Unconventional author/artist Hiroyuki Takei began his career by winning the coveted Hop Step Award (a monthly award given by WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP for amateur artists) and the Osamu Tezuka Award (named after the famous artist of the same name). After working as an assistant to famed artist Nobuhiro Watsuki, Takei debuted in WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP in 1997 with BUTSU ZONE, an action series based on Buddhist mythology. His multicultural adventure Manga, SHAMAN KING, which debuted in 1998, became a hit and was adapted into an anime TV series. Takei lists Osamu Tezuka, American comics, and robot anime among his many influences.
Gr 7 Up-This installment in the series contains the usual mix of shamans, spirits, and other fantastic characters. Yoh is one of the competitors in the Shaman Fight, a tournament that takes place every 500 years. The winner will become the Shaman King and have power over the future of humanity. His fiercest competition comes from Hao, who plans to win the battle (already referring to himself as "Future King") and then destroy mankind. Yoh and Hao belong to an enormous cast of heroes and villains found in the four-page character list at the beginning of this volume. While the ultimate goal is the determination of who will ultimately win the title, the main focus is the fighting among the competitors before the big event. In this volume, the competitors learn that the next round of the tournament will be held on the lost continent of Mu, an undersea holy land where the first Shaman King was crowned. Takei's black-and-white artwork is dynamic and engaging, especially notable for the use of irregularly shaped panels and for the excellent illustrations of deep-sea creatures like angler fish and giant sea spiders. This volume is a worthwhile purchase for fans of the earlier volumes or of the Shaman King anime.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.