Shadow Star, known in Japan as Narutaru (Japanese: なるたる), is a Japanese manga series created by Mohiro Kitoh, originally serialized in Kodansha's seinen magazine Afternoon. The Japanese name is an abbreviation of Mukuro Naru Hoshi, Tama Taru Ko (骸なる星 珠たる子), which roughly translates to Corpse of a Star; A Precious Child. In the United States, it was licensed by Dark Horse and serialized in Super Manga Blast!.
The 13-episode anime adaptation by Planet was broadcast in 2003 on the Japanese television station Kids Station. The anime was licensed by Central Park Media and released as Shadow Star Narutaru, and has played on Comcast's Anime Selects multiple times. In 2007 it ran on the Illusion on Demand television network. Central Park Media released the title under their "U.S. Manga Corps" line, on 4 DVDs, and later re-released the DVDs in a box set. Central Park Media filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and the DVDs have since been out of print.
The protagonist of the series is a twelve-year-old girl named Shiina Tamai. She bonds with a starfish-shaped "dragonchild" (baby "shadow dragon") whom she calls Hoshimaru. The series is mainly about the interaction between Shiina and other young people who have also bonded with dragons.
The manga, especially the original Japanese version, is known for the gruesome material that appears as the plot progresses. Despite the young main characters, cute monster designs, and the initial appearance of a Pokémon-esque series, the story quickly takes on a much darker and more disturbing tone, with later volumes involving some graphic depictions of gore and sexual violence. The English- and German-language versions of the manga have some edited scenes; entire pages of content were removed from the seventh volume of the English-language release.
There are twelve volumes total in the Japanese release, and seven in the English-language one. As a result of Dark Horse's rearrangement of the series' chapters, those seven volumes actually cover volumes 1 to 6 of the original Japanese release. Further chapters were serialized in Super Manga Blast!, and starting with the magazine's 54th issue, the series was translated in its original right-to-left reading format; this lasted until Super Manga Blast! was cancelled five issues later. These chapters have not been collected into volumes yet, nor has Dark Horse announced any plans to further translate Shadow Star.
The anime adaptation consisted of 13 episodes, each running for 24 minutes, and adapted the storyline of the first 6 volumes (7 volumes of the American release) of the manga.