Characters: Yu Yu Hakusho Team Urameshi
Due to being Trope Overdosed
, the four main heroes now have their own character sheet. Tropes related to Team Urameshi as a whole or to the members thereof should go on this page.
Tropes Related to Team Urameshi as a whole:
- Almighty Janitor: The Spirit Detective title when compared to the Spirit Defense Force who are all at least A-Class fighters. In fact, the SDF is only called in when there's a Godzilla Threshold. And by the end of the series, the whole group with the possible exceptions of Genkai and Kuwabara greatly surpass the SDF.
- Specifically, Kuwabara surpasses them in the manga, but not the anime.
- Badass Crew: Prevented End Of The World more than once and the current Dark Tournament Champions.
- Fire-Forged Friends: They had a rocky start during the Saint Beasts arc, but grew to respect each other.
- Five-Man Band
- The Leader: Yusuke. He's the spirit detective; they're his back up.
- The Lancer: Kuwabara, like Yusuke, is a deliquent with a heart of gold, but he uses a sword instead of a gun.
- The Smart Guy: Kurama is cunning like a fox.
- The Big Guy: Hiei has a Fantastic Nuke. Ironic, considering his extremely short stature.
- The Chick: Botan's job is providing support, delivering Koenma's orders, and otherwise keeping Yusuke on task.
- Heroic BSOD: When Yusuke lets Sensui kill him to empower the rest of his team to A Class.
- It's Personal: After Yusuke was killed by Sensui; Kuwabara, Kurama, Hiei are all hell bent on killing Sensui even if it means sacrificing their lives. Kurama even comments how this is the first time Hiei was willing to die for someone other than himself.
- Yusuke becomes enraged with Toguro following the latter's murder of Genkai, and becomes dead set on facing him in the tournament finals.
- Oddly Small Organization: The Spirit World's cleanup squad for when things go wrong consists of one detective and any friends he might make along the way. Though this is rendered a bit moot by the manga's ending, where it was revealed that Yusuke might not have been needed as badly as we originally thought.
- Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: The team consists of a delinquent Spirit Detective, his rival, a reincarnated Fox Demon, and a Reformed Criminal with an extra eye.
- True Companions: Yes, even Hiei who might not seem like this most of the time. But after watching all of the Chapter Black Saga, you can tell he truly cares for his friends.
Main Power: Spirit Gun, Demon Energy
You shouldn't talk. It makes you sound stupid.
Delinquent jerk who dies in a tragically ironic manner, saving a child from being hit by a car.
It gets even more tragically ironic when he is informed that not only did The Powers That Be never
expect such an act of goodness from him, the kid would have survived anyway, without a scratch.
Yusuke pushing him out of the way just gave him a few extra scrapes.
Since there's no place for him in heaven nor hell, Yusuke is given the opportunity to return to life, but once he does—Koenma owns him, and he becomes the Spirit Detective, taking care of supernatural problems that might threaten ordinary humans. Of course, as we gradually learn, Yusuke isn't all that ordinary, himself...
- Accidental Aiming Skills: During his first fight with Hiei, Yusuke knew he wouldn't be able to hit Hiei in the front because of his speed. So he fired his Spirit Gun at the Forlorn Hope and the mirror bounces his Spirit Gun onto Hiei's back. He himself wasn't sure if it would work or not.
- Anti-Hero: Unlike many shonen protagonists, Yusuke is not afraid to kill his enemies (at least, the non-human ones). He also tends to prioritize fighting over saving the world. He also is a delinquent thug, and in the manga he drinks and smokes.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Justified. After Yusuke dies saving a kid's life he still sticks around as part of his trials for coming back to life. As a ghost he helps many people in need like Kuwabara, lingering ghosts, and a friend from elementary school.
- All Genes Are Co-Dominant: Subverted. When Yusuke died for the first time, he was not strong enough to receive the Atavism of the Mazoku. Ironically, through his employment as Spirit Detective, he became strong enough for this demonic trait to 'accept' him and express itself after he died in his second battle against Shinobu Sensui.
- And This Is for...: His No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Dr. Ichigaki has him pretty much quoting this verbatim. Specifically, he says it on behalf of the three men that the doctor brainwashed, their master (on whom the demon inflicted an illness), and Kuwabara (who was hurt trying to snap the students out of their trance). Also, for himself, as the Doctor had really pissed Yusuke off.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Often uses this strategy first to test his opponent's strength before switching up his strategy.
- Battle Aura: Has three different energy types by the end of the series: Spirit Energy, Demon Energy, and an unknown type of energy that looks similar to Sacred Energy. Yusuke doesn't have the unique qualities mentioned by Sensui to produce Sacred Energy.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: He and Keiko can't go five minutes without some form of argument.
- Berserk Button: Killing or hurting any of his friends is not a good idea. Toguro even deliberately invokes this trope by pretending to kill Kuwabara in order to bring Yusuke's Power Level to his own level in hopes of him becoming a Worthy Opponent.
- Yusuke took absolute delight in beating the ever-loving shit out of Bakken for what he did to Kurama.
- BFG: Yusuke's Rei/Spirit Gun during the Dark Tournament final round.
- Big Damn Heroes: Shows up Back from the Dead a second time as a S Class demon with a Phoenix Puu and Koenma in the Demon World.
- Bishōnen: When his hair is not slicked back with hair gel. He looks like a completely different person.
- Blood Knight: Likely his most defining trope. Yusuke loves a good brawl and was so into his fight with Sensui that he couldn't have cared less that a storm of demons were going to swarm the Earth. He just didn't want to get cheated out of his fight.
- And when his ancestor takes over his body and ultimately deals fatal blows to Sensui, when Yusuke regains control, to say he is upset their fight was interrupted is putting it lightly.
- Book Dumb: He once got a twelve (yes, twelve out of 100) on a test. However, on the battlefield, he's a fairly competent strategist, and in one episode he correctly applies the principle of light reflection to defeat Hiei.
- Born Lucky: Some of his earlier Spirit Detective arc fights were won because he was just lucky.
