Posted by psgels on 29 June 2009 with categories: Shangri-La



Oh my god. I’m not sure who exactly was responsible for the dogfights in this episode, but I have to say, that these were the most visually pleasing scenes that I have seen this season. Yes, that includes Guin Saga and Eden of the East; it was THAT good. With this episode, Gonzo has really shown why they are the masters of CG. It may not be the best blend with the rest of the art, but damn. These guys are getting closer and closer to perfection in making CG action scenes engaging. I don’t care what the popular opinion on them is, it’s going to be SUCH a shame if these guys are going to close down due to poor sales. Their bad series are indeed really bad, but their hits really are one of a kind, and for me, Shangri-La has been their best series ever since Bokura no ended. Say what you want about both Gonzo and this series. I’m too busy drooling over the incredible visuals in this episode.

The rest of this episode was also really good to close off the first half of this series. This episode was intense, in which Kuniko for the first time has to really display her leadership, and even though she still has a lot to learn, at the same time you can see that she’s trying her hardest guiding the Metal-Age, instead of sitting back and letting the others do the dirty work.

And while most of this episode was about the Metal-Age trying to bust into Atlas, there also was something interesting going on around Ryouko, as some sort of upper chief has decided to pay a visit. His influence on Ryouko is going to be pretty interesting. There was also a pretty touching moment about Miiko and Mikuni, where you can see that the two have gotten even closer since Sayaka left.

I’m wondering when Kunihito is going to play a role in the story again. He obviously is important, he has a dagger, he is a digma, but so far the only thing he’s done is screw up when Kuniko was around. He definitely was a character meant for the second half of this series, but I’m really wondering what kind of role he’s going to play in the whole series. I’m definitely pumped for that second half. With such an ambitious setting, if this series manages to avoid any major screw-ups, it’s going to be epic.
Rating: *** (Awesome)
Incredible CG visuals, very exciting dogfights

18 Responses

  1. Denizen says:

    If its Satelight level CGI, I can handle it, but has Gonzo got to that level yet?

  2. Iro says:

    Sadly, Gonzo got busted, for real this time

  3. zaeris says:

    @Denizen
    Gonzo has shown in the past what CGI is all about with Yukikaze and Gankutsuou. Its more an issue with budgeting as evidently as it seems they just don’t have the money to pull off amazedly stunning CGI.

    As for the episode I would have to say it was impressive.

  4. I CAN ALSO FEEL THAT KUNIHITO HAS A BIG ROLE IN THE SECOND HALF SO DAMNIT GONZO MAKE HIM DO SOMETHING REALLY BIG NEXT EPISODE ALREADY!!!!!! O_O

    Anywayz, I haven’t seen the episode . . . yet. But seeing those spoilers and screenshots already confirm to me that this episode is awesome! *_*

  5. Shounen A says:

    Did you catch the name of the “upper chief”? O_O

  6. psgels psgels says:

    Shounen A: At first, I didn’t catch the name of the upper chief. But damn… to think that he was Karin’s father… O.o

    By the way, I’m getting an internal server error when I try to post on your blog. Does this happen more often?

  7. Marlon says:

    I may follow anime series that often, but Shangri La is honestly amazing. I’m glad I never took a look a the public opinion on this series before starting to watch it, because this one does indeed rule, it’s odd at times, but I rarely see shows I accually look forward to,and here, after every episode I wanna see the next one already.

  8. Elky says:

    Agreed, Gonzo’s CGs are awesome. You should totally see Last Exile(Which is also from Gonzo), it has one of the most epic CGI ever! *3*

  9. Shounen A says:

    @psgels: I don’t think he is Karin’s father: Karin is usually annoyed at Tarsion, whereas she was quite happy when she got voice mail from her father.

    Sorry about the internal server error. It seems that my shared host has been going into crazy overload mode more often recently. :(

  10. Westlo says:

    How is Gonzo’s CG better than Satelight? To even put shit like Dragonaut and Linebarrels in the same league as Aquarion is a joke.. and I’m not even going to mention the heavy hitters in Macross Zero, Frontier and Basquash.

  11. psgels psgels says:

    Westlo: I don’t mean this in terms of detail. Sure enough, nothing beats the huge budget of Macross Frontier and most other Satelight productions. The effect I’m talking about is hard to describe, but the CGI makes the entire picture come alive. I think this is the most noticeable with Blassreiter: sure, the CG looked pretty ugly and all, but the combination of fast-moving camera angles and character movement was something that even Macross Frontier was inferior at.

