Bingo 10 Old Series
Before getting to the review a little context: late 2006 or early 2007 I picked up a copy of Shonen Jump magazine (back when it still existed as a print thing one could buy in the grocery store), and eventually I bought it, and then subscribed. One of the series currently running around that time was Yuyu Hakusho; it was about ¾ of the way complete, and I read through the end of the serial publication of this series. I don’t think I ever went back to the beginning to see how the series got started. That’s what I have done here: picked up volume 1, originally first published in Japanese in 1990-1, and English in 2003 (I think).
The story in volume 1 introduces the overall main character/hero and starts him on a journey; that’s Yusuke Urameshi. He’s a punk high school kid, child of a young single mother, who skips school a lot and has a reputation for getting into fights. He dies in a car accident trying to save a kid, but he’s dies before he was supposed to so the people in charge of the underworld give him the option of doing a challenge which might let him come back to the world of the living. The challenge is to raise a special egg that will hatch according to the good or bad of his soul. While he’s waiting, he starts helping other souls pass on, under the watch of Botan, a courier/guide of souls into their afterlife. Now I know how this ends up, but even from the first volume, there are hints that Urameshi is going to get involved in underworld adventures before we find out if he gets his soul reunited back with his body or not.
The art is a slightly older style, and there isn’t much attention to the backgrounds. That’s actually not a problem for me in this first volume, but once the action really gets going in later parts of the story, I can see how that might be a little bit of an issue with following actual fighting action type scenes. There will also be some other characters added, as Urameshi puts together a group of people/friends to help him solve his problems and maybe save the world/underworld while he’s at it.
I think I saw that this series might be getting a live-action revival, and I think that might be interesting, although I wonder how such a project would pull off all of the supernatural stuff. We’ll see. I’m thinking I might go back to see how the rest of the series goes, at least up to the point where I originally picked up the series.