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Characters / YuYu Hakusho Team Urameshi

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Important Note: “Team Urameshi” refers to our four principal heroes as Yusuke’s default detective mission unit, and NOT by the Dark Tournament team formation which included Genkai. Due to being Troperiffic, tropes related to Team Urameshi as a whole or to individual members thereof should go on this page.

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  • 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.
  • Anti-Hero Team: Team Urameshi is one of these consisting of individuals like the honor-bound Delinquent Kuwabara, Jerk with a Heart of Gold Yusuke Urameshi, Strategist Supreme Kurama, and Token Evil Teammate Hiei. In addition, Cynical Mentor Genkai, who sometimes gets involved in the team's conflicts, also qualifies.
  • Badass Crew: Prevented The End of the World as We Know It more than once and the current Dark Tournament Champions.
  • Combined Energy Attack: Executed against Yakumo in the Poltergeist Report movie. After Yusuke turns the Power Sphere into spirit energy, he starts combing his own energy with Kuwabara, Kurama, and Hiei so that they attack Yakumo as one. All of their signature attacks are used in tandem with each other.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: They had a rocky start during the Saint Beasts arc, but grew to respect each other.
  • Go for the Eye: Kurama throws blood in Hiei's Jagan eye (or Third Eye) in order to stop him from killing Yusuke. It works. Subverted because no one dies.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Invoked in the Chapter Black arc when Yusuke lets Sensui kill him to empower the rest of his team to A-Class.
    • Yusuke becomes enraged with Younger Toguro following the latter's murder of Genkai, and becomes dead set on facing him in the tournament finals.
    • In the Poltergeist Report movie, everyone starts falling into this after learning Yukina and Keiko were horribly injured by the cronies of the Big Bad; Kuwabara is so anguished that he starts beating up trees.
  • It's Personal: After Yusuke was killed by Sensui; Kuwabara, Kurama, and 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.
  • Locked Out of the Fight: Is at least somewhat rarely occurring only used twice in the whole series. The first is the fight with team Masho, the leader of the team had managed to connive team Urameshi's notably best fighters in the tournament ascertaining them as 'ineligible' to fight while also revoking Yusuke from proceeding onto battling with Risho. As it appeared team Urameshi had no eligible fighters left and an undeterred, badly injured, Kuwabara had to step in to fight. He barely clutched the victory for team Urameshi by the presence of Yukina. This again not only once happened, but twice. In the 'Chapter Black' saga... Kuwabara, Hiei, Kurama, and Seaman are trapped in Itsuki's dimension, while Yusuke is forced to fight a much more powerful Sensui alone. Unfortunately enough, if it weren't for the inconvenience of reaching a person's life energy, Kuwabara would've been able to use the dimension sword, which would have possibly saved Yusuke's life in time at that moment to counter Sensui with an inferior force. Just before, in the same way, Yusuke's hidden power lead to a massive power boost, which also lead to Kurama and Hiei spiking above A class at this moment they were still likely incapable of stopping Sensui for a considerable amount of time, and then Yusuke steps forth so that Sensui would defeat Yusuke after combat and so that Sensui would kill him with honor as an acceptance to defeat. Sensui then kills him.
  • Mythical Motifs: Aside from Kuwabara, the members of the group all have a mythical animal they're associated with.
    • Yusuke has a Phoenix motif, having acquired his powers after dying and being resurrected at the start of the story. His Battle Aura takes the form of a phoenix when he decides to really kick some ass, and his spirit animal turns out to be a giant blue phoenix he can ride.
    • Kurama's connection to the Kitsune is pretty obvious, given he actually is a Kitsune reborn as a human. Kurama is beautiful, wise, quiet, and cunning, which are all traits associated with Kitsune.
    • Hiei is modeled after the western idea of a dragon; violent, brooding, solitary, and harnessing the power to burn everything in its path. His strongest attack is to summon a dragon and sic it on his enemy.
    • Hiei and Yusuke's are even more fitting given which members of the "Four Beasts" they fought against.
  • 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.
  • Power Walk: All four of them (and Hinageshi) start walking this way in Poltergeist Report, as they prepare to take on Yakumo.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The team consists of a delinquent Spirit Detective, his psychic rival, a reincarnated Fox Demon, and a Reformed Criminal with an extra eye.
  • Token Human / Token Nonhuman: Played with. The group is initially presented as two humans and two demons, but we know from the start that Kurama was reborn as a human, and Yusuke is later reborn as a demon. Kuwabara usually gets pegged as a Token Human because of this, once the action leaves the human world, but Hiei is just as much a Token Nonhuman— especially in the final volume of the manga, once Kurama and Yusuke go back to the human world.
  • 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.

    Yusuke Urameshi
Click to see his awakened form 
Click to see awakened berserk form 
"You shouldn't talk. It makes you sound stupid."
Species: Human with demonic ancestry.
Powers: Spirit Gun, Demon Energy

Voiced by (Japanese): Nozomu Sasaki

Voiced by (English): Justin Cook (EN-Funimation), Darren Pleavin (Animax Asia TV series dub), Jonathan Fahn (as "Jonathan Charles") (Media Blasters The Golden Seal/The Movie dub), Rik Nagel (Central Park Media Bonds of Fire/Poltergeist Report dub),

Voiced by (Spanish):Enrique Hernández (Spain, series and movies), Albert Trifol Segarra (Spain, first dub of Meikai Shito Hen), Mauricio Valverde (Latin America, TV series and Bonds of Fire/Poltergeist Report)

