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Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Fourth Season (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

December 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The classic action anime TV series “Yu Yu Hakusho” comes to a close in this final fourth volume.  The best Blu-ray  volume of the series featuring the deadly battle between Yusuke vs. Sensui, the final tournament in the Demon World plus a Blu-ray release featuring improved PQ, AQ plus special features including many audio commentary tracks.  Overall, a fantastic Blu-ray release to conclude this classic anime series.  Definitely recommended for classic and action anime fans!

Image courtesy of © Yoshihiro Togashi 1990-1994

TITLE: Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Fourth Season

DURATION: Episodes 85-112 (600 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (4×3, HD Native), Dolby TrueHD English 5.1, Dolby TrueHD Japanese 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV PG

Release Date: November 29, 2011

Original Story by Yoshihiro Togashi

Directed by Noriyuki Abe

Series Composition by Yukiyoshi Ohashi

Script by Hiroshi Hashimoto, Katsuyuki Sumisawa, Shikichi Ohashi, Sukehiro Tomita, Yukiyoshi Ohashi

Music by Yusuke Honma

Character Design by Mari Kitayama, Masaya Onishi, Minoru Yamazawa

Art Director: Shigenori Takada, Yuji Ikeda

Anime Production: Pierrot

Featuring the following voice talent:

Megumi Ogata/Christopher R. Sabat as Kurama

Nobuyuki Hiyama/Chuck Huber as Hiei

Nozomu Sasaki/Darren Pleavin as Yuusuke Urameshi

Shigeru Chiba/John Burgmeier as Kazuma Kuwabara

Hisako Kyouda/Linda Young as Genkai

Katsumi Suzuki/Bill Townsley as Toguro Ani

Mayumi Tanaka/Sean Teague as Koenma

Rokuro Naya/Robert McCollum as Sensui

Sanae Miyuki/Cynthia Cranz as Botan

Tomomichi Nishimura/Kent Williams as Jorge Saotome

Toshiyuki Morikawa/Christopher Bevins as Shishiwaka Maru

Yuri Amano as Keiko Yukimura

Ai Orikasa/Amber Cotton as Koto

Ai Orikasa as Shizuru Kuwabara

Akio Nojima as Inmaki

The gateway between worlds lies open and past must battle present, but with Yusuke’s final death his friends rush onward. Risen once more with the blood of ages coursing through his veins, the young man sheds humanity as the war shifts realms to the land of demons. Three legendary kings seek power where only one can rule, and friends are enlisted as champions to become foes in the final struggle for control. From troubled teen to royalty, Yusuke’s final chapter unfolds.

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files” marks the final volume of the anime series and one more last tournament to see Yusuke and friends in battle in another action-packed fourth season on Blu-ray!

Before there was “Bleach”, there was “Yu Yu Hakusho”, a popular manga series from 1990-1994 and a TV anime series form 1992-1995 written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi.

In the US. the series was featured on “Shonen Jump” from 2003-2010 and the anime series was shown on the Cartoon Network. The series has its share of a strong following worldwide as it is one of the few anime series that had been aired completely in Asia and Eastern Europe.

With the anime series, a total of 112 episodes were created, along with two films and several OVA’s but also including soundtracks, video games and other merchandise.

“Yu Yu Hakusho” is one of the most popular Japanese manga series as it has sold over 40 million copies in Japan and also a winner of the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award in 1993, also earning the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for 1994 and 1995. In 1993, it came second place to the immensely popular “Sailor Moon” series. Even a decade after its anime debut, in 2001, “Yu Yu Hakusho” was still listed as #53 in Animage’s top 100 anime listing of 2001 and for TV Asahi’s web poll in 2006, was voted #15 as “Best Anime of All time” and the series would eventually become popular in several countries.

While the series has been released on DVD in America, “Yu Yu Hakusho” was released in HD for the first time on Blu-ray courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment. The series was not only a port of the Japanese Blu-ray release, but FUNimation Entertainment also put a lot of man hours into creating the English lossless audio and making improvements, re-recording of various characters for this Blu-ray release.

And with the release of “Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Fourth Season”, this release features the final episodes for the series.

“Yu Yu Hakusho” focuses on the character Yusuke Urameshi. Yusuke is literally your street punk. He has an alcoholic mother, no father and beats up other gang members, as well as missing school often. But despite his brash attitude, deep inside, Yusuke is a good guy. And people who believe in him is his childhood friend and classmate, Keiko Yukimura, who wants him to focus on his education and also wants to help him because she likes him. The other person who wants to help him is Kazuma Kuwabara, also a street punk who has set a goal to one day beat Yusuke but usually, Kazuma is the person who ends up getting beaten up.

But one day, as Yusuke leaves his high school, he sees a kid playing with a ball near the street. Yusuke tells him to not play that ball because it’s dangerous and that he can end up getting killed if he plays ball in busy traffic. And as the boy thinks that Yusuke is just wanting to play with him, the boy doesn’t listen to Yusuke’s warning and ends up kicking the ball towards the street and tries to get the ball during incoming traffic.

Seeing this, Yusuke saves the boy but ends up being hit by the car and getting killed. Next thing you know, Yusuke is in the spirit world, floating around and watching people and seeing how they react to his dead body, but also getting to see people who actually, genuinely miss him.

Yusuke is suddenly approached by the grim reaper, Botan who is shocked that Yusuke is in the spirit world because his death was not supposed to happen. So, there were no current plans to have him in Heaven or Hell. But Koenma, the son of the spirit realm ruler King Enma tells Yusuke that because he was not destined to go to either Heaven or Hell, he has a chance to earn the right to be revived and return back home. In fact, back on Earth, both Yusuke’s mother and Keiko realize that something is surprising in the fact that Yusuke is warm and not showing signs that he is actually dead, which gives the two hope that Yusuke may be alive.

But Yusuke learns that with good decisions that are used to help people, he may get a chance at life once again.

But also, being recognized by Koenma that perhaps Yusuke has a special purpose that is to be a spirit detective who can investigate supernatural phenomena in the human world and capture criminals dealing in underworld crime.

And through his adventures as a spirit detective, he will meet friends but also many foes.