- Brilliant but Lazy: A major reason for his Book Dumb and Idiot Hero. When he actually can be bothered to think things though, he has shown himself to be a strategic genius. The best example is probably when he goes up against Murota: Once he realizes his opponent is a mind reader, Yusuke instantly comes up with a strategy to trick Murota and beats him without landing a physical blow, using only 30% of his power. Genkai even says Yusuke is "a dimwit... but can fight like a genius once he knows his prey."
- Brought Down to Badass: During Team Urameshi's fight with Dr. Ichigaki's team.
- Byronic Hero: At fourteen, no less.
- Calling Your Attacks: Spirit Gun, Shotgun, Spirit Wave, etc.
- Carnivore Confusion: After dealing with Sensui and becoming a demon, Yusuke doesn't see a problem with demons eating humans, and now can hold open conversations with man-eating demons about their dietary habits. It's an interesting meditation on meat eating—Raizen, who is designed to eat humans, has spent over 500 years slowly dying of hunger. There's no right answer to the ethical practice of Raizen's dietary needs, and Yusuke's offering to kidnap humans for Raizen just makes the whole dilemma even murkier.
- Childhood Friend Romance / Official Couple: With Keiko.
- Children Are Innocent: He's rather protective of kids, and one of the best ways to piss him off is to threaten children or Keiko.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Gropes and teases Keiko, but if she needs his help there's nothing he won't do for her.
- He also doesn't mind feeling up his female opponents in the middle of a fight.
- Combat Pragmatist: His whole fighting style. Yusuke isn't a martial artist: he's a street fighter with no formal training. While his physical and spiritual energy reaches sky-high levels during the series, and he trains plenty, he never really learns more refined fighting styles: he just adapts his dirty fighting style to match his newfound strength, at one point even claiming "Sometimes, a good defense is just kicking ass!" It's a brutal style that revolves around just pummeling his enemy in the most brutally effective way possible. This shows especially well during his fight with Sensui, when he dives into a lake during his battle with him in order to get his ripped shirt wet so he could rip it off and use it like a wet towel, wrapping it around Sensui's arm to his in order to prevent him from using his specialized blocking style followed by pummeling him.
Sensui: What is this mockery!? This isn't martial arts!
Yusuke: No, it's called it's street fighting! Guess you didn't see it coming! And you can't get away!
- The Cynic: Life was never nice to Yusuke to begin with, and as it has given him no evidence to justify the opposite throughout his adventures, he sees no point in being nice back to it either.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially in the dub.
- Dead to Begin With: The series actually starts with his death.
- Delinquents: Yusuke has an entire city full of teen delinquents out to send him to the hospital. They all fail.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Being a neglected bastard child who only found peace in anger and violence really did a number on Yusuke: when he lost his hate for the world, he was left so hollow that he could not find joy and meaning in being The King of An Entire Demon Empire.
- Determinator: Willing to use Life Energy or use a Heroic Sacrifice if all else fails.
- Disguised in Drag: In the manga, Yusuke pulls this off pretty well and looks like quite a convincing girl, believe it or not.
- Disappeared Dad: We never hear from nor see Yusuke's biological father. Except in the manga. He is in one scene, talking to Atsuko in one of the wrap-up chapters, though he and Yusuke never meet.
- Diving Save: To rescue the little child in the first episode.
- Dude He's Like In A Coma: Justified. During the time in which Yusuke was technically dead (although his inert body was given pseudo-life in order to preserve it), Keiko has to kiss him in order to revive him in a kind of spiritual CPR.
- Before that, Keiko almost kisses his unconscious body while he invisibly and fervently protests, but is interrupted by an announcement from the Neighborhood Watch Committee that kicks her back to her senses.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He was on the verge of rearranging the face of a Sadist Teacher who mocked his mother for "pathetically begging" to let him back into school.
- Even the Guys Want Him: He is neck-deep in Foe Yay with every one of his male enemies.
- Finger Gun: Yusuke's Rei/Spirit Gun is one that actually fires.
- Friend to All Children: He notes that while he has trouble with everyone else due to his bad reputation, he at least can still make children happy. The whole story begins with him diving in front of a car to save a child.
- Generation Xerox: With Raizen. It's subtle, but it's there.
- Half-Breed Discrimination: Averted. In the Three Kings arc he becomes leader of his own country and garners full respect from his subordinates. In the Demon World Tournament, there were even demon spectators cheering him on during his fight with Yomi despite his being the underdog and a Half-Human Hybrid.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Sort of. Both of his parents and a good number of his ancestors are human, but 40+ generations back is Raizen, the demon world's most powerful demon and one of the Three Kings. However, his demon side never manifests until he is killed in battle by Sensui.
- Healing Factor: Was able to heal from his wounds suffered from Sensui's energy gun and also able to quickly heal a broken arm that Sensui snapped like a twig.
- Heir to the Dojo: Chosen as Genkai's successor after defeating Rando and winning her tournament.
- The Hero
- Heroic Bastard: 14 year old Urameshi Atsuko was definitely not married when she had that bout of morning sickness...
- Heroic BSOD During his fight with Yomi, Yusuke realizes that for the first time in the series he is fighting on his own terms, and promptly BSODs since he never had his own reasons for fighting other than his anger, which he's since dealt with. Raizen quickly snaps him out of it, though.
- Heroic Bystander: His introduction in the first episode.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Twice, and subverted both times.
- Hidden Depths: What kicks off the series. Literally no one expected Yusuke to throw himself in front of a car to save a little kid.
- Holding Your Shoulder Means Injury: Does this quite often in his earlier fights.
- Hot-Blooded: Mostly if you threaten his friends
- Human Female Ancestor, Non-Human Male Ancestor: Lady Doctor and Raizen who is actually a demon, one of the kings of Demon World no less.
- Idiot Hero: A darker variant than most. He has a lot of common sense, especially for a shonen hero, and tends to even point it out when he or someone else is doing something stupid.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: A Good Is Not Nice version as shown by his Spirit Beast, which is a reflection of his true inner self. Also, he resisted both Toguro and Sensui's attempt to corrupt him.
- In Name Only: For his Spirit Detective title since he never does any real detective work.
- Instant Runes / Tattooed Crook: After being possessed by his demon ancestor Yusuke is literally tattooed from head to foot in demon runes.
