Posted by psgels on 10 August 2009 with categories: Shangri-La



Hehe, and here I thought that the creators were going to save the bombing of Tokyo for the grand finale of this series. It seems that there’s still much more that’s going to happen after it: there are still so many problems that are left to be solved, not to mention that the creators still don’t seem to have played all of their trumps for this series!

The way this episode was executed was also something I really didn’t expect. With the entire city of Tokyo burning down, you’d expect them to create a huge action-packed spectacle out of it, but instead this episode had a much more melancholic atmosphere. It’s something completely different from what we’ve seen of this series so far, and it really works. That’s yet another reason why I’ve grown to be such a fan of this series: you’re never going to know what to expect.

This episode was surprisingly slow paced for this series, but because of that the impact on Kuniko, having to burn down the place she grew up in really made an impact. Her emotions were handled very subtly here: she didn’t break down crying, or she didn’t refuse to drop the bomb at the last possible moment like your average anime lead. She knew very well what she had to do to save the ones around her, because otherwise they’d just be overthrown by the Daedalus. This episode portrayed that feeling of saying goodbye really well. Kuniko might seem like nothing special at first sight, but you don’t often see a main character who has to serve as a leader like her.

Oh, and the eye candy! While not as gorgeous as episode 13, the visuals were nevertheless gorgeous as they showed Duomo going up in flames. You could see that especially the background artists were on fire in this episode (not literally of course), but also the CG looked really good during the fiery bits.

Now, the question is going to be: how are the creators planning on filling up the final quarter of this series. The Daedalus hasn’t fully disappeared: it’s still inside Atlas because that’s a part that can’t exactly be burned down. At the same time, the end of this episode shows Medusa finally losing control of itself, after Karin pushed him too far in her attempts to take advantage of the huge carbon emissions from the forest fires. and to think that for a moment she was like the richest person in the world. She was bound to overstep her borders at one point, but I still wonder what the creators plan to do with Medusa going out of control: is she simply going to lose Medusa, or is her entire fortune coming along with it?

It’s very interesting: for most series at this point, you’re going to have a good idea what its finale is going to be about: what the main goal is going to be to overcome. With Shangri-la, I have no bloody clue. Sure, there is busting Ryoko from Atlas, people are going to have to rebuild their homes, Karin is going to have to cope with Medusa, but which one is going to be taking the main focus? What is Ryouko going to do now after cooperating with Kuniko? There are still so many questions left open.

At this point, there are five episodes left. That’s enough for this series to wrap up everything with a conclusion, and let’s hope that everything isn’t going to end up rushed!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

14 Responses

  1. Guitar says:

    Wow, a lot of variety in those screenshots. They certainly caught my attention though.

  2. Shounen A says:

    It should be obvious what the main goal is: a Digma inherits ATLAS. (I’m betting on four Digmas jointly inheriting ATLAS.) Now if we just knew what that meant … ^_^;;

  3. chounokoe says:

    After the legend of Izanami and Izanagi came in this episode I think we’re looking forward to another little twist here…maybe the Digma are the ‘children of the Gods’ and Hiruko was a failed first experiment.
    Just curious because names were already thrown around if Nagiko (Nagi-Ko) would have a real reason for her name…well I’m starting to get worried that they maybe throw too much into the twist at the end….but well

  4. haha says:

    This show sucks (I only watch it for laughs), but it was worth it to see that idiotic Duomo place go up in flames. What a bunch of morons, no wonder they’d have a megafool like Kuniko as their leader.

  5. Robhiengler says:

    I completely agree haha, bunch of complete idiots! They should figured something out when she failed on their assault of Atlas. Now she personally blew up Duomo.

    Small nitpick bombs are released before the target due to horizontal motion inferred from the aircraft, that would have missed Duomo but anyway. Guess what this all could have been avoided it they used a defoliant (herbicide).

    What the F was that with the burning sugar over the cup of tea!? No-one does that!? The only time you might see that happen if you’re getting absinthe incorrectly made for you. More horse-dung nonsense.

    The hilarious thing is if people started fires this would result in the collapse of the “carbon market”, who would invest in such a fragile market in the first place? One which could collapse at a mere forest fire – entirely ridiculous.

