Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

8 September 2011: I am watching Shakugan no Shana II so I can watch Shakugan no Shana III

Shana is a different person when her hair is on fire.

I am on record as saying the first season of Shakugan no Shana is "great." The problem is I can't remember why. To tell you the truth, I hardly remember anything about the show at all. I know Shana I was one of the backlogged shows I marathoned based on Internet-type recommendations after an extended anime sabbatical. It was highly regarded by people whose opinions I trusted, anyway. To be honest, the only things I remember at all about Shana I anymore are my disdain for the insipid antagonist twins, my amusement that Pyoro from VanDread voiced a loudmouthed book, and something about "TADA NO FLAME HAZE." Things I don't remember include why Shana's personality is so awful when her hair is not on fire, why the voices in (on?) Carmel's head offer taciturn color commentary for everything that happens, why J.C. Staff is so god-awful when it comes to fight scenes, what the plot was, and who any of these people are.

Alastor needs more scenes.

Despite my current amnesia over nearly all aspects of the show, I trust that my own positive impressions of Shakugan no Shana were reasonable at the time, despite the series' current baggage. Shana and the abusive small Kugimiya Rie-voiced Modern Tsundere stereotype repeated ad nauseum via Louise, Taiga, Nagi, and assorted similar roles has become a bit of a joke. Moreover, nearly every opinion I've seen regarding Shakugan no Shana Second is profoundly negative. Through 16 episodes of Shana II, I can understand why. These episodes have been mostly rudderless filler with tedious exposition and, quite frankly, a bunch of lame stuff going on for characters I don't care about.

Carmel is actually a terrible maid.

Usually I try to find some positive aspects of even bad shows, or at least identify specific shortcomings in shows I don't enjoy, but the best I can muster for the second season of Shakugan no Shana so far is "it sucks." It's not unwatchably bad, or even below the Worse Than Cosprayers Line, but Lord, it's not good. It's just not very interesting, and it makes me wonder if it really is substantially different from the first season (which I'm sure I liked), or if I just gave season one a pass because I really liked the first ED—the Takahashi Yoko one. Whatever the case may be, I intend to power through the remaining Shakugan no Shana II episodes so I'll be prepared to watch Shakugan no Shana III, which hopefully will contain whatever it was that made me like the first season, and not be a hot mess that's a complete waste of time, fire hair be damned.

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