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Overview

Hiei (or "Flying Shadow") a.k.a. Jaganshi Hiei(Jaganshi is a title, not a surname, meaning "master of the evil eye") is a main character in the anime and manga series YuYu Hakusho by Yoshihiro Togashi. Hiei's seiyū is provided by Nobuyuki Hiyama in the original anime. Hiei's English voice actors are Chuck Huber in the FUNimation dub of the television series, Kirk Thornton, in the dub ofYuYu Hakusho: The Movie, and James Stanley in the second movie, YuYu Hakusho: Poltergeist Report. He is called "Hiei of the Evil Eye" in the Viz manga and Vincent in the Filipino adaptation.
   

Appearance

Hiei is the shortest of the four main characters at only "4' 10" (excluding his hair) as stated by Juri. He wears a white headband that conceals his Jagan Eye, which is placed on his forehead and has a purple iris. His eyes are crimson (blood red), with an angular and slightly slanted shape, giving him a very sinister look in the beginning of the series.

Living up to his classic villainous persona, he usually dresses entirely in black. He wears a long black cloak-like jacket (with a white collar) and black pants tucked into black boots. He wears a black (and sometimes pale blue) undershirt under the jacket. He is the only one of the four main characters to never change his primary 'costume' during the series. The only exception was when he briefly wore 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.

He has naturally spiky dark black hair with a blueish tint and white highlights in the front. Despite his small size, he has a lean muscular build to him. Before mastering the Dragon of the Darkness Flame, he kept his right arm covered in bandages and bindings to keep the dragon from escaping. After gaining full control over it, a dragon tattoo now covers the arm and is visible when the bandages are removed.

Personality

Hiei is a male fire demon born to a race of female ice demons. His mother, Hina, was forced to abandon him because koorime prohibited male children. The identity of his father is unknown. Hiei was taken in by a group of thieves and learned to kill at a very young age. Throughout his childhood, his one shred of sanity was a necklace made from his mother's hiruiseki (氷涙石, ice tear stone). He eventually lost the necklace in the heat of an intense battle. In order to find the lost hirui, Hiei acquired the Jagan. He used the Jagan to seek out the place of his birth, the Floating Domain of Ice, where he learned that his grief-stricken mother had committed suicide a few years after losing her son. Hiei also learned that he has a twin sister, Yukina, who has disappeared from the village. He now has another goal, to search for Yukina. Hiei prefers to keep his distance from others, so he often comes across as aloof and elusive. He has a rather cynical and even misanthropic view of the world around him, often belittling and    
mocking humans and their emotions and the signifigance they place on friendship and life. And while he is relatively taciturn, he occasionally squabbles with and insults his teammates, especially Kuwabara. Though it is obvious that deep down he holds a certain amount of respect for him and vice versa. In fact, Hiei respects all his teammates, but seems to be closest to Kurama and Yusuke.

As a fighter, Hiei is very unbiased when it comes to his enemies. He shows the same degree of ruthless to his foes - regardless of age 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. By contrast, he shows a surprising degree of sincerity, warmth, and protectiveness when around Yukina. He also clearly respects the demoness Mukuro for her power and accomplishments. At the end of the series, there appears to be some sort of bond between them because it's made clear that it's by his choice that he remains at her side.

Hiei prefers to work on his own agenda, and has a notorious reputation in Demon World as a killer even when he was a D-Class demon. Despite this, deep down he has struggled with his identity as a loner and his abandonment.   

History

Hiei as "Imiko" 
Hiei is known as Imiko" ("cursed child"), because he is a male fire demon born to a kōrime" ("ice maiden"), an all-female race. He was born male because his mother "interacted" with a male fire demon outside her isolationist Koorime community, which led to him being cast out as an infant and thrown over the mountain in which he was born. After surviving his fall down to the surface of Makai, he was found and raised by a gang of bandits, but it didn't last long. After realizing the value of the Tear Stone shed by his mother at his birth, he wore the Stone in full view of everyone, hoping to attract enemies to kill. At the young age of five, prior to his acquisition of the Jagan, Hiei achieved A-class youki status (according to Mukuro). As he grew older, he killed mostly for fun, causing those that survived to greatly fear and reject him. After he was rejected, he continued to wear his stone in full view, yet gathered an attachment to it, as it gave him a sense of calmness and kinship. Nonetheless, he lost it when he fought a demon, and he vowed to thenceforth search for it.

Hiei activating the Jagan Eye. 
Later, Hiei received the Jagan implant from Shigure, the demon chiropractor/surgeon, in return for telling him the story of his life up to that point in time. Though warned that the surgery would drain Hiei of all his (former) strength and that it would be incredibly painful, Hiei undertook it anyway. Afterwards, he chose to accept Shigure's lessons in the art of swordsmanship in order to survive. He did so because his power level was reduced to that of a lower D-Class apparition.

