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DVD Review

DVD cover

Shakugan No Shana
Volume 6


Starring (voice): Rie Kugimiya, Satoshi Hino, Ayako Kawasumi and Hitomi Nabatame
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 02 March 2009

Had Yuji Sakai turned a different corner his life may have remained that of a high school kid, but Sakai did turn that corner and his life changed forever. What do you do if you discover that rather than being human you are little more than a shell, a shell destined to fade away, as you are nothing more than a replacement for an already dead person? Sakai is about to find out...

Volume 6 of Shakugan No Shana takes us up to the end of the first season with the last four episodes, Diverging Feelings, The Flickering Flame, Battle at the Palace of the Stars and Crimson Thoughts.

The show's final episodes wrap up most of the themes which have been building up through the first series. The story continues with Wilhelmina trying to destroy Yuji, apparently with Shana’s agreement. Shana’s, at this point, finally accepts her feelings for Yuji and intervenes; well we do have another three episodes to go. But this leaves the story at a crossroads with Yuji's fate to be decided. Further still, Ball Masque is still out there. It will come as no surprise, given the title of the penultimate episode, that things come to a head at the Palace of the Stars with some nicely choreographed fight scenes - though even victory may not save Yuji and the city.

The show has many things to commend it. The fan service elements have remained sexy without over sexualising the female characters. The problem the show always had was that there was just not enough original material, either in character development or in story elements, to distinguish it from a number of similar shows. So not a total disaster, more a missed opportunity.

Extras for this release are pretty good and kick off with Shana-tan # 1-2 (9 min, 36 sec) which is a little odd, showing Shana as a diminutive Chibi version of herself who spends her time sitting on Yuji’s head eating melon bread in the first half and a lot of attention to Yoshida’s juggling bosoms in the second, all very odd. The Naze Nani Shana Video (4 min, 12 sec), for anyone who has been following this series this is the last of the peculiar question and answer sessions. To round off the extras there is another textless ending sequence and the DVD credits. The show boasts an above average English dub and you can listen to this, or the Japanese voice acting, in a reasonable 2.0.


Charles Packer

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