Sunday, December 21, 2014

Manga Review: Shaman King, Volume 5, by Hiroyuki Takei

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: 2004
Volumes: 32
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 6.

Goodreads Synopsis:

An avalanche roars through Tokyo as Yoh, the prodigal shaman of Japan, fights Horohoro, the ice-wielding shaman of the Ainu! The winner will have a shot at the Shaman King and get to write the history books...but lose two battles in a row and you'll be disqualified from the competition! Then, Yoh's next match pits him against Faust VIII, descendant of the European sorcerer who made the original deal with the devil. But unlike his ancestor, this Faust didn't come to a bloody end...that fate is reserved for his opponents...


After the first few volumes, I was debating on giving this series up. I was just not enjoying it. But after reading a couple more, I’m enjoying it more. It went by faster, and the main plotline is getting interesting.
Now that Yoh is competing in the major Shaman fight, it’s getting exciting. I am especially enjoying meeting the eccentric characters—they are all fun and unique. The story is still very exaggerated and Manta is a bit annoying, but that’s all right. Yoh isn’t being too god-moding, which is appreciated. He’s legitimately getting hurt.
I have started noticing some women-themes that are bothering me, though. Anna is the one major female character, and I like her a lot. She’s powerful. We also met another strong female character a few volumes ago (Ren’s sister). And yet these females are doing everything they can to help the men along, to help their guy win the shaman fight.
Anna helps Yoh a lot, even when he doesn’t want it. And I don’t understand why she doesn’t just try to win herself. Why is the fight for the King only? Why can’t there be a Shaman Queen? Why give us strong females and then make them solely support the males? I don’t understand.
Mostly, I just hope that the issue is addressed later in the series, as I am not very far into it yet. I’m doubtful that it is, but it’s possible.
I do plan to continue reading the series, too. I don’t have any more volumes at the moment, but I hope to get more.

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