On July 16, 2022, Netflix announced that the leading role for its upcoming live-action TV series adaptation of the anime YuYu Hakusho of Yusuke Urameshi will played by actor Takumi Kitamura.
Takumi Kitamura appears to have been typecast as a delinquent, and fans couldn’t be happier. He’s also known for his badass delinquent roles in the live-action Tokyo Revengers and Let Me Eat Your Pancreas. Kitamura definitely has “bad boy” style and is also the vocalist and guitarist for the rock band DISH//.
Netflix plans to stream the series simultaneously worldwide in December 2023.
What is the plot of YuYu Hakusho?
The story begins when high school student, Yusuke Urameshi, dies unexpectedly while pushing a child out of the way of oncoming traffic. The Spirit World was caught by surprise by his selfless actions due to the fact that Yusuke is a delinquent with a “bad boy” personality.
Yusuke soon discovers that he wasn’t supposed to die and that he has a chance for resurrection. Yusuke undergoes many trials presented to him by Koenma, the son of the ruler of the afterlife Underworld, in order to come back to life, but manages it.
Afterwards, he becomes a Spirit Detective and is tasked with investigating supernatural events and cases involving demons and apparitions in the Human World. Later, he participates in a fighting tournament, which takes place in the Spirit World where he ends up facing off against powerful demons. Along the way, Yusuke manages to befriend several powerful demons.
Who are the members of the production team?
YuYu Hakusho live-action TV series production team members include:
- Executive producer – Kazutaka Sakamoto (live-action Alice in Borderland, Ride or Die, The Naked Director)
- Director – Sho Tsukikawa (live-action Let Me Eat Your Pancreas)
- Producer – Akira Morii (Wild 7, Brave Heart Umizaru)
- Production and visual effects – Robot Communications Inc. Studio
- Scriptwriter – Tatsuro Mishima
- VFX supervisor – Ryo Sakaguchi
Comments by Takumi Kitamura about live-action YuYu Hakusho
When I discovered that YuYu Hakusho was getting a live-action adaptation I couldn’t help but laugh since I knew how daunting this kind of a project would be. I’m happy that I will be working again with Director Tsukikawa on this project. YuYu Hakusho is a manga that’s been popular for over 30 years. It’s almost a historical Japanese work and was there in the beginning when anime and manga were just getting popular. The story is universal and unique. This adaptation definitely has a darker feel than the original anime series. Yusuke has two sides to him – the delinquent and the kind-hearted boy, who can’t turn his back when something bad is happening to someone in front of him. I lucked out with a great atmosphere in the shooting along with the rest of the staff and cast. I always thought that there were so many incredible Japanese stories that needed to be shared with the world and YuYu Hakusho is definitely one of them. I’m excited to get to share this historical masterpiece and live-action adaptation to the world.Takumi Kitamura commented at Natalie.mu
Where can I read the manga or watch the anime?
YuYu Hakusho is a Japanese supernatural comedy manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. Togashi was inspired by his interest in the occult and horror films as well as Buddist mythology, and began creating Yu Yu Hakusho around November 1990.
From December 1990 to July 1994 the manga was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. The manga’s English version ran in Viz’s Shonen Jump magazine from January 2003 to January 2010 in North America.
The manga inspired an anime adaptation (112 episodes long) directed by Noriyuki Abe and co-produced by Fuji Television, Yomiko Advertising and Studio Pierrot. From October 1992 to December 1994 the TV series aired on Japan’s Fuji TV network.
Funimation later licensed it in North America. The anime also aired during the popular Cartoon Network Adult Swim block and later Toonami in 2001. The entire series is currently available for streaming on Crunchyroll.
YuYu Hakusho’s manga has sold over 50 million copies in Japan alone and in 1993 won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shonen manga! In 1994 and 1995, the anime won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for Best Anime.
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