Shakugan no Shana II - Overall Series Impressions & Total Series Rating
This thread is to be used for discussing the entire 24 episodes of Shakugan no Shana Second... your thoughts about the show, overall impressions, speculation on the possible DVD only bonus episodes, etc., etc…
A few subjects you might want to ramble on about:
The poll represents your total series rating. In other words, how you would rate all the episodes combined (1-10)? If you'd rather rate the whole series by technical/artistic merits, you can do so. An example:
Animation Quality: 1-10
Voice Actors: 1-10
Adaptation from Game: 1-10
Average = Total Series Rating
Or a combination of the two. Or your general gut feeling.
It started slow, but eventually got more exciting as it went. The ending episodes were great, even though no enemy was destroyed except Silver.
The Fumina episodes were slow, but I liked those episode a lot, even if there was a lot of gloom from coming from Shana/Kazumi.
Hmm... Not much else to say. I liked the first OP and second ED, while the second OP had great animation.
No real problem with the animation, though there were a few strange moments...
Deviating from the novel is no problem to me. :D
Don't mind a third season, but I won't really despair much if it doesn't get one.
Didn't really like the beginning of the series. The whole Fumina arc bored me. The second half of the series was great though. Even if we didn't get to see "you know what". I really would like a third season. (can't get enough of Shana lol)
I love both OP and ED songs, BGM is good and the final insert song is great.
The season would get a 7/10 from me, but since it's Shana: a solid 8/10 :heh:
I gave the series a 9/10. It was more of a 8.7, but still.
The season, in my opinion, did start off slow. I liked the whole 'Fumina' arc, but it could have ended a few episodes sooner. The ending was a bit rushed, too. Otherwise, the season was paced well, in my opinion.
As for openings and endings, I liked every single one used. It's hard to choose between the two, both had wonderful animation and music. The ending is harder to choose because I liked the first endings song better, but I liked the second endings sequence a bit more.
Animation and fighting wise, this season did a better job. Sure, there weren't as many fights, but the fights they did have were animated well. I especially liked Margery's fight with Annaberg.
I enjoyed the second season more than the first. There, I said it. To me, unlike the first season, the second season was actually working towards something (whereas the first season was just arc after arc with no clear connection between them).
The 'Fumina' arcs were a little slow but eh, things were balanced out well enough in the second part of the season in my opinion. I also liked how they managed to tie in both seasons' original material together.
In terms of animation quality, it's been too long since I watched season one that I can't really compare the two. The fights in this season were done well although the "mellow" episodes before and after a fight always seemed to suffer quite poorly. :heh: But that's okay, because this is where the DVD releases come in, right? ;) I also preferred the art direction that was taken in this season over the last one.
The music was very good in my opinion. I particularly liked shana II and Tragédie. I think I prefer Mami Kawada's theme songs over KOTOKO's.
This will be my first review for a series within the season time-frame.
Watching Shana II on a week-by-week release basis really got me thinking about the possibilities that occur between each episode. After going through the journey along with my fellow Shana watchers in this thread, it really got me to think critically and analytically about the series as a whole. I enjoyed the arguments and agreements with each and every member in this forum as a whole, and I hope to do it again with other forums within other anime.
The first two episodes produced a great review of Shana I as a whole, incorporating a video game villain in the process. It also gave an initial view of the three primary characters in question, Yuji, Shana, and Kazumi. However, the Fumina Konoe arc gave the wrong impression to the new viewers - slice-of-life does not take the majority of Shana's storyline. Granted, character development was a question - the three primary characters took a step backward, but the secondary characters as well as the eventual Hecate took major steps forward.
The novel adaptation of Pheles, Sabrac, and Margery's past were almost perfect. The arcs were perfectly executed, except for the Pheles arc, which could have done better with the Johan-Pheles relationship. However, overall, the battles themselves were a bit bland. I attributed this to J.C. Staff's monetary issues, which were a problem throughout the whole series.
