The story of how a joke became something rather serious.
This is the fourth of my entries into 2017’s rendition of the 12 Days of Anime aniblogger project. For more about the project, read appropriant’s introductory post. Please also check out the spreadsheet containing the work of all the bloggers participating!
Remembering a Vague Love
At some point this year, everyone’s favorite anime streaming site, Crunchyroll, began adding a large number of anime titles from its partner site, Funimation. This has resulted in a steady influx of anime—some new and some old, some good and some bad. However, one show that has not (yet!) made its way to the hallowed Flash player of Crunchyroll is Shakugan no Shana. And this, perhaps oddly (but perhaps not, as we may come to see) has been something I’ve been interested in seeing happen for a while now.
After all, Shakugan no Shana was one of those anime I watched back when I was first getting into anime. Somewhere in the middle of the second season, I even had thoughts like, “Wow… this could possibly be the greatest anime ever…”
It’s been long enough now that I don’t remember much about Shana—or even how many years back it has even been since I saw it. But even so, those wispy feelings of regard and affection remain, even as the concrete facts of the show to which they were once attached have been forgotten. In short, even though I don’t remember Shakugan no Shana, I remember the love I had for it. Feelings sit heavy, particularly those felt strongly in the grasp of newness. Anime was new, and therefore Shana was anime.
Does that make sense? Anime is weird in that people often eventually get into “anime” rather than specific genres. As the anti-memes go, anime doesn’t look the same. Nor are they same in their stories, characterizations, or goals. And yet we treat this one industry as a whole. When I was discovering “anime,” I was mostly watching similar sorts of things—fantasy, often blended slice-of-life elements. For all I knew, all anime was like this. And at the time, Shana was for me the pinnacle of that genre; ergo, Shana was anime. Not an anime, but anime itself. The archetype. The paradigm. The avatar. (Which, in some ways, historically, it is).
And this is why I want to see Shakugan no Shana again.
I doubt Shana will stack up against the favorites I’ve made in the years since I first watched it. But I still want to experience it again, to revisit the show that once represented what anime meant to me. I remember, vaguely, the red shades of Shana’s fire, but I want to experience them again. I said a couple days ago that you can’t go backwards in your anime experience, but I think now I may have been wrong to state this so categorically. If/when Shakugan no Shana finally makes its way to Crunchyroll, I will rewatch it again, and I suspect I will be transported back to those early days of my anime fandom. I will be watching with eyes both new and old. I suppose the color I pursue in this case is the one that answers the question, “What was it like to be me?”
A curiosity of mine: What show(s) from the days of your early anime fandom would you want to revisit?