takashichea (Level 25)

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Intro

Hiroyuki Takei
Hiroyuki Takei

Purpose: This guide is for people who haven't try the whole Shaman King experience. If you are a fan of the series, please enjoy this guide as well. It will give you another side of Shaman King to think about.

Hiroyuki Takei was the mangaka behind Shaman King, and this franchise was his biggest success to date. After Hiroyuki Takei submitted a one shot story and two other stories, his Butsu Zone became his first series in 1997. In 1998, his second series, Shaman King, made its debut, and when his series made headlines, Hiroyuki Takei was awarded Hop Step Award and Tezuka Award. As of now, Hiroyuki and Stan Lee (creator of Spider-Man and various Marvel Icons) are working together on Karakuridôji Ultimo for Jump Square Magazine and at the same time, Hiroyuki Takei is working on Jumbor.

Shaman King was first started in the Shuiesha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine as a manga in 1998. Later, it was adapted into tankobon volumes in December 1998 with a total of 32 volumes, but it had abruptly ended. In July 2001, Shaman King had been adapted into an anime that was produced by Xebec and directed by Seiji Mizushima on the TV Tokyo and Amaimax network. For the English dub, 4Kids bought the rights and aired it in May 2003 on the FoxBox channel. In 2009, the series was released in Kanzen-Ban format (perfect edition) that had 27 volumes that feature the true ending of the series in order to tie loose ends that the previous manga series had left.

The Story

Shaman King is about a boy named Yoh Asakura who wants to become Shaman King to get the easy life. The tournament is held every 500 years, and every shaman from around the world wants to become the king to fulfill their dreams. Yoh has to learn that he has to fight for his dream at the cost of every other shaman participants which some he befriended on his journey.

Terminology

In the shaman world, shamans integrate with the spirits to perform many tasks. For the tournament, shamans choose the right spirit ally to fight other shamans and their spirit allies.

  • Shaman - They are the link between the physical world and the spiritual world.
  • Ghost – The soul of the dead that wanders the human world.
  • Integration/Over Soul – Shaman integrates with the spirit, mind and body. For advance integration, the shaman forms an over soul by integrating the spirit into a familiar object.

Glimpse

*For the Future Advanced Guide's Focus

As Yoh meet his fiancée Anna after getting injured in his fight with Ren, he trains for the tournament. After the Shaman King preliminaries end, Yoh and his companions take a journey to America to take on the Patch’s test, survive and make it to the Patch’s village. When Yoh and everyone unite, they split up into 3 man teams and head back to Tokyo to fight in the first round of the tournament. Will Yoh be Shaman King or will someone else take his dream away?

The Characters

Yoh Asakura

He is a slacker who only wants to listen his music. His dream of becoming Shaman King is to get the easy life.

Spirit Ally: Amidamaru is a samurai whose nickname is the fiend since he went on a rampage to avenge his friend.

Ren Tao

He is a Chinese shaman who comes from the Tao family whose reputation he must restore their reputation. His true dream is to end the cycle of vengeance.

Spirit Ally: Bason is a warlord.

Manta Oyamada

He is Yoh's friend who accompanies him during his battles in the Shaman King fight.

Anna Kyouyama

She is Yoh's fiancee who shares the same goals as Yoh as the shaman queen and will train Yoh to death for their dreams.

Bokuto no Ryu

Bokuto no Ryu and his punks seek and defend their hideouts. Ultimately, Ryu and his friends' dream is to find their happy place.

Spirit Ally: Tokagero is a bandit who was killed by Amidamaru.

Horohoro

From Hokkaido, he is an Ainu shaman who works hard to reach his and his sister's dream. Their dream is to build a vast field of Butterbur to save the Koropokku from extinction.

Spirit Ally: Kororo is a Koropokkuru spirit whose powers make ice.

Johann Faust VIII

A former German doctor who has lost his wife and his happy life. He resorts to necromancy to revived his beloved Eliza by becoming the Shaman King.

Spirit Alley: Eliza is his wife, his partner, and his nurse.

Lyserg Diethel

A British dowser who aspires to be the best detective like his parents. When his parents were murdered by Hao, he sought allies to avenge his parent's death.

Spirit Ally: Morphine is a spirit handed down from the dowsing generation.

Chocolove McDonell

An African American shaman whose gang life is changed by a Brazilian man named Olona and put on the right path. His dream is to save the world with laughter by becoming the best comedian.

Spirit Ally: Mic the Jaguar is Olona's former partner; now, he is Chocolove's partner.

Why Watch?

The recommended audience for Shaman King is everyone 10 and up. Even though the anime has little blood and mild violence, the manga has blood, and it’s more open to violence. You'll be captured by the characters' struggle for their dreams and others' despair that was caused when society rejects them based on their shamanic powers. Their friendship brings out the best in each other to overcome their obstacles.

Manga or Anime

For the teenagers and younger, I recommend watching the anime first and then the manga, so you see where the anime has left off but the manga gives a satisfying ending. For the adults, it’s recommended to read the manga since the anime tends to tone down in violence, sexual orientation, and racial/ religious issues. In the end, it’s up to you to decide. Be sure to read both manga series because the original sets the story while the Kanzen Ban delivers a better ending.

*Please beware that there are subtle to drastic changes between the anime’s dub and sub versions such as change in the names and scenes to avoid racial, religion, homosexuality, and violence.

Conclusion

Shaman King is an interesting series that takes the many cultural aspects of many shamans and puts their beliefs and goals against each other. It’s childish and funny at the beginning, but as it progresses, the characters mature and face moral issues and obstacles in their path to their dreams. The characters will grow on you. If you like spirits, supernatural, and the tournament concepts, this series is suited for you.

Thanks

I thank Sotyfan16 for his helpful advice, and I thank my team for being supportive of me in our weekly reports which inspires me to write this beginner guide.

This guide is written by Takashichea,

A proud member of Team W.I.K.I Nation and a historian wiki editor.

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