Archive for the ‘Shakugan no Shana’ Category

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Four little presents to four little advents

November 30, 2008

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In the last few days I finally found the will and time to do something I regularly thought of: A top trumps game featuring anime shows!

Okay, maybe the idea sounds rather unspectacular and also a bit childish, even boring maybe, but if you think about it a bit, top trump cards are a great way to compress information about a specific topic into a rather small shape, making it easy to compare different aspects of the topic. This topic can be cars, tanks, dictators, even poets or elemental particles. As long as you can find some numerical data to differentiate the different aspects you can put them on cards to compare them. And even if you don’t want to play with them, the set of cards can still give quick overview about the spectrum the topic has to offer. And in the least there might be some nice pictures to look at. I always wondered why nobody already did this for anime shows (or at least I never found somebody who did this, except of this short lived, but none the less nice attempt).
So here is my try on this, hopefully with a not too crappy card design. The further plan is to put 8 new cards online each new advent, leading to a full set of 32 cards shortly before christmas. Those 32 cards are divided into 8 groups of 4 animes sharing the same studio. This concept won’t be always true, because there are some animes I like to add of studios that won’t contribute any other shows. I only put animes on the cards I have watched myself, but I highly encourage everybody who misses his favourite show here to create his own cards, using my design or creating a better one, I will be happy either way.

Now some short words about the numerical data I used. I tried to find some rather objective ways to compare the different anime shows and the obviously first choice was a ranking from 1 to 10 points given by the varied people who have watched the anime. Ironically this value might be the least significant one of all used because most of the time only people who enjoyed or really disliked the show invest the work to rate it afterwards. The majority of viewers with no special feelings toward the show will never influence this rating. Thus, the next value I chose was how many people rated the anime, leading to a number that increases for shows which highly polarise its viewers, in a positive or negative way. I took both values from ANN because it has the highest number of users rating animes out of allt the sites I know that have such a feature.
Furthermore I’d like to have some data that express how much extra work the studio and the fans invested into the specific anime. For this I chose the number of image entries of two different image boards, namely Minitokyo and Danbooru. The idea is that the number of entries of the first one is higher if there is a lot of material about the show to scan and the second one is higher if many users are willing to put effort into creating art about the show. Of course this imaginary borderline between those to sites is really just imaginary, lots of fanart is also featured on Minitokyo as well as many scans can be found on Danbooru, but at least the tendency should be correct. Also the Danbooru entries are often of a more sexual content, so the difference between Minitokyo and Danbooru gives a vague information about the kind of fanart that was made about this anime.
The last data I chose to list is the year the anime was published. Normally the anime of the studio with the earliest year will be the first one of the four, Cowboy Bebop is the only exception of this rule because it’s a tradition to put a “top trump” on the 1A card. Cowboy Bebop has the highest user rating of all cards, thus being the top trump of the whole set.
If a high or a low value in all these categories is preferable I leave to everybody to decide themselves. Also one should always remember that those values are momentary ones, bonded to the date I copy&pasted them from the internet sites. In a few days, months or even years these might and will change with no doubt.
After having collected all this numerical data I’d like to add at least a little personal touch, so I added a little quote under each shows picture. This gave me much more work than I anticipated in the beginning, because while some animes have a variety of memorial quotes to choose from, listed on many internet sites, a lot of other animes are quite the opposite. Thus sometimes the featured quote is just the first sentience that came to my mind thinking about that anime. Therefore, those quotes are often not the best examples of meaningfulness.

So, here are finally the links to the first eight cards, the first four shows were made by Sunrise, the other four by J.C.STAFF:

gif-version (about 0.7 mb)

jpg-version (about 4.8 mb)

Enjoy!

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Fumina Konoe Strikes Back

June 9, 2008

One of the good things about Shakugan no Shana is that even if the actual season doesn’t deliver at all one can always look forward for the season’s Shanatan version. Of course even Shanatan fails at times, but at least it’s in the worst case a waste of no more than ten minutes worth of life instead of the time equal to half a season. And so far the good parts outweighed the bad ones by far. Luckily the latest instalment doesn’t differ here and offers lots of cuteness and silliness again with (to name a few) Konoe and especially Kazumi acting in a little different way, Shanatan using her newest melon pan weapon, Sabrac’s premiere as “Da pimp” and the Shanatan version of the caramelldansen, which by the way already got its own caramelldansen version in reverse.

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To the end of…

April 7, 2008

Bamboo Blade

Bamboo Blade

I’m not that much into sport animes and I watched the first few Bamboo Blade episodes only because I had a bit too much free time at that moment. The quality is quite good after all and girls with swords always catch my interest, even if those swords only made of bamboo. Well, didn’t took much more to make this series grew to me. In the end, the whole run was pretty entertaining and it was a nice bonus to learn some basics about kendo. It’s only a bit sad that except of Tamaki the characters, even if well drawn from the beginning, never really developed much more from the start till the end. It also would have been a good addition to get to know that great side of Dan-kun everybody in the series seem to have seen at some time (especially Miyako). The way of love are surely strange and I like the basic idea behind this unusual couple, but in the end he stayed only annoying to me. Maybe the possible second season might iron those flaws out.

