YuYu Hakusho
Promotional poster
Based onYuYu Hakusho
by Yoshihiro Togashi
Developed by
  • Akira Morii
  • Kaata Sakamoto
Written byTatsurō Mishima
Directed byShō Tsukikawa
Music byYutaka Yamada
ComposerF.A.M.E.S. Project
Country of originJapan
Original languageJapanese
No. of episodes5
Executive producerKaata Sakamoto
ProducerAkira Morii
CinematographyKosuke Yamada
EditorJunnosuke Hogaki
Running time45–56 minutes
Production companyRobot Communications
Original release
ReleaseDecember 14, 2023 (2023-12-14)

YuYu Hakusho (Japanese: 幽☆遊☆白書, Hepburn: YūYū Hakusho) is a Japanese action fantasy adventure television series developed by Akira Morii and Kaata Sakamoto for Netflix. The series is a live-action adaptation of the 1990–94 manga series of the same name by Yoshihiro Togashi. It is produced by Robot Communications, and stars Takumi Kitamura, Jun Shison, Kanata Hongō and Shuhei Uesugi. The series premiered on December 14, 2023, and received praise for its action and fight scenes, but was criticized for the plot condensing required to fit five episodes.


The story revolves around Yusuke Urameshi, a delinquent junior high school student who spends his days getting into fights. He dies after saving a child in a car accident, and gets resurrected to serve as an investigator of the supernatural.


See also: List of YuYu Hakusho characters


Season 1 (2023)

No.Directed byWritten byOriginal release date
1Shō TsukikawaTatsurō MishimaDecember 14, 2023 (2023-12-14)
17-year-old Yusuke Urameshi discovers that he is a ghost after being killed saving a young boy from being hit by an out-of-control driver. Four hours earlier, Yusuke is a delinquent but saves a boy at his school from bullies. However, he is accused of being a bully and leaves school. A sinkhole is shown with a tiny creature emerging from it, which is from the Demon World. This creature infects the driver of the truck which kills Yusuke. Yusuke is offered the chance to be resurrected if he agrees to be a Spirit Detective, which he does after learning his best friend, Keiko, has guilt over his death. Yusuke learns that the boy from his school that he saved earlier is now infected by a similar Demon World creature. He must save him before he turns into an evil creature. Using his Spirit Energy, Yusuke saves the boy. His next mission is to retrieve three relics that fall into the hands of a trio of yokai.
2Shō TsukikawaTatsurō MishimaDecember 14, 2023 (2023-12-14)
Yusuke encounters the first thief, Goki, who possesses the Rapacious Orb, which allows him to steal children's souls that he feeds on. Yusuke gets into a fight with Goki and ultimately uses his Spirit Energy to defeat him, returning the souls to the children. Yusuke then encounters the second thief, Kurama, who possesses the Mirror of Darkness, which enables its users to have any wish they want, but they must pay with their own life. Kurama makes his wish (to save his human mother who is dying) but Yusuke jumps into the mirror with him and gives half his life to save Kurama so that Kurama's mother will not cry over his death, like his own mother did over his. Kuwabara, who is Yusuke's classmate and delinquent rival, can see all the supernatural things that Yusuke does. The third thief, Hiei, who stole the Conjuring Blade, which grants the user their desired ability, uses the blade to give himself a third eye. He uses the third eye and a Tear of Ice to find a second Tear of Ice that came from an imprisoned Korime.
3Shō TsukikawaTatsurō MishimaDecember 14, 2023 (2023-12-14)
Yusuke is bested by Hiei, who leaves him alive. Tarukane, the man who sold the sinkhole land to billionaire Sakyo in exchange for the Korime then relocates to Sakyo's fortified island for safety. Sakyo assigns the Toguro brothers as personal guards to protect Tarukane, who is being hunted by Hiei. It is revealed that the imprisoned Korime is Hiei's younger sister, Yukina. Yusuke and Kuwabara begin training with Master Genkai. Yusuke's Spirit Energy grows and Kuwabara also learns to use it and form a Spirit Sword. Genkai gives Yusuke the Spirit Wave Orb. Younger Toguro, a yokai and former colleague of Genkai, fights and kills her. Sakyo attempts to make a large rift in the sinkhole barrier between the Demon World and the Human World. Elder Toguro kidnaps Keiko, and Kurama discovers that she and Hiei's sister are being held at Sakyo's island fortress. Kurama, Hiei, Yusuke, and Kuwabara team up and head to the island to rescue them.
4Shō TsukikawaTatsurō MishimaDecember 14, 2023 (2023-12-14)
Hiei and Kurama fight yokai Bui and Karasu, respectively, while rich humans that Sakyo invited to the island bet on the outcomes. Yusuke and Kuwabara continue searching for Yukina and Keiko. Yukina heals a wound on Keiko's hand and tells her that not all yokai are evil. Keiko feigns illness and incapacitates a guard who checks on her, escaping with Yukina. Hiei and Kurama win their battles but are both seriously injured. Kuwabara finds Yukina and Keiko and begins to fight Elder Toguro, who can regenerate any part of his body. Sakyo tells Yusuke he will release Keiko if he can best Younger Toguro, the yokai that killed Genkai. Sakyo succeeds in opening a wormhole to the Demon World through the sinkhole.
5Shō TsukikawaTatsurō MishimaDecember 14, 2023 (2023-12-14)
Koenma creates a shield barrier around the sinkhole to prevent demons from reaching the Human World and makes a bet with Sakyo; if his group bests Younger Toguro, then Sakyo will close the rift. Hiei, Kurama, and Kuwabara arrive to help Yusuke fight Younger Toguro, who attacks his older brother. Yukina heals Kuwabara's mortal injury. Younger Toguro is defeated by Yusuke's Spirit Gun. The bet lost, Sakyo closes the rift and dies by suicide. In a mid-credits scene, Elder Toguro is shown to be alive, but only his severed head struggling to regenerate, on a beach.