Voiced by (Italy): Davide Garbolino

Voiced by (Brazil): Marco Ribeiro

Portrayed by: Takumi Kitamura

A 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 or 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.
  • All Genes Are Codominant: 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.
  • 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 or beating his enemies over saving the world. He also is a delinquent thug, and in the manga, he drinks and smokes. Lampshades as much in his fight against Sensui, even knocking away Koenma when he tried to intervene.
    Yusuke: The world ends, the world survives. I don't freakin' care. All I care about is that you are beaten!''
  • 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.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Often uses this strategy first to test his opponent's strength before switching up his strategy.
  • Back from the Dead: Again, twice.
  • Badass Boast: In his debut match during Team Urameshi's first round in the Dark Tournament.
    Yusuke: Hey all you stupid demons! I've been trying to sleep through your clever trash-talk long enough and I'm ready to kick some asses!
  • Badass in Distress: The Chapter Black Saga starts with Yusuke, the winner of the Dark Tournament, the killer of the Saint Beasts, and general boogeyman of demons everywhere...getting kidnapped by three humans. It really sets the mood for the arc as a whole, and that things won't be so simple that he could punch his way out.
  • Barbarian Longhair: When his demon ancestor takes over his body.
  • Battle Aura: Has three different energy types by the end of the series: Spirit Energy, Demon Energy, and (only in the anime) an unknown type of energy that is a combination of the former two 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.
  • 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 an 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 Idiot Hero personality. When he actually can be bothered to think things through 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.
  • 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 bad 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 because of a promise he made to a deceased woman he loved. There's no right answer to the ethical practice of Raizen's dietary needs, and Yusuke's offering to kidnap morally corrupt humans for Raizen just makes the whole dilemma even murkier.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Keiko — they are childhood friends and later become an Official Couple.
  • 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 street fighting! Guess you didn't see it coming! And you can't get away!
  • Combo Platter Powers: He starts off as an apparition who later comes back to life and trains as a psychic, eventually becomes a skilled martial artist psychic through training under Genkai and gains proficiency in Spirit Energy. Then realizes his demonic heritage and becomes reborn as a demon with all his previous experiences intact. The end result is an S-Class Demon with both access to Spirit and Demon Energy and loads of combat experience.
  • The Cynic: Life was never nice to Yusuke, to begin with, and since 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 English dub.
  • Dead to Begin With: The series actually starts with his death.
  • Delinquent Hair: Yusuke's hair is frequently in the form of a pompadour.
  • Delinquents: Of the Japanese Delinquents variety. Yusuke has his hair constantly slicked back, wears a school uniform, and has an entire city full of other 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.
  • 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.
  • Disguised in Drag: In the manga, Yusuke pulls this off pretty well and looks like quite a convincing girl, believe it or not.
  • Diving Save: To rescue the little child in the first episode.
  • The Dreaded: He has a reputation from his street fighting that his schoolmates are terrified of him.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In the Korean dub, he is named "Jin-Jin" (진진).
    • He is called "Eugene" in the Filipino dub of the anime.
  • Dude, She'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 despite being a teenager.
  • Fear Is the Appropriate Response: He takes no crap from humans or demons, but before meeting Koenma, the prospect of facing the god of death rightfully terrified him.
  • 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.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: He's pulled this off a couple of times.
  • Golden Super Mode: Was able to channel his version of Sacred Energy during his fight with Yomi.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He's an ass towards everyone he knows, but he genuinely cares about all of them, and his power spikes exponentially whenever they're in danger.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Averted. In the Three Kings arc, he becomes the 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 Human-Demon Hybrid.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Sort of. Both of his parents and a good number of his ancestors are human, but 40+ generations back are 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.
  • Hand Blast: Yusuke's signature move is the Spirit Gun, which fires energy blasts from the index finger. He has a weaker move called the Spirit Shotgun which fires numerous energy shots from his fist.
  • 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 thanks to his Spirit Wave technique.
  • Heir to the Dojo: Chosen as Genkai's successor after defeating Rando and winning her tournament. Then later chosen as Raizen's successor after Raizen dies and he awakens his demonic heritage.
  • The Hero: This story follows Yusuke's cases as a spirit detective, solving supernatural crimes and beating down supernatural villains.
  • Hero with an F in Good: Justified, being raised by a single alcoholic mother with a deadbeat father didn't establish a strong moral compass in him. He gets better with character development but still doesn't care about overt heroics.
  • 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 or his friends, which he's since dealt with. Raizen quickly snaps him out of it.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Starts off as Vitriolic Best Buds with Kuwabara, but by the end of the Dark Tournament arc they're definitely this.
  • 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.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: His Spirit Beast, Puu, turned out to be a very cute little bird-thing animal which reflects his true personality as Koenma pointed out before the egg hatched.
  • Holding Your Shoulder Means Injury: Does this quite often in his earlier fights.
  • Honor Before Reason: When Raizen possesses him and defeats Sensui, he becomes upset and says it wasn't right to not defeat an opponent on his own.
  • Hot-Blooded: Mostly if you threaten his friends.
  • Human-Demon Hybrid: Both of his parents and a good number of his ancestors are human, but 40+ generations back are 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.
  • Identical Grandson: When he makes his transformation, he looks like his ancestral grandfather, Raizen.
  • 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. However, because he comes from an unstable family dynamic and wasn't a very good student himself, he can be rather dense.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: A strong Good Is Not Nice version as shown by his adorable Spirit Beast, which is a reflection of his true inner self. Also, he resisted both Toguro and Sensui's attempts to corrupt him because he had a deep care for others despite his rough upbringing.
  • Instant Runes: 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.
  • 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 Manipulation: Capable of using spirit energy, demon energy, and a mixture of spirit and demon energy.
  • The Kirk: Yusuke is more or less the leader of the group and the most balanced between idealism and pragmatism. He wants to save people and help as much as he can but he'll still make the hard choices if he has to.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Sensui tries to deconstruct this, giving a Breaking Speech during their second fight in the demon tunnel cave. It didn't work.
  • 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.
  • The Leader: He's the spirit detective; the others are his backup.
  • 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 afterward 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".
    • The Yu from Yusuke and Rei from Reigun make "Yurei", another Japanese word for "ghost". He started the series as a ghost after dying to save a little boy, then came back to life as a Spirit Detective.
    • "Urameshi" is a ghostly wail, according to the English version Shonen Jump when they started hosting it.
  • Mirror Character: Sensui is the former Spirit Detective and Yusuke's Hero's Evil Predecessor. Like Yusuke, he discovered not all demons were evil and made friends with some and worked alongside them, before going full Ax-Crazy after a traumatic event.
  • 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.
  • 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're both far simpler and more consistent than those in the manga.
  • Older Than They Look: The series has a Time Skip in one of the later arcs, as shown by the fact that Keiko filled out. After that Time Skip, Yusuke looks exactly the same.
  • Otaku: Of Combat Sports. Botan baited him to go on the case of tracking down Rando with front row seat tickets in the Tokyo Dome.
  • Our Ancestors Are Superheroes: Yusuke is a descendant of Raizen, one of three S-Class demons known as the Three Kings.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Despite his Spirit Detective title, he never does any real detective work.
  • Power Limiter: The Spirit Cuffs Genkai gave him. It forces him to 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 rates 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 curb-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:
    • At the preliminaries for the Dark Tournament, Yusuke does one of these in his sleep when he's attacked by an opportunistic demon, sleep-talking all the while about how Genkai's training sucked, he was tired of training, and he wanted to sleep.
    • During his fight with Sensui, he counters Sensui's Counter-Attack fighting style by binding their arms together with his wet shirt, leaving Sensui unable to block. He then delivers Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs with one arm. If it weren't for the whole Split Personality thing Sensui had going on, he would have won the fight right there.
    • Also, in the final tournament, he takes out 49 minor rivals at once with one of these.
      "Hey, ref? What happens if everybody gets knocked outta the ring like that?"
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Zig-Zagged. Yusuke is the Blue to Kuwabara's Red, but he's the Red to Hiei's Blue.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Commonly before the arising of most of his early fights in the series, particularly in his fight with Hiei and Suzaku both relatively and endangering Keiko which they both lead to his rancor when fighting them, then as shown soon backfiring after Yusuke's considerable spirit energy increase. Which also tended to overlap with Roaring Rampage of Revenge after Rando breaks Kuwabara's arm. Especially in the Dark Tournament saga notably after Bakken afflicted Kurama to a seemingly near inch of his life with antipathy though this would've indisputably led to Yusuke blowing Bakken away if his team member hadn't warned him. In his last confrontation with Toguro after he presumably maimed Kuwabara's heart as an attempt to get Yusuke to draw his full power which succeeds and ends with killing him as he wanted.
  • 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.
  • 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 kicking-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.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: His Heroic Sacrifice at the beginning of the series amounted to nothing, the driver would've swerved out of the way of the kid. Hell, the kid was apparently slightly more damaged because of it.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Despite both of them being hardened delinquents, 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.
    Yusuke: Maybe there have been times when I've been pissed and hated things, but it wasn't from this work. My dad's a no-show, my mom's a lush, and school sucks. But this job is the one damn thing I've ever been good at. And if all the crap in my life hasn't screwed me up yet, then neither will this. And neither will you.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Well, not evil exactly, but during the final arc after Yusuke's demonic heritage manifests, he suddenly becomes a lot more casual towards certain demonic acts, such as eating humans. One spiritually powerful human, in particular, is horrified at how unconcerned he is about it. Much of the final arc is Yusuke deciding whether he wants to embrace his demonic heritage or his human heritage. Ultimately, he picks his human side.
  • 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.
  • Stock Shōnen Hero: He's Hot-Blooded, loves to fight, doesn't think things through, and is a Determinator to boot. Not to mention he easily turns his enemies into his friends and he's empowered by his wish to protect them.
    • He's a Darker and Edgier variant of this archetype. While other interpretations of the Son Goku blueprint tend to have a happy-go-lucky attitude and friendly optimism, Yusuke is rebellious, cynical, snarky, and violent.
  • Tame His Anger: Yusuke started out as an angry teen from a broken home who rebels against authority. By the end of the series, he's matured and is happy with his life.
  • Teens Are Monsters: An anti-heroic version. He came from a broken home with an alcoholic mom and a deadbeat father, he's an angry, fight-happy delinquent, and he constantly plays hooky. It's suggested near the end of the series that he could be a genuinely good person once he outgrows his adolescent rage problems.
  • Tranquil Fury: Yusuke typically wears his emotions on his sleeve, so the one time he does reach this stage after Bakken brutalizes an unconscious Kurama during the Dark Tournament, you know some serious shit was about to go down.
  • Trash Talk: The dub is famous for Justin Cook's trash-talking dialogue. After coming back from the dead in the beginning and getting mugged by two goons...
    Yusuke: Are you guys talking to me? I mean you see me? I can talk trash to people and even touch them. To be alive is a wonderful thing!"
  • 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 because of his delinquent reputation.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • With Kuwabara; they fight, bicker, and insult each other a lot, but they won't hesitate to help each other in a pinch. Botan even lampshades this at school.
    • Has this in spades with 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.
    • He's also struck Botan multiple times for tricking him or failing to keep a secret.
    • And then there's the time where Keiko suffers a HeroicBSOD and Yusuke's response was to slap her repeatly to wake her up.
  • 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 He Looks: He's 14, but looks and acts 17.

    Kazuma Kuwabara
"When men do what they're supposed to do, it's not always about what they want."
Species: Human Psychic
Powers: Spirit Sword

Voiced by (Japanese): Shigeru Chiba

Voiced by (English): Christopher Sabat (Funimation), Russell Wait (Animax Asia TV series dub), Lex Lang (EN-Media Blasters The Golden Seal/The Movie dub), Cliff Lazenby (Central Park Media Bonds of Fire/Poltergeist Report dub)

Voiced by (Spanish):Tasio Alonso (Spain, tv series and movies), Ramón Canals (Spain, first dub of Meikai Shito Hen), Mario Hernández (Latin America, TV series and Bonds of Fire/Poltergeist Report)

