I've spent the last week and a half watching Shaman King now. This was a show that I was able to get a copy of a few years back but never really followed the series when it was on TV. Now, a number of years after the fact I have finally set aside some time and taken a look at this series; in fact I just finished the last episode about 5 minutes ago.
It isn't too often that I give a show a 10 out of 10 rating, but Shaman King was deserving. Between the animation, character development, story line, and action sequences I never found myself getting bored through any of the episodes. It was actually quite the opposite. There were a lot of times where I was forcing myself to stop watching because I was staying up too late. I even got to the point of watching episodes on my Samsung Galaxy S while waiting for my car to be serviced. Needless to say, now that the series is done I want to watch more. It was good that the writers left the story a little more open at the end for a continuation if they desired. While I doubt that any further production will happen with this series, I like to be optimistic.
So what makes this show so good anyway? I have to say the strongest attribute was the story. While the plot was fairly straightforward in the battle of good (Yoh Asakura) vs. evil (Zeke Asakura), there were a lot of dynamics between the many of the characters in the series to give the story more depth. There were a lot a lot of times where the debate between strength being hatred or caring appeared and the responses that many of the characters had really helped to keep the story dynamic.
I have to say that I enjoyed the animation style. I have always been a fan of the Shonen Jump anime adaptations. I think that there are very few, if any that I can think of, that I didn't like. I have always found that the artwork in Shonen Jump adaptations have drawn my attention.
Overall, the entire I though the series was great. For a person who enjoys anime with a lot of action and a deep story, I found that Shaman King had a great deal of balance between the two. If you have the time to spare for 64 episodes, then get your hands on a copy of Shaman King.