LH Yeung.net Blog - AniGames

Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files (1992, Pierrot)

Anime Reviews

Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files (1992, Pierrot)

[Wandering Ghost Files]

Deliquent 14 year old Yusuke Urameshi dies in a car accident one day while trying to save a little boy. To his surprise he learns he wasn't supposed to die yet and is offered a chance to return to the living. After showing the potential to become a Spirit Realm Detective, he is allowed to be ressurected on the condition he helps the underworld investigate various supernatural incidents such as powerful criminal demons out to cause chaos or humans mixing with demons when they shouldn't. As Yusuke continues to serve the son of the underworld overseer he faces ever stronger foes but also befriends many of them. He even finds himself forced to take part in rigged underworld tournaments where rules mean little.

Number 4 is an ominous number in Sino language countries as it has the same pronunciation as "death". 14 is even worse as it sounds the same as "death definite" so maybe they they chose to make Yusuke 14 when the accident happened.

I actually watched half of this back in high school but didn't have access to the rest of the show so thought I'd watch through it from scratch. I only started watching it midway about episode 28 onwards.

It's a cliche Shonen Anime setup; high school student with super powers and a childhood friend as the romantic interest. You've also got your hero defeating the bad and your usual "never give up" kind of immortality that always lets them get back up no matter the situation. Same with your familiar trope of characters, rash reckless Yusuke, easily love-struck Kuwabara, nice polite Kurabara and your rude lone wolf Hiei.

However, right from the start it kicks off with a tear jerker as you see how many people Yuusuke's death has affected that also makes him determined to return to life and, it kind of catches your interest.

As it's aimed at the teenage boys demographic you've got your usual groping jokes but it's a lot tamer than modern day shows and actually stops happening eventually. In fact I'd say it's got some strong female characters but generally, the show isn't exactly good influence with school gangs and fights that's for sure.

Pacing is good so you don't feel like anything's dragged out too much that it becomes tiring and it doesn't completely depend on one kind of direction such as just fights to keep the show interesting despite being an action oriented Shonen show. It picks up and gets darker as well as more interesting while still keeping some form of comedy in place such as your usual quabble between the main cast. You feel the scale of each threat as they grow bigger than the last.

Art work is pretty good for this early 1990s show. It has some nice scenario illustrations when it starts a new case. You see a lot of re-used animation and scenes such as the crowds which, isn't really unusual for a long running cel animated series since you can't just copy and paste like modern day CGI assisted animation.

Sometimes the characters don't look match their character designs either when they're unleashing their skills. Still, you do see some attention to detail such as in the eye catch you can see the characters using their respective weapons if you play the frames slowly, even though they could have gotten away with blurbs since that's what you see. Same could be said of Yusuke's hairdo where you can see he doesn't always have his hair geled back.

It's quite a gruesome show. Even though it's not humans there's a lot of demons being decaptitated. There's a lot of talk about killing and other nasty things which other mainstream shows such as Dragon Ball and One Piece don't have as much of. Might be why I had to stay up late to watch it because they never showed it during after school hours in Hong Kong, only late night.

Fights are also pretty much your Shonen action show setup filled with flashy skills. I'd say it's fairly much Dragon Ball style but with skill names announced. You've even got your defeated enemy who becomes friends because he doesn't want them defeated before they do.

Audio wise it's got some great ending theme songs. Don't think there's a single theme song I don't like from it. While there's 5 different ending themes, there's only one opening theme song. However, the OP animation changes about half way through the series at episode 67.

Being a 1990s show you've got lots of evil laughs. Mayumi Tanaka happens to play Enma Junior in this show who also plays Krillin from Dragon Ball and Luffy from One Piece. Chopper's voice actress Ikue Otani is here too as Shura; she seems to get a lot of little guy roles.

At 112 episodes it's no short series but I guess you could call it main stream at that length. For the most part it maybe your Shonen action show full of fighting, powers and transformations but it has it's good moments as you watch the gang stick together through difficult times. Each arc has its own satisfying closures instead of your simple happily ever after kind of wrap-up. It might not look it but it's got some fairly heavy romance throughout the show despite a cliche one (and hints of BL too between it's pretty boy characters). Even the ending theme songs reflect it too.

However, there's a lot of flashing lights that are really fast compared to modern day shows so beware.

On the other hand if you're after a traditional folklore Japanese Yokai show, I would go with Gegege no Kitaro instead as this show's Yokai are mostly fictional ones.

I didn't bother with the movies since they're more like spin-offs from the Manga original to the Anime series.

As a bit of trivia, every character's name actually has a meaning. Urameshi is usually said by hateful spirits, "I will haunt you." while Kuwabara means "Heavens, help me!" which works for their personalities and the show's setting. Nintendo's playing cards also make a cameo appearance and Kuwabara's home actually reminds me of Nobi's house from Doraemon so have fun spotting those.

Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files

More Anime Reviews »

Why not take a break?

Please supply your e-mail if you don't mind me contacting you. It will not be shown publicly and will not be given to spam- I mean marketing companies.

Avatars can be registered and uploaded via the global Gravatar.com which is used widely with many sites.

Captcha What is 1 + 2?

No comments