Voiced by (Italy): Claudio Moneta

Voiced by (Brazil): José Luiz Barbeito

Yusuke's rival-turned-best friend, Kuwabara is slightly jerky 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) like 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 of the main four.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Usually referred to as "Kuwa-chan" by Botan, but punk antagonists use it to get on his nerves. His family calls him "Kazu."
  • Alliterative Name: Kazuma Kuwabara.
  • 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 Adorable: Once you get past the already-thin tough-guy exterior, Kuwabara is a warm, honest, and kind sweetheart that you can't help but want to give a big old hug.
  • Badass Normal: Unlike Hiei and Kurama, who are demons, and Yusuke, who has the benefit of Genkai's Training from Hell and is also a demon, Kuwabara's just an ordinary guy with an above-average spirit awareness. He's still got what it takes to fight demons alongside the others. Some training with Hiei and Kurama takes him to Empowered Badass Normal.
  • Badass Longcoat: Has a white long coat he usually wears during a serious fight. Promotional material for the anime also features him wearing different-colored long coats to emphasize the bosozoku theme he had going on.
  • Badass in Distress: In the third quarter of the Chapter Black arc where he is kidnapped by Sensui to acquire his Dimension Sword.
  • Bash Brothers: With Yusuke; if there's a fight, odds are that they'll be seen fighting together.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To young Seaman in the Chapter Black Arc.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • He arrives with his own gang to save Keiko from a group of delinquents at the beginning of the anime, as an apology for trying to grope her yesterday.
    • In the Poltergeist Report movie, he and Yusuke rush in to save Hinageshi from a group of demons.
  • 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: Due to shirking school like Yusuke, he can be pretty dumb at times. He's still less so than Yusuke. And he subverts it by the end of the series, as he spends the Three Kings Arc trying to study and get into a good college.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: He's a little gruff, but a massive softie underneath.
  • Buffy Speak: "SWORD, GET LONG!"
  • Bully Hunter: Kuwabara may have a love of fighting, but only when it is a fair contest between equals; he despises those who use their strength to trample the weak, and will unhesitatingly step in to help anyone who cannot stand up for themselves.
  • Butt-Monkey: He loses most of his fights and isn't exactly the smartest guy around, so he doesn't get much respect. Even Yusuke, who isn't particularly school-smart himself, surpasses him. Hiei in particular never passes up a chance to make fun of him. However, that being said, he is a decent fighter, and he does win a few fights by himself.
  • Can't Catch Up:
    • Even before the start of the series, Yusuke is such a naturally gifted fighter that Kuwabara could never get on his level. The two fought numerous times and, despite Kuwabara's best efforts, he never stood a chance against Yusuke.
    • Throughout the Dark Tournament, Kuwabara is solidly the weakest member of Team Urameshi. Even as everyone keeps getting stronger, the gap between him and the others grows as well, He willingly retires from fighting after the Sensui arc, coming to terms with the fact that he can't keep up with Yusuke (and wanting to make something of himself academically).
  • Coat Cape: Wears this style at least once
  • Courtly Love: Although his jaw will drop and he'll ogle at the sight of an 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.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Is the key player during Chapter Black and the gang's trip to the Spirit World in the manga.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Less so than the rest of the cast, but he does manage to get a few digs at the expense of Yusuke, Hiei and sometimes himself. He is related to Shizuru after all.
  • Delinquent Hair: In classic Japanese style.
  • Delinquents: Considered the second-toughest punk after Yusuke.
  • Determinator: Kamina could learn a thing or two from him.
  • Dimensional Cutter: His Dimension Sword is incredibly sharp, being able to theoretically cut anything, such as space and dimensions. Sensui kidnapped him in the Chapter Black arc so he could acquire Kuwabara's power for himself and destroy the barrier keeping the demons away from the human world.
  • Dimensional Traveler: Purpose for which Kuwabara discovered he can use his Jigen Tō, it's this effect that allows him to penetrate a territory user's dimension-based powers and strike beyond physical distance. The dimensional sword also enables him to halve the distances between spaces making easy and near-instant transportation during the last couple of chapters in the manga.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: To his crush, Yukina. He never misses the opportunity to try to flirt or woo her, hoping she'll get the hint. Averted at the end of the manga, as Yukina ends up living with him and is openly showing affection to him as well.
  • Dumb Muscle: He's physically more burly than anyone else on the team, and is the team's resident dumbass. Even Yusuke fights more tactically than he does. If anyone is going to fall for the same trap three times in a row, it's Kuwabara... yet he remains just as capable a fighter like the rest of them.
  • 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.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • When Younger Toguro singles Kuwabara out to kill him in order to unlock Yusuke’s full power. Kuwabara doesn’t blink as he steps forward to meet him head-on, Spirit Sword blazing, despite being grossly outmatched. And when it’s over he tells Yusuke to put Toguro down for good, and ensure his death means something... then it's subverted when Kuwabara recovers shortly and is perfectly fine afterward.
    • Kuwabara also tried doing this during his battle with Risho, assuming it'll be his end, even telepathically sending out his last words to his friends... then Yukina appears. Suddenly, Kuwabara's acting like all his injuries never happened.
  • Face of a Thug: Kuwabara looks like a big bully, but he is actually nicer than Yusuke, a Kindhearted Cat Lover, and has a strong moral code. Lampshaded by Yusuke when Kuwabara, despite being attacked by Mitarai, (who had joined Sensui because he was bullied throughout his life) in the Chapter Black arc, insists on helping him.
    Yusuke: A big oaf like Kuwabara, he's got that bully look you must hate. But he cared about you. Bet you weren't expecting that.
  • Faking the Dead: At the climax of the Dark Tournament arc, as part of a gambit to make Yusuke stronger to defeat Younger Toguro.
  • Fiery Redhead: Has red-orange hair, and is fairly easy to rile up.
  • Gentle Giant: The tallest of the heroes, and easily the sweetest and kindest.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Build: Unlike the much leaner but still muscular Yusuke and Hiei, Kuwabara is huge.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Yusuke. It takes several years of knowing each other for either of them to realize it, and they'd never admit it out loud, but the level of respect and loyalty they have towards each other is astounding.
  • Hidden Depths: He's much smarter than he seems, he's just so impulsive it normally doesn't show.
  • Honour Before Reason: It almost kills him several times.
  • Hot-Blooded: If you threaten Yukina, he will beat you up.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: In the first episode, when Yusuke commits a Heroic Sacrifice for a little boy, Kuwabara goes to his funeral screaming through tears and invoking The Only One Allowed to Defeat You as his cronies drag him back.
    Kuwabara: Damn you! You think you can just back out because you're scared?! [...] I'm not gonna leave, not until he comes out here and lets me fight him! I'm gonna beat you down, you punk! You hear me?! Who do you think you are, huh?! Dirty punk! Who am I gonna fight, now?! Who am I gonna fight?! [...] NO! You're supposed to be here... for me...
  • 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: Easily dwarfs Yukina to the point where she looks like a young girl hanging around an adult.
  • Idiot Hero: Again, like Yusuke, Kuwabara has a lot of common sense, but he can be dense at times.
  • Incoming Ham: When he summons his Spirit Sword.
  • Japanese Delinquent: Checks most of the boxes.
  • 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. Notably, at the end of the Rescue Yukina arc, he begs Yukina not to think Humans Are Bastards, despite witnessing Tarukane treating her like a slave and source of income in a psychic vision.
  • The Lancer: Kuwabara, like Yusuke, is a delinquent with a heart of gold, but he uses a sword instead of a gun.
  • 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.
  • Last-Name Basis: Nobody calls him Kazuma but his sister and Yukina.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: He's the only one besides Yukina who doesn't know that Hiei and Yukina are siblings. Not helping that everyone else knows and is trying to keep it a secret to avoid Hiei's wrath.
    • Also he was the one of the last to learn that Genkai had been killed. When he learns that his own friends didn't tell him, he furiously punches Yusuke to the ground and calls him out for treating him like a joke.
  • Luminescent Blush: Whenever Yukina touches him or reacts positively to his hammy displays of affection. The more positive the response, the more likely Kuwabara is to catch a severe case of High-Pressure Emotion.
  • Made of Iron: Despite being fully human, he can certainly still deal great damage even after taking tons of beatings, the latter of which being something he does very well.
