Main Characters of Shaman King:
The protagonist of the story is a thirteen-year-old boy whose trademarks are large headphones, bear claws that he wears around his neck, and wooden sandals. Yoh comes from a long line of elite shamans with the ability to communicate and possess spirits, and he comes to Funbari in order to compete in the Shaman Fight that takes place once every five hundred years.
Laid back, easygoing Yoh's goal is to become the Shaman King. Originally, he had no intention of becoming a shaman because he hated hard work and training. His dream was to listen to music all day and lead an easy, relaxing life. However, after hearing about the King of Spirits and the Shaman King from his grandfather when he was young, Yoh's dream ever since has been to become friends with the King of Spirit. He believes befriending such a powerful being will lead to good things in the future. In order to make his dreams come true, he doesn't mind training every once in a while.
Yoh's personality is very laid back, and he is usually very easy going. He can also seem a bit simpleminded at times. His favorite saying is "it'll all work out somehow." However, when someone threatens his friends or spirits, his relaxed personality changes to one that is strong, determined and a force to be reckoned with. Yoh doesn't see spirits as tools or a way to become more powerful like many other shamans, instead he sees all spirits as his friends. In episode eleven, Yoh is even willing to lend his body to an evil spirit even though there was a chance that he might be killed, because he believes that the spirit is his friend. Yoh believes that bad people can't see spirits, therefore he doesn't think of other shamans as enemies. Although he is hunted and attacked by multiple shamans who try to kill him in order to become the Shaman King, good-natured Yoh keeps his positive attitude and eventually becomes friends with many of them as well.
Yoh is bad at being disliked, so when he defeats his friend Horo Horo in the first round of the Shaman Fight, he is worried that he has inadvertently destroyed his friend's dream. All Yoh really wants is to live an easy life, and the thought of destroying someone else's dream in order to realize his own dream saddens him. Yoh has a special something about him that makes the people around him believe in him and the idea that he can become the next Shaman King. He has the ability to make the impossible possible. Opponents who are much stronger than him are defeated for some reason when he is somehow able to use powers that are way beyond his ability. One of his talents is that he never loses sight of who he truly is. This is very important to a shaman because, although training and a certain amount of talent are necessary, mental stability is what affects a shaman's power the most.
Because Yoh is generally smiling and happy most of the time, people tend to assume that he has lived a carefree childhood, but that is not the case. In the village where Yoh grew up, the Asakura family had ultimate control. The more spiritual power the Asakura family had, the more other villagers feared them. Yoh was called "child of the devil" by the villagers and was avoided by the other children who were taught to fear anything that was different from them. This is why Yoh grew up alone and it is also one of the main reasons why he treasures his friendships so much. Manta is Yoh's first human friend. As he finds more people and spirits that he cares about, Yoh's powers as a shaman grow stronger and stronger. He will not forgive anyone who tries to hurt those dear to him.
Yoh’s fiancee. Anna is a spiritual medium and is able to summon spirits from the dead. Strong-willed, bossy, and a little scary at times, she is the perfect partner for lazy, easy going Yoh. Her trademark is a large red scarf that she wears around her head and blue beads which she often uses to tie up Amidamaru when she holds him hostage so that Yoh cannot escape or slack off during training. She has long, golden brown hair and is considered to be quite a beautiful girl. Usually wears a dark colored dress and wooden sandals.
Similar to Yoh, Anna has a rather tragic history and complicated childhood. She was found in the Kyouyama mountains when she was a child, and raised by Yoh's grandmother Kino. This is where her last name originates from. Born with the same ability to see into the hearts of others, Anna is aware of the horrors and dark side of human nature. Unable to cope with this knowledge, she distances herself from humans. This all changes when she meets Yoh at age ten. Mainly thanks to Yoh, Anna is able to rid herself of her mind-reading powers which sets her free. Anna's gratitude turns to a different type of emotion and she slowly but surely begins to fall in love with Yoh. Even after ridding herself of her mind-reading powers, she is able to retain her spiritual powers as medium, summoning spirits that have crossed over to the other side at will. Her primary spirit is a cat named Matamune that was created by Asakura Hao, hundreds of years ago.
Mature beyond her years, Anna takes her role as Yoh’s fiancee quite seriously, and needs for Yoh to become Shaman King so that she, as the First Lady of the shamans, can lead an easy, relaxing life. At a first glance, Anna seems to be a bit self-absorbed, and emotionally aloof and disconnected from her feelings. The way she unhesitatingly uses Manta for errands and makes Bokuto no Ryu do all the housework while she rests and watches TV is close to that of a tyrant. Most of the other shamans who temporarily lodge at the Funbari Onsen with Yoh are too afraid to talk back to her and Anna rules the small group with an iron fist.
