‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ is a popular shounen anime. The story follows Yuusuke Urameshi, a delinquent. But one day, he jumps in front of a car to save a young boy. His sacrifice is so great that the head of the spirit world doesn’t want him to pass on. He gives Yuusuke a chance to regain his life by performing a few tasks: he is to become a spirit detective and should fight off evil spirits that cause problems in the Earth realm. If you enjoyed watching this show and are looking for more titles that explore similar themes and concepts, then we’ve got you covered. Here’s the list of best anime similar to ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these anime like ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
8. Beelzebub (2011)
‘Beelzebub’ is an entertaining anime. It has got action, comedy, supernatural stuff, and takes place in a school setting. The series is popular among shounen fans. Yes, and that’s one of the many similarities that this show has with ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’. In both anime, we have the demon realm and the demon race. Then there’s a strong male lead who is sort of a delinquent and gets pushed into ‘demon stuff’ without having much say. Both anime have lots of action and the characters get stronger with each fight.
Delinquents are a common sight in Ishiyama High. They are everywhere on campus. But there’s one rule that even these rowdy beings follow: they just don’t mess with the king of delinquent, Tatsumi Oga. One day, he sees a man floating down the river. He saves him but something strange happens — the man splits down the middle and a baby comes out. This baby forms a connection with Oga, who later finds out that the baby is Beelzebub, the demon lord’s son. Now, he and Hildegard, the demon’s maid, have to raise the baby. It can be a tough task even for the toughest delinquent.
7. Dragon Ball Z (1989)
‘Dragon Ball Z’ is obviously one of the most popular anime of all time. It has great action, lots of characters and a plethora of explosive light beams that the characters throw at each other. The feel of ‘Dragon Ball Z’ is kind of similar to ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’. Though they are on a completely different track when it comes to the plot and premise, the character design and lightning-fast actions are a trademark of both. Also, with each fight, the characters make more comrades and become strong.
The story takes place four years after the world martial-arts tournament that Goku won. Now, he is happily married and has a son. But his peaceful and stable life is shaken by Radish who claims that he is Goku’s brother. He also tells him that Goku is a Saiyan, a powerful alien race, sent to Earth for the sole purpose of destroying the planet. But when he fails to sway our warrior, he warns him that more threat is on the way and it will put Earth in the midst of intergalactic power struggle. Is Goku up for the task of saving the planet he grew up on?
6. Rekka no Honoo (1997)
‘Rekka no Honoo’ is an entertaining shounen anime. The series has some great action sequences. Though ‘Rekka no Honoo’ does not have any spirit powers or anything important to do with the spirit world, there are lots of similarities between this one and ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’. Both have similar characters and are action-filled anime. The fighting styles of both these anime are also quite similar. Both shows have tournament-style fighting and the main characters have to defend Earth from the bad guys.
‘Rekka no Honoo’ is about ninja clans. Rekka Hanabishi really hopes that ninjas exist today and are not just warriors from the past. He likes to think of himself as a modern ninja. This sounds all cool but because of his attitude, he gets into a lot of fights. However, after meeting Yanagi Sakoshita, a girl who has healing powers, he learns that he actually is a ninja. Not only this, he can also control fire. But it seems some sinister people are after him and Yanagi — does it have something to do with his heritage?
5. Shaman King (2001)
‘Shaman King’ is an entertaining shounen anime which has lots of action and adventure. There are also lots of strong characters in the anime that will keep things interesting. The show shares some similarities with ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’. For instance, there are lots of spirits and ghosts in this anime too. Rather than being too serious, both these shows have lots of funny moments in them. ‘Shaman King’ revolves around the Shaman Fight. It is a tournament where Shamans, people who have the ability to contact and command spirits, face each other in order to gain the title of Shaman King. The Shaman King is the most powerful of the Shamans and is the only one who can control the Great Spirit, thus allowing him to enforce his will on others. The tournament is held every 500 years. The anime follows Manta Oyamada and You Asakura. At first, Manta had no idea about spirits but he later learns about them through You and finds out that You is planning to participate in the Shaman Fight to become the Shaman King.
4. Saiyuki (2000)
‘Saiyuki’ is an action, adventure shounen anime. It isn’t as popular as the other entries on this list but it is still quite entertaining. If demons and supernatural themes entertain you, then you should definitely check ‘Saiyuki’ out. The show has a lot of similarities with ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’: both anime are heavily influenced by Asian culture and mythology; both deal with demons, spirits and supernatural stuff; both the shows have four main characters on a mission to take out the bad guys.
Years ago, humans and demons coexisted peacefully. But something makes the demons go awry and they start killing and hurting humans. They also plan to resurrect the Ox-demon-king Gyumao who has been imprisoned for 1000 years. His resurrection will bring forth a massive destruction. So, Goddess Kanzeon decides to choose the rogue priest Genjo Sanzo to assemble a team and stop the demons from resurrecting Gyumao and restoring the balance between humans and demons. Genjo teams up with three demons Sha Gojyo, Son Gokuu, and Cho Hakkai. Together they must take on this dangerous journey to save humanity and prevent the coming of the demon king.
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3. Nurarihyon no Mago (2010)
Up next is another supernatural shounen anime, ‘Nurarihyon no Mago’. The series is fun and entertaining and has some similarities with ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’. First of all, both these anime deal with spirits and spirit powers. Also, both these anime have supernatural stuff and lots of action. ‘Nurarihyon no Mago’ follows the life of Rikuo Nura. He is the grandson of Nurarihyon, the head of the Nura Clan. Rikuo is not interested in the youkai and doesn’t want anything to do with them but his lineage isn’t helping him much. He is a quarter youkai after all, who has the ability to turn into a youkai at night for a period of six hours. He tries to hide his life from his human friends at school. His grandfather wants him to become the next head of the clan. As if this wasn’t enough pressure for him, turns out there are evil youkai who are out to hurt his clan and his human friends. It seems he will have to depend on his youkai side if he wants to protect those close to him.
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2. Bleach (2004)
‘Bleach’ is one of the most popular shounen anime out there. The series is highly entertaining and has lots of action and adventure. It shares lots of similarities with ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’: both anime have something to do with the spirit world and spiritual powers. Not only this but the male character suddenly ends up in this world where he has powers and missions to fulfill. Also, the characters keep getting stronger via training. ‘Bleach’ follows the life of Ichigo Kurosaki who has the ability to see spirits. One day he encounters a shinigami trying to fight a monstrous creature, Hollow, in the vicinity of his house. She gets injured and now to save his family, Ichigo has to accept her powers to become a shinigami himself. He does so and is able to save his family. He then becomes a shinigami and needs to protect his city from various evil spiritual beings. ‘Bleach’ has developed a strong and loyal fanbase over the years.
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1. Hunter x Hunter (2011)
‘Hunter x Hunter’ is the most obvious choice. But why? I hear you ask. It is because both the anime come from the same mangaka Yoshihiro Togashi. The character design and art style are quite similar. The premise of the shows aren’t similar, but there is similarity between characters and various moments. The story revolves around the prestigious profession, Hunter. Hunters are respected worldwide because of them possessing various skills that let them perform difficult and specific tasks for various people. Gon Freecs has been wanting to become a Hunter ever since he learned that his father is one. But to do so he has to pass the Hunter exam which isn’t going to be easy. During this time, he meets Killua, a former assassin, and they develop a strong bond. Together they continue going on various adventures, which at times take a very dangerous turn. This series is really entertaining and is one of the best anime out there, in my opinion.
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