Netflix’s Next Live Action Adaptation Yu Yu Hakusho: Things Aren’t Looking Good

Netflix recently announced their next live action anime adaptation and it is for the beloved Yu Yu Hakusho series. The cast has just been revealed, and along with other problems people point out, it looks like it's destined to follow the previous adaptations' failure.

Netflix's Next Live Action Adaptation Yu Yu Hakusho: Things aren't Looking GoodNetflix has been releasing live-action adaptations of beloved anime left and right, but to middling or poor reception by the public. Now they have their eyes set on the next adaptation for Yu Yu Hakusho, and by the way, things are looking, the same fate as its previous adaptations may befell it. Their most recent live-action adaptation was for the beloved Cowboy Bebop, which was met with middling reviews, scoring a 6.6/10 on imdb.

Yu Yu Hakusho is a beloved manga adapted into anime that was released way back in 1992; during its airing it was a hit, even becoming renowned as a classic of the time. There were a total of 112 episodes released for the anime, ending in 1994, just two years after its first airing. The series followed the main character named Yusuke Urameshi, who got killed while trying to save a child’s life; after he undergoes tests in the afterlife; he is appointed as an underworld detective and revived to investigate cases involving demons and other supernatural cases in the living world.


From how things are looking, it feels like it’s too little, too late for Netflix given it’s been over 20 years since the show has ended, yet it does retain some of its fans to this day, and that seems to be the pattern for these live-action adaptations. They seem to be targeting the older demographic who grew up watching or have watched the series from back then, much like its other adaptations which are also older series that can allow them to capitalize on the nostalgia.

Netflix also isn’t doing great for itself, as its stocks these previous weeks have gone way down from what it were before. People are attributing this to the lack of compelling titles in it’s catalog; along with the trend, of Netflix Exclusives rarely being any good. Fans’ reaction to all this is as expected; they already know that it’s gonna flop, not to mention the cast has also been revealed, and it doesn’t make things look any better as well. Despite all these adaptations being less than stellar, some are still hopeful for the One Piece adaptation from Netflix as well, since that at least has some aid from the creator.

Given this fails, it’s likely Netflix won’t be stopping with the adaptations anytime soon. Especially given the aforementioned One Piece adaptation is in the works, there’s still likely to be more. This does bamboozle people a lot, since they’re wondering how Netflix can continue making these adaptations despite them receiving little to no positive buzz; unless it really does benefit the company, it’s difficult to see where they’re going with this plan.

A poll was held here at Keengamer shortly after the publication. Do note that the sample size wasn’t that large and therefore the data must be taken with a grain of salt. Some claims from this article will also be given more backing in the next coming paragraphs, addressing the more opinion-based statements as well as providing further information about the cast.

First and most apparent, the poll seems to show that an overwhelming majority of fans who’ve read this article are excited for the series. However, this is somewhat contrasted by the next item on the poll which shows that majority of those who answered, believe that all anime adaptations are likely to fail. This is further proved by the next question in a poll regarding current CGI tech being able to live up to Yu Yu Hakusho’s old animation, wherein the people who said no, outweighs those that think modern CGI would be able to capture 90s era animation.

From these results as well as feedback gathered from multiple sources such as content creators on Youtube and other platforms, despite the majority being hyped for the show, this is most likely a sign of people being cautiously optimistic, but for most, people see this as an enigma still, asking why Netflix continues to put out these adaptations even if people have voiced their opinions regarding the practice of live-action adaptation as a whole. Though, this is of course, still up for debate given that there are still groups who say otherwise.

Netflix Just Got Much Worse

One of the largest content creators who covered the topic is Youtuber penguinz0, more commonly known as Charlie or Critikal. In his video, he voices his opinions regarding the news of Netflix making a live-action adaptation for the series. Obviously not all things he says at the video should be taken at face value, especially considering he can be satirical at times, but for the most part, here and for most of his critique videos regarding media like this, he is serious on his opinions, and throughout the video, it has been mostly negative comments regarding the information shown by Netflix so far. Since the given info on the show is so little too, it’s also hard to say whether these doubts and comments made by the community will come into fruition or not.

As for the given information, the only concrete news for the show as of now is the Twitter thread posted by NetflixAnime. This thread unveiled the cast for the series and it is mostly where the negative stigma for the show is coming from, as stated by fans and part of the community. In Charlie’s video, he states himself that the actors barely resemble the characters they are planned to play, with the comment section of the video itself mirroring his words. Not to say that the entire community disagrees, but evidence points to at least the majority disliking the look of the characters, with some saying the casting reflects the quality of the series itself.

Takumi's other roles in live-action media

Takumi’s other roles in live-action media

Despite community feedback regarding the cast however, the actors who play the roles have a notable track record in films. Such as Takumi Kitamura, who plays the main character Yusuke (who, in the poll seems to be the majority’s favorite character). Takumi has starred in films as early as 2008, with his most recent success, being the lead role in the Tokyo Revengers live-action film, which became one of the highest-grossing Japanese movies for 2021. The cast for the 2nd favorite character in the poll, Kurama, is Jun Shison, who also has a hefty amount of acting roles under his belt, with one of his most recent, playing the voice of the main character Hibiki in the 2022 Netflix animated movie Bubble.

As for the other members of the cast, Hiei, ranked close to Kurama in the poll. He will be played by Kanata Hongo, who has been a notable actor even in his childhood, known as a popular child star back then. Ever since, he has starred in prominent roles among Japanese films, most of his more famous ones being other live-action adaptations for anime; such as playing Armin in the live-action Attack on Titan film and its sequel. Last to rank in the popularity poll is Kuwabara, played by Shuhei Uesugi, who coincidentally hasn’t played in many notable media, starring in only a handful of films.

All-in-all, despite the vast criticism present around the community, the future for Netflix’s trek into the Spirit World of Yu Yu Hakusho is still largely unknown, especially given the limited info that has been officially provided. With that in mind, speculations can only be drawn on what the series ends up becoming and whether or not it’ll deliver on fan’s expectations. This decades-old series has stayed in the hearts of many fans for a reason, to see if it stands the test of time along with seeing it in live-action, good or bad, will be an experience for long-time fans and newcomers alike.

SOURCE: NetflixAnime’s Official Twitter

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