List of Yu Yu Hakusho characters
Yoshihiro Togashi's manga series Yu Yu Hakusho contains a widely diverse cast of fictional characters. At the forefront is Yusuke Urameshi, a 14-year-old typical school punk with not-so-typical pastimes. After dying and being resurrected Yusuke becomes the detective of paranormal events in the human world. The other predominant characters consist of Yusuke's family, schoolmates, friends, allies in his detective work as well as the higher ups in spirit world who give Yusuke his cases. Yusuke begins his work in the human world, but ends up traveling to the Underworld and then eventually to the demon plane. In each case he undertakes, Yusuke meets several new enemies and allies.
- 1 Protagonists
- 2 Antagonists
- 2.1 Rando
- 2.2 The Four Beasts
- 2.3 Team Jolly Devil Six
- 2.4 Team Ichigaki
- 2.5 Team Shadow Channelers
- 2.6 Team Fractured Fairy Tales
- 2.7 Team Toguro
- 2.8 Sensui Seven
- 2.9 Makai Realm
- 3 Supporting cast and Allies
- 4 References
Yusuke Urameshi (浦飯 幽助 Urameshi Yūsuke), age 14, is a student who attends Sarayashiki Junior High School. His poor attendance, constant fighting, and bad habits have earned him the label of a delinquent among most of his teachers and classmates. This all changes rather abruptly as Yusuke is struck by a car and dies while trying to save a small child who had wandered into the road. Such an altruistic deed catches the underworld by surprise. As they do not have a place for him yet in heaven or hell, he is permitted to return to his body and resume his life. However, while doing so it is revealed that Yusuke has a particularly strong aura, or spirit energy, and Koenma, the son of Enma, lord of the underworld, recruits him as Underworld/Spirit Detective and Yusuke is charged with investigating supernatural phenomena in the human world and capturing criminals dealing in underworld crime. Yusuke bears a bit of affection for his childhood friend Keiko Yukimura, who initially takes a role as Yusuke's conscience, making sure he comes to class and behaves, and later becomes his romantic interest. Yusuke's alcoholic mother, Atsuko, raised him as a single teenage mother after conceiving him with her then-boyfriend when she was 14 herself. In the end of the manga, she is shown being reunited with a former lover, who is implied to in fact be Yusuke's biological father.
Yusuke's most common attack is the Rei Gun (霊丸 Reigan, lit "Spirit Sphere", pronounced as "Ray Gun") ("Spirit Gun" in the English anime dub). Aura/Spirit energy is concentrated into his right index finger and released as a projectile as though his hand were a gun and his finger the barrel. At first he is only able to muster a single shot per day, but as he trains with Genkai he is able to fire multiple shots per day, as well as developing minor variations on the technique such as the "shotgun" variant wherein Yusuke fires a spray of miniature spirit guns at once using his fist instead of his finger. Yusuke is also the direct descendant of the demon king Raizen (though it is never specified whether the relation is from his mother's side, his father's side, or both) and, ever since his resurrection during the Chapter Black arc, retains his demon side and demon energy more than his human side. At the end of the manga, Yusuke opens up a ramen shop, and also spends time helping humans and demons learn to cooperate.
According to Togashi, the name Yusuke Urameshi is derived from a pun. Justin Kovalsky of Animerica said "Ever hear the folk song "Bad Leroy Brown," by Jim Croce? Well, Yusuke is like old Leroy, but 14 and Japanese." In the Japanese magazine Animage Anime Grand Prix popularity poll, Yusuke was ranked as the thirteenth most popular anime character in 1993, the tenth in 1994, and the eighth in 1995. In March 2010, Yusuke was ranked sixteenth best male anime character of the 1990s by the Japanese magazine Newtype.
Kazuma Kuwabara (桑原 和真 Kuwabara Kazuma) is a student who attends the fictional Sarayashiki Junior High School. He is noted as the "second toughest punk at Sarayashiki", despite his unusual affinity for kittens. He is constantly picking fights with Yusuke to prove himself tougher, but never succeeding. Eventually Kuwabara's feelings of anger toward Yusuke become feelings of respect. Kuwabara has a very advanced sixth sense, though not as acute as his older sister Shizuru's. Yusuke uses this to his advantage in his attempt to return to life. Kuwabara ends up assisting in most of Yusuke's cases, gaining power over his own aura which he wields as a sword called the Aura Sword (霊剣 Rei Ken) ("Spirit Sword" in the English anime dub), though compared to Hiei, Kuwabara's swordsmanship is clumsy and more predictable due to the lack of swordsman training. He learns to develop this power rather quickly as well, later being able to wield two at once and creating an extremely powerful sword using the Sword of Trials he got from Suzuki. Kuwabara also obtains the Dimensional Sword (次元刀 Jigen Tō, lit. "Dimension Blade") during the Chapter Black arc, a sleeker and cleaner spirit sword that possesses the ability to slice and cut through and between dimensions.
During an early case he meets the ice apparition Yukina and instantly falls in love. Yukina is very appreciative to Kuwabara for saving her from captivity, but is oblivious to his affection. As the story progresses Kuwabara becomes more engrossed in his studies, choosing to cram for his high school exams rather than follow Yusuke and the others into the Demon plane, although he still chooses to do so out of curiosity and being felt as if he were left behind. At the end of the manga series it is shown that Yukina is living with his family as a homestay. In the dub of Yu Yu Hakusho the Movie: Poltergeist Report his name is changed to "Kuwahara". Togashi came up with the character's name by combining the names of two professional baseball players. Mari Kitayama, a lead character designer for the anime adaptation, has stated that she considers Kuwabara to be the most difficult character to design.
Kurama (蔵馬) is a fox demon thief who, after being fatally wounded, fuses his soul with the unborn child of Shiori Minamino, effectively taking over. He is initially known as Shuichi Minamino (南野 秀一 Minamino Shūichi), a human with red hair (black with a dark red tint in the manga) and green eyes, though he retains his demon powers at a much lower level. Kurama had originally planned to return to his demon form after regenerating his powers, but he changed his mind when he came to love his human mother. They have a bond which Kurama cannot bear to break, and so he remains as Shuichi in the human world.
