Interview: Yu Yu Hakusho live-action stars on bringing Yusuke and Toguro to life

In our quick chat with Yu Yu Hakusho live-action's Takumi Kitamura and Go Ayano, they shared how they faced the pressure of playing such iconic characters.

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Recently, we got to interview Yu Yu Hakusho live-action stars Takumi Kitamura and Go Ayano, and they shared their experience portraying such iconic characters.

Yu Yu Hakusho is easily one of the most iconic anime of the 90s, and it’s beloved in many countries such as the Philippines where it’s fondly known as “Ghost Fighter.” The anime continues to be popular thanks to its impressive shonen action, as well as its memorable characters.

The protagonist Yusuke is easily one of the most popular. After all, practically every fan of the series tried to do Sprit Gun at school or in the playground. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Kitamura has a load of pressure on him for the role.

Instead of shrinking though, Kitamura explained that playing Yusuke in live-action was great as he was able to exercise his acting ability.

“[Portraying Yusuke] is a very difficult challenge,” said Kitamura. “But I think all actors love having a big challenge in front of them. I think we are very honored to be given this challenge. I have been an actor for the last 18 years, and through playing Yusuke, I hope to be able to put everything into this. I hope to put all of myself into playing Yusuke. “

Speaking of putting his all, we also asked Kitamura about the difference between his version of Yusuke and the original from the manga and anime.

In response, Kitamura said:

“Yusuke doesn’t necessarily want to be a hero. He has his own sense of justice, and I think that it is portrayed throughout him. Of course, there are physical traits such as how he walks or his voice tone. These are some reference points that I could get from the original anime and manga.

He then followed that while he referred to the source material, he was able to add his own flair to Yusuke in the live-action series thanks to his experience as an actor for nearly two decades.

Meanwhile, Younger Toguro actor Ayano also mentioned something similar regarding the pressure of playing such iconic characters.

“There is a huge amount of pressure in playing a role in the live-action series,” said Ayano. “But it’s almost like the pressure I felt helped me take a step forward.”

As for the difference between the original series and the live-action, Ayano said that having actors play the roles gives the story a better sense of realism. Ayano explained:

“To be able to feel his liveliness is something that we all want to portray, and I think that can only be done through live-action. The fact that there is a person right in front of us, another actor, that’s what is important. Having an actor there enhances the reality of the story.”

The Yu Yu Hakusho live-action series is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.

In case you haven’t seen it yet and need more convincing, check out our review here:

Yu Yu Hakusho Live-Action Review | A Greatest Hits Collection