A Japanese live-action adaptation of Yoshihiro Togashi's YuYu Hakusho manga was announced by Netflix on December 16, 2020. Netflix contents acquisition director Kaata Sakamoto serves as executive producer and Akira Morii produced the series at Robot.[1][2][3] Netflix signed a multi-year contract with Toho Studios to lease two of their Tokyo stage facilities, and YuYu Hakusho is their first production there.[3] On July 15, 2022, it was reported that Shō Tsukikawa would serve as series director, with Tatsurō Mishima handling the scripts and Ryō Sakaguchi serving as the visual effects (VFX) supervisor.[4] Tsukikawa, who was a fan of the original series as a child, felt that combining the entertaining aspects with the story's serious themes would make for an interesting live-action series.[5] Togashi gave Netflix and the showrunners creative freedom; Sakamoto said the original creator's only request was for them "to ensure a great quality adaptation."[5] Tsukikawa stated that there was an initial idea to tell the story of YuYu Hakusho in three seasons, "But realistically, we didn't know how long that was going to take, so we ended up doing five episodes and just showing part of the long, epic story".[6]

According to Sakamoto, the show took almost five years to complete; two years of pre-production, more than 10 months of filming, and another two years for post-production.[5] The show's creators revealed that because YuYu Hakusho's fantasy premise and supernatural action make it a VFX-heavy title, production companies were afraid to take on the project.[5] Even when Tsukikawa was brought on board, he thought it would be an impossible project to materialize.[5] Due to the large amount of VFX, eight such companies worldwide contributed to the show.[6] According to Morii, "Japanese creators have the vision and knowledge on how to do these VFX but they had no experience, so this was the first time they went through this top-class VFX process."[6] Sakaguchi revealed that the Toguro brothers proved especially difficult as they had to integrate CGI with the two actors' real-life acting and facial expressions; "We could have done it differently, but it was very important for the director that the actors' performances drove everything in the show."[6]


