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When an old team-mate traps you into a tournament after fifty years you don't take it lightly.
~ Genkai

Genkai is a character from Yoshihiro Togashi's manga and anime Yu Yu Hakusho. Genkai is an old chi-master who, main protagonist, Yusuke Urameshi, is sent to train under to master the infamous "Spirit Wave" technique. Despite her short stature and seemingly frail frame, Genkai is one of, if not the strongest, full blooded human in the series and is celebrated as being the scourge of demon kind. Genkai has not only mastered spirit energy far more than Yusuke but is also even more belligerent, snarky and pugilistic than Yusuke himself.

Genkai Tournament

Genkai is first met during the Genkai Tourment arc. Yusuke is sent by Koenma, prince of spirit world, to train with Master Genkai, who had recently announced she was willing to take on students. Botan, a shinigami acting as Yusuke's personal contact to spirit-world, informs him of Koenma's wishes to train under Genkai. When Yusuke is reluctant to go, Botan explains to him that Genkai knows a one of a kind technique called "The Spirit Wave". Botan tells Yusuke that a demon named Rando has been posing as a student of many great martial arts and chi, masters for years and that with Genkai finally taking on a student to learn her technique it is almost certain that Rando will show up to claim Genkai's technique for himself and then murder her as he has done to all his previous trainers. Though Yusuke is intrigued by the new ability to accentuate his spirit-gun ability he still passes, claiming he does not want to spend his spring break in a cabin in the woods playing bodyguard for some guru. Botan, finally does persuade Yusuke to take the case by offering him tickets to Tokyo dome.

When Yusuke finally arrives he sees hundreds of other people there to earn the spot, among them is Yusuke's school-mate/wannabe rival, Kazuma Kuwabara. Unlike the other Kuwabara is at the retreat because he heard Genkai could manipulate spirit energy and had come to ask her to seal his abilities as a psychic since they always seemed to make him a magnet for ghosts. Genkai shows up and reveals herself to in-fact be an extremely old woman with dwarfism. Genkai states that there will be several tests to undertake to widdle down the masses as she only intends to take on one pupil. She then announces the first test, the drawing of lots. She states that those with red lots may move on to the next test and the rest can kindly get lost. Everyone indulges the old woman, though the utter lack of skill involved makes everyone including Yusuke believe she has gone senile. In truth Genkai had treated the paper with a spirit technique that would turn the papers red for everyone who's spiritual energy was of a decent strength, thus eliminating the competition while sparring their feels by making them all think it was mere chance. Yusuke and Kuwabara are both disappointed to find out they each picked a red lot. Two of the rejected students consider it a travesty that they are being thrown out and attack Genkai in a rage. Genkai instantly knocks both men out without even moving. Though everyone is amazed at the power she possesses Genkai grimly states that in the old days they would have gone flying over three times the distance she had sent them and that it is no fun getting old. As of this point Yusuke is the completely won over to the notion that The Spirit-Wave is worth knowing. Yusuke turns on his demon detector to try to find Rando but the device is quickly overloaded before it can pin-point him, thus confirming not only that Rando was there but had passed the initial test.

Genkai's next test is for the pupils to play in her arcade. As with the lots Genkai states had rigged three of the machines to measure spiritual energy, her janken games measured precognitive ability, her punching game measured spiritual potency and her karaoke machine measured the spirit's ability to adapt. Genkai says that if they can not get a high score in 2/3 that they will be disqualified. Genkai also states that while they are to compete on the three games they are to leave the rest of the arcade alone as those are normal arcade games and her personal entertainment system. Yusuke and Kuwabara both pass 2/3 each with Yusuke getting high scores in strength and adapting but failing at precognition, Kuwabara passed strength and had the highest score for precognition but failed the adaption game.

Finally with most of the pupils eliminated, Genkai puts them all against a more serious test of survival. One of the forests on Genkai's land is infested with demons, she had sealed the forest and allows the demons to remain inside it as a means of training, She states that on the other side of the forest is a large tree in a clearing on a hill, they are to get there in less than two hours to pass the test. Genkai tells them to begin and then speeds ahead to the tree herself. All the pupils take different routes to get to the tree however Yusuke doesn't see why they are all splitting up and just cuts straight through to get to the tree. In the center he finds an enormous bat demon named Baldok. Kuwabara is the first to get out but is followed shortly by two more pupils. At the end of two hours a hand-full of pupils had passed. Yusuke arrived about a minute after Genkai had declared the contest over. Yusuke frets saying how it was a mistake to take the center route. Intrigued Genkai states that taking the main route would have lead him into a bats nest and a demon called Baldok, Yusuke states that beating him senseless was what took up most of the time for him. Genkai had not excepted anyone to fight Baldok, he was supposed to be a deterrent to keep them from taking the quickest route. In-light of Yusuke's skill to fight survive and even defeat Baldok and only be late by about a minute, she decides to make an exception and tells Yusuke's he is still in the contest.

