Shakugan no Shana III (Final) – Episode 14Posted: January 16, 2012
Hey look, I’m putting the post out at a decent time for once! I’m trying to restore myself to my more prompt posting habits, because Winter Break is almost over. Ironically enough, being back at college should actually make me post more. You’d be surprised at the stuff I convince myself to do in order to avoid homework. Though I guess I should explain what the whole deal with posting has been during the last month or so.
For those of you who read regularly, I was extremely excited for Old Republic coming out. In fact, it was right after the first semester was ending, which was perfect. However, there’s a lot to do in MMOs, so they can last a long time, and I knew one thing for sure: if I was still having too much fun with it once break was over, my grades were not going to be happy with me. So this entire break, I have been playing as much as I possibly can, to try and bore myself of it. Not to the point where I don’t want to play, but just to the point that I don’t feel like I need to be playing it 24/7. I’ve pretty much reached that goal, and not a moment too soon, either.
On another note, I’ll write up a season impressions post tomorrow or the day after, despite it already being the second week into the new season. I like being fashionably late, okay?
Season review for summer will be out after that… maybe.
First things first, the new OP. As much as I hate to admit it, Mami Kawada, I prefer the first OP. I still really like the new OP, but I don’t feel like the tone fits the setting for this season. The first OP absolutely nailed it, though. But like I said, I still like the song and the video for it, but whatever.
Creating an entirely new world between dimensions, where the Crimson Denizens can live peacefully, and nobody has to kill each other. I’m willing to bet the source of Power of Existence for them to stay alive will be supplied by making use of Yuji’s Reiji Meigo/Midnight Child in some way. It may be partially why Yuji is so determined about this course of action, he’s finally found a solution that only he can help bring about. Though obviously stopping the war altogether is the biggest reason.
So… I don’t know about you guys, but I’m with Snake on this one. I fail to see the problem with making a new world, so that the two groups can both live peacefully.
Though that was when it was brought up (or we were reminded) that last time Snake tried to do this, there was worry about the current world potentially being destroyed. Whether it was a real threat or just a perceived one is yet to be determined, unless I missed that part. Guess it’s only fair to assume bad shit could happen when attempting to create a whole new world.
At first, I didn’t really understand that massacre that happened at the end. I knew the Crimson Denizens were still going nuts since their god had been revived, but I thought Yuji wouldn’t have approved of the slaughter. But then I realized that Yuji crushed their reason for existing in front of them for that very reason. The Flame Haze screwed over Snake’s plan before, and they had already been fighting despite saying what his plan was, so he wanted to make sure there was no chance that they would get in his way. Of course he knew Shana and the more powerful Flame Haze wouldn’t be affected, but having that much of a loss in your army is going to significantly hinder you.
You know, some people might want to lynch me for saying it, but Yuji is reminding me of Lelouch, in more ways than one. Making a decision that would absolutely slaughter tons of people on a side you personally have no quarrel with, all for the greater good in the end is the kind of decision Lelouch would have made. Though, as I said, there’s a few other points to why I’m reminded of Lelouch.
Despite being infamous among the anime community, this guy has been through a lot.
Does anybody remember the very first episode? When he tried to stop Shana from killing the Rinne, even though it was going to eat him? Despite them putting him in immediate danger, he didn’t like the killing that was happening. Even after the Rinne went after him again, and Shana saved him, he was still slightly skeptical (though thankful) of her.
Though it wasn’t explicitly stated (until this episode), Yukari Hirai’s death has affected Yuji for the longest time. It was when he first learned how powerless he was to change anything, and his best course of action was to join with Shana and prevent Crimson Denizens doing this to anyone else.
But time went on, and more things happened. Bigger and badder Crimson Denizens continued to show up, and no matter what, someone, somewhere, was being eaten and replaced by a Torch. It was hellish cycle, and it even got to the point where Yuji was almost lost for good.
It also made Yuji realize that his supposed immortality was also very much vulnerable. If this continued, it was just going to get worse and worse. The battles were getting bigger, the wagers more extreme. This feud needed a permanent end, and Yuji had become aware his childish fantasy of good always winning out in the end if you follow the “righteous” path was just what it was: a childish fantasy.
And that’s when Snake found Yuji.
Yuji, who had been practically slapped in the face with how he could do nothing about people being eaten and Torches being created, who had now been woken to the realization that something big needed to happen in order for a permanent end to this feud, who despite even through fighting alongside Shana always cared about other people more than himself; he had found his role.
Two episodes ago, Shana said that she would simply take Yuji and Snake to the Flame Hazes and they could all work something out, and be diplomatic about it. Yuji and Snake both responded at the same time with the above quote, nearing what was probably the only display of rage from them this season. Yuji (and Snake) both had been following what they thought was the right and just path, just to realize that that path doesn’t always lead to the desired results. Yuji’s ideals from back when he tried to stop Shana from killing his attacker are gone. Shana’s idea of what they needed to do was practically an insult to him at that point. All that matters to him now is that the ends justify the means (see: Lelouch).
He still cares very much about other people more than himself, but he knows that this is the only way any permanent change will happen. In order to end a war, a war must, after all, be fought.
It reminds me of Robbie Bell’s comment back on one of my Shana posts that I agreed with. This series doesn’t lay the character’s internal conflicts on a silver platter for you. If you don’t even look, you can even miss them entirely. I’m a guy that’s not even good at analyzing shows or characters or metaphors or whatever, and connecting Yuji’s thoughts and mentality after this episode wasn’t hard at all. Shana doesn’t solve the puzzle for you, nor does it expect you to solve it on your own. It merely puts the pieces before you, already has the border done, and just lets you fill in the rest if you want to.
I fucking love this show.