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Film Friday- Shaman King

Film Friday- Shaman King

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.

Main characters

Yoh Asakura

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.

Anna Kyōyama

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.

Manta Oyamada

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.

Hao Asakura

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.

Hana Asakura

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.

Manga Monday- Shaman King

Manga Monday- Shaman King

Shaman King is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiroyuki Takei. This manga follows the adventures of Yoh Asakura as he attempts to hone his shaman skills to become the Shaman King by winning the Shaman Fight. Takei chose shamanism as the main theme of the series because he wanted a topic that had never been attempted before in manga.

The Shaman King manga was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump between 1998 and 2004. The individual chapters were collected and released in 32 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha.

In North America, Viz Media obtained the English-language license for the manga and published chapters of Shaman King in its Shonen Jump magazine from March 2003 to August 2007.

In Japan, the manga has been popular, selling over 26 million volumes. Both the manga and anime have been featured, at various times, in “top ten” lists of their respective media. The Shaman King anime has been watched by a large number of television viewers in Japan. Publications about manga, anime and other media have commented on the Shaman King manga, with positive comments on the series.

Plot

The plot of Shaman King revolves around Yoh Asakura, a shaman, a medium between the worlds of the living and the dead. Yoh seeks to become the Shaman King, the one who is able to contact the Great Spirit, and will gain the ability to reshape the world in any way they wish, and for this purpose he must to win the Shaman Fight, a battle held once every 500 years between competing shamans. Anna Kyoyama, Yoh’s fiancée, soon enters the scene and prescribes a brutal training regimen to prepare him for the tournament. Thus begins the plot that will lead Yoh on a journey that will lead him to befriend Ryu, Tao Ren, Horohoro, Faust VIII, Lyserg Diethel, and Joco McDonnell (known as Chocolove McDonnell).

During the Shaman Fight, Yoh encounters Hao Asakura, a strong shaman who wishes to eradicate humans and create a world for shamans. At the end of the shaman battles, the remaining teams consist of Yoh and his friends, the X-Laws and Hao’s team. The remaining teams choose to forfeit the tournament, crowning Hao with the title of Shaman King. As Hao is led away, Yoh and his allies decide to attack Hao while he is merging with the Great Spirit, which is in a coma. To conquer Hao, Yoh and his friends must defeat The Patch Tribe members who are obligated to serve under the new Shaman King.

After Yoh and his friends overcome the ten Patch Tribe members, Hao is awakened as the new Shaman King. He defeats Yoh and all his friends and absorbs their souls. Inside the Great Spirit, Yoh, Ren, Horohoro, Lyserg, and Chocolove battle against Hao using the five legendary spirits: the Spirit of Earth, the Spirit of Thunder, the Spirit of Rain, the Spirit of Fire, and the Spirit of Wind. When former associates of Yoh and his friends begin appearing in the Great Spirit, it is revealed that the Great Spirit granted Hao’s wish for someone to bring back his mother’s spirit. With Anna’s help, Hao’s mother is brought to the Great Spirit. Hao’s mother tells him that, in order to be saved, he must forgive the humans for murdering her. Hao decides to postpone his plan to eradicate humans and to observe how Yoh and his friends will change the world.

Seven years later, Hana Asakura waits at a station for the five legendary warriors and his parents, Yoh and Anna.

Production

Before creating Shaman King, Takei, an assistant of Nobuhiro Watsuki’s Rurouni Kenshin, exchanged ideas about the series with the other assistants. As a colleague of Watsuki, he worked primarily as a manga assistant, only focusing on his own projects during his days off. He was influenced by street art from hip-hop and rap culture, which is apparent in his manga artwork. For drawing, he used calligraphy inks and pen nibs. When illustrating, he used Copic brand color markers.

He chose shamanism as the principal topic of the series because he wanted to choose a subject that had never been approached in manga before. He said he incorporated his own personality and beliefs in Shaman King. He has an interest in the topic, and “choosing shamanism as the subject of this story seemed like a natural extension of that.” For the title, he said he used “shaman”, an English word, due to the fact that “the nuance is really great” and because he could not find a Japanese word with the accurate meaning of the word “shaman”. Another reason to have shamanism as the main subject was because he could explore elements from different cultures and their relationship with the dead and the spirits.