    Secondly why isn’t Daedaelus spread all over Japan? Are the only forests in Tokyo?

    Thirdly Karin what you’re doing is insider trading or market manipulation – highly illegal. Secondly the UN pass an anti-MEDUSA law in minutes, yeah right.

    Unfortunately chounokoe this really has little to do with the legend of Izanami and Izanagi. As I recall Izanami had “died” already and was in Yomi so exactly how Atlas could be related to Onogoro (which btw Motoori Norinaga asserts is one of the islands near Awajishima not Tokyo)which was formed before Japan’s 8 great islands who were formed from their offspring, when clearly this is based after all that.

    The Leech child Hiruko as well was a HE not a SHE and became Ebisu mirthful and auspicious “The Laughing God” not some bound up weirdo with sharp teeth. Ebisu was also the God of fishermen, good luck, and workingmen, as well as the guardian of the health of small children. Note the last part, at what point does possessing small girls as a vessel denote protectorship or good health at all? IF they decide to butcher Greek Mythology, why bother to get their own Japanese mythology right – am I right!

    * – barely watchable – only because we get to see Doumo burn!

  6. chounokoe says:

    You really do not like interpretations, do you?
    If you would try to look behind what certain things are trying to represent in the context of the story it would be easier to accept Hiruko’s role within it, at least that is what I think.

    Hiruko is only a she, because the miko that are given to him as a vessel are female…you could also through a donkey into the ritual, then Hiruko would be an animal.

    And Hiruko did not BECOME Ebisu, it is merely assumed that ancient sects close to the ocean revered Hiruko, but that his name was changed to an alternate reading and therefore became close to another kami, namely Ebisu. They are not the same entity, they fused into one deity over a period of time.
    The Hiruko within the context of the Japanese creation myth was lost when he was cast away from Onogoro and it was disputed wether he was actually never mentioned again or if every chapter dealing with him was removed from the texts over time.

    Changing Atlas into a recreation of Onogoro WAS one of the major flaws of the anime’s finale, I would agree there.
    In the novel it is a recreation of the mythical Ame no Mihashira, planned by the novel’s antagonist, who is different from the anime’s antagonist, too.

    Still the death of Izanami and her confinement to Yomi in the legend does not contradict the creation of Atlas within the story…I do not exactly see you’re point there. But maybe that will clear up once you move on in the series.

  7. Robhiengler says:

    Hiruko DID BECOME Ebisu – The fact is that is one account and NOT ASSUMED – also no accounts to the contrary to actually say what became of him. Whether it is a fusion of deities is beside the point, that IS the prevailing mythology.

    Either way Hiruko and Ebisu aren’t fucked-up little kids with sharp teeth who require human sacrifices – SO YOUR POINT WAS?

    In addition when the child becomes possessed their body changes to that of “Hiruko” IF you chucked in a donkey it would change to look like “Hiruko” otherwise when they threw in Miko we didn’t get a fat man did we.

    Here are my sources:

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/kojiki.htm

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dZQ4zqV88V4C&pg=PA97&dq=Hiruko&hl=en&ei=IL7JS9upJZTw-QaR77nxBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Hiruko&f=false

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=XqHWAAAAMAAJ&q=Hiruko&dq=Hiruko&hl=en&ei=Pr7JS67cH8LS-Qb-mMX6BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAjgK

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jEcpkWjYOZQC&pg=PA220&dq=Hiruko&hl=en&ei=Pr7JS67cH8LS-Qb-mMX6BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDIQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=Hiruko&f=false

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=TGtLVJWKlCYC&pg=RA1-PA60&dq=Hiruko&hl=en&ei=Pr7JS67cH8LS-Qb-mMX6BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDcQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=Hiruko&f=false

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/266885/Hiruko

    Where are yours chounokoe which says Hiruko was an evil fucked-up kid who possesses the body of little girls and fortune tells the future? Its not even close to any of the versions in mythology.

    “if every chapter dealing with him was removed from the texts over time. ”

    What now there was a conspiracy that every reference was removed. Come on if you can’t see that is actually an utterly impossible conspiracy.

