Shaman King’s Tragic Zombie Twist on Bruce Lee Returns

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1 of Shaman King (2021), now streaming on Netflix.

During the Shaman King reboot, Asakura Yoh faces one of the most warped soldiers ever as he preps for the Shaman Fight. Manta takes him to see a film starring Lee Pyron, the series' homage to Bruce Lee, but it results in Tao Jun assaulting them outside the cinema afterward. Just like the source material and 2001 anime, Lee's horrific zombie twist returns as the young lady wages war to remind Yoh that he stands no chance of becoming king.

Lee's style, much like the real-world marital artist, is highly revered, with Manta being the biggest fan. Little do they know that Jun literally has Lee in her back pocket as her family's the one who killed him when he was 30. They gave his body to her as a gift and the little girl would practice her necromancer-like craft on Lee.

She uses a special tag to place Lee's soul into the corpse, which Jun has experimented on and reverse engineered to create the perfect warrior. And seeing as Lee's martial arts are a deadly weapon, Yoh struggles to fight this zombie. He also feels sorry in battle, knowing how messed up it is that Lee's agency was taken from him and enslaved.

Luckily, Anna -- Yoh's fiancee in Shaman King -- uses her abilities to summon dead spirits, chucking Shamon (Lee's old master) into Yoh's body. This allows Yoh to neutralize Lee and destroy the tag that gives Jun control. It's quite heartbreaking as Lee goes into berserker mode right after, enraged and trying to kill Jun. In a shocking twist, Yoh saves her, telling Lee he doesn't need to become the monster the Tao family made him out to be. This restores faith and humanity in Lee. Shamon returns to the afterlife but Lee stays behind -- he believes his destiny is to help create a better world with a regretful and repentant Jun.

Ironically, it culminates in Lee trying to liberate Jun and her brother, Ren, from their sadistic father En to end the dynasty's bloodthirsty ways later on. The Shaman King reboot hems more to the manga than the 2001 anime though, with Lee being sliced up by En to punish Jun.

He returns to action by beating down one of En's sentries, which actually has Shamon's soul in it. The original Shaman King anime switched it up here, with Lee being mind-controlled and used by En to attack his rebellious kids. The reboot's take ends with Jun rebuilding Lee, who then stops the Shamon sentry.

It helps En's kids and Yoh's crew bring En down, and as the Tao family forge a new path to redeem their legacy, Lee sticks with Jun. He's still keen on fixing the world and atoning for what her ancestors did, especially En.

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