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Shakugan no Shana III (Final) – 24 (END)

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「涯てより開く」 (Hateyori Hiraku)
“The End Over the Horizon”

After watching the finale a few times, I must say that I’m satisfied with what J.C. Staff has given us. While it may not have been exactly what I wanted, there was just enough nostalgia to tip this final episode from good to great. And sure, light novel readers may not have enjoyed how fast things wrapped up or how short the one and only kiss scene we’ve seen this entire season was but I believe that a sense of closure was reached.

I don’t know about you, but the beginning of this episode felt awfully depressing. With the war over Xanadu finally over and both sides licking their wounds, it didn’t help that all the character’s we’ve grown to love over the past three seasons all started to slowly make their way down their own separate paths toward Xanadu. The worst of it being how emotional Wilhelmina got as she took on the role of Justus’ caretaker — there’s just something about a stone-cold faced fighter getting all puppy-eyed that struck home with something inside of me.

At the same time, I was surprised with how quickly the mood of the episode shifted as Shana and Yuuji finally got all the problems out in the open. While I may have stated that I couldn’t think of a reason why Shana and Yuuji would have to continue their fight, I missed one of the most obvious reasons possible — because Yuuji is and will always be an idiot when it comes to emotions and girls. Besides trying shoulder all the grief he created by trying to free the Flame Haze and the Tomogara from their eternal battle, I couldn’t believe that he thought big words and ideals would be enough to stop Shana a girl who’s spent forever searching for her man — which is why things starting to feel so good the moment Shana screamed her favorite catchphrase and finally let her feelings for Yuuji come roaring out.

After beating some sense into Yuuji and finally sharing that kiss we’ve been waiting for since the end of season one, I don’t think I could have asked for more. While a glimpse of the future would have been nice since I personally would love to see what the outcome of the creation of Xandu will bring (and because I want to see a lovey-doevy Shana and Yuuji). But I suppose a short scene of our two protagonists holding hands will have to do :p

 

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Final Impressions:

Before this third and final season of Shakugan no Shana even started, I remember blasting through the first two seasons to refresh my memory. As I did so, I remembered that there was this long running show that had such a good story with lots of cute elements thrown inside. A show that had cool things like interesting monsters, crazy protagonists, and battles whose scales continued to grow at an exponential rate. All the while throwing hints that our two protagonists who had feelings for each other would eventually do something about them even though one of them (normally Yuuji) would usually do something stupid that would push their relationship three steps back for every step forward. But even so, there was this hope that they’d eventually become an official couple.

And then we started the third season with a foreshadowing of just how crazy things were going to be. Since that introductory episode, I honestly believe that this third season of Shana has been a big success. Even with the pacing issues during certain arcs or the shallow depiction of certain new characters, I think the large scale battles and crazy battle scenes were more than enough to make up for it. My personal favorite other than any fight that involved Shana, would be Samuel’s last stance against hordes of Tomogara. Not necessarily for its scale but just how epic Samuel was and his sacrifice to save hundreds if not thousands of fellow Flame Hazes.

In terms of the story, I’m still impressed with how many different things the final season managed to do in one go. From bringing certain characters back from the brink of non-existence to large scale wars that had the battle scenes worthy of a season finale, there’s still one thing that comes to mind when someone asks me about something I loved about Shana’s final season — watching Shana grow into a mature adult.
Since the end of season two, it’s been clear that Shana has real feelings for Yuuji but has constantly let them trip her up in one way or another. During her captivity within the Seireiden, I was amazed with just how honest she became with herself and how accepting her feelings helped her achieve a level of strength she wasn’t able to find before. All of which came to a spectacular fruition when she finally beat the crap out of Yuuji and gave him their first kiss!

All in all, I think that the phrase “the original is always better” doesn’t hold for Shakugan no Shana. By following a different formula than the previous two seasons with the lure that a real ending was waiting for the viewers, I believe that this final season gave us the closure we were looking for. While the pacing could have been improved in certain places, everything that was shown had some importance toward the end product. While I’m a little down that one of the better shows of the season is ending, I’m happily awaiting the next time we get to have a Kugimiya Rie and Hino Satoshi pairing.

