Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 20

Wilhelmina is all depressed that she isn’t able to have lesbian sex with Pheles, and Margery Daw shows up to cheer her up. Rofocale is still roaming around somewhere when Ernest Flieder lures him into a trap and asks what it would take to implement Shana’s plan, but Rofocale says it’s impossible. But perhaps if something unexpected happened, it could. Meanwhile, the Flame Hazes appear to get the upper hand in the battle. Finally, Wilhelmina and Margery are able to isolate Sydonay from Yuji, and Shana overpowers Yuji and destroys his unrestricted method that was meant to create the new world.

Wilhelmina reveals that she likes being the Dom in the relationship

Wilhelmina reveals that she likes being the Dom in the relationship

It’s hard enough to comprehend what all is going on, much less translate it into writing. I’m not even sure what Rofocale is doing just wandering around anyway, and I”m not really sure what all his blathering meant, but it sounds like Shana wants Yuji and the Snake of the Festival to implement HER plan for the world instead, but that only some major event would cause that to be possible. One would think seemingly destroying the Snake’s unrestricted method would be something that could do that.

Bel Peol saying she doesn’t need protecting because she’s already done what she’s needed to do seems to suggest that she’s going to get it pretty soon. Also, I’m not really sure why Margery and Wilhelmina don’t just finish off Sydonay as well at this point. If he could get away from them, he would have done it already.

With four episodes to go, it seems a bit early for Yuji to be completely defeated. Whether that means he can still create his new world or will try to do it from scratch again, I don’t know. I’m guessing we may finally find out what Shana’s proposal is in the next episode in any case.

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Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 19

Yuji tells Shana that he can’t be with her as long as she’s a Flame Haze, and Shana goes all spurnned lover on him. The two then continue to battle outside, apparently as decoys, as Margery sneaks inside to do the real work while Khamsin tries to bring down the tower Yuji has created, but Sydonay is able to save it for now.

Yoshida, meanwhile, considers what love means and has Shana cut Bel Peol’s restriction on her pendant and she calls Pheles. However, she isn’t consumed as the pendant uses the determination to sacrifice oneself to power it instead of the power of existence itself. Pheles then activates Johan, who basically tells Yuji he’s a pooh-pooh head because of his plan, and he, Pheles, and Yoshida escape in a hippie bus with the three Denizens Pheles met with a couple of episodes ago. However, Dantalion beings the next phase of the plan…

Did I tell you that using the pendant would kill you? SYKE!

Did I tell you that using the pendant would kill you? SYKE!

So they came up with a pretty clever way of having the pendant not kill Yoshida, which was basically that she had to truly believe she was going to die by using it, and this determination and focus of mind enabled her to use it using the power of that determination. Meanwhile, I’m not sure what Johan and Pheles are doing, other than getting away. I did kind of have to laugh at Johan basically telling Yuji a pooh-pooh head for now understanding how love works. Yuji, as of now, still seems undeterred, however.

The Denizen leaders, however, are concerned because they don’t like this turn of events, and the Flame Haze’s attack doesn’t make sense, which make them fear that they’re possibly missing something, which of course they are with Margery Daw hiding. One would think someone would notice that Margery hasn’t shown up yet eventually.

In any case, it didn’t seem like we got this far in this episode. Yoshida used her thing, which allowed Pheles to show up and take Johan away, but that’s about it, really.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 18

The Palace of the Stars finally arrives over Misaki City and Yuji begins to enact his plan. First, his need for Yoshida becomes clear: Yuji must first undo the tuning of the city that Khamsin performed using her image of the city. Next, in order to give the Snake of the Festival the full power he needs to create the new world, Hecate sacrifices herself. However, the Gods of Earth then show up and start blowing away many of the minion denizens that have shown up, while Wilhelmina and Shana arrive in order to face off against Sydonay and Yuji.

Maybe you should know what you're volunteering for before you do it...

Maybe you should know what you're volunteering for before you do it...

Well, as it turns out, Yuji did know about Yoshida and Pheles’ pact, and he has Bel Peol seal the pendant. I’m guessing that Yoshida will still somehow be able to use the pendant, but probably not until Bel Peol has been defeated.

Meanwhile…Hecate! NOOOOO! They just have her sacrifice herself just like that. We get a brief explanation of her purpose – namely to prepare for the Snake of the Festival’s return – but that’s about it. Just like that Hecate went from banging around her staff to being gone. I guess there goes my hope of her somehow turning around to the good side too.

This really is the beginning of the end of this series now. I figure we’ll have six episodes of massive fighting from here until the end (well, I suppose the last episode could be some sort of recap, so maybe only 5 episodes). We have yet to see Rebecca, Margery, and Khamsin show up, so I’m assuming they’re being held back in some sort of reserve for the moment.

I still have to wonder if The Spiral Organ has some how sabotaged the Snake of the Festival’s plans. He just doesn’t seem to be the type who would sacrifice the world in the long term in order to accomplish whatever goal they are trying to accomplish.

