It is highly recommended to complete the first season of Shakugan no Shana before watching this. This is a DIRECT sequel, so prior knowledge of the series is expected from you.
Shakugan no Shana II is sometimes viewed as a "filler" season due to the plot trailing off from the light novels where it originates from. It also received numerous "bashing" from fans of the previous season who complained that the first half of Shakugan no Shana II lacked actions. Personally, I really liked how they began Shakugan no Shana II so I have nothing to complain about. But many who prefer actions over character developments would be rather disappointed in this season, but a real Shakugan no Shana fan should actually be happy that the anime is spending time explaining the mysteries and/or unclear relations between certain people or things.
Continuing from where the first season left off, Shakugan no Shana Second as it is officially called start us off in a very noglistic way. Summing up most of the main events in season one in half an episode (not to mention a battle is going on at the same time) is quite innovative. Shana II, unlike its predecessor, does not have a lot of flashy battles. Instead, it focuses much more on bringing out each character's unique characteristics and their relationship with one another (more about the characters later).
Those who are familiar with the first season should be able to jump right into Shana II as the production crew practically used the same graphical engines to animate the show. This means 2 things:
1. the animation crew got lazy and presented us a 2005 quality anime
2. it is still animated on par (if not above) most of the 2008 animations
The same singers were asked to perform the OP and ED for Shana II so fans shouldn't have much to complain. As stated from my previous review on Shakugan no Shana, it is packed with many bright and talented seiyus. Excluding Shana and Kazumi who were already covered in the past review, we also have
Mamiko Noto (Kotomi Ichinose in Clannad, Yuka in Elfen Lied, Anna Liebert in Monster) performing the role of Hecate and Fumina Konoe
Hitomi Nabatame (Unchou Kan-u in Ikkitousen, Mikoto Suou in School Rumble ) voicing for Margery Daw
Shizuka Itou (Himawari Kunogi in xxxHOLiC, Lenalee Lee in D.Gray-man) performing the role of Wilhelmina Carmel
Last but not least, we have Marina Inoue (Tsukiumi in Sekirei, Yoko in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Tsukasa Kiryu in Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka) voicing for Pheles
This show is flawless when it comes to characters. The production crew did an amazing job at creating the characters in such a way that makes them believable and in many ways demonstrated that they are not much different from us (ie. make them real.. not like some fantasy characters). I was simply dazed by how fabulously constructed the characters (both main and supporting) are in Shana II. Although the first season of Shakugan no Shana was already extremely well made, this successor is no doubt a level above (11/10?).
Shakugan no Shana II expanded on what was lacking in the previous season (namely some explanation on certain issues and character mental growth for some minor supporting roles). However, because the crew had to cover these, they had to take out some attractive actions that the fans wanted to see in the beginning. Overall I would not say this is inferior or superior to the first season, but if I have to choose I will say I like this one slightly more (excluding the flashy actions).read more
== Shakugan no Shana II Review == (Updated)
Ah yes, what better to have a second season with so many things left to answer from the first.
In the anime Shakugan no Shana II we learn more about the Reiji Maigo (The treasure inside Yuji Sakai) and its real purpose, but in the process a powerful tomogara as well as former enemies have their eyes set on the this treasure which will put Yuji in harms way once again.
The story does tend to start off at first slow which is in-fact a great let down. The usual tension continues between Shana and Kazumi still exists which pretty much threw a lot of people off from this anime; fans were pretty much in a state where it felt like they were watching the first season again... I know that because that how I felt, but if you do survive the first 5~6 episodes you will find some things starting to be answered that was left opened from season one which will keep you in this anime as well as other things.
Flashy opening, but pretty much the same style as the first season.
Same battle music as the first season, but as the anime goes on and fights emerges the music becomes perfect suspense maker which will keep you in your seats.
Let me tell you this... The characters DO mature! OMG Finally!!!! Which is why I gave this section a perfect 10. I could not stand how Shana and Kazumi were acting like little kids in the first season; their rivalry got old pretty quick. The character development does start out like the first season, but "everyone" in this anime matures someway to how real people should be acting.
Enjoyment? Hmm... well like stated the story does start off slow, but then the story pretty much picks up and becomes interesting to watch.
Fight scenes are awesome but not long enough... =/
A great anime indeed. If you watched the first season then you must definitely watch this one. Like stated before, this season will answer some of the questions you had left over from the first.
I can imagine that just by reading the overall scor you already hate me. But i can't give it any more than this, when i overlay the "4" it says "Decent", and this second season (not the firs, and certainly not the novel) is WAY below decent. So i'm sorry but it's what it is. A poor second season.
I'm not arguiing that the animation and sound is as epic as ever. My main complain is "what the hell happened with the plot!?". Maybe the plot died at the explosion in the end of the first season. Maybe the people in charge of adapting the novel said "Adapt the novell as it is?, pff that's for NOOBS, we are pro, we got mad skillz yo. We gonna get high and come up with a plot of our own, using the same characters as the first season".
You could give this piece of crap a higher score out of love / respect for the first season. Or maybe out of love for some of the characters. Yes you could, but please don't. If you give this abomination an 8, how could you give the first season a 10?, you would have to give it a 20 or else the scores won't make sense anymore.
More like character involution. During season one, the characters meet, they live a lot of things together, wich makes their relationship / feelings (not just romantic) evolve, change, as it happens in real life as you get to know someone better you like / dislike him / her more.
