Yuji disappeared the fateful night he was supposed to choose between a life combating evil by Shana's side or as a normal teenager. He returns from near-death to lead the Crimson Denizens in a dubious plot to bring peace to the universe, but Shana isn't fooled. In an explosive reunion, the fiery warrior faces her unlikeliest of foes while Flame Hazes from across the world join forces to ignite a war that will determine the fate of all supernatural kind.
Relationships cannot exist without bumps along the road. There are always conflicting viewpoints between two individuals and it would not be a healthy relationship should both parties agree with each other every single time.
Shakugan no Shana III, the long awaited third and final season of Shakugan no Shana, has finally made its way into light. After a cliffhanger ending from Shakugan no Shana II, SnS III picks up some time after the cliffhanger and presents the audience some shocking details that have the possibility to make or break the conclusion to this beloved anime series.
The huge shift of Sakai Yuji's disappearance takes a toll on the romantic aspect of the story. In fact, it runs all through the season. No mushy lovey-dovey moments between Shana and Yuji that would be expected from the first two seasons. There are very few "urasai, urasai, urasai!" moments and the ones that exist do not resemble those of the previous seasons. The changes made to the story have deeply changed the relationship between the flame haze and the torch; and to some fans, it may be too much.
Not all is lost with the romance of the story, however; it simply took a different form. The conflicting views of a new world between Yuji and Shana separate the two, each unable to find a compromise. Shana yearns to discover Yuji's motives behind his actions while Yuji refrains from spilling the beans, claiming it is for the future of him and Shana.
While it sounds like the basis of the story would expand much further, it sadly does not. Shana having her most important person as an enemy is quite an intriguing situation, but it is crushed by the lack of common sense within the quarrel. Shana and Yuji go back and forth, with Yuji leaving Shana and the audience in the dark as to what is really going on. It's a disappointing flaw in the story, as the grounds of the plot had so much more potential to branch out. Instead, SnS III presents viewers a overly-complicated, unnecessarily dramatic lover's quarrel.
The reason why this story of love is so poorly executed is due to the fact that there is simply too much trying to go on all at once. There are a significant amount of new supporting characters as well as the return of a majority of the older supporting roles. Many of these supporting roles have intents that add spin to the already complicated storyline. There are numerous loose ends in the story, many of which go unsolved at the end. While the new cast is somewhat appealing, the focus on Shana and Yuji greatly overshadows the new crew which cuts the character development to a "hey, here's a new character; enjoy!" kind of deal.
The older cast proves to have developed more, but the time gap and little explanation other than a few scenes of recap make the changes a little shaky. Shana herself has become more powerful, able to use her flame haze powers to spawn wings, a giant fiery hand, and other flame tactics. It is said that Shana went through rigorous training to prepare for the return of the infamous Sakai Yuji. Speaking of which, Sakai Yuji has taken a new role as a villain, and a trashy one at that. It seems as if the old, incapable Yuji has grown a pair and comes up with an absurd idea that the world now is not cutting it. It truly is aggravating to watch these two dispute, and the ulterior motives of Yuji carry many degrees of ignorance.
The animation of SnS III is about as good as SnS I and II. The visuals and fight scenes (which were severely lackluster compared to Shana I and II) maintained a fluid and clear presentation. The details such as Shana's flames remain just like they did in the past. While the art and animation was nice, the big problem with this is that this season did not do a good job on capitalizing it. The season was dialogue-heavy and the dialogue was painfully boring. The fight scenes were few and not as suspenseful or long as Shana's previous feats.
Despite these glaring flaws, the music of SnS III does not disappoint. The excellent performances of Kotoko and Kawada Mami bring some nostalgic feeling to this foreign-feeling season. The OST remains constant to the previous seasons which still suits the mood well. The voice actors also brought their A-game this time around, showing a wide array of vocal range to differentiate the huge cast of supporting roles a bit better.
While SnS III's score was a delight, it is not something that can save the plot's execution. The notion of two lovers wanting to be together but holding their own pride between them is a probable situation, but completely irritating the way Shana III went about it. Throughout the whole season I was questioning the point of Yuji's motives while still holding hope that the explanation would be an acceptable one.
The new face of Yuji does not mask the idiocy he already had within him. The excuse for Shana and Yuji to be together was one that simply could not cut it.
This final season of Shana III was not a very enjoyable one. There were too many irritants within the grand scheme of things that distracts from the great Shana fans have come to know and love. This whole season seemed very foreign when compared to the first two seasons. It's as if this season was all a dream. Many things were lacking or gone while many new things came into play. It certainly was a new world for Shana and co. and I can't exactly say I liked it.
The attempt to go very deep into a story was very possible for 24 episodes yet the writers refrained from adding the most crucial step: an explanation. Watching Yuji and Shana's plans unfold becomes dull and dry too quickly when viewers are left in the dark. A similar feeling would be watching a movie in a foreign language with no subtitles or ways to make out what the actors are saying other than through body language.
Shakugan no Shana III has finally made its course. It had a great pile of potential but that pile was sadly trampled on. Explanations to the vast number of changes could have easily been gifted, but they were held out until the very end. Shakugan no Shana III had multiple things going for it, but there were too many bumps along the road to bear.read more
(This is my first review here on MAL, so I apologize for being an amateur at this. Also be aware, minor spoilers are included.)
