When anime turns bad

I liked “Shakugan no Shana” and looked forward to the second season. But now I think I was too optimistic.

After watching six episodes of “Shakugan no Shana II” I want to claw my eyes out.

Shana the red-eyed Flame Haze with the flaming sword and fiery master, Alastor, is back with Yuji the Mystes and the rest of the gang. The opening and ending songs are passable cute Jpop tunes. One could even say the opening song is Jrockish.

To recap, the world is a hunting ground for the denizens of the Crimson Realm who steal a person’s flame of existence. These denizens are the bad guys and the good guys are lords like Alastor and their Flame Hazes who try to maintain the balance of this world. (Cue pompous-sounding music.) A torch is a replica of a person whose flame of existence has been snuffed out. Torches are temporary and fade away when the flame inside their chest goes out.

Yuji Sakai is a Torch but a special one called a Mystes since he carries a treasure inside him. In his case it is called the “Midnight Lost Child” which reignites his flame at midnight. Technically, Yuji can live for a long, long time thanks to this. So everyone wants this treasure especially those baddies which include the Bel Masque group.

This season has disappointed me a lot. I wanted to see action but all I got so far was stale fare.

“Shakugan no Shana II” has degenerated into a high school love drama. Yeah yeah, the love triangle and pairings were visible in the first season but at least there was a more action-oriented bent to the show then. Now the viewer is subjected to episode upon episode of Shana or that boring girl who can cook (I think her name is Yoshida) getting jealous of Yuji and the latest transfer student.

The fact the transfer student looks remarkably like Hecate, one of the villains last season hints there might still be a plot that will compensate me for the hours I wasted watching this wanna be-Jdorama. Someone puhleez irk Shana so she can slash them with her sword. Anyone? Anyone?