YMMV / YuYu Hakusho

  • Adaptation Displacement: The anime is much more well-known than the manga. Reasons for this that are cited are Studio Pierrot's practice of Adaptation Distillation and to some extent Pragmatic Adaptation in compressing Early Installment Weirdness of Yusuke's pre-resurrection errands (which lasted for two volumes in the manga, but is only five episodes in the anime), omitting certain details that were considered unnecessary grittiness (for example in the Manga Yusuke, who is a teenager, was established as being a smoker. The anime completely removes this aspect of his character even if only to avoid controversy with public moral censors) and even some degree of Adaptation Expansion in turning minor plot points into mini subplots.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • After showing off his powers for a bit, Hagiri is suddenly defeated in one panel by Hiei's arrival. Gourmet, or rather Elder Toguro wearing his body is taken out in a similarly quick manner.
    • In the manga it's none other than Yomi. After a brief exchange in the fight, the story jumps to some time later with Yusuke commenting on what happened.
    • For being strong enough to make it to the semi-finals of the Dark Tournament, Shishiwakamaru and Suzuka each go down very quickly against Genkai, despite the latter being in a severely weakened state. Suzuka especially seemed to be set up as a legitimate threat, earning some wariness from Kurama and Hiei.
  • Ass Pull: Many fans felt that Yusuke being part demon that came right smack out of nowhere with no foreshadowing whatsoever and led the Sensui arc to a very anti-climactic conclusion.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Shinobu Sensui. Some like him as a suave, intellectual, clever Fallen Hero turned Misanthropic Villain, though detractors feel that he is ridiculously over intelligent and powered.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The subplot of Mr. Iwamoto trying to frame Yusuke for stealing from his classmates in episode 6. There was really no purpose to it other than to allow Yusuke to use the Psychic Spyglass, which was ultimately its only use in the story.
  • Broken Base: The meaning of the "Forever Fornever" text that appears at the last caption in the anime finale has been debated for years, and no one is sure what is it, if there is really any.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Most famous is the Elder Toguro. In contrast to his honorable Noble Demon younger brother, Toguro freely admits to being a treacherous sadist devoid of honor. In his first appearance, he kills Yukina's only friends, a pair of bluebirds, with great relish. In his first match at the Dark Tournament, he spares two fighters and promises to let one join Team Toguro. When one begs for his life, Toguro kills him...and then kills the other because he just hates keeping his promises. After the death of Genkai, Toguro uses his powers to make a mockery of her in front of everyone, particularly bringing it up to try to break Kuwabara's spirit during their fight, after he had already beaten and impaled Kuwabara repeatedly. His crowning moment of evil was letting the psychic Gourmet devour him... and then he tortuously devoured him from the inside out, delighting in his pain all the while. Later on he would use the Gourmet's powers to eat Yusuke's ally Murota alive. All of these crimes were committed while Elder Toguro was helping in two attempts to open a portal from the demon world into the human world which would lead to the humans being overrun and massacred by the demons.
    • Gonzo Tarukane in the English dub was given more crimes than in the original Japanese. While Tarukane desires wealth above all, he kidnaps the innocent snow maiden Yukina due to her tears producing rare jewels and tortures her physically and emotionally, even having the man who tried to rescue her gunned down. Adding to his crimes, Tarukane puts animals through horrible genetic experiments and founded the sinister Black Black club, making him responsible for the torture and murder of countless innocent demons. Tarukane shows that that humans can be just as vile as even the worst of demons.
    • Mad Scientist demon Dr. Ichigaki makes a kind martial arts master sick so his followers make a Deal with the Devil with Ichigaki to cure the master and save him by joining Ichigaki's experiments. He proceeds to turn said followers into bio-engineered Brainwashed and Crazy killing machines, and doesn't even cure their master. Ichigaki openly admits to not caring about said brainwashed killing machines and only entered into the tournament to get Yusuke's body; once that happened, he'd dispose of the disciples himself. He takes a sick pleasure in watching Yusuke and Kuwabara choose between winning the match (and killing the innocent followers) or trying to save them (and ending up slain).
