Manga: Shaman King
Story: Hiroyuki Takei
Distributor: Shonen Jump
Price Point: $7.95/volume
It seems that I get my son these 'Teen' rated manga, but so far it has been fine. I can only assume it gets this rating due to some of the violence in the series. This manga series is actually based on the anime series, but has more information than the anime did. I have not seen the anime, but heard some great news about it.
This was one of the series that we also got from Borders when they went out of business last year. It was nice getting these all at a discount as we did manage to get 27 of the 32 set in once shot.
Ripped from the Back Cover:
A Shaman in Tokyo - To most people, ghosts are the stuff of horror stories and nightmares. But to Yoh Asakura, a transfer student at Shinra Private Junior High, they're his friends! Yoh Asakura is a shaman - one of the gifted few who can speak to spirits. By channeling ghosts into his body - like the long-dead samurai Amidamaru - he can allow them to possess him and use their powers. But a modern-day shaman faces great responsibilities, because spirits - and the people who work with them - can be very dangerous indeed...
What is COOL about it:
It is the quid-essential Slacker manga series. Yoh is not your typical hero, but is one of the main characters. Yoh eventually teams up with a 600 year old Samurai spirit by the name of Amidamaru. They seem an unlikely pair, but are soon drawn together to form an exceptual team.
The Ying to the Yang, if you want, is actually Hao which seems to be his twin in every aspect. In reality, he is an ancestor that can resurrect himself as he is suppose to end up battling to become Shaman King. Yoh wants to be Shaman King so he doesn't have to do anything while Hoa wants to be the King so he can get rid of the humans.
The battles just keep building upon themselves and get more climatic on each turn of the page. When you think a person Shaman powers can't get bigger due to their Mana, BAM!, you get a bigger power.
The side stories of the other characters are just as interesting and add to give you a better understanding of their personalities. Even when tournament battles start, we see a bit of every characters background during the fight. This gives an added depth to the story.
From my Son: How the Ghosts are in objects and they interact with the Shaman.
What SUCKLES about it:
The who slacker attitude is a bit crazy to say the least. Yoh has no real cares in the world and takes everything in as it comes. With the exception of Anna (his wife to be) who give him "Special Training', he is care free. You can't get a grip on Anna's personality as it is always changing. She is a kick ass girl that has some amazing powers.
I am not sure how the hell Yoh can make friends at every turn even in battle. Seriously this kid has to have the aura of Buddha to be able to do this. No matter who it is or where the battle ends up, EVERYONE seems to be friends in the end.
My son keeps trying to ruin the ending for me - please stop trying to tell me what happens!!!!
From my Son: WHERE IS THE ENDING? It didn't give a ending to the story. (he has read them all by the way)
Some of the artwork from the series:
So far I am only to the part where they are battling in Teams of 3 to weed out the lesser Shamans. I am awaiting one of 2 battles in this series. One is Yoa's team verses Ryu's team and then the big one between Yoh and Hoa.
Even though this is an older series, it still resonated today. I think this is a great read and an overall inspirational manga to read. You are shown the balance of Yin and Yang without it being thrown around.You see that no matter who you are or what your background is, friends can be made everywhere if you try (or not try in Yoh's case).
Overall Rating: A – I think this is a great story of overcoming odds with a positive outlook and making friends no matter the circumstances. The battle scenes are stunning and the artwork really shows how it is done.
From my Son: It had a lot of action and was amazing.
Keep or Throw: KEEP
How about someone sending me a copy of a new Manga to review here on my blog (l am talking to all the Publishers and Distributors out there)?