Sakai Yuji thought he was an Ordinary High School Student... until time stopped one day and everyone around him was turned into light and consumed by a huge monster, right before his eyes. He was saved by a girl with long red hair who drove the monster off with sword and flame. "You don't exist anymore", she told him.The Denizens of the Crimson World are monsters from another world who consume the "power of existence" of humans. The power of a human that is leftover becomes a Torch, a shell of their former self, destined to disappear without a trace — physical or mental — when their remaining power burns away. Flame Haze are independent humans who have allied themselves with the kings of the other world, gaining the power to fight back.But Yuji is no ordinary Torch, and the minion fought that day is only the beginning of the troubles his city is about to face...Shakugan no Shana is based on a series of novels by Takahashi Yashichirou. The anime was produced by JC Staff and ran for three seasons: the first aired in 2005, and the second in 2007. A movie readaption of the first novel was released in Japan on April 21st, 2007. Starting on October 2009, OVAs have been released every four months or so under the name Shakugan no Shana S. The third and final season of the anime premiered in Fall of 2011.An series of omake called Shana-tan and Hecate-tan have been released which parody the events of the series with Super-Deformed characters. There is already a Shana-tan episode paralleling the new series, called (appropriately enough) Shakugan no Shana-tan G.The character sheet can be found here.
This series provides examples of:
All Just a Dream - The second season starts with Yuji trapped inside a dream (created by the real first villain of the season). Yuji picks up on some deja vu, but when complete scenes and defeated villains from the first season start showing up, then he knows something's wrong. No one will listen to him or tell him anything he—the one the dream is based on—doesn't already know. The dream falls apart once he pieces everything together.
Alternate Continuity - The movie provides a closer adaptation of the events of the first novel than the anime, thus differing in a few respects, such as using an important plot point that the anime reserves until the end of the first season.
Art Evolution - Other than the flame effects improving throughout the series, Final also greatly varies the amount of runic circles used in Unrestricted Spells, up from the one circle and ribbons used in the first two.
The original light novel illustrations and the manga adaptations also experience this.
Cessation Of Existence - What happens to people who become torches; after gradually becoming less and less present in the world, along with Ret Gone at the moment of cessation.
Chekhov's Gun - The anti-flame ring. After being forgotten for most of the first season it ends up saving Yuji when Shana summons Alastor. Snake of the Festival Yuji also uses it liberally throughout Final to No Sell most attacks from Shana and the other Flame Hazes, due to most relying on fire and their elemental power.
City of Adventure - The first villain started it, hanging around Misaki City as part of some sinister scheme and gaining Shana's notice. Shana and Yuji being who and what they are tends to attract the rest of the attention. Lampshaded in the second season by speculation that Misaki City has become some sort of naturally-occurring nexus of misfortune. The city later earns the nickname/title, "Maelstrom of Warfare"
Clingy MacGuffin - The Reiji Maigo. Yuji needs it to live, and removing such treasures in general is supposed to be dangerous.
Curb-Stomp Battle - Snake of the Festival Yuji delivers one to Shana and the Hazes, the beatdown was so severe that Shana couldn't believe that Yuji hadn't had his mind taken over by Snake of The Festival. Yuji insists that there is only him in control and later tries to apologize for using force against her.
The Flame Haze army is decisively routed at the battle of the Sereiden. So many are killed or demoralized that, with the exception of a few renegade Flame Haze led by Shana, they are knocked out of the war.
Dead to Begin With - As impatiently explained by Shana, the original Yuji's life was consumed before the anime started, and he is just a Torch—the remainder of that lifeforce, a placeholder to preserve the balance while quietly fading away.
Though how long he'd been dead considering that he's been the Reiji Maigo's container is never elaborated upon.
Defusing The Tyke Bomb - Yuji's influence makes Shana think of herself as more than the Flame Haze she was raised to be.
Enemy Mine - Shana and Kazumi form a quirky alliance in response to Konoe's perceived usurping of Yuji's affections, although they spend more time moping about it than doing anything constructive. Eventually their understanding of each other extends beyond the non-combative theatre of operations.
Fanservice - Sorath neatly slices Shana's clothing while she is restrained.
Giving the class girls a shower scene during Season 2's school festival also counts. Groping is involved.
First Episode Spoiler - The first episode reveals that Yuji is a Torch. Yuji being The Protagonist, this is a big deal to the rest of the series. You can't describe this series to anyone without spoiling the plot twist of that first episode.
For some reason, they decided to put Yuji's apparentFace Heel Turn before Yuji's permanent death and reincarnation in the first few minutes of the final season.
