Shaman King

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Shaman King takes place in a world not unlike our own. Except in this world, some people can see spirits, and join with them to gain new powers.

The story focuses on Yoh Asakura, a seemingly extremely lazy shaman who's partnered with the samurai Amidamaru. Along the way, he meets up with Manta Oyamada (Morty in the dub), a studious and otherwise Ordinary High School Student who can see ghosts, and who soon becomes Yoh's best friend; Tao Ren (Lenny), a Chinese Perpetual Frowner who was The Lancer in every way; Horohoro (Trey Racer), a snowboarder and the token Ainu; Ryu/Ryo, a delinquent turned Master of the Wooden Sword; Lyserg Diethel, who's looking for his family's killer; and Chocolove (Joco) McDonnell, a reformed gangster who wants to save the world with stand-up comedy. And then there's Anna Kyouyama: Yoh's fiancee, a bit of an Education Mama, who actually cares much more than she lets on.

The team is participating in the Shaman Fight, in which shamans from around the world fight for the right to merge with, well, God.

This series shows a tremendous amount of research on the part of the author (Hiroyuki Takei, also authorof Butsu Zone), but sadly, the manga was Cut Short when its popularity faded. It's now gotten a completely redrawn re-release in Japan under the title of Shaman King Kang Zeng Bang[1] in which the actual ending was released over two more volumes. A Western release of this edition has yet to be announced.

The manga ended after 300 chapters. There is a sequel called Shaman King Flowers, which is set to officially start April of 2012. Theres also the supplementary manga Shaman King 0 which tells short stories of the characters before the main one, and Shaman King Remix Track short stories in the reprinted edition of humorous nature.

One of the many animes dubbed by 4Kids. The Spanish and Latin Americans also got a translation, and had the Japanese original dubbed in Spanish with only a bit of Cultural Translation and pretty decent casts.

Not to be confused with the Manhwa Shaman Warrior.


