So far, I have covered pretty much all the main entries of the Shana Franchise in Japan, save for the Shana-tan shorts, the Shana S OVA series, and the third and final TV series that is currently airing. Of those three, I will be covering only two of them, Shana S and Shana Final, with my review of Shana Final coming after the last episode airs. As for Shana S, that is today’s review.
While searching through Friange’s collection of treasures, Yuji accidentally uses one of them, which causes his and Shana’s minds to switch bodies. Also, Wilelmina suspects that Shana is up to something and keeps an eye on her with Yuji reluctantly in tow. Finally, a tale of Shana before she came to Misaki City is told, as she investigates a rather odd Denzien under the guise of Junko Oogami, who is in the middle of a dispute with her mother over her boyfriend…
Coming out in 2009, Shana S was a 4 episode OVA series that goes over different side stories from the light novels. 2 of them are rather lighthearted overall, while the last story, which is divided over episodes 3 and 4, is something more serious and is the only one with any real action in it, and even then, it is only in the final episode. That isn’t to say that it is bad, I’m just pointing out that some could be disappointed by the lack of action.
As a series of side stories, it does expand on the characters in some ways and aspects of them, like Shana and Yuji’s relationship for one. You also get to see more of Wilhelmina’s character, and a look at Shana before she met up with Yuji, which was interesting to see her in her previous mindset.
Due to the nature of the OVAs, there really isn’t any antagonist, save for the Denizen that Shana confronts during the last episode. As Shana would put it, he is a very shallow and weak willed Denizen, whose aspirations aren’t that different from a greedy human. That means the action surrounding him isn’t that exciting, but it is good for what it is, and there is at least an interesting use of the Fuzetsu spell that the Flame Haze and Denizens use.
As for the actual contents of the OVAs, it is predominately more comedy and story driven than your typical Shana episode. Unlike the shows, however, the comedy isn’t that bad, at least in the first episode. The second episode is more hit and miss, at least to me. The final two episodes have some spots of comedy, mainly because of Shana being nothing like the person she is disguised as. They are much more story driven and serious and are the closest to a TV episode that you would get.
When it comes down to it, I would mainly recommend this to only die hard fans of the Shana franchise. Those coming into this may find things moving a bit too slow or not all that interesting, since they are not invested in the characters. Like with the movie, Funimation owns the license of this in the US, but has yet to put it out in any form. So, again, other methods are needed to watch this.