Random Musings on Shakugan no Shana III and Zero no Tsukaima F

Produced by J.C Staffs, Shana and Zero no Tsukaima had been one of the more popular franchises. Back then in 2006, both the shows rocked the anime world and turns the world into Shana/Louise fanatical mayhem. Now, both of these J.C Staff powerhouses had come to an end, as we all know, all good things won’t last forever. As of 2012, which is ironically the year signifying the end of the world, both franchises had ended with their respective final seasons.

However, does both of these final seasons live up to their expectations? Some may answer yes, some no, and some is completely disappointed, considering them a waste of time. Let’s have a look some of my thoughts for both the final seasons (not a proper review, just some random opinions of mine). Please be warned that there might be spoilers, though I’m pretty late posting this so you should be fine I guess.

For the former, Shakugan no Shana III, the most problematic flaw is that as a whole, the show has no substance. The pacing for example, moves too quick, so quick that it at the end, doesn’t leave any impact at all. There are also too many characters, all introduced very hastily. New Flame Hazes like Sale and Chiara, new Crimson Lords, new Denizens and so on. For Flame Hazes, each of them also have their own respective titles, and it is pretty much impossible to remember all of them. There is no impact whatsoever in the story which the anime was trying to present.

No shit.

Another thing would be the main characters, or more specifically Sakai Yuji. Everything he did, is completely roundabout. There might be alternative ways to what Yuji is trying to achieve, but he decided to forsake everything and fights the one he loves. In Shana II, he was depicted as an intelligent being, but ironically, I don’t feel any brilliance with his plan in Shana III. Speaking of which, the romance part isn’t even that much developed, it moves unstably too quick. In Shana II’s ending, we didn’t get to see a clear decision by Yuji and by episode 1 of Shana III, he’s already gone, preparing for his big evil come back.

Shana, on the other hand had a great development as a character, by comparing season 1 to 3, her change as a character is extraordinary. Some of the new characters also kick ass, like Rebecca and Southvalley, as for the rest… hmmm… meh. There are also a lot of puzzling things happened for some characters, for example, most non-light novel readers will probably be confused why Lamies, the old man Denizen, would suddenly transform briefly into a young girl.

Flying nuns. It's the end of the world.

Ultimately though, I still enjoyed Shana III, not to the level of enjoyment season 1 and 2 was able to bring to me, but still on somehow acceptable levels, I guess the ending for it played a big part, since it is at least quite satisfying. I wonder what would happen if they managed to extend Shana to a season four though? It’s ironic, but watching so much battles in Shana III made me miss the “slice-of-life” moments during the first half of Shana II.

As for Zero no Tsukaima F, it’s quite decent. If you had been catching up with past seasons, then ZnT F would be nothing special. A steamy confession, stuff happens, a misunderstanding, some whips, and some explosions. It’s surprising Saito is still alive after all those onslaught, he must be one hell of a masochist, even besting Sado Taro of MM!

Still the awesome playboy he is~

It’s amazing how Saito’s harem keep on growing though, a new one was added during the near end of season 3, which was Tabitha, and in season 4, the big busty Tifania was added in too. Does Saito really prefers small breasts? I doubt so. Tifa is nice though, I like how she is so timid and reserved.

Anyhow, Saito is one of the best harem lead characters in my opinion, and it is no wonder so many girls fawn on him. He is gallant, straightforward, protective and even open-minded, in a pervy and non-pervy way. Unlike Yuji, whom is quite hard to relate to his change of character, it is more easier to relate to Saito. It is easier sympathize with Saito’s sudden change in surroundings in season one, as he slowly worked his way up in the new world, ultimately leading him to the Saito of now we all come and love.

And hooray for lemon-chan.

The ending is satisfying too, but may come off as kinda cliche. I like how Louise was brought to Saito’s world, it seems she was able to do so by the ending without the help of Lifdrasir’s powers. At the end, Louise was brought to Saito’s home, probably to introduce Saito’s new wifey.

As standalone, both Shakugan no Shana III and Zero no Tsukaima F may be a bit disappointing, but they are not totally horrible shows. But both franchises as a whole respectively, had been one massive enjoyable ride. Now that these two had ended, I may had to rely on To Aru Majutsu no Index for my main source of J.C Staff fanaticism.

Here is, in a consecutive order, my favorite seasons for both Shakugan no Shana III and Zero no Tsukaima F:

Shakugan no Shana – 2, 1, 3
(I may be one of the very rare people who actually like season 2..)

Zero no Tsukaima – 2, 1, 4, 3
(Saito’s sacrifice in fending off hordes of armies at the end is remarkable :D)

This entry was posted by Kai.

18 thoughts on “Random Musings on Shakugan no Shana III and Zero no Tsukaima F

  1. I had similar issues with this season of Shana. It felt like a major departure from the previous seasons of the show, and the action never felt as good as it did in the first two seasons. I also have a big pet peeve with these supposedly flawless villains, especially when it doesn’t feel like their actions were the right ones.

