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Light Novel / Shakugan no Shana

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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 ("Shana of the Blazing Eyes") is a series of light novels by Takahashi Yashichirou. The anime adaptation was produced by JC Staff and ran for three seasons: the first aired in 2005, and the second in 2007. A separate movie adaptation of the first novel was released in Japan on April 21st, 2007. Starting in October 2009, OVAs were 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.

The first season was licensed by Geneon and dubbed by The Ocean Group. The second and third seasons, as well as the movie were licensed and dubbed by Funimation.

A series of omake called Shana-tan and Hecate-tan have also been released which parody the events of the series with Super-Deformed characters. There are omake episodes for every season, plus the movie and Shakugan no Shana S, the first episode of the latter called (appropriately enough) Shakugan no Shana-tan G.

Shana was chosen to represent Shakugan No Shana in the crossover Fighting Game Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax by Sega, with Wilhelmina Carmel as one of the support characters.

The character sheet can be found here.


This series provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The anime focuses almost exclusively on Shana, Yuji, their circle, and their exploits. While they are the main characters and main plot of the light novels, the world of Shakugan no Shana in the novels is bigger, more elaborate, and richer in detail. Most of the short stories were not adapted at all, and neither were the light novels Shakugan no Shana X, which focused on Shana's predecessor as the Flaming-Haired Blazing-Eyed Hunter and the war she fought in, and Shakugan no Shana XV, which focuses in more detail on what Yuji and Shana are up to between the time of the former's disappearance (at the end of Season 2) and his reappearance as the Snake of the Festival (at the beginning of Season 3), as well as the Révolution War.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: The Shakugan no Shana anime suffers grievously from this. Important character development and plot points that would have made Season 3 more understandable, and certain characters' actions less sudden and not at all out-of-character were left out of Seasons 1 and 2. This includes but is not limited to Yuji's gradual slide into Well-Intentioned Extremism and increase in aggression, his beginning to develop an ambition to end the Forever War, and his introduction to and temptation by the Snake of the Festival. All of those things should have happened in Season 1, laying the seeds for and naturally developing Yuji's Face–Heel Turn, the Snake's debut, and Bal Masqué's grand plan well in advance. There are other important things left out, things that would have made sense of Yuji's becoming a full existence at the end, the Four Gods of Earth's neutrality, how Johann and Pheles merged into one being (and why that was related to Asiz and his war), and the new characters that suddenly appeared in Season 3.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Downplayed, but still there, with Yuji and Keisaku. Yuji in the light novels is just as much a Nice Guy as he is in the anime, but the anime leaves a few of his Good Is Not Soft moments out (most notably trying to kill Wilhelmina when her back is turned after she tried to kill him and his early though low-key Belligerent Sexual Tension). Keisaku is depicted as a broody loner whose only friend is Eita (at first) in the anime, whereas Keisaku in the light novels is sociable and part of Yuji's friend circle (though he still has a broody streak due to his being a Lonely Rich Kid).
    • Played entirely straight with Yukari Hirai, whom the anime portrays as somewhat of a Genki Girl who has a crush on Hayato. In the light novels, she is quiet and shy and hinted to have a crush on Yuji.
  • The Ageless: Humans that form a contract with a Crimson Lord to become a Flame Haze stop aging and can only be killed through violence or a voluntary termination of their contract.
  • 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.
  • Almost Kiss: Happens a couple of times in the anime and light novels; most of the time Shana is the one who begins it, but it is always interrupted. The first time it happens in anime Shana backs out of the kiss (which she hinted would be a reward for Yuji's good performance in the battle) and shoved melon bread into his face instead. It's no wonder that it's Yuji who initiates their Sacred First Kiss.
  • 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.
  • Anyone Can Die: Season 3 in particular.
  • 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.
    • Very notable in Yuji, whose improved looks also serve to emphasize his Face–Heel Turn. He gets better looking than any other character since the first season.
    • The original light novel illustrations and the manga adaptations also experience this.
  • Artificial Riverbank: Where the Ominous Floating Castle first appears. Also where Shana gets Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The first time Yuji ends up in a Seal he's attacked by a Rinne in the form of a giant Kewpie doll.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Margery and Marchosias can be quite vitriolic towards each other, but after Shana, Yuji, and Alastor defeat her Marchosias threatens that if they kill her he'll become the very thing he hunts by manifesting on Earth without a Flame Haze to destroy them.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Yuji's upcoming sibling lifts the family's spirits.
    • Literally, as the reveal of Pheles and Johann's baby Justus virtually ends all the fighting, sans the final battle.
  • Battle Couple: Shana (Action Girlfriend) and Yuji (Mission Control). In Shakugan no Shana Second, Yuji, due to training under Shana, Wilhelmina, and Margery, begins to take a more martial role in conflicts, while still serving as Mission Control.
    • In Shakugan no Shana SIII, which contains short stories that mostly take place after the events of the final volume of the light novel series (and thus the end of Shakugan no Shana Final), Yuji has become powerful and skilled enough to join Shana to become a full-fledged Battle Couple, hunting down Crimson Denizens and Lords that refuse to live peacefully in Xanadu.
  • Beach Episode: Well, water park, anyway. Also qualifies as a Breather Episode considering the intensity of action in the previous episodes.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Why Shana falls in love with Yuji. It's a very well-done example, as the series takes great pains to demonstrate just how important and life-changing Yuji's compassion and humanization of Shana is to her.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Believe it or not, Yuji and Shana fall into this very briefly at the beginning of the light novels and manga (not so much in the anime), with Yuji more than willing respond to Shana's abrasive personality by needling her.
  • Betty and Veronica: Yoshida is the Betty while Shana is the Veronica.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Yuji, in spades, culminating in his merging with the Snake of the Festival. An important moment early on (volume 1 of the light novels, volume 2 of the manga, and episode 4 of the anime) sets the tone for his character: Mr. Kondo, the gym teacher, forces the class to run laps to teach "Hikari" a lesson, convinced that she will quickly collapse due to her below-average constitution. Of course, Hikari's actually Shana, so she's the only one not affected by the endless running. When an anemic Kazumi grows faint, Kondo turns his ire on her, at which point a fed-up Shana kicks him. The teacher then proceeds to piss off Shana further, to the point that she moves to punch him. Yuji, recognizing that Shana won't get away with hitting a teacher but that she won't listen to an order to stop, instructs her to kick Kondo. She does so and Yuji very loudly warns Kondo it's dangerous to stand in the middle of the track while people are running. The rest of the class quickly picks up what Yuji is doing and chime in that Shana was going to fast stop and couldn't help "running him over." Yuji then encourages Shana to threaten Kondo, and follows up by telling him, "If you aren't careful, Sir, it could be dangerous for you." The teacher then meekly acquiesces to Yuji's "suggestion" that the class be dismissed.
  • BFS: Sorath's (and later Yuji's) Blutsauger.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The war between Flame Haze and Crimson Denizens in season 3.
