Ethereal puffs tough to autopsy

I finished Shakugan no Shana II a bit past midnight today, capping a roughly 5 hour run from episodes 14 to 24. The point where I took a break might have been purely coincidental – this winter has been blurrier than usual – but it made for a good dividing line anyway. A couple remarks below.

The “home stretch” was a lot more entertaining, with entertainment being proportional to the amount of time devoted to combat. At the same time, the lack of a body count was anti-climactic (I’m looking at you episode 22). I’m not sure if it’s because I was particularly jaded at the time, but I had no time for conveniences.

(That’s a cute way of putting it.)

Without a scattered collection of details resident in intermediate memory, I probably wouldn’t have guessed as to how the last fight would end. As it was, I kept thinking, “This is going to take more episodes than there are left, but if they really had to…” I go with the flow almost exclusively and speculation hardly ever comes to mind, but it did and it was validated, in much the same way that the conclusion tried to validate much of the time spent in the first fourteen episodes. I roll my eyes to both.

Episode 17: Eita FAILS

When the most positive thing that comes to mind is, “He bears a striking resemblance to the Cowardly Lion,” I know that some buttons are being pushed. I’ve been lucky in the past in that most of the characters I’ve stumbled across tend to do one of two things when faced with indecision: they tip-toed or otherwise walked in circles around it, or they struggled to escape its strange allure with varying degrees of success. Usually the latter follows after a ton of time spent in the first state, in a transition that is popularly called “development.”

But I’ve seen a third option in the past, where a character gleefully jumps in and proceeds to roll around wallow in it with something approaching enthusiasm. This guy is the latest addition to an unfortunate list of rare events.