12 Days of Waifus – Day 3: Shana (Shakugan no Shana)
While I certainly do like tsunderes, the history behind my fascination for the character archetype isn’t actually too far back. To trace back my fondness for tsunderes, look back no further than Shana of Shakugan no Shana.
At the time when I started watching Shakugan no Shana, I deemed the show as “unique”, though I don’t think so anymore nowadays. Although I feel the series at least did a fairly better job than most light novels-based anime of similar genres, I think I’m liking the series lesser and lesser as time goes on, and Season 3 didn’t really do any justice for the series either. Oddly enough, I still find myself attached to the series in one way or the other-one reason I feel, is because it has a very strong pivotal character acting as the rein of the series-Shana.
One thing about Shana is that she is a massively developing character-which spans for 3 seasons total. As you progress along the episodes and seasons, you can see Shana slowly shifting tones in her characterizations from “tsun” to “dere”. It’s a slow and eventual process, and it works, making the developments look that much more natural (since people obviously don’t change so fast). If you watched Shana season 3, you can easily notice there are lesser tsundere moments for Shana. Admittedly, season 3 was a convoluted mess, but it at least served as a satisfactory culmination of Shana’s development as a character. Frankly, she’s more “dere” than before, and feels more comfortable expressing herself openly-to the point that she can blurt out cheesy lines like this:-
And yes, tsundere. This character archetype obviously had a more older history than Shana, but she was still one of the first major tsundere I ever stumbled upon. Watching the first season of Shakugan no Shana, was also the period of time when I finally had internet at home. So I was able to familiarize myself on a lot of anime concepts-tropes, archetypes and the likes. Of course, the term “tsundere” was one of the very first thing I learned. Shana essentially become a catalyst of my adoration for the tsundere archetype, something which is still going strong today.
I still remember searching on youtube on cut segments of “Urusai! Urusai! Urusai!” like a madman. Interestingly, this was the time where I barely even knew the word “tsundere”. There was just something charming about the awkward but stubborn way Shana expresses herself-and when those rare “dere” moments emerged from the depths of her tsun ocean?
Shakugan no Shana may not be the best series ever, and even Shana herself may not be the oldest tsundere ever, but she is one of the first tsundere I came across, and also a character which led me to familiarize with the character archetype, and successfully igniting a passion for it which lasted till today. For that, I feel more than appreciation for Shana.
…Did I mention Rie Kugimiya voiced her as well? Awesomeness.