Posted by psgels on 28 July 2009 with categories: Shangri-La

Another great episode, if only because of Karin’s awesomeness. I already suspected that we didn’t see the last of her when she got busted out of her room by Atlas, but for her to end up buying the entire Akihabara! That’s a nice one. To think that it’s actually Karin who unites all of the good guys, rather than Kuniko, but it’s definitely an interesting twist for Karin to try and collect all of the Digmas (or Triple As, as she calls them). We still don’t know though what makes them so important, and why Ryouko bothered to let them go in the first place. Now that Claris seems to be gone, an interesting split personality on her side also seems to surface.

In other news, Takehito seems to have discovered that Kuniko is a Triple A Atlas member. What we do learn in this episode is that one of the Triple As is meant to inherit Atlas in the future… wtf?! But in any case, Takehito’s grief for his dead sister seems to be a bit too big for him to accept that Kuniko is part of Atlas (he’s probably not going to like it when he finds out about her grandmother either). We see him jump off a cliff in this episode, but in true Shangri-La fashion, I really doubt that that was the last we see of him. :)

But the juiciest plot twist in this episode: Kuniko plans to burn down the ENTIRE TOKYO in order to stop the Daedalus from spreading. This plot just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it? My big hope is that Gonzo has saved its budget for that particular scene, because if it’s going to mean that the the entire city of Tokyo, including Atlas, is going to end up in flames, then that’s going to make for some potentially awesome eye candy.

What also striked me in this episode is that there are a lot of people who have an aversion of something major: Karin hates public places, Mikuni can’t go out in broad daylight, while Medusa can’t seem to survive without water. I keep trying to look for a link with something else in the story, but it seems pretty random. If you take liberties in this definition then you could argue that Sayoko can’t live without a “daughter”-figure to take care of, and Momoko and Miiko turned away their manlihoods, but there still doesn’t seem to be a pattern I can spot here. Especially since Kuniko and Kunihito don’t seem to fit in this theme at all…
Rating: ** (Excellent)

19 Responses

  1. chounokoe says:

    I’m glad there’s still somebody out there who likes the series enough to blog it.
    Even though Shangri La is a bit jumpy in terms of storytelling at times – I admit I never saw characters switching between places that fast, no wonder many people can’t keep track of what happens when and where – but at least it is entertaining and is kinda fresh in it’s topic while still being kinda nostalgic (I always start thinking of Anime like Ima soko ni iru boku when I watch it.

    Oh yeah, regarding the inheriting of Atlas, I think it was already hinted earlier, so I don’t know if it was that surprising.
    Maybe I just overanalyzed, but I always interpreted Hiruko’s visions of the Sun/Moon rising to illuminate the sky and the Earth ruling over the land as a prophecy of what the three TripleA are supposed to do in the future.

  2. PL says:

    I liked this episode except how mikuni seems to have reverted to her pre-Mi-Ko level of spoiled brattiness…Karin certainly deserved it, but it just feels like the development she’d gained from having Mi-ko as a mother figure is completely undone.

  3. Panther says:

    “Especially since Kuniko and Kunihito don’t seem to fit in this theme at all…”

    The answer was in the statement – they cannot live without each other. Oh the “love” scenes so far. y u do dis, gonzo

    I also smell the Gonzo ending already. No idea why, but this plot stank of it from the start. Not that it has not been entertaining and still a good watch, but the end looks to be pretty much Gonzo’ed.

    Also, you meant “struck”, not “striked”.

  4. senerikfred says:

    Panther, fucking LOL, you spoke my thoughts down to the grammar correction. That first part is exactly what I thought after reading this post-I haven’t been keeping up with Shangri-la, but the biggest thing I drew from the first ep was ‘obvious love interest is obvious’ at Kunihito’s first appearance. I’ve less incentive than ever to watch this at the possibility of such a corny ship, but even my hatred for shows that expect you to take them seriously while blatantly disregarding realism may drop its guard if I have psgels’ word that it’s fully entertaining to the end.

