YMMV / Shakugan no Shana

  • Base-Breaking Character: Yuji Sakai after merging with the Snake of the Festival, and oooh boy is it almost as bad as Sasuke Uchiha. While he has clearly has well-intentioned goals, others consider him to be a borderline Sociopath who doesn't care about anything else outside of his goals.
  • Broken Base:
    • The third and final season has split the fandom between supporting Flame Hazes and Crimson Denizens (and in this case, Rooting for the Empire is quite understandable) and between whether the season is an interesting storyline with a good ending for the series or a badly written arc with mismanaged characters and whose main conflict feels pointless even in-universe.
    • Geneon Dub VS Funimation Dub. That is all.
    • Yuji's Darker and Edgier Anti-Hero tendencies over the course of season 3 has left many fans grumbling about the drastic change in personality.
      • The problem stems a lot from the anime adaptation. Yuji expresses despair over the endless, ultimately nihilistic Flame Haze-Denizen struggle very early in the light novels, as well as a growing determination to do whatever it takes to end it. The Snake of the Festival, who shows up out of nowhere with no foreshadowing or buildup at the beginning of Shakugan no Shana Final, approaches Yuji from within the Midnight Lost Child and tempts him with promises of ending the eternal conflict. He also starts to exhibit a much more aggressive personality far sooner as well. For example, in the anime, when Wilhelmina attempts to kill him to prevent the Midnight Lost Child from falling into Bal Masqué's hands, Yuji does little to fight back. In the light novels, after Shana prevents Wilhelmina from harming him, Yuji takes the opportunity to try to kill Wilhelmina, and comes close to doing so. In short, Yuji's Face–Heel Turn, for a given value of heel, is not the abrupt switch the anime made it out to be, but a well-telegraphed and logical conclusion to his character growth.
  • Cargo Ship: Shana x Melon Bread has been shipped. Also, Shana has a What Is This Thing You Call "Love"? moment regarding melon bread and Yuji.
  • Common Knowledge: Shana is the prototypical hyper-aggressive, ultra-violent Tsundere who habitually dominates and abuses her love interest. Except she’s not. While Shana introduced, or at least codified, a type of Tsundere that is more hot-tempered and more abrasive to her love interest, and while the hyper-aggressive, ultra-violent Tsundere can claim a direct line of descent from Shana, she lacks the borderline abusive behavior (at worst striking Yuji all of three times in the first season— of a three-season show—in moments that are played for laughs), tendency to treat their love interests in a subhuman fashion (Shana’s early dismissal of Yuji as a “thing” is due to the fact that, ordinarily, he would be little more than a non-entity as a Torch), and the tendency to dominate or tyrannize said love interests that they have. Shana actually is closer to the classic Tsundere, a person with harsh outward personality, the result of a sociability problem, who gradually reveals a softer and loving side. Her Character Development is really quite remarkable, even when comparing the cold and hostile Shana at the beginning of Season 1 to prickly but friendly Shana of mid-Season 1, let alone the Shana of Season 3, who can no longer even be considered Tsundere.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Weirdly enough, it's kind of inverted in the final arc. By the end of the series, it's clear that not only are the Flame Haze and Bal Masque's goals entirely noble, they're actually completely compatible. The Flame Haze want to make it impossible for the Denizens to get power of existence by eating humans in Xanadu, and the Denizens don't want to eat humans any more anyway. Thus, it doesn't really matter which side wins, since everyone is going to be happy in the end. So...Lightness-Induced Audience Apathy? Is that even a thing?
  • Die for Our Ship: Kazumi, especially after Pheles gave her a Treasure Tool which can summon Pheles, but would take Kazumi's life as a price.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Hecate is the most popular of the main antagonists. Many were initially drawn in by her cute character design but eventually warmed up to her in season 2 where as Konoe Fumina she begins to develop human-like emotions
    • Sabrac is also one of the more popular antagonists despite not having been introduced until the end of season 2. He is mostly remembered by viewers for his memorable battle, and many can back him up as the most badass antagonist in the series. There's also the fact that unlike other villains he had a backstory to his motivations and even a rivalry with one of the main characters.
    • Decarabia one of the minor villains introduced in season 3 got a lot of attention. Many were amused by his strange character design and his tendency to constantly appear at the most random of times.
  • Evil Is Cool: Yuji as Snake of the Festival definitely fits the bill; his fans often nickname him as Darth Vader Yuji, or just Darth Yuji for short.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Yuji as Snake of the Festival has attracted a lot of fans over to his side because he took a massive level in Bishōnen. Honourable mention goes to Bel Peol, with her choice of clothing.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: It seems the correct form of Shana's catchphrase is "Urusai! Urusai! Urusai!!!"
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With A Certain Magical Index. Both are light novels published by Dengeki-Bunko that got published around the same time and have the similar concept of magic in a modern day setting, alongside a male protagonist who is partnered with a hot-headed female lead. It also helps that the anime for Index aired at the height of Shakugan no Shana's popularity and even featured many similar cast members.
    • Also with The Familiar of Zero, Hayate the Combat Butler, and Toradora!, since their female leadsnote  are Expies of Shana and are even voiced by Rie Kugimiya. Together, they're collectively known as "The Four Tsundere Wonders" by many fans and are often featured in numerous crossover fan art and fan fiction. Even the anime industry in Japan has acknowledged this friendship and used the opportunity to promote merchandise based on the characters being together.
