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Hero Overview
You can't end a good party without someone on the floor
~ Yusuke to Yomi in there final battle.

Yusuke Urameshi (浦飯 幽助, Urameshi Yūsuke) is the main protagonist of the manga & anime series YuYu Hakusho. His closest friends and greatest allies include KuwabaraKuramaHiei and Keiko. Yusuke also makes new friends in Shizuru KuwabaraYukinaChuRinkuToyaJin, Suzuka, and Shishiwakamaru. His superiors include Genkai (his mentor), Koenma and Botan (his boss until the end of the Sensui arc and guide/assistant, respectively), and Enki (the First Demon World leader after winning the first Demon World Tournament). His sparring partner and closest advisor in Demon World is Hokushin.  He is also the de facto leader of Team Urameshi and briefly the king of Raizen's country before he abdicated the throne in favor of the Demon World Tournament.

At the start of the series, Yusuke is a teenage delinquent. He later changes into an almost altruistic defender of the Human World, along with Kuwabara, Kurama, and Hiei. He even revolutionizes the Demon World by preventing a war between Yomi and Mukuro after Raizen's death and overturning the previous system of separate countries in Demon World by founding the Demon World Tournament in which the winner becomes the one ruler of the Demon World; in his speech following the preliminaries, he even suggested that the tournament be held every few years like a presidential election and Enki, the first tournament champion, liked that idea by saying he would be the ruler for only 3 years.

He is voiced by Nozomu Sasaki in the original Japanese and Justin Cook in the English dub (by FUNimation). He is called Eugene in the Filipino adaptation of the anime.  A young Yusuke appears in a flashback during the Dark Tournament Saga, voiced by Aaron Dismuke. He is voiced by Jonathan Charles in the English dub of YuYu Hakusho: The Movie and by Rik Nagel in YuYu Hakusho the Movie: Poltergeist Report.

Appearance

Yusuke has black hair, usually slicked back with gel, with brown eyes. He has a peach to tan skin complexion and has a skinny but lean, muscular body.

He wears a green jumpsuit with yellow buttons and black shoes (a substitute for the blue school uniform he should be wearing). At the Dark Tournament, he wears a red jacket (with yellow tinted cuffs and collar) over a white shirt, along with jeans and white shoes. When actually fighting, he switches to a yellow sleeveless shirt and blue pants, with black shoes, a black karate belt and blue-black wristbands. At the beginning of the Chapter Black Saga, he wears his red jacket look, replacing it with a dark green suit jacket. During the final saga, he returns to the complete red jacket look and when fighting in the tournament, dons a fully white-clad karate uniform, complete with a green sash around the waist and black shoes. He is also seen wearing a complete dark blue suit with grey pants, black shoes and a white undershirt when visiting Kuroko Sanada.

When his demon blood is awakened, he has long black hair (white when possessed by Raizen) that is wild and demonic markings on his face, arms and chest.

Personality

Having a no-show for a father and with his mother always off somewhere else

One of his most notable traits is his desire to fight, which becomes more noticeable as the series progresses. Yusuke has been noted on many occasions to be rather unintelligent, and, at times, just plain stupid. However, as his teacher Genkai later notes, he "can be a genius at fighting". Yusuke's desire to fight is more out of enjoyment of a good brawl, and surprisingly Yusuke doesn't like killing if he can avoid it.(getting drunk or partying), Yusuke has grown up in a very neglectful environment. He's short tempered, impulsive, and likes to intimidate those who are afraid of him. Underneath his bold, cocky attitude, he has a joking, and kind nature.

Even though Yusuke is feared by most students and severely disliked by almost all of the teachers, he is generally misunderstood. Keiko Yukimura, one of his childhood friends (and later love interest), is one of the very few who knows Yusuke is actually very kind, and she sympathizes with his problems in life. Yusuke also becomes very protective of his friends, especially Keiko, Botan, Koenma, KuwabaraKurama and Hiei. Out of all the six mentioned, though, Younger Toguro notes that Yusuke is "the most protective" of Kuwabara, most likely because Yusuke knew him longer than Hiei and Kurama, and also because of the fraility of Kuwabara's human heritage.

