Yu Yu Hakusho (translated as Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files, Ghost Fighter and/or Poltergeist Report) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. The series tells the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a teenage delinquent who is struck by a car while trying to save a child's life. While in the afterlife, he is named the Spirit Detective by Koenma & Botan and must investigate cases concerning demons and apparitions. Yusuke travels with his friends Kuwabara, Kurama & Hiei, the other protagonists of the story. As the series progresses, the series strays away from a detective story to a more fighting-oriented story.
Yu Yu Hakusho has been well received since its debut, with the manga selling over 49 million copies in Japan alone and winning the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen manga in 1993. The animated series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for the best anime in 1994 and 1995. Yu Yu Hakusho has been watched by a large number of television viewers in Japan and a wide range of age groups in the United States.
Yusuke Urameshi is a street-brawling delinquent with a tough guy approach to everything. Atsuko Urameshi, an alcoholic, gave birth to him at the age of fourteen and took a backseat in raising her son. He has a reserved seat in the guidance counselor's office, and numerous other delinquents in the city are constantly trying to take him on. To put things short, Yusuke is pretty fed up with his life.
However, no one expects a sudden act of heroism on his part: he dies trying to save a little boy from a speeding car. When he arrives in the afterlife, he is informed that the child would have miraculously survived and had it not been for him the child would have one less scratch on his right arm. His act of heroism, therefore, was "a complete & utter waste." Yusuke's premature death was unexpected and unnecessary, and the afterlife was not prepared for his arrival.
After numerous tests to gauge his worth, Yusuke is eventually revived and is assigned to work for the Spirit World as a detective investigating demon cases in the human world. He comes into spiritual abilities of his own and enlists the help of numerous friends from Spirit World, Demon World, and Human World to aid him in his cases as they fight off demons and humans seeking to rule over all three worlds.
- Main article: List of YuYu Hakusho characters
Also, see list of YuYu Hakusho Voice Actors (Japanese)
Togashi said that he began working on YuYu Hakusho during a period around November 1990; Togashi said that he forgot the exact time.
When first creating the series, Togashi did not have a clear idea of what he wanted to call it. When presenting rough drafts to his editors he used the tentative title "How to be a Ghost". Once given the go-ahead to begin publication, Togashi proposed "YuYu-Ki (Poltergeist Chronicles)" for the title, as there would be battles with demons and it would be a play on SaiYu-Ki. Because a series with a similar name (Chin-Yu-Ki) had already begun publication, Togashi quickly created an alternative: "YuYu Hakusho". He comments that he could have used "Den (Legend)" or "Monogatari (Story)", but "Hakusho (Report)" was the first thing that came to his mind.
The YuYu Hakusho manga series was written and drawn by Togashi and published originally by Shueisha in the Japanese-language magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump. The manga consists of nineteen collected volumes with the first one being released on April 10, 1991, and the last one released on December 12, 1994. In August 2004, the Japanese publishers of YuYu Hakusho released the Kanzenban edition. Each kanzenban volume features a new cover. The kanzenban is 15 volumes long (as opposed to the original 19 tankōbon, each book contains more chapters than the basic editions), with two released monthly.
The YuYu Hakusho manga is serialized in North America by Viz Media in the American Shonen Jump magazine. The first volume was released on May 13, 2003, as of January 2010 all 19 volumes were released and the series finished its run in Shonen Jump.
- Main article: List of YuYu Hakusho episodes
The anime, directed by Noriyuki Abe and co-produced by Fuji Television, Yomiko Advertising, and Studio Pierrot, consists of 112 television episodes and two movies: The Golden Seal and Bonds of Fire. The series aired from October 10, 1992, to January 7, 1995, on Fuji Television in Japan. In North America, the episodes aired from February 23, 2002, to April 1, 2006, on Cartoon Network. Initially, the episodes were shown on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block from February 2002 to April 2003 and switched to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block for the remaining episodes.
The four seasons that compose the series are each their story arc and referred to as "sagas" by Funimation. Thirty-two DVD compilations have been released by Funimation for the four sagas, with the first released on April 16, 2002, and the thirty-second on July 19, 2005. Also, DVD collection boxes have been released for each saga, containing all the episodes of every saga, except the Dark Tournament Saga, which had two collection boxes. Funimation will be releasing season box sets of the anime starting with season 1 which was released on July 8, 2008, and season 2, which was released on September 23, 2008. The third season was released on November 11, 2008, and the fourth season was released on January 13, 2009. Each set contains 4 DVDs which will have a quarter of the whole series (about 28 episodes).
The music for the YuYu Hakusho anime series was composed by Yusuke Honma, who would later score other series such as Ninku and Flame of Recca. The series has one opening theme, "Hohoemi no Bakudan" by Matsuko Mawatari, as well as five closing themes: "Homework ga Owaranai," "Sayonara Bye-Bye," and "Daydream Generation" by Mawatari, and "Unbalance na Kiss wo Shite" and "Taiyou ga Mata Kagayaku Toki" by Hiro Takahashi. Several soundtracks have been released in Japan.
- In the Filipino Dub, throughout the anime series' run, some other scenes involving violence, revolving genders, and gore are cut off or they never dubbed the scene as both the English and Japanese Versions do not cut the scene. Some other grunts from various characters in the anime are taken from the FUNimation English Dub as other Filipino voice actors would briefly do the grunting during the Dub.
- "Seisaku Hakusho ("The Production Report"). YuYu Hakusho, Volume 1. Viz Media. 94.
- Hunter x Hunter, Volume 6