Book Reviews · Manga

Manga vs. Anime – Yu Yu Hakusho

From February 5-7th, I had the opportunity to participate in the Mini Manga Readathon portion of the Japanese Readathon. As I said in Monday’s Readathon Wrap-up post, I had a wonderful time participating in this particular readathon, and had the opportunity to read several fantastic manga series. One of the series I read for the very first time was Yu Yu Hakusho.

Yu Yu Hakusho is a 19-volume manga series, created by Yoshihiro Togashi. It tells the story of a teenage delinquent named Yusuke Urameshi, who dies saving the life of a little boy who is about to be run over by a car. The timing and manner of his death is so unexpected that there is no place prepared for him in the afterlife, so Yusuke is offered a chance to return to life.

Once his spirit and body are reunited, Yusuke becomes an Underworld Detective, tasked with hunting down spiritual threats to the living, human world. It’s a dangerous job, but fortunately Yusuke manages to find a group of friends and allies to help him out.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Yu Yu Hakusho! It’s a fast-paced, action-oriented manga with fantastic characters and artwork. Yoshihiro Togashi really excels at both character design and action sequences. I also love the fact that he not only created a cast of strong male characters, but strong female characters as well. Master Genkai is a particular favorite.

It is important to note that the series does include some images and references that might cause emotional distress for readers. Some of the volumes do include graphic depictions of violence (and its results). There are also a few references to suicide, self-harm, animal cruelty, and abuse. The manga is rated T (for “teen audiences”), which seems to be an appropriate rating.

While this was my first time reading the manga, this was not my first encounter with its story. I had the opportunity to watch the anime adaptation of Yu Yu Hakusho when I was in college. One of my roommates had a copy of the series on DVD, and I had the chance to binge-watch it during one of our breaks. I enjoyed the series so much that I bought my own copy when I graduated.

There are some minor differences between the anime and the manga, but I think the anime is an excellent adaptation of the original story. I would actually have a very difficult time choosing a favorite between the two, as I enjoyed them both equally.

If you enjoy anime and manga, I definitely recommend checking out the Yu Yu Hakusho manga series and its anime adaptation. It’s a great series that will definitely be enjoyed by anyone who likes action and character-driven stories. If you have the opportunity to read (or watch) Yu Yu Hakusho, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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