Equipment

Spiritual Peering Lenses: One of the first items Yusuke gets to help him out as a spirit detective, it is able to see hidden items in clothing and implied to see through clothes. It is stopped being used after the first arc, as the enemies focus more on combat than retrieving items.

Spectral Energy Meter: One of the first items Yusuke gets to help him out as a spirit detective, it is able to locate identified demons no matter how far they are, however it breaks after sensing Rando implying it is useless on C class and higher ranked demons.

Spiritual Shooting Ring: One of the first items Yusuke gets to help him out as a spirit detective, it is able to boost his offensive spiritual energy at the cost of exhaustion. It is implied to be removed after Yusuke trains hard enough under Genkai to fight C-class demons and higher.

Powers and Abilities

Physical & Spiritual Abilities

Yusuke 2

Yusuke's Demon Form

Superhuman Stamina & Endurance
: Yusuke has shown feats of stamina and endurance beyond that of a human multiple times, and after his Mazoku rebirth, he displayed an even higher level of stamina. His most notable is where he is shown running for 3–5 days straight at high speeds alongside Hokushin and Touou, while the two monks are exhausted Yusuke is fine, he went to fight Raizen afterward.

Superhuman/Enhanced Strength: While not present at the start of the anime/manga, Yusuke is clearly stronger than all of his peers and most adults. At age 14, he was shown as strong enough to hurt Goki in his human form, later he is shown to be strong enough to create a sharp 'wind blade' by just using his full strength in a punch.

Super Speed: Yusuke has shown multiple instances of super speed. During the Artifact Retrieval arc his rage increased his speed to Hiei's level, and he was able to follow Hiei even in his Jagan/full demon form.

Thick Skull: He has a very hard head, which results in a very powerful headbutt, which is apparently stronger than Chu's whose own headbutt was known to have broken rocks.

Unpredictability: Yusuke's main advantage is his unpredictable nature, his opponents tend to underestimate him and be completely fooled by his tactics, whenever he's doing something fast and smart or slow and stupid.

Master Combat: Yusuke is very proficient in hand-to-hand combat and with the use of spiritual martial arts, despite being a dim-wit he fights like a genius once he knows his prey.

Human-Demon Hybrid: Throughout most of his life he was a human, but after being resurrected by his demon blood, he became an S Class demon, a descendant Raizen who conceived a child with his human mother.

Fighting Style

Street Fighting (with influences from Spiritual Martial Arts) // Projectile Attacks: Yusuke enjoys a good brawl, and seems to prefer fighting with his fists, though he specializes in long range projectile techniques that destroy foes from a distance or many foes at once. Thus when he fights to defeat the opponent, for the sake of efficiency he will tend to strike from afar with his spiritual projectiles (when using Spirit Gun, his face rarely shows the satisfaction he has when fist-fighting), but will fight using his physical skills if he wants to enjoy a good battle. A tactic he sometimes employs is to fight with his fists at close range, and once the opponent leaps back to dodge an attack, Yusuke will shoot a Spirit Gun at them. Due to his relative weakness compared to demons, initially he defeated his enemies by outsmarting them (i.e. Goki) or by sheer luck (i.e. Rando ). In later battles, this is not emphasized as much, and tends to defeat his foes with his strength or a boost of power he gains from a dire situation or from rage. Unless he is in a dangerous situation, Yusuke is a very aggressive fighter and rarely thinks before making a move, even firing a Spirit Gun at Sensui and realizing too late it may harm Kuwabara. Due to his experience as a delinquent, Yusuke knows quite a few street-fighting techniques. He also has a body blow rush technique called the Intestine Killer. Shura and Yomi describe him as using "No cheap moves or any real form to his fighting at all." and "He fights simply to enjoy the true nature of it."

