This week I'm going to talk about one of my favourite animes that wasn't very popular for some strange reason... probably because of the first 5 episodes. Yu Yu Hakusho is a oldie but a goodie and the manga is pretty good too.
Let's start with the plot. The anime is about a teen punk named Yusuke Urameshi, who get's killed in the first episode. He wakes up to realise he's dead and Botan the grim reaper, pilot of the river Styx is there to tell him that he can come back to life if he passes a trial that Enma Jr aka Koenma gives him. After a bunch of stuff that nobody gives a crap about the real start of the show happens in episode 5 or 6 when Yusuke finds out he has spirit powers and can see demons from demon world. Yusuke is then forced into becoming spirit detective and fight demons with his rival turned friend Kuwabara, the demon fox Kurama and Hiei a character with such a weird origin story that you got to wait until the final saga to find out and there's a tournament in almost every saga and so on. Look in my honest opinion if you want to watch it, watch episodes 1 and 2 then skip to 5 and watch the recap and continue from there.
The show has a reasonable amount of violence for a Shonen Jump manga series turned anime and it's got a fair few one liners that can get a good laugh out of you. Voice acting in it is great, but if you watch it in Japanese then it wont be as funny or good overall. The series as I said has a tournament in almost every saga! The first tournament is short, the second IS a saga and the final saga's tournament is very short. Yusuke's party members in the show Kuwabara, Hiei and Kurama add variety to the cast with differing personalities. Kuwabara is an idiot who is loyal to his friends, loses his temper quickly and has a thing for blue haired girls, Hiei is a demon who is dark an mysterious in appearance, has super speed and highly skilled at killing and always seems to act like he doesn't care, but is kind hearted to a small degree and cares dearly for his sister and Kurama is an intelligent demon who is level headed and powerful with such a weak looking exterior, he's clearly the most powerful of the 3 allies of Yusuke and even though he looks weak and compassionate he's not exactly like that in battle. The series will get some laughs out of you and the violence is good, but the story isn't as good as the rest. The story isn't bad mind you but it takes a back seat for the most part since there is so much action going on. This anime is meant more for a early to mid teen audience, but still enjoyable as an adult and admittedly there are a lot of better anime's out there, Yu Yu Hakusho is worth a rent to watch it at least.
Yu Yu Hakusho is good, but not great as an anime and the manga isn't much different either. It's a series for teen boys who want violence and even though this has violence that's well done, they'll just run to DBZ anyway. If your willing to give it a watch it's going to be one of those anime's you like or don't because it's audience isn't big like DBZ, but proves that it's still worth a watch.
Also whether you like the series or not you should watch Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged on Youtube from Lanipator. It's hilarious and I've yet to find a friend who didn't like it when I showed it to him. Lanipator also has a blog that you can check for info on the series and other stuff here.