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Shana - the animated hot chick with a big sword and even bigger hair - wants to show you a good time....
Funimation / 625 Minutes / 2005-2006 / Unrated / Street Date: August 21, 2012
For Yuji, our protagonist and moral compass at the center of Shakugan no Shana, there's good news and there's bad news right off the bat on this Season 1 Blu-ray set. Any philosophical person has faced the question of "Why am I here?" a couple times, but it's all but forced down poor Yuji's throat: very early on here, the guy discovers that he's not really the person he thought he was - he's a placeholder, a shell of a human, and the fire that fuels his cursory existence is about to be extinguished. What a drag.
Thankfully a spacey waif named Shana pops up and does everything she can through manipulation and overall sexiness to turn Yuji's frown upside down - and, of course, adventure ensues. And, like so many other anime titles, the bulk of Shakugan no Shana: Season 1 involves a hot chick with fiery-red hair kicking the snot out of enemies human and non, while trying to find a way to ease Yuji's evolution into his next phase of existence.
The thing is, though, that even with Shana's animated hotness, Shakugan never really gels into a cohesive whole. Once you spend the time to follow its characters' arcs through this BD set, you want to see how things turn out, but these high-definition presentations are all visual dazzle and no backbone. Not that anime programming like Shakugan no Shana needs to be stoic and serious, but unless you go all in with hot chicks in tight tops fighting crime in lingerie, there has to be just a little bit of narrative consistency to fall back on, and this set doesn't provide that.