Netflix has a couple of live-action anime projects in the works, and it’s certainly not slowing down on this front. In addition to a One Piece adaption and another Death Note live-action show helmed by the Duffer Brothers, there’s also the Yu Yu Hakusho series, which was first announced last year.
Now, more details and photos about it have surfaced. The streamer has taken to Twitter to unveil the live-action star for protagonist Yusuke Urameshi, and it’s none other than Takumi Kitamura (Tokyo Revengers, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas).
The upcoming show will draw directly from the manga, although the series has also been adapted as an anime in the past. The story follows a teenage delinquent named Yasuke who dies while committing an act of goodness. Heaven and Hell have no place for him so in an effort to reunite his soul with his body, he becomes an underworld detective.
In an exclusive interview with IGN, director Sho Tsukikawa shared that fans can expect plenty of action scenes and characterisations that are fleshed out well. “When I first heard about Yu Yu Hakusho receiving a live-action adaptation, I honestly wondered if it would even be possible—but after being presented with the producer’s vision and possibilities with Netflix, my expectations grew and I found myself burning with passion to make this project come to life,” he said. “More than anything, I think the appeal of Yu Yu Hakusho comes from its characters, which is why I wanted to highlight the appealing relationships and battles in Yu Yu Hakusho.”
Kitamura will be joined by Japanese actor and voice artist Jun Shison, who will play Kurama, one of the most popular and beloved characters. In the original work, the fox demon first meets Yusuke after stealing a mirror that can grant wishes with the intent of using it to save his ill mother. Later, he joins up with the latter to battle against his former comrade Hiei, and is known for his ability to transform into his silver-haired fox demon form, as well as his signature Rose Whip attack.
The live-action Yu Yu Hakusho will be released in December 2023, with Tatsuro Mishima and Akira Morii serving as writer and producer respectively. The official synopsis is as follows:
“The manga revolves around Yusuke Urameshi, a junior high school student who spends his days getting into fights and dies in an accident while trying to protect a young child. As he grapples with the fact that he is looking down on his dead body, a woman named Botan, who calls herself a guide to the spirit world, relays to him the shocking truth: no one expected a delinquent like Yusuke to die performing an act of goodness, and there was no place for him in either heaven or hell. Thus, Yusuke is given a chance to be revived, and after passing his trial, he becomes an Underworld Detective. From there, Yusuke becomes entwined in a mystery that envelopes the human, demon and spirit worlds. The spectacular adventure of Yusuke will now become a live action series on Netflix.”