The first season of “Yu Yu Hakusho” is broken down to three arcs. The first arc deals with Yusuke’s death and what is needed to bring him back. The second arc deals with Yusuke becoming a spirit detective and needing to find three artifacts and take on three demons (two who are Kurama and the other Heiei) and the third arc features Genkai’s fighting tournament.

The second season of “Yu Yu Hakusho” features the continuation of the Genkai fighting tournament and this time Urameshi and friends must defeat all their opponents or else they die.

The Third Complete season (which is the second and third season of “Yu Yu Hakusho” in Japan) continues the Genkai fighting tournament as Team Urameshi (Yusuke’s team) has made it to the finals and now must take on Team Toguro. The next storyline arc features a storyline in which the team tries to find a kidnapped Yusuke while the third arc features the team taking on the games of Tsukihito “Gamemaster” Amanuma.

The fourth season features the major battle between Yusuke and Sensui (a battle to the death) and also, we learn where Yusuke’s great power comes from!   This leads to the final tournament of the series featuring Yusuke and friends as they head back to the Demon World to take on powerful opponents.  Who will emerge victorious?

Here is a basic spoiler free summary of each episode featured in the fourth season of “Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files”:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 85 – Spirit Detectives Showdown – Yusuke vs. Sensui part 1
  • EPISODE 86 – The Difference Maker – Yusuke vs. Sensui Part 2. Itsuki tells everyone that Sensui has seven split personalities.
  • EPISODE 87 – Power Between the Teeth – Yusuke vs. Sensui Part 3.  Yusuke encounters Sensui’s personality named Shinobu.
  • EPISODE 88 – The True Face of Sensui – Sensui reveals his sacred energy.
  • EPISODE 89 – Death of a Spirit Detective – Sensui kills Yusuke.
  • EPISODE 90 – Attempting Revenge – Sensui plans to kill Yusuke’s friends.
  • EPISODE 91 – Waking the Lost – The spirit defense force is dispatched to seal the breach.  Yusuke’s lineage revealed.
  • EPISODE 92 – The Proof – The birth of a newly-revived Yusuke vs. Sensui.
  • EPISODE 93 – Sensui’s End – The conclusion of the Yusuke vs. Sensui battle.
  • EPISODE 94 – Topside - Everyone returns back to their normal lives but Yusuke wonders who took over his body during the fight against Sensui.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 95 – Yusuke’s Destiny – Yusuke finds out that Koenma is in hiding after disobey a director order.
  • EPISODE 96 – Three Strangers, Three Kings – Three men who are on teh present of Raizen, one of the three kings of the Demon World, confronts Yusuke.
  • EPISODE 97 – Departing Living World – Kurama and Hiei receive invitations from two kings of the Demon World, Yomi and Mukuro.
  • EPISODE 98 – Return to Demon World – Yusuke, Kurama and Hiei head back to the Demon World.  Yusuke undergoes new training from Raizen.
  • EPISODE 99 – Haunted by the Past – Hiei undergrows harsh training from Mukuro.
  • EPISODE 100 – The Secret of the Jagan – Hieh remembers his past as a bandit and takes on Shigure.
  • EPISODE 101 – Reunion of the Bandits – Kurama travels to the territory of Yomi, Kurama’s former second-in-command and also has a bone to pick with Kurama.
  • EPISODE 102 – Torn Between Identities – Kurama thinks about Yomi’s offer and tries to gather allies for Yomi, those who survived the Dark Tournament.
  • EPISODE 103 – Inheritance - Raizen tells Yusuke of his lineage and requests for him to stop the war from taking place in the Demon World.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 104 – Every Demon For Himself – With Raizen’s death, Mukuro attacks Yomi with full force.  Meanwhile, a new tournament in Raizen’s honor is to be held.
  • EPISODE 105 – The Preliminaries – Yusuke arrives for the tournament and meets with Kurama, Hieie, Yomi and Mukuro and former competitors from the Dark Tournament.
  • EPISODE 106 – The Battle of Father and Son – Yomi vs. his son Shura in the preliminaries.
  • EPISODE 107 – The Demon World Tournament Begins – More tournament matches continue.
  • EPISODE 108 – Farewell, Kurama – Kurama vs. Shigure.
  • EPISODE 109 – Love and War – Hiei vs. Mukuro.
  • EPISODE 110 – A Reason to Fight – Yusuke vs. Yomi.
  • EPISODE 111 – Closure – A new ruler of the Demon World is unveiled.
  • EPISODE 112 – To the Future – The final episode of the series, two years later.

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Third Season” focuses on the main characters:

  • Yusuke Urameshi – The main protagonist who was a street punk that is constantly fighting, ditching school and not doing much with his life. But one day, he is killed when he is struck by a car while trying to save a young child who accidentally walked on to incoming traffic. The episodes feature Yusuke in the spirit world and giving a second chance at life as a Spirit Detective and growing his powers which includes a Spirit Gun which he can shoot from his right index finger.
  • Kazuma Kuwabara – A person who sees himself as Yusuke’s rival and in some ways, Yusuke is a big inspiration to him because it makes him work harder and makes him become stronger. He also has a strong sixth sense of detecting spirits and is able to create a spirit sword (which is unpredictable).
  • Kurama – A former fox demon thief who fused with the unborn child of Shiori Minamino and has made him care for humans. When Yusuke saves him and his mother, he decides to help Yusuke. He has the power to control plants and a rose. Also, great at analyzing opponents.
  • Hiei – The son of an Ice Maiden who had sex with a male (Which is forbidden in their society). He is driven by the thirst to kill those who cast him out to die. His power is the Evil Eye (which grants him power to hypnotize, use telepathy and remote viewing) and is an expert with a Katana.
  • Keiko Yukimura – Yusuke’s childhood friend who has always cared for him but also tried to push him to put more into his studies. She likes Yusuke a lot and is jealous when he sees him around Botan.
  • Botan – The grim reaper who takes the souls of the deceased to the underworld. She is also the person who tries to guide Yusuke and joins him in human form occasionally.
  • Koenma – King Enma Jr., son of spirit realm ruler King Enma, who looks like a toddler with a pacifier in his mouth but he is 700 years old. He is Yusuke’s boss and the person who hands him cases.
  • Genkai – An elderly woman who is a martial arts expert who takes Yusuke as a student.

VIDEO:

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Fourth Season” is presented in 1080p High Definition (4:3 HD Native).