He meets Yusuke Urameshi in the first arc as a part of a trio of demons who steal three dangerous artifacts from Spirit World. However, he uses the Mirror of Darkness (暗黒鏡 Ankoku-Kyō, lit. "Darkness Mirror") (known as the "Forlorn Hope" in the English anime dub), a mirror capable of granting the user's desire at the cost of the user's life, to cure his mother of a deadly illness. Yusuke saves Kurama's life with both of them giving half of their lifeforce, therefore they both survive (in the anime, it cancels the sacrifice due to Yusuke's kindness). This act bonds Yusuke and Kurama as friends and allies.
Kurama uses his demonic powers to control plants, including his signature weapon, a rose he turns into a whip of thorns capable of cutting through steel. He also possesses a talent for analytical thinking, which allows him to gauge his opponents' strengths and weaknesses and formulate effective strategies. During the Dark Tournament, Kurama is temporarily reverted to his original form, Demon Kurama (妖狐蔵馬 Yōko Kurama, "Demon fox Kurama") (referred to in the English anime dub as Yoko Kurama), a tall, silver-haired character with sharp nails, fox ears, and a tail. As Demon Kurama, his powers are far greater and he is capable of creating demonic plants which possess various attributes and highly formidable powers. At the end of the manga, he is shown working at his stepfather's company.
As with Hiei, Kurama's name simply "popped into [Togashi's] head" when developing the characters. Kitayama finds Kurama to be the easiest of the main characters to design due to his well-proportioned features. Kurama is a popular character among fans of the series. In the Animage Anime Grand Prix, he was ranked as the third most popular male anime character of 1993 and the most popular male character in both 1994 and 1995. His alternate Demon Fox Kurama form was ranked sixteenth in 1994. Yoko Kurama additionally won About.com's "Best Supporting Character" in its 2005 Anime Award Show. Kurama was also ranked the third best male anime character of the 1990s by Newtype.
Hiei (飛影) is a male fire demon born to a race of female Ice Maidens. The Ice Maidens reproduce every 100 years asexually, always giving birth to a female. A male child is born only if the Maiden has had sexual contact with a male, which is forbidden in their society. Hiei was born as one of the twin children of Hina. As her children were born, Hina wept two Hirui Seki, tears that Ice Maidens shed after childbirth and crystallize, which were given to the babies. Hiei was thrown from the floating Ice Domain by Hina's closest friend Rui, to his supposed doom. He managed to survive, and grew up in the wilderness where he developed a thirst for killing. The only times he found peace were while looking at his Hirui Seki which his mother shed. He later decided to find the ice domain in order to take revenge on the women who cast him out. He loses his Hirui Seki during a battle and, realizing he must now find the stone as well as the Ice Domain, went to the Osteopath Shigure and had a Evil Eye (邪眼 Jagan) (referred to as the "Jagan Eye" in the English anime dub) implanted in his forehead, which gives him many powers, including hypnosis, telepathy, and clairvoyance or remote viewing. Even with the Jagan, Hiei cannot find his Hirui Seki, though he easily finds the Ice Maidens' glacier home. When he gets there, he finds his mother's grave and his lust for revenge fades. He is told his twin sister has run away and decides to search for her as well. Hiei is an expert with a Katana and has superhuman speed, due to the environment in which he grew up. During the Dark Tournament he debuts the technique known as the Black Dragon Hellfire (邪王炎殺黒龍波 Jaō Ensatsu Kokuryūha, "Tyrant King's Blaze-Murdering Black Dragon Wave") ("Dragon of the Darkness Flame" in the English anime dub), which allows him to summon and control flames from the demon plane. He eventually masters the technique by consuming the flames, which results in an increase in the user's abilities. At the end of the manga, he is assigned as one of the guardians of the portals between the human and demons realms.
Togashi was not certain as to whether or not he wanted to make Hiei a main character when beginning the manga. Kitayama considers Hiei to be her favorite to design. Hiei is a popular character among fans of the series. He was ranked as the first, then second, then third most popular male anime character in the Animage Anime Grand Prix for the consecutive years of 1993, 1994, and 1995. The Japanese publication Newtype ranked him as the fifth best male anime character of the 1990s. Masashi Kishimoto said that he used Hiei as a reference when creating Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto and his Sharingan technique.
Genkai (幻海) is an elderly martial arts expert who lives alone in a very large temple. She first appears during Yusuke's second case as he infiltrates a tournament she is holding to find a successor to her techniques in search of the demon Rando. Genkai is a legendary reiki master, known both in the human and demon realms. Yusuke ends up winning the tournament, defeating Rando in the process, and is taken on as a student by Genkai. When she was 50 years younger, Genkai and the younger Toguro brother were lovers and teammates in an earlier Dark Tournament. After winning, Toguro decided to become a demon, while Genkai returned to the human world, creating a split in their relationship. She enters the next Dark Tournament with Yusuke, disguising herself as the "Masked Fighter" in order to once again face Toguro. Genkai was killed during the tournament after a powerful blow from Toguro the day before the finals, and was subsequently brought back after the competition ended. Her signature technique is the Spirit Wave, an outpouring of spirit energy from the whole body which can be directed through several different variations. This makes her technique effective in healing and purification, in addition to combat. A side effect of using this power is a shifting of the body's cells which leads to a temporary reversion to the form in which the wielder was at their most powerful in life. In Genkai's case, it allowed her to briefly regain her youth. At the end of the manga, Genkai dies, leaving her vast land to Yusuke and his friends. In a 2007 poll by Oricon, Genkai was tied with two other characters as the fifth best anime "master" with a 6% vote.
Rando (乱童 Randō) is a demon who participates in Genkai's tournament and the main antagonist in Yusuke's second case. He has killed 99 masters (Psychics in the English anime dub) and copied their techniques. He disguises himself as Shaolin (少林 Shōrin, Shàolín, English anime: Shorin), a monk, during Genkai's tournament so as not to draw attention to himself. He had planned to win the tournament and make Genkai's Spirit Wave the 100th technique in his arsenal.
