If you’re a fan of shōnen manga, you might be familiar with the name Yoshihiro Togashi. With a career that has spanned multiple decades, he is the author of some of the most influential series of the last couple of decades. With his 49th birthday right around the corner, let’s take a look together at three of his major works and see if we can’t help you discover a new title of his to get into.
Yu Yu Hakusho
Back when I was a young otaku and was thirsting for whatever anime I could get my grubby little hands on, this was one of the first anime series that I ever watched and it remains a favorite of mine in the ‘shōnen fighting’ genre. What I didn’t know at the time was that the anime I was watching was actually adapting a hit manga series which ran from 1990 to 1994 and spanned 19 volumes.
In this series the hero is named Yuusuke and early in the series he is killed while attempting to save a young child from being hit by a car. Since the afterlife had no idea what to do with him (he wasn’t actually supposed to die at that time) they turn him into a detective of sorts who must take down evil spirits who are doing harm to the world.
This easily qualifies as Togashi’s first majorly successful title and remains a staple of the genre decades later.
The second major work of Togashi’s that most anime fans recognize is the sci-fi comedy called Level E. In this series, a high schooler moves to a new town but when he gets into his apartment he discovers an alien prince with amnesia waiting for him. What follows is a series of mad adventures involving the prince as he has fun with people in various ways for his own amusement.
The manga series for Level E ran from 1995 to 1997 and was adapted into an anime series in 2011. While not as popular as the titles that are listed above or below this one, fans of Togashi still enjoy this series for its off the wall antics and refusal to take itself seriously in the least.
Hunter x Hunter
Of all of Togashi’s works, this is likely the one that the most people will recognize. With the series still running despite making its debut in 1998 (in just a couple of more years it will be a legal adult in Japan!), this is the heavy hitter that I’m certain others have already tried to emulate but will never be able to quite duplicate.
In this shōnen fight series, the hero is a young boy named Gon who wants to find his father. In order to find his father though he must join the hunter guild and take on various quests and assignments which will lead him and his friends to all parts of the world. So far the series has received two anime adaptations; one ran from 1999 to 2001 but wasn’t nearly as well received as the second which ran from 2011 to 2014.
So there you have it, three incredible series from one incredible author. Everyone here wishes Yoshihiro Togashi a very happy birthday and hopes for many more to come in the future!