Hiei of the Evil Eye
|Species||Fire yōkai / Korime hybrid|
|Place of origin||Makai|
|Behind the Scenes|
|Created by||冨樫 義博 - Togashi Yoshihiro|
|Designed by||冨樫 義博 - Togashi Yoshihiro|
|Performed by||檜山 修之 - Hiyama Nobuyuki|
Hiei is an S-class yōkai, main character and former villain in the anime and manga series YuYu Hakusho.
Hiei is a popular character among fans of the series, being ranked as the first, then second, then third most popular male anime character in the Animage Anime Grand Prix for the consecutive years of 1993, 1994, and 1995. The Japanese publication Newtype ranked him as the fifth best male anime character of the 1990s.
He prefers to keep his distance from others, often coming across as aloof and elusive. He has a rather cynical and even misanthropic view of the world around him, belittling and mocking humans and their emotions and the significance they place on friendship and life. And while he is relatively taciturn, he occasionally squabbles with and insults his teammates, especially Kuwabara. It is obvious that deep down he holds a certain amount of respect and kinship for his teammates, but seems to be closest to Kurama and Yusuke. As a fighter, Hiei is very unbiased when it comes to his enemies, showing the same degree of ruthlessness to all his foes regardless of age, strength or gender. This is seen when he terrorizes Ruka and the masked fighter with threats of death as his power is returning.
In battle, Hiei has killed the most opponents on the team, often making good on a threat he made at the outset. He also shows a surprising degree of sincerity, warmth, and protectiveness when around his sister Yukina. Hiei prefers to work on his own agenda, and has a notorious reputation in Demon World as a killer even when he had turned in a D Class demon due to the Jagan. Despite this, deep down he has struggled with his identity as a loner and his abandonment.
It's made clear in both the anime and the manga that he holds Mukuro in high esteem, perhaps higher than any other character, respecting her for her power and accomplishments. At the end of the series, there is clearly a bond between them, as it's made clear that its by his choice that he remains at her side. He also goes out of his way to free her from her past, breaking her shackle in the anime and delivering her abusive father to her as a birthday present in the manga.
Hiei has a lean, muscular build to him and wears a white headband that conceals his third eye, which is placed on his forehead and has a purple iris. His eyes are crimson with an angular and slightly slanted shape, giving him a very sinister look in the beginning of the series. He has spiky black hair with blue outlining and white streaks, and his skin complexion is regular peach-tan. He is the shortest of the four main characters at only 147.32 cm (4'10") during the Dark Tournament (excluding his hair) as stated by Juri, and at the end of the series, an artbook puts him at 160.02 cm (5'3").
Living up to his classic villainous persona, he usually dresses entirely in black, wearing a long black cloak-like jacket, a white collar, black pants tucked into black boots and a black, sometimes pale blue, undershirt under the jacket. He is the only one of the four main characters to never change his primary outfit throughout the entire series, only briefly wearing light-colored Chinese battle costume at the start of the Dark Tournament. He frequently carries a sword with him that he keeps strapped across his back and, before mastering the flames of Makai, he kept his right arm covered in bandages and bindings. After gaining full control over it, he removes the bandages, leaving a Chinese black dragon tattoo, which envelops the extension of his arm, in its place.
Compared to the more calculating Kurama who tends to try to figure out his opponents, Hiei rarely employs any strategy in his battles and rushes in with a "take no prisoners" mentality, often overwhelming his opponents with sheer brute force and superior speed. He tends to use his sword to quickly defeat weaker enemies at a close range, but will use his much more powerful dark flame manipulation abilities if he views his target as a worthy opponent, or wishes to destroy a large number of enemies at once.
He is adept in the art of swordsmanship, usually carrying his trademark katana sword, being capable of delivering multiple precision strikes at lightning-fast speed. At some point prior to acquiring the Jagan, he acquired a taste for bladed combat, and received lessons in sword technique from Shigure, though in the time since then, Hiei presumably developed his own style, and combining his skills with his super speed, he is capable of delivering multiple precision strikes at lightning-fast speed (over sixteen times in a second) as a mere C-class yōkai, which improves vastly as his powers emerge. Also, Hiei is shown to be able to throw his sword with pin-point accuracy, as evidenced by his using it as an anchor for Kurama's rose whip in Maze castle, or even stab through an opponent, completely missing every vital organ and muscle. Near the end of the series, Hiei uses his sword to cut through Mukuro's energy geysers.