The Four Beasts
The Four Beasts (四聖獣 Shiseijū) are four demons who rule a part of the Underworld called Demon City and the antagonists for Yusuke's third case. The beasts share their names with the four symbols of Chinese astrology. In the English anime adaptation they are known as the Saint Beasts.
- Genbu the Stone Turtle (玄武) - A rock demon with the power to move through stone as though it were part of his body. Fought by Kurama. He is voiced by Yutaka Shimaka in Japanese and Chris Forbis in English .
- Byakko the White Tiger (白虎) - An anthropomorphic white tiger who can turn pieces of his hair into lesser beasts, absorb aura energy and fire sonic blasts from his mouth. Fought by Kuwabara. He is voiced by Takeshi Watabe in Japanese and Andrew Chandler in English.
- Seiryu the Blue Dragon (青龍 Seiryū) - A demon with enhanced speed and control over ice. Fought by Hiei. He is voiced by Mitsuo Senda in Japanese and Justin Cook in English.
- Suzaku the Lightning Phoenix (朱雀) - The leader of the Four Beasts. A demon who uses lightning to attack, he is able to split himself into seven separate, yet equally powerful bodies, and can endlessly regenerate his power by reabsorbing the copies. Fought by Yusuke. He is voiced by Nobuo Tobita in Japanese and Jerry Jewell in English.
Team Jolly Devil Six
The first team that team Urameshi fights in the Dark Tournament. It consists of high powered demons from the streets of demon world who have little to no acclaim. Two of the team members were decapitated by Chu as they fled the ring in fear of Hiei. The team's human sponsor is Sukezo Gondawara (権田原助造 Gondawara Sukezo) of the Black Book Club. In the original Japanese, and English anime dub, they are named Team Rokuyukai (六妖怪, lit. "Six Wandering Specters" or "Six Demons")
- Roto (呂屠) - A demon who can morph his forearm into a sickle and uses crude tactics against his opponents. He is voiced by Sean Schemmel in the English dub.
- Zeru (是流) - A demon with control over fire. He is the stand in leader and besides Chu his power is far greater than the rest of his team, that Hiei could only beat him by using the Dragon of the Darkness Flame. He is voiced by Jeremy Loris in the English dub.
Voiced by: Reiko Kondo (Japanese); Kimberly Grant (English)
Rinku (鈴駒) is a young demon who uses yo-yos to attack. Rinku is childish and playful, and often annoys those around him. He controls his yo-yos by channeling his aura through the strings, is very acrobatic, and shows at least some idea of using his energy to heal his wounds. As part of Team Rokuyukai in the Dark Tournament, he is the first fighter on his team to step forward in the ring, and faces off against and defeats Kuwabara, though he is quick to cheer for Team Urameshi after his team's loss. He is almost always accompanied by Chu. During the fight for control of the Makai, Rinku is one of the demons that Genkai and Kurama trains to fight for Yomi, though they eventually all disband to fight individually in the Makai tournament. At the end of the manga, he becomes stricken with Sasuga, a female demon who defeated him in the Makai Tournament, and it is hinted that they are in a relationship together (in the anime, particularly the English dub, he also meets Sasuga and does appear to form a crush on her, though she seems more annoyed that he keeps chasing her than interested in dating him). In Volume 18 of the English manga release his name is translated as "Link". In the anime television series, Rinku is voiced by Reiko Kondo in Japanese and Kimberly Grant in English.
Chu (酎 Chū) is the strongest fighter and the real leader of team Jolly Devil Six, but ends up as the team alternate after losing at Jan-ken-pon. Chu specializes in the "Drunken Fist", which fuses the alcohol he drinks with his aura. In the Dark Tournament he battles Yusuke, and proves to be about equal to Yusuke in strength, the fight only decided by hand-to-hand combat between two knives stuck into the arena floor after both fighters have spent their Spirit Energy. During the fight for control of the Makai, Chu is one of the demons that Genkai and Kurama trains to fight for Yomi, though they eventually all disband to fight individually in the Makai tournament. At the end of the manga, he begins training with, and falls for, Natsume, the female demon who defeated him in the Makai tournament (In the anime, particularly the English dub, Chu senses that Natsume is far stronger than he is and concedes, more interested in asking her out on a date than a brawl).
The second team that team Urameshi faces in the Dark Tournament led by Dr. Ichigaki. Kurama and Hiei end up trapped in the wilderness fighting 2 lesser members of the team as well as Ichigaki's robot Gatasuval (ガタスバル, "Spectral Steel Beast"). This leaves Yusuke, Kuwabara and the Masked fighter to fight the 3 remaining team members, Yen (円 En), Ryu (魁) and Kai (梁), known as M1, M2, and M3.
Voiced by: Ryūji Saikachi (Japanese); James Fields (English)
Dr. Ichigaki (Dr.イチガキ) is an evil demon scientist from the spirit world intent on creating the ultimate fighting weapon. He dupes 3 martial artists into volunteering for an experiment, in exchange for curing their master of a deadly disease. He then implants his creation, the Blood-Slaver Node, on their backs which gives him control of their minds and boosts their fighting abilities. It is revealed that Ichigaki is the one who originally infected their master in order to manipulate them.
Team Shadow Channelers
The third team that faces team Urameshi in the Dark Tournament. They are a group of demon shinobi who are hoping to win the tournament so they can claim the hosting island as their home. The team's sponsor is Butajiri (豚尻). Named Mashōtsukai (魔性使いチーム, "Devilish Trainer" or "Messenger of Malevolence") in the original Japanese and Team Masho in the English anime dub.
- Gama (画魔) - A demon who fought using paint mixed with his blood. He is voiced by Kazuyuki Sogabe in Japanese and Christopher Sabat in English.