March 31, 2012 at 1:16 am
42 comments »
  • March 31, 2012 at 1:17 amvirox

    A few things ahead:

    For those of you who watched the first subs that came out, there have been errors: Yuuji didn’t become a real human, he became a real existence. No point in worrying whether he will die of old age or not. He won’t.
    This connects to the second major mess-up: “Corpse Retriever” Lamies/Leanan-sidhe actually said that she carved the Unrestricted Spell into the “Anti-Fire Ring” Azure, a long time ago.
    This is where it gets interesting: She did it long before a certain Tomogara got his hands on it. Leanan-sidhe was once a very powerful Tomogara and a great spellweaver. You can read the story of her and the portrait she restored at the Shana-wiki, in Volume X of the novel or hope for OVAs by J.C.Staff.
    The certain Tomogara was of course, the Hunter Friagne from the very first arc. He intended to activate an Unrestricted Spell called City Devourer (originally created by Asiz, who was mentioned in the previous episode) to gather enough PoE to give his doll Rinne Marianne an actual, independent existence. Speaking of coming full circles, huh?
    This is what happened to Yuuji. With so much PoE around, that the Tomogara left behind, it would be easy for the spell to activate under “a certain condition”. The mother of foreshadowing.
    And Leanan-sidhe’s such a cutie, too :3 I’m happy that she got her painting back (Also a mistranslation).

    I have to be honest, my eyes were all teary when the epilogue played. Even though I already knew how it would turn out, it couldn’t be helped. It was just beautifully done and seven years of anticipating have come to an end.
    The kiss was so romantic, I was actually jealous for a bit. They had it coming since a long time ago, ever since that magical evening when Yuuji was watching a romance drama on TV.
    And we even got Hishoku no Sora! And a completely new song by Kawada Mami, called Koubou.
    Thank you J.C.Staff, for finally bringing the end upon us in such a powerful way. Also, thank you for not messing it up. Again.

    Shana and Yuuji, it’s been a fun ride. Thank you for all the years and memories, and tears.
    I wish you both forever love.
    ;_;

    • March 31, 2012 at 3:37 amkurochan

      Yeah. I was a little bit confused when Shana said Yuuji become a human. Because it was different it the LN which said that he’s not empty anymore and was filled with power of existence or something.

    • March 31, 2012 at 2:24 pmAiras

      Troll ending averted…
      Disney Ending complete!!!
      GJ J.C Staff

    • March 31, 2012 at 5:15 pmSheapy

      Started tearing when I heard Hishoku no Sora. 7 years ago I started this anime because of that song, and 7 years later it finishes with the song.

    • March 31, 2012 at 10:31 pmJonz

      What does it mean when Yuuji became a real existence? What are the advantages for him when he is not in torch state anymore?

    • April 7, 2012 at 1:18 amNekward

      Well sayed my friend, well sayed *sob*

  • March 31, 2012 at 1:30 ambanzemanga

    -First, who the heck is her? http://randomc.net/image/Shakugan%20no%20Shana/Shakugan%20no%20Shana%20III%20Final%20-%2024%20-%20Large%2004.jpg

    -If i memory serves me correctly, Shana took shape of Yuuji’s classmate by borrowing her torch. Doesn’t that mean that Shana doesn’t really have a specific physical form? Or was it that Shana took Yuuji’s classmate’s torch to borrow her existence to blend with humans in that school?

    • March 31, 2012 at 1:38 amTakaii

      Virox’s blurb of text explains it pretty nicely.

      And Shana has a form and has had one since she was born. And yes, I believe you are correct about using it to borrow her form and blend in.

    • March 31, 2012 at 5:58 amdeafvader

      Not her form. Shana always looks the same. Except when her hair becomes red.

      She only took her existence. Meaning people perceive her to be someone else. Her existence in this world and the minds of others.

    • April 1, 2012 at 5:23 amSKG001

      That would be Leanan-sidhe.
      She’s the true form of Lamies. Lamies, the old-guy, as told in the first season, is a torch body used by Leanan-sidhe to use as little power of existence as possible, without eating humans.

  • March 31, 2012 at 4:04 amc2710

    And thus another adventure ends… Was quite melancholic to see it end

  • March 31, 2012 at 4:22 amMixed Milkshake

    The long awaited kiss. Folks, after 7 years we finally get the moment we’ve been waiting for.

  • March 31, 2012 at 4:39 amMixed Milkshake

    The almighty ‘Metamorphosis’ Sydonay, even the power equivalent of ten thousand Flame Hazes was bearly able to kill him… And he was willing to die. What a ridiculously powerful guy That scene where Hecate and Sydonay walks off into the distance awaiting their next reincarnation was quite moving.

  • March 31, 2012 at 5:20 amlester

    Almost all of Rie Kugimiya’s notable character roles have finally come to an end in 2012. Shana, Louise, and Rise are the best characters for Rie.

