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"Yu Yu Hakusho"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files" More at IMDbPro »"Yu Yu Hakusho" (original title)

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31 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

A fantastic and original action-adventure anime.

Author: Clara Leung from New Zealand
4 October 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yuu Yuu Hakusho is one of my favourite japanese animes. Like many other anime, it was first released as a manga (comic), written by the talented Yoshihiro Togashi.

The story revolves around a juvenile delinquent, Yuusuke Urameshi, who, in the first minutes of the anime, DIES saving a child from a traffic accident. Wandering around as a spirit, confused as hell, he meets Botan, a ferry-girl who guides spirits to the Reikai (spirit realm) after death. She informs him that his death was totally unpredicted and unexpected, a mistake, so is given a second chance at life by Enma Daiou (Lord of the Dead), by undergoing a series of challenges and tasks, thus becoming a Reikai Tantei (Spirit Detective). One of Yuusuke's first tasks is to recover 3 treasures stolen from the Reikai. Two of the thieves, Kurama and Hiei, are later 'punished' by having to also to do services for the Reikai and become spirit detectives, but of course later they become best friends.

Yuusuke's attack is a Rei-gun (spirit gun), a bolt of energy shot out from one finger with his hand shaped like a gun, capable of great destruction. He also uses his fists a lot in a fight, being more physical than, say, Kurama. He mightn't seem too bright, but often surprises even the most experienced opponents with his actions. He can be arrogant, but brave, determined, he adopts a happy-go-lucky, reckless attitude that often gets him into strife but comes out stronger for it at the end. He thrives against stronger opponents, being able to increase his power tenfold in a short period of time with hard training. In the end it's always his childhood sweetheart, Keiko Yukimura, who's his inspiration.

Kurama is a youko (fox demon) reincarnated as a human, the (now) teenaged 'Minamino Shuuichi' (his human name) is a top-student and perfect son. He uses his youki (demonic energy ?) to manipulate plants, his preferred weapon is the Rose Whip, which can slice, dice, and chop away his opponents. In times of extreme danger, when angered, or in other special circumstances he can revert to his youko form, thus becoming MUCH more powerful. He's good-natured, kind, polite and best friends with Hiei - he's the only one who can make fun of him and get away with it. ^.^

Hiei is a fire demon with a Jagan ('evil' third eye) giving him the ability to use the 'black fires of the Makai' (demon realm) in attacks like the Jaou Ensatsu Kokuryuuha (a huge firey black dragon, which normally stays as a purple tattoo winding around his arm, which can easily annihlate enemies). Hiei has a dark past, abandoned as a child, he was raised by a band of thieves. He has no qualms about killing anyone, and went to the Ningenkai (human realm) to search for his long-lost twin sister. Hiei's really short, with a grumpy demeanor, he has a trademark scowl and often answers a short, distainful 'Hn' when questioned. He can be arrogant and is always eager to fight. Hiei and Kuwabara can't seem to stand each other, constantly bickering and at each other's neck, but deep down they're friends.

His longtime arch-rival Kuwabara Kazuma (who constantly tries to best Yuusuke at fighting, and constantly gets a royal whipping) later becomes his best friend, joining him as a Spirit Detective. Kuwabara shapes his reiki (spirit energy) into a weapon, the 'rei ken' (spirit sword). Kuwabara may seem loud, annoying, and not as 'attractive' as the other three, but he definately can't be underestimated. Like Yuusuke, he was a juvenile delinquient at school, having an arrogant and tough-guy macho attitude, but inside he's a big softie, caring and unconditionally loyal to his friends, possessing a huge inner-strength, in the end he also proves he's as smart as anyone else, maybe even smarter, when he studies hard to get into university.

The four have many adventures together, like competing in the Ankoku Bujuutsukai, a (martial arts?) tournament, facing foes like Toguro, later Sensui. Though some may say the animation isn't exactly exceptional, its plot sets it apart from the rest. The characters are highly developed, the heros have flaws and develop, and the villians aren't always the clear-cut baddies who are totally evil, but they have their own agendas, which often don't turn out to be 'evil' at all. Actually, the whole defintion of 'evil' and 'demons' are turned inside out and upside down, as two of our heroes are demons themselves. The theme of friendship, comradeship and even love is prevalent, Yuusuke overcomes seemingly impossible obstacles, changing and growing from a young, undisciplined drop-out to a truly admirable hero who never lets down his friends, and becomes immensely powerful. Among it are many interesting sub-plots about the other characters, there being a large number of 'minor' characters, offering refreshing scenes every episode.

I personally feel the second movie 'Poltergeist Report' didn't do the anime or manga series justice, as the plot was a bit serious and lacked the comedy in the original series. By all means, do watch it, but people who haven't seen the anime may not understand why Yuusuke has these powers, or why Hiei and Kurama are fighting on Yuusuke's side if they're demons. I don't think I enjoyed the movie that much because the villain, Yakumo, was totally devoid of the separate agenda and 'human side' that YYH showed as a series, like the excellent opponent for Yuusuke, Sensui, with his multiple personalities and reasons behind his (albeit deranged and destructive) actions. Hinageshi was totally unnecessary, I feel, Botan was portrayed as too serious, Keiko too much of a damsel in distress, Genkai too harmless... but after all that criticism, I think that all YYH fans should see this movie, and non-fans should see it because it's the only easily obtainable English form of YYH, and also it may help you decide whether you want to search for more YYH.