    I’m obviously no animation expert like you, so I know that I’m rambling a bunch of nonsense here and I realize that this is highly personal, but Gonzo’s CGI for some reason has a certain something (call it an X-Factor) that I have yet to notice with Satelight, or at least, the Satelight productions that I watched, since I can’t speak for Aquarion or Macross Zero. If it turns out that Blassreiter’s action scenes were blatantly ripped off from Aquarion and Macross Zero also had a boomerang-shaped air-carrier that assaulted a huge fortress while moving slow and realistically, then I of course take these words back.

  12. seen it now

    I don’t consider GONZO as the master of CG, but visuals were indeed very amazing in this episode! I love the CG action scenes in this episode *_*

    forgot to mention that this got me really amused:
    but so far the only thing he’s done is screw up when Kuniko was around.
    BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA xD

  13. Senna says:

    All this enthusiasm for Shangri-la makes me almost want to pick it back up, except I thought the first few episodes were terrible and I disliked the majority of the characters. But maybe I’ll give it a second chance?

  14. Acorns says:

    Senna:

    No, it doesn’t change.. this series is pretty consistent. If you liked the first few eps (their pacing, the animation style, the action, etc), you will like all of them. If you were annoyed at the chars, lack of reasonable plot, depth etc then you will not like all of them.

  15. Shockinblue says:

    Momoko really looks feminine in the new ED background. Haha.

  16. Shounen A says:

    @Senna: As for the animation quality, a few episodes after the first one may have had terrible quality, but thankfully the animation quality recovers to a reasonable level.

  17. Lightning says:

    “With such an ambitious setting, if this series manages to avoid any major screw-ups, it’s going to be epic.”

    As I was expecting, I’ve loved the ambitious nature of this series since the very beginning :)

    My god I loved episode 13.

  18. Rob Hiengler says:

    The recap at the beginning of this episode renders the previous 12 essentially obsolete.

    All that was missing is some reference to Digma’s.

    I still fail to see how the surface is inhospitable? Considering the people in Akhibara and Doumdoum don’t seem to be starving and the place isn’t exactly run down. Let’s not mention the secret US base maintained by one guy with an access road that’s not overgrown. In addition aside from Ryoko what kind of oppression of the masses have we seen? The first 12 episodes would have been better spent establishing the world of Shangri-la and motives rather than a vapid “character development” or some fallacious pseudo-intellectualizing about Carbon credits which seemingly has little to do with the current plot; except to “make money”. Make money to do what exactly? Seems its a meaningless ploy to buy otaku trinkets: perhaps a dig at today’s shallow consumerism (I doubt it) considering Karin hasn’t revealed why she needs to make money at all.

    Seems like the surface dwellers do a lot of bitching.

    Ok to what is meant to be the saving grace, the dogfight of this episode – It visually was Good – MACROSS ZERO beats it with the yard stick until it’s a sopping wet bloody mess but whatever. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters? unable to hit a slow moving target just using machine guns!? Just to remind people these planes have VTOL capability (and stealth) as they are the Harrier replacement; therefore can easily match speed of the Stealth bomber. Let’s not even get to destroying 2 A-A missiles travelling at Mach 3 using a boomerang

    As Ryoko said:

    “That was hilarious”

    Next unmanned super-spinning tops. If you had those to begin with why use the airforce to begin with? Just to show how evil Ryoko is? Hardly evil just pointless. Next hilarious thing was Konoe-san, I mean how shite are weapon systems of he future if you can’t hit a non-moving target (relatively speaking) at point blank range.

    Next apparently one finds out Atlas true purpose. Can’t say I’m holding my breath.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ha, so I wasn’t wrong when I came across that film Chappie and thinking that the robot resembled Briareos from appleseed, the director’s a fan of Masume Shirow’s work apparently.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Brendan: That completely hinges on your personal taste, but Vagabond is one of the best Chanbara ones around, with superb art, fast pacing and entertaining storyline. Berserk should go without saying as it’s a codifier for many Seinen conventions, but Vinland Saga is another great series which is in similar vein. Biomega and Drifters are also worth a look.

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