It’s important to note that this series is old. This was not made during a time where anime was created in HD, nor was it created during a time when anime was created digitally. This series is literally old school and previously to watching this series on Blu-ray, I pulled out my old VHS copy that I recorded from Japanese TV to see how it looked and then to see how it looks on Blu-ray.

For one, I was expecting not the best picture quality considering that this anime series started airing back in 1992 and knowing how “Dragon Ball” and “Dragon Ball Z” looked, I was expecting dust, scratches and even faded colors. Also, its a TV series, not a film or OVA, so for one, I was not expecting it to look anything like a modern anime series and two, I was not expecting it to see considerable damage.

Well, “Yu Yu Hakusho” had none of that. The colors were vibrant, there was no massive dust or scratches on the print, if anything, this series looked absolutely awesome on Blu-ray, not bad for a 20-year-old anime series!

Granted, hardcore Blu-ray fans should not expect anything close to modern anime HD series but for those who grew up watching anime a long time ago, especially who have a familiarity with “Yu Yu Hakusho” will be happy to see how awesome this anime series looks on Blu-ray and even be excited to know the unlimited possibilities of hopefully seeing more classic titles on Blu-ray. If old school anime looks this good on Blu-ray, I can’t wait what’s coming next!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Fourth Season” is presented in Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD Japanese 2.0. While, the English lossless soundtrack features more ambient and more punch when it comes to the action sequences and the music soundtrack, the Japanese stereo lossless soundtrack is quite clear and may not have the same punch, but if you have a modern receiver that is capable of playing stereo on all channels, for me, that was my preference.

Until the release of this fourth season Blu-ray, I had no idea how much work was done for the English lossless track until the mixing audio commentary (featured on disc 2).  Audio engineer Andrew Tipps explains that the music and sound effects were literally non-separated, so only so much could have been done with the sound effects.  So, what FUNimation Entertainment ended up doing is re-record several scenes featuring previous and newer voice talent but also adding special effects to the episodes that were not in the original TV release.

FUNimation Entertainment has always done a great job with their casting and with this Blu-ray release, while the voice casting for the main talents were well-done, they also went in and redid a few others in order to reach the quality that they are known for.  So, that’s major dedication especially for an old school anime series and as a fan, I’m quite proud that they put so much time into that.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Fourth Season” comes with the following special features:

Disc 2:

  • Episode 99 Commentary – Remixing Yu Yu Hakush – A 2011 audio commentary featuring Justin Cook (producer and line producer) with mix engineer, Andrew Tipps on the mixing of the series.  This commentary goes into great detail of what work was done for this 2011 U.S. release of all episodes.

Disc 3:

  • Yu Yu Hakusho Trading Card Game Revisited – (29:23) A 2011 featurette the Yu Yu Hakusho trading card game.  Justin Cook and Scott Sager take on each other and show viewers how to play the card game.
  • Episode 108 – Actor Commentary – Featuring a 2003 audio commentary with producer Justin Cook (also voice of Yusuke) and a few other talents.
  • Episode 110 – ADR and Mixing Commentary – Featuring a 2003 ADR and mixing commentary with Justin Cook, Chris Bevens and Justin Pate.
  • Episode 111 – Writer Commentary – Featuring a 2003 commentary about the writing of the series with Justin Cook, Jared Hedges, Jeremy Carlile and John Burgmeier.
  • Episode 111 – Outtakes and Foul Ups – (10:20) Featuring Justin Cook (voice of Yusuke) hosting an audio gag reel.
  • Episode 112 – Leading Cast Commentary – Featuring a 2003 all-talent commentary with Justin Cook (Yusuke), John Burgmeier (Kurama), Christopher Sabat (Kuwabara) and Chuck Huber (Hiei)
  • Episode 112 – Memoirs of Yu Yu Hakusho – Justin Cook reminiscing of his time working on the “Yu Yu Hakusho” anime series.
  • Textless Opening Song – “Smile Bomb”
  • Textless Closing Song – “The Sun Will Shine Again”
  • Textless Closing Song – Daydream Generation
  • FUNimation Entertainment Trailers

EXTRAS:

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Fourth Season” comes with a slipcover case.

“Yu Yu Hakusho” is one of Japan’s most popular, beloved, action anime series of all time!

It has done well in polls, I can easily remember the plethora of Japanese anime magazines that showcased Yu Yu Hakusho every month because of its popularity.  But when it comes to dramatic battles, there was one storyline that stood out for “Yu Yu Hakusho” fans and that is the battle between Yusuke and Sensui.

I can easily remember the hype that was built into Newtype Magazine and Animage Magazine for this storyline… In fact, during that time, I remember the video game as well as the storyline being equated to the “Dragon Ball Z” Cell storyline in terms of popularity.  Not only had Yusuke found his match with his most powerful rival yet, but in a major shocker, Yusuke died and wow…I can remember the earlier years of the anime BBS message boards with people shocked about what had transpired and fans literally were in awe that a major character would be killed off.

Granted, this is “Yu Yu Hakusho” and Yusuke is the main protagonist, so you pretty much expected that his death wasn’t going to last all that long, especially with a storyline that centers around him.

I looked at the final fourth season of “Yu Yu Hakusho” and the return to the Demon World for a final tournament as a final goodbye to the series and for the most part, the series has ran its course and unlike “Dragon Ball Z” or today’s length anime series which would have arc after arc of major storylines, “Yu Yu Hakusho” was one of the few series that stayed true to its plot of four guys, facing insurmountable odds against demons and the strongest of the underworld.  While the first season focused a lot on character development, the next three seasons would focus on tournament and one-on-one battles.  It never strayed away from that and since it aired during the years of “Dragon Ball Z” and “Sailor Moon S”, it didn’t try to encroach those other anime series and remained true to itself.

And with the manga series ending in 2010, I expected a revisiting of the series with another season similar to what happened with “The Slayers” and even “Inuyasha”, starting where the series last left off.  And I figured with today’s technology and animation, “Yu Yu Hakusho” would look better than ever. But that remains to be seen if “Yu Yu Hakusho” will ever return.  Whether it does or not, the ending for the anime series thus far is still a worthwhile finale that does give closure.

