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Shakugan no Shana (灼眼のシャナ Shakugan no Shana , lit., "Burning-Eyed Shana"), also known simply as Shana, is a Japanese light novel series written by Yashichiro Takahashi and illustrated by Noizi Itō centering around Yūji Sakai, an ordinary Japanese high school boy who inadvertently becomes involved in a perpetual war between forces of balance and imbalance in existence. In the process, he befriends the title character: a fighter for the balancing force, whom he takes to calling "Shana". The series incorporates science fiction, fantasy, and slice-of-life "school days" elements into its tale.
Introduction[edit | edit source]
Inhuman beings rampage in the shadows of this world. Long ago, a poet dubbed them the "Crimson Denizens". The Denizens crossed over from what they call the "Swirling Cathedral" and the poet called the Crimson Realm, a world right next to this one which can't be reached by foot. They manifest themselves and bring forth impossibilities by stealing humans' source of existence, Power of Existence. They did as they pleased, as much as their power allowed, until they were destroyed.
Humans whose Power of Existence had been devoured by Denizens would cease to exist. The loss of something which should have continued extending, connecting and spreading, causes the state of the world to distort. Due to the Denizens' unrestricted rampancy, those distortions were growing larger at an increasing speed.
Eventually, among the powerful Denizens, the Crimson Lords, ones who harbored apprehensions at this situation began to emerge. They thought that the large distortions would one day cause a Great Calamity to befall both this world and the Crimson Realm. Thus, some of the Crimson Lords made the painful decision of hunting their brethren. Their vanguards, or rather weapons, were humans who wished for revenge against Denizens, humans who offered their entire existences as the Lords' Vessels and gained superhuman powers... they were the destroyers known as Flame Haze.
On that day, the boy, who lost everything after Denizens eroded his normal life and was told that he was a fleeting existence known as a Torch, and the girl, known as the Flame Haze of the Nietono no Shana, met.
This is the story of the Mystes Yūji Sakai and the "Flame-Haired Burning-Eyed Hunter" Shana.
Outline and Principal Characters[edit | edit source]
Yūji Sakai, a high school student, expected his very normal life to last forever. However, this expectation is quickly shattered one day while on his way home.
Time suddenly freezes, leaving Yūji to watch in horror as blue flames engulf the people around him. Soon a monster resembling a large doll appears and begins sucking the flames into its mouth, until it notices Yūji. Surprised by Yūji's immunity to the time-stop, it prepares to consume him.
However a sword-wielding girl in black attire with flaming red eyes and hair appears, destroying the monster, before noticing Yūji moving freely. The girl calls herself a "Flame Haze" who hunts the "Denizens of the Crimson Realm" and the "Rinne" they send to do their bidding. When Yūji notices a blue flame in his chest, the Flame Haze tells him that the "real" Yūji died some time ago, and that he is a "Torch", a temporary replacement for erased humans. Torches take on the forms of those erased persons, but after a period of time, they will vanish from existence and the memories of the living. Unfazed by his apparent death, Yūji befriends the strange girl and names her "Shana" after her sword. Expecting Yūji to slowly fade away like all other Torches do, Shana is surprised to find that Yūji is not a normal Torch, but instead a special kind called a "Mystes": he has a treasure inside him, known as a "Treasure Tool", a device possessing special abilities of sorts, and an extremely powerful and valuable one at that. Shana resolves to protect Yūji from the Denizens, who would use the treasure to disrupt the balance of the world, and Yūji decides to join Shana in her fight.
Shana's fight is actually a long-standing struggle between the Lords and Denizens of the Crimson Realm. The Denizens steal Power of Existence, the energy that forms the basis of the world, from living people and utilize it for their own selfish ambitions. Lords are the mortal enemies of Denizens, and utilize Flame Haze to attempt to retain balance. Thus, the Flame Haze create Torches in the image of the dead in order to relieve the strain on reality resulting from the actions of the Denizens.
During their time together both Shana and Yūji begin to realize their affection for each other. During Shana's numerous battles with the Flame Haze she has realizes that whenever Yūji is close and concerned about her, her powers increase, awakening the Flame inside her.
