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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I enjoyed Akiba's trip (still fun to see an anime that inspired by other anime and appeal to anime fans only), Masamune-kun no Revenge (2nd episode wasn't good but the 3rd was alright), Urara and Gabriel Dropout but that's the end of my trip on them
SuperMario
Okay, since we reached the 3rd episodes (man, don't tell me we already passed a quarter of this season already), I'll give you a bit of recap on what I've been following this season:
AidanAK47
Guess we can put that down as one of the most important things a critic needs. Self Awareness.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I won't deny having an inflated sense of worth but Nostalgia blindness? You are reaching man.
Anonymous777074
Just like you :)
AidanAK47
Anyway I never heard of this guy and he seems like the usually case of Nostalgia blindness and inflated sense of worth. Nothing really worth concerning ourselves about.
AidanAK47
"How can I be pretentious when I mean everything I say?" Oh silly silly fool. Being an idiot doesn't mean you can't be pretentious.
Kaiser Eoghan
I bring him up because I feel he'd be more controversial than Tenka seiha/aroduc or digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
Roriconfan/thatanimesnob/Peter Malousis: [link src="https://www.youtube.com/user/ThatAnimeSnob
http://youtube.wikia.com/wiki/ThatAnimeSnob
https://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=1483389"]
SuperMario
I don't know who would that be either Kaiser? A V-blogger?
Lenlo
Who?
Kaiser Eoghan
We talk about digibro on here, yet we never talk about Rorico.
Anonymous774043
I agree
Anonymous773640
Shitcunt is the greatest anime villain of all time. End of argument.
Lenlo
Best villain was clearly JJ. JJ is actually the best character for every category.
Lenlo
@SuperMario, I just felt there was some social context to the discussion with the boss that I missed.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bah, haven't you heard, the best villain category was for the dictionary in Lost passage, must have been bastard-hard effort getting that compiled =P
AidanAK47
To sum that up, don't bully my waifu or I will end you.
AidanAK47
@Mario, She only killed him once and tortured him for information once. Both times because he had something which showed he had a connection to the witch. Besides, the anime mainly showed off her good points but she still has a crushing inferiority complex and a rather delicate mindset.
SuperMario
Oh I have one. How about Lovepon? lol
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it was sarcasm actually, if we do it again next year we might cut down some categories. But I totally agree that we're lacking of good villains. Biba and that teacher are the worst as they actually dragged their shows down.
Topgavin
Honestly though there's been a real lacking of good villains last year. I hear some guy from Jojo was pretty good, but other than that they've either been okay or lackluster. Makes you wonder how FMA:B managed to get so many villians right in so many ways when shows usually fail to get even 1 half as good.
Topgavin
@Supermario Biba or Teacher-dude from Erased surely...
SuperMario
Maybe we should include the best villain next time, haha. I honestly don't know who to pick...
SuperMario
oh Rem, that demon girl who tried to kill Subaru many times over. Why is she the best girl again?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I watched Moonlight last night in cinema and it was great. I had high expectation for that and it pretty much delivered. Also Janelle Monae was so freaking hot.
SuperMario
OMG, that 3rd episode of Rakugo was so greattttt. @Lenlo: don't need to understand the meaning of the rant thou, Yotaro doesn't understand either
Kaiser Eoghan
Think of the fine children/breeding stock Aidan and rem would offspring =P
Kaiser Eoghan
Dye their hair, make things confusing ;)
AidanAK47
@Anon, hahahaha, cool joke bro.....
...............................Don't make me destroy you.
Lenlo
The one with red hair of course
Anonymous765953
rem? who's that?
Lenlo
Having read the books, theres afew inconsistencies and I dont like some of the choices for actors.
Kaiser Eoghan
*couldn't
Kaiser Eoghan
Buh buh but Aiiiidan you still have the koe no katachi movie and thaaats kyoani =P But lol phantom world was so poor I couldn't get past the second episode. A shame that they could go with the darker spin the author ended up apparently going for in later volumes.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I am currently eh on it as well. Only at the second episode so far. I find it interesting but it has a lot of things that turn me off.