  • Big Good: The final light novel's resolution and ending reveals that Snake of the Festival Yuji is closer to this than the Big Bad.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ending as a whole is too happy to be this entry, considering that Shana and Yuji end up romantically involved, the Forever War is ended and countless future generations of humans and Denizens are spared, Flame Hazes can pursue lives beyond that of revenge-driven soldiers, and all of Misaki City's devoured humans are resurrected. There are still elements of this type of ending, though. Thousands of Flame Hazes are killed in the conflict, most notably Khamsin. By merging with the Snake of the Festival, Yuji's "previous" existence was displaced, so those Locked Out of the Loop no longer know he exists, including his friend Matake Ogata, best friend Ike, and his own parents, who are raising his sister as their only child. In addition, Kazumi, Eita, Keisaku, Margery, and Marchosias will never see Shana or Yuji again, as the entrance to Xanadu has disappeared. The Crimson Lords contracted to Flame Hazes still on Earth are incapable of returning to the Crimson Realm, as Xanadu now occupies the space through which they traveled from the Crimson Realm to Earth. Finally, there is no Misaki City for Shana and Yuji in Xanadu, which is otherwise a perfect replica of Earth.
  • Blade Brake: Provided the page picture.
  • Bland-Name Product: Buying CDs at HNV.
  • Boss Subtitles: Every character with powers has a title, and everyone constantly addresses everyone else by full title and name.
  • Broken Pedestal: Margery becomes this Eita after the former enters into a berserk fury upon seeing Yuji's flame is the same as that of her mortal enemy's and kills Ogata in her indiscriminate attack. Thankfully, this happens within a Seal, so it doesn't take. It still shakes Eita enough that he attempts a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! and only reluctantly gets involved once more after the Snake of the Festival first comes to Misaki City.
  • Brought Down to Badass: When Shana is unable to use the powers of the Flame Haired, Blazing Eyed Hunter, she can still punch robots around with her bare hands, thanks to the training she underwent at the Palace.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Played straight at first, with Shana too embarrassed and confused to tell Yuji she's in love with him. It gets subverted later on once Shana becomes confident and secure enough to confess, with her at one point seizing the chance to try to make a very public declaration of love at the school festival. But every time she tries, something happens.
  • Cat Scare: Shana returns home in one episode and there's smoke everywhere. Wilhelmina's cooking dinner.
  • Central Theme:
    • Finding one's identity, especially that what you are is not is not all that, or who, you are.
    • The Power of Love: Love can help you find who are, become more than you were, and give you meaning and purpose.
  • 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.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Margery had planned to leave Misaki City after the Festival, but returned when the Palace of Stars plot went off.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The anti-flame ring, Azure. 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 Haze, due to most relying on fire and their elemental power.
    • Azure pulls double duty as Chekhov's Gun. It is also responsible for the full restoration of Yuji's existence at the end of series. Friagne, the villain of the first novel/anime arc was using Azure for more than just protection from Flame Hazes; it was also key to the ritual he created to give his Rinne Marianne a full existence. The ring had an Unrestricted Spell inserted into it, Resurrection, which is actually Lamies' spell, the one that is used to restore his painting and the humans of Misaki City at the end of series. It would be this spell, fueled by the massive amounts of Power of Existence created through the City Devourer spell, that would give Marianne a true existence. Ultimately, the spell goes unactivated because Friagne and his plan are destroyed, and it lies dormant in the ring until the end. In the final light novel (and the last episode of Shakugan no Shana Final), Lamies' gift to Yuji is to change the activation trigger for Resurrection, the trigger of course being a kiss. In short, this development was foreshadowed as early as the first book of the series, which explicitly established the spell, the ring's role, and Lamies' creation of it. Everything needed to set the stage of Yuji's restoration was placed well in advance. The anime's non-textual nature means that the exposition revealing this is left out, though it is alluded to. As a result, Yuji's restoration appears to come somewhat out of left field.
  • 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"
  • Civil War: The Civil War, between the Four Gods of Earth (and their followers the West Army) and the rest of the Flame Haze (East Army), broke out in 1863 during the American Civil War. The Four Gods of Earth were Native American Flame Haze who resolved, like all Flame Haze, to remain uninvolved in human affairs, despite the treatment of their people at the hands of the European settlers and their descendants. When a group of American soldiers killed a young Native American girl praying for deliverance, the Four Gods finally snapped, killed the soldiers, and resolved to destroy the United States. The rest of the Flame Haze, opposing this violation of their neutrality, fought against them. Ultimately, the East Army won the war because the Four Gods realized that their vendetta was distracting the Flame Haze from hunting Crimson Denizens and Lords, who were running rampant at this time. This caused them to cease fighting. As a peace offering, the Four Gods were made leaders of the branches of Outlaw (the Flame Haze support organization) in North and South America.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: The Midnight Lost Child (Reiji Maigo). Yuji needs it to live, and removing such Treasures in general is supposed to be dangerous.
  • Clothing Damage: To varying degrees, and Shana is notorious for it.
  • Combat Tentacles: Tiriel's Rinne "Pinion" is a giant flower that uses large, long vines to attack and restrain Shana.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Shana wonders why Yuji's face "gets all stupid" when he's looking at the Misaki Waterland ticket. She concludes that it's because humans really like to play around in water; because she doesn't really understand human sexuality, the Flame Haze doesn't clue to the fact that it's got a girl in a bikini making a Double Entendre.
  • Conspicuous CG: Yuuji's silver flame. The monsters in Episode 49.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Not existing any more is not as debilitating as it sounds.
  • 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. In fact, it was stated in the anime that 80% of the world's Flame Hazes were killed in the battle.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The Shakugan no Shana game (Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2) featured multiple endings, but when it was incorporated into the canon endings that contradicted the course of the story remained non-canon.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Shana.
  • 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 the Midnight Lost Child'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.
  • Demonic Invaders: The Crimson Denizens are beings from a hellish parallel world. While most look human or at least humanoid, their true forms are utterly inhuman. Most of them are malevolent and come to Earth to fulfill whatever is their whimsy, eating humans' Power of Existence in order to do so.
  • Devoted to You: As the story progresses Shana and Yuji fall more and more deeply in love and increasingly go to great lengths for the other's sake. Part of the reason for their ending up on the opposite sides in the third season is because they're so devoted to one another that it leads them to make decisions that put them in conflict with each other. Yuji betrays the Flame Hazes to create a perfect world that will end the Forever War, saving Shana from an eternal life of bloodshed. Shana fights Yuji not just to put a stop to his reckless plan but even more so to save him from himself, and delivers an epic beatdown when Yuji tries leave her against her wishes as a form of penance.
  • Did You Just Cut Cthulhu?: In episode 13 of season 3, Shana manages to cut Snake of the Festival Yuji. This is the first time anybody has managed to get in a decent hit on him, much less hurt him.
    • And in subsequent episodes, Shana manages to fight him on more equal footing.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Hecate and her interaction with Yuji at the end of the first season.
    • The omake picks up on this interaction with a slew of impromptu H-scenes.
    • One scene begins with Margery Daw making sounds of pleasure while the camera pans up from her curled toes... she's actually getting a massage.
  • Double Entendre: An In-Universe commercial for Misaki Water Land has the Tag Line "Get wet!", said by bikini-clad models in a breathy voice.
  • Dynamic Entry: How Yuji (and the viewers) are introduced to Shana. A flashing sword cuts off the arm of the Rinne grabbing Yuji, and then the swordswoman herself performs a downward flying kick into the other Rinne, driving it into the pavement.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Shana and Yuji have to go through a lot before they get their happy ending. Yuji wanted to postpone his by wandering Xanadu alone promoting coexistence between humans and Denizens as atonement for his actions as leader of Bal Masqué, but Shana was having none of that "alone" business.
  • 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.
  • 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, are convinced by the Flame Hazes' determined Last Stand 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.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Yuji's Mom, she does open them once in a while.
