Shakugan no Shana III (Final) – Episode 17 & Episode 18

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Getting this out early to make up for waiting an extra week. Though I wasn’t lying that I had nothing to really say for episode 17. You’ll see.

Though I do find it amusing that after I say I’m not going to post on Sundays or Tuesdays due to working on homework, I post on both Sundays since then. I’m not sure what even goes on in my head. But you should still assume that I’m trying not to post on those days, because these last two times I’ve only done it since I felt obligated to due to whatever reason.

Also, completely unrelated comment before I start the post, I’ve been watching Plinkett Reviews over at RedLetterMedia. I’ve seen the Star Wars prequel ones, and they’re both funny, and very true. They’re pretty in-depth reviews, and something interesting is that it’s not just a guy talking while you watch a slideshow of clips, but rather the guy made a persona that he acts out for the reviews. It lets him make funny quips, and there’s even this deranged backstory you get to see for him during the reviews. Though those clips are usually much darker humor than the complaints about the movies, so be aware of that if you’re not into that kind of thing. But they’re only a small portion of the reviews, so I still think they’re worth a watch even if you don’t like dark humor.

So, episode 17. Well, Shana and the gang arrived in New York in order to talk to the other Gods of the Earth/Motherland.snap3

They agreed much quicker than expected, presumably because they could tell shit was going down. If you think about it, they could probably sense Centerhill’s death, given how they’re all sort of connected in a way, and are all very significant existences.

Other than that, Yuuji showed up in Misaki City in order to get Kazumi, for reasons explained in the next episode. There’s not really much to say about this, even though it was a pretty important scene. While it was nice that we got to hear Yuuji’s perspective from his own mouth, this was all stuff we either already knew, or could infer based on things he has said in previous episodes. I guess it essentially confirmed that Yuuji is totally in on the plan by his own will, but by this point it’s kind of obvious. There is a very important comment made by Yuuji about how Shana would never accept an uncertain plan that’s purely based on hopeful wishes, but I’ll save talking about that for later.

Then Yoshida agrees to go with him at the end, and it turns out the base is already hovering over Misaki City.

And that’s it for episode 17. See why I wanted to wait for another one?snap4

This episode starts where the last left off, with gigantic stuff floating in the sky. I’m sort of confused about the scene though, because I can’t recall if normal people straight up can’t see it, or if it has been in a Time Seal the entire time or something, because when everyone looked up and saw it, I wasn’t sure if Yuuji had done something to make it visible, or he deliberately wasn’t careful because the end is nigh, so he couldn’t give less of a shit if people see it. I’m not gonna lie, I like the latter one more.

Anyways, we find out he needs Yoshida because he has to undo what Khamsin did in the first season, when he stabilised all the power that was going crazy or something. By breaking this, it’ll allow him to flow power through it, which will help create the copy of the world.
I kind of just nodded my head at this part, because it’s not like I know anything about making worlds, but it sounds reasonable enough to me.

Meanwhile, Shana is going over the plan of attack with her group by pointing out important parts on a map by use of very questionable symbols.snap5

Do these mean something different to the Japanese? Or is it just a different perspective since they were on the Axis Powers? I don’t even know.

Back over to Yuuji’s/Snake’s gang, Lamies is the one setting everything up to break what Khamsin did, and we found out that he agreed to help not necessarily because he agreed with Yuuji’s/Snake’s plan, but because he gets some of the PoE left by the denizens once they go to the new world. Know what that means? We may finally get to find out what his goal that he’s been working towards is! Huzzah! And here I thought that was a plot point that was never going to get resolved.

Afterwards, we find out another core step in the plan.snap6

Oh boy, I can hear Feal crying all the way from here, and not only do we live in different countries (and continents), I’m pretty sure he hasn’t even watched this episode yet.

Random namedropping aside, turns out Hecate is required as a sacrifice in order to get power or something for the process of making a new world. Or something like that; I admit, my memory is slightly hazy of that scene. I was pretty tired when I watched it since I had just blazed through a bunch of Calc II assignments.

But whatever, point is, we now know why she was so attached to Snake: she was basically born to be. She’s an existence that heralds his coming, so she basically lives to see him (again).snap7

Then Shana’s group shows up and starts blowing shit up. A badass entrance with some badass BGM to go with it. I’m heavily considering importing this soundtrack…

The Gods of the Earth/Motherland are also pretty interesting. I can see what they were going for by having their personalities be distinctly different in the same way that they each represent an entirely different section of the world (east, west, north, south). It’s not the most original device ever, but I appreciate it nonetheless. It’d be boring if they all had similar personalities.

The episode then ends with the big showdown about to start.


Before I end this post, I said I was going to comment on what Yuuji said in episode 17, so I shall.

He made the comment that Shana wouldn’t agree to an uncertain plan purely based on hopeful wishes, which, when combined with Yoshida said in episode 18, made me realize something painfully obvious that I should have noticed a season or two ago. Something along the lines of what I was talking about back in my episode 14 post about Yuuji’s motivations.

