No, that is not a Kimi no Na wa reference, but things do get quite celestial in this week’s episode.
After a near-death bargain duel with Tokageroh the bandit spirit, Team Yoh looks to be in great spirits (pun intended) and more formidable now with the addition of Ryu. Yes, if you recall in last week’s episode, Yoh saved the gang leader’s soul from being in permanent possession. Interestingly, it seems to have awakened Ryu’s shaman power and the beginning of his shaman journey.
Speaking of beginnings, Ragoh’s Star makes its fated appearance to signal the start of the legendary Shaman Fight. In tow, Silva (voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa) of the Patch Tribe, who are in charge of overseeing the Shaman Fight and selecting its participants. He appears before Yoh to test whether he deserves a spot in the legendary fight. The rules? Yoh has to land a single blow on Silva to qualify. The catch? He has to somehow get through the officiator’s five spirits.
This was definitely a pick up past last week’s episode, both action-wise and story-wise. We witness a sick new move from Yoh and Amidamaru inspired by Silva’s Silver Arms. It was also quite the ‘blast from the past’ when Megumi Hayashibara’s “Over Soul” started playing over that sequence. The iconic “yomigaere!” was chill-inducing as Yoh fused Amidamaru’s spirit with his wooden sword. Over Soul unlocked.
The series is still limited to these shout-y power moves and truth be told, there wasn’t a lot of clashing and slashing between Yoh and Silva. The gags, however, somehow make up for it (e.g. Yoh nearly sending Amidamaru to Heaven via some spell). But we need more and not just at the end of the episode.
We also finally get a little more insight into Yoh’s Shaman King journey at the end of Silva’s test and through Anna’s surprisingly heartfelt conversation with Manta about her fiancé. Yoh’s attitude towards ghosts and spirits and just his overall ‘free’ outlook on life makes him a great candidate for the coveted title. If you were in doubt from the beginning, then let this episode turn the tables for you. (And this sort of validates Yoh’s talk no jutsu’s lol)
And did I mention that they played Over Soul out of nowhere? Yeah, that was wild and already a highlight of Spring 2021 anime.
Overall, this was a really exciting episode—it sort of shows you the hit potential of Shaman King, if only it would capitalize on that hype and action a bit more. As with the trend these couple eps, we end with another gruesome image of Ren. Seriously, this kid. And speaking of kids, it looks we’re gearing up for another shaman encounter next week…let’s hope he’s nicer than the other guy.
Shaman King airs Thursdays at 17:55 JST.
Official Anime Website: shamanking-project.com
Official Anime Twitter: @SHAMANKING_PR