(Okay, I’m done writing about heavy stuff for a while. I’m going to actually write about anime.)
To be fair, I thought about titling this “Why Not Shana?” but Shana isn’t a title that should be in anyone’s top ten. And it never was a contender for my number nine spot even from the point when I popped in the first disk. Or even after I saw the first episode at Otakon.
Really, there’s nothing about this series that really shines. The artwork is all right. It isn’t anything horrid, but the character designs aren’t all that surprising. And the inclusion of Willemena (or rather her maid outfit) sent shudders up my spine as soon as I saw it. The story is pretty much sucked straight out of it’s predecessors. It’s just the current spiritual sucessor to shows like 3X3 Eyes, Chrono Crusade and Blue Seed. Right down to the bombastic, big breasted, exorcist or should I say flame haze or whatever this iteration is calling it.
But all that said, I really like this show. And a lot of it has to do with Shana and Yuji Sakai. Now sure, you could toss Shana into the tsundere basket and say that she’s just another character. But I think that’s doing the show a disservice. What I actually find compelling is that the creators decided to make Shana a woman at all.
When I compare it to Blue Seed, the roles are completely reversed. The tough competent lead in that one is a guy, who treats the female lead like a obligatory nuisance. In Shana, it’s the female lead who treats the male lead as an obligatory nuisance.
And the male lead, isn’t the normal milquetoast, “Oh does she love me or hate me?” character. He actually has morals and values and compassion for his fellow man. He actually does stuff (which is always a big thing for me and protagonists). He tries to understand Shana, and yes, he does try to change her. But for the most part, he remains a thoroughly interesting a compelling hero.
Topping all of that off, there was something about this series that actually elicited an emotional reaction. For instance, I was actually concerned that he might actually fade away even though I knew that there was another four disks in the series and they weren’t going to kill off the main character. I’m not sure if it had to do with killing a character off so early, or if it had to do with a well-used soundtrack. But to be honest, to get any kind of emotional reaction out of me when it comes to a series like this is like squeezing blood from a stone.
So while, it might just be more of the same. It was definitely a good “more of the same”.