Yu Yu Hakusho Netflix Series Reveals its Yusuke; Teases Hiei, Kurama, Kuwabara [Update]

Takumi Kitamura is Yusuke Urameshi in the Netflix take on Yu Yu Hakusho.

The Yu Yu Hakusho Netflix series will give another manga classic the live-action treatment, and it just named its Yusuke. Actor and musician Takumi Kitamura will star as Yusuke Urameshi, the high school troublemaker turned otherworldly detective, and retell the beloved ’90s storyline in a new series.

In a reveal from IGN, Kitamaru and Netflix confirmed the actor would take on the duties of Underworld Detective Yusuke Urameshi. He’s the first and only star revealed for the live-action Yu Yu Hakusho so far — please show Botan — but Netflix teased a promise of more soon. On Twitter, the streaming service uploaded a few glimpses of who you can expect to see in the coming days. We already know that the top-left is Yusuke, leaving obvious nods to Kurama, Hiei, and Kuwabara for the remaining three. Cruel, no Botan.

Before his time as Yusuke, Kitamura was known for his roles in Tokyo Revengers and Let Me Eat Your Pancreas. He’s also the lead vocalist and guitarist of the pop/rock band, Dish. For now, Netflix hasn’t shown off any footage of Kitamura in action. However, it did at least update its Twitter thread with an image of the actor as Yusuke.

Look, who knows if it’s any good, but at least Kitamura does look the part here. In that IGN reveal, director Sho Tsukikawa explained how they used “cutting-edge technology” to recreate action scenes from a childhood favorite. In addition, both the director and Kitamura acknowledged how influential a series Yu Yu Hakusho remains to both its home country of Japan and the rest of the world.

“[…] We were strongly aware of creating a series for a global audience,” Tsukikawa said to IGN. “Just like when I first heard about this adaptation, there may be people out there who feel it’s an impossible undertaking, but no matter how many ways I express how I feel, I believe the work will speak for itself and prove it’s possible.”

Cautiously optimistic — that’s how I try to stay with every anime, manga, or video game live-action remake. The Netflix version of Cowboy Bebop is among Netflix’s most recent endeavors, which it canned after one season. The script wasn’t great, and the show itself looked pretty weird. However, I still think the cast and designs for Spike, Faye, and Jet all ruled. I’ll die on this hill.

Good or bad, Netflix has even more retellings of your beloved favorites on the way. The Stranger Things creators are working on another Death Note adaption, and the company is working on a very expensive-looking set for One Piece.

Update 7/18/2022:

The Yu Yu Hakusho anime has revealed two more stars, leaving just one missing from the teaser. Jun Shison (The Way of the Househusband) will play Kurama, while Kanata Hongo Fullmetal Alchemist, Attack on Titan Part 1) is Hiei.