Yusuke Urameshi, a 14-year-old junior high school student, dies at an early age while saving a kid from being hit by a car. He wakes up as a ghost, and sees his unconscious human body lying on the floor. Still not aware of his death, he tries to communicate with the medical staff who takes his human body, but finds no success in doing so. Upset with this, he tries to remember everything that happened to him that day.
Flashback: That day started differently. The first thing he remembered was school. He remembered making a comment about Keiko's skirt, their class representative. Afterwards, Keiko scolds him for not wearing their school's proper uniform in blue because he wears it in green, and for giving their class a horrible attendance average. He tries to look under her skirt but she angrily slaps for doing it. Then the next thing he remembered was confronting two students for using his name in stealing a wallet from another student, but the teacher Iwamoto came to the scene and accused him that he was trying to steal the wallet from the students. He also greets the principal by pulling a prank on him. Then he went home only to be "given a lecture" by his mother, telling him if he hates creatures too much then he should live on his own, and get a job furthering his annoyance that day. Then he walks away and was confronted by Kuwabara and his gang. He easily knocks down Kuwabara, and later comments that their brawl made him better.
He continued to walk around until he meets a kid who was playing ball. Then he warned the kid that playing ball on streets is dangerous because there are a lot of cars that might hit him. The kid was a little bit scared with the way he warned him, so Yusuke made the kid happy by making funny faces. Then he left the kid warning him again not to play ball on the street. But the kid kept on playing, until he kicked the ball onto the street. The kid went to the street to get his ball back, unaware that a car (driven by a careless driver) was coming his direction. Yusuke runs to save the kid's life, sacrificing his own life in the process.
After he realizing that he was already dead, he meets Botan, who claims herself to be the grim reaper. He asked her about the condition of the kid he saved so they went to the hospital to see the kid's condition. After seeing that the kid was alright, he tells her that he has no regrets and she can take him wherever he must go. Then she tells him that she wasn't there to take him away and proposes to him an ordeal that could give him his life back. Yusuke was confused at this, so she further explained that the Spirit World wasn't expecting him to die that day and they haven't prepared a place for him yet. He became upset with that statement and asked her if they were expecting the kid to die instead of him, to which Botan replies that the kid would have survived anyway. He became more upset at this as he is seen falling back to the ground, then Botan reminds him that he still have a second chance, but he surprisingly declines at her offer, saying that everyone is going to be much happier now that he is dead. But Botan advises him to see his wake first before making a final decision.
When he arrived to see his wake, he saw all of his classmates, and seeing that some of them were laughing made him think they came there just to get extra credit, not until Keiko, who was really crying over his death, caught his attention. Then the next person to catch his attention was Kuwabara, who was also mourning over his death commenting that he was supposed to be there for him. Then he noticed Iwamoto and another teacher, who seems to be rather glad that he was already dead. But Mr. Takanaka confronted the two, then proceeds inside their house. He follows him, and seems to be a little bit surprised to see the teacher mourn over his death. He also saw his mother who was also doing the same. The kid whom he saved was also there with his mother, and as they left the kid told his mother that he was really a nice guy even though some people there hate him.
After seeing all of the people who care for him by mourning his death, he finally accepted the ordeal, and as the episode ends Botan takes him to the Spirit World.
As Botan takes Yusuke to the Spirit World to meet the great ruler of the Spirit, King Enma, but instead of meeting a large hulking monster like Yusuke expected, they're greeted by a small toddler. He introduces himself as Koenma, the prince of Spirit World (and son of Enma). Yusuke, however laughs after seeing his young appearance as he mistakes him for his father. An annoyed Koenma explains that he is King Enma's son and warns Yusuke to watch his mouth, but he mocks him. Botan hits him for showing great disrespect as Koenma is the only one (besides Enma) to give back his life. He gives Yusuke the key to his revival; a small golden egg, which will eventually hatch a Spirit Beast. If Yusuke has an evil-natured soul, the Spirit Beast will devour him, body and soul, meaning he will cease any plane of existence, however, if Yusuke's soul has a good nature, the Spirit Beast that will hatch will lead him back to his body
Fairly confident that he can do the task, Yusuke and Botan return to the living world to make sure that Yusuke's real body is properly taken care of. He must get the attention of at least one of his friends so his body doesn't get cremated. Yusuke's mother, Atsuko, is out of the question, since she is completely drunk from drowning her sorrows over the loss of her son. He tries to tell Keiko in a dream, but when Atsuko told her that she also had a strange dream about Yusuke, she thought that none of her dreams were real. His only choice left, and the one he dislikes the most, is to possess Kuwabara and tell his loved ones not to cremate his body, however there is one-hour time limit. Things were complicated at first since he keeps on getting into fights being on Kuwabara's body, but he still managed to find Keiko and tell her his message.
He at first can't think straight and needs to find a way to convince her, which he quickly has. While walking, he runs to her and gropes Keiko's breasts behind her. Appalled and angered for being groped there, she slaps him in the face and calls Yusuke (although he's dead) a jerk for groping her boobs, but realizes it's Kuwabara. He then explains to her by saying the things he said to her when he was alive. She realizes it's Yusuke in Kuwabara's body, and he tells her that he will be able to come back, but she has to take care of his body and make sure nothing bad happens to it. He also tells Keiko to tell his mother to stop the funeral.
She believes in him even though he is in another person's body because she knows him very well. Keiko immediately rushes over to Atsuko, telling her that she needs to keep Yusuke's body in good condition, but Atsuko tells her that Yusuke's heart has already started beating again. They embrace eachother after hearing the good news, while Yusuke and Botan look over them in the sky. Yusuke then notices that the golden egg Koenma gave him is glowing and gazes at it.