  • Maybe Ever After: With Yukina.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Considering he's a fully mortal human and his love interest is the centuries old ice demon, Yukina, they will certainly have this relationship if they ever become a couple.
  • The McCoy: Is one of the people trying to give Yusuke and the rest of the group moral advice and typically acts as The Heart of the group. He's often the one to show the most concern for innocent bystanders and collateral damage. Furthermore, he's the most emphatic about the plights of others and will even save an enemy if he believes they are worth saving.
  • Nice Guy: Has a warm, tender, sensitive, and kind heart that is almost never found in boys his age, let alone a violent delinquent — even then, he never picks fights with anyone weaker than himself. And he adores kittens.
  • Offhand Backhand: In the manga's version of the Dark Tournament arc, Kuwabara defeats Risho with one punch without looking the second he sees Yukina.
  • 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. His Funimation VA, Christopher Sabat, has poked fun at this.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Played with. Kuwabara is not the strongest fighter blow for blow, but he has the most unique array of powers among the four,note  even if some of those powers have limited combat potential. 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. His strong sixth sense allows him to dodge threats that would otherwise stop him from reaching the actual mission objective, such as when he used it to navigate Maze Castle. 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). By the Three Kings arc, Kuwabara had decided to get himself into a good school rather than keep fighting with his friends, having made peace with the fact that he will never be as strong as Yusuke or the others.
  • The Power of Friendship: Sometimes Kuwabara's bonds and faith in his friends can empower him. In the Poltergeist Report movie, thanks to the Power Sphere, everyone's friendship was strong enough that Kuwabara, Yusuke, Kurama, and Hiei combine their spirit energy so they mentally fight Yakumo as one person.
  • The Power of Love: It can 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.
    • Mind you, the love does not need to be romantic in nature; in the Chapter Black Saga, even after he was rendered spiritually-intert following his battle with the Toguro Brothers during The Dark Tournament, the mighty blade within his soul that can cut through dimensions was nevertheless still awakened to protect his three delinquent friends and Yusuke, whom he dearly loved like brothers, from being drowned by Mitarai and beaten to death by Sensui.
  • Progressively Prettier: He started out as and was constantly called ugly, due to him lacking the rest of the cast's Bishōnen look. By the end of the story (at least in the anime), he looks less ugly and more rugged which is complimented by his burly physique.
  • Psychic Powers: He has a naturally high spirit awareness, meaning he can sense the presence of ghosts. He can also see through demon camouflage, use Telepathy to speak with people, have vague feelings about the future, and cut through spirit barriers. His sister's psychic abilities are much stronger, but she has no combat powers. Later in the series, Genesis claimed that Kuwabara's powers surpass even hers, potentially making him one of the most powerful human psychics.
  • 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.
  • Rule-Abiding Rebel: Unlike Yusuke, who's actually a delinquent, Kuwabara's just going through the tough-guy motions. He'll brawl and cut class, but pointedly refuses to smoke, shoplift, or be rude to girls. It's implied that Shizuru would beat the tar out of him if he got too out of hand.
  • Seers: Kuwabara tends to have vague feelings about the future. Also inverted as he had visions of the past twice — first of Yukina's stint as a slave and source of money, and of the students who were brainwashed against their will. In the final chapter, he predicts the coming of a massive earthquake, leading to a surge of popularity among humans and a lot of female admirers.
  • Sarashi: Always has one if he isn't wearing a shirt.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Yusuke and Keiko. He was furious when he saw Botan for the first time and assumed Yusuke was cheating on Keiko.
  • Simpleton Voice: In the Funimation dub, Chris Sabat gave him a brutish drawl that makes him sound kind of dull-witted.
  • Stone Wall: His offense might not be anywhere as good as the rest of his team (can't blame him; spirit guns, dragons and all), but watch how much he can endure. Risho even lampshades this in his fight with Kuwabara.
  • Story-Breaker Power: The Dimensional Sword, probably one of the reasons why he was benched during the Three Kings Arc, if mastered, all Kuwabara would need is one good hit with it to end any fight.
  • Support Party Member: He's not as powerful as the others, but his sixth sense is extremely useful in avoiding or anticipating danger to begin with, especially when he and Yusuke are storming Tarukane's compound. He also has the ability to cut through dimensions and halve space.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The end of the manga implies he finally does get with Yukina after all his effort.
  • Token Good Teammate: In a team of reformed criminals, Kuwabara had the most moral decency. During his delinquent days, he had a code of honor that forbade him from stealing, he would honor his teacher's deal to avoid fighting and get his grades up to help his friend (even if said teacher was a Sadist Teacher), he was a Kindhearted Cat Lover, and most of the people he fought were delinquents that were arguably even worse than Yusuke.
  • Token Human: Played with. With the four main characters, it initially looks like we have two humans and two demons, but Kurama is a demon reborn as a human and Yusuke becomes a human reborn as a demon, leaving Kuwabara in this position. This is why, when the last arc involves them all heading to the demon world, Kuwabara takes a pass.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Losing to a kid in the first round in the tournament, then beating Risho in one blow, then in the final round beating Elder Toguro in less than three moves whereas even Hiei has to go all out to defeat his finals opponent. Even more so, after losing his powers, he awakens the power to cut dimensions to beat two psychics in one blow and become the strongest full human after Sensui's death.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Pretty much every single person involved (Well, except Yukina) understood that Kuwabara didn't stand a chance against the Elder Toguro brother to the point that crawling into the ring was walking to his death. When he wins the entire stadium is stunned into silence.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Villains often think that they've lucked out when they go up against him, and Kuwabara's own allies rarely have any more faith in his victory. Yusuke repeatedly offers to switch with him against Byakko, Hiei starts preparing an escape plan for when Kuwabara loses to Risho, the entire Dark Tournament crowd believes that Elder Toguro will kill him easily, but Kuwabara proves them wrong more often than not.
    "Always expecting nothing outta me. Just makes for a better surprise."
  • Unskilled, but Strong: His Spirit Sword is probably the first weapon he's held in his life, and it shows by the way he wields it like it's a baseball bat. But despite the skill gap, Kuwabara's strength tends to settle fights in only a few hits.
  • The Watson: He's the guy who asks the questions the audience wants to know so that Hiei and Kurama don't have to resort to As You Know exposition.
  • Unblockable Attack: His dimensional cutting sword allows Kuwabara to cleave through space and different dimensions. This means that his sword can probably cut through anything and anyone aware of its capabilities knows that it would be a bad idea to meet an attack made by it head on. During The Chapter Black arc, Sensui using his S-class power could tank all of the attacks the heroes threw at him yet he makes a point to specifically dodge Kuwabara whenever he swings his Dimensional Cutter at him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gives an irate comment towards his teammates when they withhold telling him that Younger Toguro killed Genkai: "I thought we were a team, but I guess I'm just one big joke to you. Well this joke has feelings!"
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: All of his offensive capabilities (mostly in the Dark Tournament) are some variation of an "energy sword", be it a long energy sword, a bendy energy sword, an energy sword used as a vaulting pole, two energy swords, an energy sword that also provides defensive capabilities, a handful of shrapnel swords hurled like grenade fragments, a wide energy sword that acts more like a flyswatter and an energy sword that can cut across dimensions...
  • Wife-Basher Basher: His dialogue to Younger Toguro after he (psychically) sees how the brute's boss tortured Yukina with fire and abused her for her valuable tears.
    "Stand aside, you are not the man I'm here to kill... I'm here for that monster up there!!"
  • The Worf Effect: Often loses fights to show how powerful certain opponents are, but partly due to stupidity rather than weakness. Lampshaded by Yusuke in one preview. Played hilariously during his fights against Shishiwakamaru and Onji.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Has trouble fighting Miyuki the Villainous Crossdresser because he doesn't like fighting women and verbally berates Yusuke for attacking any female.
  • Younger Than He Looks: Perhaps an even more extreme example than Yusuke. He's taller, has a deeper voice, and acts more like a high school teenage delinquent, but is also only 14.

