If it didn't state that the artwork was done by Hiroyuki Takei, I wouldn't have known it. Yes, the characters still look right...from the waist up, at least.
Typically, someone's artwork improves as they go on. I have seen a few exceptions to this rule, like Yami no Matsuei's mangaka, Yoko Matsushita, where the art was fine, and then it was picked up again after hiatus and it changed drastically...to a completely different style, even.
I won't count Hunter x Hunter since the mangaka was ill, which could very well impact on the artwork.
However, this new Shaman King one shot was awful.
The story was fine, and it was interesting to see how Yoh's character grew, and how he became who he was in the manga.
It was, however, painful to read through because the legs and feet were so skinny that they might as well be twigs or stick figures. It was horrible, and it made me wonder what exactly happened that would prompt such a drastic change!
Like I mentioned, the story, itself, is good. We see Yoh as someone that knows he's an outcast, who doesn't like humans because they can't accept things that are different, and who doesn't seem to like having his own abilities, either.
In the one shot, we see this change and grow as he talks to a 50 year old ghost that's still waiting for her lover (who had fought in WWII).
The artwork is what really kills the rating. I'd hardly re-read it only due to how much the lower body drawings make me shudder. The only time it was actually done appropriately was on the heavyset bully in Yoh's class. He was the only one (besides the other occasional heavyset character) that didn't have stick-figure legs.
Shaman King fans will be disappointed in the artwork, but will enjoy the story. You don't have to have read the manga to understand it, since Yoh's past as being a loner and bully bait was well known even in the anime version.
If you can stand twig-legs, then it's worth taking a look at. I'm still disappointed in the art quality of the mangaka...if Shaman King (manga) was like that, I wouldn't have kept reading it due to it being a visual nightmare.
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