Posted 02 January 2021 - 05:02 PM
Yu Yu Hakusho was solid for its era. It definitely ticked all the boxes for a golden standard of modern age shounen.
I'm not a fan of live adaptation for shounen though. It's proven to be hard to replicate that "youth" vibe from the manga ("shounen" literally means "few years", fyi). It's a different case for shoujo or josei, obviously, where you have many successful case studies for live adaptation (e.g. Hana Yori Dango, Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu, etc).
While Hokuto no Ken and Dragon Ball set the standards of modern shounen (it's mainly about fighting and training to face the enemies), Yu Yu Hakusho (together with Slam Dunk) were probably one of the first that put more emphasis on romance subplot and how it shaped the main protagonist journey --it's heartwarming to see Keiko waiting for Yusuke to 'wake up' at the beginning of the story, all the way to Yusuke promised to return in exactly three years near the end of the story.
While Hokuto no Ken and Dragon Ball set the common shounen tropes, such as hero and anti-hero, I'd argue that Yu Yu Hakusho (and Slam Dunk) enriched shounen tropes with the ideas of an underdog protagonist trying to win the day and a feisty female character that becomes the protagonist's love interest.
Granted, every story is unique, but to date I always regarded Yoshihiro Togashi (Yu Yu Hakusho's author) to be in the same league as Rumiko Takahashi, Takehiko Inoue, Hiromi Arakawa and Naoko Takeuchi (his wife btw, lol)... in the way that their creation is unique and inspiring other mangaka to follow, regardless of the target audience or genre.
http://namaenasuyou.tumblr.com/ || https://www.fanfiction.net/u/6308104/
"I'm sorry I didn't believe. But I'd given up believing in so much, until I met you. From the first day I saw you, you were everything I ever wanted to believe in. You can do this, Diana. I know you can...But I have to go."
"What? What are you saying?"
"It's okay, this is what I came here to do. I can save today, but you... you can save the world."