    • Tanaka opens his eyes only under extreme stress.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: While depicted as disgusting and unhealthy, Friagne's love for his living doll Marianne (and vice versa) and Tiriel's for her brother Sorath are genuine. In addition, Sydonay is shown to truly care for Hecate and dotes on her like father with his daughter.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Yuji. To be fair, there wasn't any other choice, to fulfill his dream changing Shana's destiny and protect humankind from Crimson Denizens forever.
  • 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 apparent Face–Heel Turn before Yuji's permanent death and reincarnation in the first few minutes of the final season.
  • First Girl Wins: Shana is the first girl Yuji and the viewers meet in the series, and she's the one who ends up with him. That said, there's a whole, whole lot more to it than Shana merely being the first girl. Kazumi really never had a chance.
  • Flaming Sword: The titular artifact (Shana's name comes from the sword), is a subversion. The fire is produced by Shana, who channels it through 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 Haze 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.
  • 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 Denizen from a different time. That ending... is rather open.
    • Yuji gets quite a few Beware the Nice Ones moments that reveal he can be pretty ruthless in order to protect people, especially the ones he loves. This is especially evident in the light novels. This sets up Yuji's merging with the Snake of the Festival to end the Forever War and orchestrate the resurrection the people killed by Denizens in Misaki City.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Crimson Denizens' real forms are incomprehensible to humans, so they take on forms that they feel represent their aspect in the human world.
  • "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 endearingly deredere, 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!:
    • Yuji experiences the first in the series when a ring of fire surrounds the area of the city he's in, the sky turns blood-red, two freakish monsters appear, and people start bursting into blue fire and disappearing around him.
    • Hecate has one in the first season's anime original ending when Yuji forces her to confront her emptiness.
    • Invoked by Yuji when he is apprehended by Zarovee. This may fall into Narm, depending on your viewpoint.
    • Tanaka plays this horrifically straight when he sees Ogata lose an arm and a leg after being blasted by Margery Daw in her blind rage.
    • Keisaku in episode 2 of the final season when his Denizen detector starts reacting (to The Snake of the Festival inside Yuji) and he can't run away as Margery advised him to because he's stuck on a train. It turns out the Denizen was on a passing train.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the third episode of season 1 when Shana trashes various teachers, one of them looks like Adolf Hitler.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Konoe.
  • From Bad to Worse: Snake of the Festival. Long story short, Yuji betrays the Flame Haze soon after confessing to Shana and became the final, ultimate antagonist, albeit tragically.
  • Furo Scene: Episode 7
  • Fusion Dance: The whole point of the first Great War was either to bring this about or stop this, depending on which side one was on. A Crimson Lord named Asiz, maddened with the grief by the loss of his Flame Haze, attempts to resurrect and fuse with her to create a child. City Devourer, a spell he created, and Leanansidhe, were key to acquiring the inordinate amount of Power of Existence to power the Unrestricted Method necessary for this. Thanks to Mathilde Saint-Omer, the previous Flaming-Haired Blazing-Eyed Hunter, he failed. Pheles and Johan use the same spell in Final, using the leftover Power of Existence of the Denizens that left for Xanadu to power it. They become the child Justus.
  • Gambit Pileup: The final season's last episodes are this. Everyone is trying to deal with the creation of Xanadu, where no Crimson Denizen will need to eat humans to survive, and there are at least half a dozen factions with their own objectives for either Xanadu or the massive amount of Power of Existence that will be utilized in bringing this about.
  • 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 Haze.
  • 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.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: When Snake!Yuji reveals that the success of his plan will mean Denizens will never have to feed on humans again, the majority of the Flame Haze army goes insane from the realization that their eternal lives will become meaningless, thus becoming easy prey for the Denizen army.
    • Margery very nearly slips across the Despair Event Horizon when Snake of the Festival Yuji reveals the truth about the Silver and that her quest for Revenge has been pointless. She's pursued the Silver for centuries after he stole her reason for living, revenge on those who wronged her, but the Silver only ever was a construct that harvested emotions. The only reason it kill-stole Margery's enemies was because it was fueled by her rage and thirst for retribution. The Silver was merely carrying out her revenge for her.
  • Great Offscreen War: The conflict between the Crimson Denizens and Flame Hazes manifested into full-scale warfare with armies and collective goals several times, but only a few of these are actually depicted. Those that are mentioned but not "seen" are:
    • The Ancient War, aka the Godslaying. It took place three thousand years ago and was the first war between the Flame Hazes and Bal Masqué, prompted by the Snake of the Festival's attempt to create a paradise for Crimson Denizens on Earth. It ended with the Flame Hazes sealing the Snake of the Festival in the Abyss, a victory that cost them most of their number when an enraged Trinity led the Crimson Denizens against them in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • The Civil War, which was actually fought between Flame Hazes, with indigenous Flame Hazes led by the Four Gods of the Earth on one side and the rest of the Flame Hazes on the other. It is explained in more detail above.
  • Happily Married: The Sakai parents.
  • Hero Antagonist: Yuji Sakai.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Wilhelmina has this in the last episode of season one when she thinks Shana died summoning Alastor. She literally can't stand up without Margery's support.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • 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 Midnight Lost Child, 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.
    • Later in the series, Kazumi utilizes a Treasure Tool that, while calling Pheles for aid, will use up all of her Power of Existence. She still does it. She lives. Turns out Pheles lied.
    • 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.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: In the form of Alastor, because he's used as a MacGuffin or weapon as opposed to a person in this instance.
  • Human Shield: Subverted and then played straight by Friagne. When Shana attempts to strike him down, he grabs Yuji and places the boy between him and Shana. He fully expected Shana to cut through Yuji, allowing him to snatch the Treasure Tool within the Mystes while Shana is forced to deal with any potential booby traps. He's shocked when Shana halts her blade, and then realizes he can exploit the girl's hesitancy to harm Yuji as a genuine protective measure.
  • Ignored Confession: Overlaps with Love Confession.
  • I Have the High Ground: Most non-humans with the necessary jumping ability exhibit this.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Tanaka goes through a period of this after he starts going out with Ogata because he doesn't want to see her maimed again. In the end, he goes through with it.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Averted in case of most of the Flame Hazes. Independently of the age they look or their exterior demeanor, their inner personalities tend to be stoic at the best and angsty at the worst, given their frequently traumatic pasts and lives.
    • Played straight with many Crimson Denizens, who are entirely taken with fulfilling their desires with little regard for whom their actions affect.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Shana, Taking the Bullet for Yuji.
  • Infant Immortality: Subverted in the very first episode, but never done to the same extent again.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Shana was this prior to the beginning of the series, with a side story revealing that she had no concept of shame and wouldn't hesitate to strip down in front of other people to clean herself with Alastor's power. Rather than for humor, this is actually Played for Drama as it demonstrates Shana has severe socialization issues.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Despite being a Nice Guy and having strong analytical skills, Yuji can sometimes be this with regards to girls' feelings. One example early on is when Yuji, seeing how vast the difference in skill between Shana and him was, concludes that he's useless to her and that she doesn't need him. As a result, his interest in training with her declines and he fails to show up to her fight with Margery. What Yuji failed to realize was that Shana did not need him there, she wanted him there and she's deeply hurt by his actions. At the same time as this was going on, he also agrees to go on an outing with Kazumi, but he's so wrapped up in his angst over Shana that he neglects Kazumi. It takes a gentle What the Hell, Hero? from Lamies to make him realize what a jerk he's been.
  • Instant Runes: Often in the form of growing, encircling ribbons of blue runes.