    Actually the legend does contradict the creation of Atlas: if Atlas in the series was meant to connect heaven to earth as I’ve said the pillar of heaven was merely part of Izanagi and Izanami’s mating ritual – nothing more.

  8. chounokoe says:

    @Rob: May I quote from the source you have given?
    “Our Leech Child [Hiruko], however, does not return. No further mention is made of him in either the Kojiki or Nihonshoki.” (p.96)

    or

    “It is interesting to remark how some Japanese scholars have interpreted the image of Hiruko. One said he must be an evil spirit, while another has taken the opposite view that he is a great god who would give the whole of Japan a new orientation.”(p.97)

    Concerning his fusing with Ebisu:
    “The identification of Hiruko with Ebisu is mentioned in the literature as early as the twelfth century, but it is hard to say exactly when and how it occured.”(p.99)

    I have dealt with Kawai Hayao (the author of the book) to a great deal in university and he is generally someone who approves the flexibility of cultural and mythological heritage.

    I honestly forgot the fact that Miiko’s body changes when he is possessed by Hiruko…well okay, this is something the anime definitely did on their own.
    But still the represantation of Hiruko as a child, when interpreted as an evil deity, is quite common and the sharp teeth were used to show his deformity.

    The possession of a vessel is also quite common in ancient Shinto rituals and is not considered ‘possession’ in a judeo-christian sense, but is needed for a kami to actually manifest within our world.
    I don’t quite remember wether the priest in the anime also used a Shinto spell to call the spirit of Hiruko into the vessel. But it is actually a ritual that existed at one point.
    From a certain point on the use of humans as yorishiro (which mostly involved drug use) was forbidden, but there are still prominent examples of such ‘vessels’ around.

    The Hiruko here is also not meant to be a represantion of his godly qualities (which do not exist in textual form, because he never showed them), but he is representing the smybol of an enraged child, who was cast out of his home, because he did not fit into it.

    Hiruko (in Shangri La) is not actually driving the project forward, but trying to reach a point so he could take revenge on the gods (by fighting their representative Jimmu) for being cast out of the pantheon.

  9. Robhiengler says:

    chounokoe oh really have you dealt with Kawai Hayao? So if he is approves the flexibility of cultural and mythological heritage then he would support Hiruko = Ebisu as it is generally accepted. The fact that he doesn’t re-appear in Kojiki or Nihonshoki is beside the point as they are NOT the only source of Japanese Mythology.

    You ALSO failed to make the full quote again cherry picking for your own argument:

    “It is interesting to remark how some Japanese scholars have interpreted the image of Hiruko. One said he must be an evil spirit, while another has taken the opposite view that he is a great god who would give the whole of Japan a new orientation.”

    The bit YOU PURPOSEFULLY MISSED OUT

    “These projected images are particularly applicable insofar as they both express aspects of Hiruko. He appears evil from the standpoint of the Moon God.”

    (pg97)

    Therefore Hiruko is only evil from the Moon God’s perspective. Therefore not EVIL per se. Answer why do you disregard the other sources which categorically state: Hiruko=Ebisu?

    Also would YOU validate WITH SOURCES:

    “But still the represantation of Hiruko as a child, when interpreted as an evil deity, is quite common and the sharp teeth were used to show his deformity.”

    Never seen that at all to represent Hiruko. How does sharp teeth indicate his deformity is that he’s crippled with no bones? It doesn’t – Grasping straws here aren’t you.

    How is the possession of a yorimashi that different than that of the Judeo-Christian concept? Clearly in the anime they weren’t yorimashi and I would say the anime was more to the latter as the posession was forced and permanant resulting in the displacement of the original person. If it was yorimashi then why were vessels consumed as sacrifices? There wasn’t really a ritual apart from paper sigils and certainly Miiko was just pushed in.

    http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/entry.php?entryID=296

    Again you STILL haven’t explained:

    HOW Hiruko was in Atlas in the first place?
    HOW or EVEN WHY he was stopping the oscillations? If he didn’t then Atlas would crumble and Jimmu would perish – the story would end.
    HOW he could fortune tell if he had no powers?

