What do Shaman King’s Ryu and Josuke from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure have in common? Well, they both have fierce attachments to their pompadours, and they both possess powerful stands…or spirits, in Ryu’s case.
In this week’s episode, we meet the bandit Tokageroh (voiced by Wataru Takagi), Ryu’s guardian ghost, though the circumstances in which they come together is not exactly the best or the most favorable for Ryu. As it turns out, Tokageroh is out to seek revenge on Amidamaru, who killed him 600 years ago, and to do that he needs a human host. The last episodes saw skilled shamans attempt to seize Yoh’s samurai spirit to no avail—can a gang leader and infamous bandit do it this time?
The S in Shaman stands for Sentimental—and that’s basically what this episode is all about. There was so much introspection and retrospection going on that if you take away all the sword-clashing and spirit-possessing for a minute, people might mistake this for a slice-of-life show. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and I’d argue that’s one of the charms of Shaman King, appealing to different genres and audiences. But moving on!
Almost everyone was a culprit in this semi-tear fest. Yoh continues to turn heads with his natural-and-insane talent for talk no jutsu. Truly, the power of friendship is strong in this one and while some may feel that it’s lazy writing, it’s actually context for what’s to come as the series progresses. And despicable as he may seem, Tokageroh’s really not that bad. He was just a victim of bad circumstances and he chose the wrong path to walk on. Watch out for a continuation of his story arc probably next week.
Also, Tokageroh’s revamped animation style looks really fineeeee. Just saying, he and Ryo would make a fine-looking shaman/spirit duo.
And I also mentioned something about a tear fest because we witness the formidable Anna cry if for a moment only. While she may be all tough-as-nails on the outside, she truly cares for Yoh’s well-being and she’s definitely more than the gags. So, overall, the sentimentality of this episode was valid. Please don’t slap me, Anna.
Stay tuned next week because it looks like things are about to go down (Hint: Tao Ren) and hopefully, Yoh will tone down the talk no jutsu because what we need is some of that spirit integration action.
Shaman King airs Thursdays at 17:55 JST.
Official Anime Website: shamanking-project.com
Official Anime Twitter: @SHAMANKING_PR