    • Chikou is the "father"/owner of Mukuro, the Makai ruler. He outfitted her with cybernetics to turn her into his sex-slave at birth, and started raping her as soon as the procedure was complete. This continued throughout her childhood until she disfigured herself with acid so she'd be too unattractive for him to be interested, at which point he simply threw her out. Just to make sure she wouldn't try to kill him later on, he implanted Mukuro with false memories of him having been nice to her before. He had to implant these memories because he'd never shown her any kindness in her life.
  • Counterpart Comparison:
    • Given how prominent this show and Dragon Ball Z were in the West during the early 2000s, it's no surprise that Hiei gets this with Vegeta. Both were originally slated to be arc villains, but proved to be so popular that they ended up becoming major supporting characters for the rest of the series. Additionally, both are notable for being short, but powerful, anti-heroes with black, spiky hair, and each are shown prioritizing training over social interactions in attempts to overcome the protagonists in strength. This was also the case during both mangas' serialization in Shonen Jump. Yoshihiro Togashi handed out a limited-print doujinshi after Yu Yu ended, which included a drawing of Majin Vegeta and Dabura, noting that some people "looked at Hiei and saw this."
    • Several characters in Yu Yu tend to be paralleled with ones from Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable, as the two manga ran roughly alongside each other with the authors of both series being friends. The most prominent example is between Kuwabara and Okuyasu Nijimura, two idiotic, pompadour-sporting delinquents who initially appear as antagonists but quickly pull heel-face turns. In pretty much any Fan Dub of DiU, Okuyasu will sound as close as possible to Chris Sabat's Kuwabara.
    • It's pretty easy to compare Kurama to Marluxia. Both are very feminine-looking, they have essentially the same Elemental Powers, (that is to say, Petal Power) and are very ruthless and manipulative. They even have similar hairstyles and colors.
  • Creepy Awesome: The Toguro Brothers, Karasu, and Shinobu Sensui.
  • Cult Classic: Not nearly as popular as Dragon Ball Z, its rival at the time, but it has a fierce following.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • In spades. Keiko gets her fair share of this, but the biggest victim is actually Mukuro, who has beautifully written moments of warmth with Hiei (that differ in the manga and anime, but both have impact). Naturally, she is written off as a conceited whore that torments Hiei, allowing Kurama to come and rescue him.
    • Yoshihiro Togashi actually intended for Hiei and Mukuro to be a canon pairing, but the fan backlash that came about their Ship Tease was so severe that he canned it!
    • Let's not forget Maya Kitajima from the manga. Almost 90% of the few mentions she gets in the fandom are about how much of a "bitch" and a "slut" she is... merely for having a crush on her senpai Kurama!
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Sakyo gets this in canon in the anime, which gives him a romance with Shizuru and an Alas, Poor Villain death. In the manga, he never gets involved with Shizuru at all, and certainly nobody mourns his passing.
    • Sensui in the Japanese fandom. Japanese fangirls have said they want to date and/or marry him. In the United States...not so much.
  • Ending Fatigue: The final arc and epilogue somehow managed to drag on and feel rushed at the same time. The Three Kings arc ends right in the middle of Yusuke and Yomi's fight, with all the outcomes of the tournament simply told to the reader after the fact. And then after that is the multi-chapter epilogue that's basically just a large series of unnecessary one-shots (enough to take up an entire tankobon,) ending with one more conflict that's resolved easily, but once again ends right in the middle. Not to mention that Genkai's second and final death occurs off-panel during this part, and what would've been her very last appearance in the manga is after the cut-off point.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Oddly enough, the second judge during the Dark Tournament saga, Juri, proved to be a decently popular character despite only being in the show for the last quarter of that arc. The other judge, Koto, is also pretty well-liked.
    • Not to mention Chu and Jin, two characters who remain popular despite comparatively little screentime. Of course one of the factors of Chu's darkhorseness is because of his voice being Norio Wakamoto. And then this.note . As well as being a Wild Card badass turning the trope of the usual Training from Hell results into a balanced and unpredictable fight.
    • And of course there's Hiei, who according to Word of God was just supposed to be a Starter Villain (clear with his more psychotic personality and "true demon form" showing), but whose popularity launched him to the status of one of the four main characters.
