Sakyo In Netflix’s ‘Yu Yu Hakusho,’ Explained: Is Sakyo Alive or Dead?

Netflix’s latest gift to its loyal binge-watchers was the live-action adaptation of Yu Yu Hakusho, which followed the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a human who was resurrected as a spirit detective to stop evil Yokai from devastating the human world. The anime had no shortage of villains, with the likes of Elder and Younger Toguro, Goki, Bui, and many more. But none of them were more sinister and conniving than Sakyo. Unlike the other villains, Sakyo was a human, but with a sinister motive that posed a tremendous threat to the human world. Sakyo wanted to open a portal and see the end of humanity. If you still haven’t streamed Yu Yu Hakusho, do it now.


Spoilers Ahead

What Did Sakyo Want From The Sinkhole?

Yu Yu Hakusho introduced Sakyo as a man in his mid-thirties sporting a black suit and long hair. He was a casino owner and had been running the place for a single reason: to meet and earn favors from filthy rich people who were just waiting to gamble their money. This was where he met Tarukane, a rich mob boss, whom he helped recover the money he’d lost on the roulette table. Sakyo even sold Yukina’s precious tears to Tarukane, realizing his penchant for shiny things. Tarukane was also the same man who had arranged for Sakyo to buy the massive sinkhole that had emerged in the middle of Sarayashiki city. For the public eye, Sakyo had maintained that he had bought the sinkhole to turn it into the pride of Sarayashiki city. But this was just a facade, as his real intention was to use it for his dangerous experiments. Sakyo had hired an armada of scientists and was making them work towards his dream. Sakyo wanted to use the sinkhole as a base and use it to open a portal so Yokai could cross into his world.


This was the same sinkhole through which a Yokai named Roundworm Monster entered the human world and caused Yusuke’s death. If you didn’t know, long ago, both worlds—demon and human—were connected. Humans who entered the demon world were attacked by Yokai while they crept into the human world to target humans. To cease this clash of worlds, the Spirit World was created, which separated the demon world from the human world. Spirit World was the same blue world where Botan and Koenma lived. Botan was a spirit guide, while Koenma was vested with the power to divide the souls between heaven and hell. Once the portal was opened, Sakyo just wanted to experience the chaos and destruction. Sakyo was successful in opening the portal, but it wasn’t wide or strong enough for all the Yokai to enter.

Why Did Sakyo Organize Yokai Fights?

Mob bosses and criminals sure know how to rake in cash, but they’re also way too quick to gamble it away. They’re even willing to shell out enormous amounts for their entertainment. Sakyo knew about this and thus capitalized on it. He lured Tarukane and other rich mob bosses to his underground base so they could bet on fights. But, make no mistake, these weren’t any ordinary fights where a human went against another human. In reality, Sakyo was organizing fights between monsters that had entered the human world against his personal Yokai, like Bui, Toguro, and others. Most of these fights were fixed to make sure Sakyo’s clients lost and so he could squeeze more money out of them.


Since Tarukane and others weren’t as knowledgeable about Yokai, they often bet on the monsters who’d appear more dangerous and scary. Sakyo, on the other hand, bet on his fighters, whom he had gathered over the years. Sakyo later funneled everything his clients had lost into his experiment with making the portal bigger. In addition, the final fight between Toguro and Yusuke was fixed, and the former was supposed to lose. But Toguro broke the deal when he found out that Yusuke was capable of challenging him. Sakyo’s aim was also supported by his best fighter, Older Toguro, who just wanted to fight someone worthy of a challenge. And when he didn’t get the chance to do so, he was just waiting for the portal to open so he could cross into the demon world.

Is Sakyo Dead Or Alive?

Sakyo died after he lost the bet with Koenma. As established earlier, Sakyo had only one goal, and to accomplish it, he was willing to do anything, be it killing innocents or kidnapping Yokai (we’re referring to Yukina here). Towards the end of the film, Sakyo manages to open the portal wide enough for the evil Yokai to invade the human world. Koenma managed to put a protective shield on it, but it wasn’t strong enough. Sakyo read the room when Koenma appeared beside him and agreed to close the portal if Yusuke was able to defeat Koguro. So, at that time, not only was Yusuke fighting to save his friends and loved ones, but the whole world.


As we all know, Sakyo was a gambler who would never make a dangerous bet if he wasn’t sure he was going to win. Sakyo figured it wouldn’t be too tough for Toguro to kill Yusuke, given he had already beaten and killed his master, Genkai. Sakyo underestimated Yusuke’s spirit and power and eventually lost the bet. Since Koenma won the bet, Sakyo had to honor his end of the deal and had to close the portal. At the moment, Yusuke’s win made Sakyo feel like he’d lost his purpose. Thus, he opened his desk drawer, pulled out his pistol, and killed himself. Sakyo’s failure to understand Toguro’s true nature cost him his dream. In his final moments, he wished he could’ve been able to see the tunnel bridging words, bringing hell to humanity. Since Koenma was the one responsible for sending souls to heaven or hell, he would’ve most likely sent Sakyo to hell.

Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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