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Title: Wrath of Angels
Series: Shaman King #12
Author: Hiroyuki Takei
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Copy
Boris, one of Hao’s minions impersonating a vampire, begins fighting Ryu but starts monologuing about how his ancestor Vlad Tepes was actually a hero and that his reputation was ruined. Boris reveals that his family was being hunted down and it was due to Hao’s intervention that allowed them Shamanic powers. Thus why he’s loyal to Hao. Boris proceeds to kill all the innocent bystanders to pump up his powers with blood and Lyserg, still under his control, puts a sword to Yoh’s throat so he can’t interfere. To prevent the other Shamans in Yoh’s group from ganging up on him, Boris has Lyserg prepare to cut his own throat if they move against Boris.Through the Power of Friendship, Yoh convinces the ghost controlling Lyserg to simply step aside while the 3 other Shamans (Ryu, Ren and Horohoro) begin the battle against Boris.
We get a flashback to Ryu asking Yoh’s grandfather to train him as a shaman. After passing a test of endurance, Ryu is accepted for training.
The battle with Boris continues in the here and now. Ryu expends all his mana and blows Boris into a mountain. When Yoh goes to question Boris about Hao, a mechanical angel appears and stabs Boris to death. It is actually a spirit ally to a shaman who is part of a group called the X-Laws. The X-Laws are a group of Shamans dedicated to defeating Hao, not even bothering with the Shaman Fight. Their methods are brutal and concise. Hao, and anyone assisting him, must die. Each X-Law has an Angel as a spirit ally, a powerful spirit akin to a god of myth.
Two more of Hao’s minions attempt to stop Yoh’s group and the X-Laws as a diversion while a third makes an attack on them. The X-Laws wipe him off the face of the earth. Yoh steps in to prevent any killing. He directly opposes the leader of the X-Laws, who shoots Yoh’s sword and breaks it. The X-Laws walk away and warn Yoh to never go against them again.
Anna, Manta and others land in a helicopter and are immediately confronted by Hao. Hao wants them to succeed though, as that will mean that Yoh will get immeasurably stronger and hence be of greater assistance to Hao in the end.
Yoh and Co head to an underground cave and find out that only one path will lead them to the Patch Village. All other paths will lead to death. They must use their shaman powers to determine the right path.
This was a very dramatic volume, but I found the X-Laws to be a bit heavy handed and unintentionally hammy in their attitude. A group of adults who command Arch-Angel level spirits are going to be the disciplined kind of people who don’t fly off the handle, but that is exactly what the leader of the X-Laws does here. I mean, it is on purpose by the manga-ka but it jarred me a bit.
The “fight” with Boris was a bit anti-climactic but it helped showcase just how powerful the X-Laws are.
I think I enjoyed the flashback of Ryu beginning his training the most. For whatever reason, I definitely resonate the most with Ryu.
Overall, this was a decent read but there was no breathless thrills like in previous volumes nor was I tempted to rush right into the next volume.