  • Idiot Plot: Some feel this way about Season 3, in which the Denizens are simply trying to get out the Flame Hazes' hair and avoid having to Ret Gone any more humans. The only reason there is conflict is because the Flame Haze army doesn't trust them.
    • Moreover, the Flame Haze don't even need to just trust the Denizens. Since everyone agrees that the Denizens should stop eating humans, Snake of the Festival Yuji could have simply decided on his own, right from the start, to make it impossible for them to obtain power of existence in Xanadu this way. Thus, the Flame Haze wouldn't have to take the Denizens' desire to reform on faith, and the conflict would have been entirely eliminated.
  • Les Yay: Wilhelmina and Pheles are really good friends, but the way Wilhelmina acts when they meet is just a trace beyond that (and Wilhelmina doesn't emote much towards anyone).
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • URUSAI! URUSAI! URUSAI!
      • URUCHAI! URUCHAI! URUCHAI!
    • OH GOD SHANA IS HOT
    • de arimasu~
  • Moral Event Horizon: To several people, Yuji driving Margery Daw towards the Despair Event Horizon, as well as the infamous scene between him and Shana during her captivity in the Palace of Stars.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Keisaku Sato's voice (his season 2-beyond voice actor to be exact; the season 1 voice actor was better-sounding for him)
  • Never Live It Down: Yuji is probably going to be forever remembered since season 3 as 'that would-be rapist world destroyer' no matter what positive qualities does he have.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Being devoured by a Crimson Denizen results in you being replaced by a Torch. Bad enough that your remaining life is spent as a sort of cosmic scab meant to insulate the universe from your disappearance. What makes this Nightmare Fuel is that when the Torch burns out, not only do you die, but no one will ever remember that you existed at all. There's an episode that chronicles Yuuji trying to save a Torch; watching her run down and burn out is equal parts Tear Jerker and this trope. If memory serves, the episode even ends with "What have we been doing all day?" when she does vanish. Brrrr.
  • Paranoia Fuel: At any time in the past, you may have been killed, eaten, and replaced with a copy without you even realizing it. And eventually, that copy can run out of power...
  • Rooting for the Empire: One interpretation is that the more Crimson Denizens (Guze no Tomogara) are in desperate need of resources and thus feeding on humans is sometimes the only option and some Flame Haze are overzealous. The former is backed up by the idea the Bal Masque was founded by a god, thus they essentially should have the same authority as Flame Haze (though they are not contracted with Crimson Lords). The latter is partially backed up by the fact that Margery Daw was originally shown as being somewhat of a Blood Knight and cared nothing but Revenge, thus indicating that there are more violent and less honorable Flame Hazes.
    • Rooting for the Empire became a more viable option in the later light novels (and the third season) when it is revealed Bal Masqué's plan, as well as their new leader Yuji's, is to create a utopia called Xanadu where Crimson Denizens will not need to devour humans to sustain their existence, and even coexist peacefully with them. And considering how the series ends...
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Kazumi was originally The Scrappy not only because she acts like a typical Shoujo manga protagonist, but also because she's a combined example of Die for Our Ship, Real Women Never Wear Dresses, Mary Sue and Spotlight-Stealing Squad. She finally did some justice for herself in Final, however, mainly due to her actions during the closing stages of the Forever War. The most notable example is her willingness to die while summoning Pheles by using Giralda.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: In the mid and late 2000's this was one of many anime that achieved widespread popularity. Newer fans who try to watch this show however don't get what all the buzz was about. A lot of the tropes that this show popularized are now in tons of anime causing new viewers to find nothing special about this show. Made even more apparent by the fact that one of its contemporaries ToraDora still enjoys widespread popularity and acclaim to this day and Shana herself is no longer the poster girl for the Tsundere trope.
  • Seasonal Rot: For a lot of viewers the first season was well-received and thought of as a great start to the franchise. However, many felt that as the show went on it got progressively worse. Season 2 was criticized for beginning on a filler arc that lasted half the season, and not doing much to differentiate itself from season 1. It was the third season where many felt that Shakugan no Shana began to lose its touch. Many criticisms were aimed at Yuji fusing with the Snake of the Festival, the introduction of many new characters that had no development and added nothing to the show with some dying in their first fight scenes and the Idiot Plot involved in the final battle.
  • Squick: The Aizens, Tiriel and Sorath, make out with each other. In public. A lot.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Yuji coming to terms with his upcoming Cessation of Existence with the knowledge that at least he won't be completely forgotten when he disappears could've made for an interesting story (even if the story had to go searching for a new male lead after that). Instead, Yuji turned out to be a Living MacGuffin that regularly restores his own Power of Existence.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: One of J.C. Staff's best animated adaptations in recent years, and the third season simply escalate from there, culminating in the glorious Animation Bump that comes with the creation of Xanadu.
  • Wangst: Often resulting in combat. At times it seems like the series would be half as long if Shana and Kazumi wouldn't take so much time with their angsty internal monologues over Yuji, although Yuji himself is no stranger; he plays this trope at the end of the second season!
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: A lot of fans (especially those who were familiar with season 1's dub) didn't like Greg Ayres's performance as Keisaku Sato in Funimation's cast.


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