WARNING: The next accommodates minor spoilers for Shaman King (2021), now streaming on Netflix.
Shaman King has returned with a brand new 2021 reboot that, regardless of not altering a lot thematically or plot-wise, resonates more durable because of the elevated relevance of its environmental message. Anime that warning in opposition to turning the planet into our personal private dumping floor have turn out to be more and more prevalent because the machine of trade soils our land, blackens our skies and contaminates our oceans.
Whereas Shaman King isn’t as overt as anime like Princess Mononoke relating to environmentalism, it does shun trendy conventions of society, with many characters both turning to pure methods of dwelling or sustaining a deep respect for nature’s order. The Shamans argue that the world belongs extra to spirits than people, a perception with roots in Shinto tradition and philosophies.
The Environmental Messages of Shaman King
The assorted Shamans in Shaman King preserve a deep regard for nature that goes deeper than merely respecting humanity’s historical past. They respect the pure order of occasions, and never simply the cycles of life and loss of life. Once we meet protagonist Yoh Asakura, he utterly defies the traditions of recent society, principally hanging out with spirits and having a tough time referring to individuals who haven’t got some extent of connection to the opposite facet.
Many Shamans additionally incorporate pure powers into their skills. Whereas Yoh has Amidamaru, a legendary swordsman whose grave is defiled by punks, different characters like Horohoro incorporate ice powers. Anna is even able to manipulating the pure world and the realm of nature to ship spirits to heaven or hell. Afterward, viewers are launched to Shamans who manipulate the very spirits of nature themselves.
After all, Shaman King additionally options characters who don’t respect nature. In consequence they’re sometimes seen as adversaries and evil, however others have stranger views. The X-Legal guidelines, for instance, are Shamans who can summon Angels but change into the spirits of artifical mechanics. Whereas they later show to be heroes, they’re initially seen as enemies. The X-Legal guidelines apart, spirits are tied extra to the pure world than the mechanical one, leading to some attention-grabbing messages about the best way humanity is linked to the world.
Humanity’s Dismissal of the Pure World
Lots of the people outdoors the Shaman neighborhood are disrespectful to nature. We construct over it, desecrate graves, and customarily appear to care much less concerning the world we’re dwelling in. Shaman King‘s anime and manga argue that the Earth is able to unimaginable energy and worthy of respect and love. And as we see with Tao Ren’s private story arc, forcibly manipulating the spirit world is in the end a foul factor.
All of this ties into Shaman King‘s normal message: respect nature. When people turn out to be nearer to the religious world, they themselves turn out to be Shamans able to unimaginable energy. “Wooden Sword” Ryu is a working example. He begins the sequence desecrating graves however quickly — after a number of experiences the place the religious world offers him a sequence of nonconsensual haircuts — learns to respect nature and embrace being a Shaman himself.
Even the X-Legal guidelines, who draw their archangels from automobiles or vans, preserve this philosophy. Individuals do not sometimes affiliate automobiles with spirits or souls, moderately seeing them as disposable, however Shaman King argues that even these mechanical creations are alive and worthy of respect as sentient life kinds.
This overarching message is all of the extra related right this moment, in a world the place we more and more get rid of supplies we do not instantly want, transfer on to the subsequent product to eat and neglect the Earth’s wants. Maybe we as a society would do nicely to return to the traditions of nature, respecting the historical past and the world as Shaman King does.