Last week, Yoh and Horohoro faced off on their first shaman fight in the tournament. Yoh managed to beat Horohoro by having the latter completely deplete his furyoku and lose his Oversoul state. The episode had some very funny moments, but it ended with an ominous ending with Kalim telling Silva to convince Yoh to forfeit his next fight.
The episode adapts Chapters 39 - 46.
Continuing off from Kalim's warning, Silva found Anna and told her to convince Yoh to forfeit his second fight. Anna refuses, but Silver further explained Yoh's perilous disadvantage: his opponent is a necromancer and the fight takes place in a graveyard.
Silva telling Anna to have Yoh forfeit his next match.
Yoh and Manta waited at the graveyard until the former's opponent arrived. The shaman introduced himself as Faust VIII and revealed his necromancy powers, freaking Manta out. Intrigued by Manta's small body, he summoned skeletons from the graveyard to seize Yoh's friend and proceeded to dissect open his belly.
Faust VIII and Eliza in her skeleton form.
Faust about to dissect Manta.
This enraged Yoh and he furiously attacked Faust for hurting his friend. The shaman fight began and it appeared that Yoh had the upper hand as he quickly dispatched Faust's skeletons. However, it turned out to be a ploy by Faust to make Yoh waste his furyoku.
Yoh taking the offensive.
Silva and Anna found Yoh and Manta and observed the fight from a distance. Anna revealed the reason why Yoh got super angry at Faust was because Manta is his first non-shaman friend. Throughout his childhood, Yoh was ostracized as a demon child because he could see spirits. When he discovered that Manta could see spirits, too, he was very happy to make friends with him.
With the upper hand, Faust revealed his true guardian ghost. The skeleton that he carried with him was actually the remains of his former wife, Eliza. In a predicament, Yoh found a clever strategy to use Faust's own ploy against him by calling the mad doctor's spirit a doll. As a result, Faust broke out into a state of fury as he shared his and Eliza's tragic past and how he came to discover necromancy to revive his wife.
Eliza in her true "human" form.
Faust, angry at Yoh for calling Eliza a doll.
Faust finding Eliza shot point blank by robbers.
In a last ditch effort, Yoh focused the rest of his furyoku to the tip of his katana and he successfully sliced Eliza in half. However, because Faust still maintained his Oversoul despite Eliza's severed state, he won the match as Yoh ran out of spiritual energy.
Yoh successfully cuts off Eliza's legs in a last ditch effort.
Having lost the fight, for the first time, Yoh broke down in frustration which is a complete opposite of his usual personality. However, Amidamaru gave him a word of encouragement by pointing how his frustration was born from his desire to protect what is important.
Yoh crying in frustration at his loss.
The happy epiphany came to a sudden end as Faust attempted to kill Yoh for insulting Eliza. But Ren entered at the last moment and incapacitated Faust to proclaim that it would be him who will defeat and kill Yoh.
Faust summoning a giant skeleton to kill Yoh.
Ren after he stopped Faust's murder attempt.
I am a little bummed that the anime cut out the graphicness. Shaman King is not a gory series which makes the bloody moments more impactful when they do happen.
In the manga, it actually showed Manta's dissected open rather than having it happen off-screen. In addition, the anime left out the part where Yoh broke Faust's femur when he slammed him against the tombstone and Faust literally removed his bone to find a replacement. I feel that that scene was too important to leave out as it perfectly shows how crazy Faust is. I mean, he admitted to pumping his body full of morphine so he could not feel pain.
The anime did itself a great disservice because the grotesqueness in the manga helps show how big of a threat Faust is as a shaman.
No, really. Faust actually cut open his leg to replace his broken bone.
That said, Faust's VA, Takehito Koyasu, did an excellent job making up for the content omission with his excellent acting. Yep, he's the same VA that is famous for playing the role of Dio Brando from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. Funnily enough, at one point in the episode, Faust said "Toki no tamare" which means frozen time which immediately made me think of Dio's zawarudo.
Speaking about voice acting, VA Yoko Hikasa continues to do a great job replacing the original VA, Yuko Sato. While their timbres sound a little different from each other, Hikasa very convincingly portrays Yoh's anger during his fight against Faust and his frustration after he lost. It is a huge character development moment for Yoh who up to this point, have always come off laidback and carefree.
Unfortunately, the episode is marred with pacing issues. A lot of stuff was crammed into the 20 minutes including the leadup to Faust vs. Yoh, the fight itself, Anna recounting Yoh's childhood past, and the aftermath of the battle. There were a lot of jumpcuts happening in the middle of dialogue and scenes which broke the immersion. The rapid pacing dampened the intensity of Yoh's rage to a degree and the censorship of Faust dissecting Manta didn't help either.
To end things on a positive note, I continue to be impressed with the drawings. The animation is kind of vanilla, but the the artists added a bunch of fine details to the characters. Bridge also did a great job drawing Yoh's expressions throughout the episode like adding wrinkles and dark shadows around his eyes to depict his anger. Also, I expected Faust's skeletons to be rendered in CG because that is a lot of stuff to animate and draw, even if they are static. While the skeletons weren't animated that much, I have to give Bridge respect for drawing them with good detail. Lastly, Eliza looks so much better in this remake than in the 2001 adaptation. She no longer has that big forehead that takes up 50% of her face.
Eliza from the 2001 adaptation. That's waaay too much forehead.