Tropes used in Shaman King include:
  • Adults Are Useless: Semi-inverted. An interesting case where the parents know exactly what's going on with their kids. They have decided to leave the fate of the world to their children, seeing how they have their limits and their children can still grow. Subverted with Faust, an adult who is a valuable asset to the team.
  • Aerith and Bob: While there is a decent amount of this throughout the series, the X-Laws provide a great example. They consist of: Marco, Dingbat, Minnie, Lucky, Bunstar, Porf and finally...Kevin.
  • Affably Evil: Hao/Zeke in the anime qualifies big time, smiling and acting cheery while doing extremely horrible things.
    • The key word here is 'acting'. But it's arguable that he has his moments of being Affably Evil as well.
    • Probably also qualifies as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, at least at one time in his life. See his ultimate goal to create a shaman-only utopia in order to 'save' the world from humans who are either, in his mind, contributing to its annihilation through ignorance or though simply not doing anything to stop it or change.
  • All There in the Manual: Hao's past is explained in a side story of all things. Though it sort makes sense since, nobody around but him knew about it.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: And it's decent
  • Anti-Villain: It's an established rule of the series that truly evil people cannot see ghosts. Therefore, all 'evil' shamans are either convinced they're doing the right thing or not as bad as they seem.
    • And by that, it means any "normal" human with some exceptions in the series are automatically evil, since they don't see ghosts as they don't have a high enough spiritual sense.
  • Anyone Can Die: Pretty much everyone dies at one point or another. Question is how long they stay dead.
    • Basically if a character is named, they die. Then they get better. Most of them, that is.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Anna is infamous for this. Not even Hao is immune.
  • Arranged Marriage: Yoh and Anna.
  • Art Evolution: Two gradual, yet noticeable improvements in style. Compare the early chapters with middle chapters and then those with the chapters toward the end and the overall quality improves drastically.
  • Ascended Fanboy: In the anime only, Manta actually becomes a shaman.
  • The Atoner: Ren.
  • Author Appeal: Allegedly, Anna was written as the kind of woman the author likes. Since she was a Canon Immigrant from a former manga by the same author, this shouldn't surprise us.
  • Babies Ever After: Hana, the son of Yoh and Anna, is an example of this, as the author wrote Funbari No Uta after the No Ending of Shaman King.
    • Though this was hinted when Yoh and Anna "slept together" the night before the start of the Shaman tournament and Yoh's ancestor Asakura Yohken asked Yoh if he had any children, causing Yoh to blush.
    • Also, at the very end of the manga, Ren also has a son. He refuses to tell who the mother is, but the fact that the boy has silver hair and red eyes implies that it's probably Iron Maiden Jeanne. Plus, there's this. It's not as much implied as it is outright stated.
  • Badass Adorable could apply to Matamune. Cat with a pipe here and changes into a katana here. You decide.
  • Badass Family: The Asakura Family. And the Tao family.
  • Badass Native: The entire Patch tribe. Also Horohoro, who is an Ainu from Hokkaido.
  • Berserk Button: The cruel and calm Faust goes berserk on Yoh when he calls Eliza, both his wife and spirit, a puppet.
    • MANTA!!
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Anna the Third, who came all the way to Tokyo to challenge Hana to battle and make him her fiance if he wins.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Hao. And Jeanne. And Yoh, really. ...Basically, if a character is smiling, friendly, and happy, they probably have enough power to annihilate a small country and a temper you really don't want to press.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The Tao family, to the core. Also, the Asakura family, though to lesser extent.
  • Black and White Insanity: The X-Laws are all this. Especially in the anime.
  • Blade on a Stick: Ren's Weapon of Choice is a Chinese kwan-dao that he stores in segments in his suitcase when not fighting. How strong is it? In his first appearance, he used it (just it, Over Souls were unknown at the time) to slice a car cleanly in two.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Patch aren't any real Native American tribe, and they live on Mesa Verdede, not to be confused with Mesa Verde. Lampshaded in that none of the Muggles have even heard of this "Patch" tribe.
    • Oh, it gets better than that. In the English dub and the video games based on them, Yoh and crew pass through the town of Duringo and the Redstone national park.
  • Bowdlerise: In the American release of the manga, Ponchi's... gigantic weaponized testicles are censored. In one scene, where he basically immobilizes Manta by wrapping him up with them, it's edited to look like some sort of thick hairy Seran wrap coating, and references are made to Ponchi's tail instead. A much huger variant of the same attack is used later on in the story; there, it's referred to as a "Ghost Bubble". However, the editing in both senes is slight enough that anyone paying attention will figure out what's really going on.
    • That and in the anime, Jeanne's Iron Maiden is really just a sarcophagus filled with thorns, even in the subbed version.
    • Marion Fauna's guardian ghost 'Chuck' had his pistols edited (poorly at that)... into rattles.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Inverted, as much as it can be. Yoh is Brilliant but Lazy, sure. However he wants to be the Shaman King (who essentially gains the powers of God), explicitly so he can relax and do nothing for the rest of his life. He essentially is willing to work his ass off so that he will eventually never have to do anything again.
    • Except that's not his real reason.
  • Bruce Lee Clone: Lee Bailong.
  • Cain and Abel: Yoh and Hao.
  • Came Back Strong: Dying is just about the only way to increase ones spirit power so repeatedly by most fighters.
  • Can't Catch Up: Subverted, as all the main characters were shown to be at a similar skill level, having each received an upgrade either at the same time as Yoh or independently off screen before their next appearance.
    • Still played straight in some part though, as Ren still always finds reasons to worry about not being as strong as Yoh, especially when it becomes all about willpower.
    • Played straight when large segments of the latter portions of the series are all about people trying... and failing... to catch up to Hao.
  • Captain Obvious: Manta.
  • Catch Phrase: Several.
    • For Hao, "So Small" or its equivalent (translations vary.)
    • For Yoh, "It'll all work out."
      • "People who can see spirits are never bad"
  • Cash Cow Franchise: After the orignal manga line-up cancellation, the series suddenly had a rise in popularity, Spin Offs, Prequels and Sequels have been spawning left and right, which served to make the KanZenBan (Ultimate Edition) print line possible and give a proper ending to manga, and yet more works have been born lately. The recent Shaman King Zero says it best:

Tag-line:"From being unfinished, to being super completed!"