    Kurama/Shuichi Minamino
Click to view his demon (Yoko) form 

"You should know better than to corner an animal like a fox... We have a tendency to show our teeth."

Species: Human (body) / Fox Demon (soul)
Powers: Flora Manipulation

Voiced by (Japanese): Megumi Ogata (Shūichi), and Shigeru Nakahara (Yoko Kurama)

Voiced by (English): John Burgmeier (Funimation), Candice Moore (Animax Asia TV series dub), David Hayter (EN-Media Blasters dub of The Golden Seal/The Movie), Chris Orbach (As "Hideo Seaver") (EN-Central Park Media dub of Bonds of Fire/Poltergeist Report)

Voiced by (Spanish): Gloria García (Spain, TV series and movies), Ángel de Gracia (Spain, first dub of Meikai Shito Hen), Arturo Sian Vidal (Latin America, TV series and Bonds of Fire/Poltergeist Report)

Voiced by (Italy): Dania Cericola (Minamino), Andrea DeNisco (Youkou Kurama)

Voiced by (Brazil): Duda Ribeiro

Kurama is an over-1000-year-old fox demon and former thief shot near the brink of death by a demon hunter. Unwilling to die, he forced his soul out to swim into the human world and merged with the fetus owned by the nearest pregnant woman he could spot, Shiori Minamino, and was reborn as her son, Shuichi Minamino.

Kurama was eventually targeted by the Spirit Realm upon him resurfacing his thievery practice. But due to his willingness to surrender his actions, Kurama was sentenced to parole, and The Spirit Realm offered to have his criminal records waived if he were to aid Yusuke in his Spirit Detective investigations.

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're on his bad side... time to start praying that he'll at least be merciful enough to make your death quick.