While waiting for the Spirit Beast to hatch,Yusuke and Botan witness Keiko get attacked by some thugs from Kasanegafuchi Jr. High, another school rival to Sarayashiki Jr. Luckily in the nick of time, Kuwabara and his three friends appear on the scene, and a large brawl with the other gang begins. They ended up back in their school in the principal's office the next day, being apprehended for starting the fight. Mr. Akashi, a teacher with rat-like teeth and demeanors, hates Kuwabara and his friends, and thus, will go to any means to cause them hardships. He tells them that as a punishment, if one of them gets into a fight through the next week, Okubo will lose his job. This doesn't bode well for Okubo, a kid who works at a job through the school to help support his poor family.
Everyone agrees. Then, after school, Mr. Akashi and his comrade Mr. Iwamoto, another teaches who dislikes both Yusukle and Kuwabara and his friends, are talking about a trap he has secretely sprung at Kuwabara to get him expelled from school and how the school's financial actions will increase right after, once both Yusuke, Kuwabara and his gang are all dropped. Akashi's trap consisted in pitting Kuwabara against the same punks from Kasanegafuchi Jr. from the previous day. The cowardly teacher hopes that Kuwabara will be forced to fight, getting all four of the kids that Akashi dislikes out of his way. Kuwabara keeps his promise to his friends, and just takes the horrible beating he receives from the three ruthless thugs. This infuriates Akashi even more, and so he raises the stakes the next day.
He now says that he will apply a science exam in the next six days, and if just one of them scores below 50 points on it, Okubo's work license will be revoked. He tells the others that he can make it; since he scored a 39 on the last test and and if he tries a little bit harder he will pass. Kuwabara, unfortunately, scored a 7 on the last test (while Yusuke steadily says to Botan that he scored only 12, much to the blue-haired girl's dismay). He upholds his promise however, vowing to score above 50 on the upcoming test.
Kuwabara makes great efforts to study; however, this is nearly ruined when he gets cornered inside a public library by another group of school thugs, resulting in another brutal beating for the resilient boy. Physically mauled but unfazed within, he assures his comrades to keep studying hard; however, it falls short that night when he falls asleep at his desk. Yusuke enters his dream and inspires him to study more. The next day, the day of the big test, another three thugs follow Kuwabara once again to try one last time to get him to fight. On their way to get him, they knock down a girl, causing her to faint.
This is Yusuke's only chance; he possesses the girl's body and successfully defeats the thugs, preventing Kuwabara from even getting involved with them. Kuwabara takes the test (with another provisional help from Yusuke), successfully answering enough questions to pass and frustrating Akashi once more, but Iwamoto approaches him and secretly erases Kuwabara's answer for the last question, decreasing the boy's test score - however, they did not pay attention to Principal Takanaka near them, hearing everything. Kuwabara receives his test back, surprised because he was pretty sure that he scored more than 50 points because he copied his answers on a scratch paper so that he could later check if his answers were right. Luckily, he notices the erasure mark in the last question's answer and realizes the vile sabotage.
Enraged, he aims to punch Akashi's lights out, but Yusuke somehow stops him just in time. Mr. Takanaka, the school's principal and also one of the few that actually liked both Yusuke and Kuwabara, catches Akashi as he was about to leave the scene. He assures Kuwabara that justice will be served, allowing Kuwabara and his friends to stay in school, and Okubo to retain his job. Later, Yusuke asks Botan how he was able to get through to Kuwabara. Botan explains that this was, in a way, Yusuke transmitting his emotions to Kuwabara. Only very close friends can experience such a transmission. As the day ends, Kuwabara realizes that it was Yusuke who helped him through this, and secretly thanks his deceased friend.
Koenma sends an investigator named Sayaka to check up on how Yusuke is doing. Yusuke asks her what she is going to investigate, but tells him that it's a secret. Then she asks Botan about Yusuke's girlfriend, to which Yusuke replies that he doesn't have a girlfriend. Then she clarifies her question and asks which of the girls is Keiko, and Yusuke denies this and tells her that Keiko is just a friend. Botan points Keiko, then Sayaka started talking about how odd it is that a girl like Keiko would really have some interest on someone like Yusuke. Sayaka then concludes that the nature of the relationship between Yusuke and Keiko doesn't seem clear, so she disappears and begins to investigate Keiko. After investigating, she comments that the attraction between Yusuke and Keiko must be one sided, but after Keiko rejects a handsome boy, Botan began teasing Yusuke that he was so lucky that Keiko chose him over a handsome boy.
Keiko pays a visit in Yusuke's house, which is covered with garbage that time. As she was approaching his body, she slipped over a bottle and the impact caused a pile of books to topple over his face. She ran into his body and removed all the books and wiped his face. She leans forward, and when she was about to kiss him an alarm for the city passes by, warning the citizens of a pyromaniac whose been setting fires. Keiko snaps out, and leaves his house when she remembered that her mother wanted her to go shopping after school that day. Just right after she left Yusuke's house the pyromaniac sets Yusuke's house in fire.
Yusuke begins to panic, and Botan leaves to find Kuwabara who is on the other side of the town. Keiko hears two men yelling that there's a fire on the fourth avenue, and remebers that Yusuke lives on the same avenue, so she decided to go there. Botan finally reaches Kuwabara, and with the help of his spiritual awareness he somehow got her message even though he doesn't really see nor hear her. Keiko arrives in front of Yusuke's house, and remembering what he said, she runs inside the house and puts herself in danger.
Keiko managed to reach Yusuke's body, but before she could even get out the bedroom, a falling debris that was in flames block her way, leaving her completely trapped. Sayaka informs Yusuke of a way that could save her, and that is by using throwing the Spirit Beast he have been carrying into the fire, however by doing that he would lose the chance of coming back to life. After a quick decison, Yusuke tosses the Spirit Beast into the flames. It glowed, then cleared a path for Keiko. Kuwabara arrives and helps her in carrying Yusuke's body. After they managed to come out of the house, he asks her what is inside the blanket she has been carrying, and when he saw that it was Yusuke's body he got shocked, but she told him that she'll explain everything to him after they get a safe place for him. With that, Kuwabara takes Keiko along with Yusuke's body and tries to find a safe place.
