Netflix casts Takumi Kitamura as Yusuke Urameshi for live-action ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ adaptation

Jun Shison has also been cast as Urameshi's friend Kurama

Netflix has revealed that its live-action Yu Yu Hakusho series will star Tokyo Revengers‘ Takumi Kitamura as lead protagonist Yusuke Urameshi.

The streaming giant also revealed that Urameshi’s friend Kurama will be played by The Way of the Househusband: The Movie‘s Jun Shison via a series of social media posts revealing the castings in full costume shared on July 16. Speaking to IGN about his casting, Kitamura paid tribute to the Yu Yu Hakusho manga and anime, calling it “a universal and unique masterpiece” and “a reason why Japan is so proud of its strong manga and anime culture”.

“I am happy to share the masterpiece of Yu Yu Hakusho with the world and I hope we can create something people everywhere will enjoy,” he concluded.

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A release date for Netflix’s live adaptation of Yu Yu Hakusho has yet to be announced, but will be available for streaming exclusively via Netflix upon its release.

Netflix first announced its plans for a live-action adaptation of Yoshihiro Togashi’s classic in November last year at the platform’s Japan Festival 2021. While it is unclear if the live-action adaptation will be made in Japanese or English, director Sho Tsukikawa told IGN that he had been skeptical if Togashi’s story could even be adapted into live-action at first, but after being presented with the “producer’s vision and possibilities with Netflix”, he became interested in the project.

“More than anything, I think the appeal of Yu Yu Hakusho comes from its characters, which is why I wanted to highlight the appealing relationships and battles in Yu Yu Hakusho,” Tsukikawa said, adding that the adaption would feature “plenty of action scenes.”

The Yu Yu Hakusho manga was first serialised in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump in the early 1990s. It was then adapted as a wildly popular anime series in 1992, which ran for two years. Yu Yu Hakusho has since also spawned two feature-length anime films in 1993 and 1994, along with a video game series in the 2000s.

Netflix previously stepped into the world of English-language anime adaptations with its take on the iconic Cowboy Bebop series, which premiered on November 19 last year. The series was cancelled after one season following a mixed reception, though over 120,000 fans of the adaptation have since signed an online petition to revive the show.

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The platform is currently working on its adaptation of One Piece, which is currently in production.

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