Thursday, July 03, 2008

Shaman King, Volume 15 by Hiroyuki Takei

After the X-Laws defeat of the Egyptian-themed Shaman group, the next battle pits Yoh's Funbari Hot Springs team against the team known as the Ice-Men. While not all of the group are men, they do live up to their name in that all of them are from the far north, and from countries which are locked in ice much of the year.

Yoh and his team inadvertantly meet the Ice Men at the restaurant set up by the Shaman Fight higher-ups, a converted school cafeteria. The leader of the Ice Men overhears a chance flippant remark that Yoh makes and takes it as a deadly insult to him and his team, so when they finally meet in the arena, the Ice Men have a glacier-sized chip on their shoulders and plan on taking it out on Yoh and his team.

After a great deal of posturing and shouting by the Ice Men, who decide to show off their powers and talk about what a great deal of hardship they trained under to get their powers, finally start the fight. Yoh replies back to their screaming about their power with a demonstration of Amidamaru's sword, which grows so huge that it stretches almost all the way across the area floor, and Yoh is holding it up with one hand.

Slightly worried by this demonstration of power, the Ice-Men breath a sigh of relief when Yoh brings the sword down to normal size again, saying it's too hard to maintain at that power for long. The Ice-Men attack, but Yoh's team exhibits their own "ultimate powers". Faust's dead wife becomes a huge automaton with fingers like surgical instruments, and just the sight (and size) of them freaks out the other shamans and the watchers in the crowd (Including some awfully huge suppositories- snicker). Wooden Sword Ryu, shows off the power of his own spirit ally, Tokageru, and the power of his burning passion, which renders him immune to the ice-based attacks of the Ice Men.

Yoh's words incite the Ice-Men powerfully, and this is what Yoh wants, for them to attack him with all their might, so that he can defeat them at their full power and effort... anything else just wouldn't be worth it. He also wants to try out Amidamaru's new power and see how good it is. The leader of the Ice Men is revved up to attack with all his power, and he begins running at Yoh...

Again, more battles, more new attacks with more "ultimate power!" (At least until the next battle, of course). I find such stuff tedious, but I picked up the books to see what was new before I noticed that they would now be 95% arrogant posturing and new attacks to pull out of characters collective butts. This isn't something I enjoy, so I doubt I will pick up any of the following volumes. (Yes, I know I already read Volume 16... I was hoping to read something before the fight began. Unlucky me.)

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