  • Adaptational Backstory Change: A small change, but Kurama's explanation of his history with his human mother and how he came to care for her is a bit different between the anime and the manga. The manga gives a specific incident that inspired him to love her that was not detailed in the anime. One day when he was a young boy, he tried to get a container out of a high shelf in the kitchen on a stool. However, he slipped and in the process of falling knocked multiple dishes onto the floor that shattered into jagged pieces. However, his mom caught him but in the process severely cut up her arms on the broken dishes, with the scars from that incident being visible even to the present day. This selfless act was what caused him to begin to care about her. In the anime, he just mentions that over the years of growing up as her child, he slowly began to return her love, with no specific moment mentioned. However, he wonders if he may be responsible for her illness, wondering if his cold uncaring behavior towards her for most of his childhood may have broken her spirit over time, leading to her falling sick.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the manga, his hair is black to very dark blue, in the anime, it's red.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: His manga version can be very goofy and easily affected by his friends' antics, while his anime self is much more collected and usually only gets a small sly chuckle out of them.
  • Agent Peacock: Long, flowing red hair, a rose motif, his main weapon being a whip, and little visible muscle add up to a fairly camp-looking guy, but one who is not to be underestimated. Being a master of demonic plants has its advantages.
  • Aloof Ally: Though he is nice, he does not often hang out with the group outside of battle or missions, in part because he attends a different school.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Despite not being related to any of the main characters. Although this has been subverted towards his younger 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: Foxes, due to their cunning nature and ability to work best when backed into a wall. Also literally, as the guy really is a fox spirit.
  • Asian Fox Spirit: He's a kitsune or Japanese fox demon, and in his true form he has a fox's ears and tail.
  • The Atoner: Becoming genuinely good-hearted, if still vengeful, person for his beloved human mother. Until the end of the series, he 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 Bookworm: He can outsmart a genius who's written several best-selling kinds of literature and has the ability to steal your soul if you accidentally say a word or use the first letters of that word in the right order.
  • 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:
    • Being forced to take an innocent life.
    • He dislikes being mistaken for a girl, mostly in the manga. He nearly snapped at Yusuke and Keiko when they pushed this button a little too far.
    • Threatening his mother or stepbrother is not a threat that he'll take lightly.
  • 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 torture and killing someone in a particularly brutal and bloody manner should they piss him off.
  • Between My Legs: Often used to frame his opponents, which are all male by the way.
  • 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.
  • Combat Pragmatist: His forte to the point where he's infamous across all of Spirit World for being so cutthroat. He isn't interested in beating his opponents to a pulp like Yusuke or Kuwabara or using them to vent his frustrations like Hiei. When Kurama fights, he fights to kill. As quickly and efficiently as possible. If he can poison his enemy without needing to lift a finger, then that's exactly what he'll do.
  • The Comically Serious: Although stoic and serious, he manages to drop some of the most hilarious lines in the series while keeping a straight face.
  • 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 revitalized hybrid.)
  • Creepy Good: He has a nice exterior, but he has a knack for killing his enemies in horrific ways. It says something that Hiei is afraid of him.
  • 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 a 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.
  • The Dreaded: As Yoko, he was well-known in the demon world for his cruelty. This came to the point where an assassin that Kurama hired was willing to go through And I Must Scream levels of Cold-Blooded Torture, just because he was afraid of what Yoko was capable of if he snitched. Hiei admits that the reason why he wanted to be on Kurama's good side was so the demon fox doesn't target him next. In the series proper, a lot of demons who recognize who he thinks that he has grown soft or weaker after becoming human. While to a degree they're not wrong, it's a very bad idea to underestimate him.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • His human form is referred to as Suichi Minamino (and then suddenly Suichi Minamono in the Three Kings arc) in the English dub, for no apparent reason.
    • In the original Japanese, Kurama's human form and his stepbrother are both named Shuuichi. The English dub instead changes his stepbrother's name to Kokoda, after the first line Kurama speaks to him ("Koko da"/"I'm here").
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady:
    • Kuwabara's college peers end up mistaking Kurama for his girlfriend in both the manga and anime. In the manga, Kurama gets noticeably pissed off 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 lampshaded by the voice actors. During the final episode's commentary, Justin Cook quips at John Burgmeier "How does it feel to play the girl of the series? Er, I mean Kurama." to which he responds "Uh... it was great. Don't know what you want me to say. Kurama is obviously a lot prettier than I am."
  • Effeminate Voice: In the Japanese version of the anime, he has a feminine voice provided by Megumi Ogata.
  • 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 younger stepbrother. Threatening them is the quickest way to piss him off.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: A few of his opponents comment on his looks. Karasu in particular really, really likes him.
  • Expy: Can be considered one for Andromeda Shun, as both are effeminate Nice Guys who wear pink and have whip-like weapons.
  • Extremely Protective Child: Despite Kurama's original dislike of his inferior "human" mother, Shiori showered her son with love and kindness. After she gets injured protecting him, Kurama changes his ways and eventually learns to love his mother and becomes very, very protective of her. He willingly kills anyone that threatens her and tries to sacrifice his life using the Forlorn Hope in order to save her when she nearly dies due to sickness.
  • Fiery Redhead: He doesn't classically fit the trope, but Karasu invokes it with regards to his persistence.
  • Fusion Dance: When Yoko entered the fetus of Shiori's unborn son, the process went beyond Demonic Possession and lead to them permanently merging. Kurama appears to have all of Yoko's memories (at least now; if he has since birth is unspecified), but growing up as a human with a loving mother turned him into a much kinder person.
  • 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.
  • God in Human Form: Yoko was a very powerful demon who merged with an unborn human to survive injury. As a result, Kurama has a biologically human body (rather than a demon's body that looks human), but the soul and spiritual powers of a demon.
  • 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.
  • Green Thumb: He makes plant power awesome... and terrifying.
  • Guile Hero: Though he's an excellent fighter, his most dangerous weapon is his tremendously sharp mind. And then he combines the two...
  • Hammerspace Hair: One of his most defined trademarks. He stores all of his weapons (in plant form) inside his long hair. A minor example as he's actually keeping seeds in his hair, effortlessly growing them with his powers. Still, prepared-for-anything Kurama must have more than a dozen seeds in there, but you'd never know it.
  • 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 as 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.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Hiei.
  • 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.
    • This is also why Yomi wants his services during the Three Kings arc. Kurama is a sharp-minded tactician, and he tells it like it is.
  • I Have Your Wife: Roto tries this with his mother 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.
  • Insistent Terminology: A meta example from the English dub; Kurama's mother is exclusively referred to in everyone's dialogue as his "human mother," never just "mother" or "mom." Her actual name (Shiori Minamino) is only mentioned once, at the very beginning of the Chapter Black arc.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: A Bishōnen who's very soft-spoken, girly-looking, elegant as well as being the most sensitive to others' emotions and able to "read the atmosphere."
  • 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 and that one can reconcile two different lifestyles and formulate a meaningful compromise between the two.
  • Jack of All Stats: In his human form. He's splitting the difference between Yusuke's power, Hiei's speed, and Kuwabara's spiritual awareness.
  • 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.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: He fights mostly by summoning and controlling plants, but he's still a trained martial artist who sporadically resorts to punches and kicks.
  • Little Bit Beastly: His demonic form — in addition to changing his hair and eye color — gives him fox ears and a tail.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Normally red, but turns white when he transforms into Yoko. To the extent that he suffers from a bad case of Even the Guys Want Him among the villains.
  • 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 thief into a Beware the Nice Ones Nice Guy.
  • Manly Tears: 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.
  • Momma's Boy: Kurama holds his human mother dearly and she's the reason why he changed from a ruthless demon to the good guy we know. His very first appearance has him ready to give up his life in order to cure his mother of her mortal illness.
  • Nature Hero: His abilities in combat revolve around various plants. Though he is no pacifist, said plants all tend to do gruesome things to their victims, the "nicest" being his whip which can cut through almost anything.
  • Nice Guy: He's very polite to just about everyone, befriends Yusuke almost immediately, and will fight to the death to protect his friends. He's also the most savage and manipulative fighter on the team, even more than Hiei.
  • Noble Demon: Only Yoko Kurama plays it straight, being the demonic thief personality that helps the human part. "Shuichi" is only technically a demon, and is way too noble to qualify.
  • 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. And near the end of the series, we learn he can be pretty comically testy about being confused for a woman.
  • 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, subjecting him to a plant that replays the worst fears of the victim that drains the life-force as it does so, resulting in his doom for all eternity when the latter brings up the former's death in a nasty way.
    • Karasu causes him to be rattled for the first time since the Dark Tournament began, and panics over the prospect of being killed by him with every mental strategy resulting in his death. He is willing to allow Suzuki to aid him to achieve his Yoko form once more in order to level the playing field because he fears him that much, something he doesn't do in his previous matches. Considering that Karasu manages to survive the assault by proving to be even deadlier than even he anticipated and Kurama still has to resort to a last-ditch gamble playing on the bomber's sadism, his fears are justified.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. Shares the same human name as his younger stepbrother, Shuuichi.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Usually Kurama enters a fight with victory already planned in advance, not fearing the enemy in the slightest as he's already found a way to defeat them in the first few minutes. However, with Karasu, he's unusually rattled on facing him, with any possible plan he can muster on his own, resulting in the latter killing him with ease. He accepts outside aid in order to level the playing field to face Karasu as Yoko Kurama and even then has to resort to a last-minute gamble by playing to the bomber's sadism in order to win when this first plan backfires.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Ensnaring someone in a demonic plant that will make them visualize their worst fears while it digests them alive, with the full knowledge that that particular person's Healing Factor will keep them indefinitely alive and condemn them to that fate for eternity is a truly horrific punishment, even for someone as prone to delivering incredibly brutal and gruesome punishments as Kurama. That being said, that person was Elder Toguro, who was unquestionably the most loathsome, repulsive character in the entire series, and his fate was sorely deserved.
  • The Power of Love: Kurama originally planned to runaway and return to his life as a demon as soon as his human body adapted his powers to a well enough degree. But his mother's unconditional love for him made him understand the meaning of family and love; therefore, he ultimately stayed in the human realm, living his life as her son, going to school, getting a good education, and a good job to repay his family.
  • Powers Do the Fighting: Almost all of his fighting is done by his plants as either living weapons or battle creatures, especially in Yoko Kurama mode.
  • 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 who happens to wear a pink school uniform by coincidence note  and has this thing for roses. Guess who is one of the series' biggest badasses and the only person that Hiei admits to 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 Oni, Blue Oni: He’s the blue to Hiei’s red. Hiei prefers trying to take his opponent out with as little time spent as possible and generally has little time for planning and mind games, such as when they were in Kaito's territory. Kurama, on the other hand, takes more time than normally one should allow in combat. Kurama's way of thinking is "If I can figure out their strategy, then I can come up with one of my own to counter it." The only time he did not plan at all was when he ripped off Gourmet's head to reveal Elder Toguro.
  • Reincarnate in Another World: 15 years before the start of the series, he was mortally wounded by one of the Spirit World's Hunters after a failed theft, and was forced to retreat to the human world. Kurama then reincarnated as a human. He was planning to leave the human world after regaining his basic demon powers but changed his mind after he became fond of his human mother and chose to stay to take care of her.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Downplayed example. Kitsunes in classical mythology had access to a host of powers that Kurama is never seen using in the story. Kitsunes did have power over plants, but some of the more ancient kitsunes were basically gods. Imagine a magical fox that can fly, shoot fireballs, shoot lightning, and even summon terrible wind storms. Kurama would basically have a Story-Breaker Power if he was true to what kitsunes were capable of. It might also be the case that Kurama was not given access to these powers so as to not make the elemental characters in the story irrelevant.
  • 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.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: He's elegant and gentle, but knows how strong his abilities are and won't hesitate to kill with them if necessary, similarly to how a rose hides its thorns. This is lampshaded plenty of times.
  • The Smart Guy: He's cunning like a fox and a great student. He plans Team Urameshi's moves.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: A very rare heroic example. He's always polite and charming, even though he's even more willing to brutally kill or maim (or both) his enemies than Hiei, who generally fights with a sort of controlled anger instead. In the manga, he takes particular pleasure in messily killing an opponent who threatened his mother.
  • Something about a Rose: His weapon is a whip created from a single rose. The fact that he's better looking than many of the women in the show also helped up his sex appeal. He and his whip even provide the trope image.
  • The Spock: He's the smartest of the group and the most composed with the logic being his defining characteristic. While he will care for others and tries to make sure the fewest innocent people suffer, he will also sacrifice others and commit some very morally dubious things without hesitation if he's confident it will serve the greater good.
  • Squishy Wizard: Kurama is very reliant on his demonic energy to empower his plants and attack— Gama blocking his ability to manifest it outside of his body forced him to improvise by growing the deadly plants inside his own bloody wounds, which he pointed out left him in much worse shape than anything his opponents actually inflicted. He can attack at melee range if forced, but him resorting to basic hitting and kicking against Karasu was so unusual that it was commented on in-universe. He also can't tank hits as well as Kuwabara, nor can he dodge them as effectively as Hiei.
  • The Stoic: The guy has a poker face 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 limitless love for the world around him. However, he can easily switch to a cruel, cold, and calculating schemer in a matter of seconds. It's this trait that makes him so terrifying to both friend and foe alike.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: His Yoko form ends up subverting this; while it was his original thief personality, it is willing to help Kurama and his allies, making him a Noble Demon at worst.
  • 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 him to survive.
  • Torture Technician: A very prolific one and was feared for his cruelty across Demon World for his skill. Even assassins thousands of years later fear what fate he would inflict upon them. Though mellowing out after becoming human, he's still retained his proclivity for it and is the first to bring it up as an option when it comes to an Asshole Victim.
  • 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. In fact, his training is even more hellish than Hiei's, Kurama lacking Hiei's code of honor against fighting seriously against weaker opponents.
  • 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.
  • 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. Also counts as Whip Sword given that it is pretty sharp.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Played with. His demonic form has the long, flowing white hair and pretty face associated with this character type, and in that form, he is more distant 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.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Murder one, specifically, and if Hiei was telling the truth, Gamemaster was hardly the first child Kurama killed. That being said, he doesn't enjoy it — in point of fact, being pushed into that situation is an easy way to piss him off like never before. But at the end of the day, Kurama is very much a The Needs of the Many kind of guy. If the death of a child is what's needed to save the world, then he'll be the one to step up. Even Hiei isn't that ruthless.
  • The Unfettered: Both he and Hiei make a point of emphasizing that Kurama has no compunctious when it comes to battle. He may be a Nice Guy who doesn't feel great about it, but if he's convinced that you have to die, he'll kill you without hesitation or a second thought. And unlike Hiei, who will hold back if he feels his opponent is too weak, Kurama Would Hurt a Child if he feels he has to.

