Friday, January 7, 2011

Anime Review: Shakugan no Shana

Shana was never that high on my to-watch list but saw it anyway when one of my friends loaned it to me after I loaned her Princess Tutu (frankly I think she got the better deal). Hurried through that during the last few weeks of school and just really don’t have a lot to say about it.

Shakugan no Shana

Summary: Yuji Sakai was living a rather ordinary life when he found out one day that he was already dead. He is what is called a torch, a substitute for a person who has died (specifically, whose has been killed by otherworldly creatures called Crimson Denizens) created by a Flame Haze, the people who are dedicated to killing denizens. The one informs of his situation, Shana, becomes curious why Yuji doesn’t act like other torches and continues to follow him.

The Good: There was enough plot and fighting to keep me from getting bored and yet it wasn’t enough that someone half paying attention* couldn’t follow. I was a little worried after the first arc what the story would do next (ie, they had already defeated one big bad, who seemed more like a final boss than a mid level one, what else is there to do?) but the story kept to a good pace and only had a couple of filler episodes. There was also some character development on Shana and the side characters part and the ending was a nice balance of wrapping things up yet leaving room for a continuation.

The Bad: I just never really got into this series for whatever reason. It’s not a bad series, it just never managed to catch my interest and draw me or make me want to watch the next seasons or read the light novels. I’m sure if a friend loaned me the second season (which I think has been licensed but not released yet) I’d probably watch it, however I would probably be doing something else while watching it, just like I did this time around. I guess I’ve just seem the same ideas used so many times now (ordinary person turns out to be not so ordinary and has adventures in a realistic setting with someone you know they’re going to end up with) that unless a show like that is really special I just won’t get into it.

The Art: I’m not crazy about the art style here (I prefer a more realistic style, or at least eyes that look less saucer shaped) and that style does date it a tiny bit. But all the fights looked cool and I didn’t see much if any stock footage. So, the art wasn’t to my taste but there was hardly anything wrong with it.

The Music: I preferred the first opening and the first ending over the second set by far. The first OP was a catchy and energetic song and the first ED was a lovely ballad about Shana that I really liked. I honestly can’t remember what the second set was like and if the song doesn’t stick then that’s not a good sign. The background music for this series was rather distinctive (which might be because I saw a video about it right before I watched this) and I liked it. So the music for this series was nice, no complaints here.

So, a decent show (I don’t think many people would call it the best thing ever) but not something that grabbed my interest. Oh well, now, to get my Princess Tutu boxset back…

*Yes I was working on art homework at the time, this just happened to be the only thing I had to watch while doing so, if I had anything else I would've been watching that instead, I really wasn't trying to snub the show.

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