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Shout Out / YuYu Hakusho

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Here are the shout-outs present in YuYu Hakusho.

Media References

Anime & Manga

  • One of the biggest is how Yusuke dies in the beginning. He saves a child who ran out into the street with a soccer ball, only to later be told that the soccer ball would have cushioned the child, saving the boy's life without leaving a scratch on him. This is a situation that would have, without Yusuke's unfortunate intervention, been exactly the same as what happened to Tsubasa in Captain Tsubasa.
  • The sequence of Yusuke shooting Hiei with the Rei-Gan, Hiei dodging, and then having said Rei-Gan reflect through the mirror relic and back towards Hiei is reminiscent of Dragon Ball Z, when Krillin missed hurling the Genki Dama at Vegeta, only for Gohan to deflect the blast back towards the original target.
    • The Dark Tournament is highly possibly based on the many tournaments present in the Dragon Ball manga and its anime adaptations or sequels.
    • Yomi is possibly based on the demon Shula from Dragon Ball, as both have similar appearances. Ironically, Yomi's artificial clone "son" got the "Shula" or "Shura" name instead.
  • In the Tagalog version of YuYu Hakusho (Ghost Fighter), after defeating the demon Rando, Yusuke mentions to Botan that since he completed his mission, he finally has free time to watch some Battle Ballnote .
  • Younger Toguro echoes Onimaru from Peacock King, another manga about young fighters battling demons. Like Onimaru, Toguro is a musclebound, foreign-looking man with perpetual sunglasses that is both a human and a demon at once and who has a Worthy Opponent relationship with the main character.
  • There are three shout-outs to Sailor Moon.note 
    • In a manga-exclusive story, Kurama throws a rose in front of two rival gangs a la Tuxedo Mask. (He actually tells them "Just call me Tuxedo Mask," while throwing it in the Viz dub.)
    • Juri's transformation sequence when she recovers from the Idunn Box is based off of Sailor Moon's transformation sequence.
    • Koenma's disguise in the Demon World Tournament is him wearing the Tuxedo Mask garb.

Movies & Television


  • There is a momentary shout-out to The Stars My Destination during the Dark Tournament when an audience member is shown with the N♂MAD tattoo.
  • Yomi's territory in the Demon World, "Gandhara", is a reference to the place where Tripitaka, the Monkey King, and their party were headed for in Journey to the West.note 


  • In Episode 21, there's a glimpse of a poster of Oingo Boingo's "Good For Your Soul" album on the wall in Kuwabara's room. No name changes either, unlike with "Megallica", the album's cover is mimicked in full, complete with artist and name.
  • Kuwabara goes to the "Megallica" concert in episode 75.

Video Games

  • Gouki shares the name with a character from Street Fighter. The pronunciation and meaning are the same but the kanji are slightly different though.
    • They're both formidable foes, but in the case of YYH Gouki, he's a demon disguised as a human who eats human souls in the Human World.
    • With Street Fighter Gouki/Akuma, he's a martial artist who turned into a being as strong as a demon or ogre, just like the Toguro Brothers.
  • Yusuke can fire his Rei-Gan/Spirit Gun multiple times using weaker shots or a huge fireball or beam if he charges it long enough, just like the Charge Shot from Mega Man.note 
    • The charging sound of Megaman's Charge Shot sounds the same as when Yusuke charges up his Rei-Gan.
  • In Japanese, Genkai's fighting style is referred to as the "Reikou Hadouken". Thusly, the "Hadouken" part of her discipline's name is a shout-out to both Street Fighter II and Space Battleship Yamatonote .
  • When Yusuke and Kuwabara are arguing after their first arrival at Genkai's house, several Street Fighter characters can be seen, including Dhalsim, E. Honda, Zangief (with a scar on his chest instead of all the hair), and a middle-aged Ryu.
  • Also during the Dark Tournament, the gang uses Nintendo-branded playing cards (which is actually how the company started its business).

Myth and Folklore References

Chinese Mythology

  • Suzaku is the Crimson Vermillion Bird, Byakko is the White Tiger, Genbu is the Black Turtle, and Seiryu is the Blue Dragon. These are the "Four Saint Beasts"note  of mythology.
    • The Vermillion Bird was a Phoenix in older times, and the White Tiger was originally a Qilin (just like the summon "Kirin" from Final Fantasy). The Black Turtle was originally called "The Black Warrior". No one knows why any of them were changed.
    • For some reason, Togashi decided to switch up the elements associated with each of the Four Saint Beasts.note 