  • Crossover Cosmology: The spirits shamans use go from Japanese nature spirits to English fairies to Mesopotamian gods and even Angels.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference: Yes, Virginia, those two spirits are supposed to look like Ren and Stimpy.
  • Cute Is Evil: Iron Maiden is more Lawful Stupid, but still...
    • For a straight example, Opacho, who appears to be Hao's Dragon for most of the series.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Yoh mentioned this to Redseb when he killed Chocolove for murdering their father.
    • Also Ren mentioned it to Nichrom during their fight in the 7th plant..
  • Deadly Doctor: Faust.
  • Defeat Means Friendship, several times. Though each case of it takes multiple losses.
    • Except Lyserg.
    • Inverted with Faust VIII. He defeated Yoh, then Yoh and Anna earned his friendship.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Hana-gumi (Team Flowers) is pretty guilty of this, as they fight Anna, Tamao, and Tao Jun at the same time (though, all spirits involved are male), and later on they fight Magical Princess, though in a bit of a subversion the other team consists of much older witches.
  • Dismotivation: Yoh wants wants to win the shaman fight and become God so that he can have an easy life.
    • I don't know. It's pretty sound reasoning.
  • Disposable Woman: "Damuko", Horohoro's first love, also known as Kororo.
  • Dropped a Bridget On Him: Lyserg drops one on Ryu.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: Ren's team is Team 'The Ren'.
  • Emotionless Girl: Seyram Munzer, At the end of the series, where she has an angry charge at Hao, and afterward gained her emotions back (although in her last appearance, she isn't showing much emotion).
  • Enemy Without/Evil Twin: In this case, the evil Hao split his soul in two as he reincarnated, causing him to be reborn as a good twin and an evil twin. By design, the evil half had the lion's share of power.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: Every shaman.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Hao to his mother. Anna may be the reincarnation of Hao's mother, as she looks a lot like his mother, explaining why he likes her so much.
    • Anna also slaps like his mother, apparently.
  • Everyone Is Bi: The interactions between many characters gives off this vibe.
  • Evil Makeover: Well, sort of, when Lyserg joins the X-Laws, though it's actually a uniform. (And they're Well Intentioned Extremists anyway.)
  • Expy: Gandhara's spirits, for those familiar with Takei's work Butsu Zone, look awfully familiar... Especially the spirits of Team Nyorai. Sati herself seems to be a grown version of Sachi, made more obvious by her spirit being an expy of Sachi's friend Senju. Also, as mentioned previously, Anna is a character in both Butsu Zone and Shaman King, though people are more liable to remember her for her appearance in Shaman King.
  • Face Death with Dignity: both Silva and Kalim did this while fighting against the heroes.
  • Face Heel Turn: Lyserg. He gets better.
  • Fake Brit: Ren and Jun both have British accents in the 4Kids dub. For some bizarre reason, Lyserg does not.
  • Famous Last Words: Faust's last words were to his dead wife.
    • "Elisa, my love ... I can be with you."
  • Five-Man Band: Five Warriors in the manga.
    • There's the five heroes who inherit the five Elemental Spirits: Yoh, Ren, Horohoro, Lyserg and Chocolove.
    • Also, in the anime, the Lilly Five.
  • Funny Background Event: During the two-volume flashback to Yoh's past, we repeatedly see a number of kids playing with tops very... enthusiastically. The between-chapters character profiles explain who these kids are: they sound very much like they'd belong in a Merchandise-Driven Serious Business anime about tops.
  • Gainax Ending: Within five chapters from the very end. Hao wakes up as Shaman King. Everyone dies. THEN the final battle starts, but is cut short by the power of love with a dash of Oedipus Rex. Then everyone gets better and has kids. You walk away feeling it is Evangelion with a happy ending.
  • Gecko Ending: A tad more action-oriented than the manga, basically boiling down to Yoh and Hao clashing. Hao nearly overpowers Yoh until the other Shamans pull a Gondor Calls for Aid and donate their powers to Yoh, effectively putting him on par with Hao until he eventually cuts him down (leading into a bit of Fridge Logic as it's been shown killing him hardly solves anything). The tourney is put on hiatus for a few months as the characters go about their lives...and then it promptly starts again.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar Lyserg(ic) (Acid) Diethyl(amide)
    • And his spirit, Morphine, though that's far more blatant.
      • That one got changed in the VIZ translation to Morphea. But that's almost certainly meant to make it sound more like a name, as the VIZ translation has not shied away from references to morphine (up to and including showing Faust VIII drinking it with a bendy straw).
    • There's also a character called Peyote.
      • In the original artwork, a lot of Yoh's outfits have the symbol of a Marijuana Leaf. Probably to enforce his hippy nature. These were often censored in the Viz release.
    • In the English dub, Horohoro says to Yoh "After you bite the dust, buddy, naybe you could become the tournament mascot. Maybe a kangaroo or a jackass." To which Yoh responds with "It's a good thing you and I are friends or I would've take offense to that last comment." Cosidering it's a 4Kids dub, it's surprising they were able to get away with that.