In any case, Yoshida seems to be kinda regretting her decision to help Yuji now which, one has to wonder what she was thinking in the first place. I know it’s Yuji, but he hasn’t exactly been on a trustworthy streak recently.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 17

Bal Masqué starts attacking airports across Japan, presumably to keep planes from flying since the Palace of the Stars is heading there.nIn New York, Shana and Chiara meet the three remaining Gods of Earth, who agree to join Shana on her plan to attack the Denizens. Meanwhile, in Misaki City, Yuji meets with Tanaka and Yoshida, saying his plan to create his Denizen paradise requires Yoshida’s help. Tanaka tries to talk reason into Yuji, but Yoshida still agrees to help him, over Tanaka’s objections. Yuji says he’s taken ever precaution to protect the humans from the coming battle, but cannot fully guarantee their safety.

Yuji tells his friends that he has this plan, and it's totally great, and he'll probably need to sacrifice Yoshida to do it

Yuji tells his friends that he has this plan, and it's totally great, and he'll probably need to sacrifice Yoshida to do it

It seemed to me that what Yuji was telling Tanaka and Yoshia was largely a lot of nonsense talk. Then again, he kept referring to “Yuji’s plan,” which I’m not sure he’s just saying to alleviate Yoshida’s worries or if Yuji is secretly operating his own plan along side the Snake of the Festival’s plan. In any case, the fact that it is “Yuji’s plan” seemed to be the factor that made Yoshida decide to help him.

Of course, that brings up the next question: in what manner is Yoshida supposed to help him? She doesn’t really have any power or influence, other than to either be held as a hostage, get consumed for some ritual, or if Yuji needs Pheles in some way, though I’m not certain whether Yuji even knows that Yoshida and Pheles have an arragement. I’d say chances that Yoshida has to call on Pheles is increasing, which means that the chances of her dying are going up too. Unless there is some cop-out and her “love” for Yuji somehow keeps her from dying when calling on Pheles.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 16

The Flamze Hazes try to rally now that morale has bottomed out, and after losing 80% of their forces. Shana proposes a new plan, but Sophie urges caution before implementing it. However, everyone spends the next hours considering on their own if they want to help her and they all, except Sophie, who has been recalled to Zurich, decide to follow Shana. But first, Shana must persuade the remaining three Gods of Earth to join them in New York. Meanwhile, Dantalion gets the Palace of the Stars flying again.

Everyone is still all-in

Everyone is still all-in

So, Shana proposed some sort of plan – a plan everyone seems to agree is a crazy gamble, but still their best chance of succeeding, even though we haven’t heard what it is yet. In any case, with 8 episodes left, we’ve got to be about read to enter the final arc. The first step in that is, as they said at the end of the episode, is to enlist the help of the final three Gods of Earth.

Meanwhile, we still don’t know what the Spiral Organ’s giant unrestricted method is, nor what Yuji wants him for in Misaki City, which is obviously where he wants to create his new world.

And we once again see Pheles, both briefly at the start, and confronting three Denizens. I somehow figured she would figure back into the mix, but it’s obviously not that clear in what way yet. I wonder if we’ll start seeing some Denizens oppose the Snake of the Festival over the same fear the Flame Hazes have: that his plan will not just ultimately destroy Earth, but the Crimson Realm as well.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 15

Samuel creates a beacon to attract all the Flame Hazes, but the Denizens try to hold back their attack, believing it to be an obvious decoy. Shana and Wilhelmina keep up the act by fighting Sydonay and making him believe they are trying to protect something. Centerhill and Margery then arrive, and once the Flame Haze evacuation is complete, Centerhill stays behind to sacrifice himself, allowing Shana, Wilhelmina, and Margery to escape.

I was wondering when Sydonay was gonna get off his lazy ass

I was wondering when Sydonay was gonna get off his lazy ass

So Centerhill appears to give us the beginnings of an explanation of why Yuji and the Snake’s plan is bad: apparently the consumption of Power of Existence by Denizens create disturbances which collect in the void, causing the storms and disruptions there. If the Snake creates a new world there, where Denizens can consume unlimited supplies of Power of Existence, those disturbances will rebound back onto the real world, having nowhere else to go, creating a disaster.

This, of course, would result in the destruction of the world, not the saving of us, as Yuji wishes. Whether this is the Snake’s true intention, which he is hiding from Yuji, or whether he truly believes he has somehow bypassed this problem, I don’t really know. Clearly Yuji believes he has solved this problem (or isn’t aware of it in the first place). In any case, it’s clear why this solution isn’t preferable to the Flame Hazes.

So it looks like Shana’s next goal is to meet up with the remaining three Gods of Earth and to convince them to join the Flame Haze’s fight. Centerhill didn’t seem to particularly powerful, though I don’t know if that’s because he held back, or if they use their power in a different way (in Centerhill’s case, in order to make it rain and to grow trees) I don’t know. In any case, I’m sure having the Gods of Earth can’t hurt their cause.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 14

The Snake of the Festival declares his Grand Order: He will create a duplicate of the current world, with an endless supply of Power of Existence. Facing a rejuvinated Denizen army, the Flame Hazes have no choice but to withdraw to where Wilhelmina has hidden Tendo-kyu. Distraught over the continuing battle, Yuji and the Snake further declare that the creation of this world will mean that the Flame Hazes will no longer have to fight Denizens. With the whole purpose of their existence pulled out from under them, the Flame Haze army is utterly routed.

