|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Shakugan no Shana III (Final)
This review is duplicated from my blog, with some modifications.
As I think back to October 2005, I'm not sure what caused me to start watching the first Shakugan no Shana anime TV series. Whatever it was that caught my attention (and possibly, someone recommended it to me), I took a gander and really liked what I saw. As such, I've followed the franchise from then on, and was glad that J.C. Staff were going to adapt the ending of the source light novels, thus allowing me to see how things came to an end. In the end, while this third series certainly had interesting moments, the way light novels (and manga) are often adapted into anime series does harm <b?Shakugan no Shana III (Final)</b>.
What do I mean by this?
Well, the light novels are able to lay out the story in a certain way. The author, TAKAHASHI Yashichiro-sensei, tells his story and includes various, important elements that may not seem so important when they are first mentioned. So, when an anime adaptation is given a green light, the anime adapters go to the source as a basis, but then make changes to fit their adaptation, in the case of the first series, a 24-episode TV series. As such, things the anime production team deem as unimportant or items they don't want to explore get dropped. Sometimes, things are added to pad out a scene, or to fill out an episode, or to just help bring the series to a close in case there are no additional sequels.
These changes don't really impact the franchise through its first two TV series and OVA's, but when it comes to the final series, suddenly, things that were dropped or modified now conflict with how the source novels tell the story. Thus, the anime production team has a lot of scrambling to do, more so since Shakugan no Shana III (Final) only has 24 episodes to work with.
For example, there are numerous Tomogara and Flame Haze characters that get screen time because they are in the light novels, but their roles are neutered and their impact as characters are lost because these characters weren't properly set up as they were in the novels. Further to that, a great deal of backstory was never touched in the franchise, outside of how it directly impacted some of the main characters. This results in there being gaps in understanding what's going on at times, especially when the production team does an info dump toward the end of the series.
The pacing of this final Shana series isn't the greatest at times. Partially, this is due to the losses in source materials, but partially it is due to what I perceive is a desire to keep up the action, even if at the end of the day, nothing really changes. That was unfortunate.
While the romance aspects get resolved, Yuuji remained true to character, and just as annoying as always in his beliefs. However, while things do get resolved, it really isn't as satisfying as it should be, and that too is unfortunate.
Despite these problems, there is some good too. Some of the new Flame Haze, such as Rebeca, are interesting and fun. It was good seeing Nbh'w and East Edge return, and even better seeing them unleashed. Some of the Bal Masqué members became more than the typical villain characters, and I liked that. Bel Peol getting her eye back gave her a much softer look, which helped her appear to be more than just a cliched villain. Margery Daw finding love was a sweet moment. There were other nice moments here and there too.
Art and animation-wise, closeup shots of characters look fine, but shots that are designed to have a group of characters in shot make said characters look odd or worse at times. There are numerous cost-saving pan-and-scan moments, but these kinds of things are par for the course. The music is pretty good, and the character designs themselves are pleasing to the eye.
Bottom line: On the whole, I did enjoy Shakugan no Shana III (Final), though I would have liked more episodes in order to properly tell the backstories that impact on the present story, including better introductions to the vast numbers of new Flame Haze and Tomogara that were introduced. As such, I'd give this a "Rent."
Last updated Thursday, April 05 2012. Created Wednesday, October 19 2011.
|Domain for the franchise||http://www.shakugan.com/|
|Official Website (japanese) at nicovideo.jp||http://ch.nicovideo.jp/channel/shakugan-03|