Posted by psgels on 25 March 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews


Let’s see, what have we here… Girl with superpowers runs into boy who holds the key to the bad guys for their ultimate plan in order to gain an infinite amount of power. Boy and girl fall in love. The end. Let’s see, where have I seen this before?

The anime starts out pretty nicely. Yuji (the boy) discovers that he died a long time ago and that he had been temporarily replaced by a blue flame which keeps getting weaker and weaker. All this is told by a very nonchalant girl who couldn’t care less about him. Yuji just doesn’t accept this and keeps bothering this girl. After he sacrifices himself in order to save others, Shana (the girl) finally realizes that not all humans are selfish and care only about themselves. Then, at the point of a dramatic ending, Yuji convieniently appears to have a unique power to restore all his lost energy by midnight. Even though that minor detail ruined a couple of scenes, I found myself enjoying these parts. The only problem: these were only the first four episodes.

The episodes that followed featured some kind of bad guy who had to be defeated. Some of them were kindof interesting to see (for example, the doll fetishist), some were just plain boring (for example, the flashback arc). But the biggest problem I had was our main character: Shana. She managed to change from a nonchalant red-haired warrior to a whiny little girl. Not particularly the best development ever and as the episode progressed I began to hate her more and more. In an attempt to counter this, the creators made her obsessive about melon-pan, which she then tried to eat in a very cute-like way. When they first introduced this, Shana was still in nonchalant-mode, so it didn’t really fit that character at all. As the series progressed, that behaviour fitted her character more and more, but I really couldn’t care less about this, and it wasn’t really the cutest thing I ever saw. If you want cute, you should see Becky in a cat-suit, bottle-fairies playing pirate or Mori doing a cossack dance.

The characters I did like were the side-characters, especially Yuji’s classmates. If you ignore the fact that each flame haze that visited the town convieniently chose one of them to be their side-kick, then they have some very interesting personalities. I especially liked Yoshida. I kept hoping for her to beat Shana and just make Yuji fall for her, although I knew that this was false hope, as Yuji and Shana were meant to be together for the sake of being the main characters. Anyway, I had a very enjoyable time whenever one of Yuji’s classmates came in the spotlight. I especially loved the confession between two of them. It was the last thing I expected from a show like this.

Then the ultimate bad guys. These guys really are 1-dimensional characters, being bad for the sake of being bad. We never get to hear their intentions, or why they’re doing what they’re doing. For example, I’d have loved to see a bit of background from Hecate, but no. Apparently, Shana’s more important, so she’s the only one who we get so see some background of (which by the way, was really disappointing. It didn’t feel special to me at all, except maybe Shana’s outfit. There’s also the question remaining as to why Shana turned so cold, as she was pretty energetic when she was young).

The ending of the series was horrible. Giving me fake hope like that! And yes, all of the side-characters are conviently put out of the picture as our hero sets off to the ultimate showdown. Anyway, blah blah, fight fight, drama, blah blah, drama. *yawn* The aftermath shows us an open ending, which shows some hints for a second season (>.<)

Shakugan no Shana does excel in the music department, however. The tunes are nice and catchy, especially at the beginning of the series. They turn a bit repetitive at the end of the series, though, but that’s a minor issue. I just don’t like the tune the creators used for the commercial-introduction-sequence. It doesn’t really work along with a very dramatical scene right before it.

The art itself is also pretty decent. The eyes of the characters might be a bit too much, but apart from that, it didn’t bother me much. The CG also looks very interesting, except for the fact that there seemed to be a thick imaginary line between the usual art and the CG. I could exactly distinguish both of them, and they really were not blended in too well. That was a bit of a pity to see.

Overall, this is a pretty popular series, but I just don’t like it. Period.

Overall Rating: 51/100

15 Responses

  1. Os says:

    So its not just me who didn’t think the show was so spectacular. I’m not saying its horrible, like you, its just not something to go absolutely fanboy over. Its you and me against the world.

  2. Anga says:

    It was above average series. I should watch last episode and write review too, but kind of have lost most eagerness towards it.

  3. Eleutheria says:

    Interesting review where the first thing I noticed was the misspelling of the main character’s name.

  4. psgels psgels says:

    Ugh… I knew I had that one wrong…

    Fixed it now. ^_^

  5. Lene says:

    Yeah I’m watching this one, but it’s not as good as the other’s I’m watching (Mai Otome, Noein, Mushishi). It’s entertaining though :)

  6. charizardpal says:

    I’m watching this series right now. From the very begining when I found little information on the story’s characters at wikipedia to my first viewing of the confusing flashbacks, I realized this series would be mediocre. Even so…I like watching this show because…

    I DON’T HAVE TO THINK! A VIEWER CAN JUST WATCH AND TUNE OUT.

