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Shakugan no Shana S: OVA Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Run Time: 110 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Studio: Funimation Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 22, 2013
  • List Price: $34.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

This is the four-episode OVA (Original Video Animation) series of the Shakugan no Shana (灼眼のシャナ) anime, which I previously reviewed in its Season One, Season Two and Movie incarnations. Rather than having one story arc, these four episodes instead have two stand-alone episodes and one two-part episode. They further explore the relationships between the torch Yujii and the tsundere Flame Haze Shana, and Shana and her loving caretaker and fellow Flame Haze Wilhelmina. The final two-part episode also acts as a prequel of sorts to the anime series on the whole, showing Shana at work fighting a Denizen and inhabiting the body of a Torch, almost ruthlessly, before she makes her way to Misaki City. As insight into these familiar characters, the OVAs are great viewing. They have all the comedy, action, and heart of the series on the whole. If you’re looking for a cohesive story, don’t turn to this rather brief compilation, however. As previously mentioned, they are pretty much self-contained, only connecting back to the rest of the series in they way they define the characters further.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

While Shakugan no Shana S doesn’t show too many artifacts in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement, the image is still nowhere near reference quality. It’s on the soft side, line art isn’t really crisp, and the colors are never very vibrant.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Lossless Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) and English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtracks are available. The Japanese track will be just fine for purists and arguably offers the better voice acting with a good amount of dynamic and stereo separation. Meanwhile, the English dub’s 5.1 mix is nicely balanced with airy high frequencies, clean dialogue, and a subtle boost to the low end.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

No more than what has become the usual, heavily comedic “chibi”-style Shana-tan shorts and the obligatory clean opening and closing animations accompany this OVA release on Blu-ray.

  • DVD – Standard DVD is included in this combo pack.
  • Shakugan no Shana-tan G (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:05)
  • Shakugan no Shana-tan Dos (1.78:1080p/24; 00:07:12)
  • Shakugan no Shana-tan tri- (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:06:45)
  • Shakugan no Shana-tan Frontier (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:05:35)
  • Textless Opening Song “Prophecy”
  • Textless Closing Song “All in Good Time”

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

The Shakugan no Shana S OVAs will certainly be a must for fans of this anime franchise, but for those unfamiliar with the series, these may not be a good starting point. For the latter, I’d recommend starting with seasons one and two, or even the Shakugan no Shana movie. Still, these OVAs have all of the hallmarks that make this a compelling series – great animation, great characters, fantastic action, and lots of comic relief.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Shakugan no Shana S: OVA on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

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[amazon-product]B009B82EGU[/amazon-product]

Purchase Shakugan no Shana S: OVA on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]


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