- Bakken (爆拳) - A demon who could control his sweat glands, creating a thick sweat-mist. He is voiced by Hajime Koseki in Japanese and Andrew Chandler in English.
- Risho (吏将) - A demon with power over earth and team leader. He is voiced by Aruno Tahara in Japanese and Mike McFarland in English.
Voiced by: Yasunori Matsumoto (Japanese); Daniel Katzuk (English)
Toya (凍矢 Tōya, English anime: Touya) is the ice master of the shinobi of the Spirit World, and is introduced during the Dark Tournament. He battles Kurama, whose energy had been sealed inside and his limbs anchored by the previous opponent and member of the team, Gama, using a variety of ice attacks including (at least in the anime's English dub) his own climate control, razor-sharp ice projectiles, and an ice sword which is attached to his hand. During the fight for control of the Makai, Toya is one of the demons that Genkai and Kurama train to fight for Yomi, though they eventually all disband to fight individually in the Makai tournament. Toya is defeated in said tournament by a demon named Kujo.
Jin (陣) is introduced during the Dark Tournament as a demon Shinobi (ninja) with mastery over the wind. He is pitted against Yusuke in the 3rd round of the Dark Tournament. Being the Shinobi wind master grants him the power to fly at great speeds and to block and change the course of any energy-based attacks that travel through the air (such as Yusuke's Spirit Gun). His signature move is to spin his forearm at high speed, creating a tornado around it, making his punches more powerful, even causing damage when he misses. He enjoys his battles, especially when he has a worthy opponent. He states that when he gets excited about a fight his ears elongate into pointy, elf-like ears that twitch. During the fight for control of the Makai, Jin is one of the demons that Genkai and Kurama trains to fight for Yomi, though they disband to fight individually in the Makai tournament. In the anime, Jin is defeated by Souketsu, an old friend of Raizen's (Yusuke's forefather) during the Demon World Tournament (Makai Tournament). He and Yusuke have a lot in common, as Kuwabara briefly states to Botan in at least the anime during the Dark Tournament, and it is apparent that Yusuke and Jin both enjoy their fights, battling Yusuke again being Jin's goal as he trains under Genkai and Kurama and fights his way into the Demon World Tournament.
Team Fractured Fairy Tales
The fourth team to fight Team Urameshi in the Dark Tournament. This team was composed of fighters gathered together by Suzuki, who furnished them with appropriate weapons so he could compete. Their names, appearances and powers are derived from myths of Japanese folklore. In the original Japanese, and in the English dub, they are named Team Uraotogi (裏御伽チーム lit. "Reverse Bedtime Stories").
- Evil Kintaro (魔金太郎 Makintarō) (a parody of Kintarō) - An ogre demon who can turn his hand into an axe with his Axe Blade Fist ability (English dub). In the English dub, he is known as Makintaro.
- Reverse Urashima (裏浦島 Ura Urashima) (a parody of Urashima Tarō) - A lesser demon disguised for the tournament, wielding a fishing pole whip and the Reverse Magic (Idun in English anime dub) Box, a box of mist which makes anyone who breathes it reverse in age. In the English anime dub, he is known as Ura Urashima. Due to the powers of the Reverse Magic Box, while fighting Kurama, he awakens Kurama's original form, Yoko Kurama.
- Poison Peach Boy - A demon who can make himself impervious to any attack his body has experienced by absorbing his Millet Dumplings (or "steaming spheres" in the English Dub). The dumplings also transform his body, giving it animal characteristics. In the original Japanese, and the English anime dub, he is known as Kuro Momotaro (黒桃太郎, "Black Momotarō"), being a parody of Momotarō.
Shishiwakamaru (死々若丸, English anime: Shishi Wakamaru) (a parody of Minamoto no Yoshitsune, who was known as 'Ushiwakamaru' in his childhood) is a tiny imp demon who can transform into a full human appearance. He is a swordsman who seeks to make himself famous. Suzuki gives him the Sword of Trials, a sword hilt that changes into whatever weapon suits the wielder. For Shishiwakamaru it becomes the Banshee Shriek, a sword which channels the souls of the dead, and materializes them to devour his opponent. During the fight for control of Makai, Shishiwakamaru is one of the demons that Kurama trains to fight for Yomi, though they eventually all disband to fight individually in the Makai tournament.
Suzuki (鈴木) is a demon who excels at creating weapons for others, as well as controlling his Aura harmonics, enabling him to create varied and colorful attacks. In the past Suzuki fought the Younger Toguro but lost. He then vowed to become stronger and defeat Toguro in the Dark Tournament. He initially disguises himself as an elderly man known as Old Bloke (Onji in the English anime dub). When Genkai reveals him he states that he used the disguise to help him fight harder, dressed as what he hates the most. He states that anyone who calls him by name must call him Beautiful Suzuki (Beautiful Suzuka in the English anime dub) and he plans to die long before old age can rob him of his looks. After being defeated and humiliated in combat by Genkai, he gives the Sword of Trials to Kuwabara and the Fruit of the Previous Life to Kurama, to aid them against Toguro. When Suzuki saw the Giant Spirit Gun blast that Yusuke fired, Suzuka thinks that Yusuke was right to defeat Younger Toguro, he was a loyal and respectful ally of Yusuke. During the fight for control of the Makai, Suzuki is one of the demons that Kurama trains to fight for Yomi, though they eventually all disband to fight individually in the Makai tournament. He is named Suzuka in the English anime dub.
The fifth and final team to face Team Urameshi in the Dark Tournament. Younger Toguro fights most of the early tournament rounds alone, with the exception of the semi-final round in which he doesn't participate at all and his 3 teammates make their debuts.
