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Heartwarming / YuYu Hakusho

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YuYu Hakusho is a series focused on an emotionally challenged angry boy and generally doesn't lend itself to these, but when they show up, they are especially poignant.

  • From the very first episode: Yusuke yells at a kid for playing in the streets but then jumps in front of a speeding car to save him.
    • Yusuke's wake is an odd first episode example. A 14-year-old kid goes from seriously believing that the world and everyone around him would be better off and not wanting to come back to life to wanting to try and live again after seeing how his mother, love interest, teacher, and rival all act.
      • This is in the Japanese Dubbing. Yusuke's Stern Teacher lectured him for skipping class and began dragging him by the ear to the guidance counselor. But he was also offering to make him tea, showing a softer side.
    • Yusuke wants to check up on the kid he made a Heroic Sacrifice for. When he learns that the boy only faced minor injuries, Yusuke declares he has no regrets and is ready to go to Hell. That's right, a delinquent expected Hell to be his punishment and his only concern was if a kid he saved was alright.
  • Episode 3. It says something when this is before anyone has super-powers or anything that couldn't happen in real life. For the most part. Kuwabara spends the entire episode committing a series of heroic sacrifices by letting himself get beat up to protect Okubo.
    • It goes the other way too. In a later episode, a bully holds Kuwabara's cat hostage to force Kuwabara to do things that break his honor code. One of those things was for him to beat up his friends, which Kuwabara refuses point-blank to do. His friends tell him it's fine and urge him to do it, saying they won't hold it against him and instead will just see it as the bully being the one to attack them.
    • Yusuke helping Kuwabara study for the exam in the third episode. As part of a condition made by Mr. Akashi to help protect Okubo's part-time job by entering his dreams.
    • Also Kuwabara thanking Yusuke for looking out to him, even though Yusuke is invisible, Kuwabara senses his presence.
  • Episode 4, when Keiko's running through the fire in Yusuke's house to save his body, he tries telling her to leave. The investigator reminds him that if she doesn't save his body, he won't be able to come back to life. He screams at her, "What's the point in coming back to life if Keiko has to die for it?!"
  • All of episode 7, "Kurama's Secret!? The Ties Between Mother and Son". After defeating Goki and freeing all the souls that were eaten by him, Yusuke meets the mysterious Kurama, the guy who possesses the Forlorn Hope. Which by the way is an artifact that enables its user to have any wish they want, at the cost of their own life! Yusuke finds out that Kurama only wants to use the artifact to save his human mother, at the cost of sacrificing himself. Yusuke, believing that Kurama's sacrifice would cause his mother to suffer, offers to give his life to the mirror instead so that Kurama won't have to die and leave her alone. In the end, the Forlorn Hope takes direct action and willingly spares both of them. Awww.
  • Episode 15 of the anime, Yusuke openly putting all his trust in Hiei, much to Hiei's surprise. Offering to use up his own strength to give Hiei a chance to reach the switch to raise the ceiling. While he does hesitate, Hiei does save the others. Showing Yusuke was correct when he put his faith in Hiei.
  • Hiei rescuing his sister Yukina after she's been imprisoned for who knows how long. He's about to go for the kill with her captor but he stops when Yukina begs him not to kill the man, as she's already had to endure so many hardships. He stops, not wanting to make her cry. When she asks him who he is since he seems familiar, much to the fans' dismay he doesn't tell her that they're relatednote .
    • Near the end of Episode 25, after Yukina asks Hiei who he is. Hiei looks down into the arena where Yusuke, Kuwabara and Botan are, and tells her he's "just a member of the team." While he hesitates when he says it, he appears to really mean it, judging by the look on his face. In the original Japanese, he says he's "just a friend of theirs."
    • Kuwabara, worried that Yukina might hate humans after everything she's been through, tries to assure her that not all humans are bad. Yukina assures him she actually likes most humans.
  • Yusuke's concern for Kurama in Episode 39. After Bakken claims he will continue to brutally assault the comatose Kurama, Bakken's forced to spare Kurama by his team leader, who intervenes right as Yusuke is about to fire a lethal Spirit Gun blast at Bakken from behind, no matter the consequences for breaking the rules. That and Yusuke's gentleness towards the unconscious Kurama. On top of that, it's revealed that Hiei was on the verge of launching his own attack, with a reprise of the Dragon of the Darkness Flame that would have killed him.
