Appearance and Personality
Manta is a short individual, resembling an elementary school student rather than a junior high school student. He stands at about Yoh's hip level, which is about the normal height for a thirteen year old. Manta usually just wears his school uniform everywhere he goes. He doesn't have much use for many other clothes with the fact that he is enrolled not only in regular school but is attending several other extra curricular schooling programs.
Manta is a rather friendly individual when he isn't the subject of ridicule. Of course when he is uncomfortable with how people are treating him Manta becomes a loud and quickly angered little guy. Manta is also a very courageous individual, putting himself in harms way to help his friend Yoh during one of their battles. To top off his already awkward personality Manta is a lot smarter than the people that he goes to school with.
Involvement in Shaman King
From the Get Go
Manta is actually the first character to appear in the mangas as he runs down the street trying to get home after he misses his bus after a late cram school session. As he runs across the graveyard he hears someone call out to him and notices a strange young man on an over looking hill. As Manta glances at his watch again he realizes that he is still late. As be gets ready to charge off again he is called to by the young man again, and asked to watch the stars. Unsure as to what may be wrong with the boy Manta kindly declines and wonders if he may be talking to someone who has lost their mind. unfortunately for Manta Yoh is not crazy, and the ghost that he is suddenly able to see are not him losing his own mind. The next day at school Manta tries to explain to some of his classmates what he has seen, but only ends up becoming the punchline of their jokes. As Manta fumes about how absurd the whole idea is the teacher introduces the classes new student, Yoh Asakura. Manta instantly recognizes the young man as the one he saw at the graveyard. Still angry from the ridicule of his class mates Manta confronts Yoh about seeing him and the ghost, but is made to look the fool as Yoh lies about not believing in Ghost.
After school Manta decides that he needs to follow after Yoh and catch him in the act so that he can force a confession from him. All he ends up doing before he blows his cover though is watching Yoh stare at the river for several hours. After being noticed Manta talks to Yoh and learns that his new friend is Shaman and can not only see ghost, but has other uses too. As Manta heads home after his last cram school for the night he cuts through the cemetery and tries to make better on his time, but instead he finds himself in deep trouble. As Manta's luck would have it he runs into some serious trouble as encounters Wooden Sword Ryu and his gang of teenage thugs. Apparently the gang has been using the cemetery as their hangout for sometime, and Yoh has been lucky enough to be able to use it to star gaze without being caught. Manta becomes a punching bag for the group as they beat him horribly. Manta shows up at school the next day and is gawked at by his classmates because of his beating and then made fun of again for still believing in ghosts. This time he is saved by Yoh though, who steps in and admits to being able to see ghosts. Yoh takes Manta a step further though and drags him off to face down Ryu and the gang.
Manta is forced to stand by Yoh until the teenage gang shows up to fight, and then he watches in horror as the thugs attack. His horror quickly turns to amazement though as Yoh tears the teens apart after integrating with the fiend Amidamaru.
After learning the abilities that his new friend has Manta becomes inseparable as he follows Yoh around trying to help him to save people and souls from the pasts that are haunting them. First Manta witnesses Yoh help the spirit that has attached to a billboard that keeps getting knocked down by the artist who died making it. After that Manta follows Yoh when he decides to give absolution to a school bully who's boxing teacher died before he could fight him again. Then after that Manta bears witness to Yoh saving several young children that are trapped on the top of a building that is burning down. Manta is also the first to get the chance to meet Yoh's first real opponent.
While taking his usual short cut through the cemetery when he runs into a new Shaman, tao Ren. Manta realizes that Tao Ren is not as good or kind as Yoh and tries to warn him about meeting with Ren. When the two finally meet Manta tries to cheer on his friend as Ren tries to kill him for Amidamaru. As the fight ends Manta is left awestruck at how quickly Yoh learns to defeat Tao Ren. Manta manages to get Yoh into a hospital somehow and waits by his side until he awakens from the exhaustion that has resulted from the use of 100% integration. When Yoh does wake up Manta is more than happy to have been there for his friend, until of course he mets Yoh's fiancee Anna. Manta takes some abuse for his being overly loud and irritating. Manta skulks off after Anna explains why she is there to find a soda machine and he runs into Yoh. Manta listens Yoh complain about Anna before the two return to the room, and see Amidamaru being held captive by Anna.
Manta hangs out with Yoh and Anna every chance he gets, and even invites them to go see his favorite movie, "Fists Of Rage" with him. As they sit through the movie Yoh becomes transfixed by what he is seeing and asks Manta more about the star. Manta begins a rant about how great Bailong and his martial arts are when out of no where Anna breaks his self esteem. Having had all his fun destroyed Manta and the others leave wondering who could have sent the free movie tickets. Of course someone is there to answer them as Tao Jun unveils her plan to the friends. Manta has to stand by and watch helplessly as Tao Jun's Jiang- Si tears into his friend Yoh. Things hit absolute rock bottom for Manta though as he realizes that his hero Lee Bailong is the Jiang- Si that Tao Jun likes to use. When things begin to get really bad Manta runs off to try to find an object with a sword handle that he can give Yoh to help him and Amidamaru. Manta finally finds a wooden sword, and a lot of trouble as the wooden sword belongs to Ryu. Manta gets knocked around a bit before he gets so angry that he finally beats the day lights out of Ryu and takes the wooden sword back to Yoh so that he can use it to defeat Bailong. The weapon proves very useful and helps to defeat Bailong, but as Manta watches in horror his hero goes berserk again, angry at the Tao family for having taken his life away from him when he was starting to get everything he dreamed of. They manage to find a way to win though as Manta recalls that Bailong had a teacher that he could never defeat.