Click to see his Jagan enhanced form 
"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."
Species: Fire Demon- Yuki Onna hybrid
Powers & Discipline: Super speed, Sword, Jagan, Flame Manipulation.

Voiced by (Japanese): Nobuyuki Hiyama

Voiced by (English): Chuck Huber (Funimation), David Bridges (Animax Asia TV series dub), Kirk Thornton (as "Sean Thornton") (Media Blasters The Golden Seal/The Movie dub), James Stanley (Central Park Media Bonds of Fire/Poltergeist Report dub)

Voiced by (Spanish): Francesco Rocamora (Spain TV series and movies), Sergio Zamora (Spain, first dub of Meikai Shito Hen), Héctor Rocha (Latin America, TV series and Bonds of Fire/Poltergeist Report)

Voiced by (Italy): Felice Invernici

Voiced by (Brazil): Christiano Torreão

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.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: In the manga, Hiei is actually more collected than aloof; he is surprisingly easygoing, smiles very often, and openly considers Yusuke and his partners as friends (only not in front of them). In the anime, however, he is a humorless Perpetual Frowner whose lines are almost exclusively taunts, threats, or expressions of disdain.
  • Aloof Ally: Hiei is a more extreme example compared to Kurama. During the Sensui arc, he appears just to save Yusuke from "Sniper" and to take part in the main battle, with a promise that he gets to keep the Chapter Black tape. Justified however, the Sensui case is more of a human matter than a demon's and Hiei is apathetic about it considering he has no real ties to the human world other than his friends.
  • Aloof Big Brother: To Yukina. His coolness to her is an attempt to mask their relationship, as he can't bear the thought of her knowing that her only family is a criminal and a murderer.
  • Amazon Chaser: Hiei likes Mukuro because of her being strong enough to stand against him as well as their similar backgrounds even though her mutation and the horrors she put herself through to escape her abusive father have disfigured her.
  • Arc Villain: Of the first major story arc in the series.
  • 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. Lampshaded when Koenma tells him he went from class D to class B a little while after he started helping Yusuke.
  • Badass Longcoat: His jacket is a cross-breed of a long coat and a Badass Long Robe.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Mukuro, in a much more literal way than Yusuke and Keiko.
  • Berserk Button: Hiei does not take too kindly to You Have Outlived Your Usefulness especially coming from the enemy. Seiryu found out the HARD way. And so help him if Yukina is out in danger...
  • Big Brother Instinct: If you ever threaten his twin sister Yukina...
  • Big Damn Heroes: Arrives just in the nick of time and rescues Yusuke from Sniper's onslaught.
  • The Big Guy: Hiei has a Fantastic Nuke and a disturbing willingness to use it. Ironic, considering his extremely short stature.
  • Blood Knight: Although he's too arrogant to acknowledge his opponent, he clearly likes fighting because he was born in a quintessential dog-eat-dog world.
  • Boxed Crook: After his initial defeat at Yusuke's hands, Hiei is sentenced to parole in exchange for helping out Yusuke with various cases by Koenma. Unlike Kurama, he is not so happy about it but has little choice.
  • Breakout Character: Similar to Vegeta, Hiei was originally written as a one-shot villain. Due to his immense popularity with the fanbase, he was brought back into the story as a part of the main cast.
  • 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.
  • Catapult Nightmare: This happens to him when he dreams about why and how he got the Jagan. He even screams, "Yukina!" as he wakes up.
  • 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 hammiest 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.
  • Character Development: Hiei's Friendless Background meant he never actually had anyone he cared about and relied upon before he was forced to team up with Yusuke, even his partnership with Kurama started out as sharing a mutual goal and nothing else. For most of his life, Hiei was met with scorn or genuine fear by the Demon World and he accepted it. Early on, he considered things like friendship to be a crutch for the weak, but later, when he rescues Yukina he considered himself a 'friend' to Yusuke and the people who saved her. Despite all the trouble he caused, Yusuke was one of the first people who trusted Hiei as a comrade with no ulterior motive to him and as the series went on, Hiei began to grow closer and began to view the others as actual friends and allies. When Sensui kills Yusuke, everyone else is justifiably livid and wants Sensui dead, but Hiei seems to be the angriest, screaming at the top of his lungs when he fires his Dragon of the Darkness Flame directly at Sensui which goes to show just how much Hiei had started to care about his friends.
  • Characterization Marches On: When he was a villain, he was outright psychotic, with Nobuyuki Hiyama hamming it up is 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.
  • The Coats Are Off: Before literally every single fight he takes off his Badass Long Coat.
  • The Comically Serious: His attempts to remain aloof and serious is mocked mercilessly by everyone, but especially Kurama. Yusuke even calls him out on it in the Chapter Black saga, laughing openly at his attempts to pretend he doesn't care about the human world.
  • 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.
  • Cooldown Hug: In the anime, at the conclusion of his fight with Mukuro, he destroys her shackles and falls into her arms, exhausted and coming down from their Orgasmic Combat, which further highlights the intimate undertones of their battle, complete with Hiei resting his head on Mukuro's shoulder before closing his eyes in contentment and fatigue.
  • 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. Bui gave Hiei a tough time at first, but after Hiei absorbed The Dragon of the Darkness Flame, he showed off his power by smacking Bui's 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 ax 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.
    • His battle with Seiryuu only lasts a few minutes in the anime, and a single page in the manga.
    • His fight against Sniper wasn't even a fight — he just teleported in front of the guy and impaled him through the chest instantly. While carrying a half-dead Yusuke around.
    • His "fight" against Kaito is a complete reversal: Hiei got the curb-stomp treatment this time around. In arguably the show's greatest Leeroy Jenkins moment, Hiei wanted to end the fight as quickly as usual but instead had his soul removed instantly.
  • Cute Little Fangs: When he shows his teeth, which isn't very often, he does have little fangs, even as a baby.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Dragon of the Darkness Flame, which Hiei avoids letting on. The use of it heavily burns his arm, hindering him for the rest of the Dark Tournament. Kurama's noted that despite Hiei acting smug before using the attack on Zeru, Hiei was actually outclassed and used the attack because he had no other way of winning.
  • 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: This causes a Heroic BSoD and turns him into a Death Seeker after he fulfills what he thought was his final mission, helping his sister.
  • Disappeared Dad: It's explicitly mentioned that in order for his mother to give birth to him, she had to have sex with a man. Hiei's father is never mentioned outside of that detail. It's suggested that his mother is the only one that knew him so it's unlikely he'll ever meet his father. Hiei also never seems to wonder who his father is despite having identity issues.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: His Dragon of the Darkness Flame is powerful enough to effortlessly destroy most opponents, but every use of it risks completely destroying him and even a successful use puts him in crippling pain and deprives him of the use of one arm for a time. By the time he's mastered it to the point where he can use it whenever he wants, he's facing enemies far too powerful for the Dragon to be a One-Hit Kill.
  • Dramatic Necklace Removal: When Hiei's mother gave birth to him, her tears became stones (something ice maidens do). This was given to him as a necklace. When in battle one day it got cut off his neck and he loses it. He later gets the Jagan so he can find it.
  • 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 a 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 cutthroat than I am." Kurama later confirms this when training Kuwabara, warning that, while Hiei will hold back against weaker opponents, Kurama has no such compunctions.
    • He's disgusted at seeing others kill their own allies, even if the person being killed was his enemy.
    • Played for Laughs when he sees Yusuke beat Kuwabara after Yusuke learned that Kuwabara was pretending to be dead after Younger Toguro punched him. The look on Hiei's face says that even he was horrified by seeing Yusuke rush to beat his teammate right after thinking he was dead.
    • He has no moral qualms about murder, willing to kill indiscriminately, and can be quite brutal at it, however, he'll usually try to make it quick against weaker people unless he REALLY wants you to suffer (Tarakune) or aren't worth his time (The Ice Maidens).
  • Ex-Big Bad: He was the Big Bad of the first major story arc. Come the Saint Beasts arc, he's one of Yusuke's allies and one of the main characters.
  • Expy: Of Vegeta from Dragon Ball. 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, and become one of the good guys' strongest fighters. Also, they both are short, have long, upright, spiky black hair and are revealed to be of the same type of being as the protagonist.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Once after defeating Bui and "hibernates" for 6 hours. Also after fighting with Sensui he gets them again and passes out from exhaustion yet again.
  • Extra Eyes: Especially in his demon form, which has eyes sprouting all over his body.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Technically, it's a headband. It covers his Jagan so it still counts.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The Dragon of the Darkness Flame, a power so great that it can even reduce other fire demons to ash, and nearly destroys Hiei (and everything around him) until he learns to control it successfully. A big deal is made about how much it is not something to be fucked with, and how ballsy it is for Hiei to even attempt to try to take control of it.
  • Fantastic Racism: Subverted. He makes a big show about how much he hates humans and dislikes being in the human world, but it's mainly a facade. The thing he really hates is weakness, and his first friends are humans strong enough to earn his respect.
  • Fetal Position Rebirth: It looks as though he's getting up from this position after becoming the dragon of the darkness flame and Faking the Dead but it's hard to tell since the animation in that episode isn't the best.
  • Flaming Sword: He has a technique called Sword of the Darkness Flame, where he gathers the fire of the Dragon of the Darkness Flame into his sword. He dislikes using this technique because it resembles Kuwabara's Spirit Sword.
  • 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 increases 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.
  • Fragile Speedster: In his initial appearance as a villain. When first fighting Yusuke, while he's fast enough to literally run rings around his opponent he seemingly cannot take a punch, and Yusuke forces him to pull out his secret weapon (his demon form) after only two or three hits. Even when transformed, he goes down in one attack (the Spirit Gun, which at that point in the series wasn't all that much stronger than Yusuke's normal punch) — and even with the fight extended a bit in the anime he more or less just avoids everything thrown at him by sheer speed without actually letting anything hit him. When he reappears as an ally, he gradually becomes much more Made of Iron and as a result becomes a full-on Lightning Bruiser, though he still prefers to end his fights quickly.
  • Friendless Background: Because males of his species are inherently violent, and his very birth revealed his mother violated a major cultural taboo, (Ice Apparitions who mate with a male produce male offspring, those who immaculately conceive only ever bear girls) his people abandoned him as a baby. His surrogate outlaw family eventually turned on him as well out of fear of his violent nature, leaving him friendless for many years before meeting Kurama and eventually everyone else.
  • Glass Cannon: 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.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Using the Dragon of the Darkness Flame for most of the Dark Tournament was this thanks to the damage it did to him. During his fight with Kuro, Hiei turned out to have channeled demon flames into his sword (in the English anime it was power from the Dragon of the Darkness Flame). The technique is completely safe to use, but because it reminds Hiei of Kuwabara's Spirit Sword, he almost never uses it because his pride makes him unwilling to use a technique similar to Kuwabara's.
  • 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.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Ditto to the above. In his green-skinned, covered-in-eyes state, his hair becomes a split flame. In his regular form and after he became the main character his hand is a regular flame formation.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: He's born with black and white hair in the shape of fire and it stays that way his whole life.
  • Hates Being Touched: Played with. When Botan tries to put a sticker on him he says, "Touch me and I break your wrist," however when Kurama puts a sticker on him, he merely looks annoyed. In an OVA for a picture being taken, he's off to the side, not wanting his picture taken at all. Kurama and Yusuke actually grab him and carry him away while he shouts, "Get off me fools!" Kuwabara actually grabs him menacingly by the collar a couple of times in the series but this doesn't seem to bother him. This is most likely because in a fight Hiei would easily win.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After being defeated he agrees to work with Yusuke.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kurama, who is the only one in Team Urameshi he never insults or bickers with. He'll never admit it outright, but he treasures his partnership with Kurama since it was the closest thing he ever had to a genuine friendship before he met Yusuke.