  5. psgels psgels says:

    We’ll see though, there hasn’t been any actual romance between the two yet at this point, so it can really get anywhere.

    As for the ending… let’s just say that the guy behind the series composition has me confident that it’s not going to screw up. It’s most likely going to be rushed in some way, but there still is a lot of potential for a Good Gonzo ending.

  6. Lala says:

    I think the thing that Kuniko can’t live without would be Momoko-san. She was really upset that time when Momoko was captured, not at all like what the others were like. I can’t find what Kunihito can’t live without though… His mom’s chicken soup?? >_

  7. lim175 says:

    actually, i’m not getting too much of a bad gonzo shipping vibe here. I mean, i can see the shipping. but i don’t see this prospective “relationship” developing fast enough to reach to that :( point :) It seems more focused on the politics and plot than chara. shippings…

  8. dm00 says:

    I’d been cooling on the series through the recent episodes — only the very best directors can do “epic” with any facility (Kurosawa, Lean, even Peter Jackson fumbled when it came to Return of the King), and the “epic”, world-changing scenes of the past few episodes have struck me as silly.

    This episode, on the other hand, concentrated on the small: the conversation between Takehiko and Kuniko, Momoko’s careful tactfulness (Momoko! tactfulness! in the same sentence!) about Takehiko’s fate, and all those wonderful, wonderful scenes with Karin muttering to herself. Everything: the writing, the directing, the acting, came together this episode.

    Karin has really struck me as a surprising linch-pin of this series.

    As to Gonzo endings? I bet we never learn who Karin’s parents are, or what the real nature of her relationship with them is. I wouldn’t be too surprised if we never find out the story behind Momoko’s earring, either.

  9. Jabba says:

    I thought that Ryouko said that the Daedalus was created to prevent forest fires…
    So would setting them on fire REALLY work?

  10. Shounen A says:

    I’m Takehiko knew Kuniko had rank AAA from the beginning, and that it was learning what happened to his sister that broke him.

    As for a pattern, here are my weak suggestions: being a mother figure for Momoko and Miko (compare Miko pre-Mikuni and after), and something to believe in for Kunihito and Kuniko.

  11. chounokoe says:

    I thought that Ryouko said that the Daedalus was created to prevent forest fires…
    So would setting them on fire REALLY work?

    No, I think it won’t work, but as far as I know only Ryouko knows about that so far. So maybe exactly this plan of Kuniko is the point where the finale/catastrophe will set in.

    And about the earing…well I hope at least that it will be featured, at least in a sense that maybe she really got it on the market but knows from who (eg Mikunis mother).
    And so far it CAN’T be revealed I think, because it still is a mystery what exactly the TripleA are.

  12. Elvenwarrior says:

    “This episode, on the other hand, concentrated on the small: the conversation between Takehiko and Kuniko, Momoko’s careful tactfulness (Momoko! tactfulness! in the same sentence!) about Takehiko’s fate, and all those wonderful, wonderful scenes with Karin muttering to herself. Everything: the writing, the directing, the acting, came together this episode.”


    As for the mystery of the earring, I do still think they will address it before the end.

    Even more so as far as Karin’s parents go. At the moment, I think I’d actually be rather surprised if we DON’T find out about them, as I still think, like others, that it will be part of what links her background even further to the others.

  13. Rob Hiengler says:

    Nope still no explanation on how Lord Hiroko, the child sacrifices and spiritual energy prevent the Atlas building from oscillating. Who was the IDIOT architect for the building anyway who forgot to put TUNED-MASS DAMPENERS.

    I mean honestly a plot component SOOOOO contrived it irritates me.

    Seriously if I was Takehiko I would have pulled the trigger.

    Next how exactly did Karin buy the whole of Akihabara? Considering Ishibara Finance went insolvent. Certainly not from the information she got from Zeus. In addition not everyone will want to have sold their land to her. How pathetically simplified is this farce?

    Mikuni just figured out she can go out at night no-need to wait for a solar eclipse. Yup there you go sprinkle in the occult as well – magical barriers – sheesh. The fact that she’s a complete murdering psychopath doesn’t really endear her either.

