Netflix’s Yu Yu Hakusho live-action TV show casts Shuhei Uesugi as Kazuma Kuwabara

Yu Yu Hakusho
Shuhei Uesugi in his role of Kuwabara. Pic credit: Netflix

On July 16, 2022, Netflix Anime on Twitter released a poster for the upcoming Yu Yu Hakusho live-action. And on July 20, 2022, we now have our four main characters, and to say fans are less than pleased is an understatement.

As a long-term fan of Yu Yu Hakusho, I understand. However, my complaints are not about the cast. Shuhei Uesugi will play Kazuma Kuwabara and he has many years of experience in television and films.

The Yu Yu Hakusho live-action will mark his first time working on a Netflix project, and we wish the cast and crew the best of luck. However, my complaints lie solely with the visuals that Netflix has shared.

If you haven’t watched the anime or read the manga, be warned this article will contain light spoilers. As well as some guesses as to what may happen in season one of the live-action, let’s focus on the man.

YuYu Hakusho key visual
Key visual for the upcoming live-action Yu Yu Hakusho. Pic credit:

Who is Shuhei Uesugi?

Uesugi was born on May 18, 1992, in Tokyo, and according to Wikipedia, his first tv appearance was in 2015. The character he played was Rui Nikaido in Hotel Concierge on the TBS Network.

Since then, Uesugi has acted in 10 tv series with at least two shows per year, except for 2019 with none listed, and he was in two series again in 2020. In addition, Uesugi has appeared in seven films, with his latest role being Shin’ichiro Kazama in My Boyfriend in Orange in 2022.

Who is Kazuma Kuwabara?

Kuwabara is Yusuke’s rival and the second-strongest thug in their school. He’s 14 at the start of the series and was born with the ability to sense ghosts.

Thanks to Yusuke becoming a Spirt Detective, Kuwabara finds himself getting mixed up with and targeted by supernatural beings. So, he decides to find someone to train him, and he eventually develops a spirit sword.

Kuwabara’s skills develop over time to be different from Yusuke’s and yet similar simultaneously. He has red-orange hair in pompadour 1950s style and is also the tallest in our leading group.

Now you may think that’s me nitpicking, but I assure you, that’s not what this is because there’s no reason why they can’t get Kuwabara’s hairstyle right. A stage play adaptation in 2019 got all of the characters right!

And the live-action of Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable pulled off the crazy hairstyles just fine. Kuwabara’s hairstyle is not that hard to pull off, and it’s frustrating to see one of his traits being ignored.

Kuwabara is a punk with a good heart. However, I’d rather see an actor wearing a wig at this point. If cosplayers can pull it off, there’s no excuse for a tv production by one of the top streaming services to alter a character’s design.

How long will season one be?

The anime has 112 episodes, but Yu Yu Hakusho didn’t have traditional seasons, unlike most anime. Instead, it was aired year-round in Japan with room for special events like sports.

The seasons focused on the length of the story sagas and were split into individual box sets as seasons. So, for example, season one is episodes 1-25 and is called The Spirit Detective Saga.

Season 2 is The Dark Tournament Saga with episodes 26-66, season 3 is The Chapter Black Saga with episodes 67-94, and season 4 is The Three Kings Saga with episodes 95-112. Will the live-action have 25 episodes?

Depending on the length of the live-action episodes, it could have fewer, but it might reach up to the Dark Tournament Saga regardless. Looking at the second picture on the bottom left for Hiei’s corner, you can see bandages on his arm.

Long-term fans will know that Hiei doesn’t have until The Dark Tournament. If Netflix plays its cards right and doesn’t screw up the CG effects, give the show proper pacing, keep the 90s humor intact, and give us a remix of Smile Bomb to milk the nostalgia.

Then we might have a decent adaptation. Keep your fingers crossed, and pray the trailer is good. Netflix Anime has been dropping images over the past week, so a trailer should be here soon.

Here’s hoping they keep Konema as a baby in season one. Not just for the comedy, but the story has him that way for a reason.

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