From the studio behind Toradora! and ?kami-san and her Seven Companions comes the iconic series centered around the heated bond and supernatural battles of two friends from two very different worlds. Wielding a blazing sword, Shana is a fiery huntress whose sole purpose is to fight demon-like beings that consume human lives. To reduce the impact on the human realm, Shana turns the slain into shadows of their former selves. Once a flame that represents their remaining life goes out, they fade from existence. This should be Yuji's fate, but when he discovers he holds a special power that ignites a newfound strength in Shana, they join forces in her ongoing mission to maintain the balance between the ordinary world and the supernatural.
Adapted from the popular light novels written by Yashichiro Takahashi and illustrated by Noizi Ito, the broadcast series Shakugan no Shana (2005) combines a high school romantic triangle with a supernatural adventure. Yuji Sakai believes he's a normal teenager--until a mysterious girl announces that he's actually dead and is just running on leftover energy. The inhabitants of the parallel dimension of the Crimson World have been devouring human Power of Existence to fuel their realm. Once their resources have been sapped, the humans continue to exist for a brief time as Torches, then disappear, with no one remembering they ever existed. As a Flame Haze, the girl whom Yuji names "Shana" is dedicated to battling the alien beings and restoring the balance of Misaki City. But Yuji doesn't disappear: within him is the mysterious entity known as the Lost Child of Midnight, which magically restores all the energy he's lost each day. Ball Masque, a sinister cabal within the Crimson World, desires this power: their agents pursue Yuji, unleashing a string of battles with rising stakes. Yuji's kind heart wins over the icy Shana and their bond becomes all-important to her. When Kazumi, Yuji's timorous classmate, falls for him, a standard set of complications ensues. Shakugan no Shana involves a lot of stock anime elements, from the ordinary guy whose good nature conceals unsuspected reserves of strength to the vast, ill-defined plot that threatens his home town. But the storytelling is often problematic. The filmmakers spend too much time pitting the main characters against straw men, leaving the main storyline underdeveloped. There are flashbacks within flashbacks, and tiresome expository speeches. Despite these flaws, Shakugan no Shana proved popular, spawning manga, sequels, spinoffs, and a theatrical feature. (Rated TV 14: violence, violence against women, brief nudity, risqué humor, grotesque imagery, alcohol use, suggested incest) --Charles Solomon
(1. The End of Everything, A Beginning, 2. Burning Flame, 3. Torch and Flame Haze, 4. Flame Haze of Illusion, 5. Respective Thoughts, 6. Complication.Activation.Confrontation, 7. The Two Flame Hazes, 8. Magnificent Goblet, 9. Love and Desires Poolside, 10. Entwined Feelings, 11. Yuji, Shana and a Kiss, 12. The Flower That Blooms in the Cradle, 13. Declaration of War Behind the School, 14. A Great Person, 15. The Day the Flame Was Born, 16. The Flame-Haired, Burning-Eyed Hunter, 17. New Prologue, 18. Crushing Hopes, 19. In the Midst of Battle, 20. Heartless Wilhelmina, 21. Fading Thoughts, 22. Flickering Flame, 23. Battle in the Seirei-den, 24. Crimson Thoughts)