    Back to Daedelus. What surprises me is if it has spread this far, why did no-one notice it before? Is it Nitrogen dioxide or Nitrogen monoxide? Or let’s leave it so obscure that no-one will question it right – could be anything. Either of which anyway aren’t propellants. Let’s not even consider how or why a plant would produce these gases, or what selective pressures would direct this “evolution”.

    In addition how exactly does shooting seed put out a fire? Come on boys *wink* *wink*

    Lastly fire-bombing Tokyo to get rid of Daedelus. How do we know that fire:

    -gets rid of it
    -as mentioned before by Jabba would fire even work if they were designed to put out fire in the first place.

    Rating negative * – crapfest!

  14. chounokoe says:

    While the anime of Shangri La is no masterpiece, especially compared to the original novel (many points that were important were dropped to make it fit into 26 episodes), you could at least watch it until the end if you’re already watching it in one go…
    Especially the function of Atlas is something that is only explained at the very end…even though the anime simplified the symbolic meaning of many parts of the Atlas plan.

    Also expecting basic symbolic characters like Hiruko to be explained in all details just shows that this story heavily relies on at least basic knowledge of Japanese mythology…if you don’t understand, look it up.

    Just to save you from the pain of watching further…because you seem to be expecting a sci-fi story with it’s focus on the SCIENCE aspect. It is NOT.
    So if you’re watching Sci-Fi with a fully classical western standpoint and abhore the idea of mythology/mysticism and science being used equally…just stop.

    Or is this some kind of trollish rant on the series?!

  15. Rob Hiengler says:


    Trollish rant hardly. I’m giving a definitive breakdown of why Shangri-La deserves to be slated as an anime series – Sorry are only good reviews or comments allowed?

    In what way exactly is the series tied to Japanese mythology? What because the Digmas have a sun, moon, etc. coinciding with Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, Susanoo all stemming from Izanagi? They bare a pale resemblance at best and are linked merely by name, to say it is linked to Japanese mythology is a fallacious strawman argument in its entirety proven by the FACT you are unable and unwilling to explain this.

    That’s the entire problem with the series right there. I mean why even use references to Greek mythology which aren’t even linked in anyway or correctly referenced. IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND LOOK IT UP!

    I certainly don’t abhore the use of science/mysticism/mythology, but when you do it INCORRECTLY like I’ve proven time and time again and mish-mash a story line that is so unoriginal and unable to have any direction then its fair to criticize that.

  16. chounokoe says:

    If you would bother to actually watch the series as a whole and not review each episode individually, even though you seem to be watching at least 4-5 per day, maybe some things would come to you.

    No criticism is actually pretty much welcome, but there is reasonable criticsm and such that seems to be done only for the sake of criticizing.
    Yes, I already agreed that the Shangri La anime actually has some really big flaws in how it tried to make the story of Ikegami Eiichi’s novel fit into this frame. Some things were so heavily simplified, that of course someone with scientific knowledge could see that they are rather constructed and far from reality…most of those were done in order to make the plot move faster.

    The factor of Japanese mythology is actually rather big, even though it is toned down compared to the original.
    But I would rather refrain from posting them here (at episode 17) and rather wait to the point when you actually finished the series.

    Even the greek mythology is actually there for a reason and is a rather big foreshadowing of what Atlas is actually planned out to be.

  17. Robhiengler says:

    chounokoe read my other comments forward of this episode: if you want to comment at episode 24 then be my guest. My point is there is simplification, then there’s taking mythology and essentially ripping it apart and re-writing to suit the author’s convoluted nonsensical plotline with the barest of similarity. It isn’t clever or astute and quite honestly does an utter disservice culturally both from a western and japanese perspective. The incorrect pop-science and pop-economics just helps to misinform people. There’s a huge difference between creating made-up compounds and materials and assigning them specific qualities and taking known materials explaining it in detail utterly incorrectly to make the series sound intelligent and suit the plot. If any show was guilty for crimes against knowledge: Shangri-La takes the top spot.

