Shakugan no Shana Final 23 – notes and the like
I was expecting this episode to be as difficult as usual, but what I got was beyond my expectations. I’m very certain that the target audience of this show is the people who have already read the light novels and thus know what’s going on, because I’m pretty sure that just listening to dialogues like this would be a challenge for Japanese as well (judging from the comments on streaming sites and 2ch at least). You could go on saying that it’s only difficult for me because my Japanese sucks, but for some reason the book on international politics I’m reading for one of my classes gives me no such trouble… (nor any literature published after 1950 that I’ve read so far.)
It starts out with a quite troublesome line right away. The Snake’s line… It could be phrased as “This is the falsehood as opposed to truth” (これは虚実の虚 kore wa kyojitsu no kyo). Japanese has this troublesome trick to put together kanji of opposite meanings into one word, in this case “truth” and “falsehood”, making it into a word that in English would be either truth or falsehood. Literally he’s saying that “This is the falsehood (kyo) from truth-and-falsehood (kyojitsu).” What makes it even more troublesome is that later on he points to the sky again saying the same with the jitsu (truth) half of the word.
Suddenly there is a scene in some world that looks like a painting, with Rofocale standing on a rocking horse, when suddenly he’s engulfed in light and bursts into a monologue of immense faggotry. I know speaking like he’s from a medieval play is a part of his character, but that won’t make it easier to understand. I hoped I could do this episode without using the novels as my cheat sheet, and this guy makes me look up his lines right before the opening – oh wait, there’s is no opening song this episode…
And it’s not over yet. Right after Rofocale’s theatrical rejoice, the Snake starts blogging about the nature of the Midnight Lost Child and how it’ll help them with their plan. Apparently there is a balance of power of existence that is broken when the Denizens steal it from this world. The Midnight Lost Child uses the energy from this unbalance, this vacuum to refill the energy of its user.
So the thing is that the Crimson Gods can be summoned by using immense amounts of Power of Existence. This is the shin’i (神威, divine majesty) that was mentioned a couple of times in the previous episode, though in Shaher’s case it’s the shin’i of divine will (神意), because she’s not actually summoned, just her voice is. Also the shoukan is “summon” (召喚) in the case of Alastor and “recall” (召還) for the other two. Alastor was summoned in the movie, and here the other two gods get a chance to descend. Alastor’s spell was called End of Skies (天破壌砕 tenpa-jousai, lit. Heaven-breaking Earth-crushing), the Snake’s is Festival of Creation (祭基礼創 saiki-reisou, lit. Festival-founding Ceremony-creating) and Shaher’s is Song of Vigor (嘯飛吟声 shouhi-ginsei, lit. Flying Recital, Singing Voice).
But at least the rest of the episode doesn’t have any too painful dialog, so let’s just end this here.
Last question: why is Shana still wearing the school uniform?