Some thoughts on Shaman King, the first thing that I realised was that I should have watched this show when I was younger. Shaman King is about a Shaman called Yoh who aims to become the Shaman King in order to live an easy life, during the course of the story Yoh meets a cast of characters, some of which become his friends (Ryu, Ren, Horo Horo etc.) and some which become antagonists (Hao, the X-Laws etc.) and for the most part they want to be Shaman King. In order to become the Shaman King, all the Shamans have to enter a tournament that is known as the Shaman fight and the winner gets the crown.
It’s easy to understand why Shaman King is popular with children as it has a good mix of action and comedy, although I don’t like most of the characters (something I’ll get to) I can admit that the characters work well with each other e.g the interactions between Ren, Horo Horo and Chocolove. The story itself was good, however I found it weird that the story seemed more linear at the beginning of the series and it didn’t really return until Yoh and his friends went to fight Hao. From the moment that Ren became one of the good guys each episode had its own story and didn’t really seem to contribute much to the overall story (like what Pokémon does).
In terms of characters, it seemed (to me) that the story would have been even better if the characters were more serious. Yoh is probably the character who annoyed me the most, every situation that he got into, he always answered with a smile and relaxed attitude and whilst this is a good example for children to follow, it also made Yoh the blandest character in the show (a lot of times, I was asking myself why Yoh is the main character). Lyserg is another character that was annoying purely because of how pathetic he was for most of the series, even when he joined the X-Laws he continued to be a character who spent too much time feeling sorry for himself and that made it even harder to sympathise with him. The rest of the good guys with the exception of Anna had nothing to make them likeable (in my opinion), they just had their backstories but for the most part seemed like Yoh’s lackeys. I felt that Hao could have been a more interesting character; it’s weird because the reasons for why I didn’t like Yoh were part of the reason that I liked Hao, he kept a smile on his face but it seemed condescending because behind that he was a ruthless character. Throughout the series Hao seemed like a pretty cool character until the final battle where he got frustrated and acted somewhat out of character.
The anime had its own exclusive ending (something that I’m not a fan of anime in general) and to be honest I wasn’t sure how to take it. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t sinful or anything, if it’s ever decided that the anime will do reboot to stay more true to the manga, it’s something that I might watch.
Teenagers and adults could still watch the show, however they’d instantly notice how cheesy the show is as it loves to preach the power of friendship. In terms of a light hearted show with action, I’d say that Shaman King is a good choice.