The highly-anticipated live-action Yu Yu Hakusho series hits Netflix next week, and a full-blown trailer is here to ramp up the excitement. While the previous teaser offered a first look at the beloved characters from Yoshihiro Togashi’s hit manga, this latest reel puts visual effects and action choreography in the spotlight.
“Long ago, the Human World and the Demon World were connected. Yokai crept into the Human World to prey on humans,” narrates a disembodied voice against the foreground of demons, blood, and grisly corpses. A series of high-octane, intense fighting sequences then takes over, showing off plenty of sword-slashing, axe-slinging, and martial arts action.
The biggest moment, however, comes in the final few seconds of the trailer, when Yusuke unleashes his signature Sprit Gun move and emits an energy orb so powerful that it completely melts the enemy’s face off.
It’s an impressive display of the visual effects at work, made possible through a collaboration with Scanline VFX, known for their work on major Hollywood productions. According to a post on the official Netflix website, the team used performance capture technology to integrate special effects and CG character assets into the live-action stage. The process also involved filming the actors simultaneously in 360 degrees with 170 cameras, it added.
As promising as the trailer may be, it has drawn some concerns from longtime fans. A two-minute reel is hardly indicative of the show’s actual quality, but it seems a lot of the story elements have been condensed, with changes made to some major plot points. Still, it’s too early to write it off – Netflix’s One Piece live-action series did that as well, only to become a huge success among both fans and newcomers alike. A second season of the swashbuckling adventure is currently in the works.
Yu Yu Hakusho stars Takumi Kitamura (Tokyo Revengers, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas) as protagonist Yusuke Urameshi, joining Jun Shison (Bubble, Battle of Supreme High) as the fox demon Kurama; Kanata Hongo (Kingdom, Attack on Titan) as Hiei, the Master of the Evil Eye; Shuhei Uesugi as Kazuma Kurabawa, and more.
Illustrated by Togashi, the creator of Hunter x Hunter, it follows the story of 14-year-old Yusuke Urameshi who dies while saving a child from a car accident. As a delinquent in real life, he is informed that his act of altruism has caught the Underworld by surprise, resulting in him being caught at the crossroads between heaven and hell. He is then offered a chance to return back to the land of the living as a “Spirit Detective”, tasked with investigating various supernatural activities within the human realm.
Due to its immense popularity, the manga received several adaptations, including a television anime, two movies, and two original video anime (OVA) releases. Netflix’s live-action Yu Yu Hakusho is the latest addition to the list, slated to air on 14 December with a five-episode count.