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I used to watch the original Shaman King when it first came out long ago. It has been a while since then, and I don’t remember too much of the show, but I remember liking it and playing the game on the Gameboy. I was very excited when I saw that Netflix was remaking the anime, and while it may not be the best, I did enjoy it.

Yoh is a young shaman destined to save the world. Yoh wants to have an easy and carefree life, but his destiny won’t allow it. When Yoh turns 13, the tournament that will determine who the next Shaman king begins. Yoh joins the competition, making many valuable friends along the way. Yoh and his friends must use this competition to beat an ancient shaman who wants to destroy the world. Will they be strong enough to save the world?

This is a cheesy anime, but I believe that it is part of its charm. If you enjoy early 2000s anime, it is very reminiscent of the era. That said, this series isn’t for everyone.

The art has improved from the original series, with better-animated fight scenes. The pacing has some overall improvement, but I felt like the ending was rushed. I was very disappointed by how the series ended, but I still enjoyed it. I read somewhere that this reboot is more true to the manga, but I haven’t read the manga to know for sure. The voice acting was solid for the most part with a few of the original actors reprising their roles. The writing is a bit generic, and it feels like it was written with a younger audience in mind.

What I love most about this show is how they treat death. I was too young to appreciate the amount of work that went into writing this narrative the first time around. This time I was able to catch a lot of the references and I appreciate all the different cultural beliefs about death. Death and the afterlife are heavily featured in this series, and the series explores as many different ideas as they can fit in a season. I like that it never suggests one belief is better than others as they all seem to stem from the great spirit. It was cool to see how each belief and practice manifested as an ability. A lot of this information comes in the form of exposition dumps. I had no problem with these dumps since usually they were very informative. 

This anime has its audience. It can be cringey and cheesy at times because a lot of the conflict is solved through the power of friendship. If you are a fan of the original, check it out for nostalgia. If you aren’t and are on the fence, maybe hold off because there are better anime. If you can stomach the overall cheesiness of this show, check it out on Netflix.

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