  • Yusuke spirit gun 1

    Yusuke's Spirit Gun

    Spirit-Gun
     (霊丸, Reigan, Rei-Gun in the Viz translation): This is Yusuke's signature move. He concentrates his Spirit Energy into his right index finger and releases it as a projectile. After channeling his energy, he pulls the trigger in his mind when he wants to fire the "bullet." The Spirit-Gun blast can range in size from a small shot (at this point it was only twice as strong as his punch), to a full-sized cannon blast, to a near atomic-explosion, as demonstrated in the demon world tournament.

Initially, Yusuke can only fire the spirit gun a limited number of times per day. At first, early in his commission as Spirit Detective, he can only use it once per day, but by the beginning of the Dark Tournament, after rigorous training under Genkai, Yusuke can use it four times per day. After this, the number of bullets did not increase, but the strength of the individual bullets did. Eventually he gains the ability to shoot the spirit gun with virtually unlimited ammo in the anime, as shown in his fight against Yomi. It was originally given to him by Spirit World to fight off demons as required during his cases, but later becomes his signature move. Yusuke can deliberately weaken his gun so that it merely stuns the opponent rather than kill them, as shown by its use on Kuwabara.

  • Spirit-Gun Mega(超霊丸, Chō Reigan lit. Super Spirit Gun): In his battle against the Younger Toguro, Yusuke uses up all his remaining energy to summon a gigantic energy bullet. Though unnamed in both the anime and manga, it is called such in the games.
  • Demon-Gun (妖丸, Yōgan): This is the demon energy version of the Spirit-Gun. After he is reborn as the Mazoku, Yusuke gains the ability to fire his demon energy from his index finger. It is a vastly powerful attack. Yusuke fires a concentrated crimson blast of powerful demon energy that inflicts greater damage than a normal Spirit Gun did prior to his transformation. By the end of the series Yusuke is able to fire both his spirit and demon gun with virtually unlimited ammo, so long as he has energy. It is unnamed in all versions.
    • Demon Gun Mega (超妖丸, Chō Yōgan lit. Super Demon Gun): An ultimate version of his Spirit Gun, where an intense concentration of energy is released to create a devastating energy attack capable of annihilating anything. He learns this upon receiving Raizen's power, and kills Shinobu Sensui with it while under Raizen's control. It is unnamed in the manga and anime, but called Demonic Spirit Gun in the card game.
  • Yusuke shotgun2

