Yusuke Urameshi (浦飯 幽助, Urameshi Yūsuke) is the main protagonist of the manga & anime series YuYu Hakusho. He is a Spirit Detective who is tasked with protecting Human World from various supernatural threats over the course of the series and his closest friends as well as greatest allies include Kuwabara, Kurama, Hiei, Keiko, Genkai, Koenma and Botan. He is also the de facto leader of Team Urameshi and the general person to look to when the going gets tough.
At the start of the series, Yusuke is a teenage delinquent / street fighter with little to no positive qualities to his character. Over the course of the series, he starts becoming a better person, changing into an almost altruistic defender of the Human World.
He is voiced by Nozomu Sasaki in the original Japanese, by Justin Cook in FUNimation's dub and Mauricio Valverde in the Intertrack Latin American Dub.
He is known as Eugene in the Filipino Dub of the anime and he was voiced by Bonner Dytoc during the Spirit Detective Saga until the final round against Team Toguro in the Dark Tournament Saga. In the battle between himself and Younger Toguro, The Chapter Black Saga and onwards he is voiced by Eric Resurreccion.
Yusuke has black hair, usually slicked back with gel, with brown eyes. He has a peach to tan skin complexion and has a skinny but lean, muscular body.
He wears a green jumpsuit with yellow buttons and black shoes (a substitute for the blue school uniform he should be wearing). At the Dark Tournament, he wears a red jacket (with yellow tinted cuffs and collar) over a white shirt, along with jeans and white sneakers. When actually fighting, he switches to a yellow sleeveless shirt and blue pants, with black shoes, a black karate belt and green wristbands. At the beginning of the Chapter Black arc, he wears his red jacket look, replacing it with a dark green suit jacket. In his fight against Sensui, he was seen without the green suit jacket as his white shirt that he wears was now loose. During the final arc, he returns to the complete red jacket look. During his training with Hokushin and being given his inheritance by Raizen before dying, he wears the same outfit as in the Dark Tournament; his sleeveless shirt became light yellow and his black karate belt is replaced with a black obi and his blue martial arts pants became longer due to his current height. When fighting in the tournament, dons a fully white-clad karate uniform, complete with a green sash around the waist and black shoes. He is also seen wearing a complete dark blue suit with grey pants, black shoes and a white undershirt when visiting Kuroko Sanada.
In some episodes, his hair became messier when it is not slicked back, like when his body was taken care by Keiko until his revival, in his first fight against Chu in the Dark Tournament, getting too much pain from Genkai's Spirit Wave Orb as his final test, trying to beat Younger Toguro after he swiftly killed Genkai and her dying words, being knocked down by Yomi which leads to his loss in the Demon Tournament and being treated his serious injuries and being washed up in the beach when Keiko had kissed him in the end.
When his demon blood is awakened, he has long black hair with dark brown highlights (white when possessed by Raizen in the anime) and demonic markings on his face, arms and chest.
In the Poltergeist Report movie, Yusuke wears two outfits; his first outfit is his primary attire in the Chapter Black saga only his suit jacket is replaced with a blue long sleeve denim blazer jacket and his white short sleeve shirt remains loose. His second outfit is similar to his red jacket look but wearing his blue blazer jacket from his first outfit and his white sneakers are replaced with black and gray high-top dunks.
When fighting against Yakumo, Yusuke had his short sleeve shirt folded to make it sleeveless much like his appearance during his battle against Rando in the Genkai Tournament until his shirt is destroyed when he uses the Power Sphere to fuse with his own powers to defeat him.
Having a no-show for a father and with his mother always off somewhere else (getting drunk or partying), Yusuke has grown up in a very neglectful environment. He's short-tempered, impulsive, merciless and likes to intimidate those who are afraid of him. Underneath his bold, cocky attitude, he has a joking and kind nature.
Yusuke has also had the bad luck of having to deal with so many cruel and despicable people at such a young age. Iwamoto being among them.
One of his most notable traits is his desire to fight, which becomes more noticeable as the series progresses. Yusuke has been noted on many occasions to be rather unintelligent, and, at times, just plain stupid. However, as his teacher Genkai later notes, he "can be a genius at fighting". Yusuke's desire to fight is more out of enjoyment of a good brawl, and surprisingly Yusuke doesn't like killing if he can avoid it.
Even though Yusuke is feared by most students and severely disliked by almost all of the teachers, he is generally misunderstood. Keiko Yukimura, one of his childhood friends (and later love interest), is one of the very few who knows Yusuke is actually very kind, and she sympathizes with his problems in life. Yusuke also becomes very protective of his friends, especially Keiko, Botan, Koenma, Kuwabara, Kurama and Hiei. Out of all the six mentioned, though, Younger Toguro notes that Yusuke is "the most protective" of Kuwabara, most likely because Yusuke knew him longer than Hiei and Kurama, and also because of the frailty of Kuwabara's human heritage.
- The pronunciation of his name is Yus(u)ke, with a second silent "u" since the syllable "s" in Japanese always comes with a vowel sound.
- Yusuke's first name means "ghost helper" and his last name is a word that is said by dead spirits.
