The fifth release in FUNimation Entertainment’s series of Shakugan no Shana Blu-ray and DVDs, available today, collects the 4-episode OVA series, Shakugan no Shana S.Although the first two episodes take place at nonspecific points during the series’ first two seasons and the closing two-parter serves as a prequel to the series, S is intended to be viewed between seasons two and three of the series proper, and no earlier (hence its placement in FUNimation’s release schedule). After all, following the credits of the fourth episode, S incorporates images and narration hinting at key plot points through the second season finale. So if you’re looking to avoid spoilers, you’ve been warned!
The first episode of Shakugan no Shana S, “Reshuffle,” follows Yuji and Shana’s attempts to reverse the curious effects of a treasure tool before anyone realizes what has happened to them. I won’t reveal here what the tool does, but let’s just say it reveals a hell of a lot about how the two view one another. The second episode, “Domicile,” finds Yuji teaming up with Wilhelmina to discern the cause of Shana’s recent suspicious behavior, and in doing so, allows us the opportunity to explore Wilhelmina’s feelings toward Shana. Finally, the two-part “Overture” follows Shana on a quest to solve the recent reappearance of a ten-year-old torch, a quest that just so happens to prefigure her arrival in Misaki at the opening of season one by mere days. Here we see Shana forced to take on the persona of a torch, and thereby better understand her state of mind regarding torches when she first encounters Yuji.
Now, these three stories are in no way essential to understanding the overall narrative of Shana proper. However, as side stories drawn from the light novels as well as an art book in the case of “Reshuffle,” these supplemental narratives elaborate on the characters’ relationships with each other and the situations in which they find themselves in some rather unique ways. Although the majority of the salient points raised herein are at the very least hinted at elsewhere throughout the series, they are nowhere more explicitly addressed than in S. In that, S increases our understanding and appreciation of the series greatly, making it a necessary addition to your Shana collection.
The series, as released by FUNimation, is packaged as a two-disc, Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. It includes four particularly successful installments of the parody series, Shakugan no Shana-tan, as well as trailers and textless openings and closings.