Shakugan no Shana II – 24 (END)
With Dantalion’s creation on the verge of being fully awakened, Shana is concentrating on getting the Reiji Maigo back to save Yuuji. However, she and Wilhelmina have to go through Hecate and Sydonay first, and though the two get a little injured, Shana notices that their opponents are avoiding attack them when they are by giant Tomogara. The two Flame Haze use this to their advantage to keep Sydonay and Hecate at bay, but as Alastor points out, their goal is still to prevent the creation of this Tomogara, so they can’t be doing things to prolong the battle. Believing that Yuuji is still inside, Shana decides to try to go into the giant Tomogara. Yuuji is indeed still alive in there after having picked himself up from the earlier fall, and he continues to forge on ahead despite being pursued by Dantalion’s robot guards. Meanwhile, outside the blue field, Kazumi is thinking about using the Hougu that Pheles gave her, but she also remembers what Shana had said about redoing having Yuuji choose between them, so she decides to believe in them by waiting and welcoming them back when they return.
Back inside the giant Tomogara, Yuuji uses some more power of existence to destroy more robot guards, but he realizes that he’s not scared because his mind is on protecting his family, everyone in the city, and especially Shana. Right around the time that he reaches the Blutsauger that he had dropped earlier, Shana and Wilhelmina manage to blow an opening into the giant Tomogara, and Shana flies in. Able to sense Yuuji, she rushes towards him and dives into his arms when she finds him. With Yuuji turning translucent in appearance, Alastor reasons that, given what Dantalion said about the Reiji Maigo being the giant Tomogara’s heart, Yuuji is likely being consumed as the power of that heart. The gravity of their situation prompts the two to quickly head off to the spot where Yuuji thinks the Reiji Maigo currently is. Outside, however, Hecate chooses this moment to awaken the giant Tomogara, and doing so lowers the blue field around it, revealing it to the city. People start running in panic, but they are soon frozen in place by a fuuzetsu courtesy of the still injured – but alive – Margery.
Dantalion is prepared for this and activates the Tomogara’s giant wings, causing Wilhelmina to realize that it’s going to try to fly out of the fuuzetsu. Inside of it, Shana and Yuuji reach the room where the silver armor is, and Yuuji senses the Reiji Maigo inside of it. Shana manages to plunge her sword into its chest, but when it counterattacks with a blast of power, Yuuji has to save her by throwing a blast of his own. Recalling about what Alastor had said earlier, he directs Shana to attack the mechanism behind the silver armor that connects the Reiji Maigo to the giant Tomogara. Before she can do so though, the silver armor knocks her off her feet, and this time Yuuji doesn’t have the power to help. The silver armor is then about to shoot Yuuji, but under Hecate’s control, it misses. Shana uses this opportunity to strike, and as she watches Shana rise into the air with her wings out, Hecate is reminded of the birds she saw some time ago. This leads to the silver armor stretching out to Shana instead of attacking her, giving Shana the opening she needs to destroy the machinery behind it. Yuuji follows this up by stabbing the silver armor’s chest with the Blutsauger, and he successfully retrieves the Reiji Maigo.
With their objectives complete, the two escape the giant Tomogara which is now crumbling. Hecate doesn’t understand what happened, and she’s surprised a few moments later when she notices herself crying. Nevertheless, she leaves with Sydonay and Dantalion back to Seireiden. In the aftermath, Kazumi finds Shana and Yuuji and welcomes them back. Once everything is restored back to normal, Yuuji is once again faced with the choice between Shana and Kazumi. After deciding, he thinks about how, on this night that the city was protected, he greatly advanced his everyday life, and he believes in what lies ahead.
I didn’t think this was such a bad ending – it beat my expectations anyway. That’s not to say that it was fantastic because it definitely felt rushed at times, but it was much better than, for example, Zero no Tsukaima S2′s ending. The action here was generally pretty exciting to watch, and they gave Konoe’s existence some additional meaning since it appears that her memories are what caused Hecate and the plan to ultimately fail. That still doesn’t quite justify all the time they spent on Konoe in the beginning of the series, but it does help. Plus, the ending even implied that Yuuji finally chose Shana over Kazumi, though we’ll never truly see the results of that unless they animate another sequel. Speaking of which, the one angle that I wish they had developed better was Kazumi and the Hougu that Pheles gave her. I kept wondering if there was some big plot point coming given how much she was shown agonizing over it, but in the end, it was just used to give her marginally more character development. Since it’s technically still in her possession, maybe this will come up again if there’s another series.
Final Thoughts: While I did enjoy the ending, it still didn’t really change my view of the series as a whole. They shouldn’t have structured the series to spend so much time on Konoe Fumina in the beginning and could have thus left more time at the end for the showdown between the Bal Masqué and Yuuji’s group. What’s more, although several of the characters underwent changes (Yuuji being the best example), I wish that the writers had done more to also change the status quo instead of having practically all the bad guys survive. That just makes this second series feel like it’s filling time until the final showdown happens in the next series or whenever. And of course there’s invariably going to be a third series – it’s really just a matter of time. For all my complaints though, I still find Shana a good series and would probably commit to watching another sequel – more than I can say for the next Zero no Tsukaima series. Regardless, at this point, what I’m most pumped up about is the show that is replacing Shana in its late-night timeslot, Macross F.