Shaman King, Ep. 14 Review - A Wild Detective Appears

Shaman King, Ep. 14 Review - A Wild Detective Appears


Introduction

Previously, Yoh and his friends began the 2nd round of the shaman tournament. Thinking that they were to be flown to Patch Village, it turned out finding it was part of the 2nd round and in a hilarious fashion, they were dropped off from the sky into western America. Scrounging for clues, they ran into Lilirara who initially tried to have them drop out of the tournament, but the gang was able to convince her to give them the location to Patch Village. The episode seemed to end on a good note until Hao decided to show up and kill Lilirara.

Despite the fact that the previous episode adapted 8.5 chapters of the manga, the pacing overall was very well done and had a very good balance of humor, tension, and melancholy. In fact, it was nearly a perfect adaptation of the content were it not for a few missing scenes. Can the Shaman King anime continue this momentum?

Episode Summary

The 14th episode adapts the second half of chapter 85 through 89 with the vast majority of it covering new character named Lyserg Diethel.

The episode picks up exactly where it left off the previous week where Hao incinerated Lilirara with the Spirit of Fire. Yoh is able to sense this and looks back with a shocked look on his face, though his friends dismissed his concern. After they find a motel to stay in for the night, Yoh and Ren discuss about Hao's previous incarnation as a Patch Tribe member 500 years ago and why the Patch Tribe is hiding this fact. The anime cuts to Lyserg who has found Yoh and his friends with his dowsing skills.


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Yoh looks back in Lilirara's general direction after Hao kills her.


As Yoh and his friends are about to take off the next morning, they are suddenly interrupted by Lyserg, a shaman detective, who asks to join their group. While Yoh is open to his request, Horohoro finds Lyserg suspicious whereas Ren finds him to be too weak to join. Lyserg retorts that his dowsing skills do not miss their mark. Horohoro has enough of the detective's smart talk and they proceed to fight.


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Lyserg Diethel and his spirit, Morphin


Initially, Horohoro easily evades Lyserg's assault, but the latter's crystal pendulum had a special homing ability. With his fairy spirit, Morphin, controlling the pendulum like a fighter jet pilot, Lyserg's weapon is about to hit Horohoro before he can land his Nipopo Punch. Ren tries to intervene by cutting the wire, but it turns out that Lyserg's Oversoul also extends to the wire. With absolute control of his pendulum, he easily took down both Horohoro and Ren, and broke their weapons into pieces.


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Morphin pilots Lyserg's crytal pendulum to home in on their targets.

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Lyserg easily takes down Horohoro and Ren with his Oversoul controlling not just the crystal pendulum, but also the wire.


Having adequately demonstrated his powers, Lyserg thinks Yoh will let him join the group, but Yoh walks past him to tend to his friends and says he would not let those who hurt his friends join him. This irks Lyserg as he reveals his true motives behind wanting to join Yoh's group: to gather allies to take down Hao. The anime delves into his backstory where his parents were murdered by Hao when he was merely a child.


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When 6 year-old Lyserg tried to stop Hao, the next thing he saw was the terrifying Spirit of Fire.


Unwilling to let Yoh go, Lyserg attacks him with his pendulum, but Yoh easily shatters his weapon with a pinpoint strike. The shaman detective, then, switches to a stronger crystal pendulum to unleash his ultimate attack, the Big Ben Wire Frame. Yoh finally has enough of Lyserg's shenanigans and in a split second, Lyserg sees a silhouette of Hao over Yoh's angry face. This makes Lyserg lose his cool before Yoh finally defeats him with Halo Blade.


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Lyserg constructs the Big Ben out of his pendulum's wire to attack Yoh.

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A side-by-side comparison of Yoh and Hao's faces.

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Yoh defeats Lyserg's Big Ben Wire Frame with Halo Blade.


Yoh beats some sense into Lyserg, calling him out on fighting the wrong person. Finally having cooled down, Lyserg shares his tragic backstory with everyone at the hospital to which everyone share their sympathies. Thinking that he does not deserve to travel with Yoh and his friends, Lyserg is about to take off alone when Ren tells him that they have a mutual enemy. After sharing some more small talk, the group eventually welcomes the shaman detective to the group. Lyserg, then, points out at a peculiarity at Hao's obsession with Yoh as Ren also has a similar power level, but Hao never tried to recruit him.


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Horohoro cries after hearing Lyserg's tragic past.


Meanwhile, Yoh is chilling somewhere else when Amidamaru informs him of his friends welcoming Lyserg to the group. In the distance, Yoh's dad, Mikihisa Asakura, is watching his son from afar. His dad, then, calls Yohmei, Yoh's grandfather of what has happened thus far. Concerned about Hao's next moves, Yohmei leads Anna to the Temple of Hao to teach her about the Asakura family's 1000 year history.


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Mikihisa, Yoh's father, observes him from afar.

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Yohmei Asakura takes Anna to the Temple of Hao to teach her about the Asakura family history.


My Thoughts

While the episode adapted the vast majority of the story beats, it overall felt very bland. It's quite a shame as the previous episode was done extremely well and I was hoping that Bridge would get on a roll.

The fight between Lyserg vs. Horohoro, Ren, and Yoh reminded me lot of Yoh vs. Faust and not in a good way. Back in my Ep. 8 review, I described the fighting animations as vanilla despite the highly detailed drawings and static effects. The same applies to this episode. The drawings of the characters remain very high quality and the furyoku effects look very nice, especially on Lyserg (see thumbnail). However, movements and attacks were all depicted with stills and panning shots which robbed the fight of a lot of tension and impact. It felt more like watching a slideshow than watching an actual fight. While I didn't expect much, I was hoping for at least one or two dynamic moments.

To give this episode some credit, the tension and impact was carried through thanks to a very good music selection and convincing voice acting. Lyserg's theme when he showed off his homing pendulum skills felt very fitting, with the fleeting melody of the solo piano jiving with Morphin's fairy motif. Yoko Soumi, the voice actress for Lyserg, did a really good job depicting the character's progressively unhinged demeanor throughout the battle.

Yoko Hikasa, the voice actress for Yoh, also had a very convincing performance especially when the character began to get more pissed off at Lyserg's actions. Unlike in Ep. 8, where Yoh's anger was unbridled, Hikasa utilized a more frustrated yet composed tone to depict a calmly angry Yoh.

However, I felt that the sound effects could use a little bit of work. Out of curiosity, I watched the same fight on the 2001 anime for reference. The animations and shots are overall similar outside of different color palettes. However, I came out more impressed with the 2001 version due to the grittier and raw sound effects as they gave off a more punchy impression. In contrast, the audio in the remake felt too "clean" and soft in comparison.

While not a bad episode, per se, the 14th episode left a lot on the table. Perhaps I shouldn't be expecting beyond a voiced manga with neat and pretty slideshows. However, I still think that the lack of things like moving character models, different camera angles, and a following camera rob the more intense action sequences of tension and impact.

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LateToTheParty
LateToTheParty

Agnostic classical liberal & fiscal conservative who likes anime, JRPGs, and Linux. Follow me on Minds: https://www.minds.com/LateToTheParty Follow me on Pocketnet: https://pocketnet.app/latetotheparty?ref=PPCGPRioSHzkgKZstjCWhwGfWtxYUM2DSb


Late to the Show and Games
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