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Shakugan no Shana: Movie Review

It’s another anime movie that I’ve been waiting for, for quite awhile now. Shakugan no Shana or Shana of the Blazing Eyes.

As with Bleach’s Memories of Nobody, I decided to watch the movie with a bit of trepidation. Anime movies bat about 1:15 on a good to bad ratio and I really didn’t want Shana to have a bad movie being a long time fan and all.

Characters:Shakugan no Shana Movie OST cover

Characters from the first arc of the series were present including several cameos from Wilhelmina. Shana, Sakai Yuuji, who are the main characters of the story, Hayato Ike, Yukari Hirai (the original Hikari) and Kazumi Yoshida who seems to be butted out to the side character list.

Margery Daw, the “Chanter of Elegies” and Marchosias “Claws and Fangs of Violation” also made their appearances with lessened roles as well.

Friagne / Kariuto and his Rinne Marianne were the villains for the movie, resuming their roles from the series.

Plot:

The movie follows the very same plot with the series’s first arc with very little modifications.

Friagne’s plan was to use all the torches in the city to cast the unrestricted spell called City Devouring to gather enough power for Marianne so that she could survive autonomously without providing a constant supply of life force. That of course gave the movie’s driving force. Shana and Margery needed to stop Friagne’s plans of annihilating the whole city else the word’s balance be destroyed.

Storytelling:

I found a bit of improvement on Shakugan no Shana’s storytelling compared to both the manga and the series. Because it focused more and Shana and Yuuji, it gave time for more character development and provides a bit more realism and gives the right projections of what emotions the scenes project (e.g. Yuuji’s last scene with the real Yukari before she disappeared).

The pace of the storytelling goes down a notch however, I found myself turning away in boredom a couple of times due to the lengthy dialogues the movie had. And having watched the series twice, it was a bit of a turn off seeing the very same dialog all over again.

Other Stuff:

It was a real letdown for me to find out that the movie would not be a continuation or even a side story of the events in the series. Yes, it fares much better than Bleach or Naruto’s movie but being a Shana follower all these time, I wanted something new. Guess I have to wait for the new series which is supposed to have started by now.

Shana was less bitchy in the movie which, a fact that I’m not certain whether to be glad or sad. Her “Urusai! Urusai! Urusai! Urusai!” mantra seems a bit catchy now that I think about it. Her love for melon bread didn’t seem to diminish though.

Most fans will notice that Shana has more bare time in the movie. There wasn’t anything shown that would put the movie into R or R-18 rating but I’m still weighing it out whether it was a good thing or not. Good for fan service yes but I’m not so sure about the whole image of the series. Besides there was very little to show XD.

For the music department, they seem to have replaced the usual battle theme with something less upbeat which left some action scenes feeling a bit stale. It’s probably just me because I sort of liked many background tracks from Shana’s OSTs.

One of the major revisions to the story was Alastor’s awakening. He states that “…A Lord of the Crimson Realm will not choose a container which is fit…” or something similar to that which meant that Shana’s being was already ready to contain his enormous power which in turn was contradictory to the light novel and the series. Her interactions and finally love with Yuuji was the reason she “grew” enough to be able to contain Alastor. With the movie’s adaptation, I felt that Yuuji’s role in the arc sort of diminished. After all, without his benefit to Shana, he’s nothing more than a container for the Hougu inside him. Poor guy.

Friagne’s screen time and leverage to the overall story became a lot bigger with his role in the movie. I must say, with Trigger Happy and Dance Party, he seemed a lot more sinister than before. Also, he used Trigger Happy to awaken Alastor whereas in the series, Shana was the one who awakened him inorder to stop the final villain.

Note that the image I included for this post isn’t the DVD cover. I can’t seem to find one as of the moment. If any of you do find one, please email it to me right away so I can replace it.

Overall the movie wasn’t all THAT bad. It was a bit disappointing that there wasn’t really anything new to the story but at the same time refreshing to see some of the characters in a new light. Newbies to the series won’t feel left out with the movie and I highly recommend watching it before any episode of the anime series.

For now though, I’ll start downloading the RAW of episode 1 of Shakugan no Shana’s Season 2.

Rating 8/10

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