Why Netflix’s Yu Yu Hakusho Has Only Five Episodes?

Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Yu Yu Hakusho, based on Yoshihiro Togashi’s iconic manga, surprises fans with a concise run of only five episodes, despite the anime spanning 112 episodes.

The live-action Yu Yu Hakusho diverges from its anime counterpart by taking creative liberties and condensing over 60 episodes into just five. The first episode aligns with the manga and anime’s beginnings, yet quickly deviates by merging events and omitting significant arcs, such as Genkain’s tournament. Notably, the final episode combines elements of Yukina’s rescue with portions of the Dark Tournament saga, showcasing fights that were originally scheduled for a much later stage in the story.

Why only five episodes of Netflix’s Yu Yu Hakusho?

Netflix's yu yu hakusho live action movie with five episodes.

While it’s not unusual for streaming releases to feature a limited number of episodes, the choice to condense the expansive narrative of Yu Yu Hakusho into just five episodes stands out. In comparison, Netflix’s One Piece Season 1, with eight episodes, demonstrates a more extended format. This approach to live-action anime adaptations, particularly with TV shows, is a relatively fresh concept, and Yu Yu Hakusho mirrors this trend by compressing its content into a runtime equivalent to two movies.

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Adaptation as a Standalone Interpretation

The discrepancy in episode count, coupled with significant deviations from the anime, suggests that Netflix’s Yu Yu Hakusho was crafted as a standalone interpretation of the source material. Whether a second season is in the works remains uncertain, as the conclusion of the first series, with younger Toguro’s demise, seemingly leaves little room for a direct sequel. While the adaptation works effectively as a self-contained TV show, dedicated fans of the manga or anime will undoubtedly recognize the substantial alterations made to the beloved narrative.