Botan informs Yusuke that he could no longer stay in Human World, and she would have to take him back to the Spirit World. Yusuke gets upset and floats away, and when he came to see his house again that evening he saw Keiko, his mother and Kuwabara, all still expecting that he would come back after that incident, and seeing this made him even more upset. He finally tells Botan to take him to wherever he should be taken to, but suddenly a voice interrupts him. Koenma enters the scene, and informs Yusuke that he would give him another chance, and it was a good thing that he threw the golden egg into the fire because if he would have let it hatch it would have consumed him completely because the energy it was getting from him was negative during the event. Yusuke cheers after he realizes that after saving Keiko's life he would still be able to come back to life. Botan hugs Yusuke for his great fortune, and they keep on celebrating.
Yusuke is seen floating with Botan while complaining about two things he hate: waiting and being rushed, which he has been doing lately. He continues his rant and comments how busy a toddler can be, when suddenly Koenma appears beside him, shocking him. He tries to complain about Koenma sneaking up on him but Botan covers his mouth and tells Koenma that he is just wondering when will be the time of his coming back to life, and Koenma replies that they have to rush.
When they arrive at Yusuke's apartment, Koenma begins to explain to Yusuke that in order for him to come back to life the energy wavelengths of his body and of his soul must be properly aligned, and that would happen the following day, but Koenma continues to explain that the frequencies of his wavelengths are low, and if he misses the chance tomorrow he would have to wait for 52 years. Koenma also added that he needs to get someone from Human World who cares about him to donate some life energy by kissing which Koenma cheekingly refers it "through the lips". He proceeds on opening a road between Yusuke's body and the Spirit World so the transfer can be made. He also informs him that while his body prepares during that night he must enter the dreams of the three people who wants him back most and tell each of them what to do, and if one gets his message and kisses him the next day before midnight, he can return to his body.
His mother is out of the question, again, since she is going to be on the streets for days. He thinks about Keiko and while thinking of the other one, Kuwabara is seen waking up from a "nightmare". Keiko is then seen the next morning sitting next to Yusuke's body, contemplating whether she should kiss him or not since his body isn't golden, diffrent from what she have dreamt. She decided to leave without kissing him and went to school, but she was called by Principal Takanaka and informed her of her mother's condition. Her mother is confined in the hospital, and she decided to stay on her bedside, which is a bad news for Yusuke since she wouldn't have the time to kiss him. Koenma suddenly enters the scene and informs him that his body is already prepared and the only thing they need now is the life energy.
Botan and Yusuke went to Kuwabara who is currently at the arcade, and after he punches him he suddenly ran away after feeling the "tickle feeling". Next they went to Atsuko, only to find no success since she is busy getting herself drunk, leaving them with only one choice: they must find a way to communicate with Keiko. An idea suddenly pops into Botan's mind and lefts Yusuke and Koenma. She relayed the message through Keiko's mother, and after hearing the message she went to Yusuke and managed to kiss him at the last possible moment. She cries when she thought it was too late, but then he suddenly wakes up and comments that her kiss was a nice kiss, and she hugs him. Botan then tells Koenma that the case is over, but he tells her that it's just the beginning and the real ordeal will be much harder.
After getting his life back, Yusuke goes for a walk, glad to be alive again. While walking, a lady that appears to be a fortune teller calls him and tells him that he has a mission to accomplish, but he turns away to leave, telling her that there's no missions for him. He passes by two students and overhears them talking about some students from Rugafuji Jr. High who's been trying to take over the turf from Kuwabara. He gets curious and decided enter the coffee shop, where he saw the gang the two students are talking about. He sat not too far from them and determines their leader from the way they are sitting, but what caught his attention is that the leader has horns. One of them spoke up that Kuwabara might not be coming at all but the leader replies that he's testing his loyalty by having Kuwabara steal a comic book from the most guarded store in town and bring it to him. Yusuke said to himself that Kuwabara won't do that since its against his honor code. Suddenly Kuwabara enters the coffee shop with his own gang and the comic books, but Sakamoto noticed the receipt. He asked him to apologize, and he did it. They laughed at him, calling him a pathetic loser. Then one of them held out a kitten, and things became clear to Yusuke.
They are next seen on an alley, and Sakamoto orders Kuwabara to hit his three friends, but he refuses. Sakamoto then threatens Eikitchi's life, but Kuwabara still refuses so he orders another thug to kill the cat, but suddenly Yusuke enters the scene and punches the thug, catching Eikitchi. A brawl begins, and Sakamoto tries to escape but he trips over gets knocked out by Yusuke, and notices a small demon come out from his mouth. He catches the demon and the fortune teller he met earlier enter the scene, explaining things to him. She removes her disguise and Yusuke suddenly realized that it was Botan all the time. Another voice interrupts them and they went out to see its source and saw it was Koenma. He appointed him as a Spirit Detective, and before he can ask any further, he disappears and Botan also leaves to take the demon to Spirit World.
As three criminals stealing three artifacts from Spirit World. Meanwhile, on the Human World, Yusuke is being waken up by his mother. He returns to school that day, and when he tries to join a conversation between two students, they ran away from him thinking he was a ghost. Keiko then approaches him, and he suddenly remembers the moment when she kissed him. They went to school together, and when their schoolmates saw him they got scared, for all they know he was already dead. They all ran away after he looked at them. He commented that maybe he should've stayed dead, but Kuwabara tapped his back and told him not to worry becuase he's going to be a ghost soon after he defeats him. Mr. Principal Takanaka enters the scene and hits Yusuke at the back of his head, and he gets annoyed and thinks about skipping, but Keiko scolds him.