  10. chounokoe says:

    Okay you were not insulting here, so I’ll answer.

    While the Nihonshoki and Kojiki are not the only sources of mythology they are the oldest passed on documents of Japanese mythology.
    Everything that came after that is most likely interpretation of those sources.

    I did not further quote this part, because it did not seem important to the actual question.
    Wasn’t he just interpreted as evil towards the Moon Deity, because Hiruko was the original representation of the sun and was still cast out?
    It is still questionable what happened to the actual mythological figure of Hiruko and it is not fully unlikely, that he would hold a grudge against the gods for casting him out.

    I did not disregard the sources which claim Hiruko to be Ebisu, as they only state that over time they fused into one deity.
    Ebisu, being one of the seven gods of fortune, brought to Japan was revered in locations near the ocean, where shrines for Hiruko were thought to be, how and why exactly they became one is still not proven.

    They were yorishiro (or yorimashi) in the anime, as they were miko (priestesses) used to give the spirit of Hiruko a form within this world.
    Kami are often without an actuall body and need a vessel to speak to the people revering them. Often the body would be weakened and driven to it’s limits through those rituals, as it was considered to be hard on the body to contain a spirit (while in reality they were most likely infused with heavy drugs and poisons).
    The sigils that attached to the body were part of the ritual, being prayers that called upon a certain god. But yes, this is more mysticism than actuall religion…but within Shinto the boarders started to blur heavily over time.

    Hiruko was in Atlas because he appeared before the priests who served the head of Atlas. Addmitedly, the anime did rather poor in explaining their function.
    The oscillation was stopped due to the ritual in which sacrifices were made at 4 important places in the 4 heavenly directions…this was also touched upon in the anime. It was their interpretation of Hiruko’s gibberish.
    He did not exactly tell fortune, he just guided the people of Atlas along to make it possible to get revenge on the gods. He never actually told something exact but just gave them general ideas that they would interpret in their own way.
    ‘Sun and moon will meet and one will rule the earth’ is a rather broad statement…there is actually nothing refering to a certain person in it.

    It was the point that the gods had no actual power to make anything better, they just drove their own plans forward and used humanity as pawns to reach their goal.

  11. Robhiengler says:

    See you haven’t stopped being condescending though chounokoe.

    Now I know regarding Nihonshoki and Kojiki that your statement:

    “Everything that came after that is most likely interpretation of those sources.”

    is utterly ridiculous. Considering the fact remains that the Japanese have imported at deities from foreign countries such as China – Hotei, Jurōjin, Fukurokuju, Bishamonten, Benzaiten, Daikokuten, Ebisu. Note the last one hey.

    The fact they are imported doesn’t they’re any less valid. If people have decided that Hiruko became Ebisu, its not exactly going against what is written in the Nihonshoki and Kojiki nor is it rewriting anything.

    In addition the last part of the quote was important, as you made out Hiruko was evil to suit the agenda of Shangri-La, when in fact he was only considered evil from one god’s perspective. In addition if Hiruko doesn’t become Ebisu; as he is not mentioned again, we don’t hear of him dying do we, why would he still be a child?

    As for yorimashi & kami the point is your body doesn’t change you merely becoming the conduit rather like a psychic medium – it is also temporary not permanent.

    Ok so the novel says its yorishiro – I’ll accept that, its a minor point:

    1)How then did Hiruko appear to the priests in Atlas in the first place without a yorimashi?

    I presume you are saying Hiruko had nothing to do with stopping the oscillations? In that case I’m sure why the Shinto priests would want him to be manifested? What benefit is he? What role does he play apart from his own revenge?

    2) In the anime it says Atlas connects heaven & earth (Episode 20 9:30) because of the special ley lines focus of earth-chi. Built Atlas, found it oscillated for some reason.

    why did it oscillate in the book?

    also that’s why they were sacrificing the little girls to Hiruko (Episode 17 3:30) & (Episode 20 10:50). Nothing about

    “sacrifices were made at 4 important places in the 4 heavenly directions”

    BUT I presume you refer to Hitobashira which usually only requires one sacrifice, besides is this even a religious Shinto element? Certainly no precedent in Japanese mythology.

    http://pinktentacle.com/2010/03/human-pillars/

    It also Begs the question WHO or what were they sacrificing to?

