i’m guessing I won’t get many comments on this post, considering that all of the Shakugan no Shana reviews have come and gone from everyone, but mine’s the only one anyone should be concerned about, because I’ve been one of the biggest fans for the past 5 years.
Shakugan no Shana officially ended for me on April 2nd at 1:54 in the morning. I shed a tear almost (I actually tried really hard to cry but in the end I couldn’t get anything more than a little choked up). The show was over. Now, I’m a gigantic Shakugan no Shana fan. It opened it’s arms to me long ago and invited me into the world of anime, and introduced me to Rie Kugimiya, the greatest seiyuu who ever lived (who by the way, was FUCKING PHENOMENAL in this season). So clearly I must have a completely bias opinion of the show, right?
THE ENTIRE FUCKING SEASON WAS GOD DAMN POINTLESS.
So in a nutshell, Yuji joins the bad guys (fuck, he leads the bad guys), starts a war that kills everyone, and then waits until thousands are dead before he finally tells Shana what his plan was from the beginning, at which point Shana pretty much tells him that he’s a fucking idiot and should have just said his plan from the start since it’s not a bad plan at all.
And believe me, it really wasn’t a bad plan. In fact, it was brilliant. Yuji pretty much solves every single problem on Earth: from the Tomogara, to the fighting, to torches that have disappeared. Fuck he even gets his power of existence back, so he’s no longer a torch. I’d go so far as to agree with Riyoga and say that because of his plan, Shakugan no Shana was one of the few anime that had an ending where every single loose end was tied up. Sure he committed genocide in the process, but then again, who hasn’t?
That’s one thing I thought was odd. He causes the deaths of all these people, and his only punishment is making out with Shana while flying through the sky (which is pretty fucking awesome). That’s like capturing Hitler and sentencing him to sleep with a bunch of hot women as punishment for his crimes.
Okay so that might have been a bit extreme of an example, and now I kind of feel like a huge douchbag for bringing up Hitler in anyway, but that’s still essentially what happend, and I must say, this had me confused for most of the series:
Why didn’t he just sit down with some Flame Haze, discuss his plan through negotiations, and then ta daaa! Problem solved. If they didn’t agree with his idea? Okay, then you go to war.
Okay, so Yuji started a huge fuckin war because he’s an idiot and doesn’t think. I’ll accept that for now, because I want to talk about how much ass everything else in this season kicked.
For one, the characters kicked ass, and as you may know, that’s a BIG plus for me. It’s my opinion that a show is good or bad mainly due to the characters. The problem? There were about 304958393 new characters, and each one had a name + a Crimson Lord, which means 2 names (sometimes three), so that made it a bit confusing. That being said, the characters all had their own personalities and awesome powers, and I loved every single one of them. Especially Rebecca Reed.
Rebecca Reed is bad ass, but funny. She’s pretty upbeat and carefree, but she’s also got strength that scares enemies shitless, as in, “Oh fuck not this girl again. Welp, we’re alllll dead.” I also like how Rebecca was kinda tomboyish. I love tomboyish girls, and that’s why Rebecca Reed was my favorite new character, pretty much from the second she was introduced in episode 6 or whatever.
And look at her with Wilhelmina, who is also one of my favorites. Who can’t see them totally getting together and maybe who knows marrying each other thus creating the greatest yuri duo in anime history? I sure can. In fact, I’m assuming that their pairing has happened and been consummated, and anyone who doesn’t believe that should suck my dick NOW.
Speaking of awesome characters, you know who I want to see more of?
I think it would be awesome to have a prequel of maybe 7 episodes or so that shows the past of the above Fucking Awesome Flame Haze (who is cooler looking/way hotter than Shana). Maybe throw Wilhelmina and Rebecca somewhere in there toward the end having lesbian sex or something idk. That would be an awesome prequel (even without the lesbian scenes).
The fact is every single character was awesome, even the bad guys.
Speaking of the bad guys, who were the bad guys? The Tomogara? They ate humans because they had to in order to live. It’s called a food chain. Actually, Tomogara didn’t even eat people, they ate people’s existence. So it’s not even that bad (right?).