Yusuke is next seen skipping his gym class, and he takes the Psychic Spyglass out of his pocket. He received it from Botan yesterday night. After their gym class, some of his classmate's valuables went missing, and now they are accusing him for stealing it since he skipped their gym class. Mr. Iwamoto is then seen punishing Yusuke, but Mr. Takanaka comes in and asks him for evidence. He replies and said that Yusuke is the only one skipping gym classes when the items were stolen, and add a snide comment about his mother, which enraged him, and as he was about to punch him, Koenma suddenly enters the scene and begins telling him about his first mission.
Three criminals have stolen the Artifacts of Darkness from King Enma's vault and escaped in the Human World. Yusuke replies that he's busy and calls Mr. Iwamoto with an offensive word, and suddenly stops after realizing he was standing just right in front of him, but Koenma reassures him that he doesn't see them nor hear them. He asks him if he can just call him later, but Koenma insists that it's urgent because if the artifacts were used to their potentials, then the Human World would be in a state of chaos. Yusuke still stubbornly refused, telling that he wouldn't go on a case unless he has solved his own, so Koenma asked him to take out his Psychic Spyglass and look into Mr. Iwamoto's left pocket. He did what he was told, and found all the missing items in his pocket. They came back to reality and he pulled out the pen from Mr. Iwamoto's pocket, and after seeing this Mr. Takanaka asks him to explain, but he still denied and told him that Yusuke slipped it on his pocket and walks out after that. Koenma now tells him to go to work, but he told he'll do that after he gets his revenge. Koenma teaches him of his new ability, the Spirit Gun. He fired it on Mr. Iwamoto, who fell unconcious after the hit. Having already gotten his revenge, Koenma further explains the case to Yusuke in a warehouse. He accpets the mission as a sign of gratitude to them for bring him back to life.
Yusuke begins his search for the three criminals in the town, when suddenly a kid faints. He saw the kid's spirit, and followed it. It lead him into an alley, until he lost sight of it. He spotted the criminal and used his Psychic Spyglass to check if this criminal has the Orb of Baast, and he was right. As he was about to confront him, the thugs he came across by earlier confronted him, asking for money. He beated them, but as soon as he was done beating them, the criminal is already gone.
Meanwhile on the Spirit World, an ogre presented to Koenma some information they have gathered about the three criminals. The criminals' names are Kurama, Gouki, and Hiei. Botan suddenly storms in into the room, complaining that he is placing Yusuke's life in danger, and Koenma replies that he had no choice. Botan tells him that he must allow her to train him first, but Koenma told her that Yusuke has only one week to do this, since King Enma would be returning in a week from vacation and if he finds out about this he might sink an entire continent to get those artifacts back. Botan returns to the Human World, telling Koenma that she would try to help him as much as she can.
Yusuke got into a forest while following the criminal who has the Orb of Baast when he suddenly saw a light not too far away from where he is standing. Hiei is seen practicing with the Shadow Sword, and he began talking to Gouki about raising a demon army using the sword. Gouki tells him he likes the way he thinks, and Hiei continues his talk and tells that when the moon becomes full, they will use the artifact Kurama has to get complete control, but his reply surprised the both of them. Kurama stated that he would withdraw from their alliance, so Gouki asked for the Forlorn Hope, but he refused and said he needs it to fulfill his own desire first. Gouki tries to punch him, but before he could land his punch, Yusuke enters the scene and interrupts them. Hiei interrogates him, and he introduces himself, then Hiei insults him for his currently weak spirit energy. Kurama turns to leave, and Hiei follows him, leaving only Gouki to deal with Yusuke.
The two began exchanging some words, when all of a sudden Gouki takes out the Orb of Baast and consumes the same soul Yusuke has been following earlier that day. Yusuke gets enraged and kicks him in the stomach, spitting out the soul in process, and Yusuke gives him a solid punch in the face, knocking him into the ground. He picks up the Orb of Baast, and just as when he thought he had been victorious, Gouki suddenly appears behind him and reveals his demon form. He slashes him with his claw, and then uproots a tree and swings it against him. He suddenly remembers about his Spirit Gun, and attempts to bring it out, but then realizes that he have already used it earlier that day. As Gouki approaches him, he nervously thinks about dying again.
The fight between Yusuke and Gouki continues. Yusuke was completely helpless against him without his Spirit Gun, and as Gouki was about to choke him to death, lights came out around the forest and a familiar voice can be heard. Thinking that the villagers are coming, Gouki escapes and leaves Yusuke alone, who fell unconcious from all the wounds. When he finally regained his conciousness, he founds himself in his room and his mother approaches him and asks if he's alright, then hits him hard in the head thinking that he got into a fight again, and starts to cry, worrying that he might get himself killed. Botan enters the room, and Yusuke learns from Atsuko that Botan is the one who saved him from his fight with Gouki, and brought him back to his house for treatment. Then Botan whispers to him that Koenma gave her a human form and that is the reason why she can be seen by other people and help Yusuke in his missions. Astuko leaves the room and prepares some food, and the two began a conversation about the mission. He asked her how she found him, and she introduced him to a new Spirit Detective Item, the Demon Compass, and told him that she used it to find Gouki.
She also informed him that he only have one week to do the mission. Watching from the Spirit World, Koenma began yelling at the screen telling Yusuke to hurry up and started thinking about the consequences if he wouldn't be able to retrieve the three artifacts in time. Back on Human World, while Atsuko is eating, a news about four children that had fallen comatosed in a town not far away from their place breaks out in the television. Yusuke and Botan overhears the news, and he asks her how long is the digestion process of the souls in Gouki's stomach, and replies that maybe it takes a day. He prepares to leave, so she gave him another Spirit Detective Item, the Concentration Ring. When Atsuko returns to the room with some tea for both of them, they have already gone into the mission.