    The anime states that it was the spear TOO that stopped the oscillations (episode 23 12:00).

    See my point? The anime cannot make up its mind what is going on here nor give a concise explanation.

    I have to disagree on that last point. the god’s had power they just chose not to use it to benefit mankind. i.e. telekenesis, super strength, agility, speed, time-freeze etc.

  12. chounokoe says:

    Of course them being imported does not lessen their impact on history and evolution of the Japanese myth, I never tried to say that.
    What I wanted to express is that there is no written record that states that the mythological character Hiruko became the mythological character Ebisu. It was just an evolution within mythological perception that came about during the centuries.
    Like through the centuries and translations many angels were removed from christian lore or had duties of other angels assigned to them, they did not change into another character they were merely rewritten…you could call it a plothole within myths.

    The Ebisu that is revered in those Shinto shrines along the coast has no further connection towards the Hiruko from the creation myth apart from the writing of his name. It is merely the character that was imported from China, showing in writing how originally another god had been enshrined there.

    Hiruko being evil is not only a question of this one paragraph, but also questioned concerning his further fate after he was shipped away from Onogoro. It is not only Shangri La which had displayed him in the role of an angry god over time.

    Concerning Yorimashi, it is questionable in how far being possessed changes the appearance of a person.
    Sure, the anime was a little bit hard to believe, with every character actually changing into the exact same form. I think they were rather going for an effect similar to several accounts of possession, describing the person gaining inhuman features.

    1) After Nagiko found the remains of the ancient Yamato culture, they used whatever they found there to restore Nippon’s glory.
    Hiruko was the one they summoned and because he gave them what they asked for (or gave them the idea that he did) they made him into an important part of the project.

    In the novel he was also described as the CEO in charge of the development of ATLAS. They consulted him every time they were about to execute something important. So they were trapped in ancient methods, trying to go into the past and the future simultaneously.

    2) The anime sure was a bit undecisive about Atlas possible function. Maybe they planned to make it run longer and they ran out of money, or maybe they just messed up at putting all the information in there.
    Atlas was supported by the power of the 4 heavenly directions and sacrifices had to be made to support it.
    It was also build on human pillars.

    How far human pillars were actually a part of Shinto religion is highly discussed, because originally human sacrifices were a taboo (being impure and all). Still they were used to keep important buildings safe from floods and earthquakes…so it is probably a bigger part of mysticism than it is an actual part of religion.

    They sacrificed not to a certain god, but just as a way to ballance out the spiritual forces that kept Atlas floating until the heir of Yamato and the Ame no Nuboko was found.

    By the ‘sacrifices’ to Hiruko, I think you are referring to the miko who act as the yorimashi, right?
    They were just a constant way to keep his spirit within Atlas. His spirit was too strong for a simple human body to support over a long period, so they had to have a miko ready in case the old body expired and died.

    I agree that, concerning the mythology behind Atlas, the anime seems to have made some more mistakes than I actually remembered.
    The only really big flaw was letting the Ame no Nuboko be in Atlas already, as it destroyed one important plot of the story and also made the sacrifices unneccessary.
    I highly assume they planned for the anime to run for more than it’s 24 episodes but ran out of money as is the case with many adaptions these days.

    And concerning the gods. Let’s say they had abilities, but no actual power as was promised in myths. In the end they were as unable to create a paradise as humanity itself.

  13. Robhiengler says:

    “no written record that states that the mythological character Hiruko became the mythological character Ebisu.”

    See this is exactly what I mean when I refer to condescending and NOT READING ANYTHING I’ve WRITTEN. Again YOU ARE WRONG and I Shall prove it!

    Ask your good friend “Hayao Kawai” (as you claim – problem is he’s dead but you didn’t know that so I suspect you entirely fabricated this university story as clearly you have failed to read HIS book) about what he wrote on page 99 of his book because HE EXPLICITLY WRITES:

    “The identification of Hiruko with Ebisu is mentioned in the literature as early as the twelfth century but it is hard to say when and how this occurred.”

