Character Battle #5: Spirit Sword vs. Shaman

Alright! It’s been…what just a few days since I’ve done one of these, right? And so far the only comment is still on the Sakura vs. Sakura battle. The last one makes me feel stupid. With Magneto as powerful as he is, there’s no way that Toph would win. But this one might be a bit better. For this battle I put two people that rely on Spirit power in some way, either they use their own spiritual energy or else command some spirit and use their powers. In this one there’s one that I’d think would win, but honestly it could actually go either way. I present to you the 5th battle!

———————————————————Vs.——————————————————————

Just to let you know, YuYu Hakusho and Shaman King are among my absolute favorite shonen series. They had enjoyable stories, powerful conflicts and great characters. In fact, I think I actually like Shaman King better than YuYu Hakusho simply because of the differences in their very similar characters. One can easily draw parallels between the two series and the main casts of each and match each one up with who they’re similar to like how Kuwabara would be most equatable to Ryu while Ren would be Hiei. And don’t tell me that I should’ve paired Kuwabara against Ryu or Ren against Hiei. I considered that but then I remembered that Kuwabara is the only human combatant in YuYu Hakusho besides Genkai. I also chose this match up specifically because Ren is so similar to Hiei, the member of Team Urameshi that Kuwabara most wanted to beat the shit out of. Similarly, in Shaman King, Ren was the one with the most open disdain for the others mainly Horohoro, Ryu and Chocolove (yes there is a character in Shaman King named Chocolove…it’s weird to me too) and since Kuwabara is most similar to Ryu it also makes sense seeing as how the two were on somewhat bad terms during their initial interactions with each other. Okay, let me clarify, Ryu tried to use the place Ren was staying at as his “Best Place” in the manga and Ren sliced his pompadour off. Not sure if it counts as being on bad terms but I think it does. Also just to let you know…Ren is the little guy with the pointy hair. The big guy in his picture is a Ghost. Let’s get down to business now, shall we?

At the start of the series, Kuwabara was nothing more than a street punk. The walking Japanese Delinquent stereotype that ended up not only having a good heart, but an honor code and most importantly exceptional Spiritual Awareness. This meant that, in the context of the series, Kuwabara was sensitive to supernatural energies and able to see and sense things that others(regular humans) could not. This first manifested itself as Kuwabara’s self titled “Tickle” in the English dub. After Yusuke was brought back to life and went to work on his second case, he was surprised to see Kuwabara at Genkai’s temple. It was revealed that Kuwabara’s spiritual awareness was going nuts and came to ask Genkai to as he put it “turn the volume way down” on it. He made his way though Genkai’s tournament even drawing out his Rei-ken or Spirit Sword for the first time using the broken tip of a wooden sword. By the time of the Saint Beasts arc, Kuwabara gained the ability to materialize the sword at will as well as extending and retracting it as per his desires. During the Yukina case, he demonstrated what I can only assume was Telepathy which he used to communicate with her briefly. When training for the Dark Tournament, Kuwabara trained with Kurama and Hiei but more the former than the latter as Hiei was unwilling to go all out on Kuwabara while Kurama had no such compulsions. It was stated that the goal of the training was to allow Kuwabara to completely master manipulation of his Rei-Ken which he did but this didn’t stop him from losing to Rinku, being almost killed by the Ichigaki team, humiliated by both Shishiwakamaru and Suzuka(Suzuki in the Japanese version) and losing to both of them. Kuwabara won his match against Risho and the Elder Togouro using the Trial Sword given to him by Suzuka(ki) but failed to kill him. After the tournament, Kuwabara lost the use of his spirit energy, which most assumed to be a side effect of the Trial Sword but retained his physical abilities, making him second strongest to Yusuke but near useless for most of the Chapter Black saga until he was confronted by one of the seven psychics, Matari or Seaman. In that fight Kuwabara’s powers were awakened and it was explained by Genkai that his powers knew of the coming danger during the previous saga and began to undergo a metamorphosis. This granted him access to his powers again but also to the Jigen-Tou or the Dimension Blade which allowed Kuwabara to cut through dimensional gateways and barriers which made him a plot device for the duration of the saga. By the end of the series, Kuwabara was the strongest human, presumably, in the entire Human world. His powers revolve mainly around materializing his spiritual energy into a sword, the sharpness of which is unknown. He’s also able to do minor projectile attack by firing smaller blades of energy and he can completely manipulate the sword in general. When all else fails, Kuwabara is able to rely on his fists and feet and has the physical strength and stamina to knock out most human foes and even some demons. All in all, Kuwabara’s a force to be reckoned with, ESPECIALLY when he’s angry.
Ren Tao is the kind of character type you can spot from a mile away by this point depending on how much anime and manga you’ve been exposed to. A sadistic little fuck from a sadistic family, Ren’s the quiet but snarky and sarcastic short one of the team with the dark and evil back story that involves being an antagonist that was redeemed by the powers of Love/Friendship and stopped using the powers of Hate. Born into an ancient and powerful family in China, Ren is a Shaman who followed a simple formula instilled in him since birth. “Destroy or be Destroyed”, kill the enemy before they kill you. Pampered and groomed but trained and conditioned for his destiny as future Shaman King aka ruler of the world for 500 years. With this mentality, Ren’s heart became dark and cold, hardly batting an eye or shying away from death or killing others with little to no rhyme or reason. As a Tao, he’s well versed in Shaman techniques mainly Hyoi Gattai, rendered as Integration or Spirit Unity in the dub which allows Ren to utilize a Ghost’s abilities by allowing the Spirit to more or less possess his body but while he still dominates his own mind. He fatally wounds protagonist Yoh Asakura but is defeated and begins to train for the Shaman Tournament. During the qualification process, Ren kills the Patch member sent to fight him and later appears to save Yoh from Faust due to their rematch being the next fight. Ren and Yoh tie and Ren is able to let go of some of his hatred and confront his father, defeat him and completely move on, breaking away from his old ways and becoming a better person. Even without his Shaman powers, Ren Tao is at the peak of his physical ability with a wide variety of martial arts under his belt. Ren is also skilled with old weaponry, his most used being the Kwan Dao and after that the Sword of Lightning or something along those lines. Combined with his Spirit Ally, Bason an ancient Chinese warlord who’s strength and abilities are all available to Ren, he’s quite deadly. He’s capable of striking as fast as lightning with his Kwan Dao, as well as summoning a multitude of blades from the ground when using the Lightning Blade as a medium for Bason as opposed to himself or his Kwan Dao. Finally, Ren is also in possession of the Spirit of Lightning which is one of the five Elemental Spirits.

Take your pick! I guess it’s kind of dumb for me to do this 5 battles in, but I’ve decided that you don’t need to explain why one would win even though I’d prefer it if you did. If you really want to, just leave a comment stating who you think would win, no need to go into specifics if you don’t want to. This is meant to be a fun thing and if it devolves into a popularity contest, that’s fine. Personally I think that Ren would win due to him packing more power than Kuwabara and due to his working with spirits and spiritual powers since he was a baby. Who do you think would win?

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