Shakugan No Shana: The Movie Review
Yuji Sakai, an ordinary high school student in Misaki City, lives his life like any normal teenager does by socializing with friends and making good grades. But his daily routine becomes interrupted when he meets a “flaming haired blazing eyed hunter” that is a Flame Haze. His life comes to an end due to a paranormal encounter with denizens of the Crimson World and his life as a newly created Torch begins.
Shakugan No Shana: The Movie recaps the first part of Shakugan No Shana Season 1, originally released by Geneon, but eventually released the distributing rights to FUNimation. The movie follows the first several episodes with minor alterations with additional footages through a cameo of a character that appears later in Season 1. This 85 minute feature provides new viewers a taste of what the show focuses on, which is the interaction of Yuji Sakai and his companion/protector Shana. Viewers immediately begin to see a blossoming romantic interest from the “flaming haired blazing eyed hunter” as the movie progresses, especially near the movie’s climax. Unfortunately, the movie just provides a glimpse of the burning love that Shana has as the series explores her feelings for Yuji much more in-depth.
The animation style is spot on with Season 1 as most of the scenes used are stock footage. But there are some differences. One character replaces another in the movie and gets introduced earlier and the movie eventually shows new footage when the epic showdown between Shana and a Crimson Lord. The new footage adds an additional appeal to fans of the series; however, there are not enough new scenes to make the movie memorable.
Shakugan No Shana: The Movie’s sound quality is filled with orchestral music and the dubbing is top-notch. Season 1 was released with different voice actors; and with FUNimation’s recent attempt to bring the entire franchise over to the US, the characters have new voice actors/actresses. The new cast is spot on with the original and fans of the series will not be disappointed with the change.
Another plus to the movie’s release is FUNimation’s recent initiative to release their titles in both DVD and Blu-Ray format. This product is released with both discs and the extras are unique. If fans of the show are familiar with the previous DVD/Blu-Ray releases, there is an extra, serving as a short, titled, “Shana-tan.” The extra feature for this release centers on the movie in a comedic recap of scenes with an odd twist that shows the characters in a different light. The extras are in Japanese only, but the presentation of the whacky characters adds to the movie’s charm.
Shakugan No Shana: The Movie serves as an entry point for those not familiar with the series. The concise recapping of several episodes into the film helps to engage the new fans with what the show is all about. Fans that have seen the series might be bored with the movie as most of the movie is made up of older scenes until it nears the movie’s end. Nonetheless, Shakugan No Shana: The Movie is a good addition to the franchise and the paranormal romance action drama series is something that I highly recommend anime fans to see.