Monday, October 17, 2011

Shakugan no Shana [burning-eyed shana]

Shakugan no Shana (灼眼のシャナ?, lit. Burning-Eyed Shana), also known simply as Shana, is a series of Japanese light novels and related media works written by Japanese novelist Yashichiro Takahashi and illustrated by Noizi Ito centering around Yuji Sakai, an ordinary Japanese high school boy who inadvertently becomes involved in a perpetual war between forces of balance and imbalance in existence. In the process, he befriends the title character: a fighter for the balancing force, whom he takes to calling "Shana". The series incorporates science fiction, fantasy, and slice-of-life "school days" elements into its tale.

Shakugan no Shana began as a light novel series first serialized under imprint Dengeki Bunko published by ASCII Media Works with the first novel released on November 9, 2002 in Japan. There have been 24 novels published as of November 2010. A manga series was created with art by Ayato Sasakura first serialized in the manga magazine Dengeki Daioh, in February 2005. A 24-episode anime series was adapted by J.C.Staff and it aired between October 2005 and March 2006. An original video animation (OVA) episode and animated film were also produced in December 2006 and April 2007, respectively. A second anime series entitled Shakugan no Shana Second aired in Japan between October 2007 and March 2008. A four-episode OVA series entitledShakugan no Shana S was released between October 2009 and September 2010. A third anime series, Shakugan no Shana III, began airing in October 2011. A PlayStation 2 video game released in March 2006 followed and a second video game for the Nintendo DS was released in March 2007.

Viz Media announced at Comic-Con 2006 that they have licensed the right to release the English translations of both the Shakugan no Shana light novels and the manga series. Additionally, Geneon Entertainment licensed the first anime TV series in North America[1] and the first DVD was released on September 5, 2006. After Geneon withdrew from the North American market, Funimation took up the distribution rights for the first season, and later licensed the second season, third season, film, and OVA series.


Yuji Sakai, a high school student, expected his very normal life to last forever. However, this expectation is quickly

shattered one day while on his way home. The world suddenly freezes in time, leaving Yuji to watch in horror as blue flames engulf the people around him. Soon a monster resembling a large doll appears and begins sucking the flames into its mouth, until it notices Yuji. Surprised with Yuji's insusceptibility to the time-stop (fuzetsu), it jumps with glee. Just as the monster prepares to consume Yuji, a sword-wielding girl in black attire with flaming red eyes and hair appears, swiftly and confidently destroys the monster, before noticing Yuji moving freely. The girl calls herself a "Flame Haze" who hunts the "Denizens of the Crimson Realm" and the "Rinne" they send to do their bidding. When Yuji notices a blue flame in his chest, the Flame Haze tells him that the "real" Yuji died some time ago, and that he is a "Torch", a temporary replacement for erased humans. Torches take on the forms of those erased persons, but after a period of time, they will vanish from existence and the memories of the living. Unfazed by his apparent death, Yuji befriends the strange girl and names her "Shana" after her sword. The reason Yuji was able to move in the fuzetsu is that he is not a normal Torch, but instead a special kind called a "Mystes": he has a treasure inside him, known as a "Hougu", a device possessing special abilities of sorts, and an extremely powerful and valuable one at that. The hougu inside Yuji allows him to remain in existence rather than fading away like other torches. Shana resolves to protect Yuji from the Denizens, who would use the treasure to disrupt the balance of the world, and Yuji decides to join Shana in her fight.

Shana's fight is actually a long-standing struggle between the Lords and Denizens of Guze. The Denizens steal Power of Existence, the energy that forms the basis of the world, from living people and utilize it for their own selfish ambitions. Some Lords inhabit humans creating Flame Hazes in an attempt to retain balance by hunting renegades from Guze. Flame Hazes create Torches in place of the consumed to save the world from the disruption of many existences being lost at once, allowing the Torches to gradually burn out over the course of time.


The first manga, illustrated by Ayato Sasakura, started serialization in ASCII Media Works' manga magazine Dengeki Daioh on February 1, 2005. The first tankōbonvolume was released on October 27, 2005; as of January 27, 2011, nine

volumes have been released. At Comic-Con 2006, it was announced that Viz Media licensed the manga for release in North America. Viz released the first volume of the manga (translated by Yuki Yoshioka & Cindy H. Yamauchi) on April 17, 2007.[2] Later volumes were translated by Yumi Okamoto & Mark Giambruno.[citation needed] Six volumes have been released by Viz Media.[3]

The second manga under the title Shakugan no Shana X Eternal song: Harukanaru Uta, by Shii Kiya, is based on the events of the tenth novel and began serialization in ASCII Media Works' manga magazine Dengeki Black Maoh on September 19, 2007.[4] The first volume was released on January 27, 2009; the second volume was released on August 27, 2010.


An anime version of Shakugan no Shana, directed by Takashi Watanabe, was aired in Japan between October 6, 2005 and March 23, 2006 containing 24 episodes. The anime was produced by the Japanese animation studio J.C.Staff. The series was licensed for North American distribution by Geneon,[1] and the first DVD of the series was released on September 5, 2006. The DVDs were out of print indefinitely until July 3, 2008, as Geneon withdrew from

the North American market. On July 3, 2008, Geneon and Funimation Entertainment announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America. While Geneon will still retain the license, Funimation will assume exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of select titles. Shakugan no Shana was one of several titles involved in the deal.[5] Animax began broadcasting the English version in South and Southeast Asia on July 1, 2009.

In addition to the first season, two mini omake episodes depicting Shana super deformed were released on two separate limited edition DVDs that were bundled with the first and fifth Japanese region 2 DVDs that was on sale on January 25 and May 25, 2006.[6] Both episodes were included in the sixth English region 1 DVD that was released on July 3, 2007.[7] A similarly themed episode featuring Hecate was released on a DVD bundled with the "All About Shakugan no Shana" book.[6][8] Later, an original video animation (OVA) was released on December 8, 2006.[9] The events of the story takes place after the storyline of the first season's thirteenth episode.[6]

A second season, under the title Shakugan no Shana Second (灼眼のシャナⅡ?), was officially announced on May 30, 2007 and aired in Japan between October 5, 2007 and March 28, 2008, containing twenty-four episodes. In the Philippines, TV5 was the first to telecast the second season in Southeast Asia between November 10 and December 25, 2008. A four-episode OVA series titled Shakugan no Shana S was produced between October 23, 2009 and September 29, 2010.[10] A third anime TV series titled Shakugan no Shana Final (灼眼のシャナIII -Final- Shakugan no Shana Fainaru?) began airing on October 8, 2011.[11][12] At Anime Expo 2010, Funimation announced that they licensed the second season of Shakugan no Shana along with the film and OVA series Shakugan no Shana S.[13]


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