- It Amused Me: Well, he is a delinquent.
- It's Personal: His final fight with Toguro after Genkai dies. There's also the end of the Chapter Black saga, when he doesn't give a damn if the world is destroyed as long as he gets to settle his fight with Sensui.
- Jerkass Fašade: His Spirit Beast Puu turned out to be a very cute little bird-thinganimal which reflects his true personality as Koenma pointed out before the egg hatched.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Exaggerated, since he's a massive jerk with a massive heart of gold. It's true that he's a juvenile delinquent who prioritizes fighting over the safety of the world more than once, but it's remarked upon several times that he's not as bad as he seems, and seeing his friends in danger is the fastest way to make him stronger. Not to mention that the whole series started because he saved a toddler from being run over.
- Ki Attacks: Capable of using spirit energy, demon energy, and a mixture of spirit and demon energy.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Sensui tries to deconstruct this, giving a Breaking Speech during their second fight in the demon tunnel cave.
- Kubrick Stare: His default expression towards everybody, including his own mother. And it becomes mixed with disturbingly gleeful bloodlust whenever he is about to dish out a can of ass-whooping. Kuwabara still hasn't gotten the hint during the first episode.
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: His Knife-Edged Death Match with Chu.
- Magnetic Hero: Two of his enemies on a case become his True Companions, six of his opponents from various teams in the Dark Tournament become his allies, and people who look down on him tend to come to respect him when they fight him. Kurama says the Tournament Six are drawn to his "pureness in battle" and joined the Demon World Tournament purely out of a desire to fight with Yusuke.
- Marked Change: After being possessed by his demon ancestor Raizen, Yusuke is literally covered from head to foot in demon runes. Anytime he makes use of his demon energy afterwards the runes briefly appear.
- Mayfly-December Romance: The last couple of episodes imply that his lifespan is that of a demon, not a human. Poor Keiko.
- Meaningful Name: His name means Ghost Helper.
- More Dakka: His Spirit Shotgun. Also spammed a bunch of weaker Spirit Guns at Yomi to break his Deflector Shields while mixing his Spirit and Demon Energy together.
- Otaku: Of Combat Sports. Botan baited him to going on the case of tracking down Rando with front row seat tickets in the Tokyo Dome.
- Power Limiter: The Spirit Cuffs Genkai gave him. It forces him remain in full Spirit Power and full physical strength 24/7 if he even wants to move. This is similar to how athletes who train in aerobics for extensive periods of time experience heightened states of rest: heart and respiratory rate are much lower than that of a normal person.
- Power Makes Your Hair Grow: When Yusuke temporarily gets possessed by his ancestor awakening his Mazoku form, he gets long unkempt hair down below his waist, among other cosmetic changes, and then proceeds to curp-stomp Sensui.
- Psychic Static: He was able to beat Murota's "Wiretap" ability by repeating the way he planned on punching him over and over in his head, and then knocking him out just through the shockwave from his fist in the air.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs:
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Kuwabara's Red, Red to Hiei's Blue.
- Teens Are Monsters: An anti-heroic version. It's suggested near the end of the series that he could be a genuinely good person once he outgrows his adolescent rage problems.
- School Is For Losers: He doesn't even finish junior high in the anime, but averted in the manga in that his mother helped him get his diploma by asking her Yakuza friends to pull some strings that allowed him to finish his schooling in spite of spending 3 years absent.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: As the English dub so cheerfully puts it, "Fearless protector of the good stuff, with a healthy kickin-ass-ness and a general hate for authority!"
- Second Place Is for Winners: Form 3, when Yusuke is fighting Yomi in the Demon World Tournament. Yusuke himself stated that his Power Level was only around Shura's range. Yomi and Shura's fight was a complete Curb-Stomp Battle in the former's favor. Yusuke, however, was almost able to end the fight with a Cross Counter Double Knockout, but in the end he injured Yomi so badly that Yomi immediately lost the next round.
- Second Year Protagonist: Junior High, 8th grade.note
- Off Model: The intricacy and style of Yusuke's Mazoku tattoos is inconsistent in the manga. In the anime he has far fewer tattoos and they are both far simpler and more consistant than those in the manga.
- Sensitive Guyand Manly Man: Kuwabara is the sensitive guy (also literally) to Yusuke's Manly Man.
- Shirtless Scene: Usually during his most intensive fights.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Spirit Energy/Reiki Shotgun, that is.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: His second fight with Sensui after the latter finishes giving his Breaking Speech. Yusuke rebuts with a right hook to the face.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Especially in the uncut English dub, which was as potty-mouthed as shonen came in the early 2000s.
- Sphere of Destruction: His Spirit Gun becomes this after inheriting Genkai's Spirit Wave Orb. It just keeps getting more powerful from there on.
- Tame His Anger: Yusuke started out as an angry teen who rebels against authority. By the end of the series he's matured and happy with his life.
- The Runner Up Takes It All: Although Yusuke didn't win the Demon World Tournament nor did he get to the semi-finals, he did succeed in preventing both Yomi and Mukuro (with Hiei's Help) from winning, allowing Enki to win the tournament.
- Troubled, but Cute: Subverted: the only girl who likes him romantically is Keiko. Botan is more of a Cool Big Sis, and most human girls are terrified of him.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Kuwabara. Botan even lampshades this at school.
- Also has this in spades his mentor Genkai. For all of their outright hostile banter, they grow to love each other like family.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: His solution to any problem is hitting it with his fists or firing the Spirit Gun.
- Would Hit a Girl: One that can fight him, that is. If you're a fighter, you're a fighter, and it shouldn't matter whether you're male or female.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: After being reborn as a half-demon, going to the Demon World, and setting up a tournament with unquestioned rule over all Demon World as the grand prize, he mixes his human Spirit Energy and his demonic energy together to enter a sort of super mode. The last time we saw anything like this, the character using it managed to beat almost the entire main cast at the same time, and the powerup for Yusuke is rather similar.
- Younger Than They Look: He's fourteen.
Main Power: Spirit Sword
When men do what they're supposed to do, it's not always about what they want.
