his demon powers in human form. He more than makes up for this weakness through strategy.
- His seiyu, Megumi Ogata, also voiced Sailor Uranus from Sailor Moon (90's anime only). Coincidentally, Yu Yu Hakusho's mangaka, Yoshihiro Togashi, is married to Naoko Takeuchi, the mangaka for Sailor Moon.
- In the Korean dub he is named "Cho-Hong" (초홍), which, unlike Hiei's Korean name, is not a hanja translation of his Japanese name. In the Korean sub, he is called "Gurama", but is still called Kurama in the manga translation.
- It has been stated in latest releases that Kurama's Birthday falls on December 29.
- The Filipino dub initially called him Denise, because the dubbers thought he was a woman. When they learned the truth, they changed his name to Dennis and explained that he was disguising himself as a woman named Denise.
- He was Megumi Ogata's debut role.
- In an interview, Megumi Ogata said that Kurama was one of her most memorable works, along with Sailor Uranus from 'Sailor Moon', Shinji Ikari from 'Neon Genesis Evangelion', and Melvina McGarren in the video game 'Melty Lancer'.
- In the anime, Kurama's hairstyle bears a resemblance to Feldt Grace's hair from Gundam.
- Kurama is a popular character among fans of the series.
- This is likely due to him being the "straight man" in the comedic lunacy of his comrades. In terms of personality, Kurama falls between the loudmouths Yusuke and Kuwabara, and the stoic Hiei.
- In the Animage Anime Grand Prix, he was ranked as the third most popular male anime character of 1993 and the most popular male character in both 1994 and 1995.
- His alternate Demon Fox Kurama form was ranked sixteenth in 1994.
- Yoko Kurama additionally won About.com's "Best Supporting Character" in its 2005 Anime Award Show.
- Kurama was also ranked the third best male anime character of the 1990s by Newtype.
- In the manga poll in volume 12, Kurama was placed 2nd by 13,514 votes by fans..
- Like Hiei, Kurama's name comes from the Kurama Mountain, in Kyoto, Japan. It is the location of a famous Buddhist temple. Mt. Hiei stands right beside it.
- Kurama's human name translates in two parts: the given (Shuichi) means "excellence first", while the surname (Minamino) means "Southern Field" and is also the name of a famous Japanese warrior. To this day, the surname is only allowed to families of nobility or higher social standing.
- Kurama is the name of a rural town in the northern mountains of Kyoto City, less than one hour from the city center. Kurama town is best known for its temple Kurama-dera and its hot spring, one of the most easily accessible hot springs from Kyoto.
- Kurama is the only member of team Urameshi to remain undefeated in the Demon world tournament (though he must have either lost or forfeited at some point before the end considering the fact that he did not win).
- Kurama's Yoki is Purple in color.
- His name was also used in a sumo wrestler named Kurama Tatsuya.
- Kurama is possibly the most intelligent character in the series.
- Kurama is the only main character among the four who doesn't go shirtless during any battle.
- Kurama (Shuichi Minamino) and Youko Kurama have a resemblance of a fox. Shuichi Minamino (by hair color) represents the Red Fox, which is native to Japan. Youko Kurama himself represents a Silver Fox.
- Though never outright stated, the side-effects of the Seed of Decarnation potion Kurama drank at the Dark Tournament seems to have left his human side and demon side unbalanced .
- .Kurama seems to have involuntarily transformed into Youko Kurama following Yusuke's death at the hands of Shinobu Sensui. In the anime, this was stated to be merely a cosmetic change resulting from exposure to Youki.
- In the Three Kings arc, Kurama states that he feels like his old self once a month.
- He reverts to his demon form whenever he is in extreme danger. Though, in the anime, he uses his sheer willpower to suppress Yoko; he decided not to rely on his old self.
- The anime shows Kurama reverting to Yoko while gazing at the moon.
- (To Yusuke ) "Let me do what I must,Yusuke"
- "I'm making perfect sense you're just not keeping up!"
- "Logic is panic's prey." - Episode 68
- (to Yusuke) "We thought you were a brilliant strategist. Really, you're just a lucky fool." - Episode 8
- "What if I truly didn't care?" - Episode 29
- "What irony. Such beauty sprung up from such an ugly soil." - Episode 29
- (Everyone but Hiei playing cards in the hotel) "Come, join us Hiei. We're practically family over here."
- "Nerd violence..." (he says this in response to students who wanted to force him to join them, only to be crushed by Kuwabara before the battle between Kido, Yana, and Kaito) - Episode 68
- (Kuwabara arguing with Hiei) "And to think, one day they could be in-laws."
- (to Yusuke) "Sorry, I don't have the time to be arrested."
- (as Yoko when he taunts Karasu)"You should know better than to corner an animal like a fox, Karasu. We have a tendency to show our teeth."
- (as Yoko) "You'd better find a smart way to kill it or else... 'Bang'."
- (to Karasu) "How does it feel to be the one pursued?"
- (to Yusuke) "Hiei is going through a tricky change. It appears he is beginning to like you."
- "It most certainly isn't pleasant being called a 'traitor' by creatures you've never met."
- "Yoko has returned, they cry."
- (Talking to Juri) "You. Unless you want to be plant food, don't move."
- (as Yoko) "There is no room for your fantasies of denial, little vermin. Be assured... I am alive."
- "I'm flattered that you've heard of me, but as you can see, the stories were incorrect.”
- "I'll take this one, Yusuke. Don't argue... I am not in the mood." - Episode 84
- "Rely on impulse and not even your thoughts can betray you." - Episode 84
- (to Elder Toguro, hiding in Gourmet's body.) "Did you think I wouldn't notice? I could smell your stench, ever since we enter the cave." - Episode 84
- (to Elder Toguro) "That's enough! You've survived, for far too long... And now, it ends!" - Episode 84
- (to Elder Toguro) "I'm sorry... was that supposed to hurt me?" - Episode 84
- "Any prize worth having requires a risk."
- "Regret is a different beast when you live for centuries."
- "Suicide is not the answer. There is neither honor, nor redemption in that."
- "I thought clowns made everyone else laugh."
- "Yusuke, you need a 'Plan B'." - Episode 82
- (commenting on Hiei's rude statements) "It's his way of saying, 'You're welcome.' You will learn."
- "Kuwabara, I've been standing next to you for some time now. A bit nervous, are we?"
- (as Yoko) "It looks like it's zeroed in on you. I guess all of your trembling must have caught its attention."
- (To Yusuke) "The more, impatient we are, the more mistakes we'll make" - Episode 19
- Extracted from translations of the Official Character Book Reikai Shinshiroku (2005).
- Yu Yu Hakusho manga; Chapter 22, Page 4
- Yu Yu Hakusho manga; Chapter 22, Page 7
- Yu Yu Hakusho manga; Chapter 22, Page 18
|e v||Team Urameshi|
|Members:||Yusuke Urameshi | Kazuma Kuwabara | Kurama | Hiei | Koenma | Genkai|