Posted on 20 July 2009 with categories: Shangri-La



Muaha! I just can’t help but love this series. This episode yet again was an awesome instalment for Shangri-La, mostly focused on a battle of wits between Ryouko and Mikuni, of all people, and it definitely delivered. The thing I love about Ryouko is that the creators remembered to give her the screen-time she deserves as a villain. This really made her into a dangerous character, and a serious threat to the lead characters instead of letting her be an incompetent idiot who never can seem to get anything right.

And really, this episode was yet again full of juicy plot twists. While they weren’t as big as “Kuniko’s Grandmother Founded Atlas!?!?!1!!11″, every single one was a nice touch, surprising and full of potential for the rest of this series (EDIT: on second thought, some of them really are big…). To give a small run-down:
– Kunihito decides to leave the military. Ryouko doesn’t seem to mind.
– Miiko doesn’t just get arrested, she becomes the next Hiruko!
– Mikuni has had it now that all of her loved ones are gone, and gathers all of her followers to forcefully take Miiko back.
– The new plants that showed up turn out to be called Daedalus. When left alone, they threaten to swallow up the entire forest.
– Momoko studied biology in her early days?!
– Ryouko finally stopped complaining about Shion’s work as her personal servant.
– Ryouko… can’t be hit by bullets?! wtf?
– Ryouko brings Mikuni to Miiko. Sayoko, who apparently had been hiding, shows herself, takes Hiruko Miiko hostage and runs away with Mikuni!
– Again, Ryouko doesn’t seem to mind because Hiruko seemed to be one of Tarsian’s plans.
– For some reason, the episode ends with Takehito putting a gun against Kuniko’s head.

I mean, seriously? How many plot twists can you include in one episode anyway, at the same time preventing the episode from feeling rushed, creating even more questions and potential plot twists for the future as well? On top of that, the characters were also at their best in this episode: Kuniko was awesome in how she managed to quickly recover from the disappointments of the previous episode. Mikuni rocked because she finally was able to do something for herself. Ryouko rocked for being so badass that even bullets can’t face her among others. Sayoko rocked for the lengths that she’s willing to go through to save Mikuni.

And really, this makes it even bigger of a puzzle of what the Digmas are. I always thought that Ryouko was meaning to collect them, but in this episode she doesn’t do anything to stop Digma 3 from leaving the military (calling him inferior to the other two Digmas), and she even seemed pleased when Sayoko took Mikuni away. What the hell was up with that?

And ON TOP OF THAT, this episode again rocked in terms of graphics. This episode had some utterly beautiful shots. Not in the way of episode 13, but the aesthetics were right in just about every shot. You could see nothing of the rushed animation that plagued the first bunch of episodes. The music also rocked beyond belief in this episode.

My only worry is that Daedalus is going to turn into your stereotypical evil plant that’s going to be the final boss, but hey: even the amazing Kaiba suffered from this. And the thing to wonder about: why was it introduced this early in the series, if there are still about eight episodes left for this series? Is Daedalus simply going to grow slowly, or did the creators realize this, and are planning a twist even there?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

13 Responses

  1. C160 says:

    Agree that Ryouko is one very dangerous villain ^^ Hope to see this ep subbed soon,noticed that the subs are slowing down for Shangri La.Still thankful that someone still subs this though’

  2. Denizen says:

    Even if this show does lack in some parts, I will admit Ryouko is probably one of the best anime villians I have seen, recently.

  3. hairgreen says:

    But Psgel, you have to remember, when you have too many plot twists, the show often rusn into the problem of not resolving most of them in the end, and Gonzo is famous of doing that.

  4. psgels psgels says:

    hairgreen: I’m actually not that wary about Gonzo’s endings. Sure, they’ve had a few bad ones, but not really more than most other studios out there. In fact, they also have their share of excellent endings for me.

  5. chounokoe says:

    I also loved this episode. Some points just made me laugh without believe…like Sayoko carrying Hiruko away like it was just some bag XD

    But yeah, I believe they are doing a great job so far, because this series never failed to deliver. I’m glad they seem to decide to resolve all character plottwists (like Takehiko) before the finale and not cramming every character in the last 2 or 3 episodes…like many studios today try to do to make a series (which was NOT surprising) overly twisty and witty…

  6. Shounen A says:

    We probably needed an introduction to Daedalus this early because there is going to be an even bigger surprise about the plant in the future. At least that’s what I say to myself. ^_^;;

    I didn’t pay much attention to Ryouko not tormenting Shion, but now that you mention it, this might be the biggest bombshell from this episode. ;)

  7. PL says:

    Remember, Shion longs for Ryouko’s abuse, which we found out about in the episode where he meets Mikuni…

  8. dm says:

    Daedalus was introduced in the first and second episodes — it was the source of the bombardment that ended the attack of the military on Kuniko’s town. It’s been a loose end ever since.

  9. Elvenwarrior says:

    Another excellent episode.