  • Hidden Depths: He starts off like every other minor villain (literally since he's an Ascended Extra) then we learn more about him as the series goes on.
    • He has identity issues, lampshaded by Mukuro because the real reason he got the Jagan was to try and find himself. Anyone would have identity issues when you're born the exact opposite of your race and you're left for dead because of it.
    • He's been betrayed by his only "family" after that as well, causing him to hate betrayers, Seriyu found out the hard way.
    • He also refuses to kill those weaker than him, lampshaded by Kurama once and he even mentions that he doesn't break alliances.
    • It also appears to have fear of rejection issues, the man's reason he hasn't told Yukina the truth.
    • When he finally gets his hands on the Chapter Black tape, Kurama inquires what Hiei will do with the tape, explaining that showing it to demons could cause a serious rebellion and war between humans while keeping it to himself allows Hiei a daily justification to loathe humans. In the end, Hiei destroys it, showing that not even he's as much as a misanthrope to preserve a tape as horrible as Chapter Black.
  • 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. This is a partially straight example of this trope since he is rather attractive and half of her body is covered by horrifying scars due to her pouring acid on herself, however, going by her unscarred half alone, she is just as attractive as Hiei.
  • I Gave My Word: If Hiei makes a deal, he sticks with it. After Kuwabara fears Hiei using the Dragon of the Darkness Flame against his own team in the Dark Tournament, Hiei tells him that he doesn't turn out his allies. He doesn't make any promises as to what he will do after the tournament is over, however, it's mostly an empty threat considering by now, Hiei had already considered them allies.
  • It's Personal: Hiei goes straight for Tarukanei for hurting Yukina. This is the only time he directly involves himself in one of Yusuke's cases of his own volition, as he normally doesn't care that much about what humans get up to.
  • Impaled Palm: He does this to himself at one point. Shigure insists he won't be able to make it through the Jagan Eye surgery so Hiei stabs his left hand with his sword in order to prove he can handle pain.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: As a newborn after being thrown to his death, yes. He survives.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Strongly implied to be the case with Hiei during his fight with Mukuro, lampshading how he's spent his life being despised and deserted by his own people and tried to suppress his inner pain with bloodshed due to never experiencing any love. It's also implied he secretly just wants to belong to a group and be accepted. It's this trait that forges his relationship with Mukuro since he feels kinship due to their mutual inability to express their hurt inner trauma unless through violence.
  • 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. Subverted in the anime, where Hiei's sword seems to switch between being a katana and a double-edged European style broadsword with no noticeable effect on its cutting ability.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: In the anime, is willing to kill Tarukane for abducting Yukina.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Is the only main character to have just one outfit change (unless you count a light blue shirt to a black shirt as an outfit change). He's usually in all black, except for once when he wears a blue Chinese warrior's outfit. Then it's back to black. His belts can be white, red, or purple at any time.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: Before he met Kurama, Hiei was on his own for years after the bandits that raised him abandoned him. Even after he officially becomes part of the group, he still keeps to himself and is usually off to the side of everyone else.
  • 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.
  • Mutual Disadvantage:
    • Kurama heavily implies this is the case with Zeru after Hiei's fight with him. Despite Hiei making a big show of being unaffected by Zeru's fire powers, Hiei also couldn't harm him without resorting to the Dragon of the Darkness Flame. It's obviously overkill, but Hiei wouldn't have resorted to it at all if he felt like he had a choice.
    • During his fight with Bui, both fighters aren't fully capable of controlling their full power, meaning that either going all out was inherently dangerous. Hiei is only able to prevail by forcing himself to master the Darkness Flame at metaphorical gunpoint, but the effort exhausts him.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Averted for obvious reasons, but even besides that, it's also notable that Hiei never expresses a dislike of Kuwabara's crush on Yukina, considering how much smack they talk about each other.
  • Mysterious Past: Up until the final season we don't know much about his past. Then we learn everything in Whole Episode Flashback.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: Originally introduced as a one-off villain, but with his return as a regular part of the cast his personality was adjusted to be this archetype. His Jigon eye gives plenty of destructive abilities (including the ability to call upon the Dragon of the Darkness Flame), couldn't care less what happened to humanity as long as it didn't involve him or his sister, and won't hesitate to cut anyone deep who was in the way of his goals. Though unlike most of the examples, he prefers speed over bulky strength. He also has a soft spot for his younger sister Yukina, but that is more of a reminder of why one shouldn't get on his bad side.
  • 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 Infantile Amnesia: He could see and hear before he was born and understood what was happening to him at that time. His sister however doesn't appear to remember, averting this trope completely.
  • Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid: The son of a male fire demon and female ice maiden.
  • 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 the swift application of brute force, cleverer fighters with more unique abilities can remove him from the fight early on.
  • Not so Above It All: Hiei loves to make fun of Yusuke and Kuwabara for saying or doing idiotic things (more so the latter) but he'd made some incredibly stupid ideas in a pitch, usually for dumb reasons like wanting to look like a badass.
  • Not So Stoic: Hurt his sister Yukina and be prepared to watch a demon unleash before you.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: His infamous case of Leeroy Jenkins + Idiot Ball against Kaito is something the rest of the team will never let him forget. He knew exactly what his Territory did, and he still rushed in and lost his soul instantly. He doesn't even realize how lucky he was that Kaito was working for Genkai the whole time, otherwise that would've been the single most pathetic end to his story.
  • 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.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: See Cooldown Hug above. For a guy that Hates Being Touched, Hiei seems to really enjoy getting so close to Mukuro. Which seems to be all part of their usual dynamics.
  • 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.
  • Parental Abandonment: Forced into this unwillingly, but his mother dies later and he doesn't know his father so it counts.
  • Perpetual Frowner: While he may smirk with anticipation in battle, Hiei almost never smiles, and either remains neutral and collected or frowns in annoyance.
  • 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.
  • The Quiet One: The combinations of his aloof and stoic mannerisms lead him to not give a damn to be vocal. As for how his voice actor puts it, the responses you'll mostly hear from Hiei are "Hmph!" "Tsk." And "Baka!"
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: His Jagan glows red when he's using it, which always signals the use of his nastier powers.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He’s red to Kurama’s blue. Kurama takes more time than normally one should allow in combat. Kurama's way of thinking is "If I can figure out their strategy, then I can come up with one of my own to counter it." The only time he did not plan at all was when he ripped off Gourmet's head to reveal Elder Toguro. Hiei, on the other hand, prefers trying to take his opponent out with as little time spent as possible, and generally has little time for planning and mind games, such as when they were in Kaito's territory.
  • The Rival: To Yusuke, as they are stated to be equals in power.
  • Redemption Promotion: Played with. After joining Yusuke's group, he goes from being an average low-class demon to one of the most powerful beings in the human world in the span of a few months. However, he actually reached an exceptional level of power shortly after he was born, only losing the bulk of it in exchange for his Jagan.
  • Reflective Eyes: He does this with his Third Eye or Jagan eye with Bui before he defeats him.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: He starts off as a Villain but eventually becomes an Anti-Hero. In the end, he still doesn't like being told what to do but his attempting to take over the world again is highly unlikely.
  • 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.
  • Situational Hand Switch: 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.
  • Smug Super: A heroic (sort of) version. Even when he's doing good, he makes a point to rub how much more powerful he is than everyone else in their face.
  • So Last Season:
    • He never uses his Jaganshi form after his first appearance. It's implied that controlling the Darkness Flame is simply a better use of his Jagan, but the (non-canon) movies imply that this form would enhance both his control over the flame and the flame's power.
    • His Dragon of the Darkness Flame and the technique where he consumes it to power up are useless against Sensui.
  • The Stoic: Not to the extent of Kurama, but Hiei is often more level head than everyone else in the cast to the point he rarely loses his temper and he can remain analytical to the same league as Kurama in battle,
  • The Spock: When not playing the Smug Super though not as much or as clearly as Kurama but he has shades of this. While Kurama is the most logical and cerebral of the group, Hiei is the most pragmatic and goal-oriented. He doesn't like humans or earth but he doesn't (anymore) carry any ill will towards them either so any What the Hell, Hero? solutions he might propose are made dispassionately and full of straightforward pragmatism.
  • Starter Villain: Along with Gouki, he was set up like this before his unexpected popularity.
  • Stock Shōnen Rival: By publication date, Vegeta came first so Hiei wasn't the Trope Maker but he's still somewhat of a Trope Codifier as he's one of the very earliest characters to fit this mold. He starts out as an evil villain who dresses in black and eventually becomes an Anti-Hero Blood Knight who can be quite ruthless despite becoming a protagonist. And in his rivalty with Yusuke, Hiei has a healthy amount of respect for Yusuke's strength but isn't above harshly criticizing him, threatening him, or occasionally fighting him to test his skills.
  • Suicide by Cop: Attempts this by throwing himself at Mukuro's S-class army when he feels he's outlived his usefulness and almost succeeds, but she intervenes to save him in the end.
  • Super Mode: Once Hiei absorbs the Dragon of the Darkness Flame, he's able to take a ton of hits and deal even more offensive potential in many more ways than one. Too bad he enters a state of hibernation or simply grows very weak after said mode is close to ending.
  • Sword Fight: Ironically while being a Master Swordsman he's only seen fighting two other swordsmen throughout the whole show. Once during this Dramatic Necklace Removal and another against Shigure, the man who taught him how to wield a sword properly.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil:
    • Hiei's initial drive towards villainy was largely the result of spending most of his early life feared and reviled because of what he was. He ultimately decided to embrace his status as a monster since it gave him a reason to live. Having actual friends chills him out immensely.
    • He has another moment when Tarukanei is revealed to be the one torturing his sister Yukina. Hiei comes very near to killing him, even knowing that his recently-revoked status as a criminal will be reinstated. Yusuke and Botan mention that he'll get into trouble for killing a human. His response? "They're just afraid of justice." Yukina does stop him though.
  • Third Eye: His Jagan eye, which is actually an implant and not natural, is located in the center of his forehead.
  • This Means War!: When Hiei first meets Tarukanei face to face he actually talks to him civilly at first. Once he mentions that Yukina's tears are valuable on the other hand Hiei doesn't hold back.
  • Token Evil Teammate: His teammates are two delinquents and a mamma's boy. He's a murderer.
  • 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. Downplayed, as despite how harsh his training is, he refuses to go all out against a weaker opponent, so he wasn't nearly as hard on Kuwabara as he could have been. Kurama's training ends up being much worse.
  • Tsundere: Following his Heel–Face Turn, despite denying it and claiming to still be an amoral criminal even Kuwabara halfway through the Dark Tournament arc is aware that he's a good person deep down.
  • Vague Age: All we know is that he's between 16-99.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Yusuke and Kuwabara. His spiteful comments back in the Saint Beasts arc may have been genuine but after that, he mostly dishes empty threats at them and his mocking comments towards Kuwabara are more for amusement and banter than for anything else.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: In a sense, yes. 12 out of the 40 episodes in the Dark Tournament arc he remains shirtless. In the entire first season and the intro for the 1st and 2nd seasons, he's also shirtless. Later this is less so since he starts either wearing a light blue or black shirt under his jacket (after Zeru he only loses his shirt to Mukuro).
  • 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).
  • Worthy Opponent: Develops respect for Yusuke after their first fight. When impressed by how much stronger Yusuke got in preparation for the Dark Tournament, Hiei becomes convinced that the two of them alone are all the team needs to win.
  • You Fool!: His go-to insult, especially to Kuwabara.