    • Kirishima, one of Kuwabara's friends, was ranked 9th place in the first popularity poll despite his minor role.
  • Evil Is Cool: Younger Toguro. Sakyou also deserves props for managing to still be a compelling Non-Action Big Bad in a World of Badass, especially with Younger Toguro as his Dragon-in-Chief.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Some fans would agree that Hiei's full demon form isn't very pretty. After he agrees to work with Yusuke we never see this transformation again. It is in one of the movies, where he pretends to turn evil before attacking his opponent.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Even the most hardcore fans will usually admit that Sensui's Sacred Energy Armor looks silly.
  • Foe Yay: Yusuke and every single main villain. Plus, Karasu spends the last parts of the Dark Tournament coming on to Kurama; "Human bodies are so frail... I know you fear what my touch could do to you... yet maybe you also want to know it." All this while stroking his hair from behind. Elder Toguro has a couple Foe Yay lines in the dub that weren't in the Japanese, like when he comments that Kurama's red hair isn't nearly as pretty as the silver hair he has in Youko form.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, due to the Diamond is Unbreakable arc of JoJo and Yu Yu both running in Weekly Shonen Jump at around the same time, both manga sharing similar characterizations and themes, and their authors being friends.
    • The same could be said for Dragon Ball fans, due to them both concurrently during the Nineties as well as the Funimation English dubs that came out on Toonami during the early 2000s, making fans of both series come together.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • For the series, the Four Saint Beasts arc. The dub version was Growing the Beard for Funimation, who worried some fans because of the massive changes seen in Dragon Ball Z. Using experienced voice actors is the best way of appealing to an audience.
    • For the manga, it was when Yusuke got revived and became a Spirit Detective.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The Spirit World Sect Terrorist who appeared in the next to last chapter are eerily similar to modern day religiously-motivated Terror groups, most notably Aum Shinrikyo who committed the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin Attack only months later. In retrospect, omitting that chapter was wise on Studio Pierrot's part.
    • After the Dark Tournament, Kuwabara wonders if Yusuke lost his powers after his fight with Toguro. In Yoshihiro Togashi's next long-runner, Hunter Hunter, Gon loses his ability to use Nen after a heated battle after the Chimera Ant Arc.
  • Ho Yay: Tons. Yu Yu is the granddaddy of shonen series using this trope to grab at the female demographic, and that's not even mentioning the canon gay couple. Not to mention Yusuke is neck-deep in Foe Yay at times. And let's not even start with Hiei and Kurama...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • An annoying, control freak weirdo with a high pitched voice shrieking "UNACCEPTABLE"? Surely you're talking about the teacher.
    • On the subject of Mr. Akashi, he's a Sadist Teacher who deliberately tries to get one of the main characters expelled from school and he is voiced by Sean Schemel in the English dub. Sounds an awful lot like Dr. Crowler, doesn't he?
    • Zeru of the Jolly Devil Six has an uncannily similar resemblance to Edward Cullen.
    • In mixture of this and Heartwarming in Hindsight, in a manga-exclusive story at the end of the fifth volume, when Kurama saves Yusuke and Kuwabara from a gang of riled street thugs, who have mistaken them for a duo of half breed demon look-alikes, by throwing a rose, he quips that they can call him Tuxedo Mask. Years later Yoshihiro Togashi and Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi would marry.
    • Puu, in his initial appearance, looks like a Furby, which came out four years after Yu Yu Hakusho ended.
    • Kurama's fight with Roto leaves him with a temporary X-shaped scar on his left cheek. A few years later Megumi Ogata would provide the voice of Kenshin Himura for the Rurouni Kenshin Drama CDs.
  • Informed Wrongness: Early in the Three Kings Arc, Yusuke gets scolded and rejected by Kuroko because he told a demon that he didn't fault him for eating humans. The thing is, Yusuke didn't say it was okay for him to eat humans, but rather, he understood why because some demons need to eat humans to live.
