Netflix’s Shaman King Review: Possessions and Repossessions

Shaman King is an action-adventure anime series directed by Jouji Furuta and starring Yôko Hikasa, Minami Takayama, Megumi Hayashibara, and Katsuyuki Konishi, alongside other cast members.

The Netflix description reads:

Medium Yoh Asakura enters a battle tournament held every 500 years, competing with other shamans in a bid to become the all-powerful Shaman King.

– Shaman King review does not contain spoilers –

Shaman King is an odd anime – in a good way, I promise. I haven’t watched the original TV programme which had 64 episodes in the first season, so this was the first time I was introduced to Yoh and Manta and everything in the shaman world. If you’re someone who’s starting off this series with a fresh mind, then don’t worry, the series does not leave you hanging with its backstories.

Shaman King is equal parts slice-of-life and kickass action. It’s very goofy sometimes, and the over-the-top expressions of its characters are actually hilarious to watch. The characters’ quirks, too, are quite funny and make for great character buildup and subsequent development.

The animation of Shaman King is awesome as well. Everything is very “prim and proper” and looks awesome. The fight sequences, thus, look great too. After the first episode, I got lost in how wonderful and real everything looked. Well, as real as it can look because spirit integration isn’t very realistic, but you know.

The series follows a linear narrative and the story flows effortlessly. Before long you’ll be interested in what Yoh does with his dreams. There’s something really organic about the story that makes it highly watchable and bingeable. Although there’s something new to watch in every episode, with subplots driving the story forward, there’s one main plot that binds everything together.

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Every new character introduced in Shaman King is interesting as heck and never feels like a burden. Neither do they have no purpose. One thing that I’d like to mention though, Anna’s overbearing attitude gave me anxiety – abuse is neither ok, nor funny.

However, something that previous watchers might find a bit annoying is the fact that there’s a lot of information dumped in every episode. The exposition is at an all-time high, probably because they have to fit such a huge world within 13 episodes. Shaman King’s voice cast is really great as well. At no point would you be thrown off the experience and that’s mostly thanks to the voice cast, along with the animation, of course.

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Summing up: Shaman King

Shaman King
Netflix's Shaman King Review: Possessions and Repossessions 6

I am going to keep my review short and sweet. If you’re getting introduced to the Shaman King world without any prior knowledge, I’d say you’d thoroughly enjoy it. There’s a lot going on – lots of myths, fights and character development. The animation and voice cast are great and really take you deep into the series. At 13 episodes, it’s not too long either and packs its punches well.

Shaman King is streaming on Netflix.  

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Shaman King is a fun anime that is highly bingeable and balances its various elements really well.

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