Yu Yu Hakusho is
one of the best anime series
ever made. It is easily one of the
greatest action anime series (one that may even surpass Dragon Ball
for some audiences), and this translates into a firm status as one of
beloved anime classics from the 1990's. It is a series packed with
action sequences, worthwhile character development for many immensely
characters, a delightfully wacky sense of humor, and an incredible
contributes to the overall success of the show.
focuses on the rebellious student Yusuke Urameshi (a 14 year old
wears a green outfit to school despite the blue uniform being mandatory
-- an early
clue to his unique and mostly harmless rebellion). As an audience, it
immediately clear that Yusuke is someone who doesn't fit in with the
who doesn't want to. Some of the other students he encounters seem to
him as being a cold and distant troublemaker. In some ways, this is
really far from the truth. In the first episode of the series something
happens. Yusuke dies while risking his life to save a young boy who
into a busy street. A selfless sacrifice serves as an entirely
genuinely moving introduction to our lead hero, who will become a
Detective (you know - someone who fights using their spirit
there be a series when the lead character dies at the very beginning? Yu
Hakusho spins a fascinating start to its "Ghost Files" by playing
notion and many early episodes deal with the fact Yusuke is dead and
a way to return to the living. Yusuke meets an unlikely ally in the
reaper, Botan, a blue-haired girl who flies around on an oar and
manages to crack humorous jokes. Botan isn't exactly what one would
expect, and she serves as a great friend to our lead character
throughout the entire
series. The first several episodes mostly serve to establish the
the world of this unique anime.
is another rebellious teenager who often duels it out with Yusuke
death. Without giving away what happens to Yusuke (newcomers will want
discover that on their own) the pair eventually end up working together
down countless demons and baddies during the course of the series and,
they face down many enemies in this run of Season One episodes. In
the introductory arc, there are three more story arcs central to these
(each batch of episodes follows an ongoing storyline of action-packed
between the good characters and their opponents). One particularly
character encountered is Genkai, an elderly female fighter with immense
strength, who trains Yusuke in increasing his own spirit energy - an
aspect to winning the duels featured throughout the anime.
earliest episodes remain as some of the best produced in the entire 112
run. The 28 episodes that comprise Season One are instrumental to
overall saga with strong focus on establishing the series regular
friendship, honor, and the good old fashioned fight of good vs. evil.
Noriyuki Abe does an excellent job in adapting the manga series by
Togashi and manages to make the anime series every bit as excellent (if
better) than the original work. The pacing is uniformly excellent with
dull moment. The storyline is also kept surprisingly grounded and
into too many obstacles at any given moment. The rare blend of
character interactions and strong action sequences make this one of the
greatest sagas in action anime history. It's just getting started!
Season One concludes with the Dark Tournament Saga just beginning.
will have much to look for in later episodes, while long-time devotees
followed the show with those many Cartoon Network Adult Swim
broadcasts) will enjoy the chance to revisit this gem.
Hakusho: Season One is
presented on Blu-ray in Native
High Definition with three 50 GB discs, each containing 8 to 10
AVC 1080p transfers are stunning to behold. The series is presented in
original broadcast ratio of 1:33:1. This set represents the very best
transfers that fans can realistically expect to see for classic anime
Because the show was made in the early 90's there was an opportunity to
to the original film sources and restore the series to the highest
possible. Unlike recent series (where the animation is often done in
animation has had an opportunity to look every bit as pristine and
newly made anime series. While the series animation may look a bit
compared to recent series the quality is immensely high. One of the
joys of Yu Yu Hakusho is undeniably the great
animation that remains consistently well-done from start to finish.
transfers show the occasional specks of dust or minor print damage
moments are few and far between. This is easily the best looking
release in North America for any classic series available on the format
ranks as one of the finest examples, period).
The upgrade from the original DVD releases (or the re-released
sets on DVD) is dramatic. The colors have received a dramatic boost and
appear to be more accurate with this set. Contrast is also much better
overall look is improved with the sheer power of a natural High
image. Detail is remarkably sharper. Fans couldn't ask for a better
the video department and this is one set guaranteed to please even the
demanding of viewers.
artwork on this release indicates that the release is Region A/B
means that overseas fans should be able to import and enjoy the series
Definition as well.
images featured in this review are from the Season One DVD release and
represent the High Definition Season One Blu-ray picture quality.
has received a nice improvement in the audio department over previous
editions. The English stereo mixes from before have been upgraded to
nice 5.1 surround sound that is reasonably improved with a nicer
for the music and sound effects. Presented
with Dolby TrueHD audio, the
remarkably strong English language dub is sure to please. Fans of the
language dub (which does contain some differences in translation) will
to know that the original 2.0 audio had been preserved with Dolby
as well. Either option manages to create a convincing aural experience.
subtitles are included for viewing with the Japanese language track.
the bonus materials featured on this set represent the only area where
release is found to be less fulfilling. The only included extras are
opening and ending credits, which feature the downright catchy and
songs "Smile Bomb" and "The Homework Doesn't End". Funimation
trailers for other releases are
also included on the third Blu-ray disc.
remains one of the most exciting action anime series to ever grace
This was a staple anime series for both Adult
Swim and Toonami (and these
viewings represent how I was introduced to the series myself). The season set DVD's were excellent releases
but Blu-ray capable viewers couldn't ask for a better release from
These transfers match what is found on the expensive Japanese Blu-ray
this series couldn't possibly look better.
It was thrilling to experience the series all over again in
1080p HD. Fans will be thrilled. Despite the lacking extras, the
quality of the PQ/AQ make this Blu-ray set one of the best anime
date and an essential purchases for all series fans. DVD
Talk Collector Series.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.