A kick ass Flame Haze needs a kick ass outfit

A kick ass Flame Haze needs a kick ass outfit

So we finally find out what the Snake of the Festival’s plan is: to create an entirely new world, just for Denizens, where they can suck up on Power of Existence all they want without disrupting the “real world.” One can see why Yuji sees this as a seemingly perfect solution. However, it has the side effect of rendering the Flame Hazes obsolete and apparently there is a fear of some disaster occurring if such a world is created, which seems to be the primary reason the Snake was sealed away in the first place.

So I suppose pretty soon we’ll find out why this new arrangement isn’t all that great for the Flame Hazes after all (other than their losing their purpose). Maybe they don’t think it’s possible. They obviously seem to think it’s not the perfect solution the Snake thinks it is. It also seems unlikely at this point that Yuji will be swayed any time soon.

This episode was alright overall I guess. It was better than the last one, and we obviously learned a major plot point, but other than that it was mainly large armies throwing stuff at each other and talking. I do have to say that Shana’s new outfit is rocking, however.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 13

Sophie’s forces continue fighting off the Denizens while inside the Divine Gate, Khamsin continues to fight Sabrac. Meanwhile, Shana and Yuji fight, when Yuji reveals that he is willfully working with Silver. The Snake of the Festival then happens upon Sabrac’s battle, and he is so taken aback by it’s greatness that Khamsin and Rebecca are finally able to destroy him. Having sensed that the Snake has been revived, Sophia attempts to destroy the Divine Gate, but Fecor, who apparently was merely mortally wounded, but not yet dead, arrives and blocks her for long enough for the Snake to return, before finally dying.

I've watched enough hentai to see where this is going

I've watched enough hentai to see where this is going

Really, this as a pretty lame episode compared to the past ones. Sabrac was finally destroyed, but it was mainly because he was so distracted by the Snake of the Festival that he didn’t give a crap anymore. Most of the rest of the episode was basically stuff we already knew. We got a glimpse of just how powerful the Snake is, but one could have surmised that by him being the God of Creation in the first place.

Really, the main thing that happened is that Yuji and the Snake of the Festival – finally – exited the Divine Gate, which means we may finally learn what the Bal Masqué is up to in the next episode. And then presumably we’ll start the final story arc(s) of this series and approach the final conclusion.

Finally Catching Up: Winter 2012 Shows

Now that I’ve wrapped up catching up on the Fall season, it’s time to look at the Winter season. I’ll of course continue Shakugan no Shana III and Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing, so I’m looking for one or maybe two shows to supplement that. I’ll keep churning out episodes like I have until I catch up, which at this point may be pretty near the end of the season.

There didn’t seem to be a lot of interesting shows, but there were three in particular that peaked my interest: Ano Natsu de Matteru (aka Waiting in the Summer), Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou (aka The Daily Lives of HIgh School Boys), and Another.

Waiting in the Summer is from the creators of the Please! series, and I loved Please! Twins, so that’s a plus. Plus the art and the synopses sounds interesting. Plus, it’s being simulcast on Crunchyroll, so I think I’ll pick this one up.

The Daily Lives of High School Boys, I was iffy on at first, but after further reading about it thought it looked interesting. However, this series ended up being about the only one which was both licensed and NOT being simulcast anywhere that I can see, and I have a “if it’s licensed, then I don’t download fansubs” policy. So, I would have blogged this one, but because it’s licensed but not “available,” I won’t be able to.

For Another, I’m really not a horror fan at all, but it has a good rating on both ANN and MAL, so maybe I could give it a shot. I suppose if I don’t like it, I only have to put up with it for 12 episodes.

So it looks like for Winter 2012, I’ll be picking up Waiting in the Summer and Another and we’ll see how it turns out.

Shakugan no Shana III – Episode 12

Wilhelmina, Rebecca, and Khamsin launch their attack against Sabrac, with the attack turning into the typical stalemate, with Wilhelmina’s healing spell no longer working. Meanwhile, Yuji finally gets to the center of the Gate, and Bel Peol and Hecate release the final barriers around the Snake of the Festival. Shana then arrives and challenges Yuji to fight, saying that she’ll make the Snake of the Festival remake the world in a way that benefits the Flame Hazes once she defeats him.

So the Snake of the Festival is basically a giant...snake?

So the Snake of the Festival is basically a giant...snake?

This was again a “slower” episode (at least compared to the past 3). The battle with Sabrac was frantic, but turned into a stalemate as I expected. I’m still not sure what Yuji’s plans are, and he’s still not willing to reveal them, but Shana seems prepared to face him down anyway. Meanwhile, Sophia seems to have found herself in trouble. Most of her escape routes are cut off, but she thinks it’s too early to bail just yet. It’s going to be a pretty big blow to the Flame Hazes if their commander gets lost there.

In any case, I thought this arc might end with this episode, but it looks like it will go for at least another episode, which pushes it into the Winter season. So…we’ll see you there!