More Action-Packed Anime Lay In Wait!
While it doesn’t get as much recognition nowadays as Hunter X Hunter, Yu Yu Hakusho is a battle shōnen that paved its way. Also created by Yoshiro Togashi, Yu Yu Hakusho follows Yusuke Urameshi, a teenager who winds up dying after saving a girl from an oncoming vehicle. Then Yusuke meets a death god named Botan who explains to Yusuke that he’s now in the Spirit Realm.
Botan takes Yusuke to this realm’s prince Koenma, who offers Yusuke a chance to walk amongst the living again if he becomes his spirit detective and helps Koenma complete some tasks. Yusuke accepts the offer and that is where his quest truly begins.
If you’re having trouble finding anime similar to Yu Yu Hakusho, fear not! We’ve discovered 10 alternate shows that’ll give you a similar experience as Yu Yu Hakusho.
For your reading pleasure, we have included the similarities they all share. Additionally, for each anime we’ve reviewed, we’ve included a link that allows you to view our full thoughts about the series to see if it’s worth your time.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Yu Yu Hakusho!
Flame of Recca
Similarities – Battle Shōnen
Flame of Recca feels like a combination of much shōnen anime, but also maintains some layer of originality. Like Yu Yu Hakusho, it features a protagonist with a “never give up” attitude and one that must triumph over many foes to get stronger.
While its animation has aged as well as Yu Yu Hakusho, there’s enough charm to excite most fans of battle shōnen. However, Flame of Recca’s many antagonists has depth and uniqueness in their designs, backgrounds, and personalities.
Flame of Recca follows Recca Hanabishi, who enjoys getting into bouts with anyone daring to fight him. He’s also passionate about ninjas and their way of life. However, after a fateful encounter with a kind-hearted girl named Yanagi Sakoshita, an extended chain of events kicks off. These events not only lead Recca to learn about his ninja ancestry, but he learns that he has the power to control fire.
Like Yusuke, Recca’s journey will feature him learning more about his ancestral tree and defending himself and his friends against supernatural opponents. While it follows a very formulaic structure, Flame of Recca will deliver in fights and music.
Similarities – Characters & Action
Although most fans love to recall their time watching Dragon Ball Z, the original series is worth praising. Not only did it showcase Goku’s development into becoming a superb martial artist, but it’s also the origin story for many of Dragon Ball’s other heroes.
In Dragon Ball, we witness the early tension between Goku and Krillin and their training days with Master Roshi. Furthermore, the series introduces the Red Ribbon Army and Namekians via Demon King Piccolo. These two serve grand purposes in forging major arcs in Dragon Ball Z.
On that note, Dragon Ball was just as influential to other shōnen anime, including Yu Yu Hakusho. Like Goku during his adolescence, Yusuke starts as a naïve individual and eventually grows to become more mature in time. Yu Yu Hakusho’s Dark Tournament story arc also inhabits similar emotions to that of the World Martial Arts tournament.
Dragon Ball and Yu Yu Hakusho also entertain the idea of romance to some extent. Like Yu Yu Hakusho, Dragon Ball will leave fans with enough comedy and action to soothe their appetite.
Hunter X Hunter
Similarities – Story Structure
Due to the way they are structured, Hunter X Hunter feels like the sequel to Yu Yu Hakusho. Hunter X Hunter follows four male protagonists similar to Yu Yu Hakusho, with distinct desires but similar personalities.
Hunter X Hunter follows the story of Gon Freecss, a boy who wants to leave his homeland to become a professional hunter like his father. To achieve his goal, Gon will encounter many deadly villains and make many friends during his journey. On top of this, Gon hopes to reunite and find his father’s location.
Yusuke’s quest doesn’t revolve around finding an absentee parent. However, Yu Yu Hakusho does include a story arc where Yusuke discovers hidden power within himself. Yusuke later learns that this power runs deep in his family’s lineage. This discovery leads Yusuke to change how he views himself as a human.
Although Hunter X Hunter’s manga’s ongoing, the Hunter X Hunter anime leaves you with a conclusion that should satisfy you as much as Yu Yu Hakuisho’s ending did.
Similarities – Action
Despite recent controversy surrounding its author, Ruroni Kenshin’s an anime many deem as a classic in its handling of samurais, swordsmanship, and mature themes. Ruroni Kenshion’s action sequences lean more toward swordplay and are grounded in realism.
Fans expecting superpowers akin to Yusuke’s Spirit Gun may find themselves disappointed in that aspect. However, it’d be foolish to turn a blind eye, as the action in Ruroni Kenshin will exceed those soured expectations. This series also features a layer of lighthearted comedy that’s like the humor you’d find in Yu Yu Hakusho.
The story follows a former killer named Hitokiri Battousai, whose identity is akin to an urban legend. Therefore, Hitokiri undergoes the new alias, Kenshin Himura, as he wishes to keep himself hidden from the populace. He also doesn’t want to murder anymore and desires to help people instead.
However, after meeting a girl named Kaoru Kamiya, Kenshin receives word that someone is using his former alias and is terrorizing people. With no place to call home, Kenshin decides to move into Kamiya’s household and pledges to protect everyone from enemies. He’s also determined to find the individual using his old name and end their charade.
Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple
Similarities – Action & Life Lessons
While not as popular as most action-packed anime of its time, Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple offers incredible fights, a likable protagonist, and a nicely-written storyline. Although Kenichi doesn’t fight off supernatural demons like Yusuke, the bouts he endures are just as entertaining.
Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple follows Kenichi Shirahama, a boy who’s the prime target for bullies. However, that all changes after his confrontation with Miu Furiniji. Miu directs Kenichi to a dojo that’ll help him master martial arts. Though his journey won’t be easy, Kenichi’s determined to prove his naysayers wrong.
Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple loves to take its time developing its characters into formidable fighters. Like Yusuke, Kenichi will encounter many enemies that’ll test his limits and aid him in surpassing them. It’s a series filled with many motivational messages that it’d be foolish to pass on it.
Great Teacher Onizuka
Similarities – Comedy & Characterization
Great Teacher Onizuka tells the tale of Eikichi Onizuka, an ex-biker gang leader whose strongest desire is to wed a young woman before he grows older. To do so, Onizuka nails a job opportunity as a high school teacher at a well-known high school.
Unfortunately, for Onizuka, the class he teaches is filled with many delinquents aiming to get Onizuka fired. By dealing with the root of all his students’ problems, Onizuka will show his students how fun school can be when being taught by someone like him.
While Onizuka doesn’t get into as many fights as Yusuke does in Yu Yu Hakusho, he does share a few characteristics with him. For instance, Onizuka can be an immature individual and performs perverted stunts like Yusuke toward many women. As a result of his delinquent background, he also gets into trouble with many people.
At the same time, Onizuka can be compassionate toward others like Yusuke. Both characters also turn many of their enemies into allies or friends. Despite Great Teacher Onizuka lacking in action, its comedy is on par with Yu Yu Hakusho’s humor.
Similarities – Supernatural & Action
Acknowledged as one of Shonen Jump’s top 3 properties, Bleach has made its name for itself. With a sequel anime on the way, fans of that series are thrilled to see how well the remaining manga material is adapted. On that note, Bleach offers stellar fights between humans and the supernatural, well-executed comedic scenes, and a vastly mysterious world. In those aspects alone, Yu Yu Hakusho fans will find many elements to enjoy while watching Bleach.
As far as the story goes, Bleach examines the life of Ichigo Kurosaki, who locked himself in his room, thinking about the coming days ahead. However, his alone time doesn’t last long as a mythical creature called a Hollow arrives to cause him trouble. Despite being in a tight pickle, a soul reaper named Rukia arrives to defend Ichigo.
Her efforts prove futile, resulting in her giving Ichigo some of her powers to fight the beast himself. Despite defeating the Hollow, Ichigo will learn that his journey as a soul reaper is far from complete.
With its focus on the supernatural alongside its vast assortment of well-animated action scenes, Bleach is a great anime to check out after watching Yu Yu Hakusho.
Hajime No Ippo
Similarities – Intense Fights & Motivational Characters
While there are many phenomenal sports anime out in the wild, Hajime No Ippo reigns as a fan favorite. Whether a viewer’s a sports fan or not, Hajime No Ippo promises an incredible story rich in motivational scenes, well-developed characters, and stellar combat.
Our tale follows the kind-hearted but bullying magnet protagonist, Ippo Makunouchi. Eventually, Ippo meets Takamura, a professional boxer who takes him to his gym. After a few training sessions with Takamura, Ippo impresses the other fighters and Takamura’s coach. Takamura’s coach decides to take Ippo under his wing, thus beginning Ippo’s quest to become a boxing legend.
Although the enemies Yusuke encounters are more formidable than the boxers Ippo faces, both series contain fights that’ll boost any action fan’s adrenaline. Ippo is also as courageous as Yusuke and won’t back down from any fight. His character develops over time and the amount of effort he puts into progressing his craft will inspire.
Similarities – Characterization
Beelzebub follows Tatsumi Oga, a rebellious teenager who happens to be his school’s most terrifying fighter. One day, Oga meets a creepy baby named Baby Beel while sitting across a riverbed. Beel happens to be the son of the Demon King, whose demon maid also bumps into Oga. Being forced to look after the demonic child, Oga will encounter many evil beings that’ll challenge his current rule.
Yu Yu Hakusho and Beelzebub are common in many ways. Oga and Yusuke both identify as delinquents, and Baby Beel’s origins sound similar to Yusuke’s boss, Koenma. Both series feature many hilarious scenes involving their protagonists and companions.
Likewise, Oga and Yusuke battle demonic entities and grow stronger with each fight. However, Beelzebub’s world lacks openness and exploration, unlike Yu Yu Hakusho. Despite that, fans will find Oga and Beel’s adventures entertaining.
Ushio to Tora
Similarities – Fighting Mythical Creatures
Ushio to Tora is a quirky love letter to fans of classic shonen anime like Yu Yu Hakusho and Dragon Ball Z. This anime hones in on similar shonen tropes regarding power-ups and excessive dialogue during fight scenes. Also, it contains enough unique material to craft an identity for itself.
Ushio to Tora tells the tale of a boy named Ushio Aotsuki, whose currently handling chores around his family’s temple. Then, Ushio discovers a large spear holding down a menacing youkai named Tora.
Although Tora pleads for Ushio to remove the spear, Ushio refuses, but suddenly a youkai outbreak occurs. This outbreak encourages Ushio to let the beast go free, as long as he helps him take that dangerous youkai down. This is where the two’s journey together begins.
Like Yusuke, Ushio will find himself in many humorous and dangerous situations. Both protagonists start off as rebellious individuals who have no respect for authority. Ushio to Tora’s soundtrack oozes with many jazzy beats one would attain while listening to Yu Yu Hakusho’s soundtrack.
If you’re looking for a shonen anime that harkens back to its classic roots, then Ushio to Tora is worth watching.
So there we have it, our 10 anime/TV show alternatives to watch when you’ve caught up with Yu Yu Hakusho!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!