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Posts Tagged ‘Shakugan no Shana’

 

epic

(n.) A long poem about the actions of great men and women or about a nation’s history
(adj.) Heroic; majestic; impressively great; of unusually great size or extent

Over the last several years, the Internet community has subjected the word epic to all kinds of cruel torture, giving it a meaning close to cool when the word cool itself just wasn’t cool enough. In a few years, the adjective epic may grow stale, sapped of all its strength, and we might see it replaced by yet another emphatic successor. But it is high praise indeed to call a show or scene epic: when the Greeks of ancient times listened to Homer’s epics, they experienced the true weight of history – the death of one world and the birth of another. People who often had never once ventured outside their hometown were shown the vast world surrounding them as something that could be changed through the actions of the seemingly insignificant human beings.

Certainly, most of us have at least some shows we consider deserving that level of praise. Even a single scene can be called epic if it allows somebody to redefine and rediscover the medium along with its boundaries and potential. In this sense, there are almost limitless ways in which a scene or show can be epic – a never before seen plot twist, an innovative quirk in character design, unexpected animation techniques… anime is an amalgamation of numerous modes of artistic expression, and you never know which part of the package will define the whole experience. As a personal example, I was stunned by how camera angles can completely change the meaning of a scene when watching KyoAni’s Kanon back in 2006.

On the other hand, there are also series that come close to the ancient epics in the original sense of the word. Spanning many cours, featuring dozens of named characters and countless interweaving plotlines, those works introduce us to completely new worlds and show us how those places evolve. From recent fan-favorites like the new Fullmetal Alchemist to older series like the Legend of the Galactic Heroes, those series require much commitment but reward the viewer with an unforgettable existence.

With the final chapter of its story now closed, the story of the Flame Haze called Shana now joins the ranks of those epic tales. For those wondering if the long series is worth a shot, here are a few things you can look forward to in the anime:

  • four, and ultimately five different species struggling in a fight for their own place in the world, all with their own history, politics and internal strife
  • generations of conflict culminating in an all out war
  • lovers reunited after hundreds of years and those facing millennia of solitude yet to come
  • heroes carving their name into history with their own blood; martyrs and saviors taking on the burden of the future and hopes of their people
  • the beginning of a new world order

What makes for an epic series? Which of those titles are worth recommending? I’m waiting for your comments and suggestions.

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I mentioned not long ago that Shana – Final would become painful once the cool characters started dying off. Well…

RIP Decarabia

My favorite character of this season just got one-shotted. To tell the truth, the treatment he got was not that bad for a non-humanoid villain. The one to one-shot him was the good guys’ main commander, possibly even the strongest character on the good guys’ side. She achieved that through a surprise attack and still had to follow up with a comment that that single blow took a significant part of her power reserves. There are much worse ways to die.

As a farewell gift, 10 reasons why Decarabia owns:

  • He’s socially awkward, annoying many people at strategy meetings

  • He doesn’t need a cell phone to call anywhere in the world

  • He decides to risk his neck for the greater good when necessary, even if he could concentrate on saving his skin (No good deed goes unpunished?)

  • Enemies have been sneaking/teleporting directly into his main base for the last three episodes… He takes it in stride

  • He uses full honorific titles when discussing how to handle the above-mentioned crisis with Tempest Hoof

  • He turns the tide of battle by casting support spells on mooks. That’s the path of the white mage Negi Springfield didn’t take.

  • He teleports attacks away instead of blocking them.

  • He uses ‘yue ni’ (therefore/thus) when explaining why he is going to attack with full force

  • He lets out the final attack even as his body is being torn apart.

  • It’s hard to say if the attack even connects with the target… but it blows everything up anyway.

Now, who’s dying next on my favorite character list?

Tier I

  • Decarabia

  • Hecate

  • Snake of the Festival

  • Chibi Lord of Guze with confusion Unrestricted Spell

Tier II

  • Bard Lord of Guze

  • Herald Lord of Guze

  • Rose & Suit Flame Haze

  • Sabrac

Edit: Glad to see I’m not alone in my sentiments.

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