Yuyu Hakusho is an anime that first aired in 1990, back then we can only watch it once a week for 30 minutes. Needless to say, it was terribly frustrating!
Then in 1998 the entire series was re-aired on local channel and this time it was on a daily basis at 7pm. And that was the start of the legend that was Ghost Fighter in Philippine television. It was something none of the network executives expected. Yuyu Hakusho was renamed Ghost Fighter and dubbed in Filipino and it took the entire nation by storm! Everyone knew who Eugene (Yusuke Urameshi), Dennis (Kurama), Vincent (Hiei), Alfred (Kuwabara) and Jeremiah (Genkai) was. True the network had to dubbed it in Filipino but it was that very same move that drew the people closer to the series. Yuyu Haskusho became a great television phenomenon right up there with the likes of Voltes V and Daimos. From the lowly garbage collector, the utility vehicle drivers, the students, the working class and even the upper class were all tuning in toYuyu Hakusho. It’s THE anime that crossed the social barriers.
I can still recall many anecdotes related to this series during the height of its reign in Philippine television; I can still almost see the crowd gathering in nearly every corner at 7pm to watch the series. Those were great times for anime in the Philippines. And that was the start of the many anime forum groups and organizations that still exist to this day. The anime hype actually started in the country in the late 70s but it was stopped and re-emerged in all it’s vigor in the late 90s and now anime is here to stay.
In a way, the anime community of today have a lot to be thankful for from Yuyu Hakusho and GMA they really started it all. It is rather sad that today very few teenagers know about Yuyu Hakusho; some do still know them but their love and appreciation for the series was nothing like what it was back then and certainly, to my humble opinion, so much less than what it should be. But for us the older anime otakus…Yuyu Hakusho will always be special.
Just recently, my two tween-agers developed a fascination for the series, first they were curious why I was so into it but as they watched episode after episode they too have began to develop the appreciation for the series. And now they’re as thrilled about the plot as I was. My younger son Eugene actually insists on watching each episode with me as Animax re-aired the series for the umpteen time. Hopefully, other younger generation will find the series as fascinating as we did, sadly they just don’t make animes like this anymore. …
The Yuyu Hakusho manga series and anime was written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi, the same man who made the series Hunter x Hunter. Togashi began creating YuYu Hakusho around November 1990, basing the series on his interests in the occult and horror films and an influence of Buddhist mythology. The manga series had 175 chapters in 19 volumes while the anime adaptation had 112 episodes. Under its belt it also had 6 OVAs (original video animation), several PS games and several CD anime concert.
(courtesy of yyhrealm.tripod.com)
Yusuke dies saving a young boy from being run over by a car. He then gets a chance to live again by Koenma, the prince of the ReiKai (spirit world) but on one condition, which is to be a detective for the ReiKai. With the aid of Botan Yusuke accepts and returns to life and to his girlfriend, Keiko. His first mission as a detective was to recover the stolen treasure of the ReiKai. He meets the thieves, Kurama and Hiei, and later on became his allies. Together with his best friend, Kazuma Kuwabara, The four of them became a team and accomplished several missions issued by Koenma. Later on they join a tournament together with Yusuke’s teacher, Genkai to face Toguro, who once they beat during one of their missions. Unfortunately for them, Toguro did not show his true power and now must face his wrath in the tournament.
After Genkai’s death, Yusuke had revenge as he beat Toguro in the tournament. He wished for Genkai to be revived, which was fullfilled. Their next mission was to stop a man named Shinobu Sensui, former spiritual world detective, from opening a portal between the human world and the demon world. Yusuke dies in the encounter, but eventually came back to life as he had the blood of his ancestor, Raizen, a Class-S demon. (demons are ranked according to their powers, Class-D, C etc. with class-S being the highest)He did beat Sensui when his ancestor’s help.
The latter part of the series was all about just Yusuke, Kurama and Hiei. All three of them were summoned by Raizen, Yomi and Mukuro respectively to the demon world to compete in a tournament with the winner becoming the new leader of the demon world. A friend of Raizen wins the said tournament, and Yusuke returns to the human world to finally live with Keiko, as the series ends.
Yusuke Urameshi -Yusuke is the toughest kid in Sarayashiki Junior High School and has a typical tough guy approach to everything. He becomes a spirit detective after he dies and is revived by Keiko’s kiss. His main attack is Spirit Gun where he can manipulate his Spirit Energy and fire it into a projectile. He learns many techniques and abilities from Genkai. He mainly grows in strength from all of his different battles, because he responds to danger by unleashing his full strength.
Kurama (Youko Kurama – in his human form – Kurama is a demon with the ability to summon and control plants. He was originally the powerful and infamous thief, for demon Kurama or Yoko Kurama until he was wounded by a hunter. Managing to escape by inhabiting the body of an unborn human baby, he grew up as the human child Shuichi, and planned on abandoning his “family” once his demonic power returned at the age of ten, but grew to love his human mother. Kurama has a wide variety of techniques, because of his ability to control a wide variety of plants, including the often seen Rose Whip. In the Dark Tournament Saga, Kurama was given a potion to aid him in his transforming to his Yoko Kurama state, but in later episodes seemed to be able to transform at will.
Hiei -A Fire Demon who specializes in the Jagan ( third eye ) as well as swordsmanship, and can move at Super Human Speeds. His artificially created Jagan amplifies his power and enables him to summon the black fires of Demon World and channel it as an energy attack, often in the shape of a dragon. He’s a bit of a hot head and often bickers with Kuwabara. Hiei is also a bit short.
Kuwabara -Kuwabara is the second toughest kid in the school, and resents Yusuke for it. Originally rivals, Yusuke and Kuwabara would start a grudging friendship that only strengthens throughout the series. Although human, Kuwabara has high Spirit Awareness shortly after accompanying Yusuke on missions, he is able to manifest a Spirit Sword.
Genkai -The aged Spiritual fighter who rigorously trains Yusuke in the Spirit Wave technique Though her manner is often gruff, she cares for Yusuke and the others, and constantly tries to help them grow stronger.