There is no way you could say the relationship between Shana - Yuji - Yoshida is the same at the beg of the first season, than at the end.
Great!, so why trun back the clock in season 2?. Why GOD WHY!?. Why start again with the whole "should i teel him?, shouldn't i tell him?, what does he think of me?, what does he thinks of her?. Im going to ramble like this for 24 episodes, maybe i'll figure out the answer in season 3 or something... Yes sounds like a plan".
We were over this towards the end of season one, you had a frigging life /death experience, you can't get any closer than that.... But NO, let's just go back like we just met. AWESOME!.
The last thing im going to say about character development in this show is abou the end, but don't worry it's not a spoiler. The only thing im going to say is that you will get three things:
* The feeling that NOTHING CHANGED IN 24 EPISODES.
* The urge to rewatch the first season, to remind yourself why you tortured your brains until the very end of season 2.
* The wish that you could just "unsee" everything you just saw.
Oh yes, this is a whole new section. With the exception of Shana, and A BIT Yuji, all the characters become as intresting as a grapefruit.
Yoshida, who already was as intresting as watching the grass grow, becomes even more ANNOYING. Whenever she went on with her monologues about yearning Yuji's attention i felt like skipping the whole thing. She had so much appearence time, and what did she do? NOTHING, and you can't deny it.
"Ane-San" who had the job of providing comic relief in season one, and was a really intresting character. Suddenly gets all dark and boring.
The guy with glasses: ZOMG why didn't he die on the second episode of season one?, seriously.
Ane-San's lackeys: Who gives a flying fuck about them?.
You know a plot is poorly developed when you can't clearly define what the hell is a show about.
Take for instance season 1
"It's about a tsundere loli that hunts spirits and artifacts, finds a guy with a super powerful artifact inside who decides to help her fight the bad guys". Ok so it's a show about action, hunting things and killing demons spirits whatever. Ok i can get into that.
Now let's take a look at season 2 plot:
It's about a love triangle between a tsundere DFC and a big breasted wife-kind of girl. No it's about a silver armor that's gonna destroy the world. No wait, it's about a sandwoman who lost her husband. No wait it's about the curious things that happen in the everyday life. Wait i think that they fight some kind of "things" from time to time, so is it about fighting?".
Hey guys you had an objective rememeber?, i mean there was a whole first season about "FIGHTING THE TOMOGARAS", so why did you just decided to say "fuck that, let's all behave like this is a shitty harem / love triangle slice of life".
The episodes go by and they talk, and talk, and talk... And the worst thing is that they aren't really saying anything!!!.
If you liked season 1, don't watch this. This is a scam. The only thing in common with the first season is the characters.read more
The story follows up from the first season, i have to admit that the pace at the beginning is usually quite slow, unlike the first season with plenty of action and fighting scenes, this may have put the orginal fans of shana season1 in quite a dilema since it was like watching another anime, but after episode 12, the flavour of season 1 truly makes a great entry and i feel this starts the fireworks for season 2, bringing back what we liked best from the first season.
In my personal opinion there are no complaints on the art of shana, its quite bold, flashy, and flows well with the rhythm of the anime itself, and later on in the anime this also becomes apparent during the fight scenes where you see shana's flame and wind effects which in my opinion challange animations from kyoto animations
not much to say here, the music overall is very good throughout, creating ideal moods for the relevant situations in the anime. only disappointing thing is that there is no new opening after episode 13!
Comapared to the first season, this time round the beginning of the anime is totally based on character development, the audience can feel more connected with the characters, and they see quite alot of "slice of life". you know eating, drinking, socialising, theme parks, school, w/e .
Duriing this period you can really see shana and yoshida "mature" from the first season, instead of the constant bickering, they learn to understand each others situation and independantly try to gain yuji's love.
in my own personal opinion, definately a bonus to see yuji learn to develop his skills at the beginning of each episode. (they were my highlights :D)
now that the stories gone back to the fight scenes and action, i am now definately complelled to watch the rest of the season, arguably by some of the more "mature" audience its a definate improvement of shana 1, but personally, i thoroughly enjoyed it going "back" to the action like shana and hope it continues to do so.
Great Anime to watch, definite for the romance/action audience out there, and definately for the people that have seen the first season
2 thumbs up!read more
Love Triangles / Rectangles + Flashy but Predictable Fight scenes = Shakugan no Shana II
Maybe it has been too long since I watched the first season but when did this series become so long-winded, predictable and love drenched.
Another Honest Review
This is definitely where this series has always shone. When it comes to action scenes this series can deliver some beautiful colours and some memorable attacks. Unfortunately they use cute-ish type character designs which often makes it hard to take some battles seriously, yes blood is included but its always left to the most brutal attacks which is often few and far between. Still animation on a whole is impressive for a cute-ish style.
Sound is pretty good no bad points here. Opening & Ending credits have decent songs not much to say really.
One thing you will find consistent with all the reviews so far regarding this anime is the story has the lowest rating of all, why..because instead of bringing the story together and adding more pieces for understanding we get the exact opposite, MORE questions MORE lovey-duvey love rectangles and the icing on the cake NO resolution to any of these what-so-ever!
The First quarter of this anime was like a totally different love shojo anime.
The second quarter threw in some new twists/questions/random battles
The third quarter was a mixture of the first and second
The Last was a pointless built up bad guy which seemed like filler for Shana 3?