I HIGHLY recommend YYH, go see it! ^_^

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27 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

"SPIRIT GUN!!!"

10/10
Author: SeanSmith from United States
2 June 2004

Yu Yu Hakusho is one of the greatest anime shows I've ever seen. It's the story of a teenage spirit detective and his friends fighting the worst demons from spirit world. The animation's great, the music fits, it actually has a story, and the voice actors are phenomenal!! It's also has clever dialog, FUNimation really did a great job with this project. This show is fantastic all around!!!

This show really grabs your attention, for instance: (Before I knew about this show) I was in the kitchen finding myself something to eat, my brother was watching Yu Yu Hakusho and I could see the TV from the kitchen. I heard somebody yell "Spirit Gun" and I instantly looked up, forgot I was hungry then sat down and watched it. GREAT ANIME!!!!!

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22 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Funimation Gets it Right!!!

Author: blizshadow1 from Lithonia, Georgia
10 July 2004

Funimation is the company well known for the dubbing of the Dragonball series, which was not as good as it was several years ago during the peak of its popularity. However, they soon got hold of another anime to put out on our television screens. Bad, right? Wrong.

YYH is the story of a street kid named Yusuke with unnatural and extreme fighting skills who becomes a Spirit Detective, a special official who battles demons who pose a threat to our Earth, after he surprises his boss for saving a child's life, something not expected because of his brash manner and horrible social life. From there, Yusuke is involved in many cases, ranging from returning artifacts to their rightful place to an Underworld fighting tournament, aided closely by his loyal friends and his girlfriend, who has a good hand on her as well.

The best thing about this series is that the only real edit is the voicing (as far as the uncut version goes). Everything else is the same: the names of the people, about 90% of the dialog, and more importantly the music. It's the closest thing to the original version I've seen in a long time, which is a very good call in my opinion to a well dubbed anime. And the voice actors are phenomenal. Everyone fits their roles perfectly and knows how to execute a joke, verbal and slapstick, so well that I found myself rewinding the recorded episodes I have just to see them again. Nicely done.

And the battles in the show themselves are very attention-grabbing and at times unpredictable. Yusuke may be winning a fight one minute and the next he can barely fight back because of his opponent's hidden technique they had all along. The fighters in this show can pull some unexpected tricks from up their sleeves and they are extremely intelligent and calculating in their each of their actions. They'll make you go "Wow. I never saw that one coming". Another good thing about the fighting is that long battles last no more than 5 or 6 episodes, unlike a 20 episode long battle in Dragonball Z. They get to the point quickly, with fireworks galore. These gripping moments never cease to let you go.

And the characters themselves are outstanding. Their personalities are so well brought out and so diverse. Yusuke's reckless and free-spirited, while Hiei (pronounced Hee-ay for those who don't know) is a dark loner who is only interested in number one most of the time. They are so developed and life-like you can't help but imagine someone close who resembles of few characters to the letter. And as perfect as this all sounds, it has one major downfall. Because of the similarities of the basic storyline to DBZ, people tend to look at it as just a DBZ rip-off and skip it. If the likeness is forgotten, it can become a well loved anime by most people who see it is a bad show.

In conclusion, YYH is a well done dub, as far as the uncut version goes. Wonderful voices, good humor, and battles that will have you hooked, all done without leaving out too much of the show's Japanese feel. Good job, Funimation, you've mastered the art of professional anime dubbing. Hey 4Kids, if you're reading this, maybe you'll learn something.

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Just good old fashioned fun

Author: John Gerlach from Philadelphia
20 September 2003

This is a great series. Not because of superior animation or music. Not because of innovative plots or creative story-telling. Its just fun to watch.

The series grabs hold of you with the first line of the first episode, which goes something like this: "This is our hero, Yusuke Urameshi. And surprisingly enough, he's dead." I mean, if the main character dying in the first episode doesn't pique your interest, what will? After that, the story is one we've seen often enough: guys with super powers fighting evil. Basic, but with good execution it can be quite effective.

I think the main strength of this show is in the characters. Yusuke is the jerk with the heart of gold. He'll do the right thing, but he'll always have a smart-alec remark to rub your wounds with salt. He has most of the best fights, and his scenes with his girlfriend are classic, and usually end with him getting slapped. Hiei and Kurama are just cool, if you'll simply look past Kurama's unfortunate fashion sense (the pink jump suit just doesn't work for me). Kuwabara's probably the best. He's so arrogant, and yet he loses nearly every fight he's in. It's great just to watch him get the crap beaten out of him after his long descriptions of how he's going to win the fight.