The next fight has all eight remaining fighters taking on each-other in one on one fights. One of the contestants asks if they may kill each-other. Genkai states that it will be acceptable. The contestant double checks and says that he is a professional assassin, he does his best work when going for the kills and wants to makes sure their isn't some sort of ethical disqualification, Genkai assures him that she does not care about the ethics of the winners and simply wishes her technique to be in the hands of the most capable one among them. Botan arrives to check in on Yusuke and observe the fight, seeing Botan, Genkai realizes that Yusuke is acting on behalf of spirit-world. The battle is down in the darkness and part of the fight is to see if they can handle themselves when sight is not on their side. Yusuke has low precognition so the fight is particularly tough for him but he manages to just barely complete it.

With just four remaining fighters Genkai takes them out-back to a part of her land that is surrounded by swamp. the swamp had been the site of an ancient battle and malice of the fallen had soaked the land and made it feel cursed. Genkai tells them that the spiritual taint of the land would actually restore the energies of the truly gifted and allow them to fight at their best. Yusuke though previously exhausted finds he is completely recharged and fights the ninja, Kazamaru. Yusuke is able to just barely beat him thanks to a fit of pure dumb-luck that had Yusuke wall into a swamp-hole while evading Karzamaru's homing shurikans which promly go after Kazamaru as the strongest spiritual user in the area once Yusuke is out of the line of fire. Though Yusuke was trying to kill them both and was only saved because he didn't see the marsh-hole Genkai states it still counts for her purposes and tells him he passes. Since Kazamaru did not transform into a demon for his fight and Yusuke knows Kuwabara is human, he becomes certain the reamining fighter Shorin is Rando in disguise.

In the last match "Shorin" fights Kuwabara. Kuwabara isbeaten soundly when Rando shrinks him down and then crushes him. Botan and Genkai start tending to the near-dead Kuwabara during the fight. In the fight Yusuke beats "Shorin" by counter his tecniques but to make a comeback Rando sheds his "Shorin" disguise and fights in his demon form at full power. Even when Rando is revealed Genkai refuses to disqualify him. Botan makes sure she knows that Rando, in addition to murdering one-hundred chi-masters before he arrived, intended to kill her once he learned The Spirit-Wave. Genkai makes it clear that she doesn't care. Genkai states that she is old and will die soon anyway, she needs someone to succeed her if only to keep the techniques she worked so hard to develop alive after she is dead. Yusuke is pulls together in his toughest fight so far and appears to be on-par with Rando even at his best. Rando not wishing to deal with the fight uses his shrinking technique again but this time the ability shrinks Rando instead. Genkai calls Rando an idiot for not understanding his own techniques, the shrinking technique only works if someone hears the chant that activates it. Yusuke had fallen and gotten some swamp scum in his ears and couldn't hear it so the technique turned back on the only other person close enough to be affected, Rando himself. Yusuke, with the last of his strength, finishes the fight by rolling over on Rando and defeating him.

Yusuke awakens to find he is the winner. Botan takes Rando into custody and goes to tell Koenma about the news. Kuwabara had made a recovery too and so Yusuke was all too happy to be finished so he could go to Tokyo Dome. However Genkai stops him. Genkai makes it clear that while Botan and Koenma were concerned about the demon and Yusuke was mostly just in the tournament for the tickets Genkai still needed an heir and like it or not Yusuke would be that heir, She makes Yusuke stay with her to learn the technique. Over the course of six months of agonizing training Yusuke is beaten to within an inch of his life several times as Genkai preps him for the technique. By the end Yusuke has not actually learned the technique, Genkai views it mostly as prep-work and that Yusuke is to return later once he is ready for the final stages. Yusuke is in no hurry to return but has be granted a phenomenal spiritual boost from his training with the cruel sensei.

Skills & Abilities

Genkai's power
Years of training have put Genkai in peak physical condition despite her old age. Genkai has near super-human speed, strength and constitution able to keep-up with A-Class demons one on one, but only with her powers at their peak, robbed of her Spirit-Wave, Genkai can still hold her own against B-Class demons though. Genkai's physical traits go through the roof once she uses her Spirit-Wave and as part of using it, her body is restored to it's physical peak, making her appear to be a young-woman while the Spirit Wave is active, by pumping Chi through her body. Despite the variety of demons Genkai's powers attracted to challenge her, virtually nothing surpassed Genkai at her full power, however due to old age and later giving up her Spirit-Orb to Yusuke, Genkai becomes progressively less powerful while the series villains started becoming stronger and stronger. Despite all her impressive physical feats such as speed, strength and chi, Genkai's mental attributes are actually even more potent. Genkai has a very high intellect and is constantly employing it to try to out-wit her foes rather than wasting her precious and ultimately limited fighting power. Even higher than her intellect is her wisdom; Genkai can sum-up, out-plan and out-strategize every single foe she has come up against to the point where the only way to beat her is to overwhelm her with shear power. Genkai played video-games all day in her old age to have fun without exhausting herself physically, though a simple hobby, this has actually been shown to be an expertly honed set of skills, her favorite games are fighter-pilot and fighting games. Any fight less than an complete overwhelming of power is almost certain to go Genkai's way.