    • As the pair start their fight, Yusuke and Jin share a good-natured laugh.
    • From Episode 41 of the anime, Yusuke stepping in to protect the tournament announcer Koto from Risho when he tries to bully her, despite the fact that he and Botan had previously accused her several times of not being fair and impartial.
    • When Kuwabara was about to lose against Risho, Hiei was preparing to break through Ruka's barrier and throw away the tournament to save him.
    • From Episode 42, Kuwabara prepares to make a Heroic Sacrifice using his life energy to beat Risho. As he does, he thinks about his team: he thinks of Hiei as a true Jerk with a Heart of Gold, he's thankful for what Kurama has taught him and says no one is more caring than him, even though he hasn't known the masked fighter for long he admits he respects her for saving Yen, Kai, and Ryo, which Kuwabara says meant a lot to him, and with Yusuke, there are no words...
  • Before Genkai leaves to face Toguro, she tells Kuwabara to not have Yusuke go after her when he wakes up. Kuwabara concernedly asks her if she's in trouble. Genkai tries to leave without saying but she can't open the door without turning back and telling Kuwabara that he has a good heart.
  • Two such moments occur during the Dark Tournament arc. The first occurs toward the end of Yusuke's final test, absorbing the Spirit Wave Orb. He has spent a long time in absolute agony as this energy integrated itself in his body, and Puu, his spirit beast, has been suffering the same torture. In time Yusuke starts to run out of strength, and gives up, resigning himself to die. Suddenly, he's pulled back by a splash of water on his lips, and he opens his eyes to see Puu flying off again to fetch more water in his wings. Puu is obviously in pain, even as he does this, and as he shuffles back to Yusuke, he trips, spilling the water all over. It only gets worse (or better) when Puu just stands back up, and goes for more.
    • Not moments later, Puu trips again, but this time, a large rock dislodges from the ceiling, threatening to crush and kill Puu. At this, Yusuke stands up, and rushes over, blood still bursting out of him. In a particularly heartwrenching cry of "Screw this test! I'm getting us out of here!", he smashes the boulder, saves Puu, and integrates the orb into his body in one fell swoop. This is also a Moment of Awesome.
    • Another moment comes some episodes later, during the final showdown with Toguro. Toguro is frustrated with Yusuke's inability to reach his full power, and declares he will kill one of his friends if he doesn't do it on his own. Toguro chooses Kuwabara. Though said death is later subverted, as Toguro and Kuwabara both realized Yusuke only needed to think Kuwabara was dead. Kurama and Hiei both prepare to fight Toguro to stop him, even though they're in pretty rough shape and would be no match for him even if they were at full strength.
    • The fact that even Hiei would have used his wish at the conclusion of the Dark Tournament to bring back Genkai.
    • When she and Toguro meet in the afterlife, Genkai says she thinks of Yusuke as a son, and suggests Toguro feels the same way.
  • At the end of the manga, Yusuke is forced to choose between three buttons that'll either A) Shut down a cult's doom cannon, B) Fire it or C) Self detonate it, killing him for good as he's already in a spirit form. The cult is obsessed with the number three, and tell him that he'll only guess the right button if he has their god's blessing. After a long think, he chooses the blue button, as it's Keiko's favorite color. As he puts it; "They've got their god, I've got my goddess". When she finds out how he chose, they have a different touching beach moment.
    • There's also the scene where Mitamura reunites with his three students after he's been cured of his terminal illness and they've been released of the mind control they were subjected to when they agreed to become Ichigaki's guinea pigs in order to cure him. What almost became a great tragedy has a happy ending.
  • Mitari/Seaman's Heel–Face Turn. Even though he tried to kill him, Kuwabara still saves Mitari's life, which makes him question the Mind Rape-induced view of humanity that Sensui subjected him to. Mitari struggles to make sense of the selfless actions the heroes have done for him, he's just been lost and confused the entire time. In the end, when Kuwabara is kidnapped by Sensui, Mitari begs Kurama and the others to let him help them "if it's not too late". Kurama then extends his hand and tells him that it's never too late to make a new start.
