, also known simply as Shana, is a Japanese light novel series written by Yashichiro Takahashi, with illustrations by Noizi Ito. ASCII Media Works published 25 novels from November 2002 to October 2011 under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. The story focuses on Yuji Sakai, a high school boy who inadvertently becomes involved in an age-old conflict between forces of balance and imbalance in existence. In the process, he befriends a fighter for the balancing force and names her "Shana". The series incorporates fantasy and slice of life elements into its tale.
Two manga adaptations were produced and published by ASCII Media Works: one serialized in Dengeki Daioh between the April 2005 and October 2011 issues, and the other in Dengeki Maoh starting in September 2007. A 24-episode anime series adapted by J.C.Staff aired between October 2005 and March 2006. An original video animation (OVA) episode and animated film were also produced in December 2006 and April 2007, respectively. A second 24-episode anime series titled Shakugan no Shana Second aired between October 2007 and March 2008. A four-episode OVA series entitled Shakugan no Shana S was released between October 2009 and September 2010. A third 24-episode anime series, Shakugan no Shana Final, aired between October 2011 and March 2012. A PlayStation 2 video game was released in March 2006, and it was ported to the Nintendo DS in March 2007.
Shakugan no Shana details an age-old conflict between those who inhabit the , a parallel universe to the human world. The Crimson Realm is populated by who are able to manipulate , a fundamental power within any biological entity and functions as "fuel" for one's existence. Denizens whose power stands out among their peers are known as , and Lords that are even more powerful are known as . Denizens who do not care about the balance between the Crimson Realm and the human world collect Power of Existence from humans to use for their own purposes. Some Lords contract with humans to become a , whose duty is to maintain the two world's balance by destroying any Denizens disrupting it. Denizens and Flame Haze fight with the use of powerful magic spells called , also known as Unrestricted Spells or Unrestricted Methods. One such spell is the , which creates a space where the Crimson Realm and the human world intermingle and time stops.
The story largely takes place in Misaki City in Japan and begins when high school student Yuji Sakai is thrown into the middle of this conflict and encounters a Flame Haze girl with flaming red eyes and hair dressed in all black wielding a katana. The girl informs him that the real Yuji died some time ago, and that he is a , a temporary replacement entity for a human whose Power of Existence has been significantly depleted. In addition, Yuji is a special kind of Torch who can move within Seals known as a who contains a , a magical object created by Denizens that can provide special abilities or even Powers of Unrestraint. Unfazed by his apparent death, Yuji befriends the girl and names her "Shana" after her sword. They later discover that the Treasure Tool within Yuji is the , which restores his Power of Existence every night at midnight.
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