An animated television series was co-produced by TV Tokyo, NAS, and Xebec, which aired on Japan’s TV Tokyo network from 2001 to 2002. The manga has also been reprinted in a kanzenban edition, and has spawned video games, a trading card game, and many types of Shaman King-related merchandise.
The anime series was licensed in North America by 4Kids Entertainment in 2003, and aired on Fox Box. Exclusive video games were released by 4Kids Entertainment in North America and Europe.
The episodes of the Shaman King anime series are directed by Seiji Mizushima and co-produced by TV Tokyo, NAS, and Xebec. At an early stage of anime production, Takei himself helped the anime’s staff. However, he soon left the staff due to his time limitations as he was working in the manga. The 64 episodes were aired between July 4, 2001, and September 25, 2002, on TV Tokyo in Japan. 4Kids Entertainment obtained the rights to broadcast the Shaman King anime in the United States, where it premiered on Fox Box on September 6, 2003.
The episodes were collected into 16 DVD compilations by King Records in Japan and released between October 30, 2001, and January 22, 2003. The DVDs were later collected and released in three box sets between August 27, 2008, and December 25, 2008. Five DVD compilations of the English adaptation have been released by Funimation Entertainment between October 19, 2004 and March 29, 2005 in an uncut form.
At Otakon 2015, former Madhouse president and current MAPPA president, Masao Maruyama, expressed his desire to work on a reboot of Shaman King. In February 2017, while answering a fan’s question, Takei revealed on his official Twitter that he received an offer for an anime remake of Shaman King, but he had to turn it down because they were not able to use the first anime’s voice actors and soundtrack music.
is the main protagonist of Shaman King. An easy-going young man with the ability to see ghosts, he quickly becomes friends with Manta and reveals that he is training to eventually become the Shaman King. Though he is too lazy to train properly, he is motivated by a promise he made to his fiancée, Anna Kyoyama, to give her an easy life once he becomes Shaman King. While he remarks that he wants to become Shaman King in order to live a carefree and easy life, those closest to Yoh know that he wants to create a world where no one has to suffer from loneliness like Yoh did as a child because he was a shaman and nobody understood or accepted him.
Unexpectedly, he is not only the latest descendent of the Asakura family, a family famed for their spiritual powers, but also the twin brother of Hao Asakura, who is a reincarnation of the immensely powerful founder of the Asakura family and the primary antagonist of the series. As a result, Yoh is the Asakura family’s greatest hope of finally defeating Hao at last and saving the world from impending destruction. During the Shaman Fight, Yoh is the leader of Team Funbari Hot Springs. In the manga, when it becomes apparent that current known methods of training will not allow any shaman to defeat Hao, Yoh is sent to hell to train, an honour given to him by Lady Sati, and is granted the power of purification. He becomes one of the Five Elemental Warriors and gains the Spirit of Earth.
is Yoh Asakura’s fiancėe and a powerful itako (a spirit medium in English anime), with the ability to summon and channel spirits even from heaven. She is unrelentingly brutal with Yoh’s training in order to ensure he wins the Shaman Tournament and becomes Shaman King. Anna attends Shinra Private Academy along with Yoh and Manta. She has previously appeared in Hiroyuki Takei’s other works, including Butsu Zone and Itako no Anna, and is notably the mascot for the Aomori Prefecture’s police force.
After being abandoned by her birth parents due to her abilities, Anna was adopted by Kino Asakura, Yoh’s grandmother who resides in Aomori, as one of her apprentices. Her surname, Kyoyama, was given to her by Kino and is an alternate reading of the characters for Mount Osore, where Anna was found. Though most itako are blind, Anna is fully sighted and extremely powerful; her considerable spiritual strength allows her to seal Hao’s guardian spirits Zenki and Kouki and take control of them. Her powers originally included the ability to read minds, which caused her to create powerful demons from negative emotions, until she was saved by Yoh and Matamune and the ability was sealed. Out of deep gratitude for how he saved her life, she believes that it is her responsibility to train him hard so that he can achieve his dream of becoming Shaman King. Despite how badly she seems to treat Yoh, she openly admits that she loves him, expressing jealousy when she thinks he is interested in other girls and breaking down only when she believes that Yoh is truly in danger in contrast to her unflinching confidence in him under other dangerous situations.
Her strong will and blunt personality often inspires fear in her close friends, particularly Yoh. She is one of the few who does not openly express fear to Hao, who is intrigued by her attitude and acknowledges her strength and how she reminds him of his mother, Asanoha Douji. However, she genuinely cares for those important to her, especially Yoh, and merely is dedicated to be “the ultimate Shaman Queen” and wife to Yoh, the first real friend that she ever had in her life.
known as Mortimer “Morty” Manta in the English anime and Mortimer “Morty” Oyamada in the video games, is Yoh’s best friend and the first human to try and understand Yoh without any discrimination. An intelligent and thoughtful boy who carries a book with him every day, he attends Shinra Private Academy with Yoh and Anna. He is physically very short, a fact that he is extremely sensitive about, and has been mistaken as a Koropokuru, a shy nature spirit from northern Japan. Though he is not a shaman and unable to use his spiritual powers like Yoh and Anna, he is capable of seeing spirits and faithfully stands by Yoh. Throughout the series, Manta acts as the primary narrator of the events in Shaman King.