Younger Toguro (戸愚呂弟 Toguro-otōto) is a human turned (absolute strength class, rated as a B-class) demon and the main antagonist during the Dark Tournament arc. His signature is the ability to regulate how much of his maximum power he releases, ranging from 0% to 100%. With each increase comes a burst of demon energy and his muscles thicken and enlarge themselves. At full power, his appearance changes drastically, affecting even his skin color, but requires him to feed on souls to maintain such immense power, which leads him to suck out the souls of the weaker creatures in the surrounding area through special appendages on his upper back. He also has the ability to move fast enough to not be seen. Once a great martial arts master and Genkai's lover, Toguro is psychologically scarred when a demon named Kairin kills all of the students at his dojo. Toguro and Genkai participate in the Dark Tournament and defeat Kairin in the final round. Toguro decides he does not want to age and lose his power, so as his prize for winning he asks to be turned into a demon. 50 years later he returns to the Dark Tournament, challenging Yusuke, hoping he has finally found a fighter worthy of his full 100% power. He dies in their fight and in the afterlife Koenma offers him a lighter sentence for his misdeeds, however, Toguro refuses and requests the harshest sentence there is: 10,000 years of torture in hell for 10,000 cycles, with your soul ceasing to exist afterward (in the English anime dub it is changed to him requesting "limbo"). Togashi considers the Toguro brothers to be his favorite villains in the series because they are "fundamentally unrestrained".
Voiced by: Katsumi Suzuki (Japanese); Bill Townsley (English)
Elder Toguro (戸愚呂兄 Toguro-ani) is a human turned demon shapeshifter. He usually rides on his brother's shoulder, and often fights alongside him. Elder Toguro can alter the shape of his body to form weapons and shields or to move his organs to escape harm, and also has powerful regenerative abilities, almost to the point of immortality. When he faced Kazuma Kuwabara in the Dark Tournament he faked his death twice. Then he came back when Yusuke and his younger brother were about to begin their fight. Younger Toguro kicks him out of the arena, saying that the fight is between Yusuke and him alone (in the English anime dub, it is due to Younger Toguro's anger towards his brother for the grotesque mockery he did towards Genkai during his match against Kuwabara). After being nearly destroyed by his brother, Elder Toguro is trapped in a regenerative state on the island where the Dark Tournament took place. There he is found by Sensui and devoured by Sensui's cohort Gourmet. This proves costly for Gourmet as Toguro easily takes control of his body and acquires Gourmet's abilities as well as those of Gourmet's past victims. During the fight with Sensui, Kurama binds Elder Toguro to a tree that produces vivid hallucinations for its victims while feeding on the individual's life force until the victim's death. However, due to Elder Toguro's immortality, he is effectively bound to the tree for eternity.
Karasu (鴉, "Crow") is a Quest-class (支配者級 shihaisha-kyū, "Governor-rank") demon. Like Bui, Karasu fought against the Toguro brothers and lost and subsequently became a member of Team Toguro. He is able to use his aura to create bombs undetectable by lower level demons, as well as create bombs within his victims. Karasu displays sadistic tendencies during his fights and delights in torturing and humiliating his opponents. He wears a mask over his mouth which restricts his unstable powers. He is also able to use his entire body as an explosive.
Bui (武威) is a demon warrior who possesses an immense battle aura. When he was younger Bui fought Younger Toguro and lost. He swore he would train and one day defeat him so Toguro invites Bui to join his team as he trains, but Bui is unable to surpass him. He wears heavy armor to suppress his aura and wields an axe larger than his own body. During the last round of the Dark Tournament Bui loses to Hiei after the latter consumes the Black Dragon Hellfire. He is the only member of team Toguro to survive until the end of the series (discounting Elder Toguro, who is technically alive but being constantly tortured for eternity).
Voiced by: Nobuyuki Furuta (Japanese); Eric Vale (English)
Sakyo (左京 Sakyō) is the wealthy owner of Team Toguro. He is a sociopath, who grew up torturing and killing animals and people. He has an affinity and knack for gambling, occasionally putting his own life on the line just for the thrill of it. He accumulates a vast fortune which he plans to use to create a hole to the demon plane, for no other reason than to just see what happens. In the anime he forms a romantic bond with Shizuru, the older sister of Kazuma Kuwabara.
Shinobu Sensui (仙水 忍 Sensui Shinobu), also known as Black Angel, is a former Underworld Detective and the antagonist during the Sensui arc. Shinobu was a prodigy aura user and demon hunter from an early age. He was recruited by Koenma as Underworld detective and worked tirelessly as an advocate for justice. His view of demons began to change after he met Itsuki, who pleaded for Sensui to spare his life for one day so he could watch the finale of his favorite television show. Itsuki ended up working as Sensui's partner and gradually widened his black and white views on justice, humans, and demons. During a routine case, Sensui discovered an early hideout of the Black Black Club and found a room where humans were torturing demons, bathing in their blood, and committing other evil acts in a dark celebration known as the feast of human vices. After Shinobu saw the cruelty of the humans he was sworn to protect, he went mad and murdered every human being in the room. He soon disappeared and took with him the Black Chapter videotape, which documented all of humanity's most evil acts against demons and each other. Shinobu waited until a new Underworld detective emerged before coming out of hiding and springing his plan to judge the human race. During his years in hiding, Shinobu created six alternate personalities (seven including himself) to deal with his guilt and ethical dilemmas. Only four of his alternate personalities are ever revealed and they are as follows:
- Minoru - a charismatic speaker who was in control during the beginning of the Sensui arc.
- Kazuya - a sadistic killer who takes over as Yusuke gets the upper hand fighting Minoru.
- Naru - a female personality spoken of by Itsuki who writes poetry. She is only mentioned, never actually surfacing.
- Shinobu - the leader and strongest of his personalities.
Sensui is a master of Lightning Kickboxing (裂蹴拳 Resshūken, lit. "Fissure Kick Fist"), an elegant fighting style that mixes fluid arm blocks with powerful kicks and is said to be available only to those who have already mastered all forms of martial arts. Shinobu also wields Holy Aura (聖光気 Seikōki, Saint Light Energy), a special type of energy that is said to be the purest of all auras, which requires 40 years of training to master. However, Sensui mastered it in just over six years with his seven different personalities.