    • By Final, rune circles have become most common display, and with much more variety than the standard circle from season one.
  • Insult Backfire: Marianne derisively calls the Flaming-Haired Burning-Eyed Hunter Alastor's tool. At this point, the girl-who-would-be-Shana had no real sense of being her own person, and thus her response is, "That's right. So what?"
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: With Character Development being Shana's byword, she grows out of Cannot Spit It Out only to be hit with this several times. The first is when she tries to confess to Yuji at the school festival, only for Pheles to show up. Then she and Kazumi send him love letters asking him to make his choice and meet one of them at a certain spot, only for Yuji to be ambushed by Hecate. After dealing with Bal Masqué's latest plot, Yuji shows up to meet Shana at the location she specified, only for him to disappear right in front of her having accepted the Snake of the Festival's proposal of an alliance. Poor girl can't catch a break.
  • It Began with a Twist of Fate: Lampshaded in the opening narration. Yuiji wonders how different his life would have been had he not decided to go to the CD store on the fateful afternoon where he met Shana and found out that he's a Torch with incredible magical power.
  • Just A Torch : Quite a few Flame Haze and Denizens share this view, in particular, Shana to Yuji at the start, and Yuji to himself briefly.
    • Interestingly, Shana had this attitude towards herself at the beginning. Before meeting Yuji, she saw herself as the quintessential Flame Haze, with entire being beginning and ending with her mission. Anything outside of that was irrelevant; she had no desires or goals. She saw herself so much as a tool that she didn't even have a name. Yuji dubbing her "Shana" was him ascribing personhood to her, and as she grows closer to him (and others) and falls in love with him she beings to recognize that not only is Yuji a person, but so is she, a person with her own desires and purpose outside of just her mission.
    • Transcending one's nature, whether as a Flame Haze, a Torch, a human, etc., is a dominant theme of the series. Many of the characters (particularly Shana and Yuji) find and define their identities over the course of series, embracing "what" they are without being limited by it.
  • Just Plane Wrong: Season 3 of the anime not only uses the same fictional "737-350" model from Hidan no Aria, it has an even bigger goof. Early on in the season, we get an exterior shot of the Kloten Airport in Zurich, Switzerland, and we see a whole bunch of Boeing 747-400's adorn in what appears to be the livery for the national flag carrier, Swiss International Airlines, or Swiss for short. The problem? Swiss does not, and has never flown any variant of the 747, and neither has CrossAir, who had merged with the former flag carrier, SwissAir, to form Swiss. SwissAir itself had flown 747 variants during its existence, but not the -400.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Shana wields a nodachi as her weapon of choice.
  • Kiai: Margery Daw's howl in her werewolf form (it looks more like a bear though)
    • Shana's battle cry right before she 'finished off' Sabrac sounded a lot like a high-pitched version of the "Punch" of "Falcon Punch."
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: When Shana and Yuji kiss at the end of the third season.
  • Last-Name Basis: Strangely, Ike and Sakai. They're supposedly best friends, but only ever refer to each other by last name. That said, they do address each other without honorifics (yobisute), which in Japanese culture is a sign of closeness.
  • Last Stand: Two notable ones:
    • The Flame Haze Army locates Bal Masqué's headquarters, the Castle of the Star of Darkness, and launches an all-out assault on its numerically inferior garrison. This is the closest Bal Masqué comes to utter defeat, and their only hope was hold out long enough for The Cavalry to arrive. It does, and the Flame Hazes are utterly routed.
    • With thousands of Flame Hazes dead and most of the survivors demoralized, Shana leads a party Determinators in a desperate attempt to salvage something from the war. While they no longer have the means to prevent Xanadu's creation, they come up with a plan to alter its blueprints that will prevent Denizens from eating humans in the new world. They're Out-Gambitted due to Bal Masqué's clever use of a decoy, but Shana and the rest's determination reaches the Denizens, who, having come to admire humanity, agree to the Flame Hazes' demands.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Sorath discards his sword Blutsauger steals Nietono no Shana from Shana, and attempts to immolate her with it. He's unpleasantly surprised to find Shana and not the blade is the source of the fire, and which she proves when she uses her fire to escape Pinion. Under cover of the fire she takes up Blutsauger, and though Sorath manages to block her strike Blutsauger's power causes wounds to open up all over his body anyway.
  • Lethal Chef: Wilhelmina. CABBAGE ROLL OF DOOM.
    • Shana as well, but she gets better with instruction.
  • Lie to the Beholder: A passive version: normal people perceive Shana as Yukari Hirai, due to her taking in the girl's last remnants of Existence.
  • Life Energy: Called Power of Existence.
  • Long-Runners: Barely.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Two separate relationship zones, consisting of Shana-Yuji-Kazumi-Ike and Keisaku-Margery-Eita-Matake. Yuji's in love with Shana, and he's loved by Shana and Kazumi, the latter of whom is in turn loved by Ike. Meanwhile, Keisaku is in love with Margery while Eita is attracted to her, Matake's crushing on Eita, and Margery really isn't interested in anyone until rather late in the game when she starts reciprocating Keisaku's affections.
  • 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 holds her heart out for Yuji.
  • Meaningful Name: The name of a Crimson God, Lord, or Denizen usually indicates that being's nature, appearance, or powers. Crimson Lords contracted to Flame Haze are usually named after divine beings from various mythologies, while uncontracted Crimson Lords and Denizens are usually named after demons found in occult grimoires and demonological manuals from Europe's early modern period. Other names come from the Bible or its deuterocanonical books and apocrypha as well as folklore.
  • Meaningful Rename: The otherwise nameless "Hunter with Fiery Hair and Blazing Eyes" (Enpatsu Shakugan no Uchite) is soon given the nickname of "Shana" by Yuji. This is one of the most important events in the series, as Yuji is challenging both Shana's conception of herself and the role prescribed to her by the Forever War, asserting that she has an inherent worth and importance that comes from her being a person, not just from her utility as a Flame Haze. It leads to her developing conflicted feelings precisely about whether she's a warrior or a person. Near the end of the story, when she finally comes to terms with herself as both at once, she introduces herself as "Shana of the Fiery Hair and Blazing Eyes" (Enpatsu Shakugan no Shana).
  • Meet Cute: Just replace "crashing into each other" with "getting run through with a sword" and you've got the same formula.
  • Meido: Wilhelmina ~de arimasu.
  • Mission Control: Tanaka, Satou, and sometimes Yuji. The former two use the Haridan when the frontline requires a sitrep.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Shakugan no Shana really runs the gamut of the Shades of Conflict, likely because the series really likes exploring what motivates people and because the relentless pursuit of one's dreams/goals is a central theme of the story:
    • It starts out Grey vs. Black. The Crimson Denizens are definitely bad guys, murdering countless innocents to selfishly pursue their desires and jeopardizing two separate realities in the process. The Flame Haze are entrusted with hunting down these Denizens, but they're hardly saints themselves. Some, like Shana (at first), put their mission of preserving the balance above individual human life and can be incredibly callous, willing to use humans' Power of Existence if they deem it necessary to minimize damage. Others, most famously Margery Daw, are purely in it for Revenge, killing Denizens because of some wrong they have committed in the past. As such, their job is simply a means to their own personal ends rather than a sacred mission.
    • Then it shifts to White vs. Black as Yuji's influence on Shana and Keisaku and Eita's influence on Margery gives them a better reason to fight: protecting human life, especially the people they care about.
