Yu Yu Hakusho is one of the most successful Japanese shonen manga to have ever been created. For proof, look no further than the fact that the initial manga managed to sell tens of millions of copies in the Japanese market, which was sufficient to secure it an anime, two animated moves, and a wide range of other merchandise. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Yu Yu Hakusho:
1. The Protagonist Is a Delinquent
The protagonist of Yu Yu Hakusho is Yusuke Urameshi, who can be recognized as a delinquent with a single glance. After all, he bears the characteristic pompadour, which is a hairstyle that became popular with delinquents in post-war Japan because of its striking contrast with the much more conservative hairstyles that were in vogue during the Second World War.
2. The Protagonist Performs an Uncharacteristic Act of Self-Sacrifice
One of the earliest scenes in Yu Yu Hakusho is Yusuke saving a boy by pushing him out of a path of a car, with the result that he is hit and killed. This is an uncharacteristic act of self-sacrifice on his part, which came as enough of a surprise that neither Heaven nor Hell has prepared a proper place for him.
3. The Series Draws Influence from Buddhist Mythology
Yu Yu Hakusho draws a lot of influence from Buddhist mythology. For example, Koenma is supposed to be the son of King Enma, which is the Japanese name for King Yama. In turn, the Buddhist version of King Yama is based on the Hindu version of King Yama, who is supposed to have winded up in charge of the underworld by being the first mortal to die.
4. The Protagonist Gets Recruited As an Underworld Detective
Since neither Heaven nor Hell has a place waiting for Yusuke, he is offered a second chance to live by being returned to his body. However, this process reveals that he possesses a much stronger aura than normal, which is why he gets recruited as an Underworld Detective responsible for investigating supernatural phenomenon in the human world that is connected to the underworld in some manner.
5. The Protagonist Is Known for the Reigun
It isn’t uncommon for shonen protagonists to have some kind of special attack that sets them apart from other characters. In Yusuke’s case, his most common attack is the Reigun, which essentially sees him firing a blast from his index finger as though his hand is a gun, thus explaining the name. Over the course of the series, Yusuke becomes more and more capable at using the technique as he becomes stronger and stronger.
6. The Protagonist Has Demonic Powers
Speaking of which, Yusuke isn’t a 100 percent normal human. After all, he possesses a measure of demonic power, which comes from the fact that he is the distant descendant of a human-demon pairing. In other words, Yusuke can be considered something of a demonic throwback.
7. The Protagonist Has a Female Master
It isn’t uncommon for shonen heroes to have some kind of old, wizened master who trains them to become more capable at fighting as well as other skills. Moreover, it isn’t uncommon for these old masters to have some kind of unfinished business with the series’s villains. Yu Yu Hakusho is rather unusual but perhaps more interesting because its old master is a woman named Genkai, who has proven to be rather popular with Yu Yu Hakusho fans over the course of the series.
8. The Unfinished Business Is Younger Toguro
As for Genkai’s unfinished business, well, that would be the Younger Toguro, who is one of two human brothers turned demon. The manga creator Yoshihiro Togashi has outright stated that the Toguro brothers are his favorite villains in the series because of their fundamentally-unrestrained nature.
9. The Series Picked Up a Reputation for Tournaments
Tournaments are a common story for shonen fighting series. After all, they provided a convenient excuse to set up numerous fights between a wide range of colorful characters. However, Yu Yu Hakusho is notorious for the sheer number of tournaments found within it, which is far beyond the norm even for shonen series.
10. The Series Wrapped Up with a Tournament
In fact, it is amusing to note that the series wrapped up with a tournament to decide the ruler of the Demon Plane. The outcome of the tournament would be obvious in most shonen series, but Yu Yu Hakusho went with a somewhat more surprising conclusion that interested individuals might want to see for themselves.