  • Jerk Ass Woobie: Hiei. It's not revealed until the third and final arc though.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Sakyo is a charming, charismatic member of the Black Black Club who came up from nothing. A born sociopath who despised his honest, loving family, Sakyo graduated from torturing animals into high stakes gambling where he amassed a fortune to join the demon-trafficking and torturing Black Black Club. Deciding to advance even further, Sakyo plays the group's founder Gonzo Tarukane by secretly paying off the Toguro brothers when Tarukane hires them as bodyguards, rigging the gambles he makes with Tarukane by having the Toguro brothers take a dive against Team Urameshi. Setting up his team to fight in the Dark Tournament, Sakyo takes a curious liking to Shizuru Kuwabara and protects her during the events while also manipulating and eventually disposing of the rest of the Black Black Club, before gambling his own life on Toguro's victory in order to insure he can see a portal opened to the Demon World out of sheer morbid curiosity. When Toguro is defeated, Sakyo immediately offers his life without complaint, bidding a last fond farewell to Shizuru first.
    • The Younger Toguro brother sold his soul 50 years go to become a powerful demon after winning the Dark Tournament in despair over the deaths of his students and the knowledge of his impending mortality. In present, having grown disillusioned with his life, he manipulates the events with Gonzo Tarukane to see if Yusuke Urameshi is a worthy adversary and forces him and team to join the Dark Tournament. Toguro manipulates Yusuke into becoming stronger while also keeping him from making Toguro's mistakes before the final match. After killing Yusuke's mentor, his former teammate and lover Genkai, Toguro is dissatisfied with Yusuke's strength and seemingly murders his friend Kuwabara to force him to fight all out, only to reveal he faked Kuwabara's death. Unlike his twisted elder brother, Toguro never sold his pride along with his soul and displays a true sense of honor, grateful to give his all against a final worthy adversary.
    • The Black Angel, Shinobu Sensui was once a brilliant young Spirit Detective whose idealistic view of humans was shattered by the Black Black Club. Years later, he uses the depraved Chapter Black tape to recruit a group of psychics to his side as Team Urameshi goes after him, manipulating all his enemies and allies alike to achieve his goals and weaken Yusuke's team. In one instance, Sensui forces Kurama to duel in a game against a little boy, with the boy not knowing he will die if he loses. Sensui is aware Kurama will do it, but knows it will shake him up too much to be of use in fighting Sensui at his best later, while also knowing a guilt-stricken Koenma will use up too much power restoring the boy to life. Sensui also uses his multiple personalities to bear the burdens of his crimes, revealing his true self in time to defeat and even kill Yusuke before opening a path to the demon world. His true goal? Is an elaborate suicide attempt to die at the hands of a powerful demon to atone for taking so many demon lives in the past. Passing as a dark mirror to Yusuke himself, Sensui remains one of his most sympathetic and fascinating enemies.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Words Can't Hurt Me These Shades Are Gucci." explaination 
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Even with his Freudian Excuse, some fans still can't forgive Toguro for his brutal murder of Genkai, massacring half the tournament stadium, and even his false-killing of Kuwabara.
    • Elder Toguro. Three words: Genkai puppet show.
    • Arguably taking over Makihara's body and torturing/killing him from the inside. And enjoying it thoroughly.
    • And then as Gourmet, he ate the mind reader, Murota, who had helped Yusuke and company out earlier.
    • What Ichigaki did to his "test subjects" will make you want to reach through the screen and strangle him. That, and his Annoying Laugh.
    • Despite being fairly minor in comparison to later episodes Mr. Akashi certainly crossed this in episode three when he nearly takes away a member of Kuwabara's gang's job which his family needs to survive for attacking a group of thugs harassing Keiko, only relenting when Kuwabara promises not to fight for a week. After Kuwabara stays true to his word and takes beating after beating, he adds the condition that all the members must pass their biology test with full knowledge that they're Book Dumb. And when they all pass thanks to Yusuke helping Kuwabara study from beyond the grave, he erases one of Kuwabara's answers bringing him down to failing, then proceeding to rub it in his face when that he failed his friends. This backfires as the principal was there when he edited the answer sheet, resulting in him being fired and forced to bump his grade back up.