Lenlo
7 YEARS I SAT ON THAT BOAT!

Still havnt finished Flip Flappers. I like it, its pretty, each episode is different, but I can barely tell what the over-arching narrative is and thats a big deal to me
Lenlo
ITS REAL
Lenlo
BOAT TIER
Lenlo
@Aidan, Series of Unfortunate Events was eh. I wasnt a big fan of the TV adaptation, though I did like Neil Patrick Harris
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: BOAT TIER lmao.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thats why I LOVED flippflappers so much, where else can I get THAT anywhere, totally its own thing/beast.
Lenlo
My big ones for the year were easily Rakugo and Re:Zero. Disappointments, biggest one is Berserk. Ive been following it for years, have the entire series on my shelf, and I watched it like a captain going down with his ship
Kaiser Eoghan
At the same time well, yes its still good to see a non-highschool story in ANYTHING.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, you see I don't really award points to an anime doing something unique to anime, I judge by all mediums as a group/whole. 91 days may be a mafia drama, kabaneri may be a zombie show but theres already plenty of those in the world elsewhere.
Kaiser Eoghan
I could see myself getting some oldskool charm out of alderman if I watched it. I was waiting for yuri on ice to be dubbed. Drifters for all its problems was some of the most fun I've had in ages.
Kaiser Eoghan
The only thing I saw that I truly abhorred though was the new shinkai film.
Kaiser Eoghan
Most of the other stuff I didn't really bother watching. Its pointless for me to shit on about 91 days and re:zero because I was guaranteed to dislike both before seeing either.
Kaiser Eoghan
Biggest disappointments for me were erased , berserk and joker game. Whereas my surprise was lost passage. My favourites of the year were flippflappers and Rakugo. I wanted Kabaneri and dimesion w to save anime and bring back some oldskool charm but that didn't happen.
AidanAK47
Alright I spent over an hour formatting this thing and now I am knackered. Readers, this summery is over 23 pages long so be prepared as this thing is pretty huge. Don't say you were not warned.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Watch it. I bet it will be up your alley.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thats a problem with adaptations, put a voice on certain characters and it can become irritating.
Kaiser Eoghan
And to be fair on scums wish, that it deals with the sex bit in a teen story, well that makes it more daring and thats points for it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Largely stayed away from that series as I assumed it was for young children.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Additionally the relationships in that manga got too convoluted, the comedy stands out worse in the anime too. Still though I DO dig the idea behind the show of two kids who are in a fake relationship.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, you think that's hard to watch try watching Netflix's A series of unfortunate events. Because boy do I want to brutally murder the banker and his family. That may sound severe to you but trust me, you will feel likewise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You were right about it being harder to watch scums wish than read it. I want to hit the twin tails girl with a hatchet.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm laughing now remembering an old ANN review where they stated golgo 13 was a stress reliever for 30 something Japanese office workers, I get that so much more now lol
Kaiser Eoghan
But seriously violence in fiction, anime/manga included is so damn therapeutic.
Kaiser Eoghan
As such I genuinely was able to enjoy the new M night shaylman flick lol
Kaiser Eoghan
Venting here largely because I can, I now imagine the teenage/twenty something audience members at horror/thriller films as the victims in the films, makes it more tolerable to deal with their existence in the cinema.
Lenlo
I cant help but feel theres some cultural aspect I am missing to the Rakugo rant scene. Makes me sad.
Lenlo
Rakugo, continues to be great and gets another time skip. Im always surprised by how engrossing it is just listening to these people talk.
Lenlo
Makes me sad, just like Berserk. Got an entire shelf dedicated to it but its just so slow. stupid boat.
Lenlo
Vagabond was phenomenal, but its been on hiatus for years now hasnt it
Kaiser Eoghan
....well without spoiling towards the middle of that rakugo episode and all throughout during that middle part, my opinion on Yotaro's character went far up.
Kaiser Eoghan
Struggling to remember the name of that josei samurai manga from the 90s (or earlier 2000s), had a gender bending theme.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've already read kenshin and vagabond, I loved shigurui death frenzy and sword of the stranger but found samurai champloo uneven. Theres a kagemusha manga but I haven't read it and I've yet to see/read blade of the immortal.
Kaiser Eoghan
At a glance I'll go against the grain and say I think demi-chan is funnier than konosuba, going on one episode of each.
I've been watching a fare share of samurai films in the last two years and lately so I'm open to wathing more anime/reading manga dealing with samurai.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
Total users: 35

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