'Shaman King': How Does the 2021 Anime Remake Compare to the 2001 Original Series?

The first season of the Shaman King 2021 anime remake, which consists of 13 episodes, was released on Netflix on Monday.

Based on Hiroyuki Takei's manga of the same name, the new anime features 52 episodes in total which will be released over four seasons.

This is not the first time Shaman King was adapted for the small screen, as a 64-episode series aired between July 4, 2001 and September 25, 2002.

Shaman King follows the adventures of Yoh Asakura, a 13-year-old boy who can see ghosts and has aspirations of becoming the Shaman King through a tournament that happens once every 500 years.

Alongside his samurai spirit ally Amidamaru, Yoh enters the long-awaited battle to earn the title and become the shaman who connects with the Great Spirit and helps reshape the world.

Unbeknownst to Yoh, his estranged twin brother Hao also wants to become the Shaman King and he will do whatever it takes to win.

Hao is determined to eradicate all of humanity and establish a world for shamans, so it is up to Yoh and his friends to try and stop him and his henchmen.

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The first season of the "Shaman King" 2021 anime remake was released on Netflix on August 9, 2020. Netflix/TV Tokyo

What Are the Similarities Between 'Shaman King's' 2021 and 2001 anime series?

The first season of the 2021 Shaman King anime follows Yoh in the early stages of the battle to become the Shaman King.

He befriends classmate Manta Oyamada, and during the Shaman King tournament in Tokyo fights with Ren Tao, Horohoro and Faust VIII, amongst others.

This events of the 2021 edition of the show are the same as its 2001 counterpart, namely because both are accurate depictions of the manga in their early stages.

The 2001 anime series diverged from its source material in its second half, and it also featured a completely different ending that was written especially for the adaptation as it was made before the manga had been finished.

A number of the Japanese and English voice cast that featured in the 2001 version of the anime also return for the 2021 adaptation.

Oliver Wyman voices Manta in both the 2001 and 2021 edition of the show, though his character was called Morty in the English version, while Tara Jayne Sands also reprises her role as Yoh's fiancée Anna Kyoyama.

In the Japanese voice cast, Minami Takayama returns as Hao, Inuko Inuyama voices Manta once more, Megumi Hayashibara reprises her role as Anna, Romi Park is back as Ren, and Katsuyuki Konishi also plays Amidamaru in both series.

What Are the Differences Between 'Shaman King's' 2021 and 2001 Anime Series?

While it features the same story, the 2021 adaptation of Takei's manga is markedly different because it dwells on the subject of an episode for a shorter period of time than the 2001 version did.

This is because the battles between Yoh and his opponents in the 2021 edition last for one episode per antagonist, whereas in the 2001 anime series the battles were drawn out over multiple episodes to add to the show's intensity.

As the 2021 edition is set to adapt all 35 volumes of the manga's complete edition, it has a lot more to fit into its 52-episode runtime than the 2001 original.

The 2021 Shaman King anime also features slicker, more detailed animation, with fight scenes in particular being given an updated look.

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"Shaman King" production still. Netflix/TV Tokyo

How Will the 2021 'Shaman King' Anime Differ to the 2001 Version in Future Seasons?

The 2021 Shaman King anime series will adapt Takei's "perfect edition" of his manga, including its "true ending."

Takei originally brought the manga to an abrupt end in 2004, citing "fatigue" as a reason he wanted to take a step back from the story and revisit it at a later date.

In 2008, the writer and artist returned to the franchise and he reworked the original manga into a "perfect edition," making corrections and adjustments and releasing the ending he had always envisioned for the story.

The 2001 anime finished long before Takei had completed the manga, and it ended after one final battle between Yoh and Hao led to the latter's demise and brought a halt to the Shaman King tournament.

The 2021 anime series will adapt the story Takei had originally intended for fans to enjoy and it will stick closely to it, so it will deviate from the 2001 anime series from either the second or third season.

The first season of the 2021 Shaman King anime adaptation is out now on Netflix.