Author's Note: With the end of Yu Yu Hakusho, I felt I needed to do something to commemorate my favorite anime series. So, here it is. A quick thank you (inspired by raindropsRteardrops' A Tribute).
Disclaimer: I don't own Yu Yu Hakusho or the song "Thanks, That Was Fun" by the Barenaked Ladies.
Thanks, that was fun
Don't forget, no regrets
Except maybe one
Made a deal not to feel
God, that was dumb . . .
Thanks, that was fun
During the course of 112 episodes, we watched Yusuke Urameshi grow from a loner delinquent to a warrior whose power came from fighting for his friends. We watched his love for Keiko grow steadily as enemies continued to threaten her life, which sealed their fates. We laughed when Botan made her introduction as the Grim Reaper and smiled when she helped him revive. We watched as Yusuke befriended his schoolyard rival and two powerful demons to become a legendary group affectionately known as the 'Reikai Tantei.' We watched as Yusuke became the student of the legendary Genkai and not only increased his power, but gained a new ally and friend. We watched his first Spirit Gun knock out a conniving teacher and his final one attack Yomi's shield.
We watched as Yusuke defeated foe after foe, at first by seemingly dumb luck, to eventual skill. We watched as he made friends and enemies throughout the Dark Tournament and fought his predecessor to save the world. We watched as Yusuke went on a journey to discover himself. In that span, many of us found ourselves or the courage to keep searching.
We watched with smiles as Yusuke joked with his friends and tears when those friends were hurt. We watched as those some hurts pushed Yusuke to new levels of power. We laughed when we met Puu and cried when Genkai died in his arms and cheered when Keiko kissed him at the end. We urged him to his feet against Toguro and Sensui and cried when his life was taken for a second time. We were overjoyed to see him returned to life and were shocked to find out his heritage.
To the Spirit Detective, the Dark Tournament champion, the heir of Raizen, the dimwit; to Yusuke: Thanks, that was fun.
Over 112 episodes we watched the big goof go from schoolyard punk to a real man. We watched as he picked fights with Yusuke, only to be beaten down again. We watched him face a demon for the first time, and from then on, join Yusuke's 'team.' We watched him go from battling Byakko to facing Sea Man and everything in between. We watched him fall in love with Yukina, though she always seemed oblivious of his affections. We watched his first Spirit Sword to his Jigen-To.
We never saw him betray his code; the same code that made him the man he was. We watched his loyalty to his friends and his love for his cat. We watched him cower in front of his sister, while standing up to Elder Toguro. We felt his anguish when he learned of Genkai's death and cried when Younger Toguro seemingly killed him to bring out Yusuke's hidden power, and then laughed when we saw he was alive after all.
We watched him verbally spar with Hiei, never realizing his true love was the demon's sister. We heard every short joke in the book directed toward Hiei, while getting every word for idiot in response. We watched his power help the group navigate the maze of Maze Castle and we watched it go AWOL after the Tournament. We watched as he stood up to Sensui with Kurama and Hiei after Yusuke's downfall, only to fall alongside the other two. We watched as he was forced to say good-bye to his friends for years as he stayed home and studied. When we saw him next, he was popular with the girls and had good grades. We laughed when Yukina was still oblivious to his affections, despite all his visits to Genkai's and smiled bitter-sweetly at his little remembrance speech on the temple steps.
To the 'warrior of love,' the fool and idiot, and only true human of the group; to Kuwabara: Thanks, that was fun.
Over the course of the series, we watched as the mysterious demon-turned-human finally was able to come to terms with himself and his past. We were first introduced to him as an enemy, but we soon found out he was not evil. We learned that the thousand-plus-year old soul of the legendary bandit Youko Kurama had taken refuge in a human body to escape death. However, the cold and calculating demon soon found himself unable to leave his mother, who had risked her own life to save his. We watched as he bared his soul to Yusuke, then meant to sacrifice his life for that of his mother. We watched as Yusuke gave part of his own life to save Kurama's, thus creating a strong bond between the two. We watched as he defeated Genbu in our first glimpse of his power. His elegant Rose Whip was an attack suitable for such an elegant spirit.
We watched as his fought to protect his mother and his friends, becoming vicious when either were in direct danger. We were shocked to see his demon form make an appearance, only to be forced back into his human shell. We watched in morbid fascination as Kurama finally met his mental match in Karasu. We cheered when Kurama was finally able to take down the crow, but jeered in outrage when he lost to match by a technicality. We watched as Kurama showed his mental tenacity as he defeated Kaito. We were shocked to see him kill Game Master and shocked by the results of his anger. We watched as his power grew against Sensui, forcing him back into his demon form. We watched as he received an invitation from his past and learned some of his terrible past through Yomi. We watched as he fought with himself, while fighting Shigure.
We always knew that something confusing would be explained by the red-head. We laughed as he teased his friends and teared up when we learned of his past.
To the fox, the red-head, the know-it-all, the 'Romantic Soldier'; to Kurama: Thanks, that was fun.
Over the course of the series, we watched as the Forbidden Child changed from an enemy demon bent on humanity's destruction to an ally protecting those same people. We watched as he was first introduced with Kurama as the mastermind of stealing from Spirit World. We were shocked when he kidnapped Keiko and cheered against him as Yusuke fought. We saw the betrayal in his eyes as Kurama stepped in to help Yusuke. We watched his first insult of Kuwabara and his plans for revenge on Yusuke (that never seemed to materialize). We were surprised to hear he was beginning to like the Spirit Detective. We were shocked to find out that Yukina was his sister and sad that he refused to tell her. We laughed at the jokes directed in his direction for this as well.