Yoshida commented at the very end about how Shana and Yuuji are both very much fighting for each other’s sake, yet they have to fight each other, and she’s confused as to why this is. The answer, my not so lovely girl, is that while they both want the best results, their opinions on what those are are completely different. From the very beginning, this show has set up a conflict of what is ideal, versus what is reality.

While at the very start of the series, they were on the same page about stopping the Crimson Denizens, it was for completely different reasons. While Shana fought the Denizens to keep the balance, and using humans’ PoE and such was an unfortunate reality, Yuuji fought the Denizens in order to protect humans, and refused to have any harm happen to people.

That may sound the same, but think of it this way: Shana fought Denizens since it was her main purpose, and avoided human casualty within her limits; Yuuji’s main purpose was to avoid human casualty and protect them, while killing Denizens was an occasionally necessary objective to do so.

Two people doing the same thing can have polar opposite reasons and perspectives for doing so, and that, built up with all of the occurrences (and therefore development of the characters) that happened in the first two seasons, is what has led us to this season. Shana did the best she could with the reality of the world, while Yuuji has always wanted to work around or completely change this reality. As I said back in my analysis, Yuuji has always done what he thought was right in order to stop people from being eaten and turned into torches, and Snake gave him the best solution, despite it being the exact opposite of what he had been previously doing before. His character hasn’t done a 180, merely the actions through which to achieve his ultimate goal has.

And while Shana has changed over the seasons into someone who also holds human lives at the same value as stopping Denizens, she still believes in working the best out of what you’re given, rather than trying to get new material. So, just like Yuuji, Shana has changed as far as her values go, just not her beliefs.

This is what happens when two characters, while fighting for what they both agree to be right, can be lead to fight each other. One works with what is possible within reality, while the other wants the ideal solution. And those goals only follow a similar path for so long.


But rambling aside, who’s ready for…snap8

THE BEST EPISODE OF THEM ALL?


6 Comments on “Shakugan no Shana III (Final) – Episode 17 & Episode 18”

  1. Son Gohan says:

    The swastika was originaly a symbol of eternity in Eastern cultures. Hitler took it and perverted its meaning. Also notice that the swastika depicted in figure runs clockwise while the Nazi swastika runs counterclockwise.

    • Riyoga says:

      Fair point, but I figured that the use of the symbol would have still been… discouraged after the whole World War II deal, despite the symbol being mirrored/flipped. I guess the answer is no.

      • shiki says:

        Due to their distance from the western world and western culture and the universality of the symbol in eastern religion, WWII had little to no effect on Japanese usage of the symbol. I once saw a Korean girl wearing a sweater with a “bent cross” pattern on the neckline. So I present that the entirety of East Asia is pretty nonchalant about using the bent cross as a religious symbol or merely decorative symbol in much the same way that people in western cultures like cross jewelry or embroidery.

        If I’m remembering my study abroad correctly, a bent cross on the map represents the location of a buddhist temple, if I’m not mistaken. I also remember the newscasters having to explain this cultural difference during the winter olympics in nagano, japan. It’s just a matter of the symbol having a completely different meaning for their entire culture long before Hitler misappropriated it for his genocidal regime. Also, you underestimate the closeness of Japan to the rest of the axis, both geographically and in reality. There’s an amusing part in Axis Powers Hetalia where Germany complains about his friend Italy being militarily useless while his friend Japan is always silent and aloof. Hetalia is a satire of world history where no nation is safe from humor at its own expense.

        • Riyoga says:

          No, I completely get that it has a different meaning for eastern culture even after the war (though the information that it’s used to mark buddhist temples on maps I wasn’t aware of and pretty much explains the image), I just figured that since it was a war that, you know, was world-wide, it still would have been shunned, or at least used more discreetly. Germany nowadays pretty much goes insane and bans anything that mentions Hitler or Nazis, so I thought it would have been the same everywhere else in the world, though to a lesser extent, obviously.
          But, if it’s true they’re used to mark temples, it’s not so easy to just suddenly change a very recognized symbol in a culture, so fair enough if they decided to leave it as is.

          Funny that you bring up Hetalia though, considering I was thinking about it as I wrote that part. But anyways, as I said before, despite their aloofness, I thought there would have been at least some impact on the use of it in eastern culture. It seems so far the answer is a very resounding no, so my bad.

  2. Anyway, they were two fairly good episodes. As the your last part stated, I had come to the same understanding that not much was separating Yuuji’s and Shana’s intentions, just the manner in which they were accomplishing them. And really, as with any greatly written series you can’t help but feel sympathetic with both of them in their attempts.

    • Riyoga says:

      Definitely agreed. While I may be biased since I find Yuuji’s perspective to be the better choice, I still completely understand where Shana is coming from. Trying to change how the world works is no small feat, and stuff could get screwed up extremely easily. I just think it’s worth the risk, because otherwise you won’t get anywhere.


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