Shakugan no Shana (Burning-Eyed Shana) also known simply as Shana is a Japanese light novel series written by Yashichiro Takahashi with illustrations by Noizi Ito. ASCII Media Works published 26 novels from November 2002 to November 2012 under their Dengeki Bunko imprint.
In fall of 2005 Shakguan No Shana received an anime adaptation and it spawning 3 seasons that aired in different years, 1 movie and a OVA called Shakugan no Shana S. It was produced by J.C.Staff and directed by Takashi Watanabe who is also directed one of my favourite series called Slayers.
Now what do I think about Shakugan no Shana?
Well I first I hated the series but after a short while I decided to re-watch s1 as well as watching s2 and s3 for the first time and well.
Shakguan No Shana went from being one of most overrated anime series to one of my favourite series in a blink of a eye because it contains great action, a good love triangle a story that gets better as the series progresses, wonderful art/animation and the main theme that Shana presents.
So why is Shakugan No Shana so good you may ask? Well we are going to find out in the course of this review.
Hello Everyone Shawn/TheCodeTrigger and today I will be reviewing all three seasons of Shakugan no Shana and the OVA series called Shakugan no Shana S.
The story begins with Yuji who is your average boy who just graduated into high school. One day as he was going home he comes across a scarlet sealed area where everyone except him is frozen in time and on top of that there’s monsters named Tomogara. On top of that the Tomogara are stealing souls from human body and now they are after Yuji soul. Hope is almost lost until a female flame haze comes in and save Yuji as well as defeating the Toomgara. After that the flame haze tells Yuki that he now a torch. A leftover of someone who has already been eaten by the Tomogara. Usually that you will only have a few days to live at most before disappearing completely but inside Yuki he has a mysterious and unique item that is called Reiji Maigo which every day at midnight he gets his existence replenished. So together with the flame haze which Yuji named Shana they set off to fight Tomogara together to protect the city.
The first 2 seasons of Shakugan no Shana features a lot action, slice of life and a bit of romance which manages to blend well for the most part. I liked to romance and slice bits of the show because they are well in my opinion and they give character development to most characters in like before Shana was just cold hearted tsundere but thanks to slice of life elements she becomes more humane character instead of being that rough main character. The action was just wonderful of J.C staff because there were well directed and the fights can get really intents at times.
Now I have to admit the first half of S2 is easily the weakest of the trilogy. It’s not bad by any means but compare to everything else in the trilogy it stick out like a sour thumb of being meh. Unlike most people I actually like the first half because I got to see the great character interactions with each other while they do bunch of slice of life stuff. Then again we have the love triangle hat shouldn’t really happen at all and the one who brought this love triangle is the character that I hate the most. We get to her later.
The second half of S2 in my opinion is the best of the trilogy because J.C staff managed to show the potenal of series perfectly by giving us great villains, Yuji finally becomes a great male lead and he finally got real character development.
The only problems that I had with the first two seasons is the second villains of S1 which had some messed up insets with each other and the one girl which I will mention in the character section.
Shana S is just more Shana fun for the most part.
The first 2 episode are filler but highly enjoyable filler because of the character interactions were spot on.
The last two episodes are heavily character driven because they explore Shana as a character before she met Yuji. Plus those 2 episodes don’t have any action.
Finally we have Shana final.
This was the season where Shana fans were heavily divided.
I seen people who Shana final was the shit or people who thought Shana Final was the worst thing that J.C staff has ever done.
Where do I stand on this? I liked but at the same time I thought it was kinda rushed.
I can see why people hate this because that made that set character into a villain ruining the character development that they had with that set character but for me I found set character becoming a villain was a good move because in my opinion its adds more to the show.
Compare to Shana S1 and S2 Shana final is more action pack and very emotional to the eyes.
The ending of Shana final was good in my opinion because it closes the series in a great way.
The only real complaints that I had with Shana final is not Yuji becoming a different person but is almost all of the new characters that appear in Shana final hardly get any character development whatsoever and it’s really a shame because I liked some of these new characters but they hardly get any back-story or mutations’ of why they taking part of the war.
Besides that I liked Shana Final.
One more that I like to mention is the theme of Shana. You see Shakguan No Shana deals with the theme evolution and the show manages to portray that theme properly because throughout the series you will see characters constantly evolving to become better people.