Finally you have what seems like a rushed and unresolved ending…seesh!
Characters are somewhat interesting and do have potential. I liked the fact that you found out more about some of the other characters in this series which gave them more depth.
I felt that most of the characters got more development and gained a little smudge of depth but a lot of it was tied up with love problems and figuring out their feelings for each other which made this series go off-balance genre wise.
If you enjoyed the flashy fighting scenes that made shana lovable the first time around you will get more of the same but i personally feel that this second series was a big drag-on with an extra added layer of love shojo theme which brought the potential shana had down quite a few notches, I mean there was many times I hit the fast-forward button just to see if my predictions of how things would turn out where true and on a episode by episode basis i was unpleasantly NOT surprised.
Season 2 is out huh..I wonder what else can they milk from the anime
Character's charm (?)
Reason of liking the anime:
Not much, other than some flashy fights regarding some past events.
What I Dislike:
1) Maybe the production of the anime was rushed, it does seem to lose its freshness with dull plots.
2) The 'patch up ' parts for characters with romance and slice of life can be boring sometimes.
1) For all ages, you can go on to watch the series if you're really a Shana fan, to me i am all for the story and plot. To watch it or not it's really up to you since the 1st season pretty much covers a lot.
Shakugan no Shana II for those not in the know, is the second season of the Shakugan no Shana series based off of the novels of the same name. The general plot of the series follows Sakai Yuji, a torch (a replacement spirit of sorts for those who have already died) who possesses the rare Reiji Maigo (an item that replenishes Yuji's existence everyday so he doesn't burn out), and Shana, a Flame Haze (whose job is to keep the balance of existence from being blown out of proportions) as they discover evil plots devised by otherworldly invaders called Guze no Tomogara along with their human and Flame Haze allies.
Story: The second season of Shakugan no Shana focuses on what the Reiji Maigo really is and its origins as well as the mysterious Silver that Margery Daw (a Flame Haze ally of Shana's) is searching for. The villains of the first season, Bal Masque, return again in more devious plots to steal the Reiji Maigo.
The plot starts off extremely slow for the first 10 episodes or so. It focused more on useless fillers and character development until it hits around episode 12 or so, where the plot finally starts revealing some information that everybody has been asking. I was tempted to give this a lower score but seeing as how epic the story turned out in the second half, it stays high.
Art: The character designs are as expected from J.C. Staff and the effects are just simply amazing. From the revamped Fuzetsu to the spell insignias that Margery draws out, everything just looks superb in HD.
Sound: The soundtrack pretty much remains the same as the first season but it does include several new pieces. It fits the mood of each scenario very well as well a few insert songs here and there. The OP/ED are superb works from Mami Kawada and Kotoko. Although personally, I didn't like the OP/ED that Kotoko has provided for this season.
Character: Character development is most likely the show's strongest point here. From the main protagonist Yuji to the nearly non-existant Ike, everybody has their fair share of development, even if it's only a little. The love triangle of Yuji/Shana/Yoshida remains ever present and strong and they finally mature enough to get past their little squabbles. Keisaku and Eita also matures which also leads to confessions to other certain characters. Plenty of change going around so to speak.
Enjoyment/Overall: The first half of the show was just plain slow and boring. It definitely redeems itself for the second half when we finally get to see the motives of the villains and shocking revelations and twists. Excellent show for action and romance. Although the ending seemed a tad bit rushed, it is still worthy of a nice looking 9. Looks awesome on HD too.read more
Well, after I watched the first season enthusiastically, I was hoping to watch the second with even more enthusiasmus, but in the end I was quite disappointed with this season.
In the second season the origins of Yuji's Reiji Maigo are revealed and Bal Masque takes further steps to change the rule of the universe with the Reiji Maigo. (The reason for that is unknown.)
Well, this time the story was glib. Over the half of the series only dealt with the Love-Triangle from season 1 and the schoolform of Master Throne Hecate, Fumina Konoe. (Well, it actually isn't a spoiler. You can tell it with a brain of a six years old child, that Fumina Konoe is Hecate.). Though, the last part of the show was extremely rushed, especially in the last two episodes I got extremely disappointed because the second opening promised a lot of wonderful fights, but in the end you only got one really good fight. The end was almost the same as in season one, so nothing to wright hope about. Only some flashbacks and subplots were a bit interesting, but again nothing too amazing.
The animations are well-made like in the first season. When you finally get some fight-scenes to watch, it's really worth the time you spent with the annoying filler. Silver fire looks like real silver and a tornado looks like you would be sucked in by it everytime you see it. The characters are good like always, same with the backgrounds.
The soundtrack is nice, but for my taste, too many of the new themes are calm and happy. Instead of using new themes for sadness and like, they used the themes from season one. It's not a bad point, but it seems a bit unimaginative. :/
The seiyuus are good, especially Shana's expressions are well spoken, so there isn't a lot to discuss here.
Well, Mami Kawada again did a good job, but the OP & ED KOTOKO provided, didn't fit too well with the show. The lyrics were ok, but the sound and the vocal were a bit too sweet in my opinion.