On casting, Morii said they looked for actors who could capture what was great about the characters in the original manga and in their script, "It doesn't necessarily mean that they need to look exactly like the characters. Instead, we tried to look for people who could portray and capture the essence of the characters."[5] In July 2022, Netflix announced the series would star Takumi Kitamura as Yusuke Urameshi,[4] Shuhei Uesugi as Kazuma Kuwabara,[7] Jun Shison as Kurama,[8] and Kanata Hongō as Hiei.[9] Kitamura said he studied and took aspects from both the manga and anime, such as the way Yusuke walks and how much of a stride he has.[10] He remarked how a delinquent character like Yusuke could come off as outdated, so he had to put some "modern twists" on the character.[11] Kitamura also noted how there is a slight age difference from the original, as Yusuke is aged-up from a junior high school student to a high school senior.[10] Uesugi said he was asked to gain 14 or 15 kg for the role of Kuwabara.[11]


Netflix screened the first episode of YuYu Hakusho to an estimated 5,000 people at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan on December 13, 2023.[5] According to Zoe Leung of Hypebeast, this made it the streaming service's biggest world premiere event to date.[5] The entire five-episode series premiered on Netflix on December 14, 2023.[12][13]


Critical response

Review aggregator Metacritic reported that YuYu Hakusho holds a weighted average score of 70 out of 100, based on 4 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14] Joshua Kristian McCoy of Game Rant praised YuYu Hakusho as one of the best live-action adaptations of a manga or anime series, placing it alongside the Rurouni Kenshin films. Although noting that the plot condensing erases much of the original manga's nuance, leaving emotional moments little time to breathe, McCoy called it a "solid action/horror/drama in its own right" that is designed to steer newcomers toward the source material.[15] IGN's Juan Barquin called the show a delightful retelling, albeit condensed, that manages to capture the tone and characterization that makes the original "so charming". He praised the excellent characterization of the core duo of Yusuke and Kuwabara, but found Mishima's scripting falters when it comes to the supporting characters due to the pacing required of a five-episode series.[16] Daniel Dockery of Polygon also found the Netflix adaptation to effectively capture the wild tonal shifts and the characters that has made the franchise adored for the last 33 years, but said its length does a disservice to some crucial moments. He called Yu Yu Hakusho one of the few series of its kind to "actually kinda make you feel bad for how fist-pumpingly cool the battles are", as it darts from a spirited contest between warriors into the psychological ramifications of pursuing such battles.[17]

Ash Parrish of The Verge praised the performances of Kitamura and Uesugi, as well as the "authentic" and well-choreographed action sequences. A fan of the YuYu Hakusho anime adaptation, Parrish understood why Netflix chose the plot points that they did, but found the condensing of the story into five hour-long episodes left "characters that are formless, uninteresting seat-fillers" in high school production-quality costumes.[18] In a critical review, Tokyo Weekender's Cezary Jan Strusiewicz found the show "very dark. Not just tonally like the manga and anime, but also color-wise". Labeling original creator Yoshihiro Togashi a master of weaving together serious plot and tear-jerking character moments with wacky cartoon humor, Strusiewicz felt Netflix doubled-down on the darkness and drama, but "when you pair that with a character shooting demons with his magical finger gun, the effect is comical in all the wrong ways." Although he called the show "disappointing", Strusiewicz wrote that one must give credit to the "phenomenal" action scenes.[19]


Netflix announced that YuYu Hakusho was number one on its list of non-English-language rankings in its first week of release, with 7.7 million total views and 32.1 million hours viewed.[20] It ranked in the top 10 in 76 countries, and ranked number one in seven of them.[20] According to Tadashi Sudo of Animation Business Journal, this is the first time in Netflix's history that a Japanese production has topped the non-English rankings.[21] It remained at number one for its second week, when it also ranked number five out of all Netflix shows globally.[22]