Voiced by: Kōji Tsujitani (Japanese); Jerome Fifty-Seven (English)
Itsuki (樹), also known as Gatekeeper (闇撫の樹), is a demon who can traverse dimensions and one of Sensui's comrades. Having been with Sensui the longest he has grown very fond of him, stating that he wishes for Sensui to be his lover. He notably anticipated Sensui's madness before it began, based on the quality of his innocence, and originally attached himself to Shinobu in order to be able to watch the perfect boy become twisted and corrupted from close at hand. Itsuki controls a being known as the Reverse Man, a shadow living between dimensions. Itsuki is one of author Togashi's favorite characters; Togashi stated after the series ended that he wishes he had been able to expand on the character's twisted psyche. He also noted the portion of the plot where Itsuki speaks inside the Reverse Man to be his favorite of the series because it reflects how the manga artist was feeling at the time.
Voiced by: Eiji Sekiguchi (Japanese); Aaron Hatch (English)
Kaname Hagiri (刃霧要 Hagiri Kaname), also known as Sniper (狙撃手), is a human who develops superhuman powers as a result of the demon plane hole opened by Sensui. Any object he throws within his expanded territory will always hit its mark with lethal force. He is thought to have been killed by Hiei, but it is later revealed that Hiei only disabled him, being very precise not to kill him. He is later healed by Doctor and is last seen alongside his sister (who also has some sort of ability akin to psychometry) and chases after a group of bullies who killed a stray kitten. He was said to have disappeared after high school.
Voiced by: Taro Arakawa (Japanese); Sonny Strait (English)
Minoru Kamiya (神谷 実 Kamiya Minoru), also known as Doctor (医者), is a human who develops superhuman powers as a result of the demon plane hole opened by Sensui. While within his territory Kamiya can create viruses, reattach limbs, alter his own body chemistry and wield a psychic scalpel which he uses with surgical accuracy. He is shown as a deranged man during the beginning of the arc. Kamiya knows that finishing the hole to the demon plane will mean the destruction of the human world but believes that the human race deserves this fate. As a doctor, he has seen many cruel ways to die and decided that being killed by a Yokai (Demon) would be a good way to die. Towards the end of the arc, having shaken off Sensui's manipulations, he escapes from jail, resuscitates Sniper, and reconstructs his own face to evade police. He then created a business he called "Miracle Hands" where he uses his power to save countless lives.
Voiced by: Rika Matsumoto (Japanese); Justin Pate (English)
Kiyoshi Mitarai (御手洗 清志 Mitarai Kiyoshi), also known as Seaman (水兵), is a human who develops superhuman powers as a result of the demon plane hole opened by Sensui. He is able to mix his blood with water to create water golems. His territory is contained within these monsters. Mitarai is emotionally scarred after watching the Black Chapter videotape. He also is fueled by his hatred of bullies since he never seemed to have any friends. He believes that all humans are inherently evil and simply require the chance to show it. After being defeated by Kuwabara, who then saves his life, Mitarai rethinks his stance on humans and decides to help in the fight against Sensui. After the fight with Sensui, he lives a normal life and gets into the best high school in the city.
Voiced by: Yoshiko Kamei (Japanese); Monica Rial (English)
Tsukihito Amanuma (天沼 月人 Amanuma Tsukihito), also known as Gamemaster (遊熟者), is a human who develops superhuman powers as a result of the demon plane hole opened by Sensui. He is rejected from kids his age because of his extreme love of video games since most kids play sports. Amanuma is able to bring video games to life, creating his territory within them. He along with Gourmet capture Kuwabara. He is killed by Kurama when it becomes clear that his territory cannot be closed unless someone loses the game. Amanuma is pitied by Koenma and is brought back to life by Koenma's pacifer that is filled with strong spirit energy. He lives a normal life afterward and even makes new friends his age.
Voiced by: Atsushi Ishida (Japanese); E. Bailey (English)
Sadao Makihara (巻原 定男 Makihara Sadao), also known as Gourmet (美食家), is a human who develops superhuman powers as a result of the demon plane hole opened by Sensui. He is able to eat other beings and gain their powers as his own. Sensui orders him to devour the regenerating head of Elder Toguro but the immortal demon ends up taking over Makihara's body, this being Sensui's and Toguro's intention all along.
Voiced by: Masashi Ebara (Japanese); Rick Robertson (English)
Yomi (黄泉) is the newest of the Three Kings. He was second in command to Kurama's brigand prior to Kurama placing his soul into a mortal. Yomi, however, was reckless and brash, losing countless men in unauthorized raids and direct confrontation, thinking it more exciting that way. Kurama, angered, sent an assassin to blind him as punishment. Yomi then grew extra ears and tuned his senses so acutely he could eventually hear all within his kingdom. He plans to take over both the demon and human planes, calling on Kurama to his side. He fights Yusuke in the tournament, barely winning after hearing his son Shura's shout, and loses the next round due to his injuries. Yomi then leaves to properly raise and train Shura, thanking Yusuke for helping him achieve a sense of peace he could not have attained on his own.