Well, the characters develop a lot here. Shana and Kazumi aren't brawling like in season one anymore. They learn to accept each other and become friendly. Every single character developes in season two, even the supporter(there are some exceptions though). The annoying things here are the new characters. Especially Fumina Konoe is a waste of time. She simply is a poor copy of Hecate that simply disappears around halfway the show. The introduction of beautiful whim Pheles was also only for story purpose. In the opening she looked interesting, but she turned out to be only a hunter of her lover Johan. In almost every scene, she mentions her beloved Johan at least once. With time, this gets REALLY annoying.
I enjoyed the second season only partly, because of the quantity of fillers.
The fight scenes in the end were really good, but too short. Furthermore the OPs promised too much.
Without the fillers and more story it would be more than mediocre. If you liked season one, you will like this season, too. (mostly in the second part.)read more
I'm writing this after watching season 1 and season 2 recently (I've watched 3, but not spoiling), and season 1 was slow, slow to the pace that a snail would sneer. The story is great, and there is So much potential in this anime that I get miffed that they stretch it out so long.
Story: Much better in season 2, but only in episodes 12-24, episodes 1-12 are mostly about Shana and Kazumi being jealous. You'll get it when you watch it. After episode 12 is when it gets good, some of the sub-charaters and the mains realize their feelings. Episode 12+ it's a good watch, watch the first 12, but feel free to skip some.
Art: Much better in season 2. The action scenes are faster and more vibrant. I think the characters looked better and the action scenes were much better than season 1.
Sound: The opening was good, sound during the series was average. Why do we have this category? Series sound is standard for most... all anyone judges is the opening and ending (and most are average)
Character: MUCH better than season 1. There were the useless flashbacks like in season 1, but there was some progression in the characters. Special. The background characters. Some very emotion scenes in episodes 12+, you'll get no tear/fuzzy in 1-12. Episodes 1-12 are a median for emotion, watch them, but feel free to skip 2-3 minutes at a time (you won't miss much). Episodes 12-24 were much better, but there were those slow moments.
All in all: 3 times better then Season 1. Better action that was faster and more entertaining. Better art and plot in some episodes. I still think that this wouls have been a series that could have been a classic. If they would have put more into the Art, less time into the back story of characters we could care less about.
Guy is an idiot, girl is an idiot... they are all idiots. Only ones that aren't idiots now are Ogata and Tanaka. Epic scenes there with those two, and I loved it.read more
For those of you who haven't finished watching the first season..watch that first and come back and watch the second season. That way the story wll connect together and piece itself quite easily. (just a friendly reminder)!
Shakugan no Shana II is a great anime to watch for those who wants action and some romance combined with it. Story revolves around the main characters Yuji, who is the male protagonist and is also the central character for the story's development. He is a Mystes, a dead sentient being who is kept alive with the power of existence (flame of life). He is also the most unusual of the characters (this is due to the special artifact inside him, the reiji maigo that replenishes his power of existence every midnight). With this ability he can rejuvenate his life-force, and still live as an ordinary citizen though he is actually dead in real-life.
Shana, the female protagonist is also the main lead of the story and a kick-ass flame haze. (Flame Hazes are powerful individuals who work under a secretive organization known as "Outlaw," and the flame hazes' duty is to keep the world in balance by making sure powers of existence are still existent on the planet.) She is a powerful fighter who wields a flame sword (nietono no shana). FYI: Shana was named after her sword by Yuji. Her job is to fulfill her duties as a flame haze while protecting Yuji, the bearer of the reiji maigo, although it is revealed she is harboring strong conceptual feelings for him later in the story. (Romance kicks in)!
Not a bad story, but needs more development in the central plot. It seemed very rushed at certain points of the episodes, but decent storyline was put in play.
Nicely done artwork. Its not too heavily pixelated but the characters had some i guess watercolored features which is actually good because it provides deeper textures in the background of the city and the environment. Characters looked very traditional, and fashioned with good works of art.
This is where Shakugan no Shana deserves the praise and admonition as an anime series!! Songs are performed by Japanese band artist Mami Kawada, and her songs are killer-good! EX: Hishoku no Sora (intro song)-this was intro from first season, Triangle, and Joint from second season ending theme song. All songs performed by Mami Kawada. Perfect 10/10 for masterpiece in soundtrack!
This falls somewhat in the category of the artwork I described, but the characters overall in general have great features. Characters voice acting was performed well, and many of them had loveable personalities/characteristics. The only character I found irritating was that annoying, obnoxious nutty professor who always seems to get his plans ruined by the flame hazes.
I loved it. It was similar to my enjoyment of Fate Stay Night, but nowhere as near as good. Gets a 10 for satisfaction for viewer audience, and the rewatch value I'd have to say is pretty high in my books.
Great anime series! Enjoyable, loveable, everything in between!
Story (8.4) - A fine story, with no doubt, but comparing with the 1st season, my conclusion is that this 2nd season story is a bit worse..but no problem, still very good and very interesting to watch. Basically, Shana and yuji continue to fight a lot of enemies that want the reiji maigo, and in the process they find a lot about its meaning. Between the fights, there are some episodes where relations between the characters are the main focus.
As i said, its good, but i prefer the one from the 1st season..
Art (9.0) - No big differences between the first season and the second season. Well, the op/ed and some details look diferent, but no more than that, so i give it the same as i give to the 1st season.
Sound(7.8) - Sound is a little better... this time the op and ed are better (in my opinion) , still nothing special, but enough better for me to pass from a 7 in the 1st season, to an 8 in the 2nd.