  1. ^ Loo, Egan (December 15, 2020). "Yu Yu Hakusho Manga Gets Live-Action Series on Netflix". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on December 15, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  2. ^ King, Aidan (November 9, 2021). "'YuYu Hakusho' Live Action Series Coming to Netflix in 2023". Collider. Archived from the original on November 9, 2021. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Hazra, Adriana (November 9, 2021). "Netflix Schedules Live-Action Yu Yu Hakusho Series for December 2023". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved August 18, 2023.
  4. ^ a b Hazra, Adriana (July 15, 2022). "Live-Action Yu Yu Hakusho Series Casts Takumi Kitamura (Updated)". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on July 15, 2022. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Leung, Zoe (December 20, 2023). "Netflix's 'Yu Yu Hakusho' Brings Its Formidable Creatures and Blood-Boiling Action to Life". Hypebeast. Archived from the original on December 24, 2023. Retrieved December 30, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d Merican, Sara (December 22, 2023). "Creative Team Behind Netflix's 'Yu Yu Hakusho' Talk VFX Achievements". Forbes. Archived from the original on December 31, 2023. Retrieved December 30, 2023.
  7. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (July 19, 2022). "Shuhei Uesugi Joins Live-Action Yu Yu Hakusho Cast as Kazuma Kuwabara". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on July 19, 2022. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
  8. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (July 17, 2022). "Jun Shison Joins Cast of Live-Action Yu Yu Hakusho Series as Kurama". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on July 17, 2022. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  9. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (July 18, 2022). "Kanata Hongō Plays Hiei in Live-Action Yu Yu Hakusho Series". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on July 18, 2022. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  10. ^ a b L., Vincent. "Netflix Yu Yu Hakusho Actors Takumi Kitamura and Go Ayano Talk About Their Love For the Manga and Spirit Gun Practicing While Being Kids". GameBraves. Archived from the original on December 23, 2023. Retrieved December 30, 2023.
  11. ^ a b Making of Yu Yu Hakusho: The Characters (video). Netflix Asia. December 13, 2023. Archived from the original on December 24, 2023. Retrieved December 30, 2023 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ Hazra, Adriana (November 9, 2021). "Netflix Schedules Live-Action Yu Yu Hakusho Series for December 2023". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved August 18, 2023.
  13. ^ Alexander, Cristina (October 12, 2023). "Netflix's Live-Action Yu Yu Hakusho Live-Action Remake Has a Release Date". IGN. Archived from the original on December 18, 2023. Retrieved December 18, 2023.
  14. ^ "YuYu Hakusho: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved December 30, 2023.
  15. ^ McCoy, Joshua Kristian (December 14, 2023). "Yu Yu Hakusho Review". Game Rant. Archived from the original on December 23, 2023. Retrieved December 30, 2023.
  16. ^ Barquin, Juan (December 12, 2023). "YuYu Hakusho Review". IGN. Archived from the original on December 29, 2023. Retrieved December 30, 2023.
  17. ^ Dockery, Daniel (December 14, 2023). "Netflix's Yu Yu Hakusho is the rare tonal mishmash that works". The Verge. Archived from the original on December 19, 2023. Retrieved December 30, 2023.
  18. ^ Parrish, Ash (December 14, 2023). "Netflix's Yu Yu Hakusho needed more time in the spirit world". The Verge. Archived from the original on December 30, 2023. Retrieved December 30, 2023.
  19. ^ Strusiewicz, Cezary Jan (December 21, 2023). "Live-Action YuYu Hakusho Review: A Disappointing Adaptation". Tokyo Weekender. Archived from the original on December 22, 2023. Retrieved December 30, 2023.
  20. ^ a b Pineda, Rafael Antonio (December 21, 2023). "Live-Action Yu Yu Hakusho Series Debuts at #1 on Netflix's Global Non-English TV Rankings". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on December 27, 2023. Retrieved December 30, 2023.
  21. ^ Sudo, Tadashi (December 23, 2023). Netflix「幽☆遊☆白書」が週間グローバル1位(非英語シリーズ)、日本作品で初. Animation Business Journal (in Japanese). Archived from the original on December 31, 2023. Retrieved December 30, 2023.
  22. ^ Hazra, Adriana (January 8, 2024). "Live-Action Yu Yu Hakusho Series Ranks in Top 5 on Netflix's Global Non-English Rankings in 3rd Week". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 8, 2024.