During his stay and training with the demon surgeon, Hiei decided to use his implant for what he originally wanted it for - to find the ice village that he was cast from as a child. He also wished to find the special jewel that he had lost in a battle with another demon, the very same one created from his mother's tears when he was a baby. He set out on his journey and thanks to the newly acquired Jagan, found his way back to the Glacial Village where he was originally born in a matter of days. Once there he found that he pitied the ice demons because he felt that as they were, they weren't truely alive to begin with due to their cold hearts and frosty disposition. He had hoped to find his mother, Hina, but would instead find her friend, Ri, the woman who was forced to cast him off the village and into a river below. From her, he found out that his mother had died years ago, having committed suicide due to the depression of losing her son and witnessing his "death". Hiei learns from Ri of the existence of his twin sister, Yukina, who left the village without explanation a few years before. However, she also told Hiei that it was assumed by herself, and her fellow villagers, that Yukina's reasons for leaving were more than likely due to discovering that she had a twin brother, and deciding to seek him out. After she finished answering his questions, he simply turned to leave without another word. However, before he did, she quickly realized Hiei's identity as Hina's son, and begs him to kill her then and there for her part in his fate. After appearing to think it over, he refused and continued to walk away.

On his way back to Shigure, Hiei decides from then on to use his Jagan to watch over his sister, rather than finding his jewel. So it was, that upon his final departure from the demon surgeon, he decided to pay Shigure for his services as a swords-sensei. As payment for his teachings, Shigure has Hiei swear an oath never to tell Yukina that he is her brother, should their paths ever cross. Hiei accepts the terms, and states that he never planned to tell Yukina anyway.

After that moment, Hiei traveled everywhere, intent on finding his sister, Yukina. His search eventually took him to the Human Realm, and it was during this time that he first met the human form of Yoko Kurama, Shuichi Minamino. Hiei met Kurama one year before when they defeated the demon Eight Hands. This took him from his quest, briefly in the form of planned robbery of the Spirit World's artifact vault. Together with another demon named Gouki, the three stole three dangerous weapons from the Reikai and became the targets of Yusuke Urameshi's first case.    

Character Relationships

  • Yusuke - Rival/Ally/"Friend"
  • Keiko - Captive
  • Kuwabara - Rival (only from Kuwabara's perspective)/Ally/"Friend"
  • Kurama - Ally/Best friend/Former Accomplice
  • Yukina - Twin Sister
  • Hina - Mother (Deceased)
  • Shigure - Surgeon/Instructor
  • Mukuro - Superior/Ally/Friend
  • Gouki - Former Accomplice    

Trivia

  • The name "Jagan" or evil eye is used by other character Ban Mido from Get Backers and by Alucard (Hellsing) from Hellsing.
  • Hiei is a popular character among fans of the series. He was 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.
  • Of the five members of his team Hiei was the only one to remain undefeated in the entire dark tournament. (Genkai lost a fight to Toguro before the finals and though it wasn't offical still counts as a loss)
  • It was noted by Yoshihiro Togashi that in the first drafts of the series, Hiei and Kurama were to be in a relationship. However, due to the set-backs such content caused his previous works, he ultimately decided against making them a couple in favor of having them be close friends.
  • In almost every battle he has participated in, Hiei has lost his shirt either by his own choice or it being destroyed by his opponents. The only times this didn't happen were during his battles with Makintaro, Kuromomtaro, Bui and Sensui.
  • Chuck Huber, the FUNimation's English voice actor for Hiei, once participated in Lanipator's Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged Movie as Raigo the god of Evil. When asked by a fan at an anime convention about his experience, he said it "was a little fun thing to do".
  • Hiei is the only character of the main 4 to never resort to using his life energy in a match.
  • Hiei was only meant to be a starter villain but he was so popular that he became a main character.
  • Mari Kitayama, a lead character designer for the anime adaptation, considers Hiei to be her favorite to design.
  • In the video games, he uses a sword technique called "18 Slash Jagan", which seems to be based on the number of times Hiei slashed Seiryu (though it technically should be "16 Slash").
  • In the Korean dub, he was named "Bi-Yung" (비영), which is the Korean hanja equivalent of his Japanese name. In the Korean subs and Korean manga translation, he is still called Hiei (히에이). He was voiced by Hong Bum-Gi (the voice of Kon from Bleach, Rock Lee from Naruto, and Ling Yao from Fullmetal Alchemist), who gave him a much more high pitched, snide-sounding voice.
  • In the one-shot pilot of Sket Dance, Switch invented an eavesdropping device called Tobikage that resembles a Draco, or a flying lizard. The kanji used for 'Tobikage' is the same as Hiei's name (Draco in Japanese is Tobitokage).
  • Yukina's age is speculated to be somewhere between 16 and 99 years old, EoS. This is because the race that he belongs to reaches puberty at 100 years, and Yukina has not reached that point yet. Becaue Hiei is Yukina's twin, he is somewhere between that age range as well.
  • Hiei's personality bears a similar resemblance to Setsuna F. Seiei from Gundam 00. They're both very calm and quiet when it comes to battle.
  • Hiei's name in Indonesian manga is changed to "Philip"
  • Hiei is also the name of a cruiser and a battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
  • Hiei is the name of a mountain in northeast of Kyoto, right beside the Kurama mountain. Mt. Hiei was also shown in the anime Rurouni Kenshin.    

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