Spirit-Gun- Like Yusuke, Genkai can project chi in small direct bursts of energy expelled from her finger-tips. Unlike Yusuke, Genkai's Spirit-Gun is near limitless if she is given the chance re-cope her powers in-between fights, otherwise she is limited to ten shots a battle, which is still twice that of Yusuke.

Spirit-Shotgun- The Spirit-Shotgun, functions similar to the Spirit-Gun, but works in a much larger and stronger burst. There are two drawbacks to using the Spirit-Shotgun over that of the Spirit-Gun, the first is that it only has a close to medium range, which makes it more impractical for quick or distant foes, the second is one takes up about as much energy as five back to back Spirit-Gun shots.

Spirit Wave- Genkai's Spirit-Wave is her signature technique, one she developed herself and is famed for. The ability allows her to focus all her spirit energy at once; Doing so has a number of affects, it repairs any wounds, restores her or anyone else to their physical peak - (In her case making her appear young again) and can expel a massive blast of concentrated spirit energy strong enough to destroy whole mountains. In her old age the technique can only break apart mountains, Genkai claims in her youth the mountain would have been completely atomized and it "is no fun getting old".

Spirit Wave Orb- Genkai's Spirit Wave Orb allows her to manifest the bulk of her powers as an orb of pure energy. Giving the orb to someone will permanently incorporate her powers into the new host, Once gone the energy given up by Genkai will not regenerate and she permanently loses it. Because of Genkai's increasing old age her collective Spirit Energy slowly gets weaker and weaker, so at the beginning of the manga/anime, Genkai's primary goal is to find an apprentice as soon as possible to inherit the spirit wave orb to preserve her hard earned powers before they entropy. Genkai needs to be careful who to give the Spirit Wave Orb to, because the energy of her life-force has a very good chance of killing it's host, this means Genkai needs to spend a-lot of time just making sure her apprentice is capable of surviving her inheritance, hence Genkai's vested interest in Yusuke.

Spirit Reflecetion Blast- Even without Genkai's Spirit-Wave Orb she is capable of a powerful ability called the Spirit Reflection Blast. The ability absorbs spirit energy, refreshing Genkai's spent energy and actually healing her. This means any ability that uses chi, as opposed to physical-attacks and martial-weapons, will not only be unable to harm her but will actually make her stronger. Unlike her other powers, the Spirit Reflection Blast uses practically none of her chi reserves and can be used at virtually any time.

Mind-Body Restoration- Genkai is able to manipulate the connection between a target's mind and body with her Mind-Body Restoration technique. The power allows her to break hypnotic and parasitic holds over others, freeing those enslaved to the wills of others.

Regeneration- Genkai can use her own Spirit Energy to repair her wounds, Though not a major drag on her spirit energy, it is difficult for her to use the ability in battle as it requires some minor concentration, however it does mean that Genkai is capable of stabilizing and or repairing wounds in-between battles, provided she has not tapped all her remaining spirit energy.

Personality

Genkai don't give a sh t
Like Yusuke and Hiei, Genkai is very down to earth and ill tempered most of the time. Unlike Yusuke and Hiei, Genkai also enjoys a streak of sadistic humor, She will psyche out Yusuke even at the cost of risking her own life, if for no other reason than to mess with her apprentice. As the oldest human character in the manga/anime, Genkai has life experience on her side, she has had time to mature socially and as a fighter. She takes a very Darwinian outlook on training, where risking one's life is not only acceptable, but the best way to increase one's skills; As such she puts Yusuke's life in danger almost constantly through-out his training, holding back only in circumstances where his death would be 100% guaranteed with no chance for him to better himself. Genkai has stated she kills demons constantly, not because she dislikes them or finds them to be mostly evil, but rather because demons are by their nature hostile and prideful and as such most go looking to pick-a-fight with her, to make a name for themselves. The reason Genkai either hides her identity or squirrels herself away as a hermit, is almost entirely so she doesn't need to bother with the throngs of demons that would throw themselves at her just to make a name for themselves. Genkai prepares herself for the worst scenario possible before entering any situation, combat or otherwise and as such she is practically never caught off-guard and appears entirely jaded to any and all situations.

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