Yu Yu Hakusho live-action cast & characters

Aparna Ukil
Official release poster for Yu Yu Hakusho

Netflix’s much-awaited live-action adaptation of Yu Yu Hakusho is finally here. The new series has brought several characters from the manga to life, and here we break down all the major stars in the cast.

Yu Yu Hakusho is a legendary anime show and manga that was influential on many modern franchises. The animanga series concluded three decades ago, but even today, it’s considered a masterpiece. So, it’s no surprise Netflix chose to remake it in live-action.

Like the live-action One Piece, Yu Yu Hakusho was a pleasant surprise for the fandom. Of course, the story was condensed into five episodes, but the narrative still worked, and the martial arts sequences are incredible. But most of all, the think that Netflix’s Yu Yu Hakusho work is the cast.


Yusuke Urameshi: Takumi Kitamura

Yusuke Urameshi from Yu Yu Hakusho

Yusuke Urameshi is the main protagonist of Yu Yu Hakusho. He is a delinquent who is usually seen getting into fights every now and then. His life gets upside down when he dies coming under a truck while saving a kid. Urameshi gets resurrected by Koenma, the one who decides the fate of the deceased souls. But this time, Urameshi is a spirit detective with several powers and abilities that make him way stronger than before.

At the beginning of the series, Urameshi seems to be someone who doesn’t like to be around people and always carries a bold and impulsive attitude. However, over time, we see positive changes in his personality. He becomes compassionate toward others.

Takumi Kitamura is seen in the shoes of Yusuke Urameshi in Yu Yu Hakusho’s live-action, and there’s no denying that we couldn’t get a better Yusuke than him. The 26-year-old actor/singer also appeared in the live-action film adaptation of the time-traveling anime Tokyo Revengers.

Kazuma Kuwabara: Shuhei Uesugi

Kazuma Kuwabara from Yu Yu Hakusho

Kazuma Kuwabara didn’t leave a good impression on the fandom with his first appearance in Yu Yu Hakusho, as he always called for a fight with Yusuke. He seemed our main protagonist’s rival from the very beginning, but as the story progressed, he became one of the closest people to Yusuke. At first, he also looks like a bully to the viewers, but over time, everyone realizes that he has a heart of gold that can’t see anyone getting into trouble.

Moreover, Kuwabara’s inner spirituality gives him the ability to see things that can’t be seen or felt by everyone. For instance, whenever Botan appeared to meet Yusuke after resurrecting him, Kuwabara was the only one who could see her.

Kuwabara’s role is played by Shuhei Uesugi, who is recognized for his portrayals in One Night Morning, You Made My Dawn, and more.

Kurama: Jun Shison

Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho live-action

Kurama is a fox demon who happened to lead a group of bandits in his past life. One day, when he was about to get killed in a duel, he possessed a fetus of a human to get a new identity. Kurama seemed suspicious initially because of his past life deeds, but later, he turned out to be the first Yokai who holds compassion for humans. Even though he had the Mirror of Darkness that could give him anything he wanted, he chose to save his mother using the powerful thing.

Kurama is portrayed by Jun Shion, who is known for his appearance in Ressha Sentai ToQger.

Hiei: Kanata Hongo

Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho

Hiei’s first appearance in Yu Yu Hakusho made us believe that he is a villainous entity who will eventually get beaten by Yusuke. But that was not the truth; although Hiei is a Yokai who came to the human world from the spirit world, he joins forces with the main protagonists to fight against his kind.

Hiei’s right hand has been seen in bandages since the beginning. That’s because he was holding the Dragon of the Darkness Flame in his hand, and after the dragon was unleashed during the battle with Bui, his hands remained burned for some time with the dragon tattoo.

Kanata Hongo plays Hiei in the live-action of Yu Yu Hakusho. The actor has previously worked in several films, music videos, and TV shows.

Koenma: Keita Machida

Koenma from Yu Yu Hakusho

Koenma is the decision-maker of the Spirit world. When Yusuke dies in the road accident, his soul is brought to Koenma. However, Koenma decides to send him back to the human world as a spirit investigator. Koenma debuted in the manga and the anime as a toddler, but the live-action revealed his adult form from the start.

Do you remember Karube from Alice in Borderland? Well, it’s the same actor (Keita Machida) who plays the character of Koenma in Netflix’s Yu Yu Hakusho.

Botan: Kotone Furukawa

Botan from Yu Yu Hakusho

Botan is Koenma’s assistant, who is responsible for guiding the souls. She appeared in front of Yusuke when the boy was trying to accept his death. Botan helped Yusuke understand several important things, such as Yokai’s origin and how he could use the spirit gun against them. She also saved Keiko’s life when Hiei almost turned her into a demon. However, the first season of Yu Yu Hakusho live-action hasn’t covered that part.

In the screen adaptation, Kotone Furukawa has played the role of Botan. She is known for her portrayal in NHK’s TV show Yell.

Keiko: Sei Shiraishi

Keiko from Yu Yu Hakusho

Keiko is Yusuke’s childhood friend, who is usually seen fighting with him whenever the delinquent gets involved in an unnecessary duel. She is the only person who was seen getting equally affected by his death as his mother. In anime and manga, Yusuke tries to communicate with Keiko several times. He also possessed Kuwabara’s body temporarily to seek Keiko’s help in stopping his mother from burying his body, as he will return soon.

However, in the live-action, we didn’t get to see these events; the series was rushed directly to the part where Keiko was ready to sacrifice herself to bring Yusuke’s body out of the burning house.

Keiko is played by Sei Shirashi, who appeared in I’s and Prince of Legend previously.

Genkai: Meiko Kaji

Genkai from Yu Yu Hakusho

Koenma indeed gave the powers to Yusuke, but all the abilities were useless until Botan took him to Genkai for training. Kuwabara also tagged along with them. After the training’s completion, she passed on her Orb to Yusuke so that he could fight the Yokai more efficiently. The live-action couldn’t do justice to the character as she was seen getting killed by Toguro very soon. Whereas, Genkai also appeared and participated in the Dark Tournament in anime and manga.

Genkai’s role has been played by Meiko Kaji, who has been in the industry since 1960 and has blessed the community with more than 100 films/TV series to date.

Younger Toguro: Go Ayano

Toguro from Yu Yu Hakusho live-action

Younger Toguro is the primary villain of Yu Yu Hakusho, who works as a mercenary for Sakyo, an influential member of a group of criminals. He was once a human who wanted to be a potent martial artist, but soon, his brain got corrupted, and he decided to become a Yokai. In this, his elder brother supported him, and he became a Yokai as well.

In the anime and manga, it was not the first confrontation between Younger Toguro and Yusuke that saw him killed, but it was the Dark Tournament in which the latter killed the former. However, in the live-action, we see the antagonist getting killed by Yusuke when the latter forces him to use his strength all at once.

Go Ayano has portrayed him in the Netflix show. He has worked in a plethora of movies and TV shows before appearing in Yu Yu Hakusho live-action.

Yukina: Ai Mikami

Yukina from Yu Yu Hakusho

Yukina is Hiei’s long-lost sister, who is unfamiliar with the appearance of her brother. Hiei does not reveal that he is the brother Yukina is looking for. He takes this step to protect her from his enemies. Yukina is also a Yokai, and whenever she cries, her tears turn into pearls, so she becomes the target of the money-hungry people.

Yukina is portrayed by Ai Mikami, who has mainly appeared in supporting roles since her debut.

We have a list of the best anime movies on Netflix if you want more about what’s on the platform, and our list of the best anime on Crunchyroll will introduce you to more classics.