    • The manga's Distant Finale isn't shy of showing the heroes we love and respect all boozed out. Yes, this includes Lyserg and freaking Manta.
    • And let's not forget the subtle hints about Yoh and Anna having Their First Time. Talking outside their Big Fancy House in yukatas? Okay. Being the only ones in said house, with not even Amidamaru around? Ho hum. Anna later asking Yoh if they can sleep in the same room that night, with Yoh calmly saying yes? Oooooh. Fans tracing their son Hana's age and conception and finding out that Anna was in the earliest pregnancy stages during the second half of the manga? W O W.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!. At one point, Mikihisa Asakura slaps the three witches of team Hana-Gumi in the process of trying to get them to calm down. Matilda, of course, cries out "Even my own parents never hit me!"
  • God Is Evil: As if Hao just being Shaman King wasn't enough to invoke this trope, after he decides not to wipe out the human race he decides to pass the time by messing with Hana. First order of business? Get him an Anna-clone for a fiancee.
  • Golem: emeth. Originally a traditional golem built out of clay, he was modified and given many mechanical components and the ability to transform into various shapes.
  • Groin Attack: Played straight, inverted, and played straight again with Ponchi, a tanuki spirit who, in one chapter, kicks Wooden Sword Ryu in the groin, attacks Manta with his groin, and then has his groin crushed by Anna.
    • Also played straight in the manga when Anna kicks Hao before he reveals his armor O.S. Kurobina.
    • And lest we forget that Ponchi, as a tanuki, has another literal groin attack, which is basically him using his gigantic weaponized testicles (in line with classic tanuki lore). When he reveals this move and tries it against Hana-Gumi, the three witches Groin Attack him right back. One gets blown to pieces with a revolver, and the other is severed
  • Handicapped Badass: Technically, Chocolove is blind, yet he has the highest furyoku out of the five warriors.
    • Faust VIII is crippled after his fight with Yoh due to giving his legs to his dead wife's skeleton. When he needs to get out of his wheelchair, he uses his dog's skeleton to make oversoul legs.
  • Haunted Headquarters: Yoh and Anna's home. Of course, being a (lazy) shaman and a iron-fisted itako, that tiny detail can't bother them.
  • Hair Reboot: Violently subverted by Ryu, whose gigantic Delinquent pompadour is cut very early into the story. His hair spends about 3/4 of the story re-growing, getting damaged and being rearranged in increasingly bizarre shapes before finally regaining its original form in sort of reverse-Important Haircut moment.
  • Hero Looking for Group: Somewhat played with. Since the beginning, Ryu has been in desperate search to find his "Best Place", somewhere where he belongs, though his idea of the best place has been more physical, such as a building or a home. But he finds his "Best Place" where the rest of his friends are.
    • Also Lyserg at first, he claimed to be "searching for allies".
  • Heel Face Turn: A lot of characters throughout the series. Noteworthy examples are Ren, Jun, Faust VIII, most of the X-Laws, and Lyserg, after his Face Heel Turn.
  • Hero Worshipper: Manta
  • Heroic Sacrifice: All the X-Laws but Jeanne, Marco and Lyserg, in the anime.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: In the Latin American dub, Manta is kid Goku.
    • And Kid!Gohan. And Kid!Goten. And Shippo, and Shin-chan, and Tommy Pickles... And basically every animated child in the last two decades. Laura Torres could be the poster child for Woman Of A Thousand Voices, if only they didn't all sound exactly the same. Needless to say, Manta's voice brings back memories for almost everybody.
    • Also, in the Japanese version, Ken Ichijouji is a badass Atoner Chinese warrior, Karen Kasumi is a slightly sociopathic British kid looking for revenge and Faye Valentine is a badass medium who wants to be Shaman Queen.
    • Hey! Let's not forget Dilandau who, well, has a fair bit in common with his Shaman King counterpart.
  • Hot Shounen Mom: Asakura Keiko. And Tao Ran is pretty good looking too. Then there's Anna.
  • Hot Dad: Ren and Yoh became this with time.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed
  • Ill Girl: Eliza
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Hao tries this on Anna when they meet. She slaps him away promptly. He likes it.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Just on the good guy's team, we have Horohoro, who wields a snowboard, "Wooden Sword" Ryu, who wields a wooden sword, and Lyserg, who uses a divining pendulum and wire. However, the mechanics of the Over Soul means that any item can be a sufficiently deadly weapon, so long as it has some connection to the spirit.
  • Ineffectual Loners: The entirety of the X-Laws were not only Determinators, but killed indiscriminately to try and stop Hao. In the end, their efforts amount to getting annihilated by Hao and making him powerful enough to become a god.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: Inverted and overlapping with Embarrassing Rescue. In the anime, our heroes save their " enemy" in this fashion. Hao is pissed with the X-Laws for meddling with Yoh and decides to have his minions teach them a lesson. However, Yoh and the others can't stand to watch the slaughtering and decide to step in.