    In addition are you telling me the anime adaptation is completely different to the Light novels in terms of economics, science and mythology, is the “Carbon economy” utterly different? I think its quite apparent that Ikegami Eiichi Light Novels are based on an entirely flawed premise as well, the anime merely reflects this.

  18. chounokoe says:

    Just to have that out of the picture, Shangri La is NOT a light-novel. It’s a 500 page long novel (with two rows…so basically it’s even longer, I would assume around 700 if it were printed otherwise).

    The point is that some of the structures were changed altogether in the anime. In the novel some characters do not meet at all, almost everybody except Miiko is changed entirely…the hardest changes went into Ryôko, Tarshan and Nagiko.

    The story of Shangri La is less about creating a scientifically correct dystopic future, as it is more about an outlook on humanity in general.
    The Carbon trade did play a big part in the novel, but not as much as in the anime, as the shift into a mythologically based finale is much stronger.

    I will gladly answer the questions you have and discuss this further when you’re finished with the series…as other people could read this and be badly spoiled.

  19. Robhiengler says:

    Outlook on humanity? Please we got to see very little of anything of humanity or the world in this series.

    Feel free chounokoe to comment on episode 24 – I would really like to hear:

    – mythology relationship (accuracy).
    – Explanation for ATLAS and its conception.

    Actually Shangri-La IS A collection of Light Novels

    1) It was serialsied
    2) It’s aimed at a younger demographic
    3) Loads of nice pictures in it right?

Leave a Reply


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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 09:02 PM)
    One-Punch Man’s pilot was almost adapted flawlessly. It straight up uses the manga panels as it’s main storyboard, but added just enough new touches to improve the action instead of ruining it. Now let’s see how they animate the mosquitos and all the lasers for the next episode.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:57 PM)
    And that’s why Madhouse is one of the few respectable studios left. I thought that they will be seriously diminished after Masao Maruyama took some of its key members and funded MAPPA, but One-Punch Man showed that they are still one of the best in the business.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:51 PM)
    @Kaiser The anime industry isn’t advanced enough in CG to make it look good, is all it is.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:51 PM)
    @K-off: Your not wrong, it certainly looks poor but some of the old gonzo animated stuff was far more woeful looking. Stellvia, which was done by xebec was another example of old anime cgi which was quite ugly to look at. Just as I prefer traditional effects in film I also prefer traditional animation techniques to cg.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:42 PM)
    Lately, the use of badly integrated cgi have been making my eyes sore,from the obviously cgi background characters in Asterisk to the overly fluid mech movements in Aldnoah. I still remember the shitty cgi piano hands in Kimi no Uso.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 12:04 AM)
    On the note of good balance between humor and drama- I think BoJack Horseman is an example of a show that executed that almost perfectly in both seasons. You are laughing one minute and amused by the hijinks and silliness and the next minute you are actually moved and shocked by the honest introspection. Too be honest BoJack is more a tragic character then a goofy one, and his struggles are deeper and more existential than they have any business being in a show with anthropomorphic animals.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    The changes in the setting actually made me more excited for season 3 then what I felt the past few weeks, since now the plot needs to move forward from the cliffhanger and hopefully this translates to more cohesion and refocusing on what mad the show great in the first place. I’m pretty sure S3 will also be a blend of episodic and arch story elements tho. Overall a few ups and downs but still a great show.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:52 PM)
    The finale also had some of the most overall arch story elements featured in the season. Earth joining the Galactic Federation is a big deal story-wise from now on. Also the use of a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” (not the Nine Inch Nails one clearly) was a nice fitting yet surprising touch. The throwback to Mr. PB after the credits was a good idea, but felt flat in it’s actual execution.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:49 PM)
    I thought R&M had a pretty good finale. The episode achieved what was missing from most of season 2, and that was a balance of randomness and meaningful bits. What made Rick Potion #9 and the previous season’s finale and general tone great was a sense of humor that was combined with more sincere drama and character developments; a sort of sweet melancholy.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 09:51 PM)
    @K-off, not having too much trouble with the interface but I still cannot create categories.

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