After a couple of incredibly weak couple of episodes which made up the first half of this Shakugan no Shana S tag, the second half of these releases can surely only get better? Then again, maybe that's just the melon bread I had at the weekend talking...
Anyhow, the start of this episode sees Shana at her Flame Haze finest, meeting and destroying a Torch in her inimitable cold and calculating manner so that she can take on said Torch's existence as part of an on-going investigation she is undertaking.
The girl whose entity she now imitates is one Junko Oogami, and this state of affairs has come about so that Shana can look into the activities of a Tomogare - Something which seems to be linked to the reappearance of a famous model an entire decade after he first went missing. On the surface this looks as though it should be a simple task, but Shana soon finds herself both bogged down and confused by the personal issues which surround Junko as she enters a household still somewhat unsettled after an argument between this girl and her mother just days earlier. The row in question was over a boyfriend, Yukio Hamaguchi, and it's via him that Shana begins to piece what's been going on together, although not before finding herself drawn a little deeper into the lives of both Junko and her mother.
Certainly, compared to what has gone before in Shakugan no Shana S this was a breath of fresh air - A solid story with far more potential than mere comic relief or frippery, and one which hasn't been closed out in a single episode either. While this was no classic in terms of story-telling and Shana's character has a tendency to wear a little thin without Yuji around to bring out the "dere dere" to her usual "tsun tsun", it manages to carry enough interest to at least make itself watchable, with a human element that helped to carry the episode along in spite of Shana's lack of interest in such things. As I've said before, I'm not a huge fan of Shakugan no Shana in general, so perhaps I'm being too negative, but to my eyes this still seems some way off the heights of the show's first season despite being an improvement over the rest of this OVA so far.