DVD Review: Shakugan No Shana – Season 2 – Part 1

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After the emotional conclusion to the first season, as well as a long break from the public eye, Shakugan No Shana returns in the form of Season Two Part One, a two disc DVD set released by MVM Entertainment into the UK, but what exactly does the first half of Season 2 entail? Find out in our DVD review.

Synopsis:

The heated bond between Shana and Yuji is tested as their paranormal adventures continue. The Flame Haze fends off supernatural foes by night, but by day, she contends with a classmate who’s also after Yuji’s heart. Emotions flare as a suspicious transfer student who resembles a recently defeated Denizen clings to Yuji. His training rises in intensity when they catch wind of a revered warrior in search of her lost lover, who will stop at nothing to extract the power keeping Yuji alive! (via MVM Entertainment)

Our view:

For those unaware, Shakugan No Shana tells the story of mystical flame haze’s that hunt down magical demons known as Crimson Denizens.  These Crimson Denizens feed off the existence inside humans and it is up to Flame Haze’s to defeat the denizen’s as well as create human replica’s, of people that have been killed, known as torches.

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Shakugan No Shana focuses on the Flame-Haired Blazing-Eyed Hunter nicknamed ‘Shana’ whereby, in the first season, she encounters a human torch named Yuji Sakai, who turns out to be an Mystes carrying the Midnight Lost Child, a special magic-tool that can replenish existence lost throughout the day.  Since then Shana has been looking out for Yuji, as well as training him so that he can defend himself against any attacking Crimson Denizens.

With the history lesson over Shakugan No Shana Season Two (aka Shakugan No Shana Second) takes place shortly after where the first season ended, with no ‘real’ re-cap of what happened previously in the show, so if you’re new to the franchise then I’d highly recommend watching Season One before continuing on. While there is no ‘real’ re-cap of the first season Yuji is put into a dream by a Crimson Denizen that makes him replay out his memories, all of which were seen in the first season, such as the Crimson Denizen twins and the blimp battle in the sky, It’s an interesting way to “re-jog” someone’s memories of the previous season, but clueless to any newcomers.

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Defeating Crimson Denizen’s is the least of Shana’s and Yuji’s worries, as the introduction of a new transfer student, who looks a lot like Supreme Throne Hecate from Season One, throw’s the whole main cast into disarray as they cannot decide if she is back for revenge or simply a human look-a-like.

Crimson Denizen’s aside, the main focus within the this half-season release of the series is the love circle between Yuji, Shana, Yoshida, Ike and new girl Konoe, as all the girls loath over Yuji, while at the same time Ike desperately tries to tell Yoshida how he really feels about her. For those interested in only watching an action-packed anime series, like the first season, its painfully difficult to watch – however at the same time it opens up deeper relationships for the characters, with some amusing results.

Extras:

Unlike majority of MVM Releases Shakugan No Shana Season Two Part One features plenty of extra content, leading me to speculate that they used the FUNimation DVD masters, as even a US Trailer for the show is included.

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On Disc 1 viewers will find an English Cast Commentary for Episode 1, while on Disc 2 viewers find a whole host of extra content, such as promotional trailers for the show, Naze Nani Shana II and Shakugan No Shana-Tan Mini-Episodes and the standard inclusion of text less songs.

Overall:

Shakugan No Shana Season Two Part One is, by some standards, completely opposite to the original series, as where the first season featured continuous explosive action between Flame-haze’s and crimson denizens, the second season stays closer to heart with continuous love rivalry between the main cast with bits of fighting, as well as the odd backstory,  to keep viewers entertained. In my mind part one of season two builds up the character development for the main cast, as well as inserts new plot twists that will most likely unravel into explosive consequences later in the series.

In terms of this MVM Entertainment Release it features the first 12 episodes of Season Two of Shakugan No Shana, with the remaining episodes being released in a second half DVD Set in April. In Addition to the 12 Episodes the disc features plenty of extra content, such as the Cast Commentary, Japanese Trailers and Textless Songs – all of which combined together will please any die-hard Shana fan.

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The only real downside to this release is the English Dub Track, as unlike the rest of the series, which retains the original Japanese Voice Cast, Animation style and music, a whole new team of voice actors were brought in to do the voices. This is because GENEON dubbed the first season and then FUNimation dubbed the second season, but it is slightly disappointing that the original ‘season one’ voice actors could not reprise their roles for the remainder of the show’s franchise.

Shakugan No Shana Season Two Part One from MVM Entertainment is the ideal DVD Set for anyone wishing to continue the story of Shana the Flame-Haze, however if you had your fill from Season One then you won’t find much new as its pretty much the same but with more love rivalry taking place between the main cast of characters instead of intense action-sequences.

Score: review-stars-3

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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