Yusuke's rival-turned-best-friend, Kuwabara is slightly jerk-y himself, but still easily the nicest of the four main characters. Kuwabara has a very powerful sixth sense, which he doesn't seem to enjoy, and is able to manifest his reiki (spirit energy) as a sword. Definitely something of a comic relief character, he falls in love with the ice demon, Yukina, and is utterly devoted to her. Kuwabara is the only full-blooded human in the main four.
Sometimes called "Kuwa-chan." Punk antagonists use it to get on his nerves, but Botan uses it affectionately.
- A Day in the Limelight: Is the key player during Chapter Black and the gang's trip to Spirit World in the manga.
- Alliterative Name
- And This Is for...: Pretty much all of his resolve in defeating Elder Toguro is based on a desire to avenge Genkai. To the point where he inflicts three finishing moves on the guy, each leaving the demon shocked.
- Apologetic Attacker: Oddly enough, starts off this way after he first thinks he finished Elder Toguro, as he was unaware of the extent of the latter's regenerative capabilities and Kuwabara thought that he had actually sliced his opponent in half. Once Toguro reveals that this was a trick, this gets dropped, especially when Kuwabara has Genkai's death rubbed in his face.
- Badass: He can certainly still deal great damage even after taking tons of beatings, the latter of which being something he does very well. His dedication to honor and his friends leads to many a verbal or physical CMoA.
- Badass Longcoat: Has a white longcoat he usually wears during a serious fight.
- Badass in Distress: In the third quarter of the Chapter Black arc.
- Badass Normal: After Yusuke's Demonic nature is revealed, he is offically the only Human on the team.
- Big Brother Mentor: To young Seaman.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's definitely the cheeriest member of the team, but when he gets serious he can (sometimes) do a lot of damage.
- Book Dumb: Still less so than Yusuke. And he subverts it by the end of the series.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: He's a little gruff, but a massive softie underneath.
- Buffy Speak: "SWORD, GET LONG!"
- Butt Monkey: He loses most of his fights and isn't exactly the smartest guy around, so he doesn't get much respect. Hiei in particular never passes up a chance to make fun of him.
- Can't Catch Up: He willingly retires from fighting after the Sensui arc, coming to terms with the fact that he can't keep up with the other three.
- Courtly Love: Although his jaw will drop and he'll ogle at the sight of any attractive female (cut him some slack, he IS a 14 year old boy after all), he is the picture of a polite and considerate gentleman towards the one girl he truly loves, Yukina.
- Dark Horse Victory: To EVERYONE except for Yukina, his defeating Elder Toguro is this. It's actually pretty hilarious seeing the reaction shot of the crowd, as they all either scream in shock or stare dumbfounded with their mouths agape.
- Delinquents: Second only to Yusuke.
- Determinator: Kamina could learn a thing or two from him.
- Dogged Nice Guy: To Yukina. Averted at the end of the manga, as Yukina ends up living with him and is openly showing affection to him as well.
- Dumbass No More: Gets into a prestigious university through sheer study and hard work, although the manga implies that he barely made it into his prestigious high school and must work hard to stay there.
- Faking the Dead: At the climax of the Dark Tournament arc.
- Fiery Redhead
- Honour Before Reason: It almost kills him several times.
- Hot-Blooded: If you threaten Yukina, he will beat you up.
- How Do I Shot Web?: Has trouble summoning his dimensional sword after his first use of it, and only manages it twice; when Yusuke's about to be killed by Sensui, and when the Dimensional Cannon is threatening Sarayashiki and thus, Yukina.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Yukina.
- Idiot Hero: Again like Yusuke, has a lot of common sense, but he can be dense at times.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold/Gentle Giant: Has a warm, tender, sensitive and kind heart that is almost never found in boys his age, let alone a violent delinquent.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: He completely gave in to other bullies holding his kitten hostage.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Seems like the only character in the series who both recognizes how truly nasty people can be, and still fights to do right by them.
- The Heart: Will always be the first to (angrily) interject his idealism and kindness into a situation whenever anyone (ESPECIALLY Hiei) gets too heartless and cynical.
- Large Ham: Especially when he talks to Yukina. He's kinda voiced by Christopher Sabat so it's to be expected.
- Laser Blade: His main weapon.
- Locked Out of the Loop: He's the only one besides Yukina who doesn't know that Hiei and Yukina are siblings.
- Also he was the one of the last to learn that Genkai had been killed.
- Luminescent Blush: Whenever Yukina touches him or reacts positively to his hammy displays of affection. The more positive the response, the more likely Kazuma is to catch a severe case of High-Pressure Emotion.
- Man in White: In later episodes.
- Manly Tears: As is befitting for a true Badass.
- Maybe Ever After: With Yukina. Though if they do, he is going to have a son with a personality as rotten as Hiei's, as all Ice Maidens will bear when they consumate with a man. Poor fella... As well as a daughter just as sweet and gentle as her mother.
- Nice Guy: Kuwabara mellows throughout the series, crossing out the "Jerk" and underlining the "Heart of Gold."
- Out of Focus: He's barely in the Three Kings arc because of his studies. He makes up for it with a triumphant return in the manga.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Averted; despite being tremendously overshadowed by his three fighting partners, Kuwabara manages to stay in the game through his bullheadedness, psychic powers, and Spirit Sword in all its varieties. Particularly blatant in the Chapter Black arc, where his power is a major factor in Sensui's plan, and is implied to be unblockable as Sensui never took it head on (a sword that can cut through space/time and dimensions would probably cut through anything, even S-Class fighters).
- The Power of Friendship and The Power of Love: Both make him do amazing things.
- In his second solo fight in the Dark Tournament Arc, he is getting knocked around by Risho due to having almost no spirit energy left and possibly a broken spine. Yukina shows up, and he suddenly throws Risho aside and runs up to Yukina as if he isn't even injured. When Risho tries to attack him again, Kuwabara suddenly gains his spirit energy back and one-shots him across the arena.
- After the match, Yukina tries to cure his wounds, only to discover they were already half healed on their own.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Has quite the soft spot for cats, and especially Eikichi, his very own pet kitten.
