SHAMAN KING VOL. 23 (ADVANCE REVIEW)

Posted On July - 6 - 2009
  RELEASED BY:   VIZ MEDIA
  AUTHOR / ART:  

HIROYUKI TAKEI

  FORMAT:   JAPANESE / B&W
  PAGES:   192
  RATING:   T
  RELEASE DATE:   07/07/2009
  REVIEW DATE:   07/06/2009
  REVIEWED BY:   MARGARET VEIRA



What is a Shaman team to do when its main players are out of the running?  Yoh had to withdraw from the fight to save Ren’s life, Ryu died and was saved by a very powerful team, and now, Joco is dead and in some kind of limbo!  He finds out that he can get out of the limbo and become stronger with his mentor’s help.  Only one problem.  His mentor is dead, too!  How can Joco achieve this to come back to the land of the living?

Meanwhile, a very hurt Yoh fights off the Golem piloted by a girl, Salerm, who is possessed by her father’s ghost, along with Hao and his entire team.  You definitely see that Hao values strength over everything, although loyalty is still there.  However, during a most intense fight, Hao backs down.  Why?  It has something to do with Yoh getting stronger in order to fight him properly.  Or something to that effect. 

The Golem fights on. And on. And on.  This thing seems to have an endless energy source.  Or does it?  A stray comment reveals what keeps the golem going, and it’s actually quite sinister.  A hint:  it’s the same thing that keeps the Fire spirit going.

We also find out much of Joco’s back story in this volume, especially about the murder of Salerm and Ludsev’s father.  Before, Joco tried to convince the children that he had changed, but it didn’t work.  So he worked his way through the different limbo levels until he got a second chance at life.  Will he live or will he die again?

The storyline gets better and better!  The art of Joco’s limbo and battlefields are excellent and very detailed, along with the battle scenes with Yoh and the Golem.  The emotion shown as Ludsev finds out his father’s intentions on using his own daughter as a vessel for him to manifest in the real world is very well done in the art and dialogue.  This is another intense volume as the fights off the schedule become more and more frequent.


IN SUMMARY:
The fighting intensifies and things get little hairy as Yoh and his friends fight for what they believe in!

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