The Law of Ueki is the story of several young teenagers with super powers who are fighting in a competition to gain great power. The competition starts with one on one battles but shifts to group battles for the second round, but there’s a problem. There’s a competitor who wants the power to wipe out humanity. You know, this plot sounds very familiar, almost like I’ve seen something with an identical story, but where was that… I remember, it was Shaman King.
Be honest, you all saw that coming. The underlying plots really are almost identical. The only major differences are that Shaman King’s tournament had competitors of all ages and the competitors in The Law of Ueki can lose their abilities but those aren’t really significant changes. Hell, even the plot twist toward the end, which I won’t reveal in the interest of avoiding spoilers, is the same. To be fair, the Law of Ueki does have some legitimately funny moments, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that its plot borders on plagiaristic.
The characters aren’t much better. They all have personalities based around common shounen action anime tropes, which they play straight. The result is that they feel like very stock, listless characters. Another issue is that the main antagonist’s motivations, when they’re fully revealed at the end, don’t match his actions. Which results in a distinct impression that the writer changed his character at the last minute.
The art is decent. It isn’t spectacular but it’s not bad either. Although they do resort to borked proportions in a few cases.
The voice work is actually very well done. Oddly enough, the Law of Ueki has a lot of the same vocal talent as Shaman King. The music is mostly good. The only issue is that some of it doesn’t suit the anime. Causing a disconnect between the feel of the action and the feel of the music.
The yuri factor is a 2/10. Mori and Rinko have some moments that seem a little homoerotic but there really aren’t many.
My final rating for The Law of Ueki is a 5/10. It’s average. The biggest issue it has is that it’s simply too standard to stand out on its own. Everything it does with its story and characters has been done before and better. In the end it’s an average action anime that plays it safe. If you’re a fan of action genre shounen anime, Shaman King especially, you’ll probably enjoy it. Just don’t expect anything new.