  • There's a example in the manga chapter "Special Day." Hiei goes to talk to Mukuro, and tries to get her to admit her father sexually abused her. Mukuro kind of knows he's right, but her memories have been altered so that she remembers her father as loving and kind, so she punches Hiei through the roof. Literally. Undaunted, Hiei goes to visit Kurama, gets another plant like the one that is trapping Toguro-ani, and traps Mukuro's father in it... and pots it, presents it to Mukuro, tied up with a bow, as a freaking birthday present. And wishes her a happy birthday. Obviously, you do not want to be on Hiei's bad side. It's their smiles that make it a CMOH, because otherwise... brrr.
    • Their fight in the anime is exceptionally poignant, especially in the end, where Mukuro wins by stopping the Dragon of the Darkness Flame, and the two share a conversation about breaking away from the past at long last. Hiei reveals in his own odd way that he fought not to beat her but to free her: in this case from all the hatred that had been tormenting her. Using his own recent experiences as a basis (the fact that he could find worthy friends after his own torturous beginnings), just before collapsing, he uses the last of his power to break the biggest symbol of Mukuro's hatred: her shackles. He then declares he will never fight her again: perhaps the best way he can find to declare his feelings for her, recognizing they're not so different. Hiei then collapses, Mukuro catches him, and the stern facade that they both have melts away as they embrace. Considering the type of person Hiei is, this is highly noteworthy Character Development. The soft piano music that plays in the background makes things even more heartwarming.
  • Kurama's selfless love for his mother, especially during his last fight in the Three Kings arc. Aside from keeping in touch with her by phoning her from Makai, he undergoes a dilemma in which of his lives to give up. With the memory of a sakura tree in their back yard, he manages to defeat Shigure and move on with his life in the human world. Afterwards, Yomi helps him get back to his feet and a two-sentence conversation singlehandedly defines Kurama's character arc:
    Yomi: "Kurama... have you forever forsaken yourself as Yoko?"
    Kurama: "Oh no. I never leave anything behind."
    • Also during the "Three Kings arc", Kaitou offering to aid Kurama in whatever way he could. While Kurama turned him down, he was grateful for the offer.
    • He's also shown to have genuine fondness for his new stepfather and younger stepbrother, and doesn't take kindly to anyone threatening them.
  • The Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moment Yusuke and Keiko share before he returns to Demon World to face his heritage.
  • During the fight with Yomi, Yusuke's Heroic Second Wind which has him get rooted for by every major character in the series everybody shows up Kuwabara, Kurama, Hiei, Genkai, Botan, Koenma, George, Chu, Jin, Toya, Rinku, Suzuka, Yukina, Shizuru, Puu, Kaitou, Kido, Yana, Hokushin, and The Monks before finally Keiko appears this causes Yusuke to tap into Sacred Energy. It has to be seen to be believed.
  • Kuwabara and Kurama conversing at the start of the final episode is a nice little treat, as the latter shows a bit of pride in seeing how far Kuwabara has grown as a person in the last 2 years, whereas Kuwabara indignantly defends Kurama when 2 girls are convinced the latter is either a girl or Kuwabara's boyfriend.
    • Quite a bit before this, in Episode 101, we see Kurama narrating what it was like being at his mother's wedding, stating that it was a quiet affair, with only family and close friends attending. As he's telling us this, we see that Kuwabara was standing right next to Kurama at the wedding, showing just how deeply the latter regarded their friendship.
      • In the same episode, Kurama narrates about Yusuke, "I have far from forgotten the risk he took to allow both my mother and myself to live."
  • After Yusuke arrives to Yomi's territory (following Raizen's death), the two set themselves up in a room for a meeting to determine what will happen with Demon World next. The viewers are treated to the sight of Kurama and his trained recruits waiting in the room adjacent to them, ostensibly set there to intervene and/or attack Yusuke on Yomi's orders. Despite that, Jin and Chu are ecstatic to see Yusuke again, noting his increased strength with giddy admiration. Kurama then mentions his reluctance to kill Yusuke on Yomi's commands, and asks the rest what they think, knowing that going against Yomi would put them in danger. Chu, Jin, Rinku, Touya, and Suzuka instantly respond in unison that they would side with Yusuke over Yomi (with Rinku even plainly adding "Do you even have to ask?"), to Kurama's appreciation. When Shishiwakamaru expresses indifference, Suzuka is quick to override his vote by stating he'd be on Yusuke's team as well. And Kurama follows through on this immediately afterward by supporting Yusuke's tournament plan.