Japanese Folklore

  • Most of Shishiwakamaru's team have names based on characters of Japanese folklore. Shishiwakamaru himself is based on Minamoto no Yoshitsune, whose childhood name is Ushiwakamaru (牛若丸).note 
  • Ura Urashima or "Reverse Urashima" is named after Urashima Taro, a mythical fisherman that married the daughter of a Sea Kami. He uses a fishing pole as a weapon in reference to this.note 
  • Kuro Momotaro is "Black Peach Boy". The name "Momotaro" means "Peach Boy". The titular character of the myth (Momotaro) befriends various animals in his quest.note 
  • Makintaro is the "Magic Golden Boy". Named after "Kintaro", Japan's Hercules or "Golden Boy". Kintaro was a very strong yet amoral figure that followed orders without question.note 
  • Suzuka/Suzuki is just a common given name in Japan. It's Suzuki's disguise "Onji" that has meaning. The old man is likely named after Onmyouji.note 

Japanese Mythology

  • The name "Gōki" or "Gouki" means "Strong Ogre". Yes, like that Gouki. Like Japanese ogres, Gouki used a tree in his fight with Yusuke. He's also one of the few to have ever beaten the young Urameshi fair and square.
  • Kurama is a reference to another mountain that stands alongside Mt, Hiei, and is (hilariously) barely more than half as tall.
    • Mt. Kurama is also the birthplace of Reiki medicine, the real-world equivalent of Spirit Energy. It is the Japanese equivalent to Vitalism, and has many followers.
    • Kurama is also closely connected to the myth of the kitsune or Asian Fox Spirit. They're particularly known in taking in newborns as their avatars.
  • "Hiei" is also the name of a mountain that is the home of demons (the same Mt. Hiei where Shishio's stronghold is located). Traditionally, women were not allowed on this mountain for fear that demons might abduct them (pretty much sums up Hiei's first meeting with Keiko).
  • "Yukina" means "Snow Child/Girl". A reference to the Yuki Onna (Snow Women) or Koorime (Ice Maidens), Yukina's species. These youkai appeared in blizzards to seduce the stupid off the beaten path, hence why Kuwabara has a crush on her.
  • Raizen, a Mazoku, has a name that means "Lightning Meditation" or "Lightning Buddhism", and thusly has powers related to lightning like Suzaku of the Four Saint Beasts.
  • Yomi's name literally translates to "Underworld". It's appropriate, since it refers to him being one of Three Kings of the Underworld.
  • Mukuro is Chinese for "Body", a reference to her scarred body.
    • Her name is also a pun on the Mokumokuren, a youkai that takes the form of eyes peering through holes in a rundown house.
    • The reason for this is her connection to Hiei, another eye-based demon. Like Hiei, the number of eyes Mukuro has is an odd number.

Name Origins

  • Yusuke Urameshi:
    • The first name "Yusuke" possibly means "Ghastly Assistant", which is a reference to his helpful actions while dead. His last name, "Urameshi", is something chanted by the dead (phonetically speaking, anyway).
    • When you combine the first character for "Yusuke" ("Yu" meaning "Faint" or "Ghost-like") with the first character for "Rei-Gan" ("Rei" meaning "Soul" or "Spirit"), you get the word "Yurei", the closest thing Shintoism has to the western idea of normal ghosts or spirits who can't move on. He was one of these for a short time at the beginning of the story.
  • Kazuma Kuwabara:
    • By Word of God, Kazuma Kuwabara's full name was simply taken from two of Togashi's favorite Japanese baseball players—Kazuhiro Kiyohara (清原和博) and Masumi Kuwata (澄).
    • The name "Kuwabara" is actually a prayer/spell that wards away lightning (as seen in Metal Gear Solid 3).note  As time went on, it was expanded to also ward away ghosts, demons, and bad luck. This is name is hilarious because of three things:
      • Kuwabara has horrible luck.
      • Kuwabara can feel the presence of ghosts.
      • Seaman fights Kuwabara during a storm and Kuwabara wins.
  • In Japanese, the Spirit Gun is named the "Rei-Gan". It roughly means the same thing (Spiritual Energy Bullet), but it's also a Punny Name referring to the English term "Ray Gun". Appropriately enough, Yusuke's "rei(ki)" is shot out like an energy ball or beam of light of your typical Kamehame Hadoken when using his "Spiritual Ray Gun".
  • Rando's name means "Child of Confusion", a reference to his disguise. His disguise is a boy or monk named "Shorin" which is the Japanese word for Shaolin. Shorin is also dressed as a practitioner of Shorin-Ryu, which is the Japanese school of Shaolin Kung Fu.
  • Kurama's mother once overheard Yusuke calling Kurama his demon name. She said it meant something along the lines of "Demon Thief". It's probably a pun.
  • Hiei's name means "Swift Shadow", which pretty much describes the character. The character "Hi" is also phonetically similar to "Ho" which means fire. So if you didn't know the first kanji, you might think it means "Burning Shadow", which is another pun.
  • "Chu" either means either "Sake" or "Strong Wine", depending on whether you are using Japanese or Chinese.