Overall I really like the story of all seasons of Shakugan no Shana.
The characters of Shakgan no Shana start off generic but as the series progresses they all evolve to great characters.
I first hated Yuji because he stared off a generic protagonist but over the course the series I found him to a well written male lead because he well developed and actually has a personally unlike most generic male leads.
One more thing I will mention Yuji becomes a different person on Shana III and the things he does in Shana is just mind blowing.
Overall Yuji was a good character in my eyes.
Shana is a really good character in my opinion.
Sure she starts off as a rough tsundere but as the series progresses she becomes more of a humane character that can fit with her peers really well. Also by the time you get to Shana final her signs of her Tsunderism are completely gone and she finally evolve to become a light hearted badass who loves Yuji.
This is how you write a tsundere guys.
Overall I adore Shana.
The rest of the characters are also good for the most part for example I really like the other characters ranging from the badass and mother figure to Shana Wilhelmina, the comic relief and also badass Margery, the rough but chilled Keisaku to the emotionless villain Hecate. In almost any show that I liked there is always that one or two character that I don’t like. In Shana case that character is Yoshida. She is a definition of a bad character because not only she’s annoying but she messes up the relationship of Shana and Yuji by adding a unnecessarily love triangle in the first half of S2. I don’t fully hate her as much as other people do but I she was that character that I heavily dislike.
Also I like to mention that some of the villains in s1 were not great they are .Not offensively bad like Yoshida but compare to the villains in the second season and final they are rather forgettable.
Overall besides from Yoshida this character cast was great.
Like with the characters the art/animation continuously evolves as the series progress.
The art style of the first half of S1 feels kinda generic and outdated in a lot of areas but the second half of s1 the art/animation general improves for the better. Shana Final has some of the best art/animation I seen from a J.C Staff because you can clearly tell that they really effort on the characters designs to the backgrounds of the locations.
Not to mention Shana hair on S3 is beautifully animated.
Overall the art/animation is really good.
The OST of Shana is just wonderful listen because it has both the action and romance music that are very memorable plus the show knows to use appropriate songs on each scene.
By the time of this review the Shakugan no Shana ost is one of my favourite OSTs in anime.
All of the openings were good but noting can top Shana III Final opening 1 Light My Fire” by KOTOKO because it’s sounds legendary and it’s more hype for the show. Not to mention it’s one of my favourite anime openings of all time.
The endings are good but nowhere near as good as the openings in my opinion. The only endings themes that I adore are Shana 2 Ending 2 Sociometry” by KOTOKO and Shana 3 Final Ending 1 I’ll believe” by ALTIMA.
Now I only have seen Shakugan no Shana dubbed and I thought it was great dub.
Unlike Familiar of Zero you can tell they put effort of the dub because the voice acting for almost all of the characters were great. Unlike Slayers where two voice actors have to be changed as that series progresses everyone character a new voice actor in by the beginning of Shana Second. I personally enjoyed the new voice actors because I think they did a good job with the roles.
Overall the ost was just masterpiece. The openings, endings and the dub was great.
I really enjoyed the story from the action pack s1, the clam slice of life first half of s2, the more interesting second half of s2 to the wonderful war setting that is Shana 3 final because each season is very different from each other’s and its works really well in my opinion.
I personally enjoyed all of the seasons because of the character cast evolving every season to become better like for example I use to wrote off Yuji is a generic MC but after seeing Final he became a better and more interesting character.
Same goes with Shana because I was worried that Shana will became a another Lousie from The Familiar of Zero but in the end not only she’s a well written tsundere with amazing character development she’s one of the best female leads I have ever seen in a long while.
Shakguan no Shana has been a wonderful ride for me.
It’s a great story that gets better written as the series progresses, the charterers are great and fun to watch, the art/animation just wonderful especially in S3 the ost is amazing and easily one of my favourite anime OST and the dub is great.
Shakugan no Shana has currently maintain a spot in my top 20 favourite anime series.
It’s a much watch anyone who is looking for a fast pace action anime with some good slice of life bits.
I give Shakugan No Shana these presenting scores for each season below.
Shana S 9/10
My overall score a 9/10 (This series has been one hell of a fun and romantic ride)
My Anime Recommendations
Slayers (for more Takashi Watanabe greatness)
Anyway this was TheCodeTrigger and I will see you guys next time.