Pleading the Case for: Shakugan no Shana

Delays, delays, delays. I guess it was inevitable, given that college started up again. Then again I’ve been shirking all of my duties to play games, so maybe college isn’t to blame (yes it is, it’s so boring it made me get a shitton of games).
Right now I’m trying to finish up Deus Ex: Human Revolution this weekend so it won’t distract me during the schoolweek. I have other games I need to finish too, but they aren’t as… demanding as DE:HR is. The other games I play when I’m bored, DE:HR I’m playing because I genuinely want to see where the game/story goes. Plus I want to upgrade myself as much as possible even though I don’t need half the augments, just because they make me a badass.

Anyways, getting back on track. Remember back in the day when I wrote a post defending The World God Only Knows, saying why it wasn’t a bad show even though most people I came across said it was? Well, seeing as how I tend to not agree with popular opinion a decent amount of the time, I decided I wanted to turn it into a little column of its own.

Again, the point of these points isn’t to attack other people’s opinions, but to open a doorway to my thoughts on the show, so that maybe you guys can enjoy the series maybe even a little more than you used to.

So first up (technically second) is a very important show to me: Shakugan no Shana.

1) Shana and Genericism

I’ve always found the argument of something being “generic” to be a pretty weak argument. Sure, maybe a show can be generic for you if you’re a veteran and have seen plenty of other shows like it, but what about if someone completely new to anime watched it? Would they find it generic? Most likely not. What if it was the show that started the trend and caused certain points to be “generic?” Would it still count as being “generic?”
Something being “generic” is a very conditional argument, which is why I don’t think it’s fit to be one at all.

However, even taking this into consideration, I don’t think Shana is generic at all. Sure, it may have some generic points to it, such as the occasional fanservice, but it’s so obviously shoehorned in by the anime studio that it’s easy to ignore. If anything about Shana can be accused of being “generic,” it’s that it started the tsundere craze.

A lot of people like to claim the show is “generic” by describing the show as something along the lines of, “Generic high school boy meets super-powered girl, and they work together to save the world.” That’s not a plot description, that’s simply an oversimplified synopsis. Honestly, you can compare any two shows together if you simplify their plots enough. Watch, I bet I can think of a oversimplified plot synopsis that can apply to both Shana and… lets say… Death Note.
“Main character who’s used to being a lone-wolf has access to superpowers. Main character uses said superpowers to make the world a better place. Occasionally morally-questionable choices are made, but the main character hardly ever doubts their decisions.”

Alright that was a bit crude, but I haven’t slept in over 24 hours. You get my point at least… I hope.

2) Excessive Hatred Towards Yuuji


I already covered this in a previous post a bit, but eh, copy-pasta never hurt anyone.

There are a fair amount of people that actually dislike Yuuji more than any other male characters in anime (or at least they’re the most vocal about him). This is due to not having a lot of common sense. He’s been branded as basically the embodiment of male high school lead character stereotypes. In English: he’s “generic.”

But on the other hand he’s quick to get in on the action. Admittedly, at first he just gets in the way, but he’s always training with Shana to get stronger, and once he finds out he has “Silver” in him, he’s quick to try and harness the power. Though he sometimes gets in the way, at least he’s trying to help Shana where he can.

It seems like the hate stems from the character not acting the way viewers wanted. Viewers wanted him to act or react one way, but the author chose another, just as valid approach, but since it wasn’t what the viewers expected or wanted, it created a conflict. At least that’s what I gathered from what people were saying.

3) The Author can Actually Write

Okay maybe I can’t actually back up this point like the others, but it’s similar to watching a dramatic moment in Steins;Gate as compared to Rio: Rainbow Gate. Steins;Gate knew how to pace itself and present good dialogue at the right times, and other things. Rio was just a complete and utter mess.

With Steins;Gate, you actually care about the dramatic moments, and wonder what will happen.
With Rio, the dramatic moments make you roll your eyes and just want it to end already.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why one show can pull you in well, while others can completely fail at it, other than saying “the author knows how to write.” Shana is in the same boat. I’m always curious to know what happens next in Shana and such. I can always take it seriously (except for the fanservice episodes, but I digress).

It seems as though other people don’t share this mentality, though. I’ve personally chalked it up to the idea of the show being “generic” being in people’s heads when they watch it, which makes it less likely for them to be able to take it seriously. Of course, I could be completely off the money, but it’s hard to explain why one person can take a story seriously while others can’t.

4) Margery Daw and Marchosias are Hilarious


Who wouldn’t watch for these guys? Their quips back and forth are hilarious. Heck, even when they aren’t talking to each other, specifically, they’re still funny.

…That’s all I got.
Humor doesn’t need long explanations!

5) Sabrac is a BAMF


He’s better than most standard anime villains. But then again I’m just a sucker for the overpowered-but-doesn’t-have-a-strict-allegiance-to-anyone type of villains.

Man, I hope he shows up in this last season. I’ll be sad if I don’t get to see him again.

So… yeah. That’s all I got. Hey, don’t give me that look! It’s hard to put thought into things with very little sleep. Maybe I’ll edit the post and make it a bit better over the next few days.

If I don’t, then this is the last post from me until reviews start coming out. First up should be No. 6 on Thursday or Friday, shortly followed by Bunny Drop.

