Yu Yu Hakusho

TV review by
Rachael Ward, Common Sense Media
Yu Yu Hakusho TV Poster Image
More violence, sexy stuff, and language in unedited version.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The concept of death is portrayed as the next step in life and not something to be feared. Also people who behave poorly might not be as bad as they seem. True strength can only be achieved through hard work and perseverance.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although the main protagonist Yusuke Yurameshi displays mostly bad behavior in the beginning, he cares deeply for his friends and family and is willing to put is life on the line to protect them. Another main character, Kurama, is very kind, intelligent, and determined to protect humanity despite being a demon. Boton is smart, funny, and a productive member of the group.


There is a lot of supernatural animated violence, which can get pretty graphic. The main characters confront enemies by punching, stabbing, supernatural attacks (which can lead to disintegration), decapitations, amputation, and explosions. There is also a fair amount of animated gore during fights.


Lots of romantic tension between Yusuke and his love interest Keiko, which leads to a few kissing scenes. In the beginning, Yusuke teases Keiko about her breast size and even looks up her skirt to tease her. Another character, Kuwabara, develops a crush on another member of the supporting cast, Yukina, but it never gets beyond hand holding. 


There is a fair amount of language in both the Japanese and English dub. Unedited versions include: "bitch", "crap", "damn", "hell", "s--t", and "ass."


There is a moderate amount of merchandise available for this series including DVDs, posters, and action figures.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some of the adult characters are shown both drinking and smoking quite a bit. Yusuke's mother, Atsuko, drinks entire bottles of alcohol, goes out to bars, and gets drunk. Kuwabara's sister is almost always shown with a lit cigarette in her mouth. These behaviors are never portrayed in a positive light, but are integral parts of their characters or are used for comedy.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Yu Yu Hakusho is a high quality anime that is available in milder edited formats and edgier, original formats. The unedited versions include more intense violence, more sexual humor, and stronger language. The edited versions are likely appropriate for kids 8 and older, while the unedited versions are more appropriate for teens. In either case, violence is ever-present and can occasionally be brutal and include blood or gore. A few adults drink and/or smoke frequently, with one parent seeming to abuse alcohol.

Wondering if Yu Yu Hakusho is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAllie Pierson March 11, 2013
Adult Written byZsolti-kun August 25, 2019
This is a light horror anime and this is making for young adults.
Teen, 15 years old Written bywizardortitan April 4, 2017

Unedited version not as bad as it seems

While CSM's 16+ rating is based off the unedited version, I think that is a substantial over-rating for a PG show. There is moderate fantasy violence and m... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old November 15, 2013

Great Show but too much language.

There is another inappropriate sexual part in Season 1.
There is a lot of language but is a really good show.

What's the story?

After risking his life to save a child, the delinquent Yusuke Yurameshi becomes entangled in a world of ghosts and demons and is hired by the ruler of the afterlife to become the new Spirit Detective, a human with the ability to bring demons to justice. This new job gets him involved in numerous cases that blur the line between good and evil with demons hurting humans and vice versa. Making new friends and enemies, Yusuke must make a name for himself in order to protect the human world from all that can threaten it.

Is it any good?

Although YU YU HAKUSHO is an action-packed anime, much like Dragon Ball Z, it rises above the latter with good storytelling, characters, and a strong moral thread. Yusuke is not your typical do-gooder hero, but deep down he has the qualities that make the audience root for him. Yu Yu Hakusho focuses on moral grey areas and how people may not always be who they seem to be. For example, a loud-mouth trouble maker can be a hero or a polite gentleman can be cruel. Despite the supernatural elements, Yu Yu Hakusho feels more realistic than some other anime series, and as a result is more entertaining.

A potential drawback for a lot of people will be the violence. More than a few fights in the series show plenty of animated blood and gore. Despite the frequent fighting, the series also slows down regularly to expand its characterization and offer some humor. While not for everyone, Yu Yu Hakusho is one of the best action anime available and is well worth a look.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in the series. Does the animated format make the violence feel less intense? What would the same violence be like if it was live-action? How do the supernatural elements add or take away from the realism?

  • How does this anime compare to other Shonen (anime targeted to boys) anime like Dragon Ball Z or Full Metal Alchemist? What makes the series stand out from the others?

TV details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love Anime

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate