Traditionally and generally speaking, live-action anime adaptations are exceedingly difficult to make properly while simultaneously staying true to the source material. This is typical as it’s challenging to recreate certain fantasy sequences or characteristics of a series in a live-action version of an anime. It’s also challenging to mimic the freedom an anime allows. Hopefully, Netflix can do justice to the upcoming live-action adaptation of Yu Yu Hakusho.
A small number of live-action anime productions actually succeeded in doing it properly. Despite the fact that most of them usually fall short of the original works. Even many live-action adaptations of some anime series have been made, with some of them being much more popular and profitable than others.
Netflix has announced a live-action adaptation of classic anime: Yu Yu Hakusho
Netflix first revealed its ambitions to adapt Yu Yu Hakusho for live-action in 2020. Along with One Piece and Dragon Ball, Yoshihiro Tagashio’s 1990 manga helped lay the groundwork for shonen manga as we know it today. Dragon Ball Z eclipsed the 1994 animation when it debuted in the United States in 2003. Since then, Netflix has remained very quiet about the series; after all, it won’t premiere until December 2023. But over the next four days, they’ll be introducing the core cast one by one, starting with the lead actor, Takumi Kitamura.
Takumi Kitamura will take over Yusuke Urameshi’s lead role. In the manga, Yusuke loses his life trying to stop a car from running over a child. Botan, a ferry for the Spirit World, offers him the choice to return to his body and become a Spirit Detective to look into demon activity in the human world instead of merely passing away because of the heroic deed. More significantly, he eventually develops the ability to fire a Spirit Gun from his pointer finger, which is always cool to watch.
Anime and Netflix have had a very rocky relationship when it comes to live-action
Anime series that stream on Netflix have been the most stable relation that the platform has with anime. As many have come to ridicule Netflix’s attempts at producing a live-action adaptation of anime. Multiple examples can be taken of these so-called “adaptations”. Such as Cowboy Bepop, being the most recent in the category of completely missing the mark. Not to mention how Netflix made a joke out of the live-action adaptation of Death Note. An anime that is highly praised in the anime community for its intellectual mind games that take place within the series. Death Note was the prior adaptation that was famous in its attempt to be like its source material but utterly failed. The fact that Death Note and Cowboy Bepop couldn’t be successful is due to Netflix’s attempts at constantly trying to whitewash these Asian shows and modernize them to better suit the time among other reasons.
Due to the casting decision of Netflix Japan, fans have started to react with a glimmer of hope from the darkness they have had to live through with adaptations of Ghost in the Shell, Dragon Ball Z: Evolution, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Death Note, and others.
Tweets show appreciation for the fact that the film is not whitewashed
The crowd that follows the anime has been enormous since the early 2000s. To witness a live-action adaptation of such a classic anime does not go unnoticed by its fan following. The followers have taken to Twitter to appreciate the route for casting that Netflix has chosen for this project. It clearly shows that the anime that finished airing in 1994 is still as relevant after 28 years.
Hmmm….I watched the anime and read the manga. He doesn't really give me Urameshi vibe. Guess we'll see.
— culture kid 🌈🌻 (@skelterd) July 16, 2022
@xxfruitcakexx the first images teasers! 🤩
— Azure Zero (@AzureZero13) July 16, 2022
I hope they bring back the old ending themes
— Pai (@crazyhellfire9) July 16, 2022
— Carlton (@MrDefratas) July 16, 2022
There's Asians in the cast right pic.twitter.com/h9YxnwtpBP
— aulia (@GOTHAMCAIN) July 16, 2022
Yu Yu Hakusho is being created at Netflix Japan, as opposed to the recently released Cowboy Bebop adaption and the upcoming One Piece series. Netflix’s track record with anime to live-action movies can be hit or miss, but hopefully, Yu Yu Hakusho will end up in the “win” column. It wouldn’t hurt if they continued to do this if they weren’t limited to a single season.