“I am the flaming haired blazing eyed hunter but I am also Shana.  My mission is clear…”

The world you know is not what you think it is. From an outside point of view everything is as it should be, however in a dimension that only few can understand and see there are forces of balance and chaos that threaten to take over existence.

Yuji Sakai is your typical high school student going through the everyday motions of life when he is swiftly thrown into a war between the balances.  When a seal engulfs an area of the city the world is frozen in time and all movement ceases…except for Yuji.  Within an instance a large doll-like monster appears and all of the people around him are engulfed in blue flames – the doll begins to absorb their essence with ravenous abandon.

This is when the flaming haired blazing eyed hunter shows up and destroys the doll like creature that is later found out to be an entity called a denizen.  Once the battle is over the flame haze and her contract partner Alastor briefly explain what is going on.  Although to the untrained eye every person looks normal, those who can view the seals see what truly lies beneath.  Everyone that can be seen with small blue flames are merely torches or people who are slowly losing their existence. These people have lost their bodies some time ago and can be considered dead; all that remains will disappear soon enough with not a memory of their presence left behind.  Yuji finds out he, too, is a torch; but he is different.  Yuji is something called a mystes and contains a highly sought after ability called the midnight lost child – an ability which allows his flame to never extinguish.  This is a powerful trait heavily sought after by the lords of the crimson denizen world and more importantly, a trifecta of evil called the Bal Masque.

Their relationship begins being “only a torch” and “only a flame haze”  but Yuji doesn’t agree to that idea at all.  He gives the girl the name “Shana” after the large katana she wields and she and Yuji begin to work and fight together.  When they are with each other their powers double in strength and they can accomplish feats neither thought possible in order to vanquish the crimson denizens and restore balance to the city.

Through dozens of battles against those who wish to consume the cities existence, Shana and Yuji face plenty of struggles all the while growing closer and attempting to keep up a normal high school life.   Shana is not the only Flame Haze in Misato City and rival flame hazes soon enter the area forming both alliances and enemies, making every battle a race to keep the balance in it’s rightful place.

A compelling story, likeable characters, and plenty of action and humor make this an anime that will not disappoint.  While its popularity in the US is considerably smaller and unknown compared to overseas, the anime is currently running for three seasons with additional manga, films, and light novels.  It is an series I have greatly enjoyed and will definitely be watching the other seasons. Maybe the world is nothing like how you know it, or maybe it is after all.  Do you want to find out?

“For now we’re going to live our lives the best we can; a short distance away from where the world is displaced”

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