Gouki is seen playing with the Orb of Baast, and a kid returns it to him, but took her soul afterwards. Yusuke calls him out, and Gouki transforms into his demon form again. Yusuke charges and lands a punch on his stomach, but it hurt him instead because his skin was rock hard. Gouki tries to hit him but misses, and Yusuke tries to pierce his skin with a giant stick, but fails to do so. Gouki uses this to his advantage and throws him into the ground while clinging on the stick. Yusuke is getting desperate and thinks about using his Spirit Gun, but opts not to use it yet after thinking about it carefully. Gouki kicks him and stomps his feet on him, enjoying his screams of pain, until Botan throws something on his back, catching his attention. Botan runs for her life, then runs on Yusuke's side. Gouki grabs Yusuke first, opening his mouth as he prepares to devour him, but then Yusuke pokes a wooden stick into his mouth, leaving it open. Yusuke fires his Spirit Gun into Gouki's open mouth, defeats him, freeing all the children's souls and retrieving the Orb of Baast in the process.
On their way home, the Demon Compass suddenly reacts, indicating that there is a demon nearby. He encounters Kurama, and he told Yusuke that he doesn't have any intention of fighting and asked him a favor to give him three days and he would gladly return to him the Forlorn Hope. When they returned home, Botan treated his wounds and warns him about the incident earlier, but Yusuke tells her that something tells him he should trust Kurama. Suddenly Atsuko barges in into the room inviting them for dinner. Yusuke complains about her not knocking before entering the room and tells that they're on the middle of an important conversatiom, but Atsuko retorts that what kind of conversation can't be held around her, and Yusuke replies that it wasn't like what she was thinking about. Kurama is then seen from the opposite building, watching over them.
The next day, Botan leaves to see Koenma and ask for more information about the Forlorn Hope, and tells Yusuke to go to his meeting to Kurama ang be careful. He meets Kurama in the hospital, and leads him to Room 501, where Shiori Minamino, Kurama's human mother, is confined. On their conversation, Yusuke heard her call him Shuichi which confused him, for all he know his name is Kurama.
They are next seen on the hospital's rooftop, and Kurama begins to explain things to Yusuke. Shuichi is his human name, and his truest name is Yoko. He tells him about his past, that he was a spirit fox, gaining demon powers over the hundreds of years that he lived, and in time he grew bored and past his hours learning the art of breaking codes and seals, but 15 years ago he made a mistake and was severely injured by his pursuer, and with the last energy he had he escaped into the Human World and became the child of a human family, origanally intending to recover his Spirit Energy, and planned that he would escape after 10 years, but as he was about to escape his mother fell ill.
That is also the same time when Gouki and Hiei appeared, and he remembered the powers of the Forlorn Hope. Then he told Yusuke to let him use the Forlorn Hope to save his human mother's life, then he would accept his punishment. Yusuke asks him why would a monster do that for a human, and Kurama replies that maybe he is guilty, and maybe he feels like he is one of those mother-devouring creatures because he caused her great pains and feels like he broke her spirit and maybe in someway he caused her disease. Yusuke asks him why is he telling him these things, and he replied that maybe he just needed someone to know and he could tell that Yusuke would trust him. Suddenly a nurse barges out from the door, alerting him about his mother's condition. His mother is already on the critical stage, and she is about to die that night.
The moon is at its full that night, and Kurama decided that he would use it already. Yusuke asks him if he knows what would it ask for in return, and Kurama affirms and reveals to him that it is life. Meanwhile, on the Spirit World, Botan also gets the same information and leaves to inform Yusuke. Kurama uses the Forlorn Hope, and it reflected an image of his mother, and Yusuke suddenly exclaimed telling him to hold on a second and there's gotta be some other way to resolve the problem. The Forlorn Hope began doing its thing but then Yusuke interrupts and puts his hand on top of it, just like what Kurama is doing. He told the Forlorn Hope to take his life instead and Kurama told him that it doesn't make sense since it's his wish, but Yusuke replied that it also doesn't make sense saving his mother's life if she's going to spend the rest of her life mourning his death, remembering her own mother while she was mourning over his own death.
A bolt of light strikes out from the Forlorn Hope as Botan is approaching their place, and both of them are seen face down onto the floor. Kurama gets up first, and rans away to see his mother, and Botan arrives to see Yusuke still face down onto the floor. Yusuke gets up, glad that he's still alive and realizes that if he would have died his mother would be the one to be sad, but on the better side of things, he managed to retrieve the Forlorn Hope. It spoke again and said that because of their good intentions it decided to grant the wish without anything in return. Kurama was welcomed with the good news that his mother's disease is gone. Now Yusuke have only one more artifact to go, and he celebrated with Botan, and watching from Spirit Wolrd is Koenma, annoyed with the fact that the two are celebrating not knowing that the last artifact is going to be ten times harder to get since Hiei is the one who has it and isn't no ordinary demon.
Unknown to Yusuke the last enemy he has to face is the most demonic of them all. Hiei, the spiky-haired demon that was seen earlier, learned about his other two comrades and planned on stealing the relics back from Yusuke and using it together with his Shadow Sword to conquer the human world, so he decides to take a closer look on Yusuke. Meanwhile, Yusuke enjoys his life of cutting class when Botan arrives and explains about the third relic and the demon holding it. This makes things a bit complicated then suddenly Keiko runs out and sees her. Botan greets, but then Yusuke reminds her (with a smack to the head) that she doesn't belong to this world and might get things a bit tangled. Botan runs off, leaving him to deal with explaining to Keiko all the weird things going on. Then from afar Hiei can be seen surveying, ready for his plan to take back the relics.