The Flame Haze were kind of just being dicks to them the whole time. Even when the Tomogara wanted to just get the fuck out of there and live a normal life in another world, the Flame Haze kept murdering them until they died from it. (third quote)
Anyway, putting the mistakes aside, the action and story progression murdered the shit out of the previous season. There wasn’t a single filler minute let alone episode. No stupid visits to the waterpark or episodes that described love. This was all action and plot from beginning to end. Zero bullshit (you know, if you could over look the whole Yuji being an idiot. And there are valid excuses for his actions too I guess).
Anyway, what I really want to talk about is how Shana changed as a character from the 1st episode way back in 2007 until the very end.
Shakugan no Shana I
Shana first showed up as a Flame Haze similar to Wilhenmina (who also changed a LOT), in that she followed the rules, did her job, and showed very little of her own emotions. She was almost emotionless in the first few episodes, doing only what she thought a Flame Haze should do.
Then of course she somehow developed feelings for Yuji, and began to change. She ignored her feelings because she didn’t fully understand them, thus falling into the tsundere role.
And what a tsundere she was.
When you say Shana, most people automatically think tsundere, and in the first season, she certainly was one, and I think that’s part of what made the first season so fun to watch. I loved the first season. This season was good, definitely, but it was almost a completely different show then the first season. The first season had the melon bread, the Shana-tan, the Urusai! Urusai! Urusai! and the jokes. It had the funny tsundere to offset the other serious tones of the show, which all kicked ass.
Toward the end of the first season, Shana began to realize her feelings (though she still didn’t quite understand them as love), and her tsundere label started to peel off. Then came season 2.
Shakugan no Shana II
In the second season, she wasn’t so much tsundere as she was a confused girl. She wasn’t really fighting her emotions like she was in the first season (well, she still was at times). I felt like she knew the feelings and was trying to understand them so she could act on them, which was the point of all of those bullshit episodes about cooking shit and visiting waterparks and asking Margery Daw what love was. The second season was all about her understanding what love is…and that’s why everyone said the season sucked.
So skip to this season.
Shakugan no Shana III
We have a completely different Shana. This one understands everything. She knows her feelings and she knows herself as a person. She’s completely different than the tsundere that she started off as. Now she’s mature and has her sights set on what she wants. To me, it’s pretty fucking awesome to see the difference, and I feel like the series as a whole deserves a lot of credit for showing that gradual progression as well as it did.
I was entertained the entire time I watched this show through the characters and awesome fight scenes. It obviously wasn’t as good as the first season (nothing will be), but it was definitely better than the 2nd season (by a little bit).
The few drawbacks have to be the stupidity of Yuji and the lack of comedic relief. It was a very serious series for the most part. I mean, sure Rebecca and that stupid scientist guy gave a little relief, but where’s the Urusai! and the melon bread and the Margery Daw’s awesome dialogue with Marchosias (I LOVE watching them two argue I could watch it for days on end)? Just a little bit. I mean, Shana only ate Melon Bread once and it wasn’t even Japanese Melon Bread!
I WANT TO FUCKING TRY MELON BREAD. WHAT THE FUCK.
One other thing that confused me though was Pheles and Johann. I get their story in that Pheles fell in love with Johann, Johann was fatally injured and so Pheles stored him inside the Reiji Maigo and then looked for him yatta yatta yatta.
What confused me is what the fuck makes them so important? Are they like super powerful or something? And what did Pheles “not want to do, but ended up doing anyway”? What the fuck? Like Johann wanted her to do something that she didn’t want to do? I didn’t have a clue what was going on.
Anyway, looking back on the season, I’d have to say that one thing that stood out was the ending, which I’ll agree with Riyoga, was one of the best endings out there in that it tied up pretty much every loose end ever, even the torch girl from the 1st season (I already said this. Oh well).
It was an awesome season, better than a lot of other shows out there this year. But I did expect a little more to be honest. Still, no hesitation in giving this season a well deserved
FINAL GRADE = 5*
(see full grading chart here)