Horohoro: Whoa, don't get the wrong idea here.
Joco: It's not like we came to save you guys.
Ren: It's just how things turned out.
Marco: If I'm at the mercy of my enemies, then I'd rather choose a noble death!
Ren: Do whatever you like. But if you want to die, do it somewhere we can't see you.

    • In true Determinator and Ungrateful Bastard form, the remaining X-Laws respond to their rescue by continuing with their plans resulting in their saviours being sucked into the Gate of Babylon.
  • Karma Houdini: Faust VIII never really gets so much as yelled at for 1) slaughtering his first opponent and 2) doing... what he did to poor Manta. On the other hand, in the anime he *does* show genuine care for human life during the Shaman Tournament, and practically brings Len back from the dead during the final fight, which means he'd redeemed himself. In the manga, he ends up sacrificing himself so that the Five Warriors can continue trying to catch up to Hao, his death doesn't mean that much though as he just hangs around as a ghost.
    • Then there's Hao himself. He wins the tournament without even trying, despite the heroes' best efforts. He then becomes Shaman King and is even allowed to keep the title despite all the evil deeds he's done, which includes killing likely thousands of people. He only gets off with a slap from his mother and a bit of embarrassment due to this. Though he seems to get his 'just desserts' in the anime.
    • No mention of Iron Maiden Jeanne and Marco? The other X-Laws get redeemed by their Heroic Sacrifices, but these two apparently just start believing in Yoh out of the blue in the anime, and everything they did (killing other Shamans mercilessly, kidnapping Manta so as to use him as bait for Yoh, then encasing Yoh and his friends in a cage and sending them through the Door of Babylon) is just forgotten. While Jeanne seems to genuinely believe in Yoh, Marco apparently just grudgingly goes along with it because Jeanne wants him to. Admittedly, most of that could be explained by off-screen soul searching and character growth.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Averted for the most part. Despite wielding a legendary katana, and being possessed by the spirit of that katana's owner, Yoh doesn't do much that's too crazy with Harusame until he starts using it for an Over Soul.
  • Kid Detective: Lyserg.
  • Kid Hero: Most of the main cast are this. Yoh. Ren. Horohoro. Chocolove. Lyserg...
  • Kick the Dog: Pretty much everyone on Hao's side slaughtered or tried to slaughter innocent bystanders and children, or otherwise enjoyed brutally inflicting pain, especially in the manga. Tao Ren also had a few of those moments before his Heel Face Turn. Ren's father deserves a mention for accidentally crushing the head of his pet (zombie) panda in his hand for no good reason. Iron Maiden Jeanne hastily executed any opposition using torture devices, though at least she didn't exactly look happy about that. Tokagero was a real meanie before being defeated too.
  • Kill Sat: In the manga, three of the X-Laws make a last-ditch attempt to kill Hao by shooting him with a satellite. It doesn't scratch him, of course.
  • Knight Templar: The X-Laws, to the core.
  • Kung Fu Jesus: It's never outright stated, but is heavily implied that Jesus was the winner of his generation's Shaman Fight. Which is great.
    • Don't forget Buddha!
  • Lampshade Hanging: The anime has a lot of fun with this.
    • Ren has some very Expressive Hair and in one scene this is pointed out by Bason when Ren is angered.

Bason: Ooh! Young Master's spiky hair has stiffened!

