Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

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Shakugan no Shana III (ongoing)

Impression – finally living up to its legacy

Autumn 2011 to winter 2012 (24 episodes) (more info)

For Shana fans who endured the disappointment that was season two, the third and final season started pretty rocky and didn’t look very favorable as a contender to redeem the series.  There was a lot of really confusing, unnecessary summarizing of the previous season that I’m fairly certain didn’t succeed at getting new viewers up to speed and only served to delay new content for a couple episodes.  But once that got out of the way the story really started to take off and there wasn’t any sign of the romantic quagmire that stifled season two’s first half.  Once again we get treated to the thought-provoking scenario of existence itself being a harvestable resource and the continuation of the secret war that is to determine the fate of not only lives but memories as well.  The changes that have happened in the characters’ personalities are huge and could have had disastrous consequences if they hadn’t been so carefully constructed to match the growing ambitions of the young people as they begin to find the adults they are to become.  There’s a lot of names and faces to remember as the war reaches its crescendo, but if a slow start is my only other complaint, then I’ll gladly give Shana III my seal of approval.


Shakugan no Shana III Ep. 1

Initial impression – excited

Autumn 2011 to winter 2012 (24 episodes) (more info)

And so begins the final season of one of the greatest anime series.  Already in this first episode we have a wild twist that shakes up the ending to Shana II and allows for some wild speculation as to just what the future may hold.  It’s difficult to tell what’s going to happen or what the tone of this season will be compared to Shana I and II.  The drawing style and composition seem to lean towards a more Shana II style, but that may just be due to advances in animation technology since this all started back in 2005.  However, I can’t see how the plot could take the slow and boring route that Shana II‘s first half became infamous for.  The characters are just not set up to have time to be taking it easy.  At the same time, this new arrangement of motives and positions also has nothing in common with Shana I, either.  I think we’re looking at a whole new creation that’s going to watch very differently from any Shakugan no Shana that we’ve experienced thus far and I can’t wait to see more!