Shakugan no Shana III (Final) – Episode 4Posted: October 30, 2011
I was going to do my preview for Guilty Crown, but then Eclipse released Shana so lol priorities. Anyways, not sure why I didn’t always include these episode title pictures for each episode. Oh well, I’ll start doing so.
Also, I had a hunch that something like this was going to happen. Seems like Eclipse is going with the name “Serpent of the Altar,” whereas novel readers have forever been saying “Snake of the Festival.” Or “Sairei no Hebi” (I think that’s how it’s spelled) if you’re a gigantic weaboo. Curious to see the response to this from novel readers.
For the record, I’ll be going with Snake of the Festival. This is because translated text is almost always more accurate than translated speech. Japanese is tricky in that you can pronounce the same thing multiple ways or two different words the same way, whereas writing doesn’t usually have that problem. Anyways, I’m just assuming the novel readers have the translation correct. If it turns out that ‘altar’ makes more sense than ‘festival’ then I’ll switch.
Again, I think I’ll start off this post talking about other impressions I’m reading around. Partially because I like to think my opinion is more correct than other people’s, and also because it helps me strengthen my argument in favor of the show against all the haters.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of people are saying this was the best episode so far. I’m not saying that’s wrong or anything, some important stuff happened and was revealed. But what I had a problem with was the way a lot of people worded their reasoning for why this episode was the best one so far.
It almost seemed like people only cared about the fights in Shana.
I mean, I like the fights too, but one thing I’ve always been curious about was why I actually enjoyed the first half of the second season, yet virtually nobody else did. And you know, I think I found out why.
Shana has, and will always be, a very dramatic series.
Do you guys remember the first season’s cliffhangers? Or how the second half of the second season had nearly every episode end in an overly dramatic cliffhanger? Shana has always had a lot of drama in it. Whether that drama is taking place in the school setting or in fights, it’s always heavily character-orientated. So if you can’t get into the characters and setting, then it just kind of loses you. You need to be able to enjoy the show past when it’s just flames and swords flying everywhere. It’s just like a any other TV show; if you don’t genuinely care about the characters or how the plot progresses, then even at the show’s highest points you won’t be fazed (at least not significantly).
I said before some important stuff happened, and the biggest one was probably the revelation of what Silver really was. Margery pretty much lost her will to live. Or, err, to not live? Flame Haze are kind of spirits, so I guess losing your will to live just kills you. After all, except for Shana, Flame Haze are born from an extreme hatred of Crimson Denizens/Guze no Tomogara, so if you no longer have that hatred, then it makes sense that you’d cease to exist, right?
Other than that, the only other big things that happened were due to the confrontation between Shana and Yuji/Snake of the Festival. I especially liked the confrontation when Yuji told Shana that he wanted to be with her and she was torn between being happy about it but deeply upset that he was telling her now, when (at least for her) it was too late to do anything about their feelings. It was dramatic, practically soap opera status, but as I was saying before, that’s what I like most about the show I suppose.
We also got to hear Yuji’s/Snake of the Festival’s plan. Or maybe it was just part of it, I don’t know. Basically, he’s starting a war to end a war. As ironic as that sounds, I suppose his war doesn’t involve innocent bystanders (or maybe it does, we don’t know the details yet). He sees the only permanent way to protect everyone he cares about is to end the eternal war between the Crimson Denizens/Guze no Tomogara and the Flame Haze. That way random innocents don’t get eaten, and also so he can change Shana’s fate of being a tool until she burns out and dies (we finally found out what he meant in the first episode).
From here on out, we’ll probably see what Yuji/Snake of the Festival has in mind for what to do, and then we’ll see that plan take place. As the opening showed, this will clearly lead to an all-out war. So we finally know the two questions we have for this finale. First, who’s going to win this war and how will it be resolved? And second, and maybe more importantly to fans, will Shana and Yuji be able to finally live happily together? With a war approaching, absolutely anything can happen.
Also, just a side note, I really liked the way this part was animated/directed. How Shana had nearly won, but then Yuji/Snake of the Festival unleashed more power and easily won. Yuji/Snake of the Festival is still extremely reluctant to hurt Shana unless absolutely necessary, and that scene showed it well.