    • March 31, 2012 at 3:53 pmBaKaYaRou

      Respectfully declining with that, I think the best characters for Rie is either Kagura of Gintama and of course Taiga of Toradora.

  • March 31, 2012 at 5:57 amdeafvader

    Takaii. Please blog more next season!!
    Like to see more of you around!

  • March 31, 2012 at 8:34 amMonica

    BEAUTIFUL KISS!

  • March 31, 2012 at 8:41 amxephx

    That was a great use of the first OP and Sana’s season long dormant catchphrase, it made me forget my disappointment at Shana’s lack of dialog at Wilhelmina’s departure. With that and the long awaited kiss made this a great finale for this series.

  • March 31, 2012 at 8:54 amshamaticgrl

    Gah I just finished watching this ep last night and cried my eyes out once they started playing Hishoku no Sora! all those memories just started flooding back. This is definitely the best happy ending i’ve seen. Definitely worth the wait.

  • March 31, 2012 at 9:35 amKinny Riddle

    Ah, first Zero no Tsukaima, and now another Kugimiya Rie x Hino Satoshi signature series has come to an end. It feels like the end of an era already, and I feel like I’ve aged considerably, following both series from start to finish after so many years.

    I feel like welling up inside when “Hishoku no Sora”, the OP1 for season 1 was played. Everything’s coming full circle.

    Despite some flaws and the rushed ending, and certainly could have been better, compared to the sloppy work they’ve done with ZnT, it’s obvious JC Staff has thrown everything they’ve got into making as faithful an adaptation for the final installment for this series.

    First off, at least they got a kiss for Shana and Yuuji at last. If Louise and Saito can kiss hundreds of times, there’s no reason why Shana and Yuuji couldn’t get at least one.

    Sydonay is finally vanquished at the hands of Margery, though it was also partly a suicide orchestrated by Sydonay himself so that he could be with Hecate – a fitting end for them both – until they get summoned again by their Commander in Xanadu.

    Lammie’s true form is moe indeed. Her wish was to restore a lost painting by a human that once loved her drew for her, and she has laboured for centuries to achieve such a simple wish.

    I just hope someday they’ll do a movie or OVA which chronicles the prequel story involving her, as well as Shana’s predecessor, Wilhemina, Sophie and Chiara’s predecessor.

  • March 31, 2012 at 10:45 amFaint Smile

    Thanks SnS for the entertainment.. Im gonna miss this show, from the very first episode of the first season to the last i’ve watched this.. Sayonara SnS!.. =,)

  • March 31, 2012 at 10:50 amThis is the end

    Good shows end this year, yeah this is the end 2012…

  • March 31, 2012 at 10:57 amhaseo0408

    This is the moment I´ve waited since 2005, a clousure for Yuji and and towards a happy ending and a brillant future. This followed everything acording to the novels and the end result was just amzing, I had the most delighted look in my face when the Four Gods of the Earth made their through Misaki City and tears in my eyes for the long awaited between Shana and Yuji.

    Goodbye to Yuji and Shana, along with Saito and Loiuse I´m going to miss your adventures so much but I´m truly happy J.C. Staff was able to give you the wothy ending you righfully deserved. Al that´s left to say is: urusai, urusai, urusai!!!.

  • March 31, 2012 at 5:38 pmsuff

    The ending can be summarized as follows:

    Yuuji reveals his dumb motivation behind his actions, Shana went into tsudere mode and beat him up, Yuuji becomes a non-Torch (for the lack of a better word), the end.

  • March 31, 2012 at 7:08 pmKusabi

    Shana, you are the best loli protagonist ever. I’ll miss you badly…
    Takaii, thank you for blogging this…

  • March 31, 2012 at 9:42 pmWhee

    ;_;
    not much to say here.
    I REALLY should have recapped on the first two seasons tho- since I forgot literally everything since that (also happened when I watched season 2… dunno y it kept happening with me)

    Prolly gonna rewatch the whole thing from season 1 again when i get the time.

  • March 31, 2012 at 9:48 pmfoofiebeast

    I know I get blasted for this whenever I say it, but I still think the show could have ended with season 1 with both of them dying together, hands held, as was “supposed” to happen.

    Season 2 did nothing to dissuade me of that at all. I found season 2 so offensively bad it was hard to be excited about 3.

    THAT being said, I really did enjoy season 3, not on the same level that I enjoyed season 1, but I’m sort of glad they kept it going past season 1 (stopping at the end of season 2 would have been obnoxious).

