Shana and Yuji are an iconic anime couple that truly showed us how they merged each other's drastically different worlds.
By: Nicole S. Castro on August 18, 2022 at 14:15 PHT
Shakugan no Shana is definitely one of the iconic anime in the 2000s that no one has forgotten about to this day (and we know that's largely because the adorable and feisty Shana is voiced by Tsundere Queen Rie Kugimiya!).
Can you believe this anime first aired in 2005? It doesn't seem that long ago!
Shakugan no Shana (Japanese: 灼眼のシャナ, English: Burning-Eyed Shana) is a Japanese light novel series written by Yashichiro Takahashi, with illustrations by Noizi Ito. The light novel was published by ASCII Media Works as 26 volumes from November 2002 to November 2012 under their Dengeki Bunko imprint.
Two manga adaptations were published by ASCII Media Works in Dengeki Daioh and Dengeki Maoh.
Animation studio J.C.Staff adapted the series into a three-season TV anime with 24 episodes each from 2005 to 2012 (plus several OVA episodes and an anime film). Season 1 aired from October 2005 to March 2006, Season 2 (Shakugan no Shana Second) aired from October 2007 to March 2008, and Season 3 (Shakugan no Shana Final) aired from October 2011 to March 2012.
Plot and Throwback (anime)
The story begins in Misaki City, Japan, with high school student Yuji Sakai (CV: Satoshi Hino) thrown into the conflict between Flame Hazes and Crimson Denizens, the latter being those who collect Power of Existence from humans to use for their own purposes.
Leading lady Shana (CV: Rie Kugimiya), who is one of the most powerful Flame Hazes, tells Yuji that he is already dead and is currently a Torch, a human with greatly diminished power of existence which will slowly run out. But both Yuji and Shana are shocked to discover that Yuji is a Mystes, a special kind of Torch who contains a Treasure Tool called the Midnight Lost Child, which will allow Yuji to live on like an average human as long as he makes sure that his power of existence does not run out before midnight.
In Season 1, Yuji and Shana spend their daily lives together in Misaki City, with Shana even attending his school as a way to continue monitoring the activity of the Crimson Denizens. But Shana also finds herself struggling with her developing feelings for Yuji, while Yuji struggles with his weakness and inability to fight alongside Shana.
Season 2 features a growing rivalry between Shana and classmate Kazumi Yoshida (CV: Ayako Kawasumi), who is also vying for Yuji's affections. The rivalry reaches its peak during Christmas Eve, when both Shana and Kazumi write Yuji love letters asking him to choose between them and meet his choice near the clock tower.
How did the anime end?
Season 3 took the series for a plot twist when Yuji's existence unexpectedly disappears on Christmas Eve. The sequence of events reveal that two entities are locked inside Yuji's treasure tool. One is Johan, the lover of Pheles who created the treasure for him, while the other is The Snake of the Festival (CV: Shō Hayami), the Crimson Lord with the black flame and silver shadow and the founder/true leader of the Bal Masqué, the largest Crimson Denizen organization.
With Yuji's wish to protect Shana and The Snake of the Festival's goals, they align to create a new world between the Human Realm and the Crimson Realm called Xanadu where the Crimson Denizens and Lords can live peacefully without interfering with both worlds. After an extended confrontation, Shana announces her own plans for Xanadu to create a law prohibiting Denizens from devouring humans.
With Xanadu successfully completed after Shana's modifications, Yuji and Shana return each other's feelings with a kiss, unlocking the Unrestricted Spell Grammatica, which restores Yuji's full existence. He and Shana depart for Xanadu where they can live happily together. Life returns to normal at Misaki City.
Definitely a must-watch, unforgettable anime. The plot and terms of Shakugan no Shana's universe may seem weird at first, but once you're hooked, you're HOOKED. And so begins everyone's binge-watching of the amazing plot and relationship progression that somehow skillfully combines the slice of life elements with the high fantasy of the Denizens. Oh, and all the songs from the opening, ending, to the OST are catchy and unforgettable. A 4.5/5 from us and a signal for you to not miss out!
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NICOLE S. CASTRO
Nicole is based in the Philippines and works as a freelance Japanese Translator/Interpreter and copywriter (English). She is a JLPT N2 passer who watches anime to "study" for N1. She has a long career history on LinkedIn (with primary focus on media and translation), but her anime watchlist is much, much longer.