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Shakugan No Shana Season 2 Parts 1 and 2 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Reviews

Shakugan No Shana Season 2 Part 1 Blu-ray-DVD Combo Pack Shakugan No Shana Season 2 Part 2 Blu-ray-DVD Combo Pack

The first part of season 2 drags while the second part entertains.

In the first 12 episodes of season 2, the story picks up on the further adventures of Yuji and Shana. Key storylines in part 1 include: A Denizen named Mare putting Yuji to sleep, Yuji’s newly acquired powers, a mysterious new student named Fumina Konoe who may or may not have ties with Hecate, jealousy between Shana and Kazumi over Yuji and Konoe’s newfound friendship, cooking, Yuji training, sage advice/life lessons, studying for a school test, Yuji’s high school pal Ike, an amusement park outing, Flame Haze Wilhelmina, a 2 parter involving Margery’s past, Yuji’s father Kantaro, Yuji’s classmate Kazumi, the Midnight Lost Child mystery, the dreaded silver, a culture festival, and a cliffhanger ending leading to the second part of season 2.

In part 2 (which is comprised of episodes 13-24), the action finally picks up as viewers get to see: Misaki City in danger, Pheles wanting something from Yuji, the Midnight Lost Child, a festival trip, Yoshida getting a treasure tool, the mysterious Johan, Yuji training with a sword named Blutsauger, the high school student character Tanaka, a powerful Denizen who can clone himself named Zarovee, a Crimson Lord named Sabrac, the heroes battling against Sabrac, Bal Masque, the Statue of Pride, Shana and Kazumi pining for Yuji (again), and Hecate’s dastardly deeds.

After the hit-and-miss season 1, “Shakugan No Shana” doesn’t improve at all in the first part of season 2. While we do get to see some characterization and stories that delve into the mythology (I’ll get to that shortly), we are subjected to lots of filler episodes involving outings to the amusement park or a culture festival and lots of obvious anime tropes (see the female characters fawning over Yuji). It’s clear the story is building to something in the first part, but unfortunately, very little happens until the cliffhanger ending of episode 12. Of course, it should come as no surprise that the most eventful part of this set happens at the very end as the writers (and Funimation) want to hook you so that you will want to rent or buy part 2 to see what happens.

On the plus side, it is nice to see some characters grow here. Yuji, who was rather whiny in season 1, is much more interesting here as he not only begins to train, but develops powers of his own. I won’t say what kind of powers he gets, but I will say that his powers are a matter of concern amongst other heroic characters (cryptic I know). Other characters that gets a chance to breathe in this batch of episodes are Flame Hazes Wilhelmina and Margery (who even has her own 2 parter).

So after all the build up from season 1 and the first half of season 2, does part 2 of season 2 deliver? The short answer: yes. Instead of wasting time on filler episodes, the action and intensity ramps up in part 2 building to even bigger events in season 3 (presumably). As Yuji’s character journey continues to become more intriguing, viewers and fans are also treated to interesting plotlines involving the villainous Sabrac who certainly livens up the latter half of part 2. If you’re an action anime junkie, you will be happy to know that this half is loaded with intense fight sequences that make slogging through the series weaker episodes (mostly) worthwhile.

Video/Audio:

Presented in widescreen 1080p, season 2 looks slightly sharper than season 1 thanks to a more exciting array of set pieces and more complex animation. Still, don’t expect to see that usual glossy sharpness that accompanies most Funimation hi-def releases.

Unlike season 1, these sets contain English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio tracks as well as the usual Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 tracks. While the 5.1 track is slightly better than the previous English Dolby TrueHD 2.0 track from season 1, it felt a tad soft to me. Still, I like the English track more than the Japanese one when it comes to this series.

Season 2 Part 1 Extras:

* Trailers for “Aria The Scarlet Ammo,” “Soul Eater,” “A Certain Magical Index,” “Tower Of Druaga,” “Baka and Test,” ‘Level E,” “One Piece,” “Tenchi Muyo!,” “Is This A Zombie?,” and Funimation.com

* Commentary on episode 1 by Cris George, Cherami Leigh, and Josh Grelle. Expect lots of joking around and discussions about the characters they play.

* A U.S trailer, DVD commercials and promo videos.

* Textless opening and closing songs.

* “Naze Nani Shana II”-Q&A’s about Mare, Keepers, Outlaws, and Silver. Basically, these 4 animated segments explain some of the many terminology and characters in the series.

* “Shakuhan No Shana-Tan Begins” and “Shakugan No Shana-Tan And Yoshida-Fumina Konoe Strikes Back”- Two animated shorts.

Season 2 Part 2 Extras:

* Trailers for “Level E,” “Baka and Test,” “Heaven’s Lost Property,” “A Certain Magical Index,” “Steins;Gate,” “Tenchi Muyo!,” “One Piece,” “Toriko,” “Shakugan No Shana,” and Funimation.com.

* 2 textless opening songs and 3 textless closing songs.

* “Shakugan No Shana-Tan Revenge”- Another cutesy chibi short.

* “Naze Nani Shana II”- 4 more question box segments that explain Pheles, Sabrac, Giralda, Chakra of Wind and Effigy of Pride.

* Commentary on episode 21 by Justin Cook, Christopher Bevins, and Kent Williams. Expect the usual joking around and discussions about characters and voice acting.

July 16, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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