Posted by psgels on 23 February 2006 with categories: Noein


"Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the novel, Lost Horizon, written by British writer James Hilton in 1933. In it, "Shangri-La" is a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Himalaya. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise but particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia — a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world. The story of Shangri-La is based on the concept of Shambhala, a mystical city in the Buddhist religion." – Wikipedia.

Noein’s image of Shangri-La tries to explain the mysteries of this utopian place. It’s indeed a perfect world, with no problems what so ever. Although the thoughts behind it are horrifyingly realistic.

Once again, we see that Noein is excellent in creating the physical settings of the anime. This goes for Shangri-La, but even more for La’Cryma and the current timespace. Especially the latter one sticks to your mind. Why? Because the creators make such effective use of the tools given to them. For example, the Aeral Tramway to the mountain lookout. This gives a nice overview of the city, which actually makes sense (instead of the usual copy-and-paste-city-views usually seen in movies) and I’m actually able to recognize some of the places encountered in the anime. The fact that certain locations are just unique and keep on returning only contributes to this fact.

Anyway, about the episode. A LOT got revealed this time. We finally get to see Haruka’s father as he is in the current timepace, including the troubles he suffers from. The researchers come in contact with Toby and Karasu, thus learning a few things. A certain unwanted guest makes an appearance, and some critical information is shown about Shangri-La. Another pleasant-looking surprise is that the Ouroboros may be something much bigger than we originally thought of. It’s always been there, and I took it a bit for granted. But it seems that it’ll get a gret role in the end.

I can’t say that I didn’t love this episode. Therefore I won’t. Everything flowed so brilliantly, the music was awesome as ever, there was just one tiny fight, which was better then most anime can accomplish, and the cliffhanger just makes me thirsty for more. (Now that I think of it… the cliffhanger showed in episode 14 hasn’t been mentioned at all…)

One Response

  1. oroboros says:

    I”m a little late to this party — but despite the greatness you’ve mentioned I confess I’m getting a bit tired of the repetitive name screaming: KARASU!!! HARUKA! KARASU?!

    Back and forth, forth & back. Takes me back to the glory days of Akira where the protagonist and antagonist screamed each other’s names continually throughout the film:
    Step 1. TETSUO!!! KANEDA!!!
    Step 2. cue action scene.
    Step 3. Repeat step 1.

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  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Mar 4. 2015 12:44 AM)
    @Ebod: while it would definitely be ideal if a Japanese actress like Yukie Nakama or Keiko Kitagawa played the role of major Kusanagi, Hollywood practices make it very improbable. So the options left are either Asian actresses that are known in Hollywood such as Rinko Kikuchi, or American actresses of Asain decent like Natalie Mendoza or Grace Huang.
  • Ebod
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 08:22 PM)
    V for Vendetta for me has always been a more “literary” work than Watchmen, but Watchmen is spectacular because it’s a story that can only be told in full scope in the comic format. While I feel like many major themes and events from V for Vendetta could easily be adapted into, say, novel format, the same could not be said of Watchmen. Also, the racist whitewashing Hollywood does of Asian characters really has to stop.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:30 AM)
    Watchmen was deemed ‘unadaptable’ for about thirty years, so just getting what Snyder got out of the material is a huge success; it is said that what he did was to write a book version of Ingmar’s Holy Mountain. Watchmen is the only graphic novel to ever win a Hugo award and is easily the most intricate and multilayered Alan Moore comic, so it’s no surprise that it continues to top ‘best comics of all time’ charts to this day.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:20 AM)
    I beg to differ. Doctor Manhatten is the most intriguing character of Watchmen and the comic is a giant in ,not only in the comic world, but the history of literature itself. It is a deconstruction of superheros and Dr. M shows how afraid the world would really be when faced with a ‘superman’ and how a creature in such a higher realm of time and perception would show apathy toward humans and their foolish struggles.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:15 AM)
    GitS just won’t work. Maybe in a world before the Matrix, but not now with so many elements of it borrowed liberally by so many franchises in various mediums. Scarlet Johansson is decent in roles that fit her. She was enjoyable in Lost In Translation, but race aside she has nothing in common with Kusanagi. This is a travesty and the franchise is dear to me so it especially burns my ass.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:10 AM)
    While I am no fan of man of steel, Nolan and Snyder, just about anyone would have a hard time taking a difficult character like superman and making him work on screen.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:08 AM)
    Apart from Veidt and Rorshach I could never get into the characters all that much in watchmen. I also found the film overly long and mediocre acted for the larger part. But to each there own. For Alan moores works I always preferred his Miracleman, swamp thing, V for Vendetta stories.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:06 AM)
    Nolan can produce the action plus personal and dark story that Alita would need, and he also brings talent such as composer Hans Zimmer and Cinematographer Sally Pfister to the table. Him and Snyder have too much combined integrity to make a mockery out of Alita like Spielberg did with the GitS license.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:03 AM)
    Well Snyder has respect for his source materials and that is key in anime-to-film adaptations. Hell I’m a big Watchmen fan and I thought his version was (almost painfully) close to the comic. You’re not going to get that anywhere else in Hollywood. Also the combination of Nolan/Snyder is quite different than them individually.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:34 AM)
    And directed it as a co-production with America, using a Japanese cast.
    Yeah…this is impossible…

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