    • March 31, 2012 at 10:40 pmBROOKLYN otaku

      hearing you say that, i wonder if this is too much of a failed endevor for me to start at the beginng of season 3?? i only watched like 1.5 ep’s of each season….hmmmm? DL NOW and watch in my golden years i guess……..I wonder how long external HD’s info stays functional
      NOW THATS A QUESTION!!!!

  • March 31, 2012 at 10:26 pmInvisibleZombie

    For the few years I spent watching this series I can say without a doubt It is one of my favorite anime’s of all time. The characters and plot were fantastic and it kept me on edge constantly. The ending was very sad to me in the way that Khamsin died off, I always thought he was actually pretty cool. The rest of the ending was great for me too as Shana and Yuji finally got together again, this time for good.

    “After beating some sense into Yuuji and finally sharing that kiss we’ve been waiting for since the end of season one, I don’t think I could have asked for more.” – I couldn’t have said it better myself, I’m extremely satisfied and it’s been a long ride. Stay awesome Shana, I’m gonna miss your “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” and Melon bread addiction for a long time.

  • March 31, 2012 at 10:47 pmBlakWngz

    I wonder what Yuuji’s parents named their new child since they shouldn’t remember Yuuji.

  • March 31, 2012 at 11:27 pmSkins Thunderbomb

    Its all over. Wow. What a ride. :)

  • April 1, 2012 at 1:34 amShana

    When i watched the ending of Shakugan no Shana III i feel kinda sad and happy.. it’s so cute because they went to Xanadu together. And i feel kinda lonely for Yuji leaving his parents and new sibling. I almost cry .. n_n I really love it

  • April 1, 2012 at 4:33 ammistress_kisara

    I actually stopped watching at episode 14 because I was too busy. I was glad I marathoned Episode 15-24! Loved it! Sure it was not perfect but it was one of the best ending of the fall season (along with Chihayafuru). I’ll miss Shakugan no Shana! It’s been a long ride!

  • April 1, 2012 at 8:55 pmedmarie jaranilla

    that is true!!!! i love it!!! I’m addicted!!!!!!!! for me, it’s viral!!!

  • April 2, 2012 at 2:49 amGhostalker

    I guess I’m one of the people who felt a bit (just a little bit) unsatisfied with how it ended, still the same last 2 minute thing when they finally kissed and its all over. I’ve waited 6 long years for that kiss to happen, but I felt like it is only done so to make a point that they finally accepted each other, I don’t even remember they have a decent date episode.

    I want a romance series that explores what happens after that? Definitely it is not the “…and they live happily ever after,” because sure that there is an ever more greater trial after that, it is only the beginning. I need a Clannad ~ After Story kind of thing. I guess most of the producers wouldn’t even care as long as people are satisfied with a kiss ending.

    Still 8/10.

  • April 2, 2012 at 8:34 pmhaseo0408

    Does somebody knows what the song played at the end is called and by wich artist?.

    • April 3, 2012 at 7:21 ammistress_kisara

      Koubou by Mami Kawada

  • April 6, 2012 at 7:58 amTOMA

    Wow…hasn’t been here for a long time since I watched ‘School Days’ in 2007. (I remember I got some reply in Japanese back then.)

    And then, this is it–the finale of ‘Shakugan no Shana’! After six years since the first season back in 2006, we have an ending, which is epic, satisfactory, surprising and yet…I can’t help but almost yelled ‘NO!!!!!!’ when I watched the finale in ep24.

    Why? Well… first thing first, I am a fan of ‘Kazumi Yoshida’. In fact, I liked her more than Shana.

    ‘What!?’ you may ask but ‘YES!!! I am’. I liked Kazumi’s lovable personality and, ahem, her attractive look (and figure). However, if someone think its character design could captivate me just by these, it is making a big mistake! The reason I liked Kazumi is, actually, just the same reason I liked SABER in Fate/Stay Night (oh, right, both roles have the same voice cast: Ayako Kawasumi). Both of them have something special about them that I just cannot put it into words and, at the same time, they fit into the story so well! Kazumi might looks like a mascot character to begin with but she gradually got her place and significance in the story. This, together with her overall character design, made her my favourite character in ‘shakugan no shana’.

    ‘What the hell does this has to do with the finale?’ you may ask. Well, although I knew Yuji will choose Shana in season 2 (and that makes perfect sense), I have been expecting more in this ‘love triangle’ after all the developments in season 3. Put simply, I was kind of expecting to see Yuji was, say, kicked back into his own word by Shana (rather than go to Xanadu), re-unite with his family and classmates (I really want to see this, trust me) and, finally, pay every cent for the pain he inflicted on BOTH SHANA and KAZUMI. (Be their slave, may be?)