    • Around the same time, Denizens start to become more nuanced. Lamies is introduced as a Denizen who scrapes by by feeding on Torches about to go out, both sparing humans and preventing harm to the cosmic balance. Even Denizens that are unambiguously bad demonstrate they are capable of selflessness, love, and courage. This has the effect of making them A Lighter Shade of Black as a whole, though individuals can range from pitch black to practically white.
    • As the series progresses, the conflict starts graying into White vs. Grey. The Crimson Denizens grow increasingly sympathetic without demonizing the Flame Hazes, and when the Snake of the Festival is unsealed a plan is put into motion to create a perfect world with limitless Power of Existence, meaning that Denizens won't have to devour humans. This doesn't eliminate the source of conflict between the Flame Hazes and Denizens, however, as the former believe the latter won't exercise the restraint to not eat humans even in Xanadu (which would cause The End of the World as We Know It to come about even sooner). The war is resolved when Shana and her party of Flame Hazes are able convince the Denizens to allow them to input a limiter into Xanadu's "blueprints" that would make it impossible for Denizens to eat humans.
    • Even outside of the nature of the conflict itself the Morality Kitchen Sink is at play within the characters' "parties." Shana, Yuji, Kazumi, Keisaku, Eita, Alastor, Margery, Marchosias, Wilhelmina, and Tiamat come to form a united front against the various foes they face for most of the series, but they're not united in their motivations. The first six care (or come to care) deeply about protecting human lives. Margery softens as story progresses and genuinely cares about her friends, but is fixated on Revenge on the Silver above everything else. The reason she sticks around Misaki City is because she's told that while she will encounter the Silver again, it will not be because she sought it out. Marchosias also genuinely cares for the others and is very affable, but he's less concerned about morality and more with having a good, bloody fight. Like Margery and Marchosias, Wilhelmina and Tiamat also come to care for their allies but they're mainly there for Shana (Wilhelmina's surrogate daughter) and never really develop beyond a Lawful Neutral mentality. And while Yuji never wavers from his commitment to protecting humanity and Shana, and even becomes more zealous about them as time goes on, he becomes increasingly ruthless in the means he uses to pursue his goals, culminating in him becoming a full-fledged Anti-Hero and joining Bal Masqué. He ends up being their Token Good Teammate, as while he's come to empathize with the Denizens he agrees to be the Snake of the Frestival's host because it will help him achieve his goals too: saving humanity from the Crimson Denizens, restoring all who died to them in Misaki City, and ensuring that Shana's life won't be one of constant battle ending in an inevitable death.
  • Morality Pet: Yuji for Shana. His selflessness challenges her cynical expectations of how a Torch behaves and encourages her to care for others. In a reversal, Shana appoints herself as Yuji's at the end of the series. Rather than let him separate himself from her in penance, Shana insists that she accompany him on his quest for true peace between Denizens and humans, correcting him and keeping him on the straight and narrow when necessary.
  • Muggle-and-Magical Love Triangle: Yuji is in this scenario with Shana (magical) and Kazumi (normal).
  • Must Make Amends: This becomes Yuji's chief drive at the end of Shakugan no Shana. While his cause was noble, succeeding required a lot dog shooting, something he is not happy about.
  • 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.
  • Neck Lift: In the manga, Tiriel seizes Sorath by his neck, lifts him up by one hand, and throttles him for having the temerity to expression admiration to another girl.
  • Neck Snap: Yuji kills a Crimson Denizen (one of Zarovee's five selves) by just grabbing him by the neck and breaking it, showing that he is now capable of fighting weaker threats independently.
  • Nice Hat: Hecate seems to wear a pillow adorned with two large, red jewels.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Yuji throws himself in front of Marianne, unaware of her true nature, to protect her from the Flaming-Haired Blazing-Eyed Hunter. His reward is for Marianne to plunge her arm into his back in an attempt to retrieve the Treasure Tool within him.
  • No Place for Me There: After creating Xanadu, Yuji reveals that he feels his actions have made him entirely unworthy of being with Shana and that he intends to travel across Xanadu for a long, long time until true coexistence between humans and Crimson Denizens can be achieved. Only then would be worthy to be at her side. Shana, who's been fighting to bring him back to her the whole time, is unwilling to accept his decision.
  • No Social Skills: Many of the Flame Hazes exhibit this to some extent. This likely due to them spending most of their immortal lives alone save for their Crimson Lord contractor, locked in a Forever War with monsters beyond human comprehension. Shana is particularly hard hit, as she was completely isolated from the human world since she was toddler while being trained to be the perfect Flame Haze. The handful of people she had contact with were: a benevolent but vastly powerful god who often finds human behavior baffling or irrelevant, a no-longer-human woman who's almost incapable of emotional expression, the woman's equally terse partner, and a mute walking skeleton tormented by a tragedy in his past. Is it any wonder Shana is the way she is?
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Four Gods of Earth. Despite their names, none of the four Crimson Lords affiliated under this group are real Gods of the Crimson Realm like Alastor, the Snake of the Festival, and Shaher.
  • Not So Stoic: Alastor can get pretty flustered whenever he has to deal with Shana as a teenage girl rather than as a Flame Haze.
    • For most of Season 3 Yuji acts very calm and collected while betraying those he loves and doing what he feels he has to do. Towards the end, though, his facade begins to slip to reveal that he is wracked with guilt over what he has done and is very pained about what he has lost in the pursuit of his goals.
  • Oh, Crap!: This is Shana and Alastor's reaction after Yuji casts his first Seal, revealing that his flame's color (the color being unique to each individual) is silver, the same as Margery's mortal enemy.
  • 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.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: The Castle of the Star of Darkness, Bal Masqué's headquarters. The Palace of Heaven's Road, as the former's good counterpart, averts the "ominous" part but plays the "floating" and "castle" straight.
  • One-Winged Angel: Most Lord-Class Denizens or higher take on either a humanoid form or dwell within a Flame Haze (communicating with and perceiving the outside world through a tool known as a divine vessel). When they manifest it's a different story...
  • 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."
  • Opt Out: Eita Tanaka in season 2. He comes back for the first part of Season 3, but then does this again later due to his faith in Yuji.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Yuji, or so he thought.
  • Pair the Spares: The short story "Future," taking place after Shana and Yuji travel to Xanadu, implies that Kazumi and Hayato have hooked up.
  • Panty Shot:
    • Three 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.
    • They also do it somewhat less discreetly and more often during the Shana S ova. Blue with white stripes
    • Again in the first episode of the third season. We see her strip down to her panties, which have a rather childish anime character on their seat.
  • Parents as People: Alastor and Wilhelmina serve as Shana's surrogate parents and they truly do love her and care for her well-being. Unfortunately, one's a Eldritch Abomination from another world and the other forsook her humanity centuries ago to fight in a Forever War, so while they're more then capable in training Shana to be the ultimate warrior, they're woefully incapable of meeting her needs as a human being. Point in case: they never bothered to give her a name.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Several Flame Hazes and Crimson Lords are capable of attacks that can level anything within several miles to rubble, including Shana, Margery Daw, Sydonay, Sabrac, EastEdge, and Snake of the Festival Yuji.
  • Playing with Fire: Most Flame Haze/Crimson Lord powers manifest as flames. Hence the name Flame Haze.
  • Pet the Dog: Even some of the more malevolent Denizens have these moments. In the past, for example, Friagne allowed his mortally-wounded human ally Billy Hawken to name the new Treasure Tool they created.
  • 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.
