A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
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?
Themes & Topics
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