  7. Derrigan says:

    This show sorta reminded me of Fate/Stay

  8. yoshi927 says:

    Eh, I kinda liked it at first, but it just got too annoying to watch.

  9. panaghoy88 says:

    @charizardpal: I envy you man. I finished the first season. I did enjoy the first few episodes but then I realized halfway through the series that the characters are getting boring as well as the story. For a 26 episode anime the main arc was stretched too long. It would have benefited with a concise number of episodes.

  10. ganon says:

    this show is mediocre, but the shanatan spin-off is criminally cute.

  11. Sun says:

    Umm… I see, after looking around, you don’t seem to like this type of anime… When i watch anime, i just skip the boring parts with a x2 or x4 so it doesn’t get as bad as some anime gets if you watch it completely

  12. scarlet says:

    The only thing that get me to watch it is a beautiful artwork of Shana, which I kind of regretted later on.

    Well, Shana’s not too bad; it’s just… too… un-original and too many damn romance and useless Yoshida.

  13. Jojo Bizarro says:

    I watched the first two or three eps and got bored with it. The whole concept of “power of existence” made me facepalm, since the mere existence of a soul doesn’t require any energy or power to support it in the real world, though life (connection between soul and body) obviously does need energy to keep going. Furthermore, a soul is an inherently indestructible point of perception, so those villains, or any villain for that matter, can’t tap any energy or power from it.

    • EternalRain says:

      >Assuming anime is supposed to be logical in reference to the real world when the series is labeled “Fantasy”
      As long as a series makes sense (aka the rules they set in their world don’t get repeatedly broken to the point of wtf) in-universe, with in-universe rules I don’t see anything wrong with it.

      @psgels
      I personally don’t agree with your rating, but I can see how you would interpret it that way. I think where our opinions differ is that you saw it as a 1 season show. Of course, back then in 2006, it did make sense for you to see at as a “1 season” show considering season 2 wasn’t released yet. Season 1 was actually far better than Season 2 for the episodes 1-14 (they’re all slice of life between Shana and Yoshida and anime original) so I know you’d probably enjoy that – I detested it because it didn’t advance the plot at all. But the ending was somewhat creative in the end of Season 2, with hints at Season 3, but they butchered the beginning of Season 2 so badly that they rushed the end, and that made Season 3 confusing without supplementary LN information.

      tldr; It’s a fairly solid series. Nothing extremely enlightening or groundbreaking, but imo, it’s a solid 7.5-8.0/10. Season 3 seems confusing, but the story is told far better than S1 or S2. If S3 ends well, that might make up for the crap S2. Maybe.

  14. LF52 says:

    personally, I think the concept of the show wasn’t that bad, however, what really turned me off was the characters.. especially the protag… what’s his face..

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  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 04:42 AM)
    Even Anno admitted that Evangelion’s success was heavily reliant on Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s unique and attractive character design. It was familiar but still original. Rei and Asuka’s designs as well as the plug suits and the look of ye Evas had a huge impact in the industry and inspired a whole slew of future animators. You could’ve done the same exact series with a cruder art style and it wouldn’t have been nearly as good.
  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 04:19 AM)
    @Aidan: art-style is integral to the overall quality of a product, that’s why it irks me so much when Type-Moonies endlessly praise Nasu and underappreciate Takeuchi as if he didn’t contribute all that much to Fate’s success.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 02:38 AM)
    @Bam, it’s a rough style admittedly. But mate I played Umineko with the original artwork. It’s hard to find anything worse than that…expect Higurashi’s artwork…(shivers)
    Ryukishi, great writer but not an artist.
  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 12:24 AM)
    You guys made me want to go see Fury Road in IMAX now.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 10:13 PM)
    @Aidan: you know I tried looking into Muv Luv since it’s supposedly a seminal LN, but that character design is horrendous. The story sounds interesting but there’s such a divide between that and the art style that there’s no way I can get into it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 02:04 PM)
    Another Muv luv spinoff gets an anime adaption. Sure, lets adapt everything except the work that made it famous in the first place.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 04:10 AM)
    Muthafuckas cancelled the Constantine tv adapatation…
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:45 AM)
    Come to think of it, Tsugumi’s personality at odds with her monster design. I’m getting reminded of that mech from zone of the enders dolores that had the personality of a young girl .
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:43 AM)
    @Aidan: The bear will be explained as it was done so recently enough in the manga, Ochiai remains however a very dull villain.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:27 AM)
    You know when grabbing screenshots Sidonia really does look better when you look at it in still images. I really do think that if they just gave the models more natural movement then it would look metric tons better.

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