Manga Mondays: Yu Yu Hakusho

This week, we are going to talk about another oldie-but-goodie, Yu Yu Hakusho. This series follows around Yusuke, a street punk, who gets hit by a car and dies. That’s page one. The rest of the series describes his journey back to life and his new-found supernatural abilities (which come from dying) and how he employs them to fight demons. Over the course of the series, Yusuke makes some friends.

This is an old Shonen Jump series that ended some time ago. If you read the manga, it’s very Katekyo Hitman Reborn: whacky beginning and then a lot of bad-ass fight scenes. For a great portion of time (which I will elaborate on next), the series is excellent. However, by the end, the author, Yoshihiro Togashi, and the editor get into a fight about what’s happening and Togashi decides to just end the series. The result is basically a cop-out. But excluding that, this series is fantastic.

So let’s go over my two favorite characters: Kurama and Hiei. Kurama is a smart boy who is also a fox demon thief turned good guy that specializes in fighting with plants. He’s got two forms: regular hot human guy student mode and fox demon thief mode. Both are awesome. Hiei is also a demon thief turned sort of good guy. Basically, he really doesn’t like people and doesn’t mind killing them. Hiei fights with a katana and uses demonic flames like a boss.

One thing in particular that I like about this series is it does tournament fighting really well. I know that all of us anime fans have read some sort of series that includes some sort of tournament that gets really boring, but the Dark Tournament in Yu Yu Hakusho doesn’t get boring. There is enough going on that the plot still moves and is exciting. Also I believe there is a Scottish guy. That may have only been the dub, but it’s still the only series I can think of that had a Scottish guy.

Along with Rurouni Kenshin, this is one of the series that got me into anime. If you have a really good memory, you might remember that they were on Toonami at the same time and were on back to back (hence I watched both). But this series is a classic; you always see at least one Kurama walking around the anime convention. So as an anime in general, it’s a must see or read (whichever you prefer).