  • Pigeonholed Voice Actor: Rie Kugimiya (Shana's VA) has become known for her wrathful loli tsundere roles, which also include Louise (The Familiar of Zero), Nagi (Hayate the Combat Butler) and Taiga (Toradora!).
  • Playing with Fire: This is how most Flame Haze and Denizens manifest their powers, but exceptions pop up from time to time.
  • P.O.V. Boy, Poster Girl: There are some scenes from Shana's POV, but it's still mostly from Yuji.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Shana grows a pair in her rematch with Margery, unlocked by her joy at having Yuji at her side.
  • The Power of Love: A major theme of the series, triumphing over its opposite Love Is a Weakness. Originally, Shana's feelings for Yuji causes confusion with Friagne and Margery exploit in her battles against her, and later leaves her conflicted over her role as a Flame Haze. However, these same feelings mean that when Yuji is supporting her, her confidence increases enormously, resulting in the above-mentioned wings. Later, it grants her incredible strength of will and fuels one her primary goals: redeeming Yuji. This same power also drives Yuji to become stronger to fight by Shana's side, and is responsible for Yuji later having the audacity and determination to join the Snake of the Festival in changing the world, all for the sake of protecting his loved ones and free Shana from the Forever War.
  • The Power of Hate: Trigger Happy, the ultimate anti-Flame Haze weapon, was created partly by a human's ardent desire to kill one, as explained below.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Treasure Tool Trigger Happy, a weapon which forces a Flame Haze's Crimson Lord to manifest with his/her full power, killing the Flame Haze. Back in the 19th century, after his town was destroyed by a Flame Haze leading some Native Americans, the boy Billy Hawken worked with Friagne to kill said Flame Haze. Hawken was mortally injured, but his hatred for Flame Haze combined with Friagne's desire to kill them to form the ultimate anti-Flame Haze weapon. Friagne promptly used it to kill their target, and before dying Hawken named it Trigger Happy.
  • Previously On: Every episode in the second season begins with Alastor summarizing the entirety of the previous episode. It gets rather egregious, especially when calling back to a Filler episode totally irrelevant to the current one.
  • Psychic Link: Hecate has one with the Snake of the Festival. Whenever Hecate's praying? That's her communing with the Snake of the Festival in the Abyss. It allows her to receive bit-by-bit pieces of the Psalm of the Grand Order. Yuji also has one with the Snake of the Festival. Prior to the events of the series, during Sabrac's attack on Johann, the then-current possessor of the Midnight Lost Child, the former inserted a piece of the Psalm of the Grand Order into the Treasure Tool. Thanks to this fragment of the spell within the Midnight Lost Child, the Snake of the Festival is able to communicate with Yuji even when still trapped in the Abyss. Through this link, the Snake talks Yuji into his Face–Heel Turn. Sadly, though the Snake of the Festival began speaking with Yuji early on in the novels (early on enough that it should have been in the first season), their conversations were left out save for a brief dialogue... at the beginning of the third season.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: During the water-park competition in episode 9, the show pulls out William Tell Overture when the action heats up.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Shana hits hers at the end of Final, after hearing Yuji declare his intent to separate himself from her as penance while he pursues a true peace between Denizens and humans, a process he predicts will take thousands of years. This is but the latest of his choices that ignores her feeling and is self-destructive, and she refuses let Yuji destroy himself further and wait thousands of years before she can be with him, especially when her presence will keep him on the straight and narrow. She very satisfyingly beats a Heel Realization into him.
  • Rank Inflation: During a trip to an amusement park, Shana uses her powers to cheat at a swordfighting virtual reality game, maxing out the score counter and earning a rank of SSS.
  • Rapid-Fire "Shut Up!": Whenever Shana gets frustrated, she'll shout "Shut up, shut up, shut up!" ("Urusai, Urusai, Urusai!" in Japanese). Usually to Yuji.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Shana
    • Yuji's as Snake of the Festival can shapeshift, but is usually kept about knee-length.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Except for the humans (and Shana, who is a new Flame Haze), most of the cast are centuries if not millennia old (Denizens don't exactly age and once you become a Flame Haze you're immortal unless killed).
  • Red Baron: Most Flame Hazes and other Crimson World inhabitants are primarily known by awesome epithets rather than by their names. Indeed, the Flame-Haired, Blazing-Eyed Hunter didn't have a name until Yuji called her Shana. Others include Supreme Throne Hecate, Chanter of Elegies Margery Daw and Specialist of Everything Wilhelmina.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Shana and Yuji.
  • Reference Overdosed: The Shana-tan episodes are brimming with references to various media.
  • Reset Button: Any harm done to the environment or the frozen people within a Seal can be undone though the application of Power of Existence.
  • 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-Canon: The Shakugan no Shana game for the Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2 featured an entirely original story, but it ended up being incorporated in the light novels' continuity with Shakugan no Shana XVIII and became an important part of Sabrac's backstory.
  • 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.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: All Denizens, along with Flame Hazes and humans aware of the Crimson World, can remember existences that have disappeared.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The three remaining Four Gods of the Earth follow Shana in her assault on Bal Masqué in Misaki City to get revenge for CenterHill's death and to kill as many Denizens as possible for every human that had been devoured by a Crimson Denizen. Their goal is to turn the survivors of the battle, and battle itself, into a harrowing reminder for future Crimson Denizens as to what happens when monsters prey upon men.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment:
    • Season 3 boils down to this: The Crimson Denizens are led by the cold and ruthless Enlightened Yuji Sakai and the Snake of the Festival (who is inhabiting the former's body, with a belief that Utopia Justifies the Means, who tries to create a world where the Crimson Denizens no longer have to consume humans to survive. Opposing them are Shana's and the Flame Haze's equally ruthless Romanticist Anti-Heroism which will do anything for the sake of protecting the balance which Denizens disrupt by consuming humans, even if it means occasionally using humans' Power of Existence themselves (though to be fair, Shana has, through Yuji's influence, made protecting humans a priority on par with protecting the balance). Shana and a small group of Flame Haze, eventually realizing that there was no way to stop the duplicate world Xanadu's creation after the Flame Haze were routed in a previous battle, attempt to insert a code into the device building Xanadu preventing Denizens from eating humans. They apparently achieve this until Yuji and the Snake of the Festival reveal that the device, while playing a role in the creation of Xanadu, was actually a decoy. A combination of the distortion energy collected by the Midnight Lost Child and their own power as the God of Creation was going to create Xanadu, and the code could easily be overwritten. However, the Denizens appeal to the Snake of the Festival to keep the code in anyways, and he agrees.
      • As for Yuji himself, it appears that the work is a hybrid of Romanticism and Enlightenment. While the means of Snake of the Festival Yuji and Bal Masqué are Enlightened, their motivations are a mixture of Enlightenment and Romanticism: a world where Denizens can fulfill their passions and desires being romantic; and Yuji's beliefs for a world where Flame Hazes, Humans and Crimson Denizens can coexist peacefully, the Crimson Denizens no longer have to consume humans to survive because they are given infinite power of existence, and the Flame Hazes can live normal lives, no longer just walking weapons, being enlightened. Also Romantic is The Power of Love is what gives Yuji the incredible determination and vision to actually end the millennia-old Forever War, and his primary motivation for changing reality itself is to create a world where Shana can be more than just a Flame Haze, i.e., an eventual, inevitable casualty of the war (and to protect humanity).