Oh Shana, how low could you have gotten?
I was a big Shana fan three years ago, and after hearing of the news of when season 3 was going to premier last Summer, I was overjoyed. Boy was I in for a surprise, massive disappointment.
Shakugan no Shana III (Final) is J.C. Staff's third and final adaption of the popular Shakugan no Shana light novel series written by Yashichiro Takahashi. Shakugan no Shana is a hot series for J.C. Staff, with each volume of season 1 and season 2 having sold 10,000+ copies total, and with great reason. Shakugan no Shana was a very entertaining and interesting series with the first two seasons. Season 3 however, is a whole different beast (It's even selling on average 4,000 copies per volume on average, not 10,000+ like the successful first two seasons.).
We start off with how Yuji has disappeared, and whether or not if he truly has had his flame burn out. This was interesting...for a while. One of the biggest issues early on with season 3 is time. They make no effort to explain when season 3 takes place (I.E. How long after the end of season 2.), and it proves to be a problem that just gets worse, confusing the viewer. Not to mention, something always associated with time, pacing. Shana III has an issue of making events either occur way too fast, or way too slow (Like slower than Dragon Ball Z almost at times.). This is very apparent during much of the first half, the war between the Flame Hazes, and the Bal Masque which also happens to be one of the most boring, if not the most boring war I've ever seen in an anime.
Another problem with the series is character development, and lack of explanations as to what's going on. Season 3's biggest issue is adding too many characters at once, and then not even bothering to provide any back-story, thus causing the viewer to hardly care about them. They'll only really be attached to the characters they know and love from the first two seasons, except of course Yuji (I'll get to this later.). As the show goes on, this only gets worse and worse as they try to make you care with touching moments, but due to the lack of proper character development, this does nothing.
The lack of explanations really is one of the biggest issues. It makes the show quite confusing, and leads to the viewer being quite bored. There are also many contradictions thanks to this.
Now, Yuji. The Yuji you knew from seasons 1 and 2 is completely gone. For some, this may be a good thing, but for others, it's quite a bad thing. Basically early on he has The Snake of the Festival take over his body. We have no idea where Yuji was, or where The Snake of the Festival came in which goes back to the issue of the lack of explanations and time. The Snake of the Festival later takes over as leader of the Bal Masque (As he was their former boss before he was sealed away.), and his goal first is to free his old body (Which of course, is a giant snake.), and he has another thing up his sleeve (He reveals this during the war.) which I won't post about due to spoilers.
The sound and art (Well, it's not as good, but it works.) are pretty much on par with the first two seasons, and they're what help hold this show up from being a 3/10 show or lower. It helps make the show still somewhat enjoyable. They're the best things about the show, which is such a shame. The entertainment value is there, but not much. A few episodes I've found have been quite a chore to watch even.
Overall, Shana III is a massive disappointment, and only devoted Shana fans will really have any reason to watch this, the main one being just to finish the story (This is the only reason why I haven't dropped it, I really want to see the end.). I may edit this after I see the end, but I don't expect this show to get much better.
Edit 3/30/2012 after seeing episodes 23 and 24 (The original part of the review was on 1-22):
Episode 23 didn't really help the show (It suffered from the same problems that are very apparent in the series), but episode 24 was worth watching (It's pretty much the only episode really worth watching). We get a decent enough ending which actually resulted in some decent character development.read more
just to be honest! Shakugan no Shana III is the true adaptation of novel... this is the true Shana without fanservice or filler episode...
We're having a huge changes of plot since previous seasons and we face a faster pacing in this season... but somehow, J.C. Staff managed to pull it out and make it lots better than any anime they ever made before...
just same like previous seasons... this art is already good enough for Light Novel adaptation anime (please don't compare the art with Visual Novel adaptation)
the battle's art is very good
I can't say anything anymore.... Mami Kawada, Kotoko, and Altima totally owned this season! Serment, I'll Believe, and ONE is really good and enjoyable... not to mention the BGM and some songs from Mami Kawada as BGM (Akai Namida, u/n, etc)
awesome! Shana and Yuji's character developments are very well-pictured by J.C.Staff. Not only two main characters but also Yoshida Kazumi, Eita, Keisaku Satou, Margery Daw, and Wilhelmina...
totally enjoyed it... that's all... I don't know what to say anymore
10/10 is maybe too high.. but for me, I consider Shakugan no Shana III as one of the best anime I ever watched
sorry if my review is bad.... this is my first time... xDread more
Assuming you have watched SNS S1 and S2 and you know the characters well, you may be shocked when you watch the first episode of SNS s3. SNS s3 was somewhat confusing at first impression (one minutes into the show), but the unexpected opening quickly piqued my imagination. It appears that the protagonist had reversed and became antagonist. With the briefly explained background information of the first episode, the viewer may have difficulties understanding the reasons behind protagonist's faction change. Although I had hoped for more details in the first episode, I think that it may be best the way it is, that is lack of a complete background introduction. Overall, this animation is enjoyable and exciting, which is true in my case, The art work and sound of S3 quality was specular, I would rate the SNS s3 a 8.5/10.read more
Shakugan no Shana explores the lives of a regular school boy, Yuuji, and a mysterious girl with crimson eyes, Shana, as well as the different worlds they call home. The unique setting combined with a superb storyline make fans all around the world praise it as a classic. Read on to find out more!