”The World Is Not What It Seems”: The History of the Shaman King (Topic)

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”The World Is Not What It Seems”: The History of the Shaman King


For many anime, "Shaman King" is sacred. For children of the zero years in the CIS, it stood alongside "Naruto" and "Pokemon". It became one of the first anime as such, which was played for a while on children's blocks on TV. It is difficult to find today a person who grew up at that time that the phrase "Look around, look back ..." would not answer "The spirits want to contact you." We'll take a look at how the Shaman King manga and anime were created.

Graffiti, Hip Hop & Shamans

Like most anime, Shaman King began with a manga, or rather with one specific author. In our case, his name is Hiroyuki Takei. Unlike other authors, he does not have a touching childhood story about the struggle for his hobbies, such as the same One, about which we wrote not so long ago. Hiroyuki was simply a talented person who, at the age of 20, began to gradually enter the manga industry.

He worked as an assistant to the mangaka Tamakichi Sakura, and at that time wrote his first work about Anna Itakodo - one of the heroines of his future manga. Moreover, he submitted her to the Tezuki Art Prize and won it. Further career led him to the largest manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump. There, the editors saw great potential in him. To gain experience, he was appointed assistant to the famous mangaka Nabuhiro Watsuki. At that time, he was creating his iconic manga, Kenshi the Tramp.


Takei worked for four long years as an apprentice for Watsuki, but at the same time he was already hatching his own ideas. Inspired by works such as Hiroaki Samura's Blade of the Immortal and the American comic book Hellboy. He told management about his idea for the manga. The editorial board gave him the green light and he began painting "Shaman King". Influenced the artist and the culture of hip-hop, rap and street art, as seen in the anime and its protagonist.


Shamanism became the key theme of the work, as the author wanted to touch on a topic that had never been raised in the manga before. In addition, this allowed him to include the spiritual practices of different religions and peoples in the narrative. He wrote the name exclusively in English, since he could not find a word in Japanese that would describe such a person as a shaman. When asked in an interview if he thought it strange that shamans with a pacifist religion fight in his manga, he replied that any battle of shamans is primarily spiritual. Any battle is useless.

Since Takei was still Watsuki's assistant, he worked on his project on weekends. In the beginning, he created the characters, and then the story. Since he believed that she could not exist without the presence of the main characters who would react to her with the condition of their characters.

The manga, released in 1998, was greeted by the public with great interest and the road to TV was opened for her. The success reached the point that when the anime adaptation was not yet released in its homeland, the American channels [Fox Kids and Cartoon Network] bought the rights to broadcast it in the United States. In particular, they also began to influence the production process of the series. So, some aspects were censored. For example, in the original, Tamara's spirits showed a scrotum, which the Americans demanded to be removed, since, according to their vision, the series was focused on children. Changed to Western style and hero names.


Hiroyuki himself worked on anime, but later left the team due to the heavy workload, and left to study only manga.

Anime began to catch up with the original source, and spies began to roll, who by tradition turned out to be complete nonsense. However, there was a more serious problem. With American corporations demanding a result, the animators decide to finish the anime independently of the manga. Almost always, such a decision leads to a complete fiasco. And this case was no exception. Since Episode 25, manga and anime have gone their separate ways.

Unexpected depression

Anime has almost completely deflated the full potential of Takei's deep story. You may not remember this due to watching anime as a child. However, if you revisit it at a conscious age, you will notice tremendous differences. For you to understand, according to the plot of the anime, another character even became the King of Shamans.

When Hiroyuki was finishing the last chapters of the manga, he saw the ending of the anime and it struck him on the spot. In a bad way. He criticized the anime and dropped work on completing the manga for several years.


Critics were also cool about the picture, which also did not give the mangaka confidence.

It's good that he was still able to get out of the abyss of disappointment, and by popular demand from fans, he still finished work on the manga. Overall, it ended much better than the show, although some were disappointed with the ending and the lack of more action scenes.

But let's go back a bit. During the period when amine was going according to its own scenario, Disney bought out Fox Kids and renamed it Jetix. Along the way with this some kind of devil in the anime decided to dare the voice acting. Therefore, as for me, it is very symbolic that when the anime began to roll down, his voice acting changed. She was not bad, but for a long time she haunted her ears.


The original USA dub before that consisted of only three people, miraculously voicing all the anime characters. In the new dub, for example, Yo began to voice the girl. All the actors really tried and gave their best, which is only Pyotr Glants-Ivaschenko, who was on the dubbing team.

Spiritual Emptiness

But this is not the end. On Otakon in 2014, the former director of MadHouse said he would like to reboot Shaman King. It would seem that this is the opportunity. But no, in 2017 Hiroyuki admitted that when he received an offer to restart the project, he refused, because he could not agree with the sei who voiced Yo in the original film.


But in 2008, the mangaka managed to work with the late Stan Lee. Together they created a project called Ultinum, which tells the story of two robots and the struggle between good and evil.

However, if we talk about the story of Shaman King, then it is unlikely it will ever continue. Fortunately, you can indulge yourself with memories of how in childhood we watched this anime on Jetix or STS, were rooting for the connection of Yo and Amidomaru to become stronger, and also believed that the spirits really exist and want to contact us.

The Topic of Article: ”The World Is Not What It Seems”: The History of the Shaman King.
Author: Jake Pinkman