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Tear Jerker / YuYu Hakusho

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If you heard a very broken guy tell you and your friends exactly why he's broken, you'd cry too.
YuYu Hakusho has a great deal of Tear Jerker moments. What do you expect from a show that deals with the afterlife, and begins with the hero being a corpse?

  • Generally any time this music plays, which is during most of the events that are listed below.
  • Allow us to tell you what happens at Yusuke's wake in Episode 1:
    • Keiko crying. Even though Yusuke was a jerkass and total pervert towards her, she considered him her best friend. No doubt the fact that she snapped at Yusuke and told him to die not long before he actually did makes her feel even worse.
    • Kuwabara comes in and essentially goes through most of the stages of grief simultaneously, furiously screaming how He's Just Hiding and faking his death because he's too scared to face Kuwabara like a man, all the while tears are streaming down his face from the awful truth that Yusuke's really dead. He breaks down and has to be dragged out blubbering by his toadies.
    • Then comes the school guidance counselor, who comes in and laments the waste of potential that Yusuke's life, as it has closed at that point, has come to represent.
    • It's at that point that Atsuko, Yusuke's mother, breaks her Heroic BSoD and joins in the waterworks. It's done incredibly well, too: up until the counselor talks to her, she's been a borderline Empty Shell... and when that happens, she murmurs Yusuke's name and begins to cry uncontrollably. Even after Yusuke's come back to life, his mother is at his bedside, trying to wake him up in tears every day because she thinks he might not wake up, or even leave because of her.
    • Then the kid and his mother come in. Both pray before Yusuke's casket and the kid thanks him. The real tearjerker comes afterward. The little kid asks his mom if he can play with Yusuke tomorrow, obviously being far too young to understand the very concept of death (obviously this proves untrue, but no one knows that yet).
      Little Boy: Mommy? Do you think it'd be okay if I played with that boy tomorrow? If I'm good? I know some people sounded angry at him, but he's really nice! He made really funny faces at me, too, and he got me my ball! ...I don't know why those people were crying like that... It was probably because they wanted to play with him too!
    • And of course, the ENTIRE first half of the episode has been spent showing us what a dick Yusuke was. He did NOTHING whatsoever to make us care all that much for him. He harassed Keiko, got into fights on a lark, and didn't even seem to care much at all about his mother. In turn, Keiko, Kuwabara, and Atsuko didn't seem to like him all that much either. There's really no reason given to like Yusuke up until the point when he saved that kid. Yet it STILL manages to tear your heart right out when you realize just how much he meant to those around him. It's tearjerking, but at the same time it's a punch to the gut to anyone who's ever felt like their life had no meaning — a feeling everyone has had at some point.
      • Despite how much of a jerk Yusuke is in the first half of the first episode, some sympathy can be given to him when you realize how hard his life truly is. It's been made clear in the first episode that his mother is an alcoholic, and he has a strained relationship with her despite later in this episode, and the series making it clear later that she does care for him and wants what's best for him, but they have a strained relationship because she's a mess of a person with it implied that she had a hard life and the mango revealed that she had Yusuke when she was 15 years old. Despite being rude to Keiko, it's clear that she is Yusuke's only friend; she does care for him, and Keiko briefly talks to her other friends about the rumor of him running gangs; not only does she tell her friends that that rumor isn't true she also points out that he can't order even one person because he doesn't get along with other people and doesn't have any other friends. Yusuke is a complete outcast from his classmates, who make it clear that they fear and hate him, and the thing is as much a jerk as he is to people in general. There's no evidence that Yusuke's done anything to his classmates to warrant this fear and hatred. It's gone to the point where his classmates didn't even pretend to be sad at Yusuke's funeral, where he suspects that they were only there for extra credit and seeing them smiling and laughing, and while they were understandably shocked that Yusuke came back to life, they are all quick to blame him for a series of items stolen, even though they were no proof he was the culprit and didn't even apologize when he was cleared. It's implied that Yusuke's teachers have given up on him, and while we only see two teachers that are genuinely scumbags, it's implied that the other teachers, while not as mean believe the worse in Yusuke. Yusuke has a hard life, and it's commendable that he has any positive traits at the start of the series. It is heartwarming that Yusuke was able to turn his life around and become a good person despite everything that was against him.