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dZQ4zqV88V4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Dreams,+Myths+and+Fairy+Tales+in+Japan&source=bl&ots=LEAuO2C935&sig=uMlsO_at1OZcFUsQ1-EpHoQwaf0&hl=en&ei=CQvLS8vNGYmnsAat1NiGAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CAsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

    SO IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN DOWN! and its is not a interpretation of Nihonshoki and Kojiki but a CONTINUATION.

    So the question is WHY ARE YOU LYING!? Besides even if it was oral tradition does that make it any less valid? In fact like Shangri-La you have exhibited the very characteristics I dislike:

    -Superficial understanding
    -Condescending attitude
    -Outright fabrications

    As for Angels being reassigned or rewritten that is a strawman argument right there. Plus provide EVIDENCE or at least state an example of which ones – something YOU HAVE FAILED TO DO TIME & TIME AGAIN.

    Specifically Hiruko from the creation myths grows up into Ebisu. HUGE DIFFERENCE, this isn’t some reassignment of qualities or replacement. For example the reassignment of Hermes/Mercury = Archangel Gabriel regardless of the mythological differences in background.

    The difference is Hiruko SPECIFICALLY returns overcomes his disability grows up and becomes Ebisu. Understand!? That is a CONTIGUOUS NARRATIVE that is more than one God replacing another – this is a POPULAR and accepted story. Also I stand corrected ALL BUT Ebisu in the 7 lucky gods originate from China. Ebisu originates solely from Japan.

    Angry vs. Evil is very different. Jehova in the Old Testament is seen to be a Wrathful god, are you saying he’s evil? Another strawman you’ve provided. Who else has portrayed Hiruko as EVIL!? SOURCES PLEASE!

    ———————————————–

    1:

    What did they ask Hiruko for exactly?

    If he was CEO of Atlas why did they need Zeus if he was giving them what they want?

    Why didn’t he just occupy Jimmu’s position? Presumably if the Jimmu’s vessel could hold his spirit then it could hold Hiruko’s instead plus he could fufill his revenge?

    ———————————————–

    2:

    If we’re talking about the “Shitenno” here regarding the “4 heavenly directions”. This originates from Buddhism: they are also fighters of evil: therefore the evil perpetrated by the sacrifices would have made things worse. In addition there is no precedent in oriental mythology for human sacrifice regarding this. So another utter fabrication of the authors.

    I would go as far to say that is libel and utter misrepresentation of Buddhism.

    ———————————————-

    3: I think there were some serious flaws beyond just the heavenly tower being already present as I mentioned before.

    I also wouldn’t regard that they expected it would run more than 24 episodes as an excuse for very very poor narrative.

    Were the initial episodes following the book precisely? If they were then them expecting more than 24 episodes is valid. However this raises questions about the original source material being poor as the first 4 episodes jumped everywhere.

    Was utopia ever mentioned by the god’s in Nihonshoki and Kojiki? I think it was the failure of humanity to harness the god’s power not the failure of the god’s themselves. which is to say humanity even with great power would still fail to create utopia – not a very positive message.

  14. chounokoe says:

    It’s interesting how you immediatly feel condescended as soon as I don’t agree with you.
    To level with you for a minute: Take a chill pill, dude.

    I never said I knew Kawai Hayao, I said I’ve dealt with him in university…meaning I’ve dealt his book doing research on the connection between the Japanese and their myths. So sorry, English is not my first language.

    Concerning Ebisu and Hiruko, I looked it up again. In his book 神話と日本人の心 he wrote, that there are folk tales along the coastal areas of Japan, that Hiruko was washed ashore and secretly ‘rebirthed himself’ into the kami Ebisu.
    Still the only hint to those tales is the fact, that many areas around that coast line have places called 蛭子町 (which would normally be read Hiruko-Chou) bis is read エビス町 (Ebisu-Chou).
    (p.325, 第12章 日本神話の構造と課題)

    What I wanted to say is, that the rebirth of Hiruko into Ebisu is no part of the Japanese creation myth. Automatically additions to it are a step below that original myth, as there are many variations to each particular myth to each region of Japan.
    Of course it is a contiguous narrative, but also because it is a branch-narrative it may be popular but not accepted as part of the main-narrative in all regions of Japan.