The ending was perfectly done, all the way to the final moments. I loved the final arc, and the resolve of Yuji fighting together with Shana - that was a perfect ending arc. However, I will have to say that the ending in itself gave way to some disappointment. Knowing the current status of the novels, I have to say it was a dangerous move J.C. Staff made in leaving a 3rd season possibility open. Yes, there is still one arc in particular that needs to be done, but with the novels having no guarantee of being completed, it is likely that J.C. Staff will have to rely on Louise's fanservice to make money with Zero no Tsukaima V before we ever see a Shana III.
Overall, I am giving this series a 9. The story was very original, but could have executed a little better. This anime does has its own flaws, but it can pretty much be rated an A- anime. The mistake I am pointing out here is that ending - they left it much more open than they did season I. Perhaps this is an attempt to make Shana a 72 episode series as a whole, but it hurts season II as a standalone season, therefore it is undeserving of a 10, even if it is Shana.
I like the character style very much. The animation as a whole was sometimes good and sometimes bad. It was very good during the most important episodes though.
Love Shana's voice and Dantalion's voice. The others were good as well. The music throughout the season was superb. Certainly the best part of Shana II.
Although I don't like it that they strayed from the novels, the season was still pretty good in my opinion. The anime original story was pretty nice, although they could have handled it better in my opinion, especially the konoe arc. They didn't have enough episodes for the end, so they had to rush it too. But I liked most of the anime original episodes in the end, so no hard feelings. The canon parts were good.
They used a lot of anime original material, but they did use some of the canon parts pretty good. They mixed some parts with the anime original stuff though.
I liked the story and they handled it pretty well, although a bit too slow and the pacing was off somehow. I didn't like the open ending.
Mostly because I just love the show. The season could have been better.
The beginning really, really, really killed it for me. I like Konoe just fine, along with all the other characters, but it's just too little stretched too far. As good as it got later, too little too late, like the last 5 episodes were very solid, which is something I can't say for the rest. Another ambiguous ending really lowered the rating, this show seems to hate definitively changing the status quo. The cast hasn't changed from the end of season one. Sure, Yuuji is no longer AS useless, and they know a few more Tomogara, otherwise it's same old.
Slice of Life is fine, IF somehow JC Staff boosts their characterization to the level of say, Minami-ke or Clannad or Spice and Wolf, I definitely wouldn't mind 12 episodes of that. Until then, Shana should remain balanced with action, IMO.
The series started out great for me, and then got into a rut when it obsessed over Shana's and Kazumi's jealousy regarding Konoe. But in the end, the Konoe arc was redeemed, and the series ended strong. Except for his obliviousness in the Konoe arc, Yuji remains one of my favorite male anime leads. He continues to act like the ordinary guy thrust into difficult circumstances, but who eventually figures things out. Yes, the screaming in terror during the Pheles scenes was a bit lame, but now that I think about it, that's a far more realistic portrayal of an ordinary person's reaction to that situation than for him to be all badass. And Yuji *does* eventually become pretty impressive, complete with a miscue where he overdoes it. It reminded me of his reactions to finding out that he was a torch in S1, which were also extremely well handled.
Shana and Kazumi become friends in what I thought was a realistic way, and Shana matures quite a bit as a whole. Which was nice to see. But she never completely loses her tsundere charm. Kazumi's angst was at times overplayed, but I'm willing to let that slide. And she still had her moments.
The rest of the supporting cast also did well, ranging from Ike's comic relief (and nice moment of spine) to Wilhemina playing the role of stressed-out mom of emotionally unstable teenager.
And the music was *awesome*.
Definitely my favorite series of the season, even though I also like Clannad and Gundam 00.
I already gave my opinion in the Shana II 24 thread, but to summarize it here, this anime was a mess - it didn't look good, it was poorly written and thatched together like some kind of wet jigsaw puzzle - the background music was good, but the OP's (specifically the first) was some of the worst noise to ever come out of Japan, and the ED was uninspiring at best.
Overall? A very poor series; not quite as epic fail as ZnT II, but certainly one of the lower-tier shows of the last two seasons, on comparable grounds with generic trash like Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun and Rosario + Vampire.
So, since this is my Overall Series Thoughts, I'm going to judge it based on the series on a whole.
