Shaman King

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Shaman King is a Shonen Jump anime created by Xebec, and based on the manga series by Hiroyuki Takei.

Shaman King
Shaman King 2.jpg
Spirit! Form! Unity!
Genre: Supernatural adventure
Running Time: 23 minutes
Country: Japan
Release Date: July 4, 2001 – September 25, 2002
Network(s): TV Tokyo
Jetix
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 64


Summary

The anime revolves around a boy named Yoh Asakura, as he attempts to hone his shaman skills to become the Shaman King by winning the Shaman Fight.

Why It Rocks

  1. Its story about spirits and the dead, as well as becoming a king of those elements is very creative.
    • Takei stated he went far with the research for the manga, working in various forms of shamanism unique to different people across the world, resulting in a very ethnically and gender diverse cast that still feels completely natural.
  2. Very likable characters like Yoh, Morty, Len, Ryu, Trey, Faust VIII, and Amidamaru.
  3. Very great action scenes. Especially the battle between Yoh and Faust VIII.
  4. Very great dub by 4Kids Entertainment that wasn't only one of their best dubs, but one of their dubs to have very light censorship. It also had no episodes skipped.
  5. It's one of the few dubs by 4Kids Entertainment where the concept of death was fully kept in. There was even an episode where the characters mentioned impalement.
  6. "Spirit Form! Unity!"
  7. Given how it's a series that revolves around the dead, it has a lot of cool references to death and religious.
  8. Very awesome opening theme in both English and Japanese.

Bad Qualities

  1. The anime skipped some parts of the manga that were originally very important to the story.
    • Indeed, everything after Episode 26 is non canon as the manga was still ongoing at the time and the anime caught up to it. The 2021 anime (which is to be a completely faithful reboot to the manga, see below) is set to change this.
  2. Despite the English dub by 4Kids being a excellent dub, it got excessive backlash from moral guardians for its nightmare fuel and intense violent scenes. So much that the dub ended up bombing in the United States.
    • This likely influenced the heavy censorship behind their next dub, the notoriously bad One Piece dub.
  3. Some of the characters like Anna, Opacho, and Pirika are very flat characters.

Trivia

  • The anime will get a reboot in 2021 produced by Bridge. It will adapt the 35 volumes of the manga's complete edition, and will provide the canonical ending of the manga, that was originally released after the first adaptation of Shaman King from 2001 had already finished.
  • The anime was (ironically enough, despite the most active anime fandom being in the west) the most popular in Slavic countries, with Russia deserving a special mention. In fact, almost all of the comments on the official YouTube channel about the trailer for the reboot are in Russian!