Yusuke Urameshi In Netflix’s ‘Yu Yu Hakusho,’ Explained: Will Yusuke End Up Like Toguro?

I was told that Netflix had a tendency, or habit if you’d call it that, to ruin live-action anime adaptations, as seen with Death Note, Bleach, and others. However, after seeing One Piece, I thought that time had passed, and to be honest, this was the only reason I picked up Yu Yu Hakusho, but with a pinch of salt. The live-action adaptation of the highly successful manga didn’t disappoint. The series chronicles the story of one Yusuke Uremeshi (Takumi Kitamura), a high school student who, for his blunt attitude, always ends up in brawls, which he always won, by the way. Yusuke was the type of person who’d not even explain his stance, even if he was right. Why? He thinks it’s too much work. In one instance, he was mistaken for a bully stealing money from a student, but Yusuke didn’t even defend himself and just accepted the blame and walked away.

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Spoilers Ahead


Why Did Yusuke Change His Mind To Become A Spirit Detective?

Despite being a hotspur and ill-tempered, Yusuke had a caring nature and jumped in front of a speeding bus to save a little boy. The boy survived, but this stunt cost Yusuke his life. Since no one had anticipated that a hoodlum like him would save anyone’s life, he was taken to the spirit world by Botan, a soul who could exist in both the human world and the spirit world. Since Yusuke was a selfless man, he was told by Koenma that he would be resurrected if he accepted the title of Spirit Detective. The job description involved solving cases of Yokai (demons) who had entered the human world. However, Yusuke had no intention of getting resurrected again and thus refused the offer. He further stated that it would be better if he remained dead.

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However, he had to rethink his decision when he visited his funeral. All his life, Yusuke thought that he was worthless and a burden to everyone, but there were still people who cared for him and would happily give up their lives to have a last meeting with him. Yusuke saw his mother and friend, Keiko (Sei Shiraishi), shedding tears for him, something he believed he would never see again. Even Yusuke’s arch-nemesis was there, begging for him to come back so they could have a rematch. Yusuke agreed to Koenma’s deal and saved Kirino, a schoolboy possessed by a roundworm Yokai. However, this was one of Yusuke’s many exploits as a spirit detective. Later, he went on to defeat Goki and retrieve the three stolen Yokai objects.


Why Did Yusuke Help Kurama And Hiei?

Even though Yusuke hated putting it in words, or more likely accepting it, he was actually a kind-hearted man who would sacrifice his own life to save others. Yusuke was almost beaten to death by Goki, the giant red Yokai who loves eating children’s souls. However, Yusuke didn’t give up, mastered the spirit gun on the spot, and defeated Goki. In episode 2 of Yu Yu Hakusho, Yusuke squandered half his life in the mirror of darkness when he learned about Kurama’s (Jun Shison’s) plan to sacrifice himself to save his mother. If you missed it, Kurama’s mother was gravely ill, and the former was planning to make a deal with one of the three Yokai objects to save her life at the expense of his. Yusuke saw beyond Kurama’s Yokai existence and recognized the kindness in him. Thus, he willingly gave up half of his life to save the dying woman’s life.

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Yusuke managed to retrieve two of Yokai’s objects but lost them to Hiei (Kanata Hongô), the bearer of the conjuring blade. Yusuke’s defeat proved that he still had a lot to learn, and he was sent to a skilled mentor named Genkai for training. After mastering his spirit abilities, Genkai trusted him with a Spirit Wave Orb. Yusuke realized that, unlike Goki, the other two Yokai thieves had genuine reasons. Kurama wanted to save his mother using the mirror of darkness, while Hiei used the conjuring blade to open the Jagan Eye to find his sister, who was held captive by Sakyo. If you didn’t know, Hiei’s sister was a Yokai named Yukina, who sheds “Tears of Ice” for tears. Together, they managed to defeat the strongest Yokai, Younger Toguro. But make no mistake, this in no way marked the end of their friendship, as there are still many evil demons living in the human world. Thus, Koenma and Yusuke would need some extra hands on deck to fight against the Yokai.


Why Did Yusuke Fight Sakyo’s Yokai?

Yusuke and the team played into the hands of the Toguro siblings and arrived on the island to save Yukina and Keiko. In reality, they were called so they could fight Sakyo’s Yokai in the competition. If you’d watched the anime or turned the pages of the manga, you’d know that Sakyo often organized a Yokai-duel to please his rich and powerful clients. Sakyo forced all members of Yusuke’s squad to fight with his best demons, including Bui, Karasu, and the Toguro siblings. Yusuke was forced to face off with the strongest of them all, Younger Toguro. Sakyo promised Yusuke to return Keiko if he defeated his best Yokai in a duel. However, it wasn’t only Keiko’s life on the line; the fate of the world rested on this match. If he had failed, Koenma would have been forced to lift his protective barrier, inviting dangerous demons to enter the human world.

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As expected of Toguro, he beat Yusuke to the extent that he couldn’t even move. Toguro even transformed into his final form. However, when Yusuke learned about Genkai’s death, it motivated him, and he used the power she had entrusted him with. This was the same power Toguro wanted to inherit from Genkai, and when he learned that she had given it to someone else, he killed her. For decades, Toguro had looked for a competent rival, and he finally found one in Yusuke. Thus, he forced Yusuke to fight him with his full strength by almost beating his friends to death. Yusuke didn’t disappoint him and tapped into his suppressed powers, turning Toguro into dust.


Will Yusuke Uremeshi Suffer The Same Fate As Toguro?

Toward the end of the final episode, Toguro, before turning into dust, thanked Yusuke for giving him a challenging fight. However, as his life slipped away, he stated that one day Toguro would suffer the same fate as him. We have multiple theories on why Toguro said this. First things first, it was common knowledge that Toguro sacrificed his soul so he could turn into a Yokai and take revenge for his student’s death. After his revenge was completed, Toguro started searching for a fighter, human or Yokai, who could defeat him. This was why he asked Sakyo to open the portal and send him to the demon world, because there was no one in the mortal world who could stand up to him. So, it was possible that Toguro was stating that one day, Yusuke would also achieve such power that he would have trouble finding a worthy opponent.

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There was also a possibility that Toguro was trying to say that sometime in the future, Yusuke, too, would throw his humanity aside in order to become the strongest, just like him. As we all know, Toguro was a human who willingly turned himself into a Yokai when he couldn’t save his students. This inability fueled his resolve to become the strongest. So, it’s possible that Yusuke would lose someone close to him in his journey as a spirit detective and, like Toguro, would squander everything Genkai taught him to become stronger.


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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