In the manga and original Japanese anime, his family owns the Oyamada Electronics Company, and therefore is very rich. His parents disapprove of Manta’s friendship with Yoh while his younger sister, Mannoko, seems to enjoy making fun of Manta. He has a strained relationship with his family, who plays little role in the story and, following their initial appearance, they are never seen again in the manga until a brief appearance by Mansumi toward the end of the series, where the Oyamada president leads several battle ships to destroy and capture Shamans. In the manga and Japanese anime, Manta has an assistant, Tamurazaki, though he is mostly Mansumi’s lapdog and winds up gunning down at least one of Hao’s followers. While he is unable to help Yoh to become stronger as a shaman, Manta uses what advantages he has to support his friend, such as his incredible wealth to help Anna reach the United States to bring the Ultra Senji Ryakketsu to Yoh after he has left to find the Patch Village.
In the anime, during the Shaman Tournament, Manta becomes a shaman with Mosuke, Amidamaru’s best friend who forged Harusame, as his Guardian Spirit. His relationship with Mosuke soon parallels Yoh’s own relationship with Amidamaru, as well as their existing relationships with their best friends. Because Manta is untrained as a shaman, he is unable to maintain spirit form from losing furyoku quickly and generally communicates with Mosuke through his laptop. During the final battle against Hao, Manta is able to use his laptop to form a hammer-shaped Oversoul to knock out Hao’s shikigami and force his friends to calm down long enough to regroup and defeat Hao. In the manga, Manta is generally an observer throughout the Shaman Fight and often questions his presence in a battle that he cannot directly contribute to. At the conclusion of the series, he appears at the head of the Soul Train to save Yoh and his friends from falling into oblivion, expressing happiness and relief that he could finally help Yoh. Several years later, he attends college in America, studying ways to combine shamanism with business, and brings presents for his friends at their reunion at Funbari Onsen.
is the main antagonist of Shaman King, currently the second reincarnation of his original self and the twin brother of Yoh. He is the most powerful participant in the Shaman Tournament, with Furyoku at 1,250,000, an extremely high level compared with the other characters’ Furyoku levels in Shaman King. While he exhibits ruthlessness towards his opponents, he acts surprisingly easy-going and affable, similar to Yoh’s personality.
Originally, one thousand years ago, Hao was the founder of the Asakura family and a powerful Onmyōji priest who possessed incredible spiritual powers, including the ability to sense the thoughts and desires of those around him. Regarded as a master of the Wu Xing pentagram, he was able to control the five elements that give form to creation. However, his compassionate heart was overcome by his deep-seated desire to avenge his mother’s death and his growing hatred of humans because of their selfish natures. Failing to win his first Shaman King tournament because of the combined efforts of the Asakura family to stop him, Hao was able to reincarnate with full awareness of his past life in time to participate in the next tournament and again for the current tournament.
In his second life five hundred years later, Hao was reincarnated as a member of the Patch tribe, who would be an ancestor to Silva, and massacred the Seminoa tribe. After successfully taking control of the Spirit of Fire, an elemental spirit that embodies the essence of one of the five elements of nature, he attempted to become Shaman King again. Despite possessing such advantages, he was defeated by Yohken Asakura, one of his descendants, and the spirit Matamune, who reluctantly put aside his love and loyalty for Hao for the sake of saving the world.
In his most recent reincarnation, Hao chose to reincarnate as a member of the Asakura family, as a pair of identical twins, splitting his soul between himself and Yoh, as the children of Keiko Asakura. In hopes of at least stopping Hao until the next Shaman Fight, Keiko’s father, Yohmei, and her husband Mikihisa, decided to kill both children. However, following his rebirth, Hao escaped from the Asakura family with the help of the Spirit of Fire, while badly burning Mikihisa and sparing his twin brother with the promise to reclaim him some day. In the months leading up to the tournament Hao began to kill prospective competition while gathering an entourage to assist him in winning the current Shaman King tournament.
is the son of Yoh Asakura and Anna Kyoyama. He was first introduced in the Shaman King sidestory “Funbari no Uta” as an infant travelling alongside Ryu to find The Five Elemental Warriors, story which is concluded in the finale of Shaman King. In the sequel Shaman King Flowers a teenage Hana acts as the leading character. He is depicted as a Shaman having Yoh’s spirit guardian, Amidamaru, alongside him using him with the Futsu-no-Mitama no Tsurugi weapon to create two Oversouls, O.S. “Oni Kabuto” and O.S. “Oni Kabuto Though”. He lives Tamao Tamamura’s care while his parents are absent. Hana is bored with his life and finds the appearance of his fiancé Alumi Niumbirch and his proclaimed enemies Yohane and Luka Asakura as a way to kill his boredom. Hana also possesses several Oni sealed inside him that will be summoned when he is in danger in order to protect him. They were placed by his uncle, Hao Asakura, when he was a baby.