Manta Oyamada, a shrimpy, studious middle-school student from Tokyo, attempts a shortcut one night through the graveyard to get home after a late night of cram school. While travelling through it, he encounters Yoh Asakura and his “companions”: a graveyard filled with ghosts. Yoh reveals himself to be a shaman, a medium between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Yoh also demonstrates Shamans’ ability to unite with ghosts to achieve a shared goal. Over the first few chapters, Yoh and Manta become best friends while Yoh uses his shamanic abilities to help them out through various normal tasks.
The Shaman Fight is a battle held once every 500 years between competing shamans to choose a winner who will become the highly sought-after “Shaman King”, one who is able to contact the Great Spirit (the spirit that every soul will eventually go back to). The winner gains the ability to reshape the world in any way they want. Anna Kyoyama, Yoh’s fiancée, soon enters the picture and prescribes a brutal training regimen, in order to prepare Yoh for the tournament. Thus begins the plot that will lead Yoh on a journey that will lead him to befriend Ryu, Tao Ren, Horohoro, Faust VIII, Lyserg Diethel, and Joco.