Characther (8.3) - Well develloped, looking cool (some of them), but not much different from the first season, although this time a litle better but not enough to give it a 9.
enjoyment (7.7) - Well, in the end it surely gets interesting, but the first part of the series was not so interesting as it should be..lots of episodes were basically just talking and little action...in the final it gets a lot better, true, but in overall, the 1st season is better in this aspect. But dont misunderstand me, its a nice series, i give it and 8, but its an 8 closer to a 7 ..(the 1st i gave 8 close to an 9)
Overall (8.4) - Well, my opinion, basically is more of the same from the 1st season..in that aspect i think the producers should have done something better, but this one is also ok. However, i give this one an 8 instead of a 9 because story and enjoyment were not so good, and in some moments it gave me the idea the 1st was much better..well, in overall thats not true, but the mains point is that the diference between both is not big, but if there is 1 to be the best its the 1st season. read more
+Art Style Fantastic
+Voice Acting Superb
+Latter Half of the Show Fantastic
+A Well Developed Story
+Fantastic Character's both Lead and Supporting
+Really improved of the first season
-First Half of the Season Slow Paced
-Could have been Seen as boring form the start
-Ending was a little anti climatic
-Similar to First Season, A bit predicable
Alright here goes nothing, i literally finish the second season of Shakugan No Shana maybe 5 minutes ago so this is as fresh as it gets. I reviewed the First season of the show not long ago and it didn't do all to great from me but well enough to make me want to move on to the second season. The second seasons starts with the same issues that plagued the first season, it was really slow, the pacing of the show was really poor but what i will say in defense of the show is that as you go on toward the end of the season you begin to understand why they spent so much time in the first half of the season developing the relationship between characters but you could have had the same effect and only took up 3 episodes rather than 12. It was that slow at the beginning i nearly dropped the show but my love for Kugimiya, Rie as a voice actor kept me going strong.
Alright i spoke about the slow pacing of the first half but once it hits the half way mark it goes 0 - 60 in two seconds. In fact to quote Marchosias (a supporting charater within the show) 'Damn all these things happening one after another. I cant keep up with it all'. That really does say it all. It goes from 12 episodes of filler and stuff that was really uninteresting to holy shit whats going to happen next, how did this happen, why is this happen. The latter half of the show is the saving grace of the show by a long shot. I feel like the show would have been better if A) it was a 14 episode season or B) they started the action around episode 6 and developed the action scenes a little more because they felt rushed at times and there was some much more they could have done if they gave themselves a little more time on the action.
As for the characters my opinion has really stayed the same from my first review, ill give you the short version, Shana is still badass, Yoshida, Kazumi adds that extra twist and tension to the show, though as i said before pretty predicable how that 'love triangle' is going to turn out. Now my opinion of Sakai, Yuuji has changed a little. He is still a very good male lead and he's easy to follow and get behind, but in season two we finally see some weakness from Yuuji which was good to see, the second season did a great job of bringing Yuuji to the realization of the scale of the job that lies before him. Its not like he has a simple walk in the part ahead.
Alright the ending don't worry i keep these spoiler free, talk about an anti climax. We see one of the arc's in the show end around episode 18 leaving 6 or so episodes to go, meaning that there is always something going to happen and its going to be big and you wouldn't be wrong. The previous episodes were action packed and filled with thrills, the last 6 episodes don't disappoint for the most part but again it just felt rushed. How it was going to play out was pretty obvious thanks to the 12 episodes of development we were forced to endure and it really just fell flat right at the end, i honestly though that the ending would be play'd out in a film or something because there was so much that could happen in the last 10 minutes of the show but nothing really super exciting happens. In the end it is all wrapped up with a semi neat bow on top, my reason behind 'semi' is there were a few unanswered question that i assume are going to answered in the third season. If the pattern stay's turn then i can already make out the outlines of how the shows going to finish and i haven't even started season 3 yet.
So the big question, Should you watch this show? My answer if you made it though season 1 and are questioning watching season two, Do it, just grit your teeth and get though the first half of the season because the latter half is well worth it. I give the first half of the show a lot of flack but the fact is it was sort of necessary to fully understand the edge but as i said it could have done with being shorter.
Generally, the sequel of a successful series, or any series for that matter, falls short of the fame attained by its predecessor. For the first half or so of the second season of Shakugan no Shana, I must say that I was slightly disappointed with the content. However, by the end of it, I believe that season two has more or less achieved the same level of success as season one. With that being said, there were some differences - both good and bad - between the two seasons. As with all second seasons, I tend to raise my expectations and score them more critically.
Despite airing two years after season one, the animation quality has not improved as much as I expected. The backgrounds still had that less-than-real feel to them and the lack of detail in the characters disappointed me the second time around. Still, like in the first season, the battle scenes stood out from the rest of the mediocre animation. A phrase that describes this season's animation could be: season one's animation in 720p.
Last season, Yūji was totally useless, save for a few situations. Those who hope for the supposed "main protagonist" to play more of a role in the second season do get what they want. The development that Yūji undergoes in this series is astounding. However, most of it happens in such a short amount of time that many wonder about the sudden change in personality. Honestly, this was the first time where I questioned the benefits of character development. As for the other characters, I felt that the slow first half was necessary in order to give them the development needed to make the second half successful. As far as I can tell, Shana, Kazumi, Keisaku, Wilhelmina and Margery were greatly developed over the course of this series - some to a greater extent than others. One point of criticism I would like to make is that the lack of new characters disappointed me. True, one may argue that this may cause some unnecessary confusion, but I believe that adding more characters adds a sense of "freshness" to the season, allowing it to distinguish itself further from its predecessor (i.e. preventing the "this seems so familiar" thought from surfacing in the audience's minds).
