They say that you’re most likely to find the one you love doing what you love, and for Yoshihiro Togashi he most certainly lived by that statement very adamantly. Yoshihiro had a passion for drawing from a young age and throughout his teenage years, had invested a lot of his time into creating new ideas for great stories. Due to this dedication to mastering his craft, major publishing company Shueisha noticed what Yoshihiro was capable of and took him on board. He eventually went on to make some of the world’s most celebrated manga titles, Hunter x Hunter, along with Yu Yu Hakusho both of which have managed to sell millions worldwide. As fate would have it Yoshihiro met the love of his life, Naoko Takeuchi, at a mangaka party which had been set up by some of Yoshihiro’s colleagues, and from there two of Japan’s biggest mangaka tied the knot. The two worked together on projects and helped to create a remarkable impact on the manga community with their talents. We’ll be taking a closer look at Yoshihiro Togashi’s best works and give you a breakdown as to why they’re worth reading, so let’s jump right in!
4. Ten de Shouwaru Cupid
- Genres: Comedy, Ecchi, Romance, School Life, Shounen
- Volumes: 4
- Published: July 1989 - February 1990
Souls these days aren’t easy to come by, and for the Koinobori family their souls come with a high price as their reputation as a powerful yakuza group places them at the top of the demon world’s soul bank. Things take an unexpected turn however when the heir for the family, Ryuji, is born with a pure soul and surrounded by fairies and angels. Now it’s up to a woman close to the family named Maria to ensure that Ryuji maintains the very salacious lifestyle that the Koinobori family is well known for, and that he doesn’t ruin the reputation along the way.
This is one of Yoshihiro’s earlier works and you can clearly see that simply by his artistic approach to character design, and story development. This ecchi comedy pays attention to Ryuji who was born into a yakuza family, and must live up to their perverted ways to ensure the legacy remains intact. However Ryuji really isn’t having any of that and would rather live a life that’s far removed from that environment, but Maria constantly tries to persuade him by using her body as an object of desire. The two are a funny couple because of their polarity and that they have to somehow come to this middle ground, which isn’t a very easy task since so many obstacles get in the way and prevent Maria from progressing. Their budding romance slowly grows however as the two get to understand one another and learn to cope with their differences, while still making absolute fools of themselves. Yoshihiro provides the reader with an animated look at just how relationships work, and how sometimes our family can be quite controlling of our future but that we need to take the reigns and live life the way we desire. He demonstrates the importance of equality in that, despite your appearance or background, relationships can be formed once you step out of your comfort zone and embrace the reality that’s presented to you.
3. Level E
- Genres: Comedy, Sci-Fi, Shounen
- Volumes: 3
- Published: September 1995 - December 1996
Tsutsui grew up with a handful of dreams, one of which was to become a baseball player and show off his talents to the world. Much of Tsutsui’s life is still in progress as he’s just a freshman in high school, but what he didn’t expect in his life was to confront a man in his apartment who claims to be an alien who has lost his memory. The man comes out to confess that he’s the first prince of Planet Dogra who’s known by many to have a brain that surpasses that of a regular human, but his behavior doesn’t quite match up. Now the two must come together to work through their differences and perhaps start a new friendship of sorts.
Level E most certainly takes you to an entirely different level of randomness because that’s exactly what you’ll encounter while reading. A lot of situations are quite episodic and normally don’t lead you anywhere, with characters coming in and out of the plot never to be seen again. The prince’s behavior is full of idiocy and sadism, which makes for an entertaining read because you’re just never sure what this guy is up to. Tsutsui is caught up in all of this nonsense but even his aloofness is quite amusing because you can relate to what’s happening. It’s all so abruptly thrown at you that you’re never quite sure what to expect which is sort of a foreshadowing for Yoshihiro’s later works, since a lot of his stories end up throwing you in all sorts of directions that you’re never sure what’s happening.
The art style when compared to the more recent works from Yoshihiro are slightly more realistic in appearance, which may be somewhat off putting since it’s not something you’d normally see from Yoshihiro. The way you can look at this manga is that it acts as a precursor to his more popular works and you can actually recognize some of that in the many characters that are introduced in the story. Without spoiling anything, we’ll just say there are some obvious parallels that will resonate with fans of Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter, so we’ll leave that to the fans to decipher.