    You are right, Ebisu is the only out of the seven lucky gods who seems to not have been imported from outside of Japan.
    Still this does not prove him to be part of the Japanese national myth. The seven lucky gods are believed to be only incorporated into Japanese legends around the end of the Muromachi period (middle to end of the 16th century).

    1: Hiruko’s aim was to get revenge on the gods, therefore he controlled the people behind the Atlas project to carry out his plans. Without the rebirth of Jimmu he can’t act out his revenge.

    2: No, you misunderstood me. It is just the reveration of the 4 heavenly directions, modeled after the 4 holy animals in Chinese mythology (Suzaku, Genbu, Seiryuu and Byakko).
    It is a part of Onmyôdô, an occult method introduced to Japan during the Heian Period and largely based on Chinese principles.

    The fact that it is a warped principle (with human sacrifices) in Shangri La is voluntary, as Hiruko planned for the Atlas project to go into a wrong direction from the very start.

    3. The first episodes were following the book at least concerning content. They were jumping around in the range of the first 100 pages I would say…okay and almost everything about Ryôko was anime-only from the start.

    I wouldn’t say Shangri La’s message was negative. It is impossible to create a utopia and an ‘age of paradise’ is impossible to reach, even for gods.
    It is about doing the best with what you have and trying to make the world a good place in the present. Men have the power to live on their own and don’t need heavenly intervention to exist.

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@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Watching Happy End, you can immediately realize many of Haneke's favorite themes: the voyeur/camera in Benny's Video, Cache; the latent racism like you mentioned, the idea that killing someone you love is better than watching them suffering, the underlying violence in a normal middle class life in most of his works
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Like with code unknown, its approach to latent rascism is far better handled than for example a terrible hollywood oscar bait drama would handle it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt though had the film been a bit longer, Huppert and Jones could have gotten more scenes, same with Franz Rogowski's character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did however think that the disjointed nature of the earlier parts were both to the advantage and disadvantage of the film. But it delivers a killer of a last act that I loved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to seeing happy end, I liked the Cache and amour references and how Haneke cheekily managed to insert quirkier moments and even wry ones so seemlessly into the narrative. Fontaine ,Kassovitz and Tringnent had the best scenes, particularly the ones between Fontaine and Tringnent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Physical, non-verbal communication is a far more valuable way of conveying information I believe and more effective in fiction.
SuperMario
Report on Just Because so far: they took on the three-way romance direction, which I initally ain't fond of. But last episode actually was great with the focus on body gestures and natural dialogues, delivering one of the brst exchange the show has this season. A good watch overall
Lenlo
Sadly, the only anime youll probably get like that will be made outside japan, like Castlevania was, and wouldnt be considered "anime" by most of the community. A shame, cause Castlevania was great.
Lenlo
A classic western would be cool. Like Red Dead the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I am just coming up with fantasizing now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even a Raymond Chandler style of story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd also love to see a non-scifi western anime get made now or even an east meets west thing with cowboys AND samurai in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats a good example Vonter I guess but I probably should have been more clear/clarified that what I meant is that I wanted to see more noir anime being made NOW , I want netflix to back one . I mean the kind of thing where everyone is wearing fedoras and trench coats and its 1930/40/50, shadows everywhere or it looks impressionistic.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Monster is a very grounded detective like story. The villain is good and intimidating, some moral dilemmas are poignant and despite being animated I remember it having good direction of photography since the story takes place Germany, Prague, and some other places.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've only seen bits of wolf rain many years ago, never bothered with it further after hearing the pacing is terrible and it makes an unsatisfactory ending even less worth waiting for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, but I mean without science fiction elements.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser"I'd love to see an anime take of film noir."
What do you call Cowboy bebop?
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Houseki no Kuni – 09 [Spring]

Houseki approaches summertime this episode and this week feels like a breather after the intensity from the last few weeks, by that I mean Phos didn’t get into any real trouble by the end of this week. Not to say this episode is anything less amazing compared to last several weeks. One of the factor […]

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