Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Shana 1 - The Torch Bearer|
Director: Takashi Watanabe
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
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Mediocre anime at its finest
faster | Football Town, USA | 11/20/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There is nothing in this series that is particularly memorable other than the main character herself, Shana, who is popular for not much else other than being adorable. The story line is pretty standard for anime; mysterious magic girl, meets mysterious magic guy, love triangle ensues, save the world, series end. Other than the main character the rest are pretty boring and not that well developed save a couple, one of whom is only developed directly in her relation to Shana. It's not executed particularly well but it's enough to keep anime fans entertained enough to sit through the series at least.
Once again, it's not a bad series, just average."
An out of place start.... but wait!
Colonel Saito | North Potomac, Maryland | 12/28/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
""ARGH! WHAT KIND OF SERIES IS THIS?" was my first thought after watching the first few episodes. It's a natural reaction, when putting it into context with the natural progression of the rest of the series. Shakugan no Shana as a series taken in entirity is a decent one, filled with a fair share of romance, character development, action, and comedy, among others. Yet undoubtedly the beginning is misleading. There is a definite horror element and a darker feel to the series at it's entrance. People's souls are being eaten by horrific monsters and their evil-intentioned masters. These monsters, or 'Rinne' in the early episodes are portrayed as demonic, horror-influenced (specifically, the ball of talking heads, along with the psychotic enormous baby). The second episode has a depressing, thoughtful tone (which I personally found intriguing, although many would argue that this is perhaps the most boring episode in the series). If you've stopped on either episode, please understand that neither is representative of the series as a whole.
While the series begins with a seemingly dark, gothic and emo environment(the darkness of animation, the use of many night scenes, the costuming, the entirity of the depressing second episode, perhaps Yuuji's, and other characters' emotional struggles over the full series), the series moves further and further away from this sense, and the character development builds all of the characters to being more hopeful, more brave, and more likable. The worst part of the first few episodes is simply that the 'feel' of them seem so out of context. Shakugan at it's core is not a dark series that might be seen in the 'hopeless' vibes of the beginning episodes. While a percentage of the series is spent on battles and contemplation, at others there is classic high school drama, quirky humor (melon bread, anyone?), and connections that bridge the experiences of the main characters to the audience. The WORST part about the first episodes is simply that they do what must be done, familiarize you with the surroundings of Shana's fantasy world (the names, the characters, the city) to set up the entertainment to come (just wait for the final story arc, it's an amazing reward for the wait).
**SUMMARY OF MY REVIEW**
If you haven't yet watched any further in, Don't look at the seres from a perspective of a few episodes. I nearly quit watching at the beginning, too. give it a chance, at least watch the first half. I'll bet you'll begin to enjoy it just as I did. Yes, the first episodes are admittedly weak, but there is light at the end of the tunnel."
Don't let the other reviews fool you...
R | 08/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, I was intrigued by the manga, which I picked up and read first. Yes, it had a lot of backstory to explain. But I was still drawn to it, and found it very interesting. I have heard of this series of being called a ripoff of Bleach. There are about two similarities in premise, and there the resemblance ends. However, if I were to compare it to Bleach, for those of you familiar (if not, you have homework)... If it were an alternate take, it would be as if the story only focused on Rukia and Ichigo, without a stupid teddy bear named Kon. Unlike Bleach, most villains in this series really do not last long, so if one of them happens to be slightly annoying for a while, hey... you don't have long to wait 'till he's toast :)
Initially, I was turned off from watching this series right away, because of the uninspiring other reviews I read posted on Amazon. I am horribly, horribly sad that I had ever paid them any attention. Since then, I have already watched all 24 episodes of the first season. I can't wait until the movie is released on dvd, as well as the second season starting next year.
First of all, the storyline has a good amount of background that takes a bit to explain. All moderately epic stories have the same problem to deal with: How do you explain a ton of back story to an audience while still maintaining interest? Animes typically make one of two choices: A.) Jump into the storyline right away, while the viewer is constantly wondering "what the hell is going on, and why do I care..." or, B.) Explain everything all at once, and hope the audience isn't asleep by the time the story actually begins.
I think that this series did a good job with this. Yes, the first two episodes are basically there to set the scene. However, when the series gets rolling, it really gets rolling. I watched episodes 7 through 21 in one gulp, only stopping to go to sleep. The next day I finished episodes 22-24. It's a brilliant show, and I really just can't get enough. It's about a girl with a big sword... (what's not to love?)... but also, it's about a boy and a girl who learn more about themselves through the actions of the other. It's about people finding out if they are special or worthless, and despite otherwise circumstances, that they are not "just" anything, but more.
More people should give this show a chance, it certainly deserves it. And to all you reviewers out there, how about you watch more than four episodes before you start saying anything bad? I can't remember ever watching the first four episodes of anything and coming to a good decision. To tell the truth, when I first read Naruto and Bleach, I thought that they were merely mediocre. 365 chapters later of Naruto, 286 later of Bleach, hundreds of combined episodes.... Well, needless to say, they are two of my favorites."
Music and Anime Fan 12 | Texas | 03/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This review is for the whole Shana series. This is one of the Best Animes I have ever seen. The story line is so different yet I LOVED IT. The characters are really likeable. Shana just rocks. ^_^
The voice acting by the Japanese and English dub is some of the best. The only bad thing was I didn't want it too end! =)"