This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Over Soul
Series: Shaman King #4
Author: Hiroyuki Takei
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Copy
The Patch Tribe have been the overseers for the Shaman Fight for quite some time. Their connection to the Great Spirit allows them to determine if a Shaman is capable of being part of the Shaman Fight. Silva and 9 other Patch overseers are sent to Japan to test various candidates and weed out the failures before hand.
Silva tests Yoh and all Yoh has to do is touch Silva. However, Silva manifests his spirits through totems and his mana (chi) gives them physical form, thus preventing Yoh from simply flinging Amidamaru at him. The test is to determine if Yoh can actually channel his own mana and what strength as a shaman he has. Yoh figures out how to manifest Amidamaru using his sword and is able to land one blow on Silva. Yoh now has a genuine Patch Pager Oracle, which will tell him who to fight, when to fight and any conditions.
Ren Tao also defeats his overseer, but kills the guy. The overseer was a friend of Silva and Silva can’t figure out why Ren is still allowed to continue in the Shaman Fight even though he has demonstrated he is a little psychopathic killer. The rest of the Overseers basically tell Silva to shut up and do what they say.
Yoh has his first fight against a young shaman named Horohoro, who uses a snowboard as his totem. Horohoro has a dream to make all mankind live in harmony with nature and Yoh almost gives up to allow him to proceed. Thankfully, Anna is there and smacks him around and he gets back on track. But now he has his own dream, of living the easy life, and of making Horohoro’s dream come true. The fight is just beginning when the volume ends.
I dropped this a half star for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, while harmony with nature has been chatted up before, here it felt like a date. I too have a dream. To pave the entire planet. I wish more people WOULD get out into nature, REAL nature, not the fake stuff you have around cities and suburbs. Then maybe all those people would die and everyone else would realize how terrible nature is and how it should be conquered.
Second, the whole Patch tribe and the Great Spirit schtick. There is a 2 page long talk about how the Great Spirit is the supreme being of the entire universe but that it can’t actually foresee the future, blah, blah, blah. It is a bunch of nonsense (in that it really makes no sense and contradicts itself) and is so amorphous that Takei (the manga-ka) can use it as he wishes. Also, the vibes given off by the Patch Overseers is rather tyrannical.
But if you don’t overanalyze things and just let those things drift on by, this was a lot of fun. Yoh is learning new things and picking up new allies, maybe without even realizing it. His Entourage was already started with Anna, Manta and Ryu but now he has made friends with Silva and I’m pretty sure he and Horohoro become good friends. A King needs allies.
The Patch are obviously going to be involved way more than just as Overseers. The whole thing between Silva and the others over the death of his friend showed clearly that the Patch are just as human as any of the shamans. Thus they have their own agendas and schisms. I suspect corruption and collusion at some point in the narrative to help drive the drama.
I think the most amusing part of this volume was when Horohoro finds out that Anna and Yoh are engaged. He starts feeling inferior because he doesn’t even have a girlfriend. It made me laugh because it is SO how a boy would think.