Clannad

Clannad

Like all the other KyoAni series before this one Clannad was already worth to watch only because of the brilliant quality of the technical aspects of this show. Of course the rest of the series was also quite entertaining and well made and I especially liked the gain of interaction between the girls in comparison to Kanon and Air. Guess to even this up the relationships between Tomoya and the individual girls somehow had not that much of emotional impact as in the named forerunner. But at least there were no supernatural components to the girls this time which gave the whole story a nice touch of normality. Okay, Fuko is a exception of this and while she wasn’t unlikeable at all she always had a way to ruin the mood (but not without being funny while doing so) and altogether she and her story arc somehow feels displaced to the rest of the show.
Oh, and while I’m eager to watch the already announced Clannad’s After Story I fear at the same time that I’m rather feed up by Key products at the moment. Maybe something in the style of FMP or the (*gasp*) next season of Haruhi Suzumiya would be nice change once in a while.

Shakugan no Shana Second

Shakugan no Shana Second

After the shallow start the second season of Shakugan no Shana finally got back on track again midways and ended with a great but a bit rushed final. Especially each of Wilhelmina’s share of the fighting sequences were highly entertaining to watch and Sabrac was just one hell of a good villain. Seeing Yuji to become useful on his on in fighting was also nice to see. I’m glad that this series was able to deliver in the end. I understand that the part with Konoe was important for the final and for some character development, but I believe that this part could have been cropped a bit after all. The attained screentime could have been used to give the Bal Masqué some more screentime to give a better feeling for the things to come or to make the ending a little bit less rushed (or to give Wilhelmina even more fighting sequences). But the ending was in all cases better than the one of Zero no Tsukaima, but  I guess this goes without saying. And, like with both other series named above, I’m eager to watch the next season of this one.

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In between of Shakugan no Shana Second

March 6, 2008

Wilhelmina & Sabrac

It’s good to see that Shakugan no Shana got pretty entertaining again in those last few episodes. With the end of the forced relationship troubles the series is finally able to recreate the feeling of the first season. It’s not that the somehow similar love-triangle between Shana, Kazumi and Yuji in the first season was uninteresting nor unimportant, but the second instalment of this theme with the addition of Konoe/Hecate was just a pain to watch, mostly because they forgot to make it funny in some ways I guess.
Well, luckily they are now back on track and with Sabrac quite a villain was introduced in the last episode. Normally I would say that he is much too overpowered to make a real good and interesting villain, but I really like him. Don’t know the exact reason why, maybe because he respects his opponents skills and doesn’t act too arrogant toward them, maybe because he doesn’t rub his superior-ness too much in the viewers face, maybe because he doesn’t use to much or to few words or maybe because he doesn’t look like some silly walking parking meter or something like that, but actually quite wicked.
Definitely one point that’s in his favour is that he made Wilhelmina fight him to her fullest, which was a real feast to watch.

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Halftime for Shakugan no Shana Second

November 17, 2007

Not happy

It’s not like the first half of Shana’s second season was completely uninteresting, but it’s far from what the first season accomplished. Nearly to zero fighting scenes, no love-rivaling between Shana and Kazumi (not even some hiding behind poles from the later), no visual antagonist plotting and too less Shana-Yuji interaction make this all a rather sad experience so far. Hecates addition to Yuji’s class might turn out to be some neat story element later on, but for now it only made this second season a rather bad school harem. But there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel now with the worst endured and my hopes are still up that the second half will have some of the old Shana feeling to it again, so that this little sentence will be more than true:

Hopefully

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Shakugan no Shana Second & Mokke

October 14, 2007

Shakugan no Shana Second

Shakugan no Shana Second

Shakugan no Shana is finally back, but because the first episode was mainly a recap of the first season there isn’t much revealed about the new plot yet. From the intro one can conclude that everybody who survived the last season will appear again plus a rather cute girl with horns (who Shana slays in the first episode already, but I wouldn’t bet that this was all we’ll see from her). Due the Shana movie I’ve seen shortly before the recap wasn’t necessary for me, so this episode was rather a loss for me, but it was still pretty good for a recap-episode. Furthermore the animation quality was as excellent as expected and I’m now curious about the (hopefully good) plot.

Mokke

Mokke

The first episode of Mokke is about two sisters who live with their grandparents. While the younger sister collects flowers she gets assaulted by a demonic being, but is rescued by her older sibling. This kind of events, while still dangerous, seems to be not that unusual here and the grandfather only warns about a certain area nearby and tells the older sister how to properly fight those kind of demons if she encounters them again. Of course, soon after the younger sister tries to reach that dangerous area, because chances are high that there are the flowers she desires to collect…
My first impression of Mokke was that the character design is rather simple, but not unappealing after short time. The story is told in a calm and pleasant way despise of the fact that there are demons to “fight”. This could turn out to be a nice little slice-of-life series with some supernatural content added (and some quite irresponsible grandparents I’d say). Definitely on my watch list.

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Shakugan no Shana – The Movie

October 5, 2007

First of all I’ll have to say that I was a little bit disappointed that the movie didn’t feature some new story. It’s merely a slightly modified version of the first arc of the first season.

Ah, shut up, shut up, shut up!

Well, beside of this it was surely a blast. The artwork and the animation is of superb quality and the story is very well wrapped up in the limited timeframe. I’m quite sure that some minor things of the shown scenes got changed compared to the original, but the main plot is definitely the same. Of course through the focusing on the main plot some of the characters are pushed to the background (Kazumi) or are missing altogether (Eita and Keisaku). On the other hand Wilhelmina could be sneaked in and Yukari Hirai got pretty much screentime, which I found most pleasing because I think she is very important to get an appropriate feeling about the torches right from the beginning (and besides, I like her).
So, in the end, I could have been happier if some new stuff (plot-wise) would have been put into the movie, but none the less it’s a very good film and a nice way to “get in the mood” for the second season.

End of explanation.