Title: Shaman King
Original Title: Shaman King
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.
It was nice to see an anime from my childhood coming back and I was actually quite happy because, due to how it was transmitted here on tv, I never got to see how it ended and I also think some parts might have been censored here in Italy… I’m not 100% sure but I have that kind of feeling.
The various religions’ references and the some of the more violent parts I think might have been cut from the Italian adaptation. Censorships in cartoon was pretty wild here in Italy in the early 2000s! Like I remember they re-colorized blood in Naruto in black (sure! Children are totally going to be traumatized if they see red stuff coming out from people! Let’s paint it black) or in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX there was a character that was a Sake lover… that quickly turned into a Hot Sauce lover! All his cards were drunk creatures that instead became too full with hot sauce… I wonder what they were actually thinking when they were doing these edits.
The plot of the big tournament between Shamans is pretty nice but I think that it started to lose its shine when things started to move a bit away from the tournament and focusing more on what was happening during it. Also, the more the anime moves toward its end the more it starts to lose that comedy that I really loved to see between the fights when I was a child.
Surely the main strength of Shaman King is the really huge variety of characters and there are some new ones appearing almost each episode! They appear and evolve through the whole series so they are not like some extras and they all feel like an integral part of the story- This huge variety of characters also reduces the redundancy, making each battle more unique and always thrilling.
One of the characters that I personally liked the most is Faust, especially for how he changes between his first and last apparition in the show.
The plot is splittable in many sub-sagas but the major differences was in the linearity of the story: we have the initial part with the introduction and the first phases of the tournament were things are pretty linear; then we get to a second part that gets quite chaotic, in my opinion, as there are more and more storylines intersecting with each other and it lost me a bit there; then in the last part it return to a really linear plot as it is as series of battle one after the other.
The finale however is quite epic and I wasn’t expecting something like that when I first started watching it.
It was nice to finally see how this anime ends after seeing many times as a child how it starts; even if I wasn’t totally expecting something like this.
I heard that there will be a sequel to it and so maybe I will also take a look at it.
I feel the part about the censorship so much, good to know that it wasn’t just the German speaking countries that heavily censored anime back in the days! Also i never saw a lot of the original shaman king so I’m pretty interested in the reboot.
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I guess it is the struggle of being 2000 kids and having to run home to not miss the series on tv lol I have many series that I liked as a child that I don’t know how they ended or even how they started
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