Mukuro (軀) is one of the three kings of the Makai realm. Early in her childhood, she is sold into slavery to a humanoid demon named Chikou. Her master is continuously cruel to her and used Mukuro as a sex slave. He raped her every year on her birthday. To control her, he implanted a single memory of himself being kind into her mind, which she remembered each time she thought of killing him. When she turned seven years old, she poured acid on herself, hoping that her master would lose interest in her. It worked, and he disowned her. She makes a name for herself as an assassin and eventually becomes one of the Three Kings. She discovered Hiei while preparing for war and, after testing his strength against Shigure, placed him as her second in command. Mukuro is quick to agree when Yusuke proposes the demon world tournament and ends up losing to Enki in the finals. In the anime adaptation, Mukuro's backstory is changed to exclude the parts about her being a sex slave, and that she was simply an abandoned child found by Chikou and taken in for slavery. Togashi has stated that Mukuro is one of his favorite characters. The author had desired to write more about her abuse before the series ended. His inspiration for the character was Kushana of Torumekia from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
Raizen (雷禅) is one of the three kings of the Makai (in fact, he was considered the strongest of the three) and Yusuke's ancestor. 700 years before Yusuke is born, Raizen, then a young demon, comes to the human world looking for people to eat, and is massively injured in confrontations with human warriors. Finding a place to hide and recover from his injuries, he is discovered by the owner of the isolated house at which he is staying. Despite his demonic appearance and attitude, she has no fear of him whatsoever and even treats his injuries. When he attempts to eat her when he thinks she is asleep, he learns that she was only pretending to, as she knew he would try to do so the first chance he got. She then reveals herself to be a "cannibal shaman", a human who eats the flesh of the deceased to create antibodies to the disease within their blood, and taunts him that if he consumed her he would be killed. Raizen immediately falls in love with her, because she is the first (and only) woman he ever met who never feared him, and they become lovers. Though she is soon pregnant, he is forced to leave her when he gets better, as he is still being hunted by humans, and promises to never eat human flesh until he sees her again. However, she dies before he returns, as the Spirit World erects the barrier between Earth and the Demon World, and since he never saw her again, he stayed true to his word and never ate human flesh again. Raizen summons Yusuke to the Makai Realm as he is on the brink of death from starvation and requires someone to take his throne. He subsequently dies, and Yusuke proposes the demon world tournament immediately after.
Voiced by: Takashi Taniguchi (Japanese); Pete Webber (English)
Shigure (時雨) is a demon surgeon in osteopathy. As payment for his services, Shigure requires that his patient have an interesting life story. As well, he requires of them a part of that life, though in eccentric ways. While looking for his lost tear stone and the Ice Kingdom where he was born, Hiei approaches Shigure and hires him to implant the Evil Eye in his forehead. Shigure hears of his past and operates, but requires that even if Hiei were to find his lost twin sister, he could never reveal to her that he is her brother. He later joins Mukuro's forces. Shigure fights Hiei as part of Mukuro's testing of whether Hiei can qualify to be the right-hand man. He wields a large Ring Blade (Rinka Enreki-tō) Brimstone Ring Blade (Phosphorus Ring Sword in the English anime dub) that looks like a large hula hoop. In the battle with Hiei, he loses the top half of his head, but later appears in the demon tournament as an opponent for Kurama and is later seen doing patrol work with Hiei at the end of the series. In the anime, after losing to Kurama, he apparently commits suicide, stating that a swordsman never loses twice.
Supporting cast and Allies
Keiko Yukimura (雪村 螢子 Yukimura Keiko, spelled Kayko in the English anime) is Yusuke's childhood friend and classmate. She has known Yusuke for many years and acts as a disciplinary figure, often trying to get him to attend his classes and behave, though usually to no avail. Yusuke attempts to keep his job as spirit detective a secret from Keiko, though she finds out about it during his third case, as the Saint Beasts end up using her as bait to anger Yusuke. Keiko worries about Yusuke but knows that he is more happy fighting demons than having a normal school life. She is noticeably upset when Yusuke leaves for the demon realm in the final story arc but waits for him after he promises to return so they can get married. In the end, Yusuke fulfills his promise and returns to Keiko; they confess their feelings to each other and share a kiss, drawing the curtain to the story.
King Enma Jr., usually addressed as Koenma (コエンマ, meaning "Enma Jr.") is the son of spirit realm ruler King Enma, and the one who takes responsibility of his father's work when he's away. Koenma usually appears as a toddler with a pacifier in his mouth, though he is said to be at least 700 years old. He can also transform into a young adult form, retaining his pacifier but losing his hat, showing the English letters "Jr" on his forehead. Koenma acts as Yusuke's boss, assigning his cases. His pacifier is a receptacle, which Koenma constantly imbues with his spirit energy. It can create a powerful barrier which Koenma states is to fend off a dark evil sometime in the future.
Botan (ぼたん, "Peony") is a shinigami (死神, "Death God"), a guide to the underworld; the Japanese equivalent of the grim reaper. She is charged with ferrying souls of the deceased to the underworld to face their final judgment. She also acts as Yusuke's assistant and trainer as he starts out his tenure as underworld detective. She teaches him how to use the various detective tools, communicates messages from Koenma and often guides him to different destinations pertaining to his cases. She will also join him in the field occasionally; ending up protecting Keiko from insect crazed humans, and in the anime, not only does Botan go with Yusuke and Kuwabara to Tarukane's mansion, she also acts as team trainer in the Dark Tournament. Botan was ranked as the seventh most popular female anime character in 1993 Animage Anime Grand Prix, the eighth in 1994, and the eleventh in 1995.
Atsuko Urameshi (浦飯 温子 Urameshi Atsuko) is Yusuke Urameshi's mother. While she only appears primarily in the early part of the anime, in the manga she plays a larger supporting role. She is an alcoholic and a neglectful mother.
Voiced by: Ai Orikasa (Japanese); Kasey Buckley (English)
Shizuru Kuwabara (桑原 静流 Kuwabara Shizuru) is Kazuma Kuwabara's older sister who becomes aware of Yusuke and Kuwabara's association to the Spirit World after watching the assignment tape regarding Yukina's rescue mission. She first appeared earlier in the manga, revealed to be a beautician. Considerably down to earth and deadpan in most scenes, her role as the tough mother-figure to Kuwabara is what caused him to develop the need to learn how to fight. Her role grows somewhat during the Dark Tournament; in the anime she has a brief romantic connection to Sakyo as he saves her numerous times from demon guards at the stadium, and is given his lighter to remember him by as he dies in the stadium's destruction. This relationship was not present in the manga. While in the manga Shizuru played a minor role and did not appear again until the end of the story after the Dark Tournament saga, in the anime, Shizuru plays a more supporting role and also took over the role that Yusuke's mother had in the Chapter Black saga in the manga. Like Kuwabara, she has great spiritual senses, though unlike Kuwabara, she's aware of the biological relation between Hiei and Yukina in the anime. Author Yoshihiro Togashi named Shizuru his favorite female character of the series "because she keep her cool".
