Shakugan No Shana Review
Type: TV series - 72 episodes (88 counting specials).
Genre: Fantasy, action, romance.
Yuji's life is turned upside down when he is dragged into an ancient war between the flame hazes and the crimson lords. It is revealed that the real Yuji has been dead for some time and that he is just a torch. An object the looks the dead Yuji made to keep the world in balance. Yuji the torch encounters Shana, a flame haze with a heart of stone. Together they set out to save the world.
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Darker that you would expect. Shakugan no Shana is always surprising. The first season is well written and although it lags a little in the middle the finale two episodes are stormers. The second season has similar pacing problems but once again this show manages to turn things around with a fantastic battle (Sabrac) and a good finale. Season 3 was less impressive than the others with character inconsistencies and a lot of wasted episodes. Yet once again a good final episode is provided. Honestly this show seems to be masterful at managing to turn around a bad string of episodes just as I'm about to get bored with it.
Whilst Yuji can be a little bland, Shana is quite a fun character. Her gradual development is handled well in the first season. A large selection of fun side characters and excellent villains keep the audience coming back to the series. Even in the final season when it introduces brand new characters the show does so effortlessly.
This is a mixed affair. The show uses a lot of stationary pictures and at times it looks a little bit cheap. When the battles get going, this show knows what its doing. The battles look fast furious and beautiful. All the characters look excellent and fight with their own distinctive styles. Shana's transformation in particular looks great whilst onscreen.
Voice acting, music rating: 8/10
The voice acting is not bad. Both the sub and dub sound fine if a little unspectacular. Where this show shines is its large selection of fun background themes. It has several songs which work perfectly in battle sequences amplifying the action.
18 episodes into this show I was sure it was heading for a subpar 6.5 yet Shakugan No Shana has the propensity and the will to turn around a series of dull episodes and drag the viewers back to the edge of their seats. The high score this series has got is primarily down to its great finales and invigorating battle sequences.