  • Early on in the series after Yusuke comes back to life we see a brief scene of Yusuke's mom trying to wake Yusuke up. Just the thought of realizing that your son has come back alive and then waking up in fear that it was a dream is heartwrenching. And Yusuke says she's been doing that every morning since he came back. It's like seeing a wish come true to bring someone back and waking up every day praying that it wasn't a dream.
  • Near the end of Episode 38, after the now exhausted Kurama has defeated Touya and spared his life. Kurama explains that he wants Touya to live a more noble life than his own.
    Kuwabara: (confused) Nobler than... Kurama?
  • And there's the fight against Dr. Ichigaki's team, when Kuwabara attempts to de-brainwash the humans under Ichigaki's control, who can only say "Kill...kill", and only gets bitchslapped to hell and back, but even before he collapses he pleads to them to wake up. Then Yusuke angrily yells at them... and he sees them cry Tears of Blood, and they manage to finish the sentence: "Kill... kill us!".
  • Puu trying and failing to bring Yusuke some water during his Spirit Wave trial. What makes it so heartwrenching is that Puu is a reflection of Yusuke's spirit, so whatever he was feeling, Puu was too. But he fought through the pain and kept trying to help Yusuke.
  • Genkai's death.
    • The preview for said episode brings it home, as it drops the normally upbeat and exciting music in favor of a somber tune, with Yusuke breaking down at the thought of his teacher dying. Yusuke's last words as the title of the following episode, "The Death of Genkai", really sells it.
      Yusuke: "My teacher's walking into a fight she can't win... and nothing is ever going to be the same."
  • Episode 59 of the anime, when Kuwabara learns from Elder Toguro that Genkai is dead. While Kuwabara is angered to learn of her death, he's also devastated to learn that everyone else knew the truth, and didn't tell him.
  • Keiko watching Yusuke get brutally beat by Toguro at 100% of his power. Watching her best friend/love interest being beaten to death causes her eyes to go blank and think that the whole dark tournament is a bad dream and that everything will go back to normal. She proceeds to cry while yelling at Yusuke to wake up.
  • Kuwabara's death. He gets better, but still.
    • The truly heart-wrenching part of that scene is Yusuke trying to prevent it, and getting thrown around like a rag doll, pressed into the ground, and given a "The Reason You Suck" Speech for his efforts.
    • Kurama rushing up to Kuwabara after he is impaled. In the Japanese version, it is very clear that he is crying.
      Kurama: "Kuwabara-kun? Kuwabara-kun? Stay with us! Kuwabara...?" (his voice breaks, then he shakes with tears)
    • The reactions of the other onlookers isn't much better: Hiei looks uncharacteristically furious at his friend(?)'s death. Botan cringes in horror, realizing that she'll have to take someone else she cares for to Spirit Realm right after she had to ferry Genkai away (and Kuwabara is a kid at this point}. Shizuru runs forward, screaming her brother's name and crying hysterically. Yukina breaks down in a shower of tear-gems. And then, there's Yusuke, who just kneels in shell-shocked despair. Even when he powers up as a shounen hero would at this point, he's not screaming in rage: it's ice-cold hatred toward Toguro for killing his friend...and himself for letting it happen.
  • The entire exchange between Genkai and Toguro in the Spirit World after the end of the Dark Tournament, as Toguro walks towards the Gates of Limbo. When he removes his omnipresent shades, the sad weariness in his eyes makes it clear just how much emotional pain he's quietly endured for the last fifty years, and just how tired he was of living.
    Genkai: "Don't ever feel regret for the things between us."
    Toguro: "No, Genkai, but it would've been a beautiful life."
    • In the Japanese, Toguro apologizes for "being nothing but trouble".
    • Toguro's final fate. He knows Hell well enough to demand a specific destination — and the one he chooses is 10,000 years of absolute suffering, followed by oblivion. That's the only punishment he sees as even being close to sufficient for how he's chosen to live.
    • Freeze-Frame Bonus When Toguro is walking towards limbo its form is in the dojo that Toguro used to run alongside Genkai. So the hell that is likely awaiting Toguro is being forced to repeatedly watch his young apprentices be murdered by Kairen.
  • Don't forget Kuwabara's anguish over Yusuke choosing to die by Sensui's hands, in the hopes that his friends would gain enough power to finish Sensui in his place. All topped off by Yusuke looking at his friends one last time, with a smile, knowing he'd never see them again. And even though he comes back a few episodes later, it hardly dulls the impact, especially given he doesn't come back unchanged.
    • Yusuke's second death. Just seeing the anguish after the True Companions break out of Itsuki's prison dimension only to see Yusuke killed RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR EYES makes it that much worse.