Development[edit | edit source]
The series began with the release of the first volume on November 10, 2002 entitled Shakugan no Shana which was originally published by the Japanese company Kadokawa Shoten, but has since been licensed for release in Taiwan by Kadokawa Media and in the United States by Viz Media. As of November 2010, there are twenty-six individual novels, which pertains to twenty-one novels numbered II through XXII (the first novel did not contain a Roman numeral), and four other novels numbered 0, S, SII, and SIII. The final volume of the main story, XXII, was released on October 10, 2011.
List of Volumes[edit | edit source]
- Shakugan no Shana - November 10, 2002 (ISBN 978-4-8402-2218-1)
- Shakugan no Shana II - April 10, 2003 (ISBN 978-4-8402-2321-8)
- Shakugan no Shana III - July 10, 2003 (ISBN 978-4-8402-2410-9)
- Shakugan no Shana IV - August 10, 2003 (ISBN 978-4-8402-2439-0)
- Shakugan no Shana V - November 10, 2003 (ISBN 978-4-8402-2519-9)
- Shakugan no Shana VI - February 10, 2004 (ISBN 978-4-8402-2608-0)
- Shakugan no Shana VII - July 10, 2004 (ISBN 978-4-8402-2725-4)
- Shakugan no Shana VIII - October 10, 2004 (ISBN 978-4-8402-2833-6)
- Shakugan no Shana IX - February 10, 2005 (ISBN 978-4-8402-2881-7)
- Shakugan no Shana 0 - June 10, 2005 (ISBN 978-4-8402-3050-6)
- Shakugan no Shana X - September 10, 2005 (ISBN 978-4-8402-3142-8)
- Shakugan no Shana XI - November 10, 2005 (ISBN 978-4-8402-3204-3)
- Shakugan no Shana XII - February 10, 2006 (ISBN 978-4-8402-3304-0)
- Shakugan no Shana S - June 10, 2006 (ISBN 978-4-8402-3442-9)
- Shakugan no Shana XIII - September 10, 2006 (ISBN 978-4-8402-3549-5)
- Shakugan no Shana XIV - February 10, 2007 (ISBN 978-4-8402-3719-2)
- Shakugan no Shana XV - August 10, 2007 (ISBN 978-4-8402-3929-5)
- Shakugan no Shana XVI - November 10, 2007 (ISBN 978-4-8402-4061-1)
- Shakugan no Shana SII - June 10, 2008 (ISBN 978-4-0486-7085-2)
- Shakugan no Shana XVII - November 10, 2008 (ISBN 978-4-0486-7341-9)
- Shakugan no Shana XVIII - February 10, 2009 (ISBN 978-4-0486-7521-5)
- Shakugan no Shana XIX - September 10, 2009 (ISBN 978-4-0486-8007-3)
- Shakugan no Shana XX - April 10, 2010 (ISBN 978-4-0486-8451-4)
- Shakugan no Shana XXI - November 10, 2010 (ISBN 978-4-0487-0050-4)
- Shakugan no Shana XXII - October 10, 2011 (ISBN 978-4-0487-0960-6)
- Shakugan no Shana SIII - November 10, 2012 (ISBN 978-4-04-891085-9)
Reception[edit | edit source]
The Mainichi Shimbun reported in October 2011 that the novels have sold over 8.5 million copies.
References[edit | edit source]
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|Light Novel Volumes|
|Main Story||I • II • III • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • X • XI • XII • XIII • XIV • XV • XVI • XVII • XVIII • XIX • XX • XXI • XXII|
|Side Stories||0 • S • M • SII • SIII|
|Production||Light Novels • Manga (Eternal Song) • Anime (DVD Releases)|
|People||Yashichirō Takahashi (Themes • List of Changéríon references) • Noizi Itō • Ayato Sasakura • Shii Kiya • Takashi Watanabe • Kow Otani|
|Related Companies||ASCII Media Works/MediaWorks • Dengeki • J.C.Staff • Geneon Universal Entertainment|
|Dubs||Geneon Universal Entertainment • FUNimation|