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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CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just one more note on silent voice, only one of those three omitted subplots I felt worth taking issue with, they leave out a couple scenes that flesh out Shoko's mother more.
AidanAK47
@Helgast, while that fairly obviously hinted at, don't spoil future events.
HelghastKillzone
@Lenlo We are way past the stalemate of WW1 and onto this anime's interpretation of the Battle of Dunkirk. Season Two is gonna be fighting against the Brits, Americans, the French Resistance and the Soviets.
Lenlo
I did some reading up, since WW1 & 2 arnt the points in history im really into, and I get her anger now. If they get a second season, possible time skip to WW2 because of it?

The episode was great btw, she just seemed to come out relatively unscathed for what she went through
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, It annoyed me that she got injured but then magically healed within the next scene but otherwise I loved the episode. It may be difficult to grasp in the show but if you know your history then you would realise just why Tanya was so bent out of shape. In truth this was Tanya's first major loss. One that renders her previous victories utterly worthless.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Your gonna have to elaborate on that "Most." When it comes to the three shows I was covering this season I thought I was praising them quite a bit. Only thing really bothering me is Rakugo stretching out it's ending. Otherwise this is one of the best seasons of anime I have seen in quite a while.
SuperMario
Hell yeahh, OwariMonogatari will air next Summer season. I'm hyped. Thank you Shaft
SuperMario
But it's good to hear your opinions on that. Like you said, honest opinion is good so I hope to hear more from reader's comments
SuperMario
@Anon958618: We writers are here to give you readers our personal impressions, and of course if we don't like a show we'd give the reasons why we don't like it, we can't really say otherwise if we found an episode to be sub-par. Personally, I have nothing but praise on my posts to the point I think I have to be stricter :)
Anonymous958618
I used to like reading this blog, but I find that most of the posts now are overly negative. Although I think honest opinion is good, it's a bit of a turn off in my opinion for readers...
Lenlo
Its nice to see everyone grown up in Rakugo. Old Yotaro and Konatsu. Also, how in the heck is Matsuda stil alive. That man was old when Yakumo was young. Finally, people need to stop telling that story if its gonna haunt everyone, I mean jeez.
SuperMario
It's Tanya for me next ^^
SuperMario
It ends happily. But go and see the twist. They make it like the most natural thing of all
Lenlo
Watchin Rakugo next. It end well?
Lenlo
Tanya disappointed me alittle. There was a change to actually hurt Tanya, but nope, she still comes out of it unharmed. She hurt herself more when she blew herself up than when someone else blew her up. Least shes seemingly drunk on war.
SuperMario
so sad to see Rakugo end... And that little twist. How can they make that twist so poetic?
SuperMario
@Lenlo: me & Kaiser? We were talking about the movie Koe to Katachi/ A Silent Voice
Lenlo
I must have missed something, because I have no idea idea what is being talked about.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I purposely put off the manga so I could watch the movie with fresh perspective. 2 weeks until we have a screening here
SuperMario
@kaiser: woah, thanks Kaiser. I know packaging a 6-volume manga into a feature film means they have to cut quite a lot of subplots, I just hope the main plot is going to be rewarding
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, there aren't that many manga that portray disabled characters, not even hentai.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: One of the people I got talking to after the film talked about Clannad and we both laughed about "what if Lars van Trier worked at Key"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Rakugo you are now on hold again until you end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I look forward to your review of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There were, because I talked to the audience afterwards and looked around, people who weren’t familiar with anime there, so it does have a wider appeal.
While