Flaming Sword - The titular artifact, Shana's name comes from the sword.
While its true that Shana got her name from her sword, the title of the series, which translates to "Burning-Eyed Shana", refers to Shana the girl, not Shana the sword.
Mathilde (Shana's predecessor) can make swords, axes and shields with her flames. She can even summon an army of knights complete with armour, horses, and rams made out of fire.
Floating Continent - Bal Masque's headquarters, Seireiden, as well as the Tendokyuu, where Shana received her training.
Forbidden Chekhov's Gun - A Flame Haze awakening/summoning their sponsoring Lord's full power into this world, killing them from inability to contain their Lord's massive power. As revealed by the movie, the first villain was using a gun that induced this to kill off the Flame Hazes who came after him—thus forcing their Lords to depart or else risk destroying the balance. Used as a suicide attack in the anime's backstory by Alastor's previous vessel.
The cross pendant that Pheles gives Kazumi is designed to summon her at the cost of the summoner's life.Except not really.
Foreshadowing: Didn't watch the S episodes and wondering what's up with Season 3? S are relevant, but the significant lines are few and rare. In order:
Episode 1 involves the relationship with Shana and Yuji, and how much they have progressed and understand each other. Notice anything strange about the length of time they've been together?
Episode 2 looks at Wilhelmina's side, and she wonders about Yuji's personality.
Episodes 3 and 4 acts as foils to the main series, as they focus on the past of Shana on another Tomogara from a different time. That ending... is rather open.
Freaky Friday Flip - In the first Shakugan no Shana S OVA, Yuji accidentally uses the artifact Reshuffle to bodyswap with Shana. Naturally, Yuji-as-Shana is endearinglyderedere, while Shana's usual tsundere antics come across as mildly repulsive. They spend the entire episode trying to keep the swap a secret under Alastor's orders, because Reshuffle only works if there are no barriers between the users' hearts and he doesn't want their relationship to go public.
Freak Out - Invoked by Yuji when he is apprehended by Zarovee. This may fall into Narm, depending on your viewpoint.
One character plays this horrifically straight: Tanaka, when he sees Ogata lose an arm and a leg after being blasted by Margery Daw in her blind rage.
Geodesic Cast - Every Flame Haze has a weapon, a Crimson Lord, and a magical object through which the Lord speaks. And in Season Three, there are a whole damn lot of Flame Hazes.
Giant Food - Season 2 filler episode. All of the student characters met and ate at a restaurant that super sized everything. The bowls looked like they were meant for real giants and not puny humans.
Grey and Gray Morality - The final arc which featured the final war between the Flame Haze as led by Shana on one side and Bal Masqué as led by Snake of the Festival Yuji on the other. Both of them are darker shades of grey, with the latter's leader verging onto A Lighter Shade of Black. Bal Masqué wants to create a paradise called Xanadu with limitless Power of Existence, allowing Crimson Denizens to coexist peacefully with humans in that world. With the unlimited Power of Existence and the humans not being devoured, the distortions that threaten Earth and the Crimson World's existence will cease. The Flame Haze, however, believe that the Crimson Denizens lack the self-restraint to not eat humans even with limitless Power of Existence, making them have a Hobbes Was Right view, and feel that Xanadu will only exacerbate the distortions. Both sides oftentimes show little regard for humanity, with Flame Haze just as willing to use humans' Power of Existence as Crimson Denizens if it suits their purposes. In short, Shana and company view Yuji and the Snake of the Festival as too naïve, while Yuji and the Snake view the Flame Haze as too cynical. Ultimately, the Crimson Denizens win the war, but having come to admire humanity, allow the Flame Haze to input a code into Xanadu's blueprints preventing them from eating humans.
Yuji offers up part of his own Power of Existence early in the series so Shana can repair the classroom and students damaged by Friagne, rather than let Shana use a human's Power of Existence, which would have erased them from existence. At the time, neither Yuji or Shana knew that he had the Reiji Maigo, which replenishes his Power of Existence, and assumed that this would hasten his death. This is a critical first step in challenging Shana's protect-the-balance-over-humanity worldview, as well as an important step in Shana's evolving crush on Yuji.
Also, the Bal Masqué general Decarabia. While Decarabia doesn't deliberately die, he is willing to risk, and ultimately lose, his life to hold off the Flame Haze long enough for a Bal Masqué army to come to defend Seireiden, Bal Masqué's headquarters.
Matchmaker Crush - Ike tries to help Kazumi to have time and hook up with Yuji. When he chastises Yuji for leading her on, Yuji confronts Ike about his own feelings for her. It isn't until the second season that Ike tries to do anything for himself, though. But even so, Kazumi still hold her heart for Yuji.
