Mar 24, 2016

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.

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.
Reviewer’s Rating: 2
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