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Shaman King, Vol. 2: Kung-Fu Master Paperback – December 24, 2003
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About the Author
Unconventional author/artist Hiroyuki Takei began his career by winning the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize (named after the famous artist of the same name). After working as an assistant to famed artist Nobuhiro Watsuki, Takei debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997 with Butsu Zone, an action series based on Buddhist mythology. His multicultural adventure manga Shaman King, which debuted in 1998, became a hit and was adapted into an anime TV series. His new series Ultimo (Karakuri DÃ´ji Ultimo) is currently being serialized in the U.S. in SHONEN JUMP. Takei lists Osamu Tezuka, American comics and robot anime among his many influences.
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Starting after Yoh's fight with Ren, the reader is treated to a flashback to when Yoh was a young child and how he becomes obbsessed with his goal to becoming the Shaman King. We also get two new characters added to the already likeable cast: Anna, Yoh's strict and bossy fiancee and Jun, Ren's older sister who controls the corpse of famed action star Lee Bailong. Again, we are treated to another impressive battle with lots of hard punches, kicks and ghostly matches.
While this volume is basicly one big action-packed fight, a lesson is taught and learned (a common theme, no?). Still, one cannot admire and praise the art, story and characters that has put Shaman King on the map. More of the main character's personalities are revealed and Manta truly outshines Yoh in this department. While in the first volume he is shown as a wet blanket, he proves that this wet blanket has a strong backbone and will do anything for his friends! He proves this by risking his own safety while requiring a replacement sord for Yoh by getting into a fight with Ryu. Hey, what are friends for?
For anyone who became a fan through the anime, give the manga a go and see what you have been missing. For those who are already a fan of the manga, sit back and relax and take in all the action of this volume!