- Red String of Fate: With Yukina, he claims. It allegedly helps him lead them to her in the Rescue Yukina arc.
- Rescue Romance: Upon falling for Yukina, he joins Yusuke and Botan to rescue her.
Kurama / Shuiichi Minamino
Species: Demon / Partially Human
Main Power: Flora Manipulation
You should know better than to corner an animal like a fox... We have a tendency to show our teeth.
Kurama is over a thousand years old, a fox demon and former thief killed by a hunter. Unwilling to die peacefully, his soul passed into the human world and entered the womb of a pregnant woman, Shiori Minamino. Reborn as her son, Shuuichi Minamino, Kurama planned to return to his life as a rogue thief as soon as he could, but his mother's unconditional love convinced him to stay for her sake, and even risk his life to save hers when she fell gravely ill
. After he's caught by Yusuke, he is paroled. Part of his sentence is to help Yusuke, and basically do Koenma's bidding.
Personality-wise, Kurama is outwardly kind, cryptic, intelligent, and not above teasing Yusuke or Hiei mercilessly (sometimes with Kuwabara's help). That is if you are on his good side. If you are on his bad
side... then it's probably time to start praying that he'll at least be merciful enough to make your death quick.
- Adaptational Dye Job: In the manga, his hair is black to very dark blue, in the anime, it's red.
- Aloof Ally: Though he is nice, he does not often hang out with the group outside of battle.
- Aloof Big Brother: Despite not being related to any of the main characters. Although this has been subverted towards his little stepbrother; he acts annoyed that his stepbrother followed him to his school, but it's implied he knew all along that he was being possessed by one of Yomi's minions.
- Animal Motifs / Animal Stereotypes: The guy is really a kitsune.
- The Atoner: Becoming a genuinely good-hearted, if still vengeful, person for his beloved human mother.
- Until the end of the series, Kurama struggles with his identity and self-worth. Initially, Kurama seems all too eager to leave the shameful carnage of his life as Yoko behind, but at the same time he is bothered by the newfound weakness of his human form. These mixed feelings about who he really is very obviously torture him.
- Badass: A premier example within the story.
- Badass Bookworm: He can outsmart a genius who's written several best-selling literature and an ability to steal your soul if you accidentally say a word or use the the first letters of that word in the right order.
- Handicapped Badass: Downplayed. He doesn't remain handicapped (if you don't consider getting turned from an all-powerful fox demon into a human schoolboy a handicap like Hiei does), but during the Dark Tournament, Kurama's arms and legs are bound. What does he do? He kills his opponent with his hair. Then the blood of his opponent seals his spirit energy, and he has to fight another match without his arms, legs, or spirit energy. Guess who wins again.
- Batman Gambit: VERY important in his strategies.
- Becoming the Mask: He intended to leave Shiori's side when his injuries got better, then found out he had grown genuinely fond of her and decided to stay with her anyway.
- Berserk Button: Only two things seem to piss him off: threatening his human mother and family, and being forced to take an innocent life.
- He does have a third: Being mistaken for a girl. He nearly snapped on Yusuke and Keiko when they pushed this button a little too far...
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's a sweetheart, and he is a lot more polite than Yusuke and Hiei (not like that's saying much), but that doesn't mean he is above killing someone in a particularly brutal and bloody manner should they piss him off.
- Big Brother Instinct: He does not react well to Yomi threatening his human stepbrother, who does not know about Kurama's true identity for his own protection.
- Bishōnen: To the extent that he's mistaken for Kuwabara's girlfriend in the last episode.
- The Chessmaster: Generally during his fights in the series he wins in the first minute or so, even if his foes don't know it yet, and it's repeatedly shown that the longer you take to beat him the only thing you're actually accomplishing is giving him more time to come up with a cruel and unusual death for you, regardless of how screwed he might look. Of his foes, only Toya manages to think at his level (and even then Kurama had a massive handicap) and only Karasu, Itsuki and Yomi can actually outplay him.
- Crazy-Prepared: In the English dub, his fight in the Demon World Tournament arc reveals he seeded the area thousands of years previous just on the off chance he'd have to fight in that area in the future. (In the Japanese version, he instead grafted a living cherry tree into the dead giant tree, creating a revitalised hybrid.)
- Crossdressing Voices: Japanese version only. Actually, this was Megumi Ogata's debut role.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: This is the typical fate of most of the people who piss the guy off or try to screw him over when they're fighting him, with heavy emphasis on cruel. Worse if you happen to receive one of them and are immortal.
- Cunning Like a Fox: Literally, as he is a demon humanoid fox with a thousand years of experience.
- Deadpan Snarker: Though soft-spoken, just listen closely and you'll notice that his speech reeks of sarcasm.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: More then a few first-time viewers of the show have mistaken him for a girl. Oh yeah, so did the Filipino dub studio!
- This trope is touched on in universe. Kuwabara's college peers end up mistaking Kurama for his girlfriend in both the manga in anime. In the manga, Kurama gets noticeably pissed at this, and later, when Yusuke has to infiltrate a girl's boarding school, he goes to Kurama for help. Kurama testily demands if he has to "wear a disguise?" to be of any use to them.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: If not for Shiori, he'd still be a ruthless Youkai. He's also very fond of his stepfather and little stepbrother. Threatening them is the quickest Berserk Button you can press.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Karasu really really likes him.
- Fiery Redhead: He doesn't classically fit the trope, but Karasu invokes it with regards to his persistance.
- Fusion Dance: In the sub, he's the same person in whatever form even though his true form is more ruthless.
- Gentleman Snarker: He's generally soft-spoken and very polite, but though it's sometimes quite subtle he can snark with the best of 'em.
- Green Thumb: And he makes it awesome...and terrifying.
- Good Is Not Soft: Kurama is an amicable person, genuinely kindhearted and willing to lend a helping hand. That still doesn't mean he's any less intimidating when angry, or that he would hesitate in the slightest to kill you.
- Guile Hero: Though he's an excellent fighter, his most dangerous weapon is his tremendously sharp mind. And then he combines the two...
