Yu Yu Hakusho TV Poster Image

Yu Yu Hakusho

More violence, sexy stuff, and language in unedited version.

What parents need to know

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

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.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Premiere date:February 23, 2002
Cast:Christopher Sabat, Chuck Huber, Justin Cook
Network:Cartoon Network
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Misfits and underdogs
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD

This review of Yu Yu Hakusho was written by

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Adult Written byAllie Pierson March 11, 2013

One of my favorite animes.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byNarutoRocks13 December 20, 2012

Just Amazing!

This is my favorite tv show of all time! Enough said!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
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 other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing