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Netflix's Yu Yu Hakusho ending explained: What the live-action show's season one finale says about its future

Yusuke's greatest adventure as Spirit Detective is wrapped up rather neatly by the end.

Yusuke sliding along the ground in Yu Yu Hakusho
Image credit: Netflix

The sun has set on another live-action anime adaptation from Netflix. With Yu Yu Hakusho following in the wake of the surprisingly good One Piece, fans will be quick to dive into the adventures of Yusuke, Kuwabara, Kurama, and Hiei as soon as the show debuts on the streaming platform. When the curtain closes on the fifth episode of Yu Yu Hakusho, you might be wondering what those final scenes mean and how they set up for potential future seasons.

What happens Netflix’s Yu Yu Hakusho ending?

Team Urameshi in live action Yu Yu Hakusho
Image credit: Netflix

The final two episodes of Yu Yu Hakusho are focused on building up the confrontation between Yusuke and Younger Toguro, who has proven to be an unstoppable force. The fate of the world is hanging in the balance as Yusuke finally masters the Spirit Wave technique and unleashes a final Spirit Gun blast against Toguro. It hits and the demon’s body crumbles to ash, leaving Sakyo to follow through on his promise to kill himself if Toguro fails.

What follows is a quick wrap-up of the dangling plotlines that were left between the characters. Hiei stops short of admitting to Yukina that he is her long-lost brother, despite fighting through an army of hired goons to save her. Yusuke and his friends leave Kubikukuri Island for their home, having defeated all the yokai and stopped the merging of the Human and Demon Worlds.

Toguro and Genkai encounter each other as they travel the paths to the afterlife. He has asked to be sent to the worst corner of Hell as punishment for his deeds as a demon and for failing to protect his students as a human. Genkai, on the other hand, is headed to paradise for her work with the Spirit World.

Does Netflix set up a Yu Yu Hakusho season 2?

Cover image for YouTube videoYu Yu Hakusho | Official Trailer | Netflix

The credits fade just as Yusuke accepts his role as Spirit Detective and as Genkai’s successor, leaving no major plotlines unresolved. The original manga and anime both continue for two more major story arcs, but neither of these is as well regarded as the Dark Tournament Saga, which was loosely adapted into the live-action show. As such, it seems unlikely that a second season will be ordered by the streamer.

Why did Toguro go to Hell at the end of Yu Yu Hakusho?

Kurama using Rose Whip in live action Yu Yu Hakusho
Image credit: Netflix

The biggest character arc in the live action Yu Yu Hakusho doesn’t belong to its hero. Instead, it is Younger Toguro who gets the closest to redemption in the end. We find out that he has voluntarily sentenced himself to an eternity of torment in the darkest pits of the afterlife, but why would he choose such a fate?

At first, it seems that Toguro became a yokai in a quest for greater strength after he saw his students slaughtered by a powerful demon in front of him fifty years earlier. However, the final scenes reveal that his true motivation was to punish himself for failing to protect them. He lived as a monster until he could find someone powerful enough to defeat him, which he eventually found in Yusuke Urameshi. Even after this, he didn’t feel his punishment was sufficient and insisted that Koenma send him for eternal punishment to atone for his failure.

Does the live-action Yu Yu Hakusho have an end credits scene?

Elder Toguro in live action Yu Yu Hakusho
Image credit: Netflix

The closest to a dangling plot thread in Yu Yu Hakusho is the fate of the shape-shifting Elder Toguro. He was launched out of the fighting arena by his younger brother during the final episode and not seen again. During the credits, a quick scene is shown with his head on the beach, being pecked at by a seagull. The scene is played entirely for comedic effect and likely isn’t intended to set him up as a future villain, especially considering that he doesn’t appear in the manga beyond this story arc.


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Trent Cannon

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Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)

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