Monday, February 23, 2009

Anime Review: Shakugan no Shana

Shakugan no Shana

The power of existence, an underlying force which controls reality. It is powerful enough to change all aspects of time pertaining to the existence of a single person. Everyone has it. Its so powerful, there are beings out there that feed on it in order to live forever and gain powers. And to lose it is to be erased from existence...past, present and whatever your future may be, all will be gone. And it will shift the course of existence for everyone, like a ripple effect from the disturbance of the time-space continuum.

This is the theme behind the anime 'Shakugan no Shana'.

One of the main characters, Yuji Sakai, is an ordinary teenager who expects that his ordinary life will last forever. All that changes when walking home one day, he is trapped within a 'fuzetsu' (a wall that temporarily detaches the area it covers from the normal realm of time and existence, therefore people within it is frozen in time) and witnesses a battle between 'Rinnies', that eats the power of existence from people and give it to their 'Tomogara' masters, and a girl 'Flame Haze', the ones who track down these Rinnies and Tomogaras to restore balance. He was later informed that the real Yuji Sakai was already dead and that he himself was a 'Torch', a shell with a temporary power of existence (resembling a lit torch) within them and they would eventually fade away from existence (as the flame runs out). Yuji eventually names the girl Shana (after her sword 'Ninetono no Shana') and does his best to live not as a 'torch' but as Yuji Sakai. Because of a treasure inside him that has the ability to regenerate the power of existence lost within the day, a lot of Tomogaras came after him battle after battle. Yuji and Shana eventually form an ambiguous relationship that, in the end, Shana declares as her love for Yuji.

My impression of his anime is like a combination of 'Bleach' and 'Kono Minikukumo Utsukushii Sekai'. It has a lot of swordfights, reference to a supernatural spiritual energy and an impressive heirarchy of masters and minions...like in 'Bleach', without all that gore and blood. Also, Shana and Yuji's love story evolves within the story the same way it does with '...Utsukushii Sekai'.

Its a good series to watch. I wasn't that intrested in the beginning, but I was absorbed into it as the series progressed. Can't wait to get a copy of the movie and the second series.

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