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Between Wilhelmina and Pheles, particularly on Wilhelmina's side. She seems quite emotionally vulnerable towards Pheles (and given the way she usually acts...), and goes through a fair bit of anguish any time they have to fight. Wilhelmina also goes into a brief Heroic B.S.O.D. when she thinks Pheles rejected her offer to help during the final battle.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Révolution, which is sadly excised entirely from the anime save for a brief mention. A radical organization of Crimson Denizens and renegade Flame Hazes, they believed that coexistence between humans and Denizens is possible and desirable and try to destroy the masquerade. They're defeated well over a hundred years before the events of the story, but their ideals have a huge impact in shaping Yuji's goals and ideology.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: While Eita understood the conflict between the Flame Hazes and the Denizens was serious, he also saw it as a grand adventure. It's only when Margery thoughtlessly kills his crush Ogata(she got better thanks to her death taking place within a Seal), he realizes just how personal the cost of being involved can be and decides to bow out. He reluctantly resumes his role as Mission Control when Snake of the Festival Yuji comes to Misaki City, but finally does leave the war behind after Yuji explains his intentions and Eita decides to trust him.
  • Secret War: Unbeknownst to most of humanity, Earth has for millennia been a battleground for Demonic Invaders from another world known as Crimson Denizens and possessed superhumans called Flame Hazes. After the modern Seal was created in the Late Middle Ages or early modern period the activities of the Denizens and Flame Hazes became even harder for ordinary humans to detect, as most of the action takes place within a space disconnected from the normal flow of time.
  • Serious Business: To Shana, melon bread is more of a religion than a favorite food. Among other things, she lectures Yuji on the proper way to eat it, and complains that spicing it destroys the natural flavor.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: When Margery and Keisaku have sex in the third season.
  • Sharing a Body: A Flame Haze is a human who hosts a Crimson Lord within themselves, with the latter communicating with and observing the outside world through a divine vessel the former carries around with them. Yuji and Snake of the Festival, while not technically Flame Haze, also qualify.
  • Ship Sinking: Kazumi x Yuji didn't have much chance of happening anyway, but it was officially destroyed later in the novels when Yuji finally made his move on Shana.
  • Silence, You Fool!: Shana's Catch-Phrase - "Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!!"
  • Sitting on the Roof: Yuji and Shana, who at first is content to stay up there until Yuji invites her inside.
  • Skinship Grope: During the festival episode, the girls are all showering together and Nakamura starts feeling up Kazumi and Shana's boobs.
  • Slice of Life: It has moments. The beginning of season 2 is largely without conflict and instead focuses on the whole group's antics during normal life.
    • Half the first episode. That is, until Shana comes.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The world of Shakugan no Shana is a world where Eldritch Abominations known as Crimson Denizens, some of them Physical Gods called Crimson Lords, secretly come to Earth to devour humans' Power of Existence, erasing them from existence. This causes the balance between Earth and the Denizens' point of origin, the Crimson World, to be damaged, threatening to destroy both worlds. They are opposed by Flame Haze, former humans commissioned by other Crimson Lords to protect the balance. However, most of these Flame Haze are Knight Templars who at best prioritize preserving the balance over human lives and at worst are sociopaths who seek to get back at Denizens for having been wronged by them in the past. The Flame Haze's belligerent nature and differing motivations means that they rarely work together, forming large groups only in the face of existential threats. Otherwise, they fight each to the point of near death. Oh, and they won't hesitate to use humans' Power of Existence to repair damage caused by the war. Additionally, the Flame Haze can only delay the inevitable, limiting the damage but not preventing or eliminating it entirely. This dark, cynical environment is counterpointed by the Main Characters Shana and Yuji, who believe that Flame Haze can be more than just walking weapons, but people with a reason for being beyond their mission or revenge. They believe that with The Power of Love, they can protect those they care about, overcome impossible odds, and forge a lasting relationship between the two of them. Yuji is even more idealistic, envisioning a future where Flame Haze, Denizens, and humans can coexist. As for Shana, after Yuji joins the enemy Bal Masqué in order to realize this dream, she refuses to even consider killing Yuji, confident that she can both fulfill her duty as a Flame Haze and redeem Yuji. Ultimately, it is their idealism that triumphs over the cynicism of the setting.
  • Spell Construction: Shakugan no Shana features a large variety of different ways harnessing magic.
    • Equivalent Exchange: A Crimson God's Divine Summoning requires a sacrifice to unlock, and the Flame Haze themselves are sort of an example of Equivalent Exchange. Crimson Lords dedicated to preserving the balance are just as alien as the renegade Denizens are to Earth's plane of reality, which means that they too would need to devour humans to replenish their Power of Existence. Humans, on the other hand, simply do not have enough Power of Existence to use Powers of Unrestraint. The solution is for the balance-preserving Lords to enter into contracts with humans to form Flame Haze. A Lord's existence displaces the human's; because the Crimson Lord is housed in a human host, it "becomes" native to Earth's reality and does not need to consume Power of Existence to survive. The human gets a massive, stable (i.e., not a finite resource) reservoir of Power of Existence they can use to use Powers of Unrestraint. However, most humans can only house so much Power of Existence, which means the Crimson Lord's excess power must go into dormancy. The Crimson Lord also loses its agency and ability to act independently. The human host, on the other hand, has his or her existence overwritten by the Crimson Lord's, erasing their past impact and presence in the world. This is why nobody except those "in the loop" remember Yuji after he merges with the Snake of the Festival.
    • Geometric Magic: Some Powers of Unrestraint require rune-inscribed shapes and diagrams to activate, most notably Seals. Also the below-mentioned Psalm of the Grand Order, which serves as Xanadu's blueprint and allows Yuji and the Snake of the Festival to merge.
    • Magical Gesture: Many Powers of Unrestraint simply require the spellcaster to simply point and "shoot" as it were. The blasts of fire known as Flame Bullets that virtually every Flame Haze and Denizen can use is an example of this.
    • Magical Incantation: Some Powers of Unrestraint require chants or incantations. Margery Daw's Improvisational Poem of Slaughter is an example of this, being triggered by rhymes.
    • Magic Prerequisite: Except for Treasure Tools, magic has to be fueled by Power of Existence.
    • Magic Wand: Treasure Tools are weapons and tools that have or grant their users special abilities. The Midnight Lost Child and Shana's Nietono no Shana are examples of this.
    • Xanadu's creation is incredibly elaborate, involving both Geometric Magic, a Magical Gesture, Equivalent Exchange, a "Magic Wand," and a Magic Prerequisite. The Geometric Magic is the Psalm of the Grand Order, a spell made up of 82 lesser spells that is Xanadu's blueprint. The Magical Gesture is the Snake of the Festival's Divine Summoning, "Ritual-Grounding, Ceremony-Creation," which is the spell that actually creates Xanadu. In order for the Snake of the Festival to use his Divine Summoning, however, Hecate has to be used as a sacrifice, the Equivalent Exchange. Xanadu's creation also requires an enormous amount of Power of Existence, the Magic Prerequisite. To get that power, they have to use the Midnight Lost Child, the "Magic Wand," to convert the distortions within the Abyss into raw Power of Existence.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Wilhelmina's name is spelled and pronounced "Wirhelmina" in the dub.
  • Sphere of Destruction: Robots that Dantalion deploys in the final battle can blow up and vaporize everything in a 30-meter radius.
  • 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.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Paying close attention will reveal the "de-rezzing" sound from TRON and the good ol' proton pack charge-up sound from Ghostbusters.
  • 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.
