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DVD Review

DVD cover

Shakugan No Shana
Volume 3


Starring (voice): Rie Kugimiya, Satoshi Hino, Ayako Kawasumi and Hitomi Nabatame
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 08 September 2008

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...

Another month and another anime release this time it’s Volume Three of Shakugan No Shana a romantic magic thriller, which keeps the relatively high standard set by the previous two discs. The show is okay, but nothing special is on offer to raise it above the many other shows being released, being a basic good vs evil show, with Yuji playing the everyman role. The series ran for two seasons and spawned a number of specials, so someone must have liked it.

Episode nine, Poolside of Love and Desire, and it’s a moment for a little downtime following the fight which ended Volume 2. In the hot blazing sun the gang decides to go to a water park to cool off. Margery Daw and her henchmen are also suffering from the heat, even though Shana detects her presence no one is in the mood for a fight, until the gang discover the joys of water sports as a way of having fun and cooling off at the same time.

Episode ten, Entangled Feelings: With the pause in his training over Shana feels that Yuji is not progressing as fast as he should. Meanwhile, more denizens are appearing in the city. As Yuji’s normal life interferes with his training Shana get increasingly frustrated by his attitude, especially as she has to face the denizens alone.

Episode eleven, Yuji, Shana and Kisses: Shana’s feelings for Yuji are growing, but as a Flame-Haze she has no real idea what to do with these feelings and turns to Yuji’s mother for advise and information about kissing - where is Captain Kirk when you need him? Meanwhile the sibling denizens continue to feed on the inhabitants of the city.

Episode twelve, Flowers Bloom in the Cradle, and things are reaching a breaking point for Shana with regards to Yuji, but before she can resolve the matter the denizen sibling’s twins finally show themselves to confront Shana.

There are some really nice things about the show; the English dub is well above average and up there with the Japanese version, which is provided here with subtitles. The mood and tone are well supported by the rather strange musical score. The style of animation retains much of the look of the manga with big eyes and minimal facial features.  

The disc is a little better provided with extras with more production art and a rather odd question and answer session called Naze Nani Shana Video (3 min 51 sec). The print is clean with a good Japanese or English 2.0 audio track.

In many ways the show is frustrating as it fails to live up to much of its potential spending far too much time with Shana being all moo eyed over Yuji, still if you're into romance with a little fantasy fighting thrown in you may just like Shana.


Charles Packer

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