    Yusuke's Shotgun

    Spirit Shotgun
     (ショットガン, Shottogan, Shotgun Blast in the Viz translation): Yusuke gathers spirit energy into his fist to form a large blast of spirit energy from it to shoot out in less powerful but many blasts. While the technique is not as powerful as the Spirit Gun, a few advantages it has is that the shots are widespread, which makes it highly effective against quick or invisible opponents or large numbers of weak enemies. Yusuke first used this technique against a group of thugs, who were controlled by the Demon World Insects. It may not be the same technique, but Yusuke used a punch with multiple spirit gun blasts (used on Yomi but had no effect probably because spirit shotgun has weaker bullets.)
  • Spirit Punch : Though primarily a long distance fighter, in close combat, Yusuke is able to infuse parts of his body with Spirit Energy in an effort to enhance his ability in physical combat, especially his punches, but he does the same to his feet in the Tournament Tactics video game. The coating of spirit energy around his hands also can serve as a barrier to defend against projectile attacks such as Suzaku's arrows. It is unnamed in both versions, but is called as such in the video game, and is called "Spirit Fist" in the card game. He is once seen using Spirit Energy to strengthen his foot as well.
  • Spirit Gun Barrage (霊丸連射, Reigan Rensha, translated as Spirit Gun Rapid-fire/Chain Shot or Spirit Gun Double, Rapidfire in the Viz translation): Yusuke shoots two Spirit Guns in rapidfire. This technique has more force than the combined power of two Spirit Guns due to the fact that the second bullet pushes the first bullet as well, giving it more offensive power, to the point it could pierce Chu's giant Demon Energy Ball (Chu comments that the force of a single Spirit Gun would have been consumed). This technique was only used against Chu in the finals of the first round of the Dark Tournament by using Yusuke's remaining Spirit Gun shots together. While not mentioned in the English anime, a side effect from using this advanced technique caused Yusuke to temporarily lose the ability to use his Spirit Gun prior to the match against the Dr. Ichigaki Team due to his inexperience at manipulating Spirit Energy. Later in the anime, Yusuke uses a variation of this when he tries to break though Yomi's Demon Energy Absorption Wall during the Demon World Tournament.
  • Spirit Wave (霊光弾, Reikōdan, translates as Spirit Light Bullet, Aura Blast in the Viz translation): Yusuke uses it to turn his entire body into a catalyst for his Spirit Energy. Instead of using his index finger to focus energy, Yusuke uses his entire body for this attack. This makes for extremely-powerful close-range attacks that negate the opponent's attack, but it's extremely difficult and dangerous to use. This was first seen being used against Jin in the Dark Tournament Saga. He tried using this against Sensui, in the original Japanese version, but was kicked out of range before he could do anything. It also has some healing properties, as he is able to heal from the wounds Kazuya inflicted when he shot at him, close range. Not to be confused with Genkai's Fighting Style, or Genkai's purification technique, which all share the same name in the English dub.
  • Spirit Cuffs (呪霊錠・修の行, Jū Rei Jō: Shu no Gyō, translated as Cursed Spirit Shackles: Path of Training, or Aura Locks and Aura Handcuffs in the VIZ manga): Genkai placed these on Yusuke in order to increase his spirit energy reserves, a bearer of these cuffs needs to actively cycle spirit energy throughout their entire body in order to simply move, let alone fight. It is released with Ante in original Japanese; released with the commandAvitus in the English dub or released with the command Ante Up in the VIZ Manga.
  • Transformation: After his atavism, Yusuke temporarily transforms into this Raizen-inspired demon form whenever his emotions, most likely negative ones like anger, run high. Raizen took over Yusuke's body without Yusuke's will to do so, as Raizen believed he would've lost to Sensui otherwise. The full strength of this form is unknown, but it greatly increased his speed and strength to easily dominate against an opponent who had a slight advantage over him. Given Yusuke's statement about his strength and Sensui's being nowhere near what it was during his possession, it can be assumed it would be equal to Raizen's strength at that point. In the manga, Yusuke's hair color stays the same as normal while in the anime, it turns white to match Raizen's hair.

Anime-Specific Techniques

  • Sacred Energy (聖光気, Sei Kō Ki, translated as Sacred Light Energy): During his fight against Yomi, Yusuke, remembering all of his friends supporting him, is able to mix his body's Demon Energy and Spirit Energy together allowing him to generate his own version of Sacred Energy, different from the version that was previously used by Sensui during the Chapter Black Saga. It's just as powerful, but hard to maintain for more than a few hours; however, that would turn out to be more than enough time for Yusuke's battle with Yomi. Koenma says it isn't Sacred Energy and thinking of his friends it can be referred to as a friendship energy of equal power. In the Japanese version, it is actually implied to be Yusuke's own version of Sacred Energy.

Movie-Exclusive Techniques

  • Shot Gun Double Barrel: Yusuke channels his shotgun attack into both of his fists, and releases his energy out both at the same time. This creates twice the spread. This attack is only used in the first movie and in the English version only as he refers to it as Shotgun in the Japanese version.
  • Power Sphere Fusion - During the events of the the second movie, using the Power Sphere as a catalyst, Yusuke, Hiei, Kurama, and Kuwabara connect their souls as one. First Yusuke shoots a giant Spirit Gun bullet, which then unpredictably whips back like Kurama's rose whip when dodged. Then the bullet directly strikes the opponent, as if Kuwabara was lunging with his Spirit Sword. Finally, the giant burst of Spirit Energy is engulfed by Hiei's Dragon, giving it much more destructive force.