    • In season 2, the group’s fight with Sabrac is damn epic, none of the battles taken place in Shana III could compare. Actually, none of the actions taken by the characters seem right..

  2. I end up dropping both final seasons.

    I really liked Shana, and did like season 2. I was, unfortunately, just totally put off by Yuji’s sudden change of character in season 3 and just couldn’t bring myself to follow more than a few episodes.

    As for Zero No Tsukaima, I always had a like/dislike relationship with it after season one. It was my own fault since I kept hoping for a good sword & socery action show, which it always was close to but never quite exactly that. More often than not it was usually just about Saito being lecherous, the girls throwing themslves on him, and Louis blowing him up. Though it was usually his own fault, I got really tired of seeing Louis blow him up. I gave up when I saw the preview for the bathhouse episode.

    • I like both the past seasons of Shana and ZnT, halfway watching both of these two last seasons, I was in a bit of a “suffering” to finish the episodes, good thing it had some minor improvements later on.. not by much though. Indeed, it’s like seeing a completely different character.

      “It was usually just about Saito being lecherous, the girls throwing themslves on him, and Louis blowing him up.”
      I think that actually describes Zero no Tsukaima in an eccense, lol.

      Typical indeed, but the anime IS ecchi, no way they are going to pass up a chance to do a bathhouse episode.

  3. Thanks to the end of both Anime I feel now old.
    Those two Anime were the first I watched with Fan Subs back then. And since then I really loved both series.

    It’s kinda sad that it have ended now, but well… I guess both ends are nice.
    Only the end of Shana III it’s kinda strange for me.

  4. Im ok with the way ZnT ended, after some minior doubts at first,I actually liked it a lot. The whole franchise was nice with it’s atmosphere and the likeable characters, Tiffa and Louise are my favorite characters.

    But what made me angry was this last season of Shakugan no Shana, I loved the two first seasons before, but then J.C Staff nearly ruined the whole thing for me. I haven’t followed the light novel and so I sometimes couldn’t follow the story progress in the anime they should have used a little more time for explaining things. There was also no backstory for the new characters. Since this third season was more on the serious side I missed the lighthearted moments a lot, it nearly felt like a different anime :D

    The third season should have been longer and better explained or splitted in two seasons. Too bad J.C. Staff finished this in a halfhearted way.

    • ZnT is quite fine for me as well, and I think the ending is quite nice, ignoring the cliche-ness. Big Busty and Flat Chest, nice contrast mate :D

      I know a thing or two in the light novels, not in full details, and I also have problems keeping up with the anime. That’s why I wonder what would happen if they extended this to a fourth season. Perhaps it will make the anime better? It will definitely be able to provide more backstory for some characters, like the two new Flame Hazes, like Sale and Chiara. Yes, I missed those lighthearted moments too, which is why I like ZnT F just a bit slightly more ;p

  5. The entire Shakugan no Shana anime franchise is a prime example of adaptation decay, IMO. I haven’t read the light novels, but Shana III made it clear to me that TONS of stuff had been removed, and sure enough, that was the case. Of course, this decay started with the need to wrap up an anime series as if there would be no further sequels. After that, it gets worse and worse, but then the decisions to change this or cut that come back and bite the adapters, as happened with Shana III. :-(

    Its a shame that there’s no patience to wait for a light novel series (or whatever) to proceed properly before adapting it to anime. Further to that, I don’t think anime adapters consult that heavily with the original authors (or manga-ka) to understand how things the anime adapters might want to change would impact a future anime adaptation. Fruits Basket springs to mind in this camp.

    • A hell lot of details that is, adaptions are sometimes a hit and miss, and Shana III is certainly a miss. They shouldn’t have stop at just 3 seasons that’s for sure, they wrap it up a bit too hastily.

      I didn’t read Shana’s light novel but perhaps it’s been completed? That’s why the producers want to wrap it up? My reasoning is because the light novel is completed, which motivated the producers to finish the franchise.

      Annnnd.. I didn’t watch Fruits Basket anime.. I just read the manga ;p Sometimes, I just completely skip to original sources. I did the same for Tsukihime too, skipping straight ahead to it’s visual novel.

      • The novels were completed, so yeah, that’s the reason the anime team ended the anime. However, what this series needed was a proper adaptation, but that would require a reboot due to the adaptation decay. That only happens on very rare occasions, such as the reboot of “Fullmetal Alchemist.”

  6. I would rate each of the seasons in the same order as you did. The end of the first and third seasons of Shana left me thinking “that was so pointless” while the second season had me wanting more. As for Zero no Tsukaima, I liked Saito’s big battle at the end of season 2.

    Overall I enjoyed ZnT more than Shana, it was more consistent and enjoyable.

    • Pretty much the same, season 2 of Shana is what made me like Shana so much more, I won’t say season one is pointless though, it’s still good. And yes, Saito’s battle is what had my seal of approval of ZnT season 2, lol.

      Indeed, indeed, me too :D

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