    • When it is revealed that Hao is Yoh's twin brother. In a dramatic shot, we see an uncharacteristically solemn-looking Yoh seemingly deep in contemplation after this revelation until he breaks the tension with a sigh and a smile...

Yoh: It's no use. Even though you just said we're twins, it still hasn't sunk in.
Horohoro: Weren't you just full of anxiety and couldn't talk?! God, you're so confusing!

    • The Niles, a team of Egyptian shamans, are explaining their origins...

Ryu: I-Is he serious?
Anatel: I explained all the details at the press conference for this episode.
[Cue Facefaults]

"If you kill people just for standing in your way, then you're no better than Hao."

  • Licensed Game: There are two for Game Boy Advance, called Shaman King Master Of Spirits and Shaman King Master Of Spirits 2.
  • Light Is Not Good: Once again it's the X-Laws.
  • Lighter and Softer: The anime heavily censors the manga. Some choice examples:
    • Ryu's spirit, Tokagero, has a really disturbing background. His mother died of starvation, and he had to cannibalize her in order to survive.
    • Anna and Yoh's night together. Anna gives Yoh a little parting gift before he heads to America. Seeing as how they were both 15, it's no wonder it got cut; but since there was a very good chance Yoh would die, Anna wanted to make sure a child lived on.
    • The X-Laws are vicious bastards in the manga, they don't even flinch when their leader, Iron Maiden Jeanne, tortuously kills people: or when Hao kills one of their own in even more gruesome detail.
    • Ren actually killed the Patch official who oversaw his match, this becomes important later on.
    • Chocolove's past from the manga is both incredibly offensive, and utterly tragic. His parents were killed on Christmas day, turning him into a vicious killer, and leader of the gang, Shaft. He murders people in cold blood, but has his life turned around by a man named Orona. Those who watched the anime know Orona died, but in the manga he didn't die of old age -- he was murdered by Chocolove's gang.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Oversoul enfused weapons, unless broken quickly.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Not as many as some other manga. But enough to make you go "Oh yeah... That guy who hasn't done anything for like 30 chapters". Manta is probably the biggest offender. There are big chunks of the series where nobody reading knows where he is or why they should care. And than all of sudden, there he is. It's like the story kinda left him behind.
  • Lolicon: Ryu has quite a fascination with girls far younger than him, and even Horohoro's spirit.
  • Love At First Punch: The first thing Anna said to Yoh when they first met, was that he was blocking her way and should go die.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Faust. He became nuts after his ex-Ill Girl wife Eliza was shot to death a few months after he found the cure to her illness.
    • Hao. In a side story it is revealed his mother was a shaman, and was killed by a fake medium in order to cover up his scams after framing her as a demon. Once Hao finds out he isn't a half-demon, but a normal human with a gift for shamanism he decides it is time for vengeance.
  • Magical Computer: Manta's laptop becomes a literal example after Mosuke decides to move in.
  • More Teeth Than the Osmond Family: Oni especailly the Oh-Oni
  • More Than Mind Control: When Lyserg switches sides to the X-Laws, and arguably, Hao's ability to persuade just about anyone to join his side.
  • Mechanical Monster: Many of the shaman spirits.
  • The Medic: Faust VIII is a quite dark version of this trope.
  • Meteor Move : The first time we see Li Bailong fight, we get a very nicely executed Type A.
  • The Messiah: Yoh. Subverted with Iron Maiden Jeanne: she's supposed to be one and honestly believes she is, but her black-and-white view of the world works against her.
  • Necromantic: Faust VIII.
    • Jun and Bailong are quite the example as well.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: Hao
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot Faust VIII. He's a Mad German Doctor Necromancer. And he does this beautifully.
  • No Ending: Originally, the manga was canceled near the lead up to the climax. However, the updated re-release features the ending in two entirely new volumes.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Matt Hardy, Edge, and Bubba Ray Dudley are shamans in the tournament; of course their mediums are tables, ladders, and chairs, oh my.
    • Chapter 79 also features a shaman who looks suspiciously like Hitler.
    • In the stands at one of the tournament battles, one can see a rather shocked looking Michael Jackson.
  • No Such Thing as Wizard Jesus: Averted. The manga lists Jesus, Muhammad and Gautama Buddha as previous holders of the title "Shaman King". However, given that the Shaman King is actually a spirit-medium who communes directly with God, he's far from being "just" a wizard.
  • Noble Savage: Subverted with the Native American Patch tribe, who have "traditional native hand-crafted" versions of high-tech consumer electronics and are shamelessly merchandising the Shaman Fight for money.
