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Cover of the first manga volume
|影技 SHADOW SKILL
|Genre||Martial arts, Fantasy, Drama|
|Written by||Megumu Okada|
|Published by||Fujimi Shobo (tankōbon), Kodansha (aizōban)|
|Magazine||Monthly Dragon Jr.|
|Original run||1992 – 1998|
|Volumes||5 (tankōbon), 3 (aizōban)|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Hiroshi Negishi (ep 1)
Yasuhiro Kuroda (ep 2–4)
|Licensed by||Manga Entertainment|
|Released||1995 – 1996|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tsukasa Sunaga|
|Licensed by||ADV Films|
|Network||TV Tokyo, Anime Network|
|Original run||2 July 1998 – 24 December 1998|
|Written by||Megumu Okada|
|Original run||2001 – ongoing|
Shadow Skill (影技 SHADOW SKILL Shadō Sukiru ) is a manga series with anime adaptations, produced by Studio Deen and aired on TV Tokyo in 1998 and has been released in the United States by ADV Films in 2005. The series is based on the manga by Megumu Okada. Shadow Skill is a shōnen series which features Styles of combat, such as martial arts. In addition to having a 26 episode television series three separate OVAs were made which have been released in the United States by Manga Entertainment. The television series, which has a different storyline to that of the OVAs, is distributed by ADV Films.
Shadow Skill takes place in the warrior kingdom of Kuruda, where the main character Elle Regu has recently become the 59th Sevaar, a title awarded to their most elite warriors. She often leaves a trail of destruction when she fights and along with a drinking habit. Elle is constantly followed by debts and throughout the series takes on jobs to work off these debts. One of these such jobs leads her to the Green Octopus Inn on an island outside the city, which eventually becomes the protagonists' base of operation.
Throughout the series, Elle travels along with her adopted younger brother Gau Ban, who is studying Elle's fighting skills so that one day he could become the greatest Sevaar in Kuruda. Also in Elle and Gau's life is Faurink Maya (Faury), a Sui Rame talisman sorceress, and Kyuo Lyu, a Septia beast-catcher and grandniece of Eva Stroll, the king of Kuruda.
Warriors in Kuruda fight using the Kuruda-style Kōsappō (交殺法, lit. "combining kill methods", ADV "Annihilation techniques") which has two general divisions: Hyōgi (表技, "open skills" or "bright skills"), which emphasize punches and throws, and Eigi (影技, "shadow skills"), which focus on kicks and the user's footwork.
Shadow Skill manga was originally created 1992 by Megumu Okada. In 1995 it was adapted as a one-shot OVA series then in 1996 followed up by a three-episode OVA sequel. In 1998 the OVAs were remade as a 26-episode television series called Shadow Skill - Eigi (影技～えいぎ Shadō Sukiru ei-gi ).
Anime News Network praised the series' Japanese and English voice acting, saying they did a good job capturing the light-hearted tone of the series. However, they felt the series stuck to the conventions of the martial arts genre with the plot focusing on fight scenes and the elaborate named moves being shouted aloud as they "powered up". As such, they thought that Shadow Skill appeals primarily to fans of the genre, but it was unlikely to appeal to viewers outside that fanbase. THEM Anime Reviews described the OVA series as "well executed" and "fun to watch". But they advised that Shadow Skill would mainly appeal to fans of the martial arts genre and that it lacked the story development and characterization needed to truly become a great anime.
- Brett Barkley (20 December 2006). "Shadow Skill TV Vol. #5". Mania.com. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
- Martin, Theron (15 November 2005). "Review: Shadow Skill - Eigi". Anime News Network. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
- Jason, Bustard (2003-2004). "THEM Anime Reviews 4.0 - Shadow Skill". THEM Anime Reviews. Retrieved 4 March 2011.