- Honest Advisor: He is both kindhearted and brutally honest, due both to hundreds of years of experience being a bandit and to experiencing the redeeming Power of Love firsthand. He lampshaded this with his training Kuwabara. Hiei, due to his sense of honor and Kuwabara's weakness, would hold back while training him. Kurama will show him clearly just how much he is outclassed.
- I Have Your Mother: Roto tries this to prevent him from fighting back, but Kurama prevents him from pressing the button that signals her execution. Yomi uses the threat of killing his human mother, stepfather and stepbrother to force him to serve him. Shachi tries to use his brother as a hostage, but fails because his minion pulls a Mook-Face Turn.
- Intergenerational Friendship: As a former Demon Fox who had to merge with a human fetus to survive, Kurama is potentially thousands of years old (he was, after all, Yomi's commander 1000 years ago), and is thus much older than his physical appearance would suggest. This places a huge generation gap between him and all of his friends—not even Hiei is old enough to be Kurama's contemporary. Fortunately, Kurama seems quite capable of relating to human psychology, cultural practices, and even technology, and has managed to reconcile his perspective on demon culture with what he has learned of human culture. This makes Kurama a unique and important part of the team as he is an older and much wiser friend who understands the practices and powers of both human and demon opponents they encounter, making him a deadly, analytical foe in combat and a deeply empathetic, intelligent, and caring friend off the battlefield.
- Interspecies Friendship: The story makes it a point that Kurama's interactions with Yusuke and Kuwabara are just as enlightening for him as they are for them, as he is a demon living a human lifestyle. Fighting together with Yusuke and Kuwabara has emphasized the importance of the compassion and empathy he learned from his human mother, as his human friends have fought for his safety and happiness as fiercely as if he were their own family. Conversely, Kurama's demonic experience and fiercer personality traits from his former life have proven useful to Yusuke and Kuwabara in giving them an understanding of the morality, culture and practices of the demons they come up against, giving his human friends a unique perspective on the capacity for good inside demons and toughening them up for when they need to be harsh to defeat their foes. Kurama's interactions with his friends have proven that no demon or human need be trapped between two worlds, that one can reconcile two different lifestyles and formulate a meaningful compromise between the two.
- In Touch with His Feminine Side: A Bishonen who's very soft spoken, girly-looking, elegant as well as being the most sensitive to others' emotions and able to "read the atmosphere."
- Jack of All Stats: In his human form.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Happens to him during the Dark Tournament. After fighting two matches consecutively, with the latter match draining him of his energy, Kurama passes out while still standing on his feet. Enter Bakken, who's too cowardly to hold his own against a fit fighter, and who is angry at Kurama's prior winnings. He mercilessly attacks Kurama while he is unconscious, stopping only when Yusuke threatens to shoot him in the back with his Spirit Gun.
- Bakken's treatment of him is especially jarring when you take into account that Kurama had absolutely no desire to kill Gamma at all, urging him to stop moving because he was losing too much blood, and even spared Touya's life after the ice demon begged him to kill him.
- The Kirk: He's perfectly level-headed until his Berserk Buttons are pushed, and often works to keep the group working smoothly together.
- Kitsune: He is a Japanese fox demon.
- Little Bit Beastly: His demonic form—in addition to changing his hair and eye color—gives him fox ears and a tail.
- Love Redeems: As a demon Kurama was a very self-interested, remorseless, brutal, and calculating mastermind who used his power and wits to gain more influence and wealth, and had no friends that he trusted completely—as befitting of the laws of Demon World where ruthlessness wins the day. His human mother's love mellowed him from a sociopathic theif into a Beware the Nice Ones Nice Guy.
- Man in White: As Yoko Kurama.
- Manly Tears / Not So Stoic: In the Japanese version, after Kuwabara's death, his voice breaks and he's shown trembling, as if crying.
- The Medic: His knowledge of plants is useful for this as well.
- Noble Demon: Subverted. He is only technically a demon, and is way too noble to qualify.
- Youko Kurama probably plays it straight though.
- Not So Above It All: He usually likes to play the part of the cool-headed, rational demon. As the series goes on, it's revealed he isn't exactly above teasing Yusuke (with Kuwabara even!), spending countless hours on video games (even MORE than Kuwabara or Yusuke!), and actually cheats the hell out of card games.
- Not So Stoic:
- Becomes visibly enraged for the first and only time during the Chapter Black arc, when he has to kill a 12-year-old opponent like Amanuma, and later fights Elder Toguro.
- Is deeply unnerved by Karasu, and panics over the prospect of being killed by him.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. Shares the same human name with his little stepbrother, Shuuichi.
- Princely Young Man: By virtue of his attitude and how he's treated in this case, rather than status. He's a Prince Charming type.
- Real Men Wear Pink: He doesn't look impressive, being a pretty boy that often wears a pink school uniform and has this thing for roses. Guess who is one of the series' biggest Badasses and the only person that Hiei admits being afraid of?
- Really 700 Years Old: Played With: His human body really is a teenager like it appears to be, but his demon soul is thousands of years old.
- Yoko Kurama looks like a 20-to-early-30s man, yet he was Yomi's superior and possibly elder authority a thousand years ago.
- Red-Headed Hero: His hair is dark crimson; though it does change color when he assumes his true form.
- School Uniforms are the New Black: In a manga bonus story, his classmates note that he wears the uniform even when he doesn't have to.
- She's a Man in Japan: In the Philippines actually. They Hand Waved this after they got to the point where his chest is visible.
- Shout-Out: "Just call me Tuxedo Mask" in Chapter 44 of the manga. The authors of YuYu Hakusho and Sailor Moon (who later married) were dating at this time.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Probably used to play into the old tale that green-eyed redheads can be expected to have magical powers. Alternatively, to highlight his affinity for roses. Note that Kurama's eyes turn golden and his hair turns white when he switches into his demonic form.
- The Smart Guy: An anime poster boy for this trope.
- Something about a Rose / Whip It Good: His signature weapon is the Rose Whip, a rose he keeps in his hair and transforms into a whip with his demon energy.