Later as Keiko goes home, still a bit dismayed about Botan and Yusue, she passes by Hiei who out of nowhere knocks her out cold. Yusuke then detects from his Demon Compass that a demon is close by so he decides to follow, then Botan appears and tells him that the last enemy he is going to face has Keiko as hostage. This angers him even more, and as they arrive at the place (an old abandoned warehouse) they are welcomed by people with red circles in their forehead. Hiei then appears telling them that he controls this people with his Jagan (third eye) and he presents Keiko, still out cold. Then Hiei demands the relics in exchange for her, which Yusuke obliges to offer. Just then Hiei double-crosses Yusuke, saying he controls Keiko's life, and then a red, demonic eye suddenly formed over her forehead. Botan tries to stop the awakening of this eye with her spiritual power, as Yusuke prepares himself to fight Hiei.
Hiei explains that the antidote for the eye is in the sword he is carrying, and he dares Yusuke to try and get it if he can. Out of the blue, Yusuke flies high and smashes him in the jaw, and an unexpecting Hiei falls down. Now enraged, Hiei uses his hyperspeed to daze Yusuke, but he follows the demon's movements and lands another right hand on his jaw as he tries to attack. Now more furious than ever, Hiei transforms himself into his demonic form, as red demonic eyes began to pop out of his body and his complexion turns green.
This shocks Yusuke, and then Hiei gets the upper hand when he traps him in some kind of spiritual bindings. Now Hiei beats up Yusuke, and then as he was about to land the finishing blow with his sword, Kurama suddenly steps into the way and absorbs his attack. He also made an effort of blinding Hiei with his blood, giving Yusuke enough time to recover a little bit. Now stronger than before, he matches up with Hiei, landing every attack as he is getting hit by his opponent at the same time. When Yusuke realizes he won't win this way, he runs away from Hiei. As Hiei follows Yusuke turns back and unleashes his Spirit Gun on a him, however Hiei's hyperspeed allowed him evade the blast, and Yusuke loses his strength upon releasing the attack.
Seeing he has finally "won" the battle, Hiei gets overconfident when all of a sudden the Spirit Gun returns to him and nails him from behind, knocking him unconscious. It turned out that the Forlorn Hope was there behind Hiei and the Spirit Gun attack reflected on it and hit an unsuspecting Hiei. Yusuke wins the battle, gives the antidote to Keiko, and recovers the three artifacts and his mission is finally complete.
As Yusuke Urameshi goes back to his lifestyle of cutting class, Botan approaches him and tells him that the relics were back to the spirit world just in time for the arrival of King Enma, however since the Orb of Baast was soiled, the Forlorn Hope shattered, and the Shadow Sword rusted, King Enma discovers what happened, but since the relics were recovered he decides to only give a minor punishment to Koenma, a spanking. Keiko suddenly appears giving Yusuke the scare of his life as she leaves the two alone. However Yusuke runs after her trying to explain what happen as Botan smiles about the two's relationship.
Just when Yusuke has some time off to relax Botan informs him of another mission. A powerful fighter named Genkai was about to give up her powers to someone worthy of it. Botan then explains that a demon named Randou was already informed of the situation and once he gains Genkai's power it will be trouble for everyone. So Yusuke decides to accept the mission (with a little bribe of a free rock concert ticket) and we find him climbing up a long case of stairways. Just as he reaches the top he sees hundreds of other fighters lined up too, and he realizes that this Genkai has established a competition where the winner will gain her power. Then we see Kuwabara and Yusuke notices him, Kuwabara then tells Yusuke about this powerful Genkai, and then this fighter finally reveals herself... an old woman.. shocking Yusuke and Kuwabara.
Anyway the first round is about the begin, and then everyone is asked to pick a piece of paper from one huge pot. Then Genkai tells everyone that if the paper has a dash of color red inside then they will qualify for the second round (pretty weird) then over fifty qualifies including Yusuke and Kuwabara. Genkai explains that those with enough spiritual power will make those papers turn to red and advance. Some fighters were angered by this pathetic type of elimination process and decides to attack Genkai, but Genkai just looks at them directly and a gush of spiritual power throws them out and smashes them through the gate. Stunned by this display of power Yusuke and Kuwabara gets their motivation to claim her talent.
The second round begins and we see... a video game hall (you heard me right).. the types of test to be given where the punching machine, score over 100 points and you win, the rock-paper-scissors machine, and the sing-along machine.. win two out of three and you advanced to the next round. Really one weird contest, but this once again attempts to bring out the fighter's spiritual talent. Kuwabara displays his strength by scoring 129 points in the punching machine, but Yusuke makes him cry by scoring 155 points... then we see one strong guy score 175! that stuns Yusuke.
So around twenty advance to the next round, and the next challenge was to pass through a dangerous forest. Genkai explains that danger lurks all around the woods, so only the best could advance. So the fighters try their luck and exploit the forest, as some gets trapped and some continues on. Yusuke opted for the straight path and he is suddenly attacked by weird bats. The bat leader (a bat-demon) which we call batman from now on, shows up, and threatens Yusuke to retreat or die. Yusuke, confident with his skills, decides to face the challenge, and batman displays his overwhelming speed.
However Yusuke has encountered faster enemies before (namely Hiei) and easily kicks the crap out of batman, and advances through the woods. About three hours later seven fighters finally advances out of the forest where Genkai is waiting, and one of them is Kuwabara. Kuwabara begs to wait for a while since he was hoping Yusuke would arrive, but Genkai declines, saying the final round must go on. Just then Yusuke arrives in the nick of time and explaining he was delayed by the batman that blocked his way. Genkai, surprised that Yusuke defeated batman, one of her best defenders, allowed Yusuke to participate in the final round. So there were eight fighters that advanced.
