Yu Yu Hakushu is regarded as one of the best long-running Shonen action manga ever written.
One of the key ingredients in the series’ recipe for success is its cast, which is packed full of memorable characters who regularly come to blows in spectacular fights.
Almost every character in Yu Yu Hakusho is a skilled fighter, but only a few can claim to be among the strongest warriors in the human, spirit, and demon realms. So, without further ado, here is our list of the ten strongest characters in Yu Yu Hakusho.
10. Younger Tenzou
The central antagonist of Yu Yu Hakusho‘s critically acclaimed Dark Tournament Saga, Younger Toguro, is one of the series’ most popular characters. His backstory is surprisingly tragic, and his strength serves as the standard that every antagonist who came after him would be measured against. Capable of releasing his incredible power in percentile increments, Toguro’s final battle against Yuju in the final of the Dark Tournament would become the blueprint that many other Shonen duels would follow for decades.
Initially introduced as an antagonist during the Artifacts of Darkness Arc, Kurama becomes one of protagonist Yusukue Urameshi’s greatest allies. A human who was possessed by a fox demon at a young age, Kurama can manipulate the dangerous flora native to the demon realm, allowing him to wield thorny vines as weapons and summon carnivorous trees. Kurama possesses even greater power thanks to the demon within him, but he willingly suppresses it to prevent himself from losing his humanity, keeping him lower on the list.
Another reformed villain introduced during the Artifacts of Darkness Arc, Hiei, was born from a taboo union between a demon of fire and ice, giving him control over and resistance to both elements. While his heritage allows him to wield fire and ice in a manner very similar to My Hero Academia‘s Shoto and Toya Todoroki, Hiei’s greatest attributes are his incredible speed and “Jagan Eye,” which allows him to wield psionic abilities and transform into a Hulk-like creature known as a Jaganshi.
The winged demon known as Saizou is a minor figure in the grand scheme of Yu Yu Hakushu’s story, but his skill as a fighter cannot be understated. A longtime friend of Raizen, one of the three kings of the demon realm, Saizou allied with Yusuke during the Demon World Tournament and managed to win the tournament’s first block, only to lose to Enki. While we don’t see Saizou fight anyone, his ability to win a bracket in a tournament that attracted the most powerful demons in the demon realm speaks volumes about his strength.
6. Shinobu Sensui
Shinobu Sensui, the central antagonist of the Black Chapter Saga, throws down the gauntlet as soon as he emerges from the shadows. The previous holder of the “Spirit Detective” title that was given to Yusuke early on in the series, Shinobu quickly proves himself to be the most dangerous foe the dormer delinquent has faced up until this point. With seven distinct alternate personalities with unique powers and more powerful versions of Yusuke’s abilities, Shinobu wipes the floor with nearly every opponent who tries to stop him from achieving his genocidal goals, cementing himself as one of Shonen’s greatest villains.
Another comrade of the demon king Raizen, Enki, may not scream “powerful” at first glance, especially since he’s one of the most laid-back characters in the series. However, beneath his easy-going facade is one of the strongest beings in the demon realm. Capable of defeating a horde of demons on par with Younger Toguro without breaking a sweat, Enki claims his fallen friend’s throne by winning the Demon World Tournament, helping Yusuke achieve his dream of establishing peace between humans and demons.
One of the three kings of the demon realm, Mukuro’s harsh past as a slave set her on the path to becoming one of the most powerful beings in her whole dimension. Able to slice through anything with her Three-Dimensional Cutter Technique and capable of knocking powerful opponents like Hiei down in one punch thanks to her cybernetically-enhanced limbs, Mukuro more than earns the right to counter herself as one of the three rulers of the demon realm.
Yomi is the central villain of Yu Yu Hakusho‘s final saga, the Thre Kings Saga, and he’s easily the deadliest foe Yusuke faces in the series. A firm believer in the mantra of survival of the fittest who wishes to give demons the freedom to torment and kill humans unmolested, Yomi’s greatest asset is his Demon Absorption Shield Technique, a near-impenetrable wall of energy that can absorb spiritual and demonic energy, allowing Yomi to get stronger from his opponent’s attacks. On top of that, Yomi is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and a master strategist, making him an appropriate final foe for Yusuke.
The strongest of the three kings of the demon realm, Raizen’s presence was subtly built up throughout the series, culminating in his fateful meeting with Yusuke, who is revealed to be his distant descendent. The power of Yusuke’s demonic form, which allowed him to turn the tables on Shinobu, is described as barely a fraction of Raizen’s, and the demon king quickly shows how wide the gap between their power levels is when he beats Yusuke to a pulp during their first encounter. This makes the fact that Raizen is weaker than he’s ever been when Yusuke encounters him even more terrifying.
1. Yusuke Urameshi
Most Shonen protagonists never manage to become the most powerful characters in their respective series, but Yusuke Urameshi more than proves himself to be the most powerful character in Yu Yu Hakushu by the time the series draws to a close. Going from a dim-witted high school delinquent armed with a spiritual pea-shooter to a skilled martial artist who earned the respect of his demonic progenitor, Yusuke manages to match the most powerful being in the spirit and demon realm blow-for-blow field only by his determination and stubbornness.
- This article was updated on October 30th, 2023