In this episode, Yoh and Ren are about to face off against Ren’s father and patriarch of the Tao family—Tao En. But first they have to deal with En’s army of the undead spirits and fast else they also risk losing their friends in this deadly family affair. If last week’s episode was brought to you by daddy issues, this week, it’s the never-ending power of friendship.
Indeed, this short but meaningful arc is dedicated to Ren’s impressive character development not just in terms of Yoh’s sworn rival (yes, they still are), but also with how he fits in with the main shaman crew. While there are some moments in this episode where Ren becomes uncharacteristically melodramatic, overall, it was a nice change pace for him and makes me really excited to see how he progresses further in the series.
The showdown between the Ren and his father leaves a lot to be desired, however. Ryu and Horohoro, who are freshly injured from a fight with Lee Pyron’s master, Shamon, attempt to subdue the Tao patriarch, but are immediately and literally cast aside. It should be noted too that Ryu recently got shaman powers from a while back…are we ever going to find out how? Or at least see him in real action because what he demonstrated here ain’t it. But I digress!
Going back, I expected the Father vs Son mano-a-mano to be the apex of this episode. We’ve seen Ren’s immense power and skill as a shaman fighter and En’s, likewise, has been teased last week and at the beginning of this episode. Suffice to say, we only got like one true clash between the two and it was so short because while they were fighting, they were also arguing about Ren’s newfound friends. Well, who am I to complain about the power of friendship if it saves Yoh, Ren, and everyone else’s butts from a terrifying shaman?
The episode then ends on a weird note as if to give some form of comic relief after all of the family drama that just ensued. It feels out of place and sort of betrays the show’s unconventional plot and pacing. As we venture (hopefully) deeper into the Shaman Fight arc, I hope the show will let it all out and give us the shaman goodness we so deserve. But for now, you win some, you lose some.
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