The first two episodes were just failures in mostly every single way. They had to come up with some way to show that their was a keeper on the Reiju Maigo, and the plot they came up with was sort of stupid. "It was all a dream" was kind of cliche as well.
After the first two came the absolutely disastrous Konoe Fumina arc. Honestly, if JC staff had skipped this in its entirety and make Shana 13 episodes long, I think there would be many more people liking the series. Honestly, almost every single week was a fillerish plot, and to add to that, they made a cliche filler episode with the Amusement park. Oh, the things that they could have done with that time instead.
Margery's story of the past was a nice break from the idiocy, though. So, that makes 2 absolutely terrible episodes, 8 horrible episodes, and 2 good episodes throughout the first half of the season. In other words, that part of the season was painful to watch, hence it gets a 1.
The second half of the season was an improvement. I personally didn't like 13, although everyone else seemed to love it. But 14 and 15 were good improvements, and made me start to realize Kazumi's true potential. Then they had the continual flashback to "If you really wish to be in Yuji's world, you will use this." Honestly, I think once or twice, and showing her a little emotional over it thinking if she would use it is a good thing. I think seven or eight times is a little over the top. But again, JC Staff probably didn't have enough material to cover and too many episodes, so they needed ways to fill in.
They also seemed to have a lot of "Yuji..." "Shana..." "Kazumi..." "Ike..." moments. Moments where someone says something dramatic or shocking, and the other character says the other person's name in a surprised fashion. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look at FMA for any time Alphonse says "Onii-chan..." Trust me, you'll find it at least once every minute. Back onto my ramble. They tended to overdramaticize quite a few moments in the series, and it became cringeful at points because of it.
The Sabrac arc, however, was absolutely amazing. Episode 21 in particular was just too amazing to comprehend, and was probably the best episode in either of the seasons. And when you add in the music they used, it was just too great of a storyline.
It fell again after episode 21. I didn't have much of a problem with episode 22, except that after all that effort with Sabrac, they made him somehow survive. That wouldn't have been a problem if they hadn't used the same plot twist 4 times in the series already. The first tomogara, that winged guy's clone in like episode 5, Pheles, Hecate. If a plot twist is overused, it becomes cliche and stupid.
And then the last two were really good. EXCEPT WHY DID YUJI PICK SHANA?
Half 1: 1
Half 2: 8
Overall: 2.5 BAD
The penalty is for Yuji not listening to his heart and picking Shana in the end. Yes, that choice is worth a 2 point deduction from me for the entire series.
I really like the first Shana season because it was fresh, nice concept and therefore it was exciting for me. Also the romance is quite a nice touch too
the 2nd season is kinda weak in the romance because I know Shana and Yuji are together anyway, the flow between arc is a mess, not very coherent. OP and ED are not as good as the first one :(
6/10 because I were being generous.
Animation Quality: 7... I liked more the animation of the first season
Voice Actors: 10, I love them all, Kugimiya, Hino, Kawasumi, Itou
Script: 6, JC Staff please stop destroying the story of the novels
Adaptation from Game: I didn't play the game much :heh:
7 for me... decent anime
The show was decent... but the ending was pretty damn epic, Shana x Yuji kicking ass together, and the final scene with Yoshida crying, while Shana blushing happily, truly an ending to the season that I was hoping for!!!
+OPs were awesome. Lots of development on the Reiji Maigo. PhelesxWilhelmina yuri scenes. Fight scenes were pretty good. Sabrac's badass~ness.
-Yoshida Kazumi. Major lacking of urusaix3. Slow first half. Fight scenes in the anime were nowhere near as good as they were in the OP animation. No one taught Shana how to make babies.
Final Verdict: Not good as the first season but still enjoyable.
*Bumps to 8/10
Animation Quality: 10
Voice Actors: 10
Adaptation from Game: No clue, but shouldn't this be novel?