So, for the most part, I’m quite happy with this release and for the most part, we are getting an old school anime series available on Blu-ray! The picture quality of this classic anime series was much better than I expected and I can’t wait for more!  As mentioned, by listening to the 2011 commentary, I was amazed about how much work went into the Blu-ray release of “Yu Yu Hakusho” and redoing a few things for the English lossless track in terms of re-recordings and also including the additional special effects.  And also surprising was the amount of special features included with this Blu-ray release.  Granted, many of them are from 2003, but still, it was the most special features featured than any of the previous Blu-ray volumes of “Yu Yu Hakusho”.

Overall, “Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Fourth Season” is a wonderful final volume of this classic anime series.  I understand that some anime fans are not into all-action anime, long duration anime and most of all, old school anime series but “Yu Yu Hakusho” was considered high up there along with “Dragon Ball Z” and “Sailor Moon Super S” during the ’90s.  It’s more action-oriented and the latter three seasons focuses heavily on tournaments and one-on-one battles for anyone who appreciates well-done fighting anime series, this is one of the best out there!

So, if you’re willing to stay with this longer series for the long haul and knowing that all episodes are featured in four Blu-ray volumes, “Yu Yu Hakusho” is a classic anime series that is definitely recommended!

Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Second Season (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The classic old school anime series “Yu Yu Hakusho” is back with an action-packed second season featuring 28 tournament competitive episodes as Team Urameshi fights for their own survival.  Another fantastic season of the popular, classic Japanese anime series worth watching and owning on Blu-ray!

Image courtesy of © Yoshihiro Togashi 1990-1994

TITLE: Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost files – The Complete Second Season

DURATION: Episodes 29-56 (600 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (4×3, HD Native), Dolby TrueHD English 5.1, Dolby TrueHD Japanese 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV PG

Release Date: August 9, 2011

 

Original Story by Yoshihiro Togashi

Directed by Noriyuki Abe

Series Composition by Yukiyoshi Ohashi

Script by Hiroshi Hashimoto, Katsuyuki Sumisawa, Shikichi Ohashi, Sukehiro Tomita, Yukiyoshi Ohashi

Music by Yusuke Honma

Character Design by Mari Kitayama, Masaya Onishi, Minoru Yamazawa

Art Director: Shigenori Takada, Yuji Ikeda

Anime Production: Pierrot

Featuring the following voice talent:

Megumi Ogata/Christopher R. Sabat as Kurama

Nobuyuki Hiyama/Chuck Huber as Hiei

Nozomu Sasaki/Darren Pleavin as Yuusuke Urameshi

Shigeru Chiba/John Burgmeier as Kazuma Kuwabara

Hisako Kyouda/Linda Young as Genkai

Katsumi Suzuki/Bill Townsley as Toguro Ani

Mayumi Tanaka/Sean Teague as Koenma

Rokuro Naya/Robert McCollum as Sensui

Sanae Miyuki/Cynthia Cranz as Botan

Tomomichi Nishimura/Kent Williams as Jorge Saotome

Toshiyuki Morikawa/Christopher Bevins as Shishiwaka Maru

Yuri Amano as Keiko Yukimura

Ai Orikasa/Amber Cotton as Koto

Ai Orikasa as Shizuru Kuwabara

Akio Nojima as Inmaki

Survival is the order of the day as Yusuke and his allies face off against the worst that the Demon World has to offer. Locked into a competition set up by the criminal underground, more than the fighters’ lives are on the line as the Dark Tournament unfolds round by brutal round. Pain and suffering are redefined, a demon from the past is reawakened, and the mysterious masked fighter steps forth. Their situation is worse than grim as the Tournament Finals are set to begin.

Before there was “Bleach”, there was “Yu Yu Hakusho”, a popular manga series from 1990-1994 and a TV anime series form 1992-1995 written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi.

In the US. the series was featured on “Shonen Jump” from 2003-2010 and the anime series was shown on the Cartoon Network. The series has its share of a strong following worldwide as it is one of the few anime series that had been aired completely in Asia and Eastern Europe.

With the anime series, a total of 112 episodes were created, along with two films and several OVA’s but also including soundtracks, video games and other merchandise.

“Yu Yu Hakusho” is one of the most popular Japanese manga series as it has sold over 40 million copies in Japan and also a winner of the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award in 1993, also earning the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for 1994 and 1995. In 1993, it came second place to the immensely popular “Sailor Moon” series. Even a decade after its anime debut, in 2001, “Yu Yu Hakusho” was still listed as #53 in Animage’s top 100 anime listing of 2001 and for TV Asahi’s web poll in 2006, was voted #15 as “Best Anime of All time” and the series would eventually become popular in several countries.

While the series has been released on DVD in America, “Yu Yu Hakusho” will now be released in HD for the first time on Blu-ray courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment in May 2011. All 28 episodes from the first season will be featured on three Blu-ray discs (note: In Japan, episode 26 kicks off season 2).

“Yu Yu Hakusho” focuses on the character Yusuke Urameshi. Yusuke is literally your street punk. He has an alcoholic mother, no father and beats up other gang members, as well as missing school often. But despite his brash attitude, deep inside, Yusuke is a good guy. And people who believe in him is his childhood friend and classmate, Keiko Yukimura, who wants him to focus on his education and also wants to help him because she likes him. The other person who wants to help him is Kazuma Kuwabara, also a street punk who has set a goal to one day beat Yusuke but usually, Kazuma is the person who ends up getting beaten up.

But one day, as Yusuke leaves his high school, he sees a kid playing with a ball near the street. Yusuke tells him to not play that ball because it’s dangerous and that he can end up getting killed if he plays ball in busy traffic. And as the boy thinks that Yusuke is just wanting to play with him, the boy doesn’t listen to Yusuke’s warning and ends up kicking the ball towards the street and tries to get the ball during incoming traffic.

Seeing this, Yusuke saves the boy but ends up being hit by the car and getting killed. Next thing you know, Yusuke is in the spirit world, floating around and watching people and seeing how they react to his dead body, but also getting to see people who actually, genuinely miss him.

Yusuke is suddenly approached by the grim reaper, Botan who is shocked that Yusuke is in the spirit world because his death was not supposed to happen. So, there were no current plans to have him in Heaven or Hell. But Koenma, the son of the spirit realm ruler King Enma tells Yusuke that because he was not destined to go to either Heaven or Hell, he has a chance to earn the right to be revived and return back home. In fact, back on Earth, both Yusuke’s mother and Keiko realize that something is surprising in the fact that Yusuke is warm and not showing signs that he is actually dead, which gives the two hope that Yusuke may be alive.