2. Yu Yu Hakusho
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 19
- Published: November 1990 - July 1994
Yusuke’s early life was full of hardships and violence as he was known to be a delinquent, and took orders from no one. That attitude all changed one day when he committed a selfless act of saving a child from an incoming speeding vehicle, which ended his life abruptly, and had him standing at the pearly gates. The afterlife took one good glance at Yusuke, however, and was unsure of what to do with him, so it was eventually decided that he take another shot at life and to better himself. Yusuke has now become a wandering ghost with a mission to serve as a good samaritan under the rule of Botan, the ferrywoman of the River Styx, and Koenma, a man with an infantile habit of sucking on a pacifier who is the judge of the dead.
Yu Yu Hakusho is an all time classic that many fans of manga will most certainly recognize because it’s the series that really catapulted Yoshihiro’s career into stardom, and helped cement his reputation as a great story teller. As we stated earlier, Yoshihiro took a lot of what he’d learned from his previous works and beefed up a lot of his storytelling skills to create an exciting adventure that always took you on crazy adventures full of laughter, and at times sadness. Yu Yu Hakusho is an emotional trip because once you pack your bags, you’ll be taken to various locations throughout the story that will have you guessing, laughing, and feeling disappointed. You build such a strong connection with characters as they’re introduced, but furthermore you develop a stronger bond with Yusuke as you find yourself constantly rooting for him to succeed in his endeavors.
There’s plenty of action to experience within the story as Yusuke battles his way through often challenging scenarios, but with the help of his colleagues you get to see a nice relationship form as they all mature in their own unique way. This series will always remain a classic to any shounen fan so if you’re just entering into the world of manga, then Yu Yu Hakusho would be a great title to start with as it will introduce you with a pleasant story, wonderful characters, and lots of twists and turns to keep you engaged for hours.
1. Hunter x Hunter
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Psychological, Shounen, Super Power
- Volumes: 33
- Published: March 1998 - Present
So this brings us to the notoriously popular series known as Hunter x Hunter which, if you haven’t already been notified, has been on hiatus for quite some time and has now garnered the title of Hiatus x Hiatus. Yoshihiro has stated on multiple occasions that he’s most definitely continuing the series, but due to ongoing illnesses that plague his life, it makes his commitment much more taxing. That isn’t to say that the series is terrible by any means, considering just how many people are honestly crying for the next volumes to be shipped out. Hunter x Hunter is an exciting adventure that looks at the life of Gon, an aspiring hunter who’s sent out on a mission to find his missing father, and along the way he meets up with other applicants of the hunter exam. Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio tag alongside Gon on his uncertain adventure to uncover the truth behind his father’s whereabouts, but also develop the strength to become the greatest hunter in the world.
What many fans don’t seem to realize is that writing a manga isn’t just something you can conjure up in a few days, as it needs to go through rigorous revisions, which then have to be published and shipped out. While we can certainly feel both sides of the story, it goes without saying that Yoshihiro put in a lot of work to ensure that the series carried out his vision and it most certainly did. Despite the hiatus of the series, there’s still such a rich story that many newcomers to the manga universe will most certainly find fascinating. From the cool and deadly yo-yo styles of Killua, to the very crafty approach of Kurapika, Hunter x Hunter serves up a nice dish of excitement at every corner, and leaves you salivating for more which is quite obvious considering how many hardcore fans are foaming at the mouth for the series to continue. Plot twists, tragic moments, and overcoming overwhelmingly challenging obstacles that no regular human could ever deal with is just some of what to look forward to in this action shounen classic.
Yoshihiro has built somewhat of a cult following but also developed a notorious habit of putting his works on hiatus quite frequently, thus his new nickname HiatusxHiatus. As humorous as it sounds, we can definitely understand his situation considering that he now has a beautiful family to attend to, and is the true tuxedo mask that Naoko was looking for. Which manga from Yoshihiro Togashi do you like the most? Hunter x Hunter? Yu Yu Hakusho? Let us know in the comments below and show us love by liking, sharing, and tweeting our articles to help keep this community buzzing!
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