Although she has a tendency to use violence when making others do as she wants, she also has a sensitive, gentle side. She has an unwavering belief in Yoh and his ability to become the next Shaman King. And although it usually seems that she is always the boss of things, she is also very supportive of Yoh and his future dreams. Before Yoh leaves on his mission to find the Patch Village in America, he and Anna take a walk outside and there you can glimpse a modest, and almost girlish side to her as well. Despite the fact that her betrothal to Yoh was arranged, the two young teenagers seem to share a strong, unwavering bond. Anna will do anything and everything in her power to support Yoh and ensure that he fulfills his dream.
Ren, born on January 1, 1986, is heir to a once prominent, distinguished family of shamans whose reputation surpassed even the Asakura family. Cool, proud and quick-minded Ren’s dream is to become the Shaman King. His trademarks are his slanted, pointy eyes with golden irises and a ‘tongari’ spike in his purple hair. His weapon of choice is a Chinese spear-like weapon. He drinks three bottles of milk after his bath daily to make up for his inferiority complex about being short. His primary spirit is named Bason who is the spirit of a Chinese general from the Han Dynasty. Bason is extremely loyal and obeys Ren without a question, even though he is treated as no more than a tool to be used in his quest to become the Shaman King.
In the beginning of the story, Ren is filled with hatred for everything and everyone. The only reason he has for wanting to become the Shaman King is that the power he would gain would help bring destruction to the world. He doesn’t trust anybody and thinks of humans as no more than bugs to be squashed. He comes to Tokyo to fight Yoh and take his primary spirit Amidamaru by force in order to gain more power as a shaman. Even though he is still young, he is already able to use 100 percent of Bason’s powers. He believes this strength comes from having no doubts about his cause. However, during his fight with Yoh, he begins to doubt himself and his past deeds. Although his ability as a shaman surpasses Yoh, his mental stability is greatly affected by his doubt and he is defeated.
Afterwards, Ren discovers that some people are actually kind, and that changes something within him. His new goal is to become the Shaman King not to destroy everything, but to create a world without hatred. To accomplish that, he must first defeat his father in order to remove the curse that was placed on him that fills him with meaningless hatred. By meeting Yoh, he discovers another way of living, and decides to stop dwelling in the past, and instead move forward with his life. He discovers that he is able to choose his own path in life and create his own destiny.
At first glance, Ren appears to be cold and impervious to everyone around him. However, this is not the case. Although he is maintains a tough and aloof exterior, deep down inside, he cares deeply for his friends. Short-tempered and stubborn, he shows the usual traits of a boy his age. Unsure of how to interact with his new found friends, he shows his affection in his own special way, by yelling and arguing with them. He has a very sharp mind, which is why he always thinks that he is right and rarely takes the advice of others. However, there are times when although he disagrees with Yoh’s decision to help others, he goes along with the plan anyways. Self-sufficient and mature, Ren rarely relies on others but as he joins Yoh and a group of young shamans on their quest to become the Shaman King, he gradually learns the true meaning of friendship and trust.
Hao and Yoh have similar appearances, both with brown hair and eyes. However, unlike Yoh, Hao has longer hair and appears to be slightly taller than him as well. His trademark is a poncho-like cloak that he wears over his clothing with a star symbol on it. He also wears a belt with the Patch Village mark on it. His primary spirit is the Spirit of Fire, one of the Great Spirits.
Born one thousand years ago as Asaha Douji during the Heian period, Hao was surrounded by war and hatred. And like Yoh, he was also called ‘child of the devil’ when he was young. However, a demon named Ohachiyo teaches him that the world is not just a grim and dark place, but instead holds happiness and laughter as well.
After a certain accident involving his first Over Soul gone wrong, Ohachiyo becomes a permanent part of Hao’s soul and this gives him the dangerous ability to see into the hearts and souls of those around him. At first, Hao is a gentle and kind man, who uses his powers in order to help those in need. He also gives Matamune, a cat that he saved and a portion of his spiritual powers. Matamune ends up becoming Anna’s primary spirit.