But Yusuke learns that with good decisions that are used to help people, he may get a chance at life once again.

But also, being recognized by Koenma that perhaps Yusuke has a special purpose that is to be a spirit detective who can investigate supernatural phenomena in the human world and capture criminals dealing in underworld crime.

And through his adventures as a spirit detective, he will meet friends but also many foes.

The first season of “Yu Yu Hakusho” is broken down to three arcs. The first arc deals with Yusuke’s death and what is needed to bring him back. The second arc deals with Yusuke becoming a spirit detective and needing to find three artifacts and take on three demons (two who are Kurama and the other Heiei) and the third arc features Genkai’s fighting tournament.

The second season of “Yu Yu Hakusho” features the continuation of the Genkai fighting tournament and this time Urameshi and friends must defeat all their opponents or else they die.

Here is a basic spoiler free summary of each episode featured in the second season of “Yu  Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files”:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 29 – Flowers of Blood  – Kurama vs. Roto
  • EPISODE 30 – Dragon of the Darkness Flame  - Hiei vs. Zeru
  • EPISODE 31 – Stumbling Warrior  - Yusuke vs. Chu
  • EPISODE 32 – Knife-Edge Death Match – Yusuke vs. Chu continued.
  • EPISODE 33 – A Day in Waiting – Toguro vs. Team Urameshi
  • EPISODE 34 – Percentage of Victory  - Team Urameshi vs. Dr. Ichigaki Team
  • EPISODE 35 – Glimpse Beneath the Mask - The Masked Fighter of Team Urameshi vs. Dr. Ichigaki Team
  • EPISODE 36 – Ambition Destroyed: A Trial of Light – Dr. Ichigaki vs. Team Urameshi
  • EPISODE 37 – Master of Disguise – Yusuke and Kurama vs. Team Masho’s Toya
  • EPISODE 38 – Kurama’s Stand – Kurama vs. Toya

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 39 – Crushing Revenge - Bakken vs. a comatose Kurama
  • EPISODE 40 – Jin, the Wind Master – Yusuke vs. Jin
  • EPISODE 41 – Reverse Decisions - Yusuke uses his new technique vs. Jin.
  • EPISODE 42 – A Matter of Love and Death – Kuwabara is the last one left to fight and defend the team and gets unexpected support.
  • EPISODE 43 – The Masked Fighter Revealed – The Masked Fighter reveals herself to Yusuke.
  • EPISODE 44 – Yusuke’s Final Test – It’s the semi-finals and Team Urameshi vs. Team Uratogi
  • EPISODE 45 – Hiei Battles On – Hiei vs. Kuromomotaro
  • EPISODE 46 – Many Faces, Many Forms - Hiei vs Kuromomotaro part 2
  • EPISODE 47 – Legendary Bandit: Yoko Kurama – Kurama reverts back to his demon form – Yoko Kurama and takes on Ura Urashima.

DISC 3:

  • EPISODE 48 – The Cape of No Return – Kuwabara vs. Shishiwakamaru
  • EPISODE 49 – Genkai’s Strength – Genkai vs. Shishiwakamaru
  • EPISODE 50 – Suzuki’s Challenge – Onji reveals his true self.
  • EPISODE 51 – Arch-Rivals – Team Toguro vs. another team in the semi-finals.
  • EPISODE 52 – The Death of Genkai – Toguro vs. Genkai
  • EPISODE 53 – Overcoming Grief – Team Urameshi mourns a fallen friend.
  • EPISODE 54 – The Beginning of the End  - Kurama vs. Karasu
  • EPISODE 55 – The Beast Within – Kurama vs. Karasu part 2.
  • EPISODE 56 – Yoko’s Magic – Yoko Kurama vs. Karasu part 3.

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Second Season” focuses on the main characters:

  • Yusuke Urameshi – The main protagonist who was a street punk that is constantly fighting, ditching school and not doing much with his life. But one day, he is killed when he is struck by a car while trying to save a young child who accidentally walked on to incoming traffic. The episodes feature Yusuke in the spirit world and giving a second chance at life as a Spirit Detective and growing his powers which includes a Spirit Gun which he can shoot from his right index finger.
  • Kazuma Kuwabara – A person who sees himself as Yusuke’s rival and in some ways, Yusuke is a big inspiration to him because it makes him work harder and makes him become stronger. He also has a strong sixth sense of detecting spirits and is able to create a spirit sword (which is unpredictable).
  • Kurama – A former fox demon thief who fused with the unborn child of Shiori Minamino and has made him care for humans. When Yusuke saves him and his mother, he decides to help Yusuke. He has the power to control plants and a rose. Also, great at analyzing opponents.
  • Hiei – The son of an Ice Maiden who had sex with a male (Which is forbidden in their society). He is driven by the thirst to kill those who cast him out to die. His power is the Evil Eye (which grants him power to hypnotize, use telepathy and remote viewing) and is an expert with a Katana.
  • Keiko Yukimura – Yusuke’s childhood friend who has always cared for him but also tried to push him to put more into his studies. She likes Yusuke a lot and is jealous when he sees him around Botan.
  • Botan – The grim reaper who takes the souls of the deceased to the underworld. She is also the person who tries to guide Yusuke and joins him in human form occasionally.
  • Koenma – King Enma Jr., son of spirit realm ruler King Enma, who looks like a toddler with a pacifier in his mouth but he is 700 years old. He is Yusuke’s boss and the person who hands him cases.
  • Genkai – An elderly woman who is a martial arts expert who takes Yusuke as a student.

VIDEO:

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Second Season” is presented in 1080p High Definition (4:3 HD Native).

It’s important to note that this series is old. This was not made during a time where anime was created in HD, nor was it created during a time when anime was created digitally. This series is literally old school and previously to watching this series on Blu-ray, I pulled out my old VHS copy that I recorded from Japanese TV to see how it looked and then to see how it looks on Blu-ray.

And I was floored!