The only negatives for this show are some annoying habits they have. They usually pull the old, "There are four of us and one of him, but we're not going to all fight at once and overwhelm him, we'll just sit back while one of us (namely Kuwabara) gets pummeled. We could simply shoot the guy with a finger, but let's let him tire himself out kicking Kuwabara's face in instead." It makes for good comic relief, but gets kind of old when the fights stretch out unnecessarily long. Let's not turn this into DBZ here.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

My favorite anime of all times!

10/10
Author: Jessica Carvalho from Brazil
7 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yuyu Hakusho is my favorite anime of all. It was an important part of my childhood*, and I liked it even more then Saint Seiya.(I have all the movies from this series) It is a mix of adventure, comedy and action, and we cannot stop laughing when Yusuke and Kwabara starts to fight or mock each other, as well as we stay crazy to see the results of the fights or championships from the spiritual world! Even Kurama,Yomi and Yusuke being my favorite characters, I love all of them! Even Hiei with his bad mood always picking on Kwabara!:D I prefer a hundred times more the animation series then the mangas.( I guess the humor of the series is priceless)

* In Brazil, Yuyu Hakusho was exhibited on TV in 1995. So I was 9 years old! :D

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Hardcore Action...sheer perfection!!!

8/10
Author: beccad90 from United States
23 October 2005

Yu Yu Hakusho is a truly excellent anime. Sure, people compare it to the Dragon Ball series, but the story is original and laden with humor, drama and romance.The characters are diverse and interesting, the voice cast is excellent, the animation is fluid and bold and...I can't say it enough...it's terrific!

Yusuke Urameshi is your typical teenage delinquent: cutting class, getting into fistfights and being overall unpleasant are his trademarks. But, that all changes when he gives up his life to save a little boy from being hit by a car. He, in floating spirit form, is greeted by the cheerful "Grim Wreaper," Botan. She takes him to see the great lord Koenma, who looks like a toddler, but is actually over 600 years old. From there, he is appointed spirit detective, one who is assigned to protect all three worlds from evil. Before he knows it, he is swept up into being a spirit detective...and it gets better and more interesting from there.

The characters have many different abilities and classes. For instance, two of my favorite characters are demons. One, Kurama, in an especially handsome human body, and, even though he is one of the weaker ones in his team, he relies on sharp stealth to defeat the enemy...and usually wins. One of the weaker ones? HA! One of the weaker ones indeed! The other, Hiei, looks human, but is, indeed, demon...trust me. But, later in the anime, his dark past is revealed and you see why his is so sharp and distant.

The animation gets better as the series progresses. You can see the anime is more detailed in the final episode compared to the very first episode. Not only that, the plot becomes more and more twisted and intense, leading up to the climactic final saga.

You can't miss Yu Yu Hakusho!

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

One of the best animes I've seen in a while.

Author: Joel (Tenchi64589@aol.com) from Flower Mound, Texas
2 June 2003

If anything, I'd say that this anime has quite a bit of what you'd want in an anime: action, drama, comedy and a bit of a few romantic elements.

I really don't think it's a lost cause to watch, but if you can, stay clear of the watered - down Toonami version.

I give this anime a 9 out of 10.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

the best show I've ever seen

Author: CrystalBlueSilver (popeme@clearlake.k12.ia.us) from Iowa, where we do have civilization...
12 March 2003

I started watching this on Cartoon Network last week when they started showing it at 5:00 PM central time, 6 for most of you. I was instantly hooked. Yusuke had a kick @$$ attitude that I really related to (not that I am that way, but I still relate). And I love the fact that a "toddler" can rule the spirit world. Boton is really funny. Seems too perky to be the grim reaper, but it's their world, not mine. Great show. I recommend it to all of you.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Yu Yu Hakusho

10/10
Author: (seven7777777@sbcglobal.net) from United States
20 June 2006

Yu Yu Hakusho is the most awsomest show in the whole entire world!!!

It's about 14 year old yusuke urameshi who gets hit by a car while saving a little kid since it was a good deed he is given a test to return to life. He passes the test and becomes the Spirit detective of earth. Meaning he has to protect the world of the living from evil or bad demons who threaten the humans in the living world. He has help though, from his friends kuwabara, kurama and Hiei.

It is divided into 4 saga's and 5 boxsets. The first saga is the Spirit detective saga, the second the dark tournament, the third the sensui saga and the fourth and final saga the three kings saga.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Good fighting anime series

8/10
Author: Rectangular_businessman from Peru
9 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"YuYu Hakusho" was a good action anime series, in my opinion.

While it had many of the usual archetypes commonly associated with other similar series (Such as the obligatory tournament arc) what made this series work so well where the characters, which were likable and interesting, disregard if they were (anti)heroes or villains. Like "Dragonball Z", this series was mostly focused in the action, something which I prefer to the angst excess in "Naruto" (Fortunately, unlike in that series "YuYu Hakusho" didn't have a lot of flashbacks about the sad past of the characters in every episode) There were a couple of dramatic moments, but nothing way too cheesy or melodramatic.

For all those who liked this series I would also recommend "Hunter X Hunter" (Which was done by the same creator of "YuYu Hakusho", Yoshihiro Togashi) a highly underrated but totally worth-watching anime.

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