Shakugan No Shana – Box Set
Every day we wake up, go to work or to school, have a busy day, go home, eat some food and go to bed. The world is a peaceful and enjoyable place, although it can be a little on the dull side. This was the life of Sakaki Yuuji until one day on his way to school he witnesses the world suddenly freeze around him. Everywhere he turns people are engulfed in blue flames, and it soon becomes apparent that there’s another world besides his own that’s in a constant battle. Just as Yuuji is about to suffer the same blue frozen fate as the rest of the people around him, a red haired youth appears calling herself Flame Haze. Unfortunately for Yuuji she’s incredibly blunt and lets him know that he’s dead and he is now Torch. Rather than sulking or becoming distressed Yuuji accepts this fact and Flame Haze becomes Shana, his friend and their whole new world begins.
The first episode sets the scene for what would be a very typical anime, with a bland lead character, a random character who comes to shake everything up and turns out to be incredibly arrogant and a world that needs saving. Nothing new and certainly not worth even switching the DVD player on for. Fortunately the second episode starts to move the plot forward a bit and throughout this episode the character develop and the show becomes a bit more than the standard “normal boy meets not so normal girl”.
From the second episode onward the show starts to take a different twist, as it soon becomes clear that Shana, although an arrogant character, is one with clear moral guidelines and is prepared to upset others to get what she wants. Although throughout the entire series she is very bratty and will demand her own way when it’s not always the best course of action. Yuuji follows at first the usual male lead role, he does deviate a fair bit from this clichéd personality, which makes him more likeable and bearable as a character.
Although a lot of the character’s personalities are a little overused, the plot fortunately takes a different course of action in comparison to the majority of the shows in its class. Unlike Naruto or Bleach the plot isn’t just one fight and adventure directly followed by another, there is character development and whereas characters in shows of it’s class seem to simply change in one sitting, characters in Shana change over time. Not forgetting the very open ended ending.
Although the characters themselves are trying to deviate from the norm, the animation style hasn’t changed a bit from any other generic anime that’s out on the market at the moment. The character designs themselves, although unique to this show, still follow the same basic trends as the rest of the genre and a lot of the supporting cast are hard to distinguish without being named by the other characters. The animation itself is of a good quality, with smooth movements and distinct characters from the background. The colours are vibrant and look good, although not outstanding.
The voice acting is of a good standard as well, the Japanese actors have clearly put effort into their vocal and on the whole each voice suits the characters very well. The same can be said for the English cast, although some of the voices do sound a little typical but overall it’s of a solid standard. Just like the music, likeable and enjoyable.
Shakugan no Shana deviates a little from the other titles in this genre and is much better than a lot of the alternatives around. For early teenage viewer this is a perfect title.