Takei created the stories after he created the characters because he believed the “stories are born because of the existence of the characters”. In addition, he felt that “the most important thing [to create a character] is to have originality”. Through his characters he wanted to show different cultures, backgrounds and values. When asked “how do shamans of pacifistic religions ever win the Shaman Fight?” he answered that the Shaman Fight is fought using the “strength of the soul”. Takei declared “the final message of Shaman King is that fighting is no good.”

Publication

The chapters of Shaman King were written and illustrated by Takei and were published in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump from June 30, 1998 to an abruptly and improvised end on August 30, 2004. The first 275 chapters were collected into 31 tankōbon volumes; the first of which was released on December 3, 1998, with the 31st being released on October 4, 2004. The release of volume 32—intended for publication on December 3, 2004—was delayed and Shueisha reported they would only publish volume 32 if they receive evidence of demand from approximately 50,000 people. The release of the last ten chapters in tankōbon format happened on January 5, 2005. A spin-off to Shaman King, Funbari Poem, lasted for five chapters—all of which were included in volume 32. Taking place seven years after the end of the manga series, it features Hana Asakura, son of Yoh and Anna, and his journey with Ryu to find the Five Elemental Warriors for a reunion before the opening of the Funbari Hot Springs Inn.

Takei declared it was not a decrease on the series profitability that was the reason for its cancellation, but a “fatigue” he had been through because he was no more able to follow his fans’ wishes. In the author’s opinion, Shaman King was being “normalized” by the desire of his readers with the introduction of typical shōnen aspects and losing its originality. In 2007 he revealed he was planning to end the series with the final he initially envisioned to be published in another Shueisha magazine in the end of the year or in the beginning of 2008. Eventually the entire series was reprinted in 27 kanzenban volumes with the title Shaman King Kanzen-Ban (or “Perfect Edition”), concluding with the “true ending” to the series. The new series finale was also posted on the official Kanzen-Ban website, in addition to the print editions. The first volume of the Perfect Edition was released on March 4, 2008, with the last (volume 27) being published on April 3, 2009. Five years after the end of the series, when the Shaman King Kanzen-Ban was finished, Takei said, “After making the readers waiting so much for this, the last thing I wanted to do was to disappoint them”. He thought the ending was a “huge responsibility”. This edition served to make corrections and adjustments and, for Takei, it was something “fun,” as it was different from scratch. Shaman King has also been published as part of the Shueisha Jump Remix series of magazine-style books. Sixteen volumes of Shaman King were released under the Shueisha Jump Remix series between April 1 and October 28, 2011.

Viz Media licensed the series for an English-language release in North America; the chapters initially serialized in the American Shonen Jump, beginning in third issue in 2003 and ceasing its serialization in the August 2007 issue. From then, it was exclusively published through graphic novel format and Viz said it was done in order to speed up the series’ publication. Volume 1 was released in August or September 2003, and volume 32 was released to conclude the series on January 4, 2011. In Australasian region, Madman Entertainment licensed and published the series between February 10, 2009 and September 10, 2011. The manga has also been licensed in some countries such as in Brazil by Editora JBC, in France by Kana, in Germany by Carlsen Comics, in Italy by Star Comics, in Norway by Schibsted Forlagene, in Russia by Comix-ART, in Singapore by Chuang Yi, in Spain by Editores de Tebeos, in Sweden by Bonnierförlagen, and in Vietnam by Kim Đồng Publishing House.

On November 10, 2011, a series of one-shot called “zero stories” detailing Yoh and other characters backstories started to be serialized in Jump X. In the same issue the first “zero story” was published, Shueisha announced the serialization of a sequel, focusing on Hana Asakura’s development as a shaman; Shaman King: Flowers started on April 10, 2012. Both series concluded in the final issue of Shueisha’s Jump X on October 10, 2014. Two volumes of Shaman King: Zero were released on May 10, 2012 and January 19, 2015 respectively. The Flowers series was compiled into six tankōbon released between August 10, 2012 and December 19, 2014.

In December 2017, Kodansha’s magazine Shonen Magazine Edge, in which Takei is publishing his ongoing manga Nekogahara, announced the company acquired “Shaman King” trademark from Shueisha. A website was created and opened on January 1, 2018, and it announced Kodansha is celebrating the series’ 20th anniversary. As such, Kodansha will republished the manga as ebooks with new cover artwork, and a new arc will be published beginning Spring 2018 in Shonen Magazine Edge.