YU YU HAKUSHO on Netflix is a new Fantasy series from Japan. Based on a comic and with lots of action, adventure, and comedy. The season has 5 hour-long episodes. Read our full Yu Yu Hakusho series review here!

YU YU HAKUSHO is a new Netflix Fantasy series from Japan. There is a lot of action, plenty of fascinating creatures and even quite a few you’d call monsters. Both on the human and more supernatural side.

It’s based on a comic (or manga, if you will, as its origin is Japanese) and works well from the opening scene. If you watch the trailer and find it intriguing, then you should check it out. It delivers from episode 1 and there are only five episodes in the season, so it’s a quick watch.

Continue reading our Yu Yu Hakusho series review below. Find season 1 on Netflix from December 14, 2023.

A spirit detective and lots of monsters

The story in Yu Yu Hakusho is about the young man Yusuke Urameshi. He spends his days avoiding school because he gets irritated by teachers or students. Instead, he gets into fights and dies suddenly and violently in an accident where he saves the life of a small boy.

This isn’t a spoiler, but rather the opening scene. This is where Yusuke finds himself looking down on his dead body. And yes, this does also make him quite angry. A lot of things do, to be fair.

Then a woman shows up, Botan, and proclaims that she is his guide to the spirit world. Yusuke looks around and says his goodbyes before stating he’s ready to go. There’s just the minor problem of the spirit world not being ready to receive him.

No one expected him to die performing such an unselfish act of goodness. Though, honestly, we see him being very unselfish a lot of the time. He just has a very low tolerance for BS. Something I can relate to. However, I don’t get into fistfights and Yusuke most definitely does. A lot!

In any case, with neither Heaven nor Hell ready to receive Yusuke, he’s presented with an intriguing possibility; Become a Spirit Detective (or Underworld Detective) and help fight the demons attempting to enter the human world. If he accepts, he will be revived to complete his task.

Yu Yu Hakusho – Review | Netflix Fantasy Series

Live-action manga

This new Netflix series is a fantasy story based on the legendary manga by Yoshihiro Togashi. In other words, it’s a live-action series but based on a manga and staying very true to the elements of this story.

Fans of other supernatural horror productions from Japan or South Korea will find several familiar elements. For one, when humans are possessed by the insect-like monsters that slip into our world, they act like the zombies from Train to Busan.

As in wild and feral with no ability to stop themselves or be stopped – apart from killing them or getting the monster to leave their body.

Also, there is a lot of CGI. I know this isn’t for everyone, but I found it to have the same effect as in Sweet Home (which recently had season 2 come out on Netflix). By saying this I mean to imply that it may clearly be CGI, but it’s also a creature feature/monster story, so it works.

As far as being a live-action manga, it certainly manages to combine the graphic origin perfectly with the visual live-action possibilities.

Watch season 1 of Yu Yu Hakusho on Netflix now!

As mentioned earlier, Yu Yu Hakusho is based on Yoshihiro Togashi’s manga. This was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump for four years. It started in 1990 and was published by Shueisha.

This live-action adaption has been anticipated for three decades and now it’s finally here. Quite the little Christmas present if you’re a fan of manga and/or fantasy series from Japan. It certainly delivers on entertainment of various kinds. From comedy to action and adventure!

This first season has 5 hour-long episodes. IMDb reports that there are six episodes (as of writing this review), but this is not correct. There are five episodes on Netflix. With the runtime being between 45 minutes and one hour, it’s a series you could easily binge-watch.

Yu Yu Hakusho season 1 is on Netflix from December 14, 2023.


Director: Sho Tsukikawa
Screenplay: Tatsuro Mishima
Based on the manga: Yoshihiro Togashi “Yu Yu Hakusho” (Shueisha Jump Comics)
Cast: Takumi Kitamura, Jun Shison, Kanata Hongo, Shuhei Uesugi, Sei Shiraishi, Kotone Furukawa, Ai Mikami, Hiroya Shimizu, Keita Machida, Meiko Kaji, Kenichi Takitoh, Goro Inagaki, Go Ayano


After a selfless act costs him his life, teen delinquent Yusuke Urameshi is chosen as a Spirit Detective to investigate cases involving rogue yokai.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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