    However, what we have at the end is…although it was depicted as a happy ending, I can’t help but feel sad: Hirai Yukari is back to life (just great, I almost cried: so little screen time for her in ALL 3 SEASONS! ^_^), Yuji ans Shana are living together in Xanadu BUT NO ONE EXCEPT KAZUMI REMEMBER THEM! (ok, the boy who joined OUTLAW and other FLAME HAZE do). All these and, to think my favourite Kazumi has to take up all the burden…I just couldn’t feel happy. Still, IT IS A GOOD HAPPY ENDING! May be this conflict in feeling is what made me wanted to yell ‘NO’. (Yeah, Yuji Sakai, get your ass back to EARTH and GIVE US MORE OVA!)

    My comment is kind of messy, I know, but that’s how I felt. Now, it’s time for me to catch up ep16-last ep of season 1 (which I cannot watch in the past six years), Shana S (which I didn’t know it exist until season 3 began).

    Feel free to reply.

  • April 11, 2012 at 11:27 pmewok40k

    Just watched…
    -Yuji is total baka regarding feelings and women, period!
    -But all he needed was some good old “Urusai!” and beating some sense into him!
    -As I predicted, the last battle was to decide who wears pants in this one relationship.
    Oh and watching Wilhelmina go all maternal instinct was fun!

  • July 9, 2012 at 11:58 amtiberius

    Wouldn’t it have been nice if they had a episode or a season for after they entered Xanadu to give a general idea of what happens in that world, maybe they could come up with a whole new series within Xanadu.

  • September 13, 2012 at 10:35 pmKholdStare88

    This has to be one of the worst anime I’ve watched.

    My complaints are simple and opinionated. First, the entire premise sucked. Yuuji goes over to the bad side, cool, it could work out, but it did not. The more that was revealed about the plot, it seems like both sides sort of have the same goal, they sort of don’t hate each other, and they sort of hide what they want to do to the other side (?). Second, here’s where the opinionated part comes in: I don’t care for the plot at all. It just bored me to tears. It doesn’t help that around episode 17 everything becomes too confusing for its own good and the last 1/3 of the show is just mindless stalemate fighting without anything happening. Finally, like Takaii said in some of his posts, there’s just a great amount of “sheer ridiculousness” going on. Even though he/she forgave all of it, I can forgive none of it. Simply put, the author ran out of ideas, tried to create some epic plot twist, wrote themselves into a corner, and pulled out some deus ex machina and everything is all happy again. It’s sort of like when you finally think you understand the entire plot, you say wait a minute…then what’s the point of the previous 22 episodes?!? This is the type of anime where I wanted a simple finale that’s just good action entertainment, have it be a 7/10 above average show, and have it be a good recommendation to anyone who wants to have a good time. I mean, they can’t even kill off Kazumi properly. I was looking forward to that (even though I love her).

    Of course this post is already all angry so I’ll list my favorite moments of the show.
    -Keisaku and Margery, best episode and best subplot of the third season
    -Leanan-Sidhe and Hirai Yukari appear in the last episode for 5 seconds
    -OP/ED, animation of fights

    Lastly I only put a bit of blame on J.C. Staff for the ending rush, but most of why I dislike SnS3 comes from the LN author, probably. What I do agree with was that the final episode did provide closure, but I can’t help but think that the whole third season comes to a giant misunderstanding and Yuuji being selfish as a result of being unselfish (?!?). I hope the best for Shana, Yuuji, Wilhelmina, et al. in Xanadu and I hope for a lighthearted OVA without much plot that shows a bit of what happens in the aftermath in both worlds.

    I’m probably not going to get a lot of fans for this post, but call me selfish for wanting to get this off my chest somewhere. Thanks for reading. :)

  • September 16, 2012 at 9:47 pm:DD

    Shakugan no Shana will forever be in my heart>there’s nothing in it that you will hate. One thing in this anime that i know why people loved it, it’s because of the story and the journey between Shana & Yuji figthing together, accepting their feelings toward each others. i know that its never possible but i just don’t want this anime to end–(yeah i know it’s kinda sad, it really hard to let go of something that you have loved for years) Surely, i’m gonna miss Shakugan no Shana. Hopefully, there would be a follow-up somehow. indeed, it has been a long ride, but i will never get tired of it. i feel happy and blessed in such a way that i was able to watched this anime.