Understandably, the BGM and seiyūs of the first season are the same for the second season. With that being said, the only parts left to judge in this category are the OPs and EDs. Starting off with the OPs, I felt the first OP, "JOINT", was much better in terms of preparing one for the episode to come when compared to the second OP, "BLAZE." Like "Hishoku no Sora" (season one's OP), "JOINT" is also sung by Kawada Mami and it delivers the same sense of intensity that I enjoyed. Unfortunately, KOTOKO's "BLAZE" wasn't up to par with its season one counterpart, "being", and left me missing "JOINT." Moving on to the EDs, both were decent, just like in season one. Overall, this season's sounds were generally on par with last season's.
Honestly, I wanted to drop the series during the first half because of how slow the story was moving. When I first started to watch Shakugan no Shana, I expected a good dose of action with a pinch of romance/slice-of-life to spice things up; not the other way around. If I had wanted a romance or slice-of-life story, then I would obviously go watch a romance or slice-of-life anime. However, I am glad that I decided to stick with it and continue my way through the show. As the story started to pick up in the second half, I was instantly reminded of why I liked season one. The cliffhangers and twists really entertained me and it was good to know that there's a season three as I finished the last episode. It's surprising how a story can be this long and still be interesting.
Two seasons down, one more to go. A generally successful second season leaves me with both doubts and hopes for the third. If given the choice between the first or second season, I would have to choose the first, simply because it entertained me throughout. This is not to say that season two was not good; it was just not as good as season one. Those who watched season one and enjoyed it will probably feel the same way about season two. Now it's now off to the third and final season of Shakugan no Shana!read more
Story : 8/10
Well, unlike the first season, this one is focused on developing the characters more. Perhaps,too much.The first half of the show is mostly fillers.It actually reminded me of Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien.But, I suppose it wasn't that bad, because we got to know some of the characters' past and the sorts. BUT, the second half of the show kinda made up for it, because it was a lot better. It was almost as good as the first season.
Art : 9/10
The art is almost flawless in my opinion.Great graphics, characters are drawn nicely, as well as the environments. Not to mention the fighting effects such as the fuzetsu visual effect, the auras of the characters and all of that.Still it's not perfect, as I've seen a few series a tad better at this chapter.
Sound : 10/10
This is where in my opinion, the show shines. The first opening is one of my favorite openings of all time. The insert songs such as the "dramatic" violin tune are excellent. The second opening...not that good, but the first one was awesome. The voices represent the characters perfectly. The first ending was great as well (for an ending).The second one wasn't that good, but it did the job.
Character : 8/10
The characters seemed a bit stereotypical to me.Like Shana being a "spoiled" kid, Yuji a guy that doesn't know when to give up and doesn't accept things as they come that easily, Wilhelmina being the somewhat cold-hearted "parent"/maid-wearing person(P.S. I hate Wilhelmina) etc.
My favorite character from this series, as well as from the first season is Tanaka.
He rocks, and he's hilarious at some points.He knew what he wanted to do with his life and put everything aside, in order to achieve his goal.He's also not stereotypical.
Enjoyment : 7/10
The first season kept me watching it from episode 1 to 12 the first day I started it and the rest of it the next day.Well...to be honest, after seeing the first two episodes (which ruled), I thought it was gonna be that enjoyable until the end.
But when the romance-school life thing came in (not that I don't like those kinds of anime, but I wasn't expecting it from this show), I kinda forced myself to watch it, 'cause I don't usually drop anime, unless they suck badly or they become extremely boring.But after the first chunk of episodes, it became fun to watch and worth spending the time to do so.
Overall : 8/10
Overall it was a good series, but I think that when I'll remember Shakugan no Shana, the first season will pop up in mind,because, in my opinion it was better than this one.Usually second seasons are better, but in this case it wasn't like that.Still, I don't want to make it sound like I didn't enjoy watching this one too. It was good.Fun to watch at some points.
Much better than the first Shakugan no Shana, in my opinion of course.
Story: Even though it focused more on yuji's love life I really liked this story. The whole devlopment of yuji is great I believe and other characters start to bloom more like yoshida because she finally starts to take a stand. The story kinda failed when focus so much on the bad guy when she was in the same school as yuji. This story I think though is setting up for season 3 because other than Yuji becoming stronger nothing really new happens.
Art: Same thing as the first one, its really good for its style. Go go good budgets right? The visuals were great and the fighting was vibrant but still the purple bear, BECOME MORE VICIOUS LOOKING!!!
Sound: Everything flowed well except for Shana's voice. I didn't like her voice in the last one and I didn't like it in this one especially when complaining to yuji. The only good thing about her voice though is that she doesn't say "Shut up"x3 as much, which I personally thought was nerve wracking.