Voiced by: Yuri Shiratori (Japanese); Jessica Dismuke (English)
Yukina (雪菜) is an ice maiden and sister to Hiei. Yukina is born to Hina, a twin to Hiei. When she finds out about her brother who was cast from the Ice Kingdom she escapes to the human world where she is captured by Gonzo Tarukane, a member of the Black Black Club. Tarukane keeps Yukina captive, torturing her to acquire the precious crystals created by her tears. Eventually she hardens her heart so as to prevent herself from crying even under extreme torture, prompting Tarukane to hire the Toguro brothers to aid him. Yusuke and Kuwabara, unknowingly shadowed by Hiei, succeed in rescuing Yukina from Tarukane, allowing her to continue her search for her lost brother.
Asato Kido (木戸 亜沙斗 Kido Asato) is a human who develops superhuman powers as a result of the demon portal opened by Sensui and Itsuki. His ability, "Shadow", allows him to step on someone's shadow and incapacitate them. Along with Yu Kaito and Yanagisawa, he seeks the aid of Genkai when his powers appear. It is shown that he also has limited control over his own shadow, using it to spell out his attackers name after he is paralyzed by Dr. Kamiya. At the end of the arc, having been healed, he promises Genkai he will not use his powers anymore, as she warns him it will attract demons.
Voiced by: Issei Futamata (Japanese); Jackie Cabe (English)
Yu Kaito (海藤 優 Kaitō Yū) is a human who develops superhuman powers as a result of the demon plane hole opened by Sensui. He is a student at Meioh Private Academy where he constantly attempts to outdo Kurama for top grades. He is a master of the written word, having written several books and enjoys word puzzles. His ability is "Taboo" which allows him to create word games that those within his territory must adhere to or their soul will be extracted from their body. While testing the limits of his power, Kaito breaks his Taboo and has his own soul sucked from his body, prompting Kido and Yanagisawa to consult Genkai to help him and explain their new powers. In the manga, his last appearance shows him spending his day off mostly playing video games and writing.
Mitsunari Yanagisawa (柳沢 光成 Yanagisawa Mitsunari) is a human who develops superhuman powers as a result of the demon plane hole opened by Sensui. His power is "Copy" which allows him to copy the appearance, memories, attributes, abilities, and spirit print of anyone he touches. In his last appearance in the manga, he is too shy to ask an attractive girl out, and it is revealed that ten years later, he marries the girl that tries to cheer him up.
Pu (ぷう Pū, English anime: Puu) or Pusuke (ぷう助 Pūsuke) is Yusuke's spirit beast. To return to life Koenma gave Yusuke a golden Spirit Beast egg. As Yusuke traveled with Botan as a ghost it would feed off of his aura and hatch in a creature whose form and demeanor would depend on how pure Yusuke's actions were. After using all the energy he had accumulated to save Keiko from a fire, Yusuke was returned to his body through an alternate method, while the egg was stored in the underworld by Koenma. During the Dark Tournament the egg hatched into Pu, a small blue animal with large floppy ears, a beak and hair resembling Yusuke's. Yusuke is embarrassed to get such a cute spirit beast but is endeared to Pu after it helps him during Genkai's final discipleship test. After Yusuke is killed by Sensui and revives as a demon, Pu changes into a large blue bird, resembling a phoenix.
Jorge Saotome (ジョルジュ 早乙女) is an ogre that is one of Koenma's underlings and only appears in the anime. Koenma often blames him for any problems that may occur, most often problems that Koenma causes himself. While Jorge attempts to act as the voice of reason most of the time, he rarely gets praised for it. In the second to last episode it is revealed that the anime series was an underworld file on Yusuke Urameshi with Jorge as the narrator. He then goes back to hating his job as Koenma's aide.
Koto & Juri
The two announcers/referees of the Dark Tournament. Koto (小兎) resembles a fox or cat, while Juri (樹里) resembles an amphibian. Koto takes the rules of the tournament seriously, and when she protests the tournament committee's underhanded manipulations, she is made a ringside announcer, with Juri replacing her as referee. At the end of the manga, the two and Ruka, the nurse of the Dark Tournament, become widely popular idols on human television. Koto and Juri are revealed to have a crush on Toya and Suzuki respectively.
Voiced by: Chiharu Suzuka (Japanese); Laurie Steele (English)
Ruka (瑠架) is the nurse of the Dark Tournament. She accepts bribes from teams to keep Hiei and Genkai from fighting. Her specialties including healing and creating barriers. At the end of the manga, Ruka becomes an idol with Koto and Juri, the two announcers of the Dark Tournament, and becomes widely popular on human television.
Kirishima, Okubo and Sawamura
Kirishima (Miyamoto in the English anime), Okubo and Sawamura (Komada in the English anime) are Kazuma Kuwabara's lackeys/friends. Okubo's mother, often ill, does not bring enough money into her household, so Okubo holds a job in order to support the household. They also appear in the Chapter Black Saga where they attend the Megallica concert with Kuwabara. On their way home, they are attacked by Kiyoshi Mitarai, aka Seaman and nearly drown in one of Seaman's water-based monsters, but are saved by Kuwabara. Afterwards, Kuwabara carries the three, along with Mitarai on his back to Yusuke's apartment before passing out. After, Miyamoto, Okubo and Komada told Kurama about what happened last night, Kurama erased their memories, so they would not be burdened and then he sent Kirishima, Okubo and Sawamura back home. In the first character popularity poll, Kirishima ranked 9th place with 219 votes.
Murota is a human with the ability to read people's minds. He plans to use his powers to be a professional boxer by anticipating attacks, he can easily avoid them. He starts a fight with Yusuke in a restaurant, thinking he can defeat him. Even with his powers, Murota is still defeated. He is later injured by Kaname "Sniper" Hagiri, and taken to the hospital where Minoru "Doctor" Kamiya is and is poisoned by a Makai insect. Shortly after helping Yusuke in defeating Doctor, Murota is attacked and consumed by Sadao "Gourmet" Makihara.
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