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Shakugan no Shana

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Distributor: Geneon
Original Story: Yashichiro Takahashi
Volumes: 6 (+ 1 OVA)
Rating: 13+
Anime Code: B

When he entered high school, Yuji Sakai thought the only things he would have to worry about were passing his exams and getting a girlfriend.  Whe he was unexplicably attacked by a creature, he was saved by a small girl with flaming hair and burning eyes wielding a big sword.  But what really took Yuji off guard was the discovery that he was actually dead, or to be more technical, a torch, a remnant of the actual Yuji Sakai.  And he's not just anay normal torch but a torch that contains a special power,a power which some would do anything to attend.  The girl, named Shana, and Yuji, must protect Misaki City from the evil Crimson Denizens.

Review: Every once in a while, an anime comes along that has just the right amount of action, comedy, and drama, all in the right balance.  Shakugan no Shana (a.k.a. Shana) does that.  Where they really shined was their spectacular character dynamic, I just loved seeing them interact with one another.  The character designs (I think) were just one notch above average.  An average TV watcher might not notice the designs but for one who watched anime for most of his life, the improvement of the designs over other animes is as clear as day is from night.  The dubbed, on the other hand, they could've spent a little more time on.  Shana's dubbed actress seems lower than her character while Yuji's seem just the opposite, higher when it should be lower.  The other character who's voice didn't seem the type was Kazumi, who's American voice also seemed lower than her Japanese counterpart.  But despite all that, the series overall was a real joy to see.

Adventure Level: 3/5
At first the fight scenes are fairly formulaic but towards the end, they get really intense.

Romance Level: 5/5
The triangle developed between Kazumi, Yuji, and Shana, was clearly meant to be the highlight of the series (whether you like the angsty love triangle or not).  But Shana also did something that very few animes did in that they flushed out the romantic development of the side characters too.  Though the relationship between Ohgata and Tanaka seemed to be the spur of the moment (unless you've seen the OVA).

Comedy Level: 3/5
Saito and Tanaka seemed to start off as the comedy relief and that was soon passed on to Margery and Marcos.  In the end, the comic moments were more heartwarming than funny but that's all right.

Adult Level: 3/5
A few bath scenes and some frontal nudity (especially in the OVA) as well as massive blood spills but it's not too bad.  You could probably find the same on prime-time TV.

Drama Level: 3/5
One of the areas that I wa shoping they would expand is on the original Yukari Hiroi.  They did that a little at the beginning of the episode and even though I'll concede the originally Yukari wasn't important to the show overall, but it would've been nice to contrast the original Yukari as to Shana-Yukari.

Overall Level: 4/5
Intense action, great romanctic drama, and just enough comedy to make you temporarily amused.  It's definitely worth the watch.  I'm glad FUNimation decided to re-release it.