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Title: Blood and Pompadours
Series: Shaman King #11
Author: Hiroyuki Takei
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Copy
Grandpa Asakura is revealing the secrets about Hao Asakura to Anna when they catch Tamao eavesdropping. Turns out the Asakura’s did kill Hao, but he had already developed the power to reincarnate himself. Gramps reveals there is a book of spells that could help Yoh but to release it would also release 2 of Hao’s familiars, ogres of incredible strength. Tamao picks the book up and accidentally breaks the seal. Everyone panics and Gramps is ready to die to defend the girls. Anna simply snatches the book, reads the spells on how to control the demons and controls them. A truly worthy woman to be by the side of the Shaman King. Anna and Tamao take off to deliver the book of spells to Yoh.
Our Gang reaches the base of a mountain and Horohoro wants to go snowboarding. The rest of the gang go on ahead to the next town and wait for him. His spirit ally gets jealous and leaves him and Horohoro has an accident and wakes up in a Park Ranger’s cabin 3 days later with 2 broken legs and Kororo still missing. The park ranger is protecting a wounded bear and Horohoro goes and convinces it to leave and hide in the deep wilderness. Then some redneck hunters kill the bear while it’s standing right next to him. He confronts them but ultimately doesn’t kill them as that would put him on their level. It does reunite him with Kororo though.
Our Gang reunites and head to the former Patch village. There they find a mysterious passage guarded by a group of other Shamans. They also happen to be minions of Hao. Hao has left them strict orders to stay away from Yoh but to kill all his friends so as to prepare him for future use by Hao.
Lyserg is attacked first and attacked by Dracula no less. However, Dracula’s first name is Boris. Dracula kills one of his own comrades when Our Gang starts laughing at him for not looking like Dracule and pointing out the other guy who does. Ol’ Drac then sucks the dead guy to ashes and Lyserg starts feeling the effect of the vampire’s bite.
Ryu steps forward to do battle and his pompadour magically grows back. An epic fight looks to be brewing between Dracula and the baddest street thug in Tokyo. Yeah!
The story then cuts away to the Patch tribe, who are somehow watching everything going on. Goldva, chief of the Patch appears to be operating under orders from Hao and the rest of the younger Patch are getting restless with how Goldva is manipulating things.
The volume wraps up with Lyserg jumping on Yoh to prevent him from helping Ryu, the rest of Hao’s minions revealing that they are guarding the entrance to the Patch Village and Ryu figuring out that Boris isn’t a real vampire, just a human using his oversoul to mimic one. The book ends with Ryu preparing to put the smackdown on Boris.
Phrack yes!!!!!! This is the awesomeness I want and expect in a Shonen manga. Ryu is awesome and I’m glad he got to show some of his stuff. He doesn’t even use his sword yet, just beats the crap out of Boris with his hands and feet. I suspect the next volume will be all about him using his techniques.
The revelations about Hao put paid to my ideas that the Patch were soft on him. He’s able to reincarnate at will, so what is death to him? Man, the threat he represents just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I don’t know what his end will be but I hope it is full of pain and suffering before being snuffed out of existence. Of course, with Yoh’s attitude, they’ll probably all become best friends and eat icecream together or something.
Glad to see Manta and Anna coming to America. I like when the WHOLE gang is altogether. Even that wretchedly stupid Tamao.
Now that the side characters are getting their own side stories (Horohoro’s was kind of pathetic, but whatever) and growing into their own, I think I’m liking Ryu. His pompadour just fascinates me and his heart of gold hidden beneath that punk surface just makes me want to give him a manly fist bump of support.
Keep this up and my goodness, it might come close to Eyeshield 21 levels of enjoyment!