I’ll admit I was more than a bit concerned when the news went out about Yu Yu Hakusho getting its own Netflix live-action adaptation. Netflix’s track record of live-action anime adaptations hasn’t been the best, not since the streaming service’s version of Death Note was released in 2017. The adaptation ended up universally panned by critics and was ridiculed mercilessly by fans. This wasn’t without reason, as the live-action series turned the story of Death Note — which was originally one of a young genius’ drive for power, the eccentric detective determined to track him down, and their conflicting ideas of morality and justice — into a mishmash of conflicting tones and genres. Awful acting and a high school romance plot took the show from bad to worse.
But thankfully, it looks like Netflix has learned their lesson since then, and will be handing this adaptation over to seasoned professionals. Production studio ROBOT (Assassination Classroom, March Comes in Like a Lion, Parasite Eve) will be on hand to support Netflix through planning and production. Netflix’s Director of Content Acquisition, Kazutaka Sakamoto, will head the series as executive producer, along with Teru Morii as a producer. Sakamoto commented that the production team will be pulling talent from the best teams, both in Japan and abroad, to work on the series.
While a release date isn’t forthcoming, it has been noted that Netflix is looking at a simultaneous worldwide release for the series. We can only hope that a change in production teams and a dearth of talented people working hard on a beloved shonen series will help avoid the mistakes of the past. Not to mention it’ll be interesting to see how the live-action adaptation handles the juxtaposition of slapstick comedy and serious action and drama found throughout the show. What do you think? Are you excited to see a live-action Yu Yu Hakusho?