Our main crew of Shaman King wannabes head to Tokyo in preparation for the upcoming and much awaited Shaman Fight. There they also discover that outside their little squad are other shamans who are potentially way more powerful than they can imagine.
Whether it’s a case of unlucky numerology, Yoh, Horohoro, Ryu and Ren already get ambushed by some OP shaman in Episode 13—and the Shaman Fight hasn’t even officially started yet! But long-time fans of the show are sure to be delighted with the all too familiar face and name of said OP shaman. Yes, Hao (voiced by Minami Takayama) has finally graced us with his manic-calm presence.
On other news, still reeling from Hao’s surprise attack/appearance, Yoh and the others also “land” in America—after a turbulent flight courtesy of the officiants—and make their way towards Patch Village. Immediately they are stopped by Lilirara of Seminoa Tribe, warning them that the Patch are killers as they did so to her tribe. How’s that for some bad luck in this episode?
Right off the bat, the overall mood of the series has already shifted or in the process of shifting as we enter a new, darker arc with the arrival of Hao and some more history lessons on the Patch Tribe. If you’re like me and felt like the previous episodes were a bit too juvenile (I mean, the series really is) and you’ve been craving something edgier, well, now I can say that we definitely won in this episode.
There is some slightly gruesome imagery here, a jarring transition from the action-lite of the past fight sequences we’ve seen (I literally screamed). And the characters seem more ruthless if that makes any sense. Case in point, Hao, who bookends the episode with some very badass and very terrifying shaman exhibitions. If you’ve watched/read the series, then you know. If you’re a newbie, well, brace yourselves is all I can say.
Another noteworthy theme for this episode is how it really deep dives into the shaman lore. We’ve been getting peeks of the spirit world since the season began, but I think this is the first episode where the plot truly rides on the lore and history, especially with the Patch Tribe. Hopefully, the show includes more backstory because it does make it stand out among other anime.
We also need to mention That Scene. I mean, honestly, if you’re facing certain death…well…better make the most of your short life, especially with your loved ones! (If you know, you know)
Overall, though this was a welcome turn in terms of the plot and story arcs in the show, it would be nice if we could get more appreciation for the characters now that they are all gathered in one place and goal. Horohoro was definitely a standout this episode, but for the rest, we need more personality from them.
What did you think of this episode? Leave a comment down below!
Shaman King airs Thursdays at 17:55 JST.
Official Anime Website: shamanking-project.com
Official Anime Twitter: @SHAMANKING_PR