Yuu Kaito (海藤優 Kaitō Yū?) is a semi-major character from the anime and manga series Yu Yu Hakusho. Kaito is One of the first Villains of the Chapter Black Saga and he is now an ally of Yusuke Urameshi. He is voiced by Issei Futamata in the Japanese version and Jakie Cabe in the English anime. In the Filipino Dub of the anime, he is voiced by Francis Ibanez. The name is romanized as Yu Kaito in the Viz manga and Yu Kaitou in the FUNimation dub. His name is spelled Yuu Kaitou in YYH Trading Card Game dub.
Yu Kaito is a student at Meiou Academy, together with as his perennial rival, Shuichi Minamino (Kurama). He has a serious personality and is extremely intelligent. During his first appearance, Kaito comes across as an intellectual snob with a mocking tone. Later on, he appears to be much more dangerous, with his own "territory" and the ability to capture people's souls if they utter a designated taboo. After teaming with Kurama and the rest of Team Urameshi, he becomes a tad more friendly and willing to help out, though he still retains his dour and snobbish personality. He is very envious of Kurama's intelligence and while he makes
no attempt to hide that fact, he doesn't allow himself to be bothered by it as well. Despite his arrogance, he does care for his friends, as he tells Kurama that he will help if he is needed.
He is also very interested in and skilled at playing video games, having once played the fictional Goblin City for thirty-six hours straight trying to beat his previous high score.
Kaito makes his first appearance at Kurama's school after seeing that he came out second to Kurama during an exam. After being told that he can always do better next time, Kaitou tells himself that he has other plans for Shuichi Minamino. When Yusuke Urameshi fights with Asato Kido, Kaito is seen standing off to the side with
Mitsunari Yanagisawa, witnessing Yusuke's defeat against a lower class fighter.
After bringing Yusuke to the House of Four Dimensions and holding him hostage, Kaito was the first of the New Recruits to challenge Yusuke's friends. Sitting quietly in a heated room, Kaito uses his Power of Taboo. He eliminates the word "hot" from the vocabulary, explaining that whoever speaks the Taboo word will lose their soul. After taking the souls of Hiei, Kazuma Kuwabara, and Botan, Kaito and Kurama agree to up the challenge. In this game, the rules are to not speak any word from the alphabet that has been eliminated, starting from the end to beginning. When Kurama stacks the odds firmly in Kaito's favor, Kaito thought for sure he could defeat Kurama for once. After eliminating nearly every letter from the alphabet, Kaito thinks for sure he’s won, until a surprise from Kurama causes him to laugh. Kaito then loses his soul and the game.
Sometime after Yusuke has been rescued and everything was explained as being a test set up by Genkai, Kaitou's soul was restored to his body, and he introduces himself formally. He also points out that even though he was only supposed to be playing along with Genkai's trap, he really did try his hardest to defeat Kurama. Now part of the team, Kaito later helps the team out in the field as they investigate Mushiyori City. Kaito was put in Kurama's group to check out the area where the door to Demon World would be, and they work well together.
Later on Kaito joins the team in Gamemaster's Territory, Goblin City. He plays against the Gamemaster in a trivia game called Battle Quiz, having all the questions and answers memorized, and being able to answer before the question is finished. When Kaito seemed to have the upper hand (he was given a 5 question head-start and answered all questions correctly), the Gamemaster then revealed that he was much better than Kaito at the game, as Amanuma has not only memorized all the questions asked on the quiz as well as he has, but can learn what pattern of questions will be asked simply by looking at the first 5 questions. Kaito, utterly out-played, loses, but he isn't literally killed or anything at his defeat, revealing that the game plays like it does normally. After Gamemaster's defeat, Kaito carries his dead body outside to be healed by Koenma.
Throughout the rest of this saga Kaito is seen standing outside with Yanagisawa and Genkai, and mourning the death of Yusuke Urameshi. After the battle against Shinobu Sensui was finished, Kaito, along with Yanagisawa and Kido, say their last words to Genkai and walk away, being told to never use their powers ever again.
