Originally a series of light novels, “Shakugan no Shana” (roughly, “Shana of the Burning Eyes”) offers a nice change from the standard action and romantic comedies that fill the shelves.
Despite its crisp lines and smooth animation, volume one of “Shakugan no Shana” has a melancholy tinge that comes from the show’s premise: People’s very existences _” not just their lives, but everyone else’s memory of that person and everything they did _” are being destroyed and devoured by beings from the “Crimson World,” another dimension of sorts. Those devoured, including protagonist Yuji Sakai, are replaced by “Torches,” flickers of life made of residue from the original person. Torches provide stability by letting that person’s existence disappear gradually, so no one even notices, except for Yuji, who doesn’t seem to be fading as he should.
He meets someone who fights the Denizens of the Crimson World, the titular girl he names Shana, and the story starts from there.
More mature and a little darker than most adventure series that stay around a PG-13ish rating, “Shakugan no Shana” is engrossing and shows promise for great action and drama in upcoming volumes.