Monday, June 22, 2009

Shakugan no Shana

Hey, I’m back from my vacation trip, and I’m ready and able to do some reviews. Now, I know that as a comeback I should do something more popular or something really crappy, but I just came back, so… Shakugan no Shana will have to do. Also, know that the requests you made will soon be ready for viewing and reviewing, so be patient.
Now, about Shakugan no Shana. To start, I’d like to say it’s not the worst anime I saw, but it certainly is one that drags along unnecessarily. The plot is too linier, and there isn’t much mystery. The plot is about a guy, Yuji Sakai who leads a normal high school life. But suddenly on his way home time freezes and all hell breaks loose as Yuji watches those around him being engulfed by blue flames and eaten by a monster. As the monster approaches to eat him, a girl with flaming hair and eyes and big-ass sword appears and kills the monster. She notices Yuji and tells him that he is a Torch, a temporary replacement for the ,,real” Yuji who died sometime ago. He accepts his fate, but latter discovers that his energy is replenished after midnight, which means he won’t disappear, because of some Hogu artifact inside him. So now many bad guys suddenly realize his existence and the power he contains and all want a piece of him and ( I have no idea why ) his city. So that girl with the flaming hair and eyes, called Flame Haze, takes the role of protecting Yuji and killing those out to get him.
So… yeah it’s nothing truly original. Describing in more simple terms will be like this… This guy has something inside him he didn’t know before… everybody wants a piece of him… this girl protects him… they form a bond with each other… THE END. It can’t be any more straightforward than this. And it drags along for the entire 2 seasons. Some elements are introduced in to the plot like character history or some explanations, but they are more like ,,Who cares, I’m not wasting 25 min on this shit”. It would’ve worked out well if they just presented those personal histories or explanations in the form of brief flashbacks and small cut-scenes, NOT ENTIRE EPISODES. Some of you who read this might disagree, saying it’s not that bad or that the episodes are important, but trust me, even without them I can sleep better at night. Also, since the anime focuses on Yuji expect slice-of-life and school. Yeah… this is fucking fun. And all the school life and slice-of-life elements are sooooo cliché. Love triangles… school festivals… BORING SHIT. I think these episodes are meant for character development, but they are unnecessary. In terms of action, Shana delivers some good experience, but it’s not memorable or unique. And if you are expecting some comedy than I would suggest for you to expect a kangaroo to deliver you pizza cause there are a lot more chances of that happening.
Another thing worth talking about is the uninspired character cast. Never have I seen before such boring, stereotypical unlikable characters in an anime. Some of them are ( like most of the episodes and… hell why not… the entire series ) unnecessary. They don’t progress the plot or offer any intrigue. Actually they feel more like excess luggage that you have to drag for some unknown reason. I can even name these rejects: Hayato Ike, who doesn’t do jack shit, Matake Ogata a useless over-energetic bitch, and Eita Tanaka. Oh boy… this guy is as much fun as a decomposing piece of shit. Not only is he the most useless and dull character in the entire series, but he is also the one with the most disturbing feature… NO FUCKING EYES. Now that is really sexy. What was the idea ? Make a shitty character, take his eyes out, and watch as his popularity grows ? Well it didn’t. They were really pissing shit when they thought this guy up. There are other characters, but my opinion doesn’t change much so it is no use talking about the others. The enemies are just as dull, each with a certain fetish, and they don’t change much. In short… they suck. Especially since the enemies from the 1st season come back in the 2nd ( talk about variety ). And talking about the 1st and the 2nd season the only real difference is that in the 2nd season Yuji takes more active roles in combat and at the end becomes stronger. The ending of the 2nd season was good because it doesn’t leave you wanting for more ( not that anything here does ). I mean it wraps everything up, shows which girl he chooses, ends with a nice Christmas setting, everybody is happy, The End ( thank Lord ). But wait… did you know a 3rd season is announced ? HOLY SHIT I can’t wait !!! What other pleasant surprises will it offer ? What other twists and turns in the plot will appear ? Well… I don’t know and don’t give a shit cause I won’t watch it.
Talking about presentation, Shakugan no Shana has some fairly decent visuals, but they are standard. Character models are decent but dull with few distinct features. I guess they wanted to make them look as normal as possible, you know, to show how an average Joe can actually be a hero or monster or something, but the fact that most of the time they are dressed in average clothes in an average way ( especially since most of the time it’s a school uniform ) then it only gets in the way of personality development. And the background is balls because the city is shown mostly like a collection of gray cardboard boxes. The visual effects are better, but… I don’t know how else to explain this… the background changes its color depending on the magical power of a certain character. Like for example if a characters magical power is blue than blue will be the dominant color. So there won’t be much color variety. Sound effects are good, voice-work is Ok but the music clearly isn’t one of its strong points ( not that anything is ).
Overall, this is a slightly below average ( which kind of sucks to be in between ) anime, and I would rather dye my hair in horse jizz than watch this monkey waste again, let alone the 3rd FUCKING SEASON.

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