Let Me Put My Suggestions In You: Yu Yu Hakusho
Well if it isn’t you guys again…..Welcome back to another edition of your favorite suggestions! I, of course, am your spiritual guide to the afterlife, and to the awesomely amazing. This week, I have something for you all that I think you are going to love, and hopefully just as much as I loved it. Back when Cartoon Network was all about Anime and before they decided to relegate it to the middle of the night block on Saturdays, they had a pretty solid line up of great Anime shows showing either right after school, or after 11 on Saturdays. Needless to say, Arthur was always a creature of the night, and stayed up late to watch if I didn’t get a chance to do so after school. I got into quite a few different things, much like Gundam and DBZ, and although DBZ took the cake for me, another show wound up stealing my affections and caused me to grow an obsession. That show ladies and gentlemen….was Yu Yu Hakusho.
Yu Yu Hakusho tells the story of a kid name Yusuke Urameshi, and his unending battle against the forces that wish to do us all harm. Yusuke was a troubled youth and got into a lot of fights and scraps with his classmates, with one prime example being Kuwabara, a fellow classmate and later on best friend of Yusuke who also acquires some pretty sick abilities. Yusuke, in a move that was both noble and uncharacteristically selfless, pushes a child out of the way of an oncoming car, but dies in the act of saving the boy’s life. Not something you would think he would do, huh? It’s kind of odd to kill off the main character in the first episode, but don’t worry folks, he comes back, and comes back as a spirit detective. The afterlife government, pretty much just a giant demon who makes sure everyone is sorted and separated into the realms of the afterlife that they are supposed to go to, tasks Yusuke with keeping the world nice and safe. If we didn’t have this guy, all hell would break loose, figuratively and literally. They decide to make Yusuke their new spirit detective, which means he needs to go around and pretty much act like an afterlife police officer, albeit with a spirit gun rather than a real gun. Concentrating his energy and firing it from the tip of his finger, he can crush and beat his opponents into submission before they get a chance to rule/ruin the living and dead worlds. Sounds pretty awesome right? Well bear with me here, as it is only getting started.
The main appeal for me with this show was the fact that it was supernatural in premise. I love that shit, for reals guys. It’s Arthur’s need to control and watch the dead that keeps him alive, so needless to say this is like a birthday cake for me. Oh so sweet, and gluttonously fantastic. Yusuke is the sort of character that really stands out because he starts off as kind of an asshole, but morphs and becomes such a selfless and brave character that he is completely different by the end of the series than he was at the beginning. Most animes tend to follow a sort of guideline in terms of its characters, such as a character ending up different then what they started as, but this one was just so nicely done and fun to watch that it stuck with me more than other shows. I was hooked within the first few episodes, and when the show started to take a darker and more messed up turn, my blood started boiling in an awesome way. The introduction of other characters who started out evil and wound up on Yusuke’s side, even changing their own personalities, mainly Hiei and Kurama (if Kurama is not one of your favorite Anime characters after watching this show, then I don’t know what is wrong with you) going from adversaries to his most trusted allies. It goes to show the strength of Yusuke himself as he is able to turn even his most hated enemies into his greatest allies, all by the sheer ferocity of his fighting and his values. How’s that for some shit huh? You beat the crap out of some guys and at the end, they are so enamored and respect your prowess, that they decide they would rather roll with you and fight with you rather than against you……and now you all know why I have an army of defeated enemies in my employ.
Now that we have the set up for our hero and his allies, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the villains and otherworldly suspects that Yusuke needs to bring in. Yu Yu Hakusho has some of the best villains in Anime, mainly because they tend to tread the path of horrible monstrosities (Elder Toguro ) to men and women who have been wronged and are looking for revenge (Sensui, Younger Toguro). I will also say that I love the Toguro brothers, and the fact that they are slightly different in their goals yet allied together through a family bond, is amazing. Younder Toguro, or simply Toguro, is one of the best villains this side of Japan. His machinations, his strength, and the sheer menacing aspect that surrounds him is so well done, that it is only topped when Shinobu Sensui makes his appearance. I fucking love that guy. How awesome is it when Yusuke’s predecessor shows back up to let him know not everything is as it seems in the spirit realm, and he may be doing things he doesn’t realize he is doing, specifically horrible things. It makes Yusuke question his position with the spirit realm, but also brings about a revelation too amazing and too horrible to reveal here….hint…..it involves what humans are capable of, and what would happen to someone sworn to protect them if they found out humanity’s darkest secrets. We’ll just say that is doesn’t bode well for anyone, and Yusuke is thrust into a situation that there is really no way he come out alive from. You watch and you know that this is not going to end well, and the climax is simply astonishing. The best part is, you think this is going to be the end of all things, and then BLAM!!!!!! Another season and another enemy to face, but this time, it’s for the rule of an entire realm, and literally one of the best seasons of any anime. It brings together nearly everyone that has ever appeared on the show, and divides them into a set of groups against eachother. Think a game of flag football, except instead of football it’s a tournament in which people murder eachother willingly, and also voluntarily. Not to mention anything specifically spoilerish, we’ll just say Yusuke has some interesting ancestry, and it’s going to make you question your loyalty to any one specific character in this show. Suck it purists!!
The bottom line is of course, that you all need to go out there and locate this show and watch it now. it’s going to take you some time though, as there are quite a few episodes, but the mystery, intrigue, battles and investigations are going to hook you in so far that you won’t leave your screen for a long time. If you do start watching this show, drop me a line as I have almost no one to talk to about it as nobody else I know has ever watched it, save maybe a couple people, but not to the level that I have haha. Also, this show has the honor of being the first thing I ever tried to download off of limewire, back when that was popular, and it caused me many sleepless nights of searching and downloading, as you simply could not find it in stores for purchase. I love this show, and honestly think you all will as well. Trust me….has Arthur ever steered you wrong? Fuck no he hasn’t!!