The eight qualified fighters then competed in the final round where they will match up against each other. The catch, however, is that they will fight in the dark. The first match was between Kuwabara and a ninja named Musashi. Musashi was a samurai expert, and needless to say he beats the crap out of Kuwabara. But at one point Kuwabara uses brute strength making Musashi's sword break in half. Enraged, Musashi attacks Kuwabara, but suddenly out of desperation his spiritual powers form in the broken sword he is holding and unleashes his special technique - the Rei Ken (spiritual sword) which knocks out Musashi for good as Kuwabara advances to the semi-finals. Then two more pair of fighters met up with each other, with the winners advancing to the semi-finals, namely Shourin and Kazemaru.
During the break Koenma reminds Yusuke that his job wasn't done, as he has to find Randou and prevent him from gaining Genkai's power. Then out of nowhere a familiar face comes in for Yusuke... its Botan! Botan then says she will help Yusuke find the person (or demon) he was looking for. Kuwabara notices Yusuke talking to a cute girl and, being the playboy that he is, breaks in and asks Botan for a date (eh) as Genkai calls in the competitors for the next bout.
The next match was between Yusuke and the guy who scored 175 points in the punching machine challenge - Kibano. Genkai, seeing how overconfident Yusuke is, throws a lit cigarette in front of his face and barely misses him and as it rolls into the darkness. Kibano then wears a strange helmet and together with Yusuke they enter the darkness where they would fight. However as they start their battle, Kibano easily gains the upper hand and almost sees everywhere Yusuke moves in the dark. Kibano easily beats up Yusuke, much to his shock. A concerned Botan and Kuwabara cheers on Yusuke, as he tries to counterattack with his devastating punches... but only hits air. Kibano again nails Yusuke hard and brings him down. Kibano then explains that the helmet he is wearing is a night vision gagdet, and he can see his every move in the dark, making him in a one-way situation in the battle. Therefore Yusuke gasps for air.
Difference Between Anime and Manga
- In the manga, when Keiko confronts Yusuke on the roof of their high school. He is seen smoking a cigarette. But in the anime, he is not seen smoking whatsoever. Instead he is seen eating gum that he took out of his pant pocket.
- "Hohoemi no Bakudan" (all episodes)
- "Homework ga Owaranai"
- "Sayonara bye bye"
- "Daydream Generation"
- "Unbalance na Kiss wo Shite"
- "Taiyou ga Mata Kagayaku Toki"
- Spirit Detective Saga (Ep. 1 – 25)
- Dark Tournament Saga (Ep. 26 – 66)
- The Chapter Black Saga (Ep. 67 – 94)
- The Three Kings Saga (Ep. 95 – 112)
- Nozomu Sasaki as Yusuke
- Shigeru Chiba as Kuwabara
- Nobuyuki Hiyama as Hiei
- Megumi Ogata as Kurama
- Mayumi Tanaka as Koenma (Child & Teenage)
- Sanae Miyuki as Botan
- Yuri Amano as Kayko & Puu
- Hisako Kyouda as Genkai (old age)
- Megumi Hayashibara as Young Genkai
- Yuri Shiratori as Yukina & Sayaka
- Ai Orikasa as Shizuru
- Tomomichi Nishimura as Jorge, the principal & the narrator
- Shigeru Nakahara as Yoko Kurama
- Tessho Genda as Togoro (Younger Brother)
- Katsumi Suzuki as Toguro (Older Brother)
- the late Yo Inoue as Rando
- Nobuyuki Furuta as Sakyo & Shigeru Murota
- Rokuro Naya as Shinobu Sensui
- Shin Aomori as Kuromomotaro
- Mitsuo Senda as Seiryu
- Ikue Otani as a Little Boy (Ep. 1), Fubuki Sanada & Shura
- Kazuyuki Sogabe as Gama & Suzuka
- Takayuki Sugo as Raizen
- Taro Arakawa as Mr. Yukimura (Keiko's Dad), M2 & the doctor
- Kenichi Ogata as Tarukane
- Eiji Maruyama as Master Metamira
- Shigezo Sasaoka as Ship Captain (Ep. 26)
- ??? as Topaz
- Eiji Sekiguchi as Kaname Hagiri/Sniper
- Jurota Kosugi as Soketsu
- Norio Wakamoto as Goki & Chu
- Kappei Yamaguchi as Jin
- Takehito Koyasu as Sakamoto
- Nobuo Tobita as Suzaku
- Katsumi Suzuki as Sakashita
- Yoko Somi as Atsuko (Yusuke's Mother)
- Chieko Honda as Misako
- Mika Kanai as Sasuga
- Yu Shimaka as Butijiri & Gokumonki
- Mitsuaki Madono as Kazemaru & Komada
- Rica Matsumoto as Seasman
- Yoshiko Kamei as Gamemaster & M1
- Daiki Nakamura as M3
- Eiji Ito as Seitei & Shu
- Yasunori Matsumoto as Toya
- Rin Mizuhara as Miyuki
- Nobuaki Fukuda as Yama (King Enma) & Shigeru Murota
- Chisa Yokoyama as Murugu
- Kazuko Yanaga as Kuroko Sanada Sato
- Reiko Kondo as Rinku
- Chiharu Suzuka as Ruka
- Ikuo Nishikawa as Akashi
- ??? as Car Driver (Ep. 1)
- Toshiyuki Morikawa as Roto & Shishi Wakamaru
- Hidenari Ugaki as Makintaro
- Justin Cook as Yusuke, Kuromomotaro, Puu & Seiryu
- Christopher Sabat as Kuwabara, Gama & Raizen
- Chuck Huber as Hiei
- John Burgmeier as Kurama & Yoko Kurama
- Sean Michael Teague as Koenma (Child & Teenage)
- Cynthia Cranz as Botan
- Laura Bailey as Kayko
- Linda Young as Genkai (Young & Old)
- Jessica Dismuke as Yukina
- Kasey Buckley as Shizuru
- Kent Williams as George Saotome,Jorge, Chu & the Narrator
- Bill Townsley as Toguro Ani
- Eric Vale as Rando & Sakyo
- Robert McCollum as Shinobu Sensui
- Aaron Dismuke as Shura
- Brad Jackson as Mr. Yukimura (Keiko's Dad) & Tarukane
- Brice Armstrong as Blue Demon (Ep. 33), Master Metamira, Ogre (ep 2), Ship Captain (Ep. 26), The Principal & Topaz
- Carol Hope as Sayaka
- Ceyli Delgadillo as Little Boy (Ep. 1)
- Aaron Hatch as Kaname Hagiri/Sniper
- Alison Retzloff as Fubuki Sanada (Sato)
- Dameon Clarke as Soketsu & Togoro Otouto
- Jeremy Inman as Gokumonki, Goki & Suzuka
- Jerry Jewell as Jin, Sakamoto & Suzaku
- Justin Pate as Sakashta
- Meredith McCoy as Atsuko (Yusuke's Mother), Misako & Sasuga
- Michael Terry as Seitei
- Mike McFarland as Butijiri, Kazemaru, Komada, M3 & Reshio
- Monica Rial as Gamemaster
- Orion Pitts as Shu
- Peggy Paterson as Miyuki
- R Bruce Elliott as Yama (King Enma)
- Kara Edwards as Murugu
- Kate Bristol as Kaisei Sato (Sanada) & Young Kurama (Eps. 46, 108-109)
- Kimberly Grant as Rinku
- Laurie Steele as Ruka
- Sean Schemmel as Akashi, Car Driver (Ep. 1), Murota & Roto
- Shane Ray as Makintaro
- Sonny Strait as The Doctor
- Megumi Ogata's debut that launched her voice acting career.