    • Both Mr. Akashi and Mr. Iwamoto crossed this in the first episode where they insulted Yusuke at his own funeral, believing that he only saved the child because he was trying to mug him.
    • Mr. Iwamoto crosses it again in episode six when he frames Yusuke for stealing from his classmates. When Yusuke outs him as the thief, he claims that he must have planted them on him and then insults his mother to goad him into hitting him, giving him an excuse to expel him.
    • Sensui crossed it when he manipulated Amanuma, a 12-year-old boy, into working for him and deliberately left out the negative consequences of his power just to serve as a distraction to Team Urameshi, leading to his death. Kurama in particular was infuriated by this action.
  • Narm:
    • One such scene is with Sensui's sacred energy armor. Not only does it look funny but he just had to add to the narm by saying "I'm a living breathing sentient tank!"
    • The Viz manga translation is packed to the brim with hilariously inoffensive cussing.
    • Funimation's dub had Yusuke's near-constant use of calling something "Stupid X" (ex: "I'm here to kick your stupid ass!") in the earlier episodes. This was gradually phased out around the time of the Dark Tournament arc.
    • The Spanish dub, while featuring some good voice performances, becomes unintentionally funny due to the horrid translation of the dialogues and the fact that its dub director, Joaquín Gómez, insisted in voicing almost half of the male characters of the series by himself. The latter is especially notable because Gómez is not a man of a thousand voices, which makes all his characters sound awfully similar.
  • Narm Charm: The Beautiful. Suzuka. Just watch Episode 50. Watching an old lady royally kick a gay clown's ass all over the place with nothing but her bare hands is pretty damn hilarious. Suzuka's antics along with Genkai's responses to them are really what makes it work.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Keiko for being a candidate for Die for Our Ship and being a non-Action Girl most of the time. This extends to Togashi himself, as he felt she was a Satellite Love Interest.
    • The Armed Church of the True Disciples, who appeared in Chapter 174 of the Manga, were so disliked by fans, due to being one-dimensional Straw Characters who had little to no personality, that the manga was cancelled at Chapter 175 and the True Disciples were Adapted Out of the anime. This is a unique case of this being a non-Hate Sink induced Intentional Audience Reaction being that Togashi was displeased with the publishers forcing him to continue his series with another arc after the Three Kings arc, of which was itself a publisher mandated continuation, and thus resorted to a Writer Revolt to deliberately sabotage it so that it could finally end in the way he wanted it to conclude.
    • Mr. Iwamoto, who is disliked for being a Sadist Teacher who seems to dislike Yusuke and Kuwabara just for existing. While he should be considered a Hate Sink, he's also hated for being a huge Karma Houdini after he tried to frame Yusuke for stealing (and in the anime, giving Mr. Akashi the idea to erase Kuwabara's test answer).
  • Superlative Dubbing: The Funimation dub of the series is one of the earliest examples. While there were some issues, like name pronunciations and the occasional Dub-Induced Plot Hole, the voice acting was well done and it had plenty of amusing Woolseyisms.
  • Retroactive Recognition: A crapton, with a few good examples listed above. Most notable is Vic Mignogna as Uraurashima and Bui (though, for the latter, you wouldn't tell that was him just by listening to him), though Travis Willingham as Yanagisawa is notable as well.
  • Seasonal Rot: The Three Kings arc, which Togashi was forced to do by his editor's order, suffers from this. Common criticism involves Kuwabara being demoted to extra, the heroes not being heroic and an attempt to replicate the Dark Tournament arc but made most of the fights anti-climatic. The manga has it even worse at it showed about five battles that were very short.
  • Signature Scene: Yusuke's Heroic Sacrifice at the beginning of the series is remembered by everyone.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The first two volumes of the manga consisted of Yusuke doing good deeds as a ghost until he was brought back to life. Not many lost sleep over the majority of those chapters getting cut from the anime.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • He's completely ridiculous in every other respect, but Suzuka is right that people tend to aggrandize things that are shrouded in mystery, this being the reason he gives for keeping his "beautiful" face hidden under clown makeup.