    • When the group reveals itself, Yusuke is similarly happy to reunite with his former rivals. He, Chu, and Jin even hug each other and start laughing joyously.
    • The laugh Hiei gives after hearing Yusuke's tournament idea is a bit of this in itself, with him taking glee in knowing his old ally was able to outsmart Demon King Yomi.
  • During the tournament, Suzuka expresses shock and horror when it looks like Shishiwakamaru has been eaten by one of his opponents. It's to the point that he freezes in place.
  • Tying slightly into Funny Moments, when Yusuke has to give a speech to psyche up the Top 128 fighters, Jin and Chu joke about his relative lack of preparation, followed by a group laugh between them, Rinku, Touya, Shishiwakamaru, and Suzuka.
  • After Yusuke and Yomi's fight in the tournament is over, Yusuke learns that Yomi only gained his Heroic Second Wind and won because he heard his son cry out for him not to give up.
  • Genkai's final wish in the end of the story (she's still alive to convey them in the anime, they're reading her will in the manga) actually works its way to this. Either way, she explains that she had spent her life learning that Our Demons Are Different. In the end, they're as varied as people are, yet centuries of persecution (not helped by Spirit World's policies, which are more emphasized in the manga) have created a rift between them, so she wishes to make amends. Her last will is that her vast, out-of-the-way compound is to become a safe haven for principled demons such as Yukina so that human-demon relations can finally start the long road to mending.
  • The very end of the anime is full of this. Yusuke has spent three years in the Demon World, and in the meantime Keiko has continued with her life in Tokyo. The day when she finishes high school and Yusuke's supposed to return, she and several others (Kuwabara, Shizuru, Yukina, Kurama, etc.) go to the beach. As the sun sets, Keiko shouts out to the sky "Yuusuke, you idiot! I won't be waiting for you forever!"... and Yusuke appears and replies "You won't have to wait anymore!" Then, she runs up to him... they end up tripping and falling on the sand, with Keiko on top of Yusuke. And she gives him the MOTHER of all Big Damn Kisses. And then the waves wash over both of them, leaving them both soaked and everyone else mildly awed. But then Yusuke calls out, "What'd you do that for?!" in honest mockery, Keiko starts a splash fight, and as the opening theme plays for the final time, Kuwabara, Botan, and Yukina join them in the water, just happy that Yusuke's back and all is well again.
  • From the second movie, Kurama remembering back when he was still Yoko, the real Kuronue had pleaded with him to save himself rather than risk his life to try and save him.
  • The rare moments throughout the series when Hiei demonstrates he genuinely does care for his companions.
    • Given his outward dislike for Kuwabara, one would expect him to have a problem with the burgeoning romance between Kuwabara and Yukina, but he never objects or even so much as pulls a face at seeing them together.
    • Hiei's serious appraisals of Kuwabara's fights (when he's not just being an ass because it's fun) are this. After his first round against Byakko, Hiei tells him that he fought well, but he should rest, regain his strength, and help them fight again later. Similarly, after Kuwabara loses to Rinku, because Rinku restrained him to wait out a ten count, Hiei says it was just bad luck.
  • Sensui's final speech to Yusuke touches on a beautiful sentiment about demons and humans. When Yusuke's strength was unable to overcome Sensui's strength, the side of him — the demon side — that was able to rise to the challenge took control. However, for all that brutality, that overwhelming monstrous nature that consumed and destroyed his enemy, Yusuke's human heart overcame that demon nature. After the final blow was struck, Yusuke came to his senses and showed compassion for Sensui. Sensui notes that Yusuke was demonized in a human's body, and then humanized in a demon's; in other words, the gentle nature of a human heart was able to tame the brutality of a demon heart. Yusuke, simply by existing, managed to transcend a boundary that Sensui had fought his entire life to overcome, showing that human and demon natures were compatible.
  • A short segment of the OVA Eizou Hakusho has Hiei tell Yukina that his "search" for her twin brother has "failed", and that she should assume that her twin is dead, and returns the gemstone she gave him. Yukina refuses, telling him to keep it and that she feels that the gem would be better in his hands than in hers, implying that she's figured out the truth without needing Hiei to tell her.