Pleading the Case for: Shakugan no ShanaPosted: September 11, 2011
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.