Shadow Star, known in Japan as Narutaru (なるたる, Narutaru?), which comes from the abbreviation of "Mukuro Naru Hoshi, Tama Taru Ko" (骸なる星･珠たる子?), is the name of a Japanese manga and of the anime series which was based on the manga. The series was created by Mohiro Kitoh and was originally serialized in the magazine Afternoon. When asked about the manga, Mohiro Kitoh stated that he had about 80% of the entire story planned out from the beginning. When he was asked about the anime series, he stated he was grateful it was made. In the United States, it was licensed by Dark Horse and serialized in Super Manga Blast!
The 13-episode anime adaptation 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 progesses. Despite the young main characters, cute monster designs, and initial appearances of a shōjo or 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.