Shakugan no Shana: The Movie

Gekijouban Shakugan no Shana

劇場版 灼眼のシャナ

SPOILER Summary: (All Japanese names displayed Japanese style — family name first followed by given name.) Sakai Yūji is a normal high school student. His best friend is Ike. He’s also friends with Hirai-chan, who’s best friend is Yoshida Kazumi. Yoshida has a crush on Yuji but hasn’t confessed. After visiting a CD store to check out some tunes, Hirai and Yoshida see Yuji enter, but Yoshida makes a fast retreat, not being able to say anything. Hirai makes an inquiry of Yuji as to whether Ike is seeing anyone.

The peaceful afternoon is interrupted when a fuzetsu (a field where everything is in another dimension and time stops) appears and a giant doll along with a large ball of doll faces arrive. Everyone is frozen in time except for Yuji. The dolls are consuming the life force of the people around and recognize Yuji as something special. They are about to attack when a girl with flaming red hair and a katana arrives to fight these creatures (known as Rinne). She defeats them to reveal the real culprit, a small female doll who gets away. Yuji, who had his arm cut off in the battle assumes he’s been seriously hurt but is surprised when there’s no blood and more so when the girl re-attaches his arm. The girl takes a moment to repair all the damage around and with a blue flame, create images of all the people consumed (including Hirai) before taking down the fuzetsu.

Yuji demands to know what is going on and she explains that she is a Flame Haze and the Yuji is dead. Those that were killed are known as Torches, as they exist for a short time then vanish, allowing the world to adjust to their existences being erased. Yuji is a Mystes, a Torch that contains a Hougu — a magical device. Further, the talking pendants around the Flame Haze’s neck is known as Alastor, who’s a powerful Lord of the Crimson Realm. All of this is a great shock to Yuji, especially knowing that he’s dead. Yuji heads home, following the Flame Haze, whom he names Shana, after the name of her sword (Nietono no Shana).

The following day, Shana is waiting for him, having decided to stick close by since he’s likely to be attacked again. He sees Hirai, who’s flame is almost extinguished. Yuji is upset by that and doesn’t see why this can’t be fixed. Shana can’t understand why Yuji would get so worked up over a Torch. Yuji decides to try to make Hirai’s last day a memorable one and gets her and Ike to go to the arcade after school. She’s rather spaced out but when she leaves and is followed by Yuji, she stops at a spot by the river to watch the sun set and with her last moment, manages to say that she always loved the view from the spot. Her flame expires and Shana catches a bit of it. With her expiration, her image disappears from pictures as if she had never existed at all. She is only remembered by Yuji and of course Shana.

At school the next day, Yuji is stunned to see Shana there and more so to hear people addressing her as if she were Hirai. Shana took the last memory of Hirai and used it to insert herself into Hirai’s life so that she could be close to Yuji who was sure to be attacked again. However, because this is Shana and not the real Hirai, Yoshida suddenly finds Hirai scary. While at school, another fuzetsu appears and Yuji is attacked again by the doll (Marianne) and Marianne’s master, the Guze no Tomogara named Friagne appears. Shana does a good job fending off Friagne, and since he doesn’t want to damage the Mystes, he and Marianne retreat. The battle has left many of his classmates serious injured and Yoshida-san half-dead. Shana proposes using her remaining life force to repair the damage and restore the others, but Yuji won’t hear of it and agrees to allow Shana to use the force of himself (as a Torch) instead. That works.

Shana decides that she needs to stay with Yuji and basically moves in with him. After some misadventures with her wardrobe and him accidentally peaking, another Flame Haze arrives on the scene. This is Margery Daw and her companion is a talking book named Marchosias, who’s also a Lord of the Crimson Realm. They are there looking for Tomogara and the mystery of why so many Torches are in this city, to say nothing of the number of Flame Haze’s who’ve been killed. Margery casts a spell to wipe out several Torches in an attempt to draw out the Tomogra but fails to do so. She does draw the attention of Shana and Yuji who arrive, Yuji upset at the Torches being extinguished so easily.

Friagne arrives and using his array of Hougu, he manages to fight off both Shana and Margery. When Shana has a clear shot to kill him, Friagne uses Yuji as a shield and Shana does the unthinkable — she stops her blade short. Friagne escapes and invites both Flame Haze to a stage for a final confrontation. Margery and Shana have a discussion about this while Friagne explains his plan to kill Shana with a gun known as Trigger Happy, which when fired, would shatter the gem in Shana’s pendant, releasing Alastor and the energy he has.

Shana and Margery arrive to battle and Yuji realizes Friagne’s plan isn’t to merely hunt the Flame Haze, but has something to do with the city and all the Torches. The Hougu crystal bell that Friagne’s uses to causes powerful explosions is also triggering activity in the city. That activity turns out to be the consumption of the city, which Friagne’s plans to use to give Marianne an actual life so they can be together forever. The Torches are the catalyst to start the City Devourer spell.

Friagne has been unable to shoot either Margery or Shana, so Marianne offers to sacrifice herself to help take out Shana, since without Friagne, Marianne cannot exist. He reluctantly agrees and explodes her, but it does not kill Shana. Yuji, though injured, manages to create a fuzetsu which effectively stops Friagne’s plan for the city. Shana injures Friagne, destroying his bell Hougu and sending his Flame protection ring Hougu to Yuji. Friagne then shoots Shana. However, instead of Shana exploding, Alastor’s true form (Tenjō no Gōka) emerges and destroys Friagne. With the battle over, Yuji’s Torch flame is almost extinguished. After making Shana promise to keep using the name “Shana,” he disappears, only to re-appear just after midnight with no damage and with his Torch full of flame. It seems his Hougu is named Reiji Maigo, and it is this which causes Yuji’s Torch flame to re-power up after midnight to full power, no matter what state it was in before hand. Shana and Alastor decide to stick around since Yuji is considered a dangerous Mystes.

Thoughts: Considering this was a remake of the first story arc from the first TV series (and I’m guessing that would be the first light novel as well), there wasn’t anything new here and a lot that got cut from the original. At the same time, I found that I rather enjoyed this trip back. I was still sad when Hirai-chan snuffed it. And the lack of any real fighting between Shana and Margery Daw was nice. The cameos of Wilhelmina Carmel were odd. She was always showing up on TV, looking directly into the camera as the camera passed her or she passed the camera. I know that was a bit of non-sexual fanservice, but really, it was weird rather than good IMO.

Well, the timing of my seeing this is good seeing as how I’m about to start watching the 2nd TV series.

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