    • The Koorime are made to appear to us as heartless bitches who would willingly condemn a child to death just because his mother made him with someone from a different race and he looks "a little" creepy at birth. Even his sister, by far the purest creature from the series, thinks their whole kind deserves to be killed for what they did to her, her mother, and her brother (although she also expresses that she sees it as a form of Mercy Kill). The problem is, their point is completely valid. All the male offspring so far have killed many Koorime, who can only reproduce at intervals of over a century. And Hiei was only saved by The Power of Friendship.
    • A minor example from the Dark Tournament arc is George suggesting Hiei attack Bui while the latter is busy removing his armor. While the girls chew him out for suggesting such a dishonorable act, they seem to forget a very important detail. The tournament isn't an officially sanctioned martial arts competition. It's Blood Sport where the only consistent rules are 1) No interfering with the match. 2) Stay in the ring. When most matches are won by killing your opponent, every fighter should be a Combat Pragmatist. There's also the fact that Botan said that Hiei would never do something so dishonorable. Umm, did she forget that he used to be a murderous criminal?
    • Mr. Akashi and Mr. Iwamoto are no doubt irredeemable jerk asses, but their attempts to get Yusuke and Kuwabara expelled aren't unjustified, as they weren't exactly model students. While Kuwabara made an effort to be a stright-A student and avoid his delinquent lifestyle, it was implied that Yusuke never improved his school life.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Some reactions when the show was ported to Toonami from [adult swim] as the shift to weekday afternoons meant it had to be edited losing some of the luster of the fights that come off as awkward without the uncut content. Even worse was that the show only reached the Saint Beasts Arc when it was on Adult Swim, denying fans of seeing the Dark Tournament and Chapter Black arc uncut on TV.
    • The Meikai Shito Hen movie was released in Spain many years before the anime itself was, and it featured a completely different voice cast that got replaced by the series's when it was redubbed. Although the latter is the most known dub, among other things for having a (very slightly) better translation and voice acting, many people feel the first dub had much better casting choices (see WTH, Casting Agency? below)
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Early on, we are introduced to Rando, a very sadistic demon who steals other peoples' fighting techniques and then kills them so that he can be the only one who knows said techniques. He is the main antagonist of the series' first arc and nearly kills both Yusuke and Kuwabara. However, he is defeated when one of his techniques backfires, and he is never seen again, even though he is not killed or permanently incapacitated. Rando could've been a recurring villain who had new techniques every time he was seen, always itching to torture and kill Yusuke for humiliating him and handing him his first defeat, but he never came back.
    • Mr. Takanaka, Yusuke's principal. He was the only person at Sariaski Junior High that believed in Yusuke and Kuwabara's potential. There was a lot of potential for him to be a father figure for Yusuke.
    • Some fans were disappointed that Bui, the only surviving member of Team Toguro, did not show up for and compete in the final arc having become more powerful like Chu, Jin and others had become.
    • Kuwabara's friends, Kirishima, Okubo, and Sawamura, could have made interesting editions to Team Urameshi. They could have been the three teens that developed powers during the Chapter Black Saga instead of three complete strangers.
    • Similarly, the Psychics, Kaito, Yana, Kido, and Murota, didn't have their potentials explored. Out of all of them, only Kaito actually played a part in the final battle during the Chapter Black Saga, as Kido spent most of the arc in the hospital, Yana stayed outside of the cave with Botan, and Murota was unceremoniously eaten by Gourmet. After the Chapter Black arc, they were ordered by Genkai to never use their powers again.
    • Kuroko was introduced early in the Saga of the Three Kings as the first Spirit Detective and Sensui's predecessor. She and her family are shown to have interesting character traits, and yet she is quickly written out of the series after Yusuke decides to go to Demon World.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • Raizen, who was the strongest demon, even on his deathbed. He was still able to trounce the Big Bad in Yusuke's body and then did the same to his descendant even minutes from death.
    • Younger Toguro and Karasu are villainous examples, is a demon with extreme brute strength and overwhelming presence and the latter is one of the few people that outsmarts Kurama as well as managing his overwhelming power with elegant grace.
    • Sensui despite his hate, is both this and Too Powerful to Live.