We watched as he unleashed the Dragon of the Darkness Flame against Zeru, Bui, Sensui, and Mukuro. We watched him lose the use of his right hand, but continue to battle on. We watched as he began to realize that he needed his friends, though refused to admit it. We were shocked when he fought Yusuke again, only to find it a lesson to the Spirit Detective. We watched as he took an invitation from Mukuro to train. We were saddened to hear of his terrible past, but happy that he was finally finding true love in his life.
We watched on the edge of our seats as he fought Mukuro and were shocked to hear the words of forfeit uttered from his mouth. We smiled when we saw that he stayed with the former demon lord, finding happiness on patrol.
We smirked at his smart-ass comments and watched open-mouthed at his more badass moves. We watched a black blur as he sped by on many occasions and smiled when we heard the sound of his katana being drawn.
To shorty, the fire demon, the Forbidden Child, the badass; to Hiei: Thanks, that was fun.
We watched as she entered not only Yusuke's, but our lives with a cigarette in her mouth and a snappish comment on her tongue. We watched as she narrowed down her tournament field until Yusuke won the day. We saw snips of her training and realized the good that she did for Yusuke. We watched as she hid under the mask, though most of us knew it was her from the start, and fought with the boys in the Tournament. We saw her younger form and her compassion and her wisdom. We cried when she died in Yusuke's arms after learning of her tear-jerking past. We were overjoyed to see her return to life at the end of the Tournament.
We watched as she led the boys to their fights with Sensui's Seven, lending guidance whenever possible. We smirked at her quirky comments and laughed whenever she called Yusuke 'dimwit' or 'little crap.' We smiled when Yusuke lovingly called her 'Grandma' in return.
To Grandma, the legendary psychic, the former Dark Tournament champion, the 'old lady'; to Genkai: Thanks, that was fun.
We were shocked to find out such a pretty girl could be the Grim Reaper, and laughed at her carefree attitude. We watched as she helped Yusuke through his life ordeal and all his other cases. We watched as she shed tears over the boys during the Tournament and laughed whenever he cat face came on screen. We smiled at her silly words and her chipper countenance. We cried when she did and wondered what it would be like to carry the souls of the dead to the other side. We smiled at her interactions with Koenma and laughed whenever she caught Yusuke off-guard. Her laugh was infectious, and we watched the other characters seemingly agree. We watched her give death a new face.
To the ferry girl, the Grim Reaper, the Detective's assistant; to Botan: Thanks, that was fun.
We watched in shock as the ruler of the dead turned out to be in the form of a baby, and sniggered when Yusuke commented as such. We were happy to see him bring Yusuke back, though often wondered about the cases he set for Yusuke. We laughed alongside the Spirit Detective when we learned his father had punished him by spankings. We watched him watch Yusuke on his office screen and laughed at his interactions with Jorge. We watched him switch between his teenage form and his toddler form. We watched as he disobeyed his father and took Yusuke's side in continuing the fight against Sensui. We watched as he checked the progress of his select fighters and disguised himself to watch the Makai Tournament. We laughed when we found him scolding Jorge for his narration of the tale.
To the Prince of the Spirit World, the 'toddler,' the owner of Team Urameshi; to Koenma: Thanks, that was fun.
We watched as she was the only one who could dare approach Yusuke. We watched him play childish and perverted tricks on her, though we knew he cared about her. We cried alongside her at Yusuke's wake and urged her on to get to Yusuke on time to bring him back. We laughed at the fact that Yusuke seemed to fear her wrath more than any demon. We watched her tough act as she forced Botan to let her in on Yusuke's secret and as she watched the boys fight in the Tournament. We watched as Yusuke protected her and we could see the love in her eyes. We cheered when she tackled Yusuke and kissed him in the last episode.
To Yusuke's lover, the tough brunette, the schoolgirl; to Keiko: Thanks, that was fun.
We met her when she watched Yusuke's next case video and realized Kuwabara wasn't alone in his spirit sensitivity. We heard her hoarse, monotonic voice and watched as she always seemed to be smoking. We watched as she looked after Keiko when the boys couldn't and respected her toughness. We were shocked when she fell for Sakyo and saddened when he died in front of her eyes. We watched as she looked after her brother the best she could finally getting him to study in the end. Despite her seemingly apathetic nature, we couldn't help but like her.
To Kuwabara's sister, the smoker, the tough human girl; to Shizuru: Thanks, that was fun.
We first met her when she became the object of a rescue mission. We watched as Kuwabara immediately fell in love with her, though she seemed oblivious. We wondered how little she really knew by the end. We loved her for her sweet innocence, something that seemed surprising with Hiei as her brother, though she never learned of it. We laughed when Kuwabara crooned over her and watched as Hiei protected her from a distance. The beauty of her tear gems was surpassed only by her own.
To the ice maiden, the object of Kuwabara's affection, Hiei's sister; to Yukina: Thanks, that was fun.
Finally, to the Tantei: Thanks for rescuing us from the demons and letting us watch you conquer your own. Thanks for being there when we needed saving or a laugh. Thanks, that was fun.