Shaman King season 1 part 4 review: A mishmash of hollow character developments and rushed narrative

Shaman King follows the journey of a 13-year-old spirit master and his demonic-spirited brother, feuding off in a once-in-500-year tournament to become the Shaman King.

Story

Yoh and his friends try to persuade the new Golem user to refrain from exacting revenge on Chocolove for the death of his father. Meanwhile, Yoh tries to save Tao Ren from a life-threatening injury.

Upon discovering that Yoh has received Matamune’s Spirit of Sword, Hao forces Yoh to return to the tournament to avert the killings of Golem and the children.

Gandhara’s leader, Sati Saigan, appears and sends the company to hell. Yoh, Ren, Chocolove, and McDonnell – receive four grand elemental spirits after defeating their hell.

The duel between Team Ren and Team Yoh is interrupted by an unexpected visitor to the arena. Meanwhile, Hao annihilates Mansumi’s whole fleet in a single strike.

Yoh and his friends pull off from the tournament to save lives. Hao gets proclaimed as the Shaman King by default.

Yoh and his gang devise a plan to overthrow the new Shaman King and save humanity from destruction. The Patch Tribe thwarts their plan to shield the next Shaman King’s birth.

Manta, X-LAWS, and others arrive to save Yoh and the team from the godly powers of Hao.

The last act begins with the apparition of Asanoha (Hao’s mother), who condemns and chastises him.

Positives

The graphics and designs closely resemble Takei’s original illustrations and thus remain its strongest point. Some might argue that it’s even better than 2001 anime’s graphics.

The dubbing department has also done a fine job embodying the soul of the characters into the voices. The dialogues are sharp and engrossing.

Despite having a rushed screenplay, the series is as relevant as the original copy. Censorship is also provided for violent and bloody scenes to attract a wider fan base.

Negatives

Even though the first, second, and third parts barely hold to the high expectations set by its legendary manga, the latest part has the potential to be an outright disaster.

The new Shaman King is not dissimilar to 2001 classic but still ends up with something way worse. Part 4 constitutes thirteen episodes of extremely pacy narrative and lazy character development.

Abrupt cuts to character buildups look forced and intentional. The lack of substance and motive is evident in the romantic scenes of 13-year-olds.

The anime series attempts to justify the allotted screen timings for the characters, still, some characters do not get their fair share of attention. The characterization is quite lucid and predictable at times.

The runtime could have been longer and the characterization more nuanced. Background scores fail to generate emotions and refuse to carry forward the story. The adaptation is a mish-mash of bland characters and a rushed plot.

Verdict

Shaman King season 1 part 4 attempts to build on the momentum gained through parts two and three. It presents its characters, world, and story colourfully, yet a rushed plotline and childish narrative ruin the originality of the series.

The anime still has the potential to embark on an expansive story with ample scope for character buildups and tweaks. For some viewers, it is nothing more than a childish adaptation and an interesting take for young anime lovers.

Rating: 2/5


Also Read: Shaman King season 1 part 4 summary and ending explained