"Beginning of the War" (開戦 Kaisen ) is the eighth episode of the anime series Shakugan no Shana Final.
Several days later, at the Star of Darkness Castle, Shana realizes the fact that the army that set out from the Castle is likely to be engaged in a war against the Flame Haze all over the globe, but she feels the Flame Haze will have a chance against the enormous armies of Bal Masqué since the Trinity are not with them, since they are accompanying the Snake of the Festival in his journey through the Abyss to reclaim his true body, and even if they don't, she feels confident Sophie Sawallisch will create one.
Elsewhere, on rocky cliffs facing the sea, Wilhelmina, and Khamsin have been waiting for the final participant of their mission: Rebecca Reed. With her now being present, Wilhelmina dives into the ocean: the resting place of the Heaven's-Road Palace. She reminisces about her past, during the time when she was still training, and raising Shana on the massive Treasure Tool, however she does not have time to waste, and at Tiamat's urging she sets about to raise the Heaven's-Road Palace from the oceans.
On the rocky cliffs, Rebecca feels impatient, wondering what is taking Wilhelmina so long, but Khamsin, and Behemoth remind her of the fact that the Heaven's-Road Palace is a place that holds many memories for Wilhelmina, and they continue their wait.
In the ocean, Wilhelmina reaches the place where Caina is held on the Heaven's-Road Palace, and she reminisces about Merihim for a moment before giving the Treasure Tool the command for the Heaven's-Road Palace to surface.
Elsewhere, at the Outlaw Zurich Headquarters, Samuel Demantius and Zirnitra conclude that Bal Masqué's primary objective in the east is Tokyo Outlaw. Soon, François Auric reports that communication with it has been cut off, and Sophie thinks it is due to the presence of a Seal.
At Tokyo, a array of Rinne Cannons are placed on the rooftops of two buildings, and they are aimed at the Outlaw headquarters. After a brief moment of bombardment, Ribesal orders the troops under his command to advance while the artillery continue to bombard the besieged Flame Haze.
Within Outlaw Tokyo Headquarters, a feeling of urgency permeates the air as they are being assaulted from all directions by the troops of Bal Masqué, however Ernest Flieder is quite calm for the moment...until he receives a report that one of the units in charge of the defense of the Northern line are charging the enemy. However, this unit soon runs into Pirsoyn, and fall under the effects of his Unrestricted Spell: Daimōn. These Flame Haze prove easy pickings for Ribesal, and his troops.
Ernest orders the abandonment of the tertiary command center, and for the command staff to fall back to the secondary command center. After this, he heads to the battlefield to rescue the rogue unit, and manages to come to their aid just in time, however Ribesal makes his presence known. Ribesal, and Ernest are old 'acquaintances' from the time of the Révolution War, and after a brief moment of exchanging verbal jabs, they engage each other, and after a brief battle it seems Ribesal is at the mercy of the Flame Haze...
Back at Zurich Outlaw Headquarters, François begins receiving reports from those who have escaped from within the Seal in Tokyo, and they finally receive confirmation that Ribesal is the local Bal Masqué commander, it would seem all is going according to the Flame Haze predictions. There are no changes that would require reporting at Romania, where the local Bal Masqué troops are led by Haborym, nor Greece where they are led by Orobas and Leraje, and finally nothing has changed at Egypt, where the enemy is led by Mammon. Due to the amount of forces Bal Masqué is sending to the front, Samuel concludes that the defenses left at the Star of Darkness Castle must be minimal, and the assault of it is the primary objective of the Flame Haze. However, they are concerned with the fact that Sydonay has not shown himself on the battlefield, and Takemikazuchi ponders if the Trinity are going to be waiting for them at their objective. However, they soon receive an most unexpected guest, one of The Four Gods of Earth: CenterHill.
However, he has not come to assist them in the war, but merely to observe as the representative of the Four Gods, to see if they have the right to intervene, and to see what the Snake of the Festival is planning to achieve with the help of Bal Masqué. Sophie allows him to join them, as they set out to enter a plane at an Airport.
Within the Abyss, on the path of pilgrimage Dantalion is overjoyed with the bizarreness of the realm that lies between the Crimson World, and the human world. Sabrac seems unimpressed, but Bel Peol explains the road that the Bal Masqué expedition are traveling on is not all it seems, and only with Hecate providing guidance can they be sure that they are on the right path, Domino explains that the path is not actually fully materialized at all times.
At the Star of the Darkness Castle, Fecor as the commander of the Castle defenses stands-by to receive a report from Decarabia, the Chief Commander of Outlaw Demolition Army. All is going well on the front, indeed Decarabia feels all is going too well since Sophie Sawallisch has not made her presence known, and requests that Fecor allow him to order all troops within the Star of Darkness Castle assume operational readiness, feeling there is a possibility that the Flame Haze might attack it.
Elsewhere within the castle, Shana is thinking about her feelings, and why they couldn't reach Yūji, why was it so easy for her to let go of his hand, even though currently she wants to see him more than anything. However, she also knows that since Yūji is currently the commander of Bal Masqué, and she is a Flame Haze: they'd have no choice but to fight. Even so, she feels she has to meet him and confirm her feelings.
Elsewhere in the castle, a pair of Denizens are patrolling the vast underground tunnels. On the other end of the tunnel, Khamsin and Rebecca are approaching them, and the two sides meet. Rebecca quickly annihilates the pair of Denizens, and this action causes the roof of the tunnel to explode outward, Shana sees this from the balcony she is on. Khamsin, and Rebecca begin their mission of destruction, and within her room Shana feels her chance has come.
Deep within the Castle, Fecor is bewildered by the sudden appearance of powerful tremors, that are caused by Khamsin as he sets about to dismantle various things within the Castle.
Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit
* denotes if the character debuts in this episode
- Khamsin Nbh'w
- Eita Tanaka
- Wilhelmina Carmel
- Sophie Sawallisch
- Rebecca Reed
- Samuel Demantius
- François Auric
- Ernest Flieder
- Dan Rogers
- Snake of the Festival
- Bel Peol
- Yūji Sakai
Powers and Abilities UsedEdit
- Star of Darkness Castle
- Heaven's-Road Palace
- Andrid, Romania
- Path of Pilgrimage, Rift Between Both Worlds
- Sei Komatsubara also worked on the eyecatches for the second, fifteenth, sixteenth, and twenty-second episodes of Shakugan no Shana Final.