  • Surprisingly Good English: I'll Believe by ALTIMA, the ending to the third season, has a 45-second intro and several lines sung in almost-perfect English. And then there's motsu. Check it out.
  • Sweet Tooth: Shana, if her eating two super 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 acouple 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 End of the World as We Know It: Why it's such a problem that Crimson Denizens devour humans for their Power of Existence, aside from it being murder. Crimson Denizens are alien to Earth's universe and can only maintain themselves by devouring humans' Power of Existence. People who should exist suddenly not having ever existed creates paradoxes and damages the fabric of reality, creating distortions that threaten the balance between and ultimately the survival of the Universe and the Crimson World.
  • The Talk:
    • Averted when Shana asks where babies come from.
    Shana:What's wrong? Chigusa's having a baby, right? Teach me how to make one.
    (camera pans across the shocked faces of the Sakai family)
    Yuji (blushing): ...eh-heh...
    Kantarou: ...we can't teach you without other people's consent... right Chigusa-san?
    Chigusa: ...yes, we need to speak with Carmel-san and Arasu-Touru-san...
    • Later, Shana asks Kazumi, who explains that answering that question is more embarrassing than being naked in public. Even Alastor dodges that particular hot potato of a question, and Chigusa says she'll talk about it with her later.
  • Technicolor Fire: Each Flame Haze and Denizen can manifest Power of Existence in the form of flame, and each one's flame is a unique color. Shana's fire is crimson, for example, while Yuji's fire is silver and then black (in the anime, it becomes azure after he separates from the Snake of the Festival, whereas in the light novels it remains black).
  • Tempting Fate: When Yuji and Shana's horribly-intimidated teacher sees Shana storming out of class in anger, he makes the mistake of telling her "You can't have a complaint yet, we haven't even started!"
    Shana: ...Your necktie sucks.
  • Theme Naming: All of the beings from the Crimson World take names out of various mythologies. Just to name a few: there's the "Seeking Professor", Dantalion; Margery's battle-hungry Lord, Marchosias; and Shana's Lord, "God of Atonement" and "Flame of Heaven", Alastor.
    • Most Flame Hazes are named after composers, conductors, or musicians.
    • Humans generally get their names from Japanese prime ministers! Kazumi Yoshida's name, for example, is a reference to Shigeru Yoshida, prime minister of Japan from 1946-47 and again from 1948-54.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: They practically come out and say this (with regard to existence), making the second episode of the show a Wham Episode.
  • They Call Him "Sword": 'Shana' comes from the name of her sword, Nietono no Shana.
  • Those Who Fight Monsters: Most Flame Hazes outside of Shana became such because of a combination of Revenge or for the fun of it.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: Fumina Konoe is a subversion. Shana and Kazumi fear her as this, but Fumina's affection for Yuji is platonic and Yuji never expresses any attraction to her whatsoever.
  • Through His Stomach: Kazumi to Yuji. Shana soon catches on.
  • Time Stop: See Phantom Zone, above. Time doesn't really stop, but it's a convincing impression, with everything frozen in place and recast in gray.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Yuri, in Margery Daw's flashback. Unlike all other Flame Haze, who are hellbent on vengeance and killing Denizens, Yuri, a young boy, just wants to save people and seems to completely lack fighting spirit. I mean, ''really'', what self-respecting Flame Haze actually cares about ''humans''?
  • Took a Level in Badass: Yuji, in Season 3. Sure he did improve in his fighting skills in Season 2 of the anime, but it wasn't until Season 3 that he truly proved to be a formidable opponent. From simply aiding Shana in her fights to being so strong that few people can even hit him (at first), he really lived up to the trope's name.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Melon bread, for Shana. Anything with alcohol for Margery.
  • Tragic Villain: Yuji becomes this after becoming the Snake of the Festival
  • The Trope Without a Title: Just about all Denizens and Flame Haze.
  • Tsundere: Shana essentially started her own type of tsundere, that is much more 'bipolar' than the classical tsundere. Later incarnations of this trope are described as 'Shana clones'.
    • Ironically, the clones often lack the character development that softened Shana as the story went on. She's still a Tsundere, but much less "bipolar".
  • Truer to the Text: The anime and movie hew closely to the light novels despite the Adaptation Explanation Extrication and mild Adaptational Personality Change. The Shakugan no Shana manga, however, which adapts novels 1 through 4, is the most faithful adaptation of all, strictly sticking the the light novels' sequence of events (for example, Margery Daw does not show up until after the Friagne arc, in contrast to both the anime and movie), leaving out the anime's original subplots (such Yukari's death and fading away), and incorporating characterizations, character development, and scenes that were neither in the anime or movie.
  • Urban Fantasy: Humans empowered by otherworldly beings duke it out with demons from another universe on modern-day Earth, with most of the action taking place in a mid-sized Japanese city.
  • Verbal Tic: Wilhelmina ends nearly every sentence with "de arimasu", an archaic form of "desu" usually restricted to writing ~de arimasu. It gets a little annoying ~de arimasu.
    • This was changed to 'indeed' in the dub. And you thought Teal'c used the word a lot.
  • Voices Are Mental: This is averted in the Shana S OVAs where Yuuji and Shana swap bodies. They still talk like themselves, though of course some effort was made by the VAs to mimic each other's tones and speech patterns.
  • Void Between the Worlds: The Abyss is the space that "lies" between the Universe and the Crimson World. It's not entirely a vacuum, as ancient ruins float in empty space and a Path of Pilgrimage was created that leads travelers to the Snake of the Festival's imprisoned body. Stepping off the path or the ruins is fatal, as unless rescued quickly a person will rapidly fade away to nothingness.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Flame Haze and Yuji. The entire war is an example of Grey and Gray Morality.
  • 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.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The opening scene from Final never ended up happening, much like the opening scene of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
    • Sort of. The scene depicts the Snake of the Festival's body emerging from the Abyss and Shana leading the defense of Samuel Demantius' fortress, both of which happen later. They just don't happen exactly as the opening scene shows.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Shana experiences this in spades early on. She had no contact with humanity for most of her life and was raised by benevolent yet inhuman beings to be the perfect Flame Haze since she was a toddler. As such she had no concept of romantic love or sexual attraction, which meant she started getting really, really confused when she started feeling an entirely unknown feeling for Yuji.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When Margery blasts Ogata in an Unstoppable Rage while trying to kill Yuji on bad information, Keisaku, Eita and Marco all call her out on being so consumed with hatred that she can think of nothing else.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: The Midnight Lost Child refills the bearer's power of existence every midnight. It apparently makes its own time zone adjustment, since it was created in Europe.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Yuji and Shana.
    • They Do: Shana and Yuji end up romantically involved by the end of the series.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Shana preempts the Snake of the Festival doing this to Yuji (though its unlikely the Snake of the Festival was even considering it), making it clear that the only reason she's not using her Dangerous Forbidden Technique on him is because Yuji is his host.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: See All Just a Dream, above. Also, if the dreamweaver dies, it's Nonstandard Game Over for everyone inside.
  • Verbal Judo: Alastor attempts to dissuade Yuji's mother, Chigusa, from encouraging Shana's feelings for Yuji, but by the end of the conversation he is so utterly disarmed by Chigusa's politeness, reasonable points, and her tendency to not quite disagree with him that he ends up coming over to her point of view. Immediately after their discussion, he hilariously tells Yuji that he better shape up so he doesn't disappoint her.

Alternative Title(s): Shakugan No Shana

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