Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Shaman King: Flowers - The battle isn't Over!

Shaman King: Flowers
Manga (Vol.1-3)
Art: 5
Story: 4
Overall rating: 4.5

Bells are ringing, nymphs are singing and I’m dancing naked in a field of flowers.

That’s how much I love “Shaman King”. When I first heard of this continuation of the story I dismissed is as wistful rumours, but you know what? I’m glad I was wrong.

Now, you must understand, “Shaman King” and I, we have special relationship. I used to wait in front of the TV every single day for a new episode on FoxKids. It shaped my whole childhood. I used to learn the theme song by heart before I was 8. In three languages.
It just, it stayed with me.
And later, when I finally discovered the wonderful perks of the internet and finally read the manga, I fell in love.

That being said, “Shaman King: Flowers” is undoubtedly, different.

The action is taking place 10 years after the events in the original series and its protagonist is Yoh and Anna’s son Hana Asakura.
On the outside, Hana is a perfect mix between his parents. On the inside however…
No seriously, if you expect Hana to be anything like Yoh, you’re gonna be disappointed. I knew I was at the very beginning.

The reason I fell in love with “Shaman King” years ago, was because of everything Yoh was and symbolized. His genually good heart and open friendliness, without judgment attracted me like a beacon and looking back, it was one of the little things that turned me into the person I am today.

Yoh wasn’t afraid to be good, to be himself and to stand by everything he believed in. Courage like that could be acquired only when you know and accept all your good and bad. Yoh knew who he was; he also knew that the only thing he could do is show it to people and the right ones would stick around.

Hana, is as far away from Yoh as he could get. He is rude, unfriendly and quite bitter. He acts like a spoiled brat and whines a lot. It is constantly mentioned he looks more like him mother, but he reminds me of Horohoro much more.
This, from plot’s perspective, is not a bad thing. It’s only natural that a child would not be a perfect copy of one’s parents. Also, seeing as he almost doesn’t know them, it’s obvious why he grew bitter. For him, they’re just names everybody talks about; a scale he is constantly measured to. And this is without all the benefits every other child receives from having parents - no physical affection, no comfort. It is easy to start feeling rejected, unwanted. Like they abandoned him to travel the world. Takei Hiroyuki has my endless admiration on the wonderful character build.
With that, the whole mood of the story is entirely different from the original.

I wish we saw more from Yoh and Anna (they appear just once for just a few panels). However, it was interesting to see Tamao and Ryu as guardians of the kid. And Yohane and his sister were quite good addition to the story. Alumi, (Anna’s clone but not really) and Hana’s fiancée, kinda annoyed me.
For now, there is an unknown enemy, which I quite like. Leaves so many options for development of the story.

Will follow closely. 

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