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Title: A Shaman in Tokyo
Series: Shaman King #1
Author: Hiroyuki Takei
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Copy
Manta Oyamada, shrimpy little cram school student, has been delayed and if he wants to get home in time to watch his favorite tv show, must take a shortcut through a cemetary in Tokyo. There, he meets a mysterious young man and what appears to be a whole bunch of ghosts.
The next day at cram school, Manta tells everyone what happened to him and nobody believes him.A new student is introduced and his name is Yoh Asakura, he also happens to be the boy Manta saw the night before.Turns out Yoh is a shaman in training and Tokyo is filled with ghosts who can help in that regard.
Manta somehow becomes Yoh’s friend and they confront a group of bullies led by Ryu, king of the punks of Pompadour. Yoh becomes friends with a ghost named Amidamaru, an ancient samurai. They strike up a partnership and Manta starts becoming privvy to the secrets of being a Shaman. Yoh, with the help of Amidamaru, confronts a young man who has lost his boxing teacher, saves a group of kids from a fire and exorcises a vengeful spirit.
Manta is taking a shortcut through the Cemetary AGAIN when he meets an arrogant young man named Ren who controls a chinese warlord named Bason. Ren challenges Yoh and claims he’ll take control of Amidamaru for the Shaman King contest.
Yoh and Amidamaru must become as one to successfully combat the powerhouse that is Ren and Bason.
Man, after Oh My Goddess and the latest Superman comic I read, I just wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to even read any more manga. I was a bit worried. Thankfully, such worry was needless.
This was the epitome of Shonen manga. With that being the case, the first volume had a lot of setting to do. Who’s the plucky, talented main character? Who’s the comic sidekick? Who’s the badboy who will eventually turn good with a heart of gold? Who’s the villain who is only a leadup? What amazing powers will be revealed? What long term goal is shown that will propel the plot onward for 30+ volumes? Yes, this book has a LOT on its shoulders.
What’s great is that Ren starts talking about how he can integrate 100% with Bason and how he can beat Yoh hands down because Yoh can only integrate at 10% with Amidamaru. You KNOW that suddenly Yoh will begin “practicing” and not only will he integrate at 100% but he’ll suddenly integrate at 200% (!!!!) and then find someone else who will keep him on the upward climb.
One good thing about Shonen Fighting manga is the complete and utter predictability of the plot. While some individual plotlines might surprise me, the overall direction is already pre-determined. That is rather comforting to be honest.
One thing I am prepared for, as it has been shown already, is that Takei is a big environmentalist. Ren goes on and on about how humans are polluting the world and he wants to kill them all when he becomes the Shaman King. Yeah….