JJOR64 (Level 16)

I'm still alive people! June 25, 2014.
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The following review is for both seasons of the anime.  This includes Shakugan no Shana and Shakugan no Shana Second.
Shakugan no Shana (aka Shana) is an anime adaption of the light novel series of the same name ( Shakugan no Shana).  Both seasons were produced by J.C. Staff and directed by Takashi Watanabe.  Shakugan no Shana is an Action, Fantasy, Romance show.

Plot Summary

 Kazumi, Yuji, and Shana.
 Kazumi, Yuji, and Shana.

Yuji Sakai, an ordinary high school student, is expecting to live a long and normal life forever.  On his way home he sees a kid trip and fall over.  Right when he is about to catch him, everything suddenly freezes.  As he looks around he notices people are engulfed by blue flames.  Soon after, a large monster that looks like a doll starts sucking the blue flames into its mouth.  After sucking the blue flames the doll notices that Yuji can move around in the frozen area (called a "fuzetsu") and becomes very happy.  Just as the doll prepares to eat Yuji, a girl in a black outfit with red eyes and red hair appears.  She swiftly destroys the monster, before noticing Yuji moving freely in the fuzetsu.
After the fight, the girl calls herself a "Flame Haze" who hunts "Guze no Tomogara", monsters from a different world.  Soon after her introduction Yuji notices a blue flame in his chest.  The Flame Haze tells Yuji that the "real" Yuji died some time ago, and that he is a "Torch", a temporary replacement for humans who have dead. Torches take on the forms of the dead people,but after a period of time, they will vanish from existence and from the memories of the living. Not being afraid of his death, Yuji becomes friends with the Flame Haze and names her " Shana" after her sword.
 Shana, the Flame Haze.
 Shana, the Flame Haze.
Later Yuji learns why he was able to move inside the fuzetsu.  He is told that he is not a normal Torch, but instead a special kind called a "Mystes".  Mystes' have a special treasure inside them called a "Hougu".  A Hougu is a special device having special abilities and they extremely powerful and valuable. The Hougu within Yuji allows him to remain in existence rather than fading away like other torches. Shana decides to protect Yuji from the Guze no Tomogara, who would Yuji's Hougu to disrupt the balance of the world, and Yuji decides to join Shana in her fight to protect the balance of the world.


I went into Shakugan no Shana expecting some solid action stuff with a decent story, but what I found was even better.
 Margery Daw
 Margery Daw

The story was good.  As the show starts off it's simple:  Shana is a Flame Haze and she tries to stop the Guze no Tomogara.  Meanwhile she ends up meeting Yuji and must protect him from the Tomogara.  Plain and simple.  As the show goes on the story starts branching out.  We get to know more about Shana and her past, what Yuji actually is, and some of things about other characters as well like Margery Daw, another Flame Haze we meet early in the first season.  One thing that caught me off guard was all the strange concepts.  It seems like every fantasy show likes to make up their own concepts with goofy names.  At first I was like "OK..." then I was like "OK, I get it now."  As I went along with the show, I  got used to all of it.  It was kinda mind blowing at first, but all the concepts is what made the story more entertaining to me.
To go along with the story, we have a solid cast of characters.  While not mind blowing, Yuji ended up being a solid character.  Shana was a great character and my favorite of the female characters.  I ended up like Margery Daw a lot as well.  She is one of those characters who is bad at first then ends up being very helpful to Yuji and Shana.
 Inserts sexy picture here.   :)
 Inserts sexy picture here.   :)
Some of the other things I liked was the art style.  The world looked really good and colorful.  Looking at it at a character standpoint, the over all designs were solid.  It seems like every at big huge eyes, but that didn't bother me.  The music was solid as well.  While it wasn't to special, it was solid overall and it fit the show.  The action scenes weren't to shabby as well.  It seemed like we had more of it in the first season, but they are good overall.  There is a really good battle near the end of the second season I liked.
There were a few things that could have been better.  The romance stuff wasn't anything to special.  It's your typical love triangle shenanigans with girl A (Shana) and girl B ( Kazumi Yoshida) who are friends at first, then get in a fight because they find out that their friend likes the guy they like (Yuji), and end up being a friends again with some friendly competition.  Another thing I noticed was some of the events where kinda predictable.  There were times during the show when I was like "I bet this is totally going to happen" and it did.

Review in a Nutshell

  • Solid cast of characters.
  • A solid story that keeps you intrigued.
  • Interesting concepts (makes the story a lot better and deeper)
  • Colorful backgrounds.
  • Good action scenes.
  • The romance stuff wasn't mind blowing.  It was your typical love triangle stuff.  Maybe it fleshes out more in the later volumes of the light novels.
  • Some things in the show were predictable.
If you are looking for a new action fantasy show, I say check this one out!  If you are going into this show looking for some good romance stuff, you might want to try somewhere else.  I will defiantly be looking forward to the next season whenever it comes out.    :)
My Score - 4.5/5

Super Small Blog Thingamajig

With Shakugan no Shana finally finished up, I'm going to check out My-HiME next.  After that I will most likely check out the spin off/alternate retelling My-Otome.  It looks like I'll have my anime fix for a while now since I have been taking my time with the things I watch recently.
As some of you may know, I'm a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge Street Fighter fan.  Next week Super Street Fighter IV is coming out and I'm very excited.  If there is anyone here on Anime Vice that is getting the 360 version of the game, hit me up and we can rumble.   :)

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