Characters: Great as before except everyone as a whole grew....yes even detestable shana (she becomes more tolerable, kinda). I think the biggest growth though was Yuji's and Yoshida's. I especially liked Yoshida's growth and how she supports Yuji emotionally when he needs it. I think if she had Shana's power she would be ideal for Yuji, but that just wouldn't be fair for Shana right? Yoshida does offer a lot of emotional parts which I thought was great when dealing with Yuji. While his character doesn't change too much, Yuji becomes more reliable which is huge I think. Shana's growth is small. She still is too headstrong and very annoying when it comes to Yuji
It did kinda bug me that Yoshida had to opportunity to become great by sacrificing herself OR turning into a flame herself OR whatever that trinket did, and actually become something great but instead acts like "I'll Use it to SAVE HIM....nah, @#$% it I'll wait...."
Enjoyment: Same as the last series everything was enjoyable EXCEPT when it came to shana's voice and when it came to shana/yuji relationship time. SHana's voice drove me up the walls and her being too headstrong is nerve wracking which turned me off to the anime BUT her fighting in the anime was very cool.
Overall: Putting aside Shana, this season is a great continuation to the series BUT completely useless because other than Yuji becoming stronger, Yoshida becoming more bold, and the explanation of the Reiji Maigo (I forgot if thats how you spell it) NOTHING HAPPENS.
Same as the first one too, I would recommend it if you had nothing else too watch.read more
Alright let me just say that of the majority of anime I watched this was probably my tenth biggest disappointment ever in anime history not because the idea sucked but because the implication of the idea was half-assed (no other way to describe it). The first season while good left a lot of holes and unanswered questions I was fine with that at first because I knew there was going to be a second season where I expected to at least have some of my questions answered but no instead I got a bunch of filler (dang it if I wanted filler I'd just watch bleach or naruto). The story did very little advancing and worst of all failed to answer any of the important questions. Luckily for us there's going to most likely be a third season (hopefully this time they don't just half-ass it and actually get to the point). If I don't read the manga to this and get an organized story I'll beat my head in with 2x4. Now that that's out of the way let's get to some quality looks at it.
Story- As far the story that this anime is supposed to follow it's really good some people have underestimated it and called it just a beat em as they come storyline but in fact that's not entirely true villains are reoccurring and do not always die after the first encounter with them and the plots are pretty deep. The only problem with the story is that it's not organized at all (at least in the anime) things are choppy and thrown in and there are tremendous amounts of filler that take away from the story. *sigh* When will people learn to just stick to a dang storyline and not smear it with fecal matter until it becomes repulsive.
Art- As far as art goes I was impressed this series is very well drawn the only critique I have is that sometimes the animation didn't flow right.
Sound- Sounds are interesting to say the least not all of them are good but for the most part the sounds will match a situation. My favorite part is that the same person who voices Shana is the same person who voices Louise in Zero no Tsukaima (it made me smile every time she talked).
Character- This anime did a decent job with character development I mean it's not like I needed to know about more than the main characters to begin with but hey who cares if you want to spend an entire episode focused on a character nobody cares about far be it from me to kick you down for it.
Enjoyment- I was disappointed to say the least I expected great things from this anime when I first started watching it but as it progressively went on it became like that new shirt you thought planned on wearing until it was stained with ketchup (i.e-filler). I enjoyed battles in this as most were pretty interesting and I even enjoyed the romance aspect of it which is strange because at first I found the romance to be kind of annoying. So my advice is if you watched the first season just go ahead and watch the second season chances are if you like one you like the other.read more
Okay, as always I want to preface my review with the three things I’m looking for in an anime: I want a really good story (+5), I want really good dialogue (characters/character development, etc.)(+3), and I want really good “technicals” (style, sound, etc.)(+2). Also, I’ll remind you my reviews generally encompass the whole series of an anime unless otherwise stated (That is to say that no more seasons are coming out). So let’s get to it!
Shakugan no Shana… I feel that this anime had an enormous amount of potential. With a story revolving around the competing ’existences’, i.e. Flame Hazes vs. Crimson Denizens, who reside on different planes of reality, the show hit’s the ground running with a really cool premise. Think about it, battles going on in an unseen world that you’ll never know about, yet the outcomes of which could and does effect your life in unimaginable ways. So much so that you could just be written out of existence! This was going to be the tragic fate of our protagonist, however, as it just so happens he’s not your everyday human. The story continues with his adventures trying to figure out his place now that this whole new unseen reality has been revealed to him. To me, that’s a goldmine of possibilities set up to work with.
Earning 4 points
However, the ending of this anime decides to throw all that in the garbage. Nearly the entirety of the last season is a mess of epic proportions. Instead of continuing with all the good things the first seasons had built up, the last season goes on its own into the wilderness of horrible endings. By introducing practically a whole new cast of characters, creating nonsensical plot drivers, and just plain ridiculous reasoning by the characters in terms of their decision making faculties, Shakugan no Shana goes out in a pyre of infamy. Frankly, I’m going to be watching it to appear on some top ten list of “Most Unexpected Anime Endings”, because I found it hard to swallow that something so good could become so bad.
As for the dialogue and character development, I was quite pleased for the most part. The interactions and relationship between the protagonist and Shana were well executed and all in all, the characters were enjoyable. The romantic elements were handled to my liking, and, the protagonist does grow throughout the story as a character (as does Shana). There are some characters (especially towards the end) that are left high and dry in the character development department, but, all main characters have enough in my humble opinion to allow the story to progress relatively unhindered.
Earning 2 points
Technicals are solid. I truly enjoyed the entire OST of this anime, the style and animation were good too. No complaints.