Meet Cute - Just replace "crashing into each other" with "getting run through with a sword" and you've got the same formula.
Naked First Impression - In Margery's flashback, when she and Yuri first meet she is naked because she was using the Purification Flame to clean her body.
Nice Hat - Hecate seems to wear a pillow adorned with two large, red jewels.
No Export for You - The novels. Viz owns the rights to release them in english. Viz released the first two novels in English, then lost interest (even though they're still releasing the manga). No-one else can release the novels while Viz own the English rights, whether they use them or not. Damn.
Omake - DVD specials: two mini-episodes of "Shakugan no Shana-tan" and one of "Itadaki no Hecate-tan", featuring a pocket-sized version of the titular character that spoofed events in the main series.
Opening Narration - By Alastor in the first season: "Infinite time stopped beating its heart, and humans burnt away without making any noise. Not one person notices as the world becomes dislocated and is covered in the flames of The Crimson World."
In the dub; "A heartbeat that lasts for eternity, lives consumed in soundless balls of fire. No one is aware as the world is displaced, and the flames of the Crimson World sweep over all."
The Other Darrin - The FUNimation dubs of the sequel seasons, the movie, and OVAs will not use the Ocean cast and instead draw from FUNimation's Texas-based pool of talent due to the current USD/CAD exchange ration but more importantly the fact that they wanted to release the series as quick as possible due to the more-than-a-two-year-long delay as opposed to release gradually and outsource.
Panty Shot - 3 in quick succession during the final battle in the first season. And a quick shot during the first OP. Also a couple slips during season 2's battle penultimate battle. You know the show is almost over when they start upskirting Shana.
Phantom Zone - Fuzetsu barriers. Everything inside the barrier is frozen in place, while everyone outside the barrier temporarily forgets about and subconsciously avoids the enclosed area. This only applies to normal people, of course. Also, any environmental damage done inside a fuzetsu can be undone, given sufficient energy.
Phrase Catcher - Marcosius seems to refer to Margery as "My (adjective/verbing) (noun), Margery Daw" quite a lot.
Retcon - Shana confessing to Yuji right before using the Forbidden Chekhov's Gun at the (anime-original) end of the first season. The second season has him turning out to have not heard it, thus maintaining status quo.
Ret Gone - Anyone or anything that loses its Power of Existence also has all evidence of its existence erased; photos, memories, records, all disappear. Objects usually remain, but have nothing tying them to the owner.
Split Personality Takeover - Averted. While it seems that way early on, the Snake only ever comes out to talk with the rest of Bal Masque. Yuji's the one doing all the fighting
Story Breaker Power - The Snake of the Festival Yuji is the God of Creation, whose power equals Alastor's, and he seems to have no problems showing off: infinite power, Prehensile Hair, and a sword that causes anyone who tries blocking it to sustain heavy injuries (Blutsager). Plus the whole "Creator" bit.
Sweet Tooth - Shana, if her eating twosuper duper extra ginormous servings of ice cream sundae is any indication (One is almost as tall as she is!). Her thing for melon bread may also count. She also consumes a "couple dozen" ice cream bars during the Shana S ova and thinks that Yuji's body is weak for getting sick afterward.
Taking the Bullet - Shana intercepting Wilhelmina's spear after Yuji gets captured. She's a Flame Haze, though, so she's good to go again after a little time off to heal.
The Extremist Was Right- Snake of the Festival Yuji succeeds in his/their plan to create a duplicate world for Crimson Denizens to live without needing to feed on humans' Power of Existence. The Crimson Denizens go a step further and, admiring humanity and wishing to coexist with it, allow the Flame Haze to create a limiter preventing them from devouring humans. An uncountable number of people are saved from future harm. Since Crimson Denizens no longer feed on humans and threaten the balance of the world, the need for the Flame Haze to fight them are gone, allowing them to finally be people instead of walking weapons. Yuji is able to have a relationship with Shana that is not marred by endless conflict that would have probably resulted in her death one day, and the Forever War is ended.
The Other Darrin: Since Funimation will be dubbing the second season onwards in place of Geneon, which left the American market, all characters will be receiving new voice actors due to the current USD/CAD exchange and the price of Union dubs.
Wham Episode - Volume 16: Yuji is now the Big Bad. And another in Volume 22, the final light novel: Yuji wins, but the Crimson Denizens decide to compromise with the Flame Haze and allow their paradise, Xanadu, to have a built-in limit preventing them from devouring humans' Power of Existence.