Total Score: 6.5 => 7.0 (for the poll)
It was a rough ride from the very beginning, one that could not have been saved no matter how good the ending was. Actually, that was exactly it. The final episode was perfect (I gave it a 10/10), but the series was ruined from the start, never perfected the addition of Konoe into the storyline and failed at transitioning between romance and action. At the worst of the Konoe episodes, this series was averaging a 4/10 from me, below average. After Pheles's appearance to Sabrac's fight until the very end, my feelings wavered between 6-7/10, and all that the final episode did not do enough to get a 7. In short, I only half enjoyed this series. Watching the first half of it was almost like an obligation. I rated several episodes very low, but I also rated a lot of 10/10's for individual episodes. This just further on shows the series' inconsistency, and even though this series truly deserves a six, the final episode gave something truly amazing--a connection to Konoe.
If the series cut in half (or maybe more) the number of Konoe episodes and more into pretty much anything else, then it couple raised the score a notch. But still, the series end in a happy note, and it reciprocated to the Konoe arc, giving a meaning to Konoe's existence. I truly hope that the next season will be better, because this one was more or less disappointing.
Final score: 6/10, "Very Good"
Spoiler for My Rating Scale:
And yes, I would like to comment how this series has some of the best background music I have seen. Maybe it wasn't the best, but it was most consistent, so that played a part in me not dropping the series and actually enjoying the battle scenes. Good job, J.C. Staff, even though I know you can do better.
It was good fun, had moments of brilliance which pulled the score up dramatically without those few moments which justified the series this could have easily been a 4-5/10...
Started way too slowly, Konoe was dragged out...
I feel konoe was dragged out to such a degree so they could market her to the Moe obsessed sweaty palmed otaku that are currently being bred by the networks at an alarming rate ( Lol episode 1 of welcome to the NHK was correct XD ), with episode after episode adding nothing to the characters nor being entertaining... I like my cute characters but not as shallow as that...
Apart from those few moments the series didn't leave much of an impact, series 1 felt like a much more solid package, s2 only really seemed to get going in terms of plot and character development when pheles turned up...
In this time we saw development of wilhelemina who i had originally felt was one of the weakest roles in the show, aswell as some of the 1st times i've not wanted Kazami to piss off, aswell as tanaka and Keisaku being developed alot more into fully rounded characters.
I feel shana s2 improved greatly in the 2nd half...
I pretty much agree with what mintham2448 said; however, compared to season 1, I am not as generous as he is.
I was very protective of the tedious Konoe-arc, not hoping, but expecting it to pay off later in the show. And that was it? This one moment, turning point though it may be, was not worth all those episodes.
I will thus give it 6/10 pts. Had the above arc been half its length, a 9 would not have been out of the question, but hey -.-
I gave it a 6, the first half of the series dragged on so much, it was rather boring especially with the love triangle and Konoe stuff. It picked up in the latter half though and it just annoyed me they didn't give Silver enough screen time after what it was built up to be. In the end this series achieved little and I hope the next series is the last one eith proper conclusions. To be honest if I hadn't already watched the first series I would have ditched this.
+ Solid Voice Acting (I really enjoy Rie Kugimiya [Shana] for some reason lol)
+ BGM was pretty good
+Yuji broke a dudes neck with his bare hands
+/- Mediocre animation
-Kazumi doesn't die
-Not enough Urasai Urasai Urasai's
Let's just say that I did not enjoy this second installment of Shana very much. It started off slow with some boring slice of life stuff. Here's a tip for JC Staff: If you don't have good writers who can make interesting slice of life filler episodes then don't attempt them. JC Staff completely butchered the script and pacing.
The action was few and far between, that is until the end of the season. But even then the action felt rushed. I watched episode 24 and the fight scenes were moving so fast I couldn't see what was going on in some of them.
But hey... if there isn't that much action its ok right? Shana isn't a pure action show so we can let that slide a little. Unfortunately the romance in SnS II was lacking big time. The love triangle became painful to watch. They really beat this triangle to death, but you figured they would end it real good at the end of the season right? Nah, all we get a smile from Shana during the end credits that suggest Yuji went to her.
SnS II defiantly had some good moments. But overall is was a pretty mediocre season. This wasn't as bad at the ZnT II butchering. However, I've lost hope for JC Staff.
Overall Score: 6.6/10 (I voted 6 on the poll. SnS II doesn't deserve a 7 on a scale of 1-10)
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