Shakugan no shana... An anime with alot of potential that overall felt like alot of regurgitated shounen/romance anime was a bit of a let down. The predictable uninspired story line, repetitiveness, cheesy humor, and mediocre character development left alot to be desired and is far from a masterpiece that is popularity would make you believe it is.
The initial introduction of the story really got my hopes up; basically about a normal boy who gets pulled into a bizarre battle only to find after words he no longer really exists, and that his entire being will slowly fade away and be forgotten by all of his loved ones. While discovering mysterious powers of his own he is emersed into into the world of magic and battles along with the cute but stubborn Red haired girl Shana who fights off those that threaten humanity.
Despite having an interesting few episodes the plot it stale. It moves very slowly and is predictable for the most part. The anime could have easily been done in half the episodes they took. The battles slowly become tedious along with the story. Also the cheesy romance that develops made it almost unbearable to watch after a certain point. If I were to describe the enjoyment of the story line most of the middle episodes drop down to a 4-5 nearly killing the series...
It was... acceptable. As far as most main stream shows go the art was OK... but it was overall mediocre. It also feels very deceiving that the advertisements and Opening theme for the series has such beautiful animation because its really not that great overall. Some of the battle scenes were well done though.
Character animation wise the most attention is given to Shana; and they do a very good job with her. The rest of the characters on the other hand are uncreative and boring. The main character specifically lacks any real attracting traits that would set him apart from a side character...
Opening and ending songs are pretty good, I especially enjoyed the first ending theme Yowake Umare Kuru Shoujo. The music in show overall was acceptable, but nothing really stands out about it.
The two main characters... try imagining Saber and Shirou from fate/stay night as middle schoolers and that should give you an idea; Although Shana is much more vocally stubborn that Saber ever was.
Shana is the predictable Tsundere character~ The stubborn easily ticked, but deep down shy emotional girl. Her character development is interesting since she doesn't really understand basic human interaction very well...
Yuji also is the predictable week but good hearted normal kid, who grows up to be more dependable courageous guy.
Perhaps what killed the character development was when they attempted to throw in romance... its just didn't work for this plot because of their age... and it split what the story really should have focused on.
There are actually alot of other characters in the story... but their development is mediocre or nonexistent...
I don't really have much else to say about this series other than It was actually painful to put myself through the torture of watching this entire series; and I think anime fans that are looking for something deep, a moving story line, and/or epic battles will be very disappointed unless they have very low standards.
The reason its gets overall higher scores is because it was made for a large viewing audience~ incorporating humor, action, Romance, magical/fantasy and slice of life. They say the Jack of all trades is master of none, and this anime proves this point.