Why’d they do us dirty like this? – Shaman King 2021

You know what I kind of love but also hate? Reboots. They are simultaneously one of the best things and one of the worst things. Today…I’m going to give you a quick and short rant about one that I really wanted to love but I now really REALLY hate. Let’s talk about the Shaman King reboot.

shaman king

Yoh Asukura
Shaman King 2021

So, first off–Shaman King as a show overall didn’t exactly age well. While the original is definitely still good in my opinion when I think about how it would do if the 2001 anime aired now…I kind of feel like a lot of people wouldn’t like it. The humor is really cringey and some of the characters kind of feel like stereotypes. Yoh as a protagonist is still good, but the overall story is like eh. Like–cool idea and interesting execution. But even knowing that I was kind of excited to see Shaman King 2021. It was supposedly supposed to be a better-adapted version of the manga–fully getting the Brotherhood treatment. Unfortunately, while I enjoyed Brotherhood–I felt no sense of relief in watching the Shaman King reboot.

Shaman King 2021

The reason being is that it’s so FAST. Like, they cover so much ground in so little time. Watching it is actually ridiculously disorienting. Like, everything happens as I remember from the manga but the pacing is atrocious. It’s really hard for me to sit down and watch it. So much so that the characters I used to love as a child I feel absolutely no affection for in the 2021 version. There’s just no time to actually get to know or love them. It’s like watching a thriller just keep moving. Backstories that took place in 2 episodes of the 2001 anime is taken care of in one with room to spare. We cut out important lead-in scenes and other heavy dialogue goes by so fast you blink and miss it.

Yoh Asakura
Shaman King 2021

On the plus side–because yes, there actually is one–the animation is SO good. Honestly, if I were one to watch things only for animation, I would still be watching. However, I can’t justify it. But it’s really cool to see the oversouls with 2021 animation. I think it looks really sharp and not lazy at all, which is surprising because I remember how the 2001 anime took so many shortcuts. But as good as the animation is, the fights are so short you can’t really appreciate it.

To put it simply, Shaman King 2021 is a faithful mess. Sure it adapts more of the manga–but at too much cost. It’s incoherent, uninteresting, too quick, and I honestly found myself not caring about it. Which is a shame. Shaman King was one of my favorite shonen manga/anime back in the day. I went out of my way to watch it, not even minding the anime, and I bought as many volumes of the manga as I could. It’s crazy how I hold so much disdain for the reboot. So for my sanity sake, and I advise for your own if you loved the original, skip the reboot. And thanks for coming to my TED talk.

Stay weebtastic,



P.S. No Shaman King opening will ever hold up to Northern Lights


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