- The Yu from Yusuke and Rei from Reigun make Yurei, another Japanese word for ghost.
- In Yoshihiro Togashi's second famous manga series, Hunter X Hunter, Yusuke makes a cameo appearance alongside Hiei and Kurama as action figures in the room of Milluki Zoldyck (69, volume 8).
- He also makes a crossover appearance in the last panel of Togashi Yoshiro's Hunter X Hunter yon-koma comic of 2011, where he asked about New Year's and is told he is in the wrong manga.
- Although he is often overlooked, Yusuke is the youngest human to achieve S-Class energy levels. Even as a Mazoku he still will be the youngest to achieve this level of strength.
- In the Korean dub, he is named "Jin-Jin" (진진). He is still called Yusuke in the manga translation and subbed anime.
- He is called Eugene in the Filipino dub of the anime.
- Yusuke's birthday falls some time between the second half of June and the start of July. This is supported by the fact that he left for Demon World on his birthday, and the fact that Kurama left a month after him, sometime between late July and early August to help Yomi's cause until the end of August. This also makes sense since the animal that manifests through his spirit energy (the phoenix) also rules the days between June 25 and July 24 of the Ancient Egyptian horoscope.
- Keiko says he doesn't know how to whistle.
- In the manga after defeating Nekobaba, Yusuke references Virtua Fighter by assuming a pose resembling a win pose from that series. His appearance changes to resemble Virtua Fighter's blocky graphics as well.
- Yusuke has several songs on the soundtrack. By himself: "All Right!", "Akatsuki no Chikai ~Rising Sun~", "Dead or Alive ~Toushin~", "FIRE", "Kokoro o Tsunaide", "TOUGH", and "Tsukanoma no Sunset". With Keiko Yukimura: "Omoide o Tsubasa ni Shite". With Kurama, Hiei, and Kazuma Kuwabara: "Bokutachi no Kisetsu", "Hikari no Naka de", and "Yasashisa wa Nemuranai". There are also remixes of "Unbalance na Kiss o Shite " and "Taiyou ga Mata Kagayaku Toki" with him singing.
- In the Japanese magazine Animage Anime Grand Prix popularity poll, Yusuke was ranked as the thirteenth most popular anime character in 1993, the tenth in 1994, and the eighth in 1995.
- In March 2010, Yusuke was ranked sixteenth best male anime character of the 1990's by the Japanese magazine Newtype.
- In Yu Yu Hakusho manga volume 12, Yusuke was voted 3rd most popular by 10,048 votes from fans.
- Coincidentally, the first name of the Yu Yu Hakusho music artist is Yusuke.
- Yusuke's reiki is blue while his yoki is red
- Yusuke's test score in episode 3 is 12%.
- Yusuke has a tendency to stick his middle finger at people a lot
- Yusuke, alongside Yomi, made a cameo as high school students in the anime Good Luck Girl! on episode 7. Their 60 hour long fight was also mentioned.
- Ging from Hunter X Hunter is based on Yusuke.
- Gon Freecs, the main protagonist from Togashi's newer series Hunter X Hunter shares similarities with Yusuke
- Both ranked 3rd on their respective series in a character popularity poll.
- Both have transformed in their respective series: Yusuke into his Mazoku mode, Gon into an older version of himself.
- Both are primarily associated with the color green.
- Both have been raised by female family members: Yusuke by his mother, Gon by Mito.
- Both of their fathers were not in their life as children (though Gon meets his father later and Yusuke meets his ancestral father-However, Yusuke's biological father was with him till he was at least 3 or longer, this is mentioned in the 173rd chapter of the manga. Yusuke has never met him after they separated though)
- Both are similar to Son Goku, the protagonist of Dragon Ball
- Yusuke is similar to Son Goku, the protagonist of the Dragon Ball franchise, in the following ways:
- Both have a love of fighting and generally only fight for themselves
- Both aren't very intelligent outside of basic education when it comes to academics but survive off their dealings in cooking (Yusuke with his noodle shop and Goku with his radish growing in the 2008 OVA special)
- Both die twice
- Both learn about and accept their non-human heritage (Yusuke with his demon blood and Goku with his Saiyan's when the villain Raditz tells him who he really is)
- Both use a blue energy blast as their signature move (in Goku's case, the epynomous Kamehameha; in Yusuke's case, it's his Spirit Gun)
- Both struggle with the concept of killing but learn to do it (Yusuke during the Chapter Black arc with his fights against Doctor and Sensui & Goku sparing villains' lives before becoming stern enough to make that decision in his iconic fight with the villain Frieza)
- Both gain a long-haired form after dying a 2nd time (Goku reaches Super Saiyan 3 during the final arc of his series in the manga; Yusuke unlocks his Masoku powers)
- Both have had to go through a life-threatening ordeal to gain enough power to defeat the main antagonist of a point in story: Yusuke using the Spirit Wave Orb from Genkai, and Goku drinking the ultra-divine water to defeat King Piccolo.
- Josuke Higashikata from Part 4 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is commonly compared with Yusuke.