Pinoy ’90s kids rejoice over upcoming Netflix’s ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ live-action

(Netflix/Released, Screen grab, “Yu Yu Hakusho” via Netflix)

Netflix has finally announced the release date of its much-awaited live-action adaptation of “Yu Yu Hakusho.”

In a video announcement posted on Netflix Philippines’ X (formerly Twitter) account, the streaming giant said that the series will premiere worldwide on December 14.

“Yu Yu Hakusho” — based on the popular manga by Yoshihiro Togashi serialized in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump from 1990 to 2004 — tells the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a teenage delinquent who died trying to protect a young child. 

As she grapples with the fact that he is dead, spirit guide Boton appears and relays to him the shocking truth: no one expected Yusuke to die performing an act of goodness.

Thus, Yusuke’s adventures begin as he is given a chance to revived and become an “underworld detective” — a job that entertwines him with the human, demon and spirit worlds. 

The Netflix adaptation stars actor and singer Takumi Kitamura as Yusuke. Takumi previously played Takemuchi Hanagaki in the live-action adaptation of another manga and anime series, “Tokyo Revengers.”

The title is one of the world’s most popular manga series, having sold over 70 million copies worldwide. It was later adapted into an anime series that aired in Japan from 1992 to 1994.

Filipinos are likely familiar with “Yu Yu Hakusho” as the Filipino-dubbed “Ghost Fighter,” which aired on television network IBC-13 during the mid-1990s. The “Tagalized” version of the anime featured localized names; for instance, main character Yusuke is named Eugene in its Philippine airing.

It garnered more viewers, however, when GMA-7 aired “Ghost Fighter” in its primetime slot in 1998.

The show’s popularity made anime a staple in Philippine television.

The streaming service’s local X account teased Filipino fans of the series by referencing a popular catchphrase from the original anime’s Filipino dub.

Local X users were stoked, but others are cautious with their excitement.

“Ayusin nyo to. Wag nyo sirain childhood namin,” one X user quipped.

“Sooo excited this is my favorite anime (from the 90s), in now live-action Ghost Fighter, let’s g,” a Filipino fan said on Facebook.

In an official release, Netflix said that the production for the live-action “Yu Yu Hakusho” took five years to complete as “the painstakingly ensured that the subtleties of every character’s emotions were accurately depicted in the adaptation.”

The streaming platform recently released a live-action adaptation of popular manga series “One Piece” to critical acclaim. The streaming announced that the show will have a second season. — Chuck Smith

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