Cellphones have just recently made it into the technology deprived world of demonic affairs which is Shakugan no Shana – the foreign device is found equally as abundantly as dramatically in this latest episode.
This episode proves to be one more reflective than the last, Sakai Yuji, a bewitched Tomogara to be, takes a trip back home, and old stories of past bring a surprisingly more welcoming setting for what is about to become the first climatic chapter of this season. However before all else, one must mention that as watching, it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to not notice the ridiculously overdone implementation of cellphones within this technically challenged series.
It’s almost as if the cellphone had advanced 10 years worth within the time Yuji disappeared and became the staple of modern communications.
Returning to the story at hand, the previous episode saw Satou leaving for Outlaw in an attempt at self discovery. He incidentally crossed paths with a Crimson Denizen which triggered for him a panic attack from fear of death – yet after recovering however, he realizes the denizen was on a passing train headed to where Satou had just departed. He then hurriedly calls Tanaka to inform of the approaching presence – leaving Tanaka to once again find himself having to seek out the rhythmic assistance of Margery Daw. Little do they know, this presence is Yuji.
Meanwhile as this episode begins, our indecisive male lead is getting merry all by himself – reminiscing his past within this city of harem and melon-pan. Viewers receive some wonderful flashbacks which have already been shown several thousand times in hopes they’re distract the viewer whilst JC Staff stalls the story for whatever purpose. No matter, Yuji, a little more so than usual – perceives Shana to be a fated meet for him.
He looks back at a variety of repetitively showcased scenes such as how they first crossed paths, when he initially learned of the Reiji Maigo’s ability to allow him to live on, and when they had their last fight with one another – which was quite possibly the last one of which they fight on the same side.
Thankfully, Shana hasn’t been as gloomy and has been making excellent progress into finding her true potential beyond a world of screaming “urusai” and eating melon-pan whilst chasing a weakling. We have so far seen two new tricks of Shana’s latent lolita powers which include materializing potent balls of fire, as well as sprouting a stream of flames in the shape of a human arm which acts as an extension of Shana herself. Certainly some very neat and aesthetically eye-catching additions to her arsenal which will also prove useful in battle.
As one can hopefully assume, Shana will have some enemies which will undoubtedly require these drastic measures of attack.
On another note, viewers are treated to a glimpse under Wilhelmina’s dress, although fans might want to hold off their rejoice as her taste is rather old fashioned, opting for plain bloomers, rather than something more of elegance such as laced pantsu. One can guess that a noble Flame Haze such as herself would not opt to garb in such revealing or suggestive clothing much to our dismay. In contrast, episode one revealed Shana to still prefer plain white children’s pantsu with bear designs on them.
In any case, the training session concludes and Shana disbands the Fūzetsu as both she and Wilhelmina sense the presence of a Crimson Denizen nearing. According to Wilhelmina, it’s one strong enough to even possibly be a Denizen Lord, references like these could be talking about the Bal Masque, which they most typically are. This is partially true in fact as Yuji, or rather a spirit taking Yuji’s form, as introduced last episode, commands them.
Afterwards, they are contacted by Margery. Not in face, not by mail… not even by using the distinct aura of a Flame Haze, which is a means of contacting one another as we learned in season one, but rather by cellphone – Wilhelmina receives a call via the new crazy technology sweeping the city of Shakugan. Although her choice of pantsu are a fair bit old fashion, she’s up to speed on the latest in long distance communication.
And as if the sense of a Denizen approaching at light speed, or Wilhelmina using a cellphone aren’t shocking enough, they discover that Margery Daw has learnt to work within a team… a truly shocking development indeed.
Eventually, “Lord” Yuji manages to break free of his delusional day dreaming of the past as he spots an old acquaintance, Tanaka’s girlfriend Matake – however it wasn’t so much a reunion as she runs straight past Yuji, with not a hint of recognition. Remember, by this point, only a select few were involved with the Guze no Tomogara, or more specifically, Shana, Yoshida, and the two stalkers of Margery Daw – and as such, they are the only few who can recall Yuji.
As the episode nears its close, and the pieces fianlly fall into place. Many fans could probably predict this ending quite easily, Shana and Yuji meeting atop a bridge as the sun sets. This is essentially the end of Shakugan no Shana S, a teaser arc that branches into Shakugan no Shana III repeated over again. This brings us to a point of complaint regarding the episode. JC Staff has an addiction for applying a mental boulder entitled “past” to each of the main characters – they rely far too heavily on past events and occurrences more so than any will ever find elsewhere.
And despite attempts to modernise the world using a few more cellphones, the past still persists to be a less preferred method of progression in the series. Though we can’t complain that JC Staff use this element to great effect at times – they simply keep carrying on remnants of information.
As for the next episode, things seem to become much more interesting as well as emotional – Shana and Yuji seem guaranteed to be fighting it out, although for what purpose remains a mystery, and what will come of Tanaka, Yoshida and Margery is anyone’s guess.