- The Stoic: The guy has a pokerface that is simply unbreakable in a fight, to the point of almost coming across as a sociopath at times. He DOES have emotions, he's just able to look past them and analyze a situation with a cold rational mind, then switch back to being pleasant and upbeat when he has to be.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: For the most part, he is extremely kind and self-sacrificing to others. He works very hard to please his mother, and has a limitless love of the world around him. However, he can switch to cruel, cold, and calculating in a matter of seconds.
- Token Good Teammate: To Hiei and Gouki, wanting the mirror so that he can save his mother, knowing it will cost him his life. He even makes arrangements for Yusuke to recover the mirror after he's dead, not expecting to survive.
- Training from Hell: Gives Kuwabara some fairly harsh training to prepare him for the Dark Tournament, and later works with Genkai to train some of his team's former rivals to prepare some elite fighters for Yomi.
- Tranquil Fury: This makes him absolutely frightening. During Chapter Black, when he's forced to kill Amanuma, he is completely and utterly enraged. Fortunately, Elder Toguro was there for him to take out his fury on.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Played with. His demonic form has the long, flowing white hair and pretty face accociated with this character type, and in that form he is more distanct and cold. Though his demon form is not evil, it is what he looked like before he was reincarnated into a human body, when he was as bad as any other demon.
Main Power: Superspeed / Jagan Eye / Flame Manipulation
I know as much of games as I do of hugs and puppies, and care for them even less. Wake me for the end of the world.
An aloof and elusive swordsman from the Demon World. Hiei possesses a surgically implanted third eye that endows him with several abilities such as mind control, telepathy, and telekinesis. Hiei is a fire demon, and is capable of manipulating the human world's crimson flames as well as the demon world's dark flames. He is taciturn and misanthropic, and the only being he cares about other than himself seems to be his twin sister, Yukina
. Hiei was the ringleader of the theft that led to Yusuke meeting him, Kurama, and Gouki. Unlike Kurama, Hiei had no good intentions, but like Kurama, part of his sentence is to assist Yusuke and Koenma. Eventually, he does come to respect Yusuke as a friend and warrior, although he usually won't help without a good pretext
- Aloof Ally: A trope poster boy.
- Aloof Big Brother: To Yukina.
- Amazon Chaser: Hiei likes Mukuro because of her being strong enough to stand against him as well as their Not So Different backgrounds even though her mutation and the horrors she put herself through to escape her abusive father have disfigured her.
- Ascended Extra: He was never supposed to show up after Yusuke beat him, but people kept asking about him, so he came back when Kurama did.
- Badass: He absolutely doesn't play around in his fights, and will cut you to shreds in split-split seconds before you can even comprehend the fact that you've been cut.
- Bandage Babe: His bandaged arm and his good looks fulfill this trope, though if you tried to give him a hug he'd rip your spine out.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Mukuro, in a much more literal way than Yusuke and Keiko.
- Berserk Button:
- Big Damn Heroes: Arrives just in the nick of time and rescues Yusuke from Sniper's onslaught.
- Blood Knight: Although he's too arrogant to acknowledge his opponent, he clearly likes fighting because he was literally born in a dog-eat-dog world.
- Brought Down to Badass: Hiei reached A-Class levels of power just a few years after birth, but lost most of his power during his surgery for the Jagan.
- Byronic Hero: Think Yusuke, but dipped in liquid nitrogen, and you'll have a good idea of how cold this guy is.
- Card-Carrying Villain: In his initial appearance—he is quite insistent on how arrogantly insidious he is, never at any point stops gloating or posturing at length about how superior he is (usually at the top of his lungs in the most hammy way possible), with as much evil laughter as he can muster for good measure, and holds the Villain Ball very closely and as a result makes a lot of arrogance-fueled mistakes. In his next appearance he shifts into the personality he keeps for the rest of the series—calm, calculating, and a man of few words and decisive action. See Characterization Marches On and Continuity Drift below.
- Characterization Marches On: When he was a villain, he was outright psychotic, with Nobuyuki Hiyama hamming it up in voicing him. When he makes his Heel-Face Turn, he's a Deadpan Snarker Perpetual Frowner Aloof Ally, and the way he's voiced naturally changes along with the characterization.
- Continuity Drift: Togashi, apparently, was not always sure if Hiei was going to become a recurring character—certainly not that he would rank #1 in both Character Popularity polls—and it shows. When he first appears, he transforms into his "full/true demon form," but this is, oddly, never seen again. Except for a Non-Serial Movie, okay, but still. This demon form is apparently derived from and based on his Jagan, which we later find out is an implant, courtesy of Shigure. In an early episode, he also tells Yusuke that he and Yukina are half-siblings with different mothers, but his Whole Episode Flashback clearly shows that they're twins and they do have the same mother, Hina. Of course, that one can be written off easily; it wouldn't be out of character for Hiei to lie.
- Or he could be using this as a cover. He doesn't really hold the fondest of regards for the Ice Maidens, after all.
- Cruel Mercy: He does it twice. First with Tarukane, whose life he spared before giving him the final push into madness. Second, he never went through with his promise to kill all the Ice Maidens because they were already dead inside and sparing their lives was crueler.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Hiei's... quite good at unleashing unholy amounts of badass to crush his opponents with sheer anticlimactic force. See Zeru, who spent half an episode being built up as The Guy To Watch Out For, and Hiei reduced him to an ashy impression on a wall in seconds.
- At least his attack on Zeru left him effectively crippled for nearly the entire tournament, which he thought was a necessary sacrifice against someone so strong... except that several of his other opponents were still killed in a single move. Then he fought Bui, one of the strongest fighters in the tournament, and celebrated by smacking his body all the way up and down the arena.
- There's also his fight with Makintaro in the opening match of the Dark Tournament Semi-Finals. Within a moment of the fight's beginning, Hiei slices his opponent's arm off, with the latter not realizing this until Hiei points it out. When Makintaro proceeds to grow an axe in his arm's place and charge, Hiei simply moves quickly enough to remove his cloak and jump on top of Makintaro, stabbing his sword through the latter's head. The whole fight is over within 2 minutes.
- Deadpan Snarker / Comically Serious: When he's not commenting on a fight, most of his lines are one of the two.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Which causes a Heroic BSOD and turns him into a Death Seeker after he fulfills what he thought was his final mission, helping his sister.
