Saturday, April 5, 2008

Shaman King

Shaman King is both an anime series and a manga series by Hiroyuki Takei. The manga ended prematurely in Japan with 32 volumes in total. The anime concluded its run with a total of 64 episodes and 3 specials.
A shaman is some one who connects this world and the spirit world. In Shaman King, shamans team up with ghosts and spirits to achieve their goals. The greatest dreams of a shaman is to become the Shaman King, who is able to contact the Great Spirit (the spirit that every soul will eventually go back to) in order to be the savior of the world. Various magical and religious terms are spread through out the story but they merge into something explainable by the time the main plot arrives.

The manga starts with Manta Oyamada, a studious middle-school student in Tokyo , attempting a shortcut through the graveyard to get home after a late night of cram school. It is here that Manta meets another boy named Yoh Asakura, who happens to be a shaman, and is frightened to discover that Yoh is surrounded by ghosts – it is at this moment that Manta learns that he can see ghosts. Over the first few chapters, Yoh and Manta become best friends, and, over the next few months, Manta learns about the life of a shaman.

Yoh soon encounters Tao Ren, with whom he battles. Anna Kyoyama, Yoh's fiancée, soon enters the picture and prescribes a brutal training regimen, in order to prepare Yoh for the upcoming Shaman Tournament. The tournament is held once every 500 years and is a battle between competing shaman to choose a winner, who will be known as the Shaman King. This winner will gain the ability to reshape the world as he or she chooses, to make his or her dream come true. Thus begins the plot that will lead Yoh on a journey that will lead him to many friends and adventures.

Through a series of events and also through participation in the Shaman Tournament, Yoh meets and befriends numerous characters and changes their lives through friendship and authentic concern, which seems to be a pervasive theme throughout the series.

n November of 2004, Shaman King was cancelled by Weekly Shonen Jump. Shaman King was let go due to declining popularity in Jump's fan polls (indicated by their willingness to release the final completed manga volume (Vol. 32) if there was a great enough fan response).[1] This cancellation was untimely given that the series was nearing its end.[2] Release of the final volume had been suspended indefinitely, but was released in spring of 2006.[3]

Volume 32 ends with Yoh going to sleep to prepare for the final battle with Hao; the final page is viewed as Manta's dream, which features Hao as a princess with Yoh and his friends on their way to rescue "her". The reason for that is because Anna was speaking to Manta as if Hao was the person in need of rescue. The page contains the words "Owari" ("The End") and next to that, in front of Horohoro's sword, is a mandarin orange, also called "mikan" which is the Japanese word for "incomplete".


One of the things I'm liking about the Ipps is that they are so pliable. They are, after all, made out of some sort of squishy Play-Doh-like substance. So, they can squash and stretch to their heart's delight.

They are also pliable in terms of what they are doing. Which makes it possible for me to design Ipps for individual people. My four-year-old son designed this Viking:

Anyway, I'm starting to put together a new Store, on Zazzle. I wasn't happy with my old store's merchandise - the quality wasn't really as great as it could have been. And this is one of Zazzle's strong suits. So look for Ipp stuff to begin appearing in there. Shoot, I may even hand make some of these buggers. They look good in felt!

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