- When YuYu Hakusho was still running in Japan, it was second behind the Dragon Ball Z (Anime) in popularity.
- Kurama was the most popular anime character in Japan for two years. He beat out the extremely popular Son Goku from the Dragon Ball franchise.
- Episode 24. In-joke. Urameshi and Kuwabara attack Gokumonki with "Shonen Jump". The manga of Yu Yu Hakusho was originally serialized in Shonen Jump Weekly.
- Kuwabara's name is a combination of two of Yoshihiro Togashi's favorite baseball players.
- Kurama and Hiei are both mountains in Japan.
- Several references to the Sailor Moon metaseries are found throughout YuYu Hakusho, perhaps because series creator Yoshihiro Togashi was dating Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi at the time (whom he later married).
- In The Three Kings saga, Koenma appears at the tournament dressed incognito as Sailor Moon's Tuxedo Mask. In chapter 44 of the manga, Kurama states: "Just call me Tuxedo Mask." after breaking up a fight by throwing a rose.
- In the final episode of the series, two of Keiko's classmates bear strong resemblances to Haruka Tenoh (Sailor Uranus) and Michiru Kaioh (Sailor Neptune)
- In the final episode, while Kurama is speaking to Kuwabara on the train, a sign on a building reads in English "YUYUHAKUSHOEND!".
- Also in the final episode, in the scene where Keiko is walking home, a truck drives by with the name "Narlboro" on the side, a reference to the cigarette brand Marlboro.
- The kanji that were used by the author to spell YuYu Hakusho have 2 possible meanings. 1 is "Astral Visit Report", and the other is "Chronicle of Yusuke's Journey". The second is supported by the fact that the same kanji is used for the Yuu in the title, as for the Yu in Yusuke's name (Yusuke means lit. "Ghost Helper", Hakusho translates roughly to document, white paper, or report). The second meaning is also supported by the end of the anime, which states that the show is nothing but a record of Yusuke's travels, recorded by rei-kai intelligence.
- Kuwabara's favorite band is Megallica, the "Gods of Heavy Metal" as he calls them, in the Chapter Black Saga; Megallica may possibly be a tribute/parody of both Megadeth and Metallica.
- In episode 6, the words "Mad Piero" can be seen as graffiti on one of the walls. This is a self-reference from the anime studio behind the production of the series, Pierrot, whose name is pronounced as Piero, and is the Japanese word for clown, derived from the French language. A villain by the name of "Mad Piero" also appears in the anime title Cowboy Bebop.
- In episode 9, The Successor to Genkai! The Tournament Begins, background characters that look remarkably like Zangief, Dhalsim and E.Honda from the fighting game franchise Street Fighter appear behind Yusuke and Kuwabara.
- In episode 9 a character that resembles Chun Li, from the back, appears in the line to draw lots.
- In episode 21, when Yusuke reawakens in Kuwabara's room after the Maze Castle battle, we discover that he has an Oingo Boingo (American New Wave rock band started in the 1980s) poster on his wall in the background.
- In episode 22, when Yusuke, Botan, Kuwabara and his sister Shizuru were watching a video (VHS) (sent by Hiei under orders from Koenma) about Yukina, Koenma spoofed (with trademarks of his own name) Columbia Pictures, with Koenma posing and holding a torch. Shortly afterwards, a stunted male oni appeared, meowing inside the name 'Koenma' as a parody of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion.
- An inconsistency that occurred during the Saga of the Three Kings story arc was that in episode 26 of both the English and Japanese versions, Hiei says that he and his sister are half siblings and have different mothers. Yet in episode 100 in his reflections of his life, they have the same mother.
- In The Three Kings saga there are some pretty obvious references to Star Wars. One of these occurs in episode 99 (Unforgettable Memory) in which Mukuro replies to Hiei "I won’t say something like 'I Am Your Father'”. Another parody is in episode 101 (The Makai Thief) when Yomi’s assistant, a short, old ,one colore and wrinkled demon, Yoda appears.
all information on the YuYu Hakusho (Anime) came from http://yuyuhakusho.wikia.com/wiki/YuYu_Hakusho