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Title: The Abominable Dr. Faust
Series: Shaman King #5
Author: Hiroyuki Takei
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Copy
Yoh and Horohoro conclude their match as Horohoro buries Yoh in an avalanche. Only to have Yoh burst forth and pretty much K-O Horohoro. The Gang all celebrates Yoh’s win and Horohoro is part of the celebration. Ryu suddenly wants to be a shaman so he can have a cute spirit companion like Horohoro has. The reader is also introduced to Horohor’s trainer, his younger sister Pirka, who is just as unreasonable as Anna.
Yoh finds out his next fight will be in a graveyard. Silva learns from Kalim (both of whom are Patch Officiants) that Yoh’s next opponent is a psychopath who murdered at least one other contestant, if not more already. For whatever reason this did not disqualify said contestant.
Manta and Yo meet the contestant, a German doctor by the name of Dr Faust the VIII, a direct descendant of the original Faust, who was also in the last Shaman Fight but lost. Faust can raise the dead and is interested in all things medical. He kidnaps Manta and cuts him wide open in front of Yoh but the Shaman Fight starts before he finishes whatever he is doing.
Faust sends legions of reassembling skeletons against Yoh and forces him to use up most of his mana. Faust then reveals his own oversoul, named Eliza who takes on the form of a Nurse who proceeds to slice and dice Yoh. Silva arrives at the battle and tries to convince Yoh to concede to save his own life. Anna also shows up and tells Silva such questions are pointless as Yoh will never concede.
The book ends with the showdown between a barely alive Yoh and Eliza coming to its conclusion.
If you’ve read any kind of shonen manga before, this will be a walk down familiar territory. Happy go lucky opponents become good friends. A dastardly evil to be faced. A companion who is the weak link. The plucky hero who is full of grit and determination to save his friend and fulfill his dream. This volume has it in spades.
There is a LOT of exposition going in during the battle with both Horohoro and Faust. Faust is almost a bloody blabbermouth, as he isn’t physically fighting while controlling the skeletons. He gives a lot of information to the readers and it would be tiresome if it weren’t so bloody informative. Thankfully, the manga-ka also knows when to break up the blabbing with the fighting. Also, skeleton babe nurse with a huge scythe? Yeah, that’ll do it for most guys.
I think this volume sets the pace for the whole series. One fight concluding, some “stuff” to further the overall Shaman Fight, most likely to do with the Patch Tribe, another contestant introduced and a fight beginning, with Yoh obviously over-matched, Anna and Manta will make witty banter, comical asides or protestations of eternal belief in the ability of Yoh then the book will end just when things get good.
The title of this volume seems to be in the vein of the 70’s camp horror movie The Abominable Dr. Phibes. I’m not sure if that is actually the case, but no other obvious link springs up. I guess I’ll have to wait to see if Faust the 8th is in the Fight because of someone he loved dying.
- Shaman King 1-6 (2007 Review)
- A Shaman in Tokyo (Book 1)
- Kung Fu Master (Book 2)
- The Lizard Man (Book 3)
- The Over Soul (Book 4)