We interrupt your usual anime review for this new segment. Well I decided to review the only two volumes of Shaman King released in North America because A). I finally got the second volume to make the set complete (That is not saying much, because they only released six episodes on two DVD’s) and B). there are differences from the original broadcast by 4Kids. Well with that said onto the comparison and I guess you could call this a review on the Shaman King anime because I am expressing my opinions on the show.
Well, with the research of this post I was confused because when searching for the pictures for this post I found the DVD covers for Shaman King Volume 3 “Pai Long Attacks” and Shaman King Volume 4 “Ryu is Possessesed.” So being the obsessive compulsive I am I searched all over to find that they were announced to be released, but they were never released along with Shaman King Volume 5 “Shaman Fight”, which I could not find the cover for. So with my mind at ease and continued on and marvelled at the DVDs themselves because this was a rare occurrence because 4Kids respected the original source material in these releases by including the original audio track, unedited scenes (meaning we did not see English text pasted everywhere you can see Japanese as well as the original music (Though this may be because the series was distributed by Funimation, maybe they decided to make it more authentic).
With this I was stoked and threw the DVD in to watch one of my favourite shows from when I was a kid and I was shocked. I guess because I was not expecting that I would be seeing the original Japanese opening and logo. I liked the logo, I felt it matched the peaceful nature of the main character and I was okay with it. Though when watching the opening I found myself missing the original opening theme song because I remembered it to be catchy and pretty decent for a 4Kids opening. So already the experience of watching the DVD was a bit off for me. The next thing I noticed though is that the music was different from what I remembered, it sounded more of what I would hear in an anime that in a Saturday morning cartoon. When compared to original 4Kids broadcast we hear music that fits the atmosphere instead of generic cars and horns. This can be good and bad because it both works depending on what you do both will fit the scene. The difference is that the music gets you more interested in the scene where the sounds horns and cars are just generic.
After this there is not much difference from the original broadcast of the show because they use the original English dub you may have seen on TV. Though what I found weird was that when the DVD started it started with the Japanese Dialouge with no Subtitles. So I had to fix this, but the DVD menu was not cooperating causing me to do it through my Bluray players menu. It was weird and I have not experienced this from a Region 1 DVD before. Well what else is there to say, as a fan of Shaman King it was a must buy and if you are a fan of Shaman King you have to pick it up because it is a great show and it is not that expensive. The DVD’s range in price of $5-10 on Amazon, though I got them for cheaper in the wild. Anyway it is a great show and the DVD is great, though be aware that if you watched the original English dub of the show when it aired, the show will feel a bit different.