Kaito does come out on top in a math test during the Three Kings Saga, with Kurama’s score an absolute mess, though he recognizes that Kurama is going through troubled times and the score is merely a reflection of that ("I smell metaphor."). When Kurama tells Kaito the basics of what is going on, Kaito offers his assistance if he is needed (in the English dub), though Kurama silently declines as it is a demon world matter. Kaito is the only one of the three (Yanagisawa, Kido and himself) to appear after the Chapter Black Saga, keeping some small degree of contact with Kurama after he leaves.
In the manga, he is last seen working as a writer, along with a young bespectacled woman who lives with him (presumably his girlfriend). She seems to work as his editor and is much better at fighting games than Kaito.
Powers and Abilities
- High Intelligence; Despite only being a high school student and a human, Kaito is shown to be one of the most intelligent individuals in the series, typically only surpassed by Kurama. In addition to be highly capable academically, to where Kurama himself admits Kaito is superior to him in certain subjects, as well as a skilled tactician, he's also shown to have an impressive memory, able to memorize the 17,000 questions in Goblin City to the point he can identify them after only being given the first handful of letters.
- Taboo (禁句 [タブー], Kinku [Tabū]; lit. "Taboo Word"): Kaito's power effectively allows him to impose rules that become physical law within the boundaries of his Territory, effectively rewriting reality itself. Generally this power is shown by imposing different restrictions or making certain actions forbidden within his world, with different effects to those who break them. Due to his own studious nature he generally prefers to impose restrictions relating to word usage. Once he had learned of his powers, he has studied linguistics extensively and has become a master of words.
- A notable drawback to Kaito's power is that he himself is bound to his rules as well, and if he speaks the Taboo word, his soul will leave his own body, and the souls he has stolen would return to the hosts.
- Taboo of Aggression: Within his territory (a 10-meter radius around himself in which he creates his own rules), he is able to forbid any and all violence. Whenever an act of violence is about to occur, an impenetrable barrier appears and blocks it. This makes him potentially the most powerful human psychic shown and maybe even among supernatural entities as it effectively renders any level of raw power worthless. The main weakness in this is that his powers cannot stop someone if one is gently lifted in the air and gently let go. It is unknown if an act of violence occurs outside of his territory (i.e. the firing of a projectile) and subsequently makes its way in, it is exempt from the anti-violence rules of his territory or if it will dissipate when about to exact violence upon entering, but the former is speculated upon due to the fact that during the most notable instance in which Kaito employed his powers, he did so indoors, where his opponents were essentially trapped within the ten meter radius of his territory.
- Taboo of Speech: Kaito can remove letters or words from the alphabet, making them Taboo and whoever speaks the taboo words will lose their soul. It is notable in that it is not the words themselves that are taboo, but the arrangement of letters (in the English dub) or sounds (in the Japanese) in a specific order that is not allowed. This power is so precise even incomprehensible sounds such as laughter are affected.
- Soul Stealing: If one speaks the specific taboo letter or arrangement of letters, the souls are forcibly taken and placed in the palm of Kaito's hand. Once the souls leave, the bodies become gray and are petrified, as if they are statues. If the soul is not quickly returned to the body in time or the soul is restored improperly, the body will be separated from the soul forever. If Kaito does as much as scratch the souls in his hands, the damage will be irreparable.
- In the Korean translation of the manga, the game he is playing with his girlfriend is Street Fighter (which one is unspecified).
- His powers seem to be derived from a kotodama, which is a Japanese belief that mystical powers dwell in words and names.
- He bears a resemblance to Knuckle Bine, a character in Togashi's other series, Hunter x Hunter, who also possesses a surprisingly intelligent mind.
- Like other psyhics in the series that gained power from the demon gate, Kaito's spirit energy is only D Class, but his psychic power makes him an A Class threat.