[NOTE: This post is very old and no longer reflective of my opinions or writing style.]
Title: Shakugan no Shana
Genre: Supernatural, Shounen Action
For Fans of: Zero no Tsukaima, Shin Megami Tensei
Length: 24 episodes (season 2 coming soon)
Availability: 6 DVDs by Genoen (meaning buy them with much speed!)
The Pros: – Pure style. Dark tones remniscent of the Shin Megami Tensei games.
– Great characters who all play their roles wonderfully
– Interesting mythology
The Cons: – Rather poor writing/directing all around
– The ‘we’re in a hurry, so let’s stand still for 10 minutes’ syndrom
– The ‘groups of enemies just surround you and don’t actually attack, while single enemies hold off on finishing the fight until it’s too late’ syndrome
I really enjoyed Shana for several things – the awesome style and great characters, and since both of those facets remained consistant throughout, I managed to have a lot of fun with this series, and I look forward to the next season. Admittedly, the show had a number of problems. Despite the great style, the animation isn’t anything wonderful and the fight scenes are not particularly exciting. The worst thing in my opinion, though, was the writing.
Mind you, it wasn’t all bad in that department, but I think it degraded as the show pushed on. For instance, as ‘life force’ slowly went from the power of being alive to the enemy’s power level (luckily this didn’t become to horrible, though it did go OVER 9000!!!!) Also, people say some really confusing things. I mean, just hen you think you’ve figured out the situation, suddenly you’re not sure wat the hell the plan was on eithe side. Stll, though, if you look at the fighting and plotting all as background to th character development then it isn’t so bad.
While Shana doesn’t have the most original plot of all time, I think it has some really interesting characters. A lot of people compare Shana to Louise of ZnT, Nagi of Hayate no Gotoku, and some other character from Nanoha (partly because they all have the same voice actor, and partly because al of them have tsundere quality) however none of them are really al that alike, and Shana is by far the most believable and great of them. Her and Yuuji make a great duo and they’re just plain fun to watch together, especially in their happy moments.
Margery Dawn is fun too, though Marcotious is the real star of the duo. The smart-mouthed book has the best voice ever and he is hilarious. Ah, my beautiful goblet MARGERY DAWN! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Also, there’s her minions who were both awesome. I think they played really well off of each-other. Most of the enemies were memorable as well and interesting. The twins were my fvorite, of course, with their constant making out and all-around craziness – they’re hard not to love. I also wish we could have seen more of the Undertaker since he was a fun character, and I have the sneaking suspition that rainbow-skeleton-man Shiro will be back too. But that could just be me getting my hopes up.