      • It's not just Kuwabara, Kurama, and Hiei's (especially Hiei's) reactions. Nearly everything contributes to this entire episode being a sobfest. Genkai winds up realizing her pupil's been killed and falls to the ground screaming. And Puu? The adorable little bird-like creature that represents Yusuke's inner self? Since he's an extension of Yusuke, that means Puu winds up dying too, in Keiko's arms. That's right. We haven't just seen Yusuke die, but the adorable little animal mascot as well.
      • Not to mention that while Yusuke's plan to make them stronger works, the power they gained still isn't enough to beat Sensui. Yeah, they're pissed Yusuke died. Yeah, their power has now reached new heights, but they can't even put a scratch on Sensui and he kicks their asses.
      • Oh yeah, and at the very end of said episode, you have this song playing in the background. As if you didn't have enough reason to cry.
  • The revelation that Elder Toguro (as Gourmet) devoured Murota whole after the battle with Dr. Kamiya. After seeing him develop as a pretty nice Mauve Shirt (even helping Yusuke to take the Doctor down), it just comes off as cruel. Worse off, while a majority of Sensui's Seven end up getting revived, Murota remains dead.
  • Many of Mitarai/Seaman's scenes. The poor guy...
    • Especially when he tells the others about the utter horrors that he saw in Chapter Black. It's even a tearjerker in-story, as we see the guy horribly break down while speaking, then everyone is stunned and poor Keiko is moved to tears (pictured above!).
      Mitarai: Every night I see them, the victims on that tape! I've always seen myself like them. But in my nightmares, I'm the one holding the weapons, you know? Like all along it was me doing those terrible things, and I feel dirtier and dirtier, like I need to make up for something, but I don't even know what. [sobbing] I'm sorry! I'm sorry!
    • The Spirit Defense Force attacking poor Mitarai in episode 91, "Waking the Lost".
  • Kurama's Shoot the Dog moment with Amanuma (Gamemaster). Kurama was left with only two options, either win the game which will result in the death of a little kid, or intentionally lose and allow Sensui to have his way. There was no Take a Third Option and too much was at stake, so Kurama's hand is forced. And while he is deeply disturbed by what he's having to do, he even manages to do it strategically. He chooses to intentionally psyche Amanuma out, letting him know that he's going to die if he loses and there's no way out of it, which freaks him out and results in him not being able to play effectively, allowing Kurama to win and advance that much sooner. The viewer is then treated to 10 heartwrenching minutes of seeing the kid completely break down, begging for his life despite knowing full well that there's no escape, while a genuinely unhappy Kurama clenches his fists so hard that he bleeds. Damn.
  • Koenma's plan to finally defeat Sensui. It's heartbreaking when Koenma reveals that he wishes to trap not only Sensui in a prison he can never escape, but also himself.
  • From Episode 98, Kuwabara's anger when he learns Yusuke, Kurama, and Hiei are going back to the demon world. Feeling as if the others were abandoning the friendship they'd all forged while fighting side-by-side together.
    • After easily dodging his attempts to hit him for ages, Hiei is surprisingly complacent when Kuwabara manages to grab him and gets ready to hit him in a rage. Almost as if he actually wanted to grant Kuwabara the chance to strike him at least once.
    • When Kuwabara angrily shouts that all the creatures of the demon world are evil, Yukina sounds genuinely hurt when she brings up the fact that she too calls that place home. For his part, Kuwabara realizes what he said and looks ashamed.
  • The anime rendition of a newborn Hiei being thrown out of the Ice Maidens' floating lands. Especially when one sees Hiei and Yukina's mother, Hina, begging for mercy for Hiei and crying Broken Tears as her pleas are unheard and other Maidens grab her, and then a very unhappy Rui (Hina's best friend), right before she has to toss baby!Hiei away, gives him a tear gem that came from Hina, and tells him that she wants him to grow up strong and one day take revenge upon the elders for what they did to him.
  • From the second movie, Poltergeist Report.
    • Kurama comes face to face with one of Yakumo's servants, his old friend Kuronue. Kurama had believed Kuronue died after a botched robbery when he had fallen into a trap filled with bamboo shoots trying to retrieve a pendant he'd dropped. Poor Kurama is devastated when Kuronue accuses him of tricking him into falling into the trap and leaving him behind to die. Sadly it's not even the real Kuronue, just one of the Meikai Gods impersonating him.