Hello, is this thing on? *clears throat*
FINALLY. The moment we have all been waiting for all season long and ever since it was teased episodes ago: the battle between Laid-back, Weed Shirt Guy and Scary, Pointy-Haired Boy! Or you know, Yoh versus Tao Ren, if you want to keep things lowkey around here.
But the situation is anything but lowkey because this is also a deciding matchup for the two shamans. Both need one more win to advance in the Shaman Fight, but for Yoh, the stakes are even higher: should he lose against Tao Ren, it’s bye-bye to Shaman King dreams. Thankfully though, and as we’ve witnessed in the last few episodes, Yoh’s been powering up his furyoku and undoubtedly, his rival has been too. Who will win in this clash?
This episode’s battle gets second place in the (un)official and working ranking of the best Shaman King duels this season (as a reference, numero uno still is the Yoh/Silva/Over Soul episode). And that’s high praise considering the lackluster action we have been getting thus far in the series. Besides the long wait, it was also thrilling to see both shamans in their A game. Yoh, especially, who has been training for this kind of match since he bonded with Amidamaru. And Tao Ren too despite the darkness that came with his leveling up.
BUT all of the action would have been for naught if the musical score didn’t slap so hard. If you have been following our Shaman King journey, you would know how much this reviewer likes to point out Yuki Hayashi’s amazing work. His music just elevates the action and the thrills and I literally got goosebumps when the strings started playing and Amidamaru and Bason started fighting.
The visuals were also *chef’s kiss* especially those special power moves that Yoh and Tao Ren were throwing/screaming out. Now, what the series needs to do is consistently pair it with the right amount of action.
And in true Shaman King fashion, there was enough humor to go around and thankfully it didn’t spoil the action. That one bit about Tao Ren and milk was really funny…*proceeds to drink three glasses of milk to get taller too*
We also see some more character development, especially for Yoh. In the past episodes, we talked about how sometimes his laid-back attitude becomes a crutch for him and to the viewer, reads like lazy writing. But I’m glad that we get more insight as to why Yoh’s motto is literally “Keep Calm and Over Soul.” Hey, it might get handy in the future, which speaking of…
Episode 9 ends in quite the shocker. Though one thing’s for sure—the Shaman Fight is closer than ever. Brace yourselves and your spirits.
Shaman King airs Thursdays at 17:55 JST.
Official Anime Website: shamanking-project.com
Official Anime Twitter: @SHAMANKING_PR