    • The "hand-crafted" part is probably true, as implied in the last chapter.
  • Oddly Named Updated Re-release: Shaman King Kang Zeng Bang.
  • Offhand Backhand: During the fight with Boris Tepes Dracula, Boris zips behind "Wooden Sword" Ryu, boasting that he has no time to dodge or use his sword; so Ryu simply pops him one with his fist, without turning around.
  • Off-Model: Happened occasionally in the very early chapters. Yoh had huge feet and hands, (and a long bang of hair that disappeared after like 3 volumes), Ren's hair was very jagged then he goes away for awhile and when he comes back into the series his hair is much more rounded and smooth. Manta had tiny feet, Anna had a big forehead, etc. Also, compare the diagram of Shaman Fight contestants in Chapter 78 with the updated version of the same people in Chapter 208 and see the incredible difference.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Legendary Left.
  • Opposites Attract: Just look at the calm, easy-going Yoh and the short-tempered, intimidating Anna.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Played totally straight by Boris Tepes Dracula. Sort of. He turns out to not be a vampire in the end there.
  • Overtook the Manga, although the Gecko Ending was probably slightly more satisfying than the No Ending - see above.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You
  • Onmyodo
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Yoh and Anna, to everyone's surprise. Especially their own.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Tao Ren.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Faust, a German, has blonde hair and blue eyes, as well as significantly paler skin than the rest of the cast.
    • Though somewhat subverted by the important American shamans of the cast, who are all either Native American or African-American.
  • Pillar of Light
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Chocolove, who is different from most examples in that he's actually funny and useful in battle.
  • Power Fist: In the manga at least, Lee Bailong gets a mechanized installment that can propel his fist forward with the explosion of a gunpowder canister. Helps that he is a physical zombie as opposed to the spirits used by the rest of the Shamans.
  • Powers Via Possession
  • The Power of Friendship
  • The Power of Love
  • Pretty Freeloader: Anna, for some. Though considering how she's the one who comes up with the Training from Hell menus and Yoh does become stronger from them, she seems to consider said menus as payment.
  • Psychological Torment Zone
  • The Rez: The Patch tribe.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Marco from the X-Laws.
  • Scenery Censor: Takei chooses a weird way to evoke this- he uses a star to cover Hao's private parts when he's in a hot spring.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: None of the heroes win the tourney nor stop Hao from obtaining the Shaman King title. The most victory they get is, at the least, convincing him to not to destroy humanity. For now.
    • They don't even really convince him not to destroy humanity, really. It's implied by the main characters in the last chapter that Hao in fact brought them all back to life to prove that he was right. To elaborate, at the end of the final battle in the manga, Hao basically tells them all that since they're so convinced of the good in people, he'll revive them so they can try and "fix" everything. Cue the last chapter, 5 years into the future where our heroes admit that they learned pretty quickly that they couldn't change the world, and Hao probably knew this when he sent them back. No, they didn't convince him not to destroy humanity, Hao just decided it'd be more amusing to rub the fact that he was right in their faces.
    • Faust's backstory is definitely this. Faust studies all his life to become a doctor, barely having any time for a social life until he meets the one girl who befriends him and falls in love at first sight. The problem is, she has an incurable disease. Faust works his ass off for 20 years and then... SHE'S CURED! But on the first night in their new home she's killed by a burglar.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: In the anime, especially, to the point of frustration. (How did THAT many Shamans end up with Giant Oversoul? It was supposed to be rare!)
    • Considering the tournament (and in fact most tournaments in anything) is essentially a Sorting Algorithm of Power, not quite surprising.
  • Sociopathic Hero: The X-Laws.
  • Space Alien: The last Plant guardian looks like this, but not. And like Ryu said, she's a cutie.
  • Spirit Advisor: Amidamaru to Yoh.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Any time Brave Heart plays, you will receive plot exposition/explanation of sudden understanding, and complete and utter defeat of all opponents. It's subverted a few times, but generally played straight.
