Have you ever felt tired of all those goody goody protagonist ? Positive and good hearted characters might be the best choice as a protagonist, but if you want to create a unique character, you should know of more qualities that give the depth and realness that you were looking for!
For that what would be better than studying examples of some reknown works and characters?
So lets crack it!
Yu Yu Hakushou
Published by: Weekly Shonen Jump
“Underworld detective, Yusuke Urameshi fires spirit energy from his finger to defeat a hoard of supernatural enemies.”
Yu Yu Hakusho begins with the recently deceased, High School delinquent Yusuke Urameshi. In an uncharacteristic act of herosim, Yusuke jumps in the way of a speeding car to save the life of a young boy.
Known for his rebellious ways and problematic attitude, Yusuke never expected anyone to mourn him. But witnessing his funeral from the afterlife, he is surprised to see a number of people crying at his fate and showing him that he was loved all along.
You would think that this will be the end of the road for this 14 year old delinquent. However, where he failed in life, he is given a second chance to atone in death.
Equally surprised at the death of our hero, the Lord of the Underworld, Koenma instructs Botan, the ferry person of the dead to advise Yusuke that he has no place in Heaven, nor Hell. But by accomplishing a list of tasks, Yusuke will be granted his body once again.
Upon obtaining his earthly body and under instruction from Koenma, Yusuke begins a career investigating supernatural activity in the mortal realm, thereby becoming the world’s first Underworld Detective!
The protagonist of Yu Yu Hakusho is the archetypal “rebel without a cause”. Starting out as slightly lost, angry and misunderstood, the former delinquent grows within the confines of the unusual circumstances he finds himself in. This narrative form is at odds with the standard, good natured character who enables those around him to become better people.
Yusuke’s tale of dying, to then realize he was indeed mourned, thereby wanting to wishing to mend his misdeeds enthralled me to the manga from page 1. This strive for “what could have been” and growth, may well fade a little as our hero battles supernatural enemies, yet the message is ever present. We as readers relate to flawed characters like Yusuke. We feel a sense of familiarity which amplifies the need to cheer them on when the characters grows.
Despite the supernatural setting, the heart of Yu Yu Hakusho is a familiar tale. The underdog triumphant in an almost “rags to riches” tale of change is a trope often used, but it’s because of the supernatural setting that will keep you turning the pages. This perfect balance of using a tried and tested theme in an unusual setting is what manga is all about, and Yu Yu Hakusho wears that fact firmly on his fingers.
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