Shakugan no Shana II – 16
In the aftermath of the festival, everyone helps clean up, and with the exception of Shana and friends, they’ve all forgotten about Konoe because her power of existence has disappeared. In Seireiden, Hecate and Fecor report back to Bel Peol that they weren’t able to destroy Yuuji so that they could transfer the Reiji Maigo. Bel Peol isn’t too worried though, and Hecate then uses her power to bring the silver armor in their lab to life. Back at the school, Keisaku tells the group that Margery wants to speak with them tonight. He notices that Kazumi in particular is looking worried, and though she doesn’t admit it, the reason why is because of the cross-shaped Hougu that Pheles gave her. The Hougu’s function is to summon Pheles, but it does so at the cost of the power of existence of the summoner, effectively killing them. Pheles had felt that Kazumi was the right person for it because Kazumi disappearing wouldn’t inconvenience anyone, and she had told Kazumi to use it if Yuuji was in trouble
That night, everyone heads to Keisaku’s house to discuss everything that had happened. Alastor thinks that Konoe was watching over the Reiji Maigo, and that makes everyone unsure of what to make of all the happy times they spent with her. Margery eventually finishes studying Yuuji and announces that a seal that’s like a transmitter has been put on the Reiji Maigo. As for the Silver, Margery theorizes that Pheles summoned it when she tried to wake Johan. Johan’s own appearance came about from using the unrestricted method that Margery had used on Yuuji. Margery concludes by saying that the Bal Masqué is still after the Reiji Maigo, and Wilhelmina correctly guesses they want to transfer it by destroying Yuuji now that the seal is there. At the end of all this, Alastor brings up how there have been so many special people who have come to Misaki City, making him think that the city might be the Tousou no Uzu (Vortex of Strife) which attracts both Flame Hazes and Tomogara.
The following day, Yuuji, Shana, and Kazumi see off Yuuji’s father who is leaving again. Afterwards, Shana and Yuuji go to see Wilhelmina, and Kazumi is left to head home on her own. As Kazumi thinks about how she wants to stand on the same level as Yuuji and Shana, she admits to herself that she’s jealous of Shana for that. By chance, she happens to run into Ogata, and when the two walk together past a certain park that reminds Kazumi of Konoe, she asks if Ogata really doesn’t remember who Konoe is. Ogata, however, truly doesn’t know, so Kazumi drops the topic. Wilhelmina meanwhile assigns Yuuji and Shana to organize the various documents she’s gotten from Outlaw, and as they work, Yuuji tells Shana that he wants to borrow Blutsauger. Alastor and Shana agree to let him, and they go out that evening to practice with it. Kazumi happens to see them there, and she had earlier been thinking about how she’d disappear if she used the Hougu that Pheles gave her. She had almost thrown the Hougu away, but she had stopped when Shana had activated a fuuzetsu for Yuuji’s training. Kazumi now thinks of how she wants to be in the same place as Yuuji, and she recalls how Pheles had told her to use the Hougu if she truly wanted that.
ED: 「Sociometry」 by KOTOKO
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2
Both songs are by KOTOKO and both are pretty good, though neither really stand out for me. The actual OP animation, on the other hand, was really exciting to watch and gets me really pumped up about the rest of the series. Never mind Sabrac – I can’t wait to see more of Yuuji + Blutsauger.
For an episode that’s clearly building up to the next arc and lacking any major action scenes, this was pretty good. That may be partially due to the excitement from seeing the new OP and ED, but now that Konoe is gone and the Bal Masqué has reappeared, it also feels like there’s a renewed sense of direction for the series. In particular, I like how they’re involving Kazumi in all this by giving her a life-and-death choice. It seems likely that she’ll use it to summon Pheles sometime in the near future, but I bet that she’ll somehow not die or will get brought back to life.
Production-wise, this episode’s animation quality was all over the place, ranging from the really good (all the scenes with Bel Peol) to the not-so-great and everything in between. Given how some of the past episodes have looked, I’m somewhat impressed that they even managed a few good scenes, and I’m hoping it’s a good sign for the rest of the series. Unfortunately, next week doesn’t look that exciting from the preview, but it does appear that they will be developing the Eita storyline that they’ve been building up ever since Margery almost killed Ogata.