Shamans are extraordinary individuals with the ability to communicate with ghosts, spirits, and gods, which are invisible to ordinary people. The Shaman Fight—a prestigious tournament pitting shamans from all over the world against each other—is held every five hundred years, where the winner is crowned Shaman King. This title allows the current incumbent to call upon the Great Spirit and shape the world as they see fit.
Finding himself late for class one night, Manta Oyamada, an ordinary middle school student, decides to take a shortcut through the local cemetery. Noticing him, a lone boy sitting on a gravestone invites Manta to stargaze with "them." Realizing that "them" refers to the boy and his ghostly friends, Manta flees the terror. Later, the boy introduces himself as You Asakura, a Shaman-in-training, and demonstrates his powers by teaming up with the ghost of six-hundred-year-old samurai Amidamaru to save Manta from a group of thugs. You befriends Manta due to his ability to see spirits, and with the help of Amidamaru, they set out to accomplish You's goal of becoming the next Shaman King.
I enjoyed this manga quite a bit. Its essentially the typical shonen manga, with little to differentiate it. What i enjoyed was the bizarre undercurrent of evil it seemed to have at times. From an almost necrophillic doctor whos implied to be addicted to Morphine to a boy quite obviously named for a drug ( Lyseig Diethel named for Lysergic Acid Diethylamide respectively)
I also found many moments to be extremely emotional and touching, wihlst the characters were well characterised and varied, each with their own personalities aims and backstories, some of them just tragic (especially that Doctor). The characters come from various countries and ethinicities,
which makes a good change from casts inexplicably scattered across the world yet all japanese. Theres English, Chinese, African-American etc. its nice. Best of all, the villain to this piece is a marked change from most villains and a breath of fresh air against the common evil to everything type you get in some manga.
So if your bored and want to read another shonen manga, i would suggest this over most others.
This is easily my least favorite shounen of all time. Why? Because it's a clusterfuck. This manga is what happens when you take shounen, try to add deeper, darker themes to it, all the while trolling readers with the ability to revive people. Seriously, everything about it is a mess.
Our protagonist, Yoh, is a dreamy-eyed, high moral values airhead, like a Luffy that is constantly high on some meth, if you will. Typical to shounen, bad guys change their outlook on life immediately after they are beaten by our protagonist, inspired to suddenly be of use to the people, and become a comrade to
the protagonist. But in Shaman King's case, the change is INSANITY. Our protagonist's third enemy and later best friend Tao Len, was a sick fuck that wouldn't think twice about murdering innocents. But after he gets beat? He's suddenly one of the "good guys". Same with his sister that used to go around murdering film actors. The only other series that I can think of that pulled such a fast 180 on characters is SAO with Kayaba. Shaman King does this constantly, though. But that's not all. While some of the bad guys that get beat turn into allies, a handful of them got depressed and committed fucking mass suicide. This manga is weird that way.
After the revival concept is introduced, it's honestly hard to know what the fuck is going on. People die at the speed of Shingeki No Kyojin, but they come back at nearly the same speed. There's no telling who's REALLY dead and who's just kinda dead until they're revived. So when you see a bunch of the protagonist's friends brutally murdered, tbh you're kinda left wondering how to feel. "Wait, but they're just gonna come back to life anyways, right?". But sometimes, apparently not. You really can't tell until a couple chapters later.
The ending; I want the phrase "Shaman King ending" to be coined as a way to describe an ending that leaves long-time readers feeling trolled, cheated of their money, and feeling like they got bitch slapped by salmon. After struggling through the clusterfuck, after numerous insane power-ups, after Yoh gains the power of the Gods, after beating all of Hao's followers, after hearing Yoh say "I'll be the next Shaman King" for the millionth time, you would think Yoh would finally beat the evil Hao and become the next Shaman King. Well, sorry to tell ya, he was 10 minutes too late, and Hao becomes the next Shaman King. Yoh? He gets vaporized.
BUT THAT'S NOT EVEN THE WORST PART
After Yoh gets vaporized, for some reason his "spirit" gets to chat with Hao. Yoh talks about how friendship is great, and humanity isn't hopeless, because look at how high as fuck Yoh is. And Hao, after hating humanity for 3000+ years, IS CONVINCED. He's literally like, "Yeah, you're right, I guess I was wrong, I'll be a good Shaman King instead of using this power to destroy humanity, like I was planning to". ASDASDKLADJALK
So at the end, Yoh, failing to be the next Shaman King loses all meaning in life, Hao makes the fastest 180 ever known to mankind, all enemies and allies that died during the whole fight is resurrected, and you feel like you just wasted about 20 hours of your life. You almost expect the author to include a last page: "and then Yoh woke up from his dream".
If you want to see what One Piece would be like crossed with Shingeki no Kyojin with a 4chan troll controlling the plot, this manga is for you.
it started out really great, the characters are interesting and lively, they have their own personal ambitions and dreams. sometimes there is a flashback on character like lyserg but the author tells it in an interesting way and it doesn't conflict with the main story. Yoh's laid back persona is also kinda cool and keep the sometimes fast paced tempo in balance.
But it gets uninteresting with the start of the shaman king tounament arc, first theere are island inhabitants who attacked the contestants and proved to be much
stronger than the contestants, it is confusing, they are so powerful so why they don't just choose the shaman king from their own people?
Then what's the point of fighting in a tournament, if the cotestants keep killing each other outside the ring, worst what's the point of having them killed if they can be easily revived..
The characters who used to be interesting becomes dull because they are busy telling each other how fearful and strong Hao is. They also give up their dreams
This review is going to be very short and concise, so I suggest anyone wanting to give this a shot should consider reading my review. The rest of my review after the paragraph after this sentence goes a bit more into detail, so whether you choose to read it or not is up to your discretion. Again, I suggest anyone wanting to read this to check out this review.
Imagine a car driving up a hill. The only way up this hill is a very steep and treacherous one way slope. Just when that car is about to climb up to the peak, like literally just
when it happens, it stops. That's right, it completely stops functioning. The engine goes off, the headlights stop beaming, and it does a completely nose dive backwards into the ravine and causes a big ass explosion.
That's this manga tbh.
Hao is still the same person he was when he first debuted. He's still that dude who wants to annihalate all the humans who don't believe in shamanism, and he gets little character development at all, even after making peace with his Mom, which was the source of the reason why he was doing what he was doing.
It'd be one thing if he'd change a bit, but nope. He's still the same. It's like Hiroyuki's message was that nothing will ever change. Which it most likely was, and that's why I can't accept it or how it ended. For a manga that wasn't as long as the Big Three (in manga and perhaps animu as well) but still managed to sell more/outclass/rival the Big Three, the way it ended was just all around bad to me.
So yeah, I wouldn't recommend this manga to anyone, but don't take what I'm saying to heart as this is just my opinion.
Have you ever wondered about those characters in anime that cast spells using hand seals and pieces of paper? Well, in this analysis we’ll take a look at onmyodo in anime, as well as some prominent onmyoji and the tools they use.