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May 17, 2012

Anime Review: Shakugan no Shana III

After some prep from Shakugan no Shana S, Sakai Yuji and Shana are back for the ultimate plot twist and ending that will surely surprise you. What's in store for us in Shakugan no Shana III?

Shakugan no Shana III (Final)Synopsis:
Continuing from the events of the last series (Shakugan no Shana II), both Shana and Kazumi stand at their respective locations waiting for Yuji to meet with one of them, only to discover that Yuji has disappeared, with not even the slightest evidence of his existence left behind. All is not lost however, as the letters the two of them sent to him still give hope of Yuji's continued existence. As Shana and company search for answers on Yuji's whereabouts, they soon find the truth staring back at them when Yuji reappears in front of them as the leader of Bal Masqué. Left with little choice, Shana must now confront her most unlikely adversary on the battlefield in her toughest challenge yet.

Review:
WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

After some relaxing and informative side-stories, Shakugan no Shana III dives straight into the action giving us another wonderful and entertaining series. This time, the series starts with a major plot twist. Yuji is gone! After much searching and dismay from the main characters, somehow Yuji reappears as the leader of Bal Masqué and surprises everyone. This of course leads to a love-hate and misunderstood relationship between Shana and Yuji. The story is split into two perspectives, from Shana's and from Yuji's. In the end, we see the reason why Yuji disappeared and his wish to be granted. This involved a lot of secret planning, ulterior motives and the proclamation of a new world. The story hear is fast-paced, intense, and pure engaging. There is little room for fillers or side-stories here as there is so much going on at once. Each episode is filled with action that we have all come to enjoy over these series. I am glad that Shakugan no Shana III is a great ending to an entertaining trilogy. (I don't consider Shakugan no Shana S as a proper prequel/sequel)

Once again, the art is perfect and the battles are even more fierce this time around. We see an all-out battle between the Flame Hazes and the Denizens towards to end of the series. Shana is back more 'flamier' than ever with her flowing red hair. Sparkly. Yuji also had a makeover so I was confused at first but came to understood what happened to him. Otherwise, the other characters were pretty much the same as the two other prequels.

I totally loved the opening and ending theme songs of Shakugan no Shana III! The opening song had some nice beats and rock elements to it which totally suited the mood. I would also like to mention that the first opening song was written by ryo of supercell! The soundtrack was also appropriate and suited the anime perfectly. Voice acting was of course the same as ever but with Yuji's makeover it took a little bit of time to get used to.

The series does also present quite a few new characters that we haven't encountered before, mainly some Crimson Lords and notable Flame Hazes. Along with the original cast we have quite a collection here. As such, most of the characters were not that memorable apart from the original cast. The character development for these new characters was pretty weak so that also contributed to the lack of understanding and depth of the characters. Margery Daw and Wilhelmina were still my favourite characters once again although Sabrac was awesome! That guy is pretty much undefeatable no matter how much attacks you throw at him, he just gets up. In the end, he was willing to sacrifice himself after having a epiphany. The other Denizens in the end leave for the new world along with many Flame Hazes.

Overall, I really enjoyed the anime from start to finish. The ending was how I liked it and the story kept me going and going. I am glad that most questions were answered and plot holes covered. This has been one engaging anime to watch and I definitely recommended it to another who likes sci-fi, action and super powers. Oh, and also those tsundere loving types like me.

STORY: 8
Perfect ending how I wanted it to be. The story was engaging right from the start.

ART: 8
Well illustrated much like the two prequels.

SOUND: 9
Catchy theme songs! Also the voice acting was excellent as always.

CHARACTER: 8
More and more characters seem to pop out of nowhere.

ENJOYMENT: 9
Definitely a well made ending to the trilogy.

OVERALL: 8
After watching the prequels I have to say that I am satisfied with this anime series.