SHAMAN KING VOL. 20

Posted On February - 2 - 2009
  RELEASED BY:   VIZ MEDIA
  AUTHOR / ART:   HIROYUKI TAKEI
  FORMAT:   JAPANESE / B&W
  PAGES:   192
  RATING:   T
  RELEASE DATE:   01/06/2009
  REVIEW DATE:   02/02/2009
  REVIEWED BY:   MARGARET VEIRA



The trip down memory lane continues as both Yoh and Anna look back to their first encounter, and why Yoh is eager to become the Shaman King.

During the New Year celebrations, Yoh invites Anna to come to temple with him to see the fireworks and eat some takoyaki (octopus fritters).  What he doesn’t know could hurt him.  Anna’s powers are connected to her being able to sense other people’s emotional state, and turning it into something solid and dangerous.  With that many people with selfish emotions crowded into that temple, who knows what might happen!

Meanwhile, Yoh’s Grandmother and his spirit guide, Matamune, have a talk about both Anna and Yoh, such as can they handle Anna’s problems together, or would Anna accept Yoh’s help.  This is when the true nature of Anna’s powers is described. 

Up on Mount Osore Le Voile, near the temple, things have gotten very hairy.  Anna has started to get out of control without even knowing she’s doing it!  Yoh feels that he is responsible because he thinks she was forced to go to temple by him.  She wasn’t, by the way.  She really wanted to do something normal without complications.  A huge manifestation appears, and Yoh and Matamune fight it with gusto.  Hurt and needing to regenerate, it grabs Anna and starts up the mountain to the spirits it needs to feed.  Why did it take Anna and not Yoh?

Matamune ends up having to make a life or death choice to save Anna, and he has to do it through Yoh. Yoh doesn’t like it much, but he goes along with it.  After the fight, Anna reluctantly accepts Yoh as her fiancé, and shows that she is the same person we all know and love today.

There is an interesting twist at the end of this volume, one that is definitely unexpected.  With the reminiscing and background done, the story goes back to the present with a bang!

The art is wonderfully done and expressive, as usual.  The story flows very well from past to present with mostly serious themes with a few important comedic ones thrown in for good measure.  Don’t miss this important volume!


IN SUMMARY:
The past becomes very relevant to the present in this latest, fast-paced volume of Shaman King!

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