Trivia

  • Yusuke's first name means "ghost helper" and his last name is a word that is said by dead spirits.
  • The Yu from Yusuke and Rei from Reigun make Yurei, another Japanese word for ghost.
  • In Yoshihiro Togashi's second famous manga series, Hunter X Hunter, Yusuke makes a cameo appearance alongside Hiei and Kurama as action figures in the room of Milluki Zoldyck (69, volume 8).
  • He also makes a crossover appearance in the last panel of Togashi Yoshiro's Hunter X Hunter yon-koma comic of 2011, where he asked about New Years and is told he is in the wrong manga.
  • Although he is often overlooked, Yusuke is the youngest human to achieve S-Class energy levels. Even as a Mazoku he still will be the youngest to achieve this level of strength.
  • In the Korean dub, he is named "Jin-Jin" (진진). He is still called Yusuke in the manga translation and subbed anime.
  • He is called Eugene in the Filipino dub of the anime.
  • Yusuke's birthday falls some time between the second half of June and the start of July. This is supported by the fact that he left for Demon World on his birthday, and the fact that Kurama left a month after him, sometime between late July and early August to help Yomi's cause until the end of August. This also makes sense since the animal that manifests through his spirit energy (the phoenix) also rules the days between June 25 and July 24 of the Ancient Egyptian horoscope.
  • Keiko reveals he doesn't know how to whistle. However, Yusuke actually can whistle. The moment occured after he defeated Kuwabara in the first episode.
  • In the manga, after defeating Nekobaba, Yusuke references Virtua Fighter by assuming a pose resembling a win pose from that series. His appearance changes to resemble Virtua Fighter's blocky graphics as well.
  • Yusuke has several songs on the soundtrack. By himself: "All Right!", "Akatsuki no Chikai ~Rising Sun~", "Dead or Alive ~Toushin~", "FIRE", "Kokoro o Tsunaide", "TOUGH", and "Tsukanoma no Sunset". With Keiko Yukimura: "Omoide o Tsubasa ni Shite". With Kurama, Hiei, and Kazuma Kuwabara: "Bokutachi no Kisetsu", "Hikari no Naka de", and "Yasashisa wa Nemuranai". There are also remixes of "Unbalance na Kiss o Shite " and "Taiyou ga Mata Kagayaku Toki" with him singing.
  • Justin Kovalsky of Animerica said "Ever hear the folk song "Bad Leroy Brown," by Jim Croce? Well, Yusuke is like old Leroy, but 14 and Japanese."
  • In the Japanese magazine Animage Anime Grand Prix popularity poll, Yusuke was ranked as the thirteenth most popular anime character in 1993, the tenth in 1994, and the eighth in 1995.
  • In March 2010, Yusuke was ranked sixteenth best male anime character of the 1990's by the Japanese magazine Newtype.
  • Coincidentally the first name of the Yu Yu Hakusho music artist is Yusuke.
  • In the very first chapter of the manga Yusuke is shown smoking.
  • In the anime, a young Yusuke is shown in a flashback and is voiced by Aaron Dismuke who also voices Shura and has voiced Alphonse Elric in the first anime of the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise. 
  • Yusuke's Reiki is Blue and his Yoki is Red.

References

  1.  Yu Yu Hakusho manga; Chapter 1, Page 32
  2.  Yu Yu Hakusho manga; Chapter 1
  3.  Yu Yu Hakusho manga; Chapter 1, Page 31
  4.  Yu Yu Hakusho manga; Chapter 1, Page 37
  5.  Yu Yu Hakusho manga; Chapter 17 and Anime Episode 5
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