Earning 2 points
Bonus points award goes to… having some really cool Flame Hazes out there! And some cool powers to come with them!
Earning 1 point.
Add it all up and we have a score of 7.5! If you want my advice, just watch the first two seasons only, then let your imagination make up what’s going to happen next. It’ll be better that way. Trust me, if I had done that, this anime would have been an 8.5 easy.
As always, since I’m a critic, I’ll round down my score to a 7 because that’s just the way it goes. That way it’ll be better than expected when you watch it! Till next timeread more
But the storyline for the 2nd series has dramatically changed and some are even confusing to relate with. The series will pick up slow then move better as it goes on.
Character development is a plus factor in the 2nd series. More characters are progressed while some are given enough scenes and also a part of the plot.
The OST still manages to gain a good appeal but personally I liked the 1st series' OST than this because of not being able to sync with the plot and character.
Overall, the 2nd series is a must to actually comprehend the time line of the story as it goes on. 1st time watchers SHOULD get the 1st series before moving up to this. In the end, I would prefer a 3rd Shana series to come soon as to satisfy my fixation to this awesome series. ^__^read more
The world is not what it appears. There are battles taking place that we cannot see, between the protectors of balance and those who want to destroy everyone living on this planet. That's the basic premise of this show and there's not much more to it than that. Shakugan no Shana Second is incredibly basic when it comes to the setup, but it delivers an experience unique to itself.
First thing anyone should know is that this series is the direct sequel to the first series, Shakugan no Shana. It is highly recommended to watch that before watching this series. The first series explains terms and sets up the characters for this series and a viewer will be much less confused as to what's happening because this series derives directly from what happened in the first series.
That being said, if someone's already seen the first series, then they know the story of Shakugan no Shana Second already, for the most part. Nothing's changed from series to series. Yuji Sakai is still a Torch and a Myste, and Shana is still a Flame Haze. Together, they are tasked in killing Crimson Denizens (Guze no Tomogara) who live in the Crimson Realm, the parallel universe that lies directly on top of the human world. There is little change to setup and the second series continues this trend. As expected then, most of the plot that drives the series along is focused on different Tomogara who show up at any given time and Sakai and Shana have to fight them off with assistance from their close friends.
If you had any questions from the first series (you probably did) and were expecting answers. Well, the series may answer one or two, but you'll probably find yourself asking more questions by the end and you'll have to watch the next series to see if it answers your questions (It probably won't). There's not much more to add here other than the show does a good job of continuing what was started before and it introduces new plots and ideas that certainly build on the old.
But Shakugan no Shana never really was about the strong story, was it? The characters are what make this anime shine. All of your favorite characters are back. Margery Daw, Wilhelmina Carmel, Kazumi Yoshida, Keisaku Satou, Eita Tanaka, Hayato Ike, and Matake Ogata all share a large portion of the show and the series mostly devotes its time developing these characters. Every character develops in their own way and that's the enjoyable part of this show. You find yourself attached to the characters as the anime goes on and as different situations happen, viewers become emotionally involved.
That's where the strong point of Shakugan no Shana Second lies. The characters are all widely varied and they are all shown to have different thoughts and beliefs about what is happening in their lives. Different characters take different paths and not all of them are remotely close to what you might think they would do. Characters face turmoil and difficulty and are forced to make difficult choices. This makes the characters of Shakugan no Shana Second incredibly strong because the creators made sure to continue building them from the first series. They all change in some way or another and watching them change is the real joy of this show. There is hardly a dull moment in the show as a viewer will care in some way about every single person on the screen at any given time.
Animation is, of course, fantastic. All the characters are uniquely designed, every model looking different from the other. Fight scenes flow smoothly, and detail is incredibly high during intense moments. Shana's flame looks as detailed as it did the series prior. There are some moments where CGI is clearly used and it detracts heavily though. It's usually in the middle of an intense sequence of events and completely throws off the feel of the moment, which is a shame. Other than that though, the only other issue is that the character's eyes are rather large and they seem slightly too far apart from one another, but after some time one gets used to it.
The soundtrack is great as well. The soundtrack always sets the mood and accompanies scenes exactly right. During suspenseful action sequences, the music pumps out fast beats and matches the mood, while during a slow, emotional scene, the beats drop away to something more soft and quiet, drawing the viewer into the moment intimately.
There's not much to be said negatively about Shakugan no Shana Second other than the rather disjointed plot that is really only there to drive the strong characterization of the characters. There's nothing deep or meaningful to be said in the story, but in reality, that doesn't matter in this show. Plot comes second to the strong characters that are the driving force behind what brings the viewers back. When a show can get a viewer to invest emotionally into its characters, then you know that a show is doing something right.read more
A continuation of the first seaon, Shakugan no Shana II, leaves us almost right where the first left off. This season covers more of the social aspects to the characters lives while still giving the intense battles (more in the latter part of the season) that we came to love in the first season.
The art is basically the same as last season with a few imporvements here and there.
The first opening song for this season JOINT is by far one of my favorite songs ever and Blaze the second opening isn't bad.
This season focuses more on the character development that the previous season does but not all the characters improve. Some actually get worse (if only for a short time period).
Its a good season. It does get slightly boring at the beginning but once you hit the half way point it picks up a lot and you can't wait to watch the next episode.
Overall, its a great anime to watch and the season was amazing.read more