P.S. I also thought of making an opposing column which is the opposite of this one. Where I talk about shows I think suck, but most other people think they’re good. I couldn’t think of any names, though. I thought of “Prosecuting the Case for,” but I don’t think that makes much sense. I blame Phoenix Wright entirely for me not being able to think of any other titles.


7 Comments on “Pleading the Case for: Shakugan no Shana”

  1. My recent silence should indicate that I have yet to start watching Shana. Though with your posts, I think it will speed up the process.

  2. shiki says:

    …and we can blame JC Staff for the painfully slow anime original arc in the first half of S2. The source material is good. I’m hoping there won’t be any dragging of feet on major plot points. It took nearly half the series to get to the meat and potatoes. I mean, we were promised Pheles, and she doesn’t show up until the end of ep 12 of Second. Granted, Margery’s 2 ep arc (8+9 of second) was good, but the Konoe Fumina original arc was just drawn out… Those of us who know about what happens in the light novel series are aware that some fairly interesting events must happen before sairei no hebi shows up, so I’m hoping JC Staff makes good on that.

    • Riyoga says:

      That was J.C. Staff? Huh. That sort of explains it. I haven’t actually read the novels, so I’m not sure what the show does differently and such. Though I’ve heard the finale arcs for the last two seasons were also anime original.

      Well, they stalled for time this long so they could have all of the light novel material to work with, so now all they need to do is just figure out how to pace it.
      A lot of people are doubting J.C. Staff and think they’ll turn this last season to shit, but I have faith. J.C. Staff have given us some awesome shit like ToraDora, so I know they can do it if they try. They’ve been hyping this season themselves to the point that I’m willing to bet they’re putting their A-game into this finale.
      Plus, the animation in the trailer looks like a nice upgrade from the first two seasons. I think that means they have a nicer budget to work with, which is always a good thing.

      • shiki says:

        I’m not sure the extent to which Second’s finale was improvised, but I do know that the fountain of existence arc was an improvised ending to S1. However much it was, I must agree that Sabrac was BAMF. And yes, since they do have the entire rest of the series at their disposal, I expect great things. Like you say, JC Staff is capable of great things. They dropped the ball with other shows, but I’m with you that they can pull this off since they have the entire rest of the light novel to draw from. I’m keeping the faith that everything set up in the back half of Second and things not even alluded to will make a great transition from the page to the screen. I’m very much looking forward to Shana vs Sairei no Hebi.

  3. glothelegend says:

    I feel like this post contains everything that I’ve focused on in the past 2 days:

    1. I literally JUST finished watching Rio: Rainbow Gate (it was so stupid it was funny).

    2. I was JUST about to start Steins;Gate (I wanted to wait until it was over so I could watch it in one go. For the record, I LOVED Chaos;HEAD, and everyone hated it for some reason.

    3. I finished the second season of TWGOK yesterday, and I haven’t really heard anyone saying it was bad. I thought it was done very very well. The music, the art/animation. Flawless in my opinion. A good adaptation from the awesome manga (which is still better).

    4. I’ve been playing Deus Ex, but personally, I hate the shit out of it. I’m on the first boss, and he’s not hard to beat, but the fucking controls aren’t doing what I tell them and it’s pissing me off. The game has loading times that are way too long… know what, I wrote a post on it a few days back, I’m not going to repeat myself.

    5. Of course I’ve been going crazy over Shana, the best show ever (not EVER but really good show).

    6. I can’t wait for this season of Shana, no bullshit love shit for half a season I hope. Should be awesome since the visual novels finished up no filler shit. CAN’T WAIT.

    • Riyoga says:

      That’s obviously because I’ve been STALKING YOU.
      Actually I have no idea. Guess with Shana about to start up our thought processes are similar or something.

      1. Rio was retarded. I actually liked the first half of the last episode though. And Joker was a boss.

      2. I liked Chaos;Head too, but I could also agree with people that disliked it that it could have been a lot better. It left a lot of things unanswered at the end, like that one “fun” equation or whatever the hell it was.
      Oh, and I remember you saying in a previous post that pre-determined was the correct form of time travel. If you’re not familiar with the parallel worlds theory of time travel, then Steins;Gate is going to seriously fuck with your mind.

      3. Most of the blogs I came across when looking at episodics for it on AnimeNano were critical of it, with few exceptions. I know there are more blogs than just what I saw on AnimeNano, but still.

      4. Yeah the loading times are still retarded. I invented the “Loading Screen Game” for it. I tried to see how many Skittles I could eat (one at a time) before it finished. Sometimes I used chocolate instead of Skittles.
      I hated the first boss fight, too. Probably since it’s too soon in the game to have a major shooting section. Though the rest of the boss fights are more tactical and much less cover-based.
      The game does slowly move into a more shooter/action feel. Probably because augments make you badass. But you can still stealth kill people, obviously.
      If you haven’t already, get the augment that takes away fall damage. It’s fucking badass. I was jumping off high areas for days after getting it.

      5. What are you talking about? Of course it’s the best show ever.

      6. Pretty sure something happens in the plot right away that prevents them from doing love bullshit even if they wanted to. I mean, there might still be the whole love plot throughout the season in the background (like it always has), but it won’t be hogging the spotlight like it did for the first half of season two.

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