- Easily Forgiven: Yusuke is immediately OK with working alongside the guy who kidnapped his girlfriend and tried to turn her into a demon.
- Enfant Terrible: When he was kid, though it can possibly be blamed on the prejudice he faced seconds after being born.
- Even Evil Has Standards: When he was a Boxed Crook in the Saint Beasts arc he remarked that Kurama is "Even more cuthroat than I am."
- Expy: Of Vegeta. Both are Proud Warrior Race Guys with emphasis on the "proud" part that start out opposing The Hero but later make a Heel-Face Turn to become one of the good guys' strongest fighters. Also, they both are short, have long, upright black hair and are revealed to be of the same type of being as the protagonist.
- Extra Eyes: Has a third eye in his forehead.
- Eyepatch of Power: Technically, it's a headband. It covers his Jagan so it still counts.
- Flawless Victory: Hiei is the only character in the Dark Tournament Arc to win every battle he participates in, and only one of his opponents survives.
- Forgotten Phlebotinum: Hiei's Jaganshi form, only used in his first appearance and one of the movies, where he sprouts extra Jagans all over his body which greatly increase his speed, strength, and demonic power. Possibly justified in that it leaves him with a Weaksauce Weakness to any attack that can blind him (since he has eyes all over his body), and it's implied his Dragon of the Darkness Flame is a stronger ability overall.
- Glass Cannon -> Lightning Bruiser: At least initially, since a single Spirit Gun from Yusuke was able to knock him out (back when it was only around twice as strong as his punch). Subverted in later seasons, as despite his small size, he is shown to be surprisingly hardy and resistant to damage. By absorbing his dragon, his defense increases to the point that most attacks don't even phase him.
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Has a major makeover after Togashi decided he'll be good, or at least an anti-hero, part of which was considerably widening his eyes.
- Heel-Face Turn: After being defeated...
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kurama.
- Hidden Depths: More complex than you'd think.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Very, very deeply hidden, but Hiei truly loves his twin sister Yukina, and cares for (or at the very least respects) his allies, to the point where he was most visibly seething with rage after Sensui kills Yusuke.
- Hot Guy, Ugly Wife: Though not married nor officially involved with Mukuro, the Belligerent Sexual Tension is clearly there. The horrible scars on her body due to her mutation make for a partial straight example of this trope, since he is more attractive than her.
- Katanas Are Just Better: To wit, he usually starts the battle with his katana even after finding out that his bare hands and Ki Attacks are much more effective. Guess what appears in his part of the opening credits.
- Somewhat subverted. Hiei's sword in the anime seems to switch between being a katana and a double-edged european style broadsword with no noticeable affect on its cutting ability.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: In the anime, is willing to kill Tarukane for abducting Yukina.
- Magical Eye: His Jagan, which literally means "evil eye," allows him to see great distances and allows him some minor clairvoyance.
- Maybe Ever After: With Mukuro, whom he has grown very close to by the end of the series to the point of going out of his way to see her on a regular basis, which for a guy like Hiei says a lot.
- Morality Pet: His sister, Yukina.
- Noble Demon: Going by his flashbacks and his own narration, Hiei was an incredibly sadistic and brutal killer as a child. However, he doesn't take kindly at all to people betraying their allies, and he always keeps his word.
- No Kill Like Overkill: Unlike other fighters who frequently warm up with lesser offenses and have fun with the fight (Yusuke) or gauge their foes until they counterattack (Kurama), Hiei's favored tactic seems to be to start out with overwhelming force and end his fights as quickly as possible, partially because he likes showing off what a badass he is. On occasion this has actually worked against him as much as it helps: since he tries to solve all his problems with swift application of brute force, cleverer fighters with more unique abilities can remove him from the fight early on.
- Not So Different: In his battle with Mukuro, both find out that they are much more similar than they first thought.
- One-Hit Kill: Absolutely loves these. Among his numerous one-hit KOs, his iconic ones are Zeru and Sniper. The former was hyped up to be an immensely powerful flame-user (he was), and ended up a stain on the wall. The latter was toying with Yusuke for the better part of two whole episodes, and even blew him up, yet Hiei took him down with practically zero effort.
- Orgasmic Combat: Versus Mukuro. Justified, in that it was their own way to have a heart-to-heart.
- Out of Focus: Takes off for quite a bit during the Sensui arc, and even after he returns he's noticeably relegated to the background more than usual. The Three Kingdoms arc makes up for it, though.
- Perpetual Frowner
- Pet the Dog: Is really, genuinely angry with the way Seiryuu betrays Byakko, and displays it by finishing off Seiryuu like it was nothing. But before he does so, he throws his coat aside in a way that it falls over Byakko's head, respectfully covering it after death.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: 4'9" without his hair and can beat up guys two or three times his size with ease (and when introduced was much weaker than when he was a child).
- Playing with Fire: Demonic fire.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue oni to Yusuke and Kuwabara, Red oni to Kurama, and Yukina.
- Shirtless Scene: It would be easier to count the number of fights in which he's wearing it for the whole time. Usually is ripped/exploded/tossed aside within the first few seconds.
- Smug Super: A heroic, sort of, version.
- So Last Season: His Dragon of the Darkness Flame and the technique where he consumes it to power up are useless against Sensui.
- The Southpaw: He is NOT left-handed, but when the Dragon of the Darkness flame paralyzes his right arm he needs to learn to hold his sword with his left, temporarily.
- The Spock: When not playing the Smug Super.
- Starter Villain: Along with Gouki, he was set up as this before his unexpected popularity.
- Token Evil Teammate: He's a murderer and his teammates are two deliquents and a mamma's boy.
- Too Many Belts: Justified, as it held back the Dragon of the Darkness Flame from devouring him.
- Training from Hell: Trains Kuwabara for the Dark Tournament. Because of Hiei's honour system, his training is less hellish than Kurama's.
- Whole Episode Flashback: The two episodes detailing his past.
- The Worf Barrage: His Dragon of the Darkness Flame incinerates Zeru, but afterward (not counting the second movie), can't kill anything stronger than a Mook (though it can quickly obliterate an entire army of A-class demons).
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