For one, I was expecting not the best considering that this anime series started airing back in 1992 and knowing how “Dragon Ball” and “Dragon Ball Z” looked, I was expecting dust, scratches and even faded colors. Also, its a TV series, not a film or OVA, so for one, I was not expecting it to look anything like a modern anime series and two, I was not expecting it to see considerable damage.

Well, “Yu Yu Hakusho” had none of that. The colors were vibrant, there was no massive dust or scratches on the print, if anything, this series looked absolutely awesome on Blu-ray, not bad for a 20-year-old anime series!

Granted, hardcore Blu-ray fans should not expect anything close to modern anime HD series but for those who grew up watching anime a long time ago, especially who have a familiarity with “Yu Yu Hakusho” will be happy to see how awesome this anime series looks on Blu-ray and even be excited to know the unlimited possibilities of hopefully seeing more classic titles on Blu-ray. If old school anime looks this good on Blu-ray, I can’t wait what’s coming next!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Second Season” is presented in Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD Japanese 2.0. While, the English lossless soundtrack features more ambient and more punch when it comes to the action sequences and the music soundtrack, the Japanese stereo lossless soundtrack is quite clear and may not have the same punch, but if you have a modern receiver that is capable of playing stereo on all channels, for me, that was my preference.

But watching the second season, the surround channels on the English 5.1 soundtrack seem to be mostly used for the competition announcer and her echoes coming from her mic.

But I also watched the series with the English dub soundtrack and similar to “Dragon Ball Z” and other anime series, I felt that FUNimation Entertainment did a fine job with casting for this series! From capturing Yusuke’s bad boy attitude, Kurama’s calm and collected attitude but also Kazuma’s dorkiness, it was well-acted and another TV anime series with very good English dubbing.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Second Season” comes with the following special features:

  • Textless Opening and Ending Themes
  • Trailers - Funimation Entertainment Trailers

EXTRAS:

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete Second Season” comes with a slip cover case.

With the second season of “Yu Yu Hakusho”, unlike the first season which featured character developing episodes and taking place in the real world with different storylines, the second season is primarily all action and competitive-based.

For those familiar with series such as “Dragon Ball” or “Dragon Ball Z”, competitions should be familiar to the viewer.  The main difference in “Yu Yu Hakusho” is that each episode, there is a different battle and only a few episodes where the battles last around 2-3 episodes.  And unlike “Dragon Ball Z”, where you go through about 20-episodes or so of tournament competition, in “Yu Yu Hakusho”, these competitions are long as they go from qualification matches, semi-finals, etc.

And unlike “Dragon Ball Z”, where it’s one match and one advances to the next bracket, in this case, the competition goes by teams.

For those into action, you’ll love this series.  For me, these long competitions is why I loved the series, especially how it was applied to the video game series.  But for those expecting storyline that was featured in season one, especially with Yusuke and Keiko or Kuwabara and his gang, well…you’re not going to get it.  The second season is tournament-driven and you’re not going to get anything beyond that.

And even through 28-episodes for season two, the competition is still not over as there are about 10 more episodes remaining in the “Dark Tournament Saga” and then begins the “Chapter Black Saga” which we should see both in the upcoming third season release on Blu-ray.

So, for the most part, I’m quite happy with this release and for the most part, we are getting an old school anime series available on Blu-ray!  The picture quality of this classic anime series was much better than I expected and I can’t wait for more!

So, why is the release of “Yu Yu Hakusho” that big of a deal for me? It’s because the potential of seeing classic anime series such as “Sailor Moon” (all versions), “Dragon Ball”, “Urusei Yatsura”, “Rurouni Kenshin”, “Gatchaman”, “Irresponsible Captain Tailor”, “Patlabor”, any classic anime series that was once released in the US, you name it… series from the ’70s up to the ’90s, if these were to be released on Blu-ray and look as good as “Yu Yu Hakusho” does… this would be the ultimate for old school anime fans.

Granted, it makes it a lot easier for FUNimation Entertainment to release this series on Blu-ray since they had dubbed it and they have aired on Cartoon Network at one time. But “Yu Yu Hakusho” was for me, what an anime series like “Bleach” is for anime fans today.

Cool characters, protagonist who tend to often get in trouble in school, taking things on in the spirit world and along the way, meeting more characters and just being an all-out enjoyable anime series. I can easily remember how popular this series was, even remembering going to an anime con back in 1995 and going against some of the anime industry leaders of today (back then, they were just regular otaku) in a video fighting game battle of “Yu Yu Hakusho” ala 3DO in a hotel room.

Back in the early ’90s, “Yu Yu Hakusho” was seen as cool. Teenagers taking on evil demons…and it is an interesting juxtaposition if compared to “Bleach”. While not having as many characters as “Bleach”, the series still managed to be fun and entertaining as it focused on character development, battles and also supernatural topics.

I personally love the fact that FUNimation Entertainment has released this series and while newer anime fans who can’t stand old school anime, especially during the years of hand-drawn anime on cels vs. computerized digital animation, I can only hope that they give this anime series a try. It’s one heck of a classic that manages to stand the test of time quite well and from when I first watched in my late teens, it’s still was fun to watch in my late ’30s and having watched countless anime series since then.

While the Blu-ray release may not contain any special features, you are getting 28-episodes on three Blu-ray discs for a pretty solid price. Compare that when this series was released on DVD for the first time in the US and how expensive it was.

“Yu Yu Hakush0″ is a character driven series that is easy to follow and if you stick with it on a long run, you’ll find this series to be quite entertaining and fun! There is a reason why this series and its characters were voted on top of many anime polls in Japan and in other countries, it’s that good!

I can’t wait for season three and if you are open to classic anime series, especially a very popular action-driven series, then definitely give “Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files” a chance!

Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete First Season (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

May 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The classic old school anime series “Yu Yu Hakusho” receives its Blu-ray release in America and all I can say is if old school anime looks this good on Blu-ray, I want more!  There is a reason why this series and its characters have topped many anime polls in Japan and in other countries… it’s that good!  If you are an old school anime fan or wanting a very fun and enjoyable anime series on Blu-ray, with 28-episodes for the first season release… “Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete First Season” is highly recommended

Image courtesy of © Yoshihiro Togashi 1990-1994

TITLE: Yu Yu Hakusho – The Complete First Season

DURATION: Episodes 1-28 (600 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (4×3, HD Native), Dolby TrueHD English 5.1, Dolby TrueHD Japanese 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV PG

Release Date: May 31, 2011

 

Original Story by Yoshihiro Togashi

Directed by Noriyuki Abe

Series Composition by Yukiyoshi Ohashi

Script by Hiroshi Hashimoto, Katsuyuki Sumisawa, Shikichi Ohashi, Sukehiro Tomita, Yukiyoshi Ohashi

Music by Yusuke Honma

Character Design by Mari Kitayama, Masaya Onishi, Minoru Yamazawa

Art Director: Shigenori Takada, Yuji Ikeda

Anime Production: Pierrot

Featuring the following voice talent:

Megumi Ogata/Christopher R. Sabat as Kurama

Nobuyuki Hiyama/Chuck Huber as Hiei

Nozomu Sasaki/Darren Pleavin as Yuusuke Urameshi

Shigeru Chiba/John Burgmeier as Kazuma Kuwabara

Hisako Kyouda/Linda Young as Genkai

Katsumi Suzuki/Bill Townsley as Toguro Ani

Mayumi Tanaka/Sean Teague as Koenma

Rokuro Naya/Robert McCollum as Sensui

Sanae Miyuki/Cynthia Cranz as Botan

Tomomichi Nishimura/Kent Williams as Jorge Saotome

Toshiyuki Morikawa/Christopher Bevins as Shishiwaka Maru

Yuri Amano as Keiko Yukimura

Ai Orikasa/Amber Cotton as Koto

Ai Orikasa as Shizuru Kuwabara

Akio Nojima as Inmaki

From cutting classes to brawling in the streets, Yusuke Urameshi is not your typical role model. In fact, this kid’s nothing more than a fourteen-year-old delinquent with a talent for trouble. But in a single selfless act Yusuke dies while saving another. For such noble sacrifice he is given a second chance at life, but it’s to be a life far different than the one left behind. Now a Spirit Detective, the young man must track down demons and humans alike who desire to rule over the three realms of reality.

Before there was “Bleach”, there was “Yu Yu Hakusho”, a popular manga series from 1990-1994 and a TV anime series form 1992-1995 written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi.

In the US. the series was featured on “Shonen Jump” from 2003-2010 and the anime series was shown on the Cartoon Network.  The series has its share of a strong following worldwide as it is one of the few anime series that had been aired completely in Asia and Eastern Europe.

With the anime series, a total of 112 episodes were created, along with two films and several OVA’s but also including soundtracks, video games and other merchandise.

“Yu Yu Hakusho” is one of the most popular Japanese manga series as it has sold over 40 million copies in Japan and also a winner of the prestigious  Shogakukan Manga Award in 1993, also earning the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for 1994 and 1995.  In 1993, it came second place to the immensely popular “Sailor Moon” series.  Even a decade after its anime debut, in 2001, “Yu Yu Hakusho” was still listed as #53 in Animage’s top 100 anime listing of 2001 and for TV Asahi’s web poll in 2006, was voted #15 as “Best Anime of All time” and the series would eventually become popular in several countries.

While the series has been released on DVD in America, “Yu Yu Hakusho” will now be released in HD for the first time on Blu-ray courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment in May 2011.  All 28 episodes from the first season will be featured on three Blu-ray discs (note: In Japan, episode 26 kicks off season 2).

“Yu Yu Hakusho” focuses on the character Yusuke Urameshi.  Yusuke is literally your street punk.  He has an alcoholic mother, no father and beats up other gang members, as well as missing school often.  But despite his brash attitude, deep inside, Yusuke is a good guy.  And people who believe in him is his childhood friend and classmate, Keiko Yukimura, who wants him to focus on his education and also wants to help him because she likes him.  The other person who wants to help him is Kazuma Kuwabara, also a street punk who has set a goal to one day beat Yusuke but usually, Kazuma is the person who ends up getting beaten  up.

But one day, as Yusuke leaves his high school, he sees a kid playing with a ball near the street.  Yusuke tells him to not play that ball because it’s dangerous and that he can end up getting killed if he plays ball in busy traffic.  And as the boy thinks that Yusuke is just wanting to play with him, the boy doesn’t listen to Yusuke’s warning and ends up kicking the ball towards the street and tries to get the ball during incoming traffic.

Seeing this, Yusuke saves the boy but ends up being hit by the car and getting killed.  Next thing you know, Yusuke is in the spirit world, floating around and watching people and seeing how they react to his dead body, but also getting to see people who actually, genuinely miss him.

Yusuke is suddenly approached by the grim reaper, Botan who is shocked that Yusuke is in the spirit world because his death was not supposed to happen.  So, there were no current plans to have him in Heaven or Hell.  But Koenma, the son of the spirit realm ruler King Enma tells Yusuke that because he was not destined to go to either Heaven or Hell, he has a chance to earn the right to be revived and return back home.  In fact, back on Earth, both Yusuke’s mother and Keiko realize that something is surprising in the fact that Yusuke is warm and not showing signs that he is actually dead, which gives the two hope that Yusuke may be alive.

But Yusuke learns that with good decisions that are used to help people, he may get a chance at life once again.

But also, being recognized by Koenma that perhaps Yusuke has a special purpose that is to be a spirit detective who can investigate supernatural phenomena in the human world and capture criminals dealing in underworld crime.

And through his adventures as a spirit detective, he will meet friends but also many foes.

The first season of “Yu Yu Hakusho” is broken down to three arcs.  The first arc deals with Yusuke’s death and what is needed to bring him back.  The second arc deals with Yusuke becoming a spirit detective and needing to find three artifacts and take on three demons (two who are Kurama and the other Heiei) and the third arc features Genkai’s fighting tournament.

