Heartwarming, Addictive, Classic...
Yu Yu Hakusho remains one of the most cherished animes I have watched in my entire life. From beginning to end, I always find it hard to stop watching Yu Yu Hakusho, from the intense battles to the great character development. There are 112 episodes and I have managed to actually watch this series 3 entire times and I own all 4 seasons on DVD. This is one of my favorite shows and I hope this review can convince you to watch Yu Yu Hakusho if you haven't already.
I'm going to review the story not as a whole, but instead by giving my impression of each season.
First Season: The transformation of the main character, Yusuke Urameshi, from an immature delinquent into adulthood, begins with his death and rebirth into Spirit detective. From there, Yusuke meets the demons/apparitions Hiei and Kurama (who is a demon fox trapped in a human's body). Along with Yusuke's delinquent friend, Kuwabara, the four create an impenetrable bond of friendship throughout the series as they grow up, while facing many hardships. With a unique beginning, the first season of Yu Yu Hakusho extremely memorable and sets the right tone for the rest of the series, even though it is much more campy and light compared to the rest of the show. It's very hard to find a way to draw in people to watch a series that will take hours out of their days, but Yu Yu Hakusho succeeds in this aspect.
Second Season: Yusuke Urameshi and his friends face off against other teams of demons throughout the Dark Tournament. This is where the series becomes more grim and serious, despite abundant amount of humor, which Yu Yu Hakusho does a perfect job at balances the two. The ending to the tournament is epic, with the unforgettable battle Yusuke wages against Togoro's seemingly invincible team.
Third Season: After the Dark Tournament, it seems that Yusuke's group has defeated the strongest enemy imaginable, until a man named Shinobu Sensui and his band of psychics pose an eminent threat to the entire human race. The season ends in what I feel to be the greatest and most epic fight scene in the entire series, and one of the best I have seen in any anime.
Fourth Season: Yusuke, Hiei, and Kuroma return to demon world, where they each take an opposing sides of each demon king. This season introduces many new characters in such a short amount of time, yet each one is well done and developed, especially the three demon kings. Every good show has to end, and Yu Yu Hakusho has a perfect ending to a great series.
The art in Yu Yu Hakusho is obviously dated compared to today's standards since its broadcast was in 1992. Yet there is a certain charm to the artwork.
The opening theme is classic, as well as all the ending theme songs. Like any other good television show or movie, the soundtracks set the right mood for the entire series. From establishing sense of tension in battle to desperation in a final move to win a battle to the more relaxed time during this experience, Yu Yu Hakusho nails in the music department. The voices as well as the dialogue is spot on, especially in the English dubs. Sorry that I haven't watched the Japanese version yet, but I might later on.
From the main character to the villains, and even the side characters, all are given great emotion and purpose to the show. All are well developed and grow throughout the series, even the villains and most of the side characters!
Yusuke Urameshi starts out a tough guy delinquent who is still trying to find purpose in life, that is until he becomes a spirit detective. All I have to say is that Yusuke is one of the best main characters in an anime show and is completely unforgettable. At first Yusuke's chiseled friend Kuwabara seems to be there for only comedic purposes, which he excels at. Kuwabara, though, is a character with a lot of heart. Hiei, the proud and ruthless antihero of the show, is in a lot of ways like Vegita from Dragonball Z. Last, but not least is Kurama, the calculating bishounen pretty boy. All four characters have great chemistry together and make an unforgettable team.
I can't say how much I recommend this anime series because it transcends the enjoyment of the average anime show into something else. It was truly an unforgettable experience!!!