However, like many of his fellow shamans, his ultimate power as a shaman was a constant source of fear for those around him. Even those that he helped were afraid and jealous of him. The negativity and dark side of human nature eventually filled him with contempt, and leads to his frightening belief that the destruction of humanity will bring about the salvation of the world. His belief is that the secret to the mental strength of a shaman is anger and sadness towards humanity. His dream is to create a ‘Shaman Kingdom’ - a world where only shamans exist. He plans to recruit talented young shamans to join him, one possible recruit being Yoh. In order to create his ideal world where only shamans exist, he finds that he must become the Shaman King. Due to his mastering the power of the pentagram, Hao is able to reincarnate himself at will with the full knowledge of his past lives.
The first time he tried to become the Shaman King one thousand years ago, he was defeated by the Asakura family. Five hundred years later he is reborn as one of the Patch Village tribe members, and tries to fulfill his dream, only to be stopped once again by the Asakura family. The wife and child he leaves behind in his second life ultimately become Silva’s ancestors.
As his twin, Hao shares physical similarities to Yao, but more surprisingly Hao shares certain characteristic traits as well. One example is the fact that he is also easy going and smiles most of the time. However in Hao's case, deep down inside, these personality traits are usually calculated and have been used to hurt many shamans in the past. These traits help Hao inspire blind loyalty in many of his followers. Inside, he is cold and unforgiving, and when angered, he uses his primary spirit’s powers to kill and burn all that have wronged him. Strangely enough, he also seems to be taken with Anna, and approves of her being a woman equal to become the wife of the Shaman King.
Minor Characters of Shaman King:
Amidamaru is the spirit of a samurai who died six hundred years ago. He is bound to his own tombstone, unable to cross over to the other side because he is waiting for his best friend Mosuke at their promised meeting place.
Born on January 6, 1385 in the Muromachi period, an era that was filled with war and chaos, Amidamaru and his best friend Mosuke grew up together after their parents were killed by bandits. Together they created the legendary Japanese sword Harusame, a weapon that can cut through the hardest stone. He was an honorable samurai who refused to steal swords from the numerous corpses scattered across the battlefield at that time, so instead, he created Harusame with steel from a knife Mosuke had in possession as a keepsake.
Amidamaru's trademarks are his silver spiky hair, traditional robes, and old-fashioned speech. His favorite food is white rice. Legend has it that he was the killer of one thousand people, and was called demon and feared by many. This legend gives him a bad reputation causing Manta to be suspicious and wary of him when they first meet. After Yoh helps him reunite with his old friend, Amidamaru decides not to enter the afterlife, and instead to stay in this world as Yoh's primary spirit.
Although Amidamaru is a very powerful spirit and warrior, Yoh’s skill is limited, and therefore he is only able to use 10 percent of Amidamaru’s power. But after Yoh proves his sincerity by giving up Amidamaru as his primary spirit in order to keep him away from the ruthless Tao Ren, a bond between them is formed, allowing Yoh to fully possess Amidamaru.
Yoh uses ‘Hyoi Gattai’, an ability that temporarily allows you to use the skills and fighting experience of the spirit you are combined with, to fuse Amidamaru’s spirit into his body. Another technique he has is ‘Over Soul’, which he is able to use by fusing Amidamaru’s spirit with that of his sword Harusame. At first Amidamaru’s spiritual power is nine hundred and twenty, but later levels up to thirty thousand. As a samurai, Amidamaru values traits like honor, loyalty and friendship above everything else.
Born on September 9th, 1985 as the son of a very wealthy family who own the Oyamada Electronics Company, Manta is super tiny and super cute. He is only 80 centimeters tall and is very sensitive about his height. His younger sister Mannoko, frequently makes fun of him. It’s hard to believe Manta is really a junior high school student. Manta is Yoh’s classmate and first human friend. His hobby is to study, and he carries around a dictionary titled ‘Manjien’ which is a play on words and can mean both Manta’s dictionary, or ten thousand word dictionary.
By coming into contact with Yoh at the cemetery in Funbari, Manta gains enough spiritual power to be able to see ghosts, however he does not undergo any special training and does not have any shaman powers. Thoughtful and kind, Manta interacts with Yoh without any prejudice or fear. This may be the main reason he plays a large role in the story. He is also a firm believer that Yoh will become the next Shaman King, and faithfully accompanies him throughout the hard training schedule that Anna has created. Being the slightly weak-hearted boy that he is, he is frequently unable to say no to Anna’s commands, and is forced to act as a cook, housekeeper, and errand boy at times.
Although the only thing special about him is that he is able to see spirits, Manta plays an important role in the story and makes an appearance in almost each episode. Sometimes he acts as a narrator and seems more like an observer than one of the participants.