Hiei is also one of the faster characters in the Yu Yu Hakusho universe, being able to slice an opponent sixteen times in the blink of an eye. This has caused some to mistakenly believe he can teleport, when in fact he is just moving very fast. As side effect of his extreme speed, he can also produce afterimages of himself in order to confuse opponents who are unable to follow his movements. He uses this technique in his first fight against Yusuke in the manga. He also utilizes afterimages in his fight against Sensui and in his brief encounter with Sniper. While he does have control over afterimages, his movements are usually so quick that he forms them inadvertently. He is resistant to both extreme heat and severe cold, This is demonstrated by Hiei's ability to withstand a direct hit from Seiryu's ice dragon technique, an attack which turned Byakko, another saint beast, into a giant ice cube. It has been speculated that Hiei was completely unaffected by the subzero temperature of the surrounding air, and even when Seiryu's attack contacted his body. Also, due to his nature as a fire demon, Hiei is unable to be burned by weaker fire-based attacks, as he takes the full brunt of Zeru's flame attacks at the tournament. In the manga, Zeru comments that he had thought it impossible for anyone to survive his demonic fire. It is speculated that this may be because he has an unique physiology as the son of a koorime and presumably a male fire demon.
Thanks to his Jagan (邪眼, Ja gan, translated as wicked/evil eye) is an artificial third eye implanted surgically by the demonic osteopath Shigure, Hiei can display wide array psychic abilities, including telepathy, mind control, telekinesis, remote-viewing and memory erasing. It's been noticed that whenever he uses any of his flame techniques, the eye opens. The Jaganshi (邪眼師, literally translated as wicked/evil eye practitioner) is an alternate form which Hiei can achieve thanks to the Jagan. In this state, his skin turns green and eyes sprout all over his body, greatly increasing the power of the Jagan, enhancing his speed and physical strength, allowing him to paralyze his foes with a binding curse, and giving him the capacity to summon multiple dragons. Its weakness is that, if anything blinds the main eye while in this form, Hiei will be unable to utilize hiss powers to full extent. Hiei never assumes this form after his initial fight with Yusuke and only once during the second movie, but occasionally references are made to it, the likely reason is that he relies more on his dark flames to fight, and cannot waste as much demon energy. Kurama mistakenly referred to this as Hiei's "true form" when it is actually an enhanced form.
Hiei can generate powerful flames from his yoki and, later on the series, develops the ability to summon the dark flames of makai, capable of reducing people to burning shadows.
The Fist of the Mortal Flame (邪王炎殺煉獄焦, Jaō ensatsu rengoku shō, translated as "wicked king flame killing purgatory scorch" and "Purgatory Scorch") is a technique which can channel the flames of human world into one or both of his hands. He uses this move to enhance his hand-to-hand combat abilities, and it also allows him to disintegrate objects merely by touch, as shown by Bui's axe. There seems to be some degree of difference in how the single-handed and two-handed versions of the attack work, since Kuro Momotaro had to gain immunity to both of them. These flames can also be used as a flamethrower to create a ranged attack.
The Dragon of the Darkness Flame (邪王炎殺黒龍波, Jaō ensatsu kokuryūha, translated as "wicked king flame killing black dragon wave" and "black dragon hellfire") is a being which dwells within the dark flames, and is generally used in the form of an offensive technique. Its summoning damaged the user's arm before Hiei sealed the creature. Because it composed entirely of black, demonic flames, it completely consumes all it devours, theoretically, body and spirit, sending its targets to oblivion as a result. Hiei is the only yōkai to have ever mastered this technique. When he absorbs the dragon, Hiei gains a massive boost in power, defense, and speed. Kurama says that in order to do this, Hiei had to have had consumed and trapped the dragon within him, binding it to his will. When he first used this technique against Bui, he demonstrated an inability to feel pain, but this may have only been because it was the first time that he had ever used this technique in such a way, which may be confirmed by the fact that Hiei felt pain after using this technique during his fight with Sensui in makai, though it may have been that Sensui was able to pierce Hiei's enhanced defense, as he was obviously stronger than Bui. In this form he can shoot bursts of dark flame from his hands, as well as surround himself with the flames of the dragon to leap high in the air.
The Sword of the Darkness Flame (邪王炎殺剣, Jaō ensatsu ken, translated as "wicked king flame killing sword" and "blazing sword") is a technique in which Hiei channels demonic dark flames into the hilt of his broken sword. He only uses this technique as a last resort, and only shown it twice in the entire series. He successfully used it to defeat the third form of Kuro Momotaro (who had become immune to both Hiei's flames and blade), and again in two different ways when fighting Sensui in the makai, first in the regular way, then as a sword made completely of dark flames. In the game Jump Ultimate Stars, Hiei has two variations of this move for both his 4 Koma and 5 Koma Special A. The Jaō shunsatsu ken (邪王瞬殺剣, literally translated as "wicked king flicker killing sword") involves Hiei slashing through the foe forward in dark trailing fire. The Jaō rensatsu ken (邪王連殺剣, literally translated as "wicked king chain killing sword") has him slashing diagonally upwards with normal fire, unleashing several fiery cross-slashes that rip the area around him at once.