  • Uncanny Valley:
  • The Un-Twist: In-universe. There is no one who is surprised by who the "mysterious masked fighter" is in the Dark Tournament saga.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Touya is a very pretty boy, which would be fine. But he's also an ice demon, and the best known race of ice demons has been established to be entirely female. He is established to be a different species but it's still enough that some fans swear he's female.
    • Kurama is infamous for this, to the point where the Filipino dub thought he was a boy and named him "Denise." Of course, they later caught on to it and retconned his name as "Dennis."
    • Genkai is easy to mistake for an old man for first time viewers. This is mostly due to her lack of feminine features. Like with Kurama, the Filipino dub mistook Genkai for the opposite sex and named her "Jeremiah."
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Kuwabara during his fight with Onji. While the fight is never depicted in the manga outside of the results, the anime actually shows Kuwabara almost immediately running into Onji's attack and not even trying to avoid it. There's also Hiei trying to mock Kaito by almost immediately saying "hot" and getting his soul taken as a result. You can't really blame the others for teasing him over it after that happens.
    • Koenma instructing Yusuke how to use the Spirit Gun on Mr. Iwamoto without telling him that he could only use it once a day, right before sending him on a Case where he would have needed it.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Keiko gets this from "feminist" fangirls for being one of the few characters who doesn't have any powers, as well as getting emotional in distressing situations. Some of her detractors would go far as ignoring and outright denying anything good she's ever done in the series. Yoshihiro Togashi himself revealing he didn't like her as a character doesn't help.
  • The Woobie: Kiyoshi Mitarai, a.k.a. Seaman, suffered a great deal from bullying before joining Sensui. Also, Yukina in her introductory arc; she secretes jewels when she cries, and Tarukane will naturally go to great lengths to get them.
  • Woolseyism:
    • "I know as much about games as I do hugs and puppies, and care for them even less. Wake me for the end of the world."
    • The implied romance between Younger Toguro and Genkai is much more accentuated in the dub, making their scenes far more heart-wrenching.
    • The supposed 100% strength of Toguro that was later surpassed by 100% over 100% was changed to "more like 85%" and TRUE 100% to make a bit more sense.
    • During the flashback of Itsuki meeting Sensui, Sensui asks if Itsuki has any regrets, and Itsuki names a TV show and a (at the time) celebrity who would be performing on it, which surprised Sensui because he watched the show too, and realized how Not So Different Youkai were. They obviously couldn't name the TV show or celebrity in the dub because people wouldn't catch it; but they still get the point across by having Itsuki say, "My favorite TV show will be airing its final episode tomorrow, and I want to see how it ends".
    • The manga keeps in the mention of the original TV show, but it uses the format to explain that this person referenced was a celebrity in Japan at the time in a little note outside the panels.
    • Both the English dub and the translation of the manga do an excellent job of translating Kurama's challenge to Kaito, in which if they say any of the forbidden letters—one is added from the back of the alphabet each minute.
    • Watching the dub while having more literally translated English subtitles enabled, it is apparent that the dub script is often more colorful and, in the case of Botan and Koenma's explanation of plot points early on, better at getting certain aspects of the plot (specifically, just how the show's depiction of the afterlife and revival process works) across.
    • In episode 3, part of the conflict was Okubo losing his permission to have a job. In Japan, students can't get jobs unless they have permission from their school because it could interfere with their studies. Naturally, the school having authority over a student's employment might have some Americans scratching their heads. So, in the dub, it was mentioned that Okubo's job was working at the school, which makes a little more sense to American viewers.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: The most criticized aspect of the Spanish dub, aside from the awful translation and overuse of Joaquín Gómez's voice, is the voice casting for the main characters. Detractors typically point out that Kuwabara and Hiei sound too much like elderly men, Yusuke's voice is just too funny to be taken seriously in dramatic moments, and for Kurama, while his voice actress sounds really a lot like Megumi Ogata, it's painfully clear that she had no previous experience voicing male characters at that point. In contrast, the first dub of the second movie, which was done by a different cast, is felt to have much better casting choices (although whether they live it up acting wise is very hotly debated).


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