    I totally agree on the screen time for Ryoko, it’s made her a particularly gripping and cunning villain.

  10. Elvenwarrior says:

    Yeah, once again it’s utterly AMAZING how much excellent material they are packing into these episodes and not only that, all of the plot twists feel greatly timed and not rushed as you thought as well. As I’d hoped it’s gotten so fascinating and addictive and now their giving us (the audience) payoffs of various kinds on practically a regular basis now, be it on the character, backgrounds, mysteries, story or gorgeous animation and music sides. Like discussed last time, occasional flaws may show up from time to time due the ambitious nature of the show but the rest is just so good that this episode once again proves how easily and often the vast majority of the show swoops in and overrides such brief blips.

    We really need a second full OST release too, I hope they intend to do one later :)

  11. Elvenwarrior says:

    Oooh I forgot, great point about all of those interesting reactions of Ryoko, her surprising reaction to things I expected weren’t in her favor were quite intriguing and added even more nicely to her being one of the more cunning villains out there and even more mystery to her goals and what the Digmas are going to end up doing together.

  12. I didn’t actually like this episode much, but I totally agree to the things you’ve said about Ryouko’s awesomeness~

  13. Rob Hiengler says:

    So what was the point of invading Atlas in the first place if she was going back to Duomo? No-one seems to give a toss about the people who died, which makes Kuniko as evil and heartless as Ryouko. I’d be more worried about Ryouko having no nipples rather than her immutable “destiny”.

    Is everyone that pathetic to follow some idiotic pink-haired girl around, who has achieved absolutely nothing so far except getting her “friends” killed.

    In addition where did Lord Hiruko come from, this occult slant hasn’t even been explained after 10 episodes – spiritual mumbo jumbo to make Atlas stop oscillating – one can’t help but think if they made Atlas properly in the first place they wouldn’t need Lord Hiruko, but hey.
    Just another vapid unnecessary oddity I expect the blog author puts down to creativity and ambition.

    So the gas was Nitrogen Oxide – anyone want to explain where Carbon is here? and why would this increase carbon coefficient?

    Again this points out the fundamental IDIOCY of the writers of Shangri-La. The claim that nitrogen oxide is a propellant expelled by the seed to go further.

    Firstly utterly wrong see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOx

    Now if they were talking about NITROUS OXIDE then you have a completely different compound see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrous_oxide

    So if Daedaelus was a genetically engineered plant to STOP FOREST FIRES (WTF!? Why and how do they do that!? Projectiles against fire? Sorry if they target heat then they should target the sun, F-ing stupid not to mention what was the cause of the forest fires in the first place?), you’ve just created an even worse problem as Nitrous Oxide is 100 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and it wouldn’t have produced the photochemical smog we saw on Atlas.

    The only character I feel for is the random soldier who says

    “What on earth are you rambling on about?”

    Because that’s how this entire series feels, completely random and disjointed (filled with pointless things that have no right existing) with no sense of direction at all.

    Go on kill her Takehito end the crapfest.

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  • Asuka111
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:37 AM)
    @Lacrid Surprising, yes, but it seems they’ve brushed over that so far. The story has gone back to normal romcom/slice of life.
  • LacridSayo
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:11 AM)
    Wow, Horimiya managed to surprise me twice. They teach me that in the face of adversity, conformity is the way. Also, Miyamura and Hori f&@ks.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 04:09 AM)
    The whole world structure and the framework of spirituality, eyes of death perception, counterforce and whatnots are kept intentionally vague so he can have some wiggle room to bullshit and handwave plot elements as they go on. KnK was a pretty good OVA series tho and Ufotable had a big party to play in that.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:56 AM)
    Here’s some classic Nasu at work.
    http://lparchive.org/Fatestay-night/Update%2003/30-P02-034.jpg
    A f*cking security system? No, it’s a person creating a small alternate world around them from their mind. Plain and f*cking simple.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:45 AM)
    I’ve heard people criticize Nasu as “writing terrible history fanfiction” and “Like my old bad fanfiction” “When the action scenes actually happen they suck”
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @K-Off: didn’t we all.
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @Aidan: I didn’t know what they were, but “withering eyes of death perception” doesn’t really leave a whole lot up to the imagination anyway…
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:42 AM)
    @Aidan Reminds me of my English papers where I bullshitted tons of explanations to fill up a ten page report.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:39 AM)
    And the eyes of death perception. Ho Boy. He talks about how it’s not cutting but severing and bonds and blah blah blah.
    Here’s the shorthand. You cut a tree with a knife you make a small cut, cut a tree with a knife while using the eyes of death perception and the tree withers and dies. There only took one sentence to explain something that Nasu uses 10 or so paragraphs for.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:33 AM)
    Take the explanation for mana. All the man had to explain was more mana = More powerful servant. Yet he makes this comparison to ammo, guns and cannons that is just needlessly confusing.

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