YuYu Hakusho

YuYu Hakusho (幽☆遊☆白書 Yū Yū Hakusho?, lit. "Ghost Files" or "Poltergeist Report"[1]) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. The name of the series is spelled YuYu Hakusho in the Viz Media manga and Yu Yu Hakusho in other English distributions of the franchise. The series tells the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a teenage delinquent who is struck and killed by a car while attempting to save a child's life. After a number of tests presented to him by Koenma, the son of the ruler of the afterlife Underworld, Yusuke is revived and appointed the title of "Underworld Detective", with which he must investigate various cases involving demons and apparitions in the human world. The manga becomes more focused on martial arts battles and tournaments as it progresses. 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 was originally serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 1990 to July 1994. The series consists of 175 chapters collected in 19 tankōbon volumes. In North America, the manga ran completely in Viz's Shonen Jump from January 2003 to January 2010. An anime adaptation consisting of 112 television episodes was directed by Akiyuki Arafusa and Noriyuki Abe and co-produced by Fuji Television, Yomiko Advertising, and Studio Pierrot. The television series originally aired on Japan's Fuji Television network from October 10, 1992 to January 7, 1995. It was later licensed in North America by Funimation Entertainment in 2001, where it aired on popular Cartoon Network blocks including Adult Swim and Toonami. The television series has also been broadcast in various countries around the world. It is currently being aired across Japan, other parts of Asia, and Eastern Europe by the anime satellite television network Animax. The YuYu Hakusho franchise has spawned two animated films, a series of original video animations (OVAs), audio albums, video games, and other merchandise.

YuYu Hakusho has been well received since its debut, with the manga selling over 40 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 best anime in 1994 and 1995. YuYu Hakusho has been watched by a large number of television viewers in Japan and wide range of age groups in the United States. The anime has been given mostly positive reviews by critics in North America, which compliment its writing, characters, and amount of action. Some reviewers have judged the series as being too repetitive.

YuYu Hakusho follows Yusuke Urameshi, a street-brawling delinquent who, in an uncharacteristic act of altruism, is hit by a car and killed in an attempt to save a young boy by pushing him out of the way.[2][3][4] His ghost is greeted by Botan, a woman who introduces herself as the pilot of the River Styx, who ferries souls to the "Underworld" where they may be judged for the afterlife. Botan informs Yusuke that his act had caught even the Underworld by surprise and that there was not yet a place made for him in either heaven or hell. Thus Koenma, son of the Underworld's ruler King Enma, offers Yusuke a chance to return to his body through a series of tests.[2][3][4] Yusuke succeeds with the help of his friend Keiko. After returning to life, Koenma grants Yusuke the title of "Underworld Detective", charging him with investigating supernatural activity within the human world. Soon Yusuke is off on his first case, retrieving three treasures stolen from the Underworld by a gang of demons: Hiei, Kurama and Goki.[3] Yusuke collects the three treasures with the aid of his new technique, the "Rei Gun", a shot of aura energy fired mentally from his index finger.[2][4] He then travels to the mountains in search of the aged, female martial artist Genkai. Together with his rival Kazuma Kuwabara, Yusuke fights through a tournament organized by Genkai to find her successor. Yusuke uses the competition as a cover to search for Rando, a demon who steals the techniques of martial arts masters and kills them.[3] Yusuke defeats Rando in the final round of the tournament and trains with Genkai for several months, gaining more mastery over his aura.[2] Yusuke is then sent to Maze Castle in the Underworld where Kuwabara and the newly reformed Kurama and Hiei assist him in defeating the Four Beasts, a quartet of demons attempting to blackmail Koenma into removing the barrier keeping them out of the human world.

 

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