  • Theme Naming: The Patch tribe members are all named after elements of the periodic table: Silva (Silver), Goldva (Gold), Kalim (Kalium, another name for Potassium), Rutherfor (Rutherfordium), and so on.
    • The Gandhara are all named after supermarket chains in Japan, the X-Laws and Team Kabbalahers are partially named after tobacco brands. Team Iceman members are partially named ice cream brands while Team Niles has members named after Pocky, Pretz, and Picola and famous Egyptian historical figures.
  • They're Called "Personal Issues" for a Reason: Nearly the entire cast have some form of horrendous past, and most will extrapolate on theirs at some point. Notable exceptions, however, would be Hao, Anna, and Yoh himself. Their backstories only come to light in personal flashbacks and explanations by other characters.
  • Those Two Guys: More like ThoseNineGuys, or rather, the guys that make up Ryu's gang. Though one of them, Muscle Punch, does get a few lines.
    • Also, in the anime, Zen and Ryo.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Subverted AND played straight. While they fail to stop Hao from obtaining the Great Spirit, they do persuade him to abandon his "kill all humans" plan.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Manta's parents, Oyamada Mansumi and Keiko.
  • Together in Death: Faust VIII and Eliza, in the manga.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Manta after becoming a Shaman.
  • Training from Hell, usually provided by Anna.
    • In the manga, it's taken to a literal extreme, though not at Anna's hands.
  • Tsundere: Anna, to the core.
  • Uh-Oh Eyes: A subtle example. Whenever either Yoh or Hao are aggravated, their irises lose all color for whatever reason. It's never explained and seems to largely be an artistic quirk.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: Chocolove.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: Yoh's father Mikihisa was the first and only guy who didn't dump his mother Keiko upon learning that she could see spirits. In fact, they met when she was crying over the last Jerkass and he comforted her.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Tamao. Even though she likes Yoh, the chances of her getting together with him are close to none, as Yoh is engaged to Anna (and doesn't mind the fact either).
  • Unstoppable Rage: Subverted, shockingly. See, when Yoh and Faust VIII fight, Yoh gets really uncharacteristically enraged at Faust for trying to torture Manta. Said not only doesn't make him stronger, it makes him exhaust his spiritual energy much faster. Yoh learns from this, and puts it to use during his qualifying fight with Ren, who is stronger than him but much easier to provoke. Before long, Ren can't even tell when his hits are landing anymore.
    • This trope is Deconstructed especially in later fights. If you lose your cool, 9 times out of 10 you WILL LOSE your fight.
  • Vegeta and Kakarot: Tao Ren and Asakura Yoh.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Though she isn't a villain, Goldva started laughing insanely and raving about the new Shaman King Hao.
    • Hao also experiences this in the anime, when Yoh breaks free. He becomes a lot less cheery and a lot... crazier. He is pushed even farther over the edge when Opacho, his last and closest companion, runs away from him in fear.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: "Princess Hao", anyone?
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Yoh. Curiously, none of the Patch tribe.
    • Let us not forget that classic "Mikihisa in a really small towel" scene. Not to mention Ren in the brief period after he gets killed by Peyote's oversoul, Grande Fantasma. Damn, all the main male characters take a freaking bath together! And the main male cast usually take a lot of baths, with different sets of main characters, depending on how far along the story you are.
  • Wham! Episode: Chapter 161: Ren is dead, and Yoh has gotten Manta to bring the X-LAWS to revive him. Marco tells Yoh that they will revive him, on one condition. Yoh has to resign from the Shaman Fight. So Yoh does what any Shounen protagonist would do and abandons his Oracle Pager, signifying his resignation from the tournament. Even Marco is astonished and appalled by this.
  • Worthy Opponent
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Wooden Sword Ryu wields, well, a wooden sword. Against people who metal swords, halberd and the like. But when he awakens to his shamanic powers, that wooden sword becomes as awesome as any other shamanic focus.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Horohoro/Trey (duh), Lenny, Lyserg, Jun, Tamara and many others.
    • Isn't Ren's hair just black? Of course, it is unrealistically pointy...
      • In some arts (trading cards) and the anime, it's a really dark shade of purple.
      • The special offical art shown in the new volumes show his hair to be a very dark purple.
  • You Killed My Father: Redseb wanted to kill Chocolove because he murdered his father. And he succeeded. Not to worry, he got better.
    • Lyserg wants to kill Hao for murdering both his mother and father.
  1. a pun on kanzenban, "complete edition"