Yu Yu Hakusho Live Action Review: Why You Should Watch This Classic | CoolJapan

If you grew up in the ‘90s and early 2000s, indulging in your favourite series and anime likely constituted a significant portion of your afternoons. These shows may have subtly influenced you in ways that you might not even recognise. Sadly, many of the shows that ‘90s and ‘00s kids grew up watching are no longer available on TV or online. Fortunately, there’s a silver lining: studios and production companies are now breathing new life into these classics through remakes and live-action series – such as the Yu Yu Hakusho live-action series, now streaming on Netflix.

Netflix Yu Yu Hakusho Live Action

The official poster for the Netflix live-action adaptation of Yu Yu Hakusho. (Photo from: Netflix)

Yu Yu Hakusho live-action adaptation

Fans of anime are all too familiar with the Yu Yu Hakusho anime series. Based on the manga created by Yoshihiro Togashi, the narrative follows the life of Yusuke Urameshi, a teenage delinquent who is killed but resurrected and appointed as the ‘Underworld Detective’. With this unique title, he embarks on investigations involving demons and apparitions within the Human World.

It was eventually adapted into an animated series that aired from October 1992 to December 1994. Its acclaim was resounding, earning it the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for Best Anime in 1993 and 1994.

Just imagine the fans’ excitement when, three decades later, Netflix announced the production of a live-action adaptation! Now – after much anticipation – the Yu Yu Hakusho live-action series is here. And we’re here to tell you why you should be watching it.

Why you should watch Yu Yu Hakusho live-action series

1. The cast and crew are top notch

Keep a look out for the cast and crew behind the live-action adaptation. For starters, it features Takumi Kitamura (Tokyo Revengers) as Yusuke Urameshi, Jun Shison (Senpai to Kanojo) as Kurama, and Kanata Hongo (Prince of Tennis live-action) as Hiei. To add on, legendary Japanese actress Meiko Kaji, who has been in over 100 movies and shows in her career, is also part of the cast as Genkai. Directed by Sho Tsukikawa (The Black Devil), and boasting visually stunning effects by Scanline (Shadow and Bone, Stranger Things), the series is a compelling blend of cinematic expertise and visual allure. 

2. The visual effects are stunning

If you’ve already seen the trailer, you’re likely on the same page with us. Given the supernatural nature of the story, it can be challenging to make the scenes look realistic and believable. Yet, Scanline VFX, a seasoned player in major Hollywood productions, rose to the occasion. They shared that their goal for the show’s VFX was to blur the lines seamlessly, leaving audiences to discern between CGI and reality. “With Scanline VFX on board, we were able to reach higher than any other Japanese title and achieve a quality where the average viewer won’t be able to tell that CGI is actually CGI,” said visual effects director Tomofumi Akahane.

3. It gives a sense of nostalgia

Those who grew up reading and watching Yu Yu Hakusho will get hit by a wave of nostalgia when they watch the live adaptation. The team behind the series made sure that the details of the live-action version stayed true to that of the manga and animated series. In fact, numerous demon characters were crafted entirely from scratch to maintain fidelity to the source material. To make scenes appear more realistic, the team also printed 3D models of select characters to guarantee their seamless integration into the live adaptation.

Have you already seen the live adaptation?

(Cover photo from: Netflix)

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