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete First Season” focuses on the main characters:

  • Yusuke Urameshi – The main protagonist who was a street punk that is constantly fighting, ditching school and not doing much with his life.  But one day, he is killed when he is struck by a car while trying to save a young child who accidentally walked on to incoming traffic.  The episodes feature Yusuke in the spirit world and giving a second chance at life as a Spirit Detective and growing his powers which includes a Spirit Gun which he can shoot from his right index finger.
  • Kazuma Kuwabara – A person who sees himself as Yusuke’s rival and in some ways, Yusuke is a big inspiration to him because it makes him work harder and makes him become stronger.  He also has a strong sixth sense of detecting spirits and is able to create a spirit sword (which is unpredictable).
  • Kurama – A former fox demon thief who fused with the unborn child of Shiori Minamino and has made him care for humans.  When Yusuke saves him and his mother, he decides to help Yusuke.  He has the power to control plants and a rose.   Also, great at analyzing opponents.
  • Hiei – The son of an Ice Maiden who had sex with a male (Which is forbidden in their society).  He is driven by the thirst to kill those who cast him out to die.  His power is the Evil Eye (which grants him power to hypnotize, use telepathy and remote viewing) and is an expert with a Katana.
  • Keiko Yukimura – Yusuke’s childhood friend who has always cared for him but also tried to push him to put more into his studies.  She likes Yusuke a lot and is jealous when he sees him around Botan.
  • Botan – The grim reaper who takes the souls of the deceased to the underworld.    She is also the person who tries to guide Yusuke and joins him in human form occasionally.
  • Koenma – King Enma Jr., son of spirit realm ruler King Enma, who looks like a toddler with a pacifier in his mouth but he is 700 years old.  He is Yusuke’s boss and the person who hands him cases.
  • Genkai – An elderly woman who is a martial arts expert who takes Yusuke as a student.

VIDEO:

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete First Season” is presented in 1080p High Definition (4:3 HD Native).    It’s important to note that this series is old.  This was not made during a time where anime was created in HD, nor was it created during a time when anime was created digitally.  This series is literally old school and previously to watching this series on Blu-ray, I pulled out my old VHS copy that I recorded from Japanese TV to see how it looked and then to see how it looks on Blu-ray.

And I was floored!

For one, I was expecting not the best considering that this anime series started airing back in 1992 and knowing how “Dragon Ball” and “Dragon Ball Z” looked, I was expecting dust, scratches and even faded colors.  Also, its a TV series, not a film or OVA, so for one, I was not expecting it to look anything like a modern anime series and two, I was not expecting it to see considerable damage.

Well, “Yu Yu Hakusho” had none of that.  The colors were vibrant, there was no massive dust or scratches on the print, if anything, this series looked absolutely awesome on Blu-ray, not bad for a 20-year-old anime series!

Granted, hardcore Blu-ray fans should not expect anything close to modern anime HD series but for those who grew up watching anime a long time ago, especially who have a familiarity with “Yu Yu Hakusho” will be happy to see how awesome this anime series looks on Blu-ray and even be excited to know the unlimited possibilities of hopefully seeing more classic titles on Blu-ray.  If old school anime looks this good on Blu-ray, I can’t wait what’s coming next!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete First Season” is presented in Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD Japanese 2.0.   While, the English lossless soundtrack features more ambient and more punch when it comes to the action sequences and the music soundtrack, the Japanese stereo lossless soundtrack is quite clear and may not have the same punch, but if you have a modern receiver that is capable of playing stereo on all channels, for me, that was my preference.

But I also watched the series with the English dub soundtrack and similar to “Dragon Ball Z” and other anime series, I felt that FUNimation Entertainment did a fine job with casting for this series!   From capturing Yusuke’s bad boy attitude, Kurama’s calm and collected attitude but also Kazuma’s dorkiness, it was well-acted and another TV anime series with very good English dubbing.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files – The Complete First Season” comes with the following special features:

  • Textless Opening and Ending Themes
  • Trailers - Funimation Entertainment Trailers

EXTRAS:

“Yu Yu Hakushi: Ghost Files – The Complete First Season” comes with a slip cover case.

I couldn’t stop smiling when I first received “Yu Yu Hakusho” and played it on Blu-ray.  And that is because of three reasons.

One, is the fact that that “Yu Yu Hakusho”, a series that I watched when it first aired in Japan is finally being released in the US ala HD, the second is because the picture quality of this classic anime series was much better than I expected and this leads to third, classic anime series on Blu-ray in the US!

Why is that a big deal for me?  It’s because the potential of seeing classic anime series such as “Sailor Moon” (all versions), “Dragon Ball”, “Urusei Yatsura”, “Rurouni Kenshin”, “Gatchaman”, “Irresponsible Captain Tailor”, “Patlabor”, any classic anime series that was once released in the US, you name it… series from the ’70s up to the ’90s, if these were to be released on Blu-ray and look as good as “Yu Yu Hakusho” does…  this would be the ultimate for old school anime fans.

Granted, it makes it a lot easier for FUNimation Entertainment to release this series on Blu-ray since they had dubbed it and they have aired on Cartoon Network at one time.  But “Yu Yu Hakusho” was for me, what an anime series like “Bleach” is for anime fans today.

Cool characters, protagonist who tend to often get in trouble in school, taking things on in the spirit world and along the way, meeting more characters and just being an all-out enjoyable anime series.  I can easily remember how popular this series was, even remembering going to an anime con back in 1995 and going against some of the anime industry leaders of today (back then, they were just regular otaku) in a video fighting game battle of “Yu Yu Hakusho” ala 3DO in a hotel room.

Back in the early ’90s, “Yu Yu Hakusho” was seen as cool.  Teenagers taking on  evil demons…and it is an interesting juxtaposition if compared to “Bleach”.  While not having as many characters as “Bleach”, the series still managed to be fun and entertaining as it focused on character development, battles and also supernatural topics.

I personally love the fact that FUNimation Entertainment has released this series and while newer anime fans who can’t stand old school anime, especially during the years of hand-drawn anime on cels vs. computerized digital animation, I can only hope that they give this anime series a try.  It’s one heck of a classic that manages to stand the test of time quite well and from when I first watched in my late teens, it’s still was fun to watch in my late ’30s and having watched countless anime series since then.

While the Blu-ray release may not contain any special features, you are getting 28-episodes on three Blu-ray discs for a pretty solid price.  Compare that when this series was released on DVD for the first time in the US and how expensive it was.

“Yu Yu Hakusho” is a character driven series that is easy to follow and if you stick with it on a long run, you’ll find this series to be quite entertaining and fun!  There is a reason why this series and its characters were voted on top of many anime polls in Japan and in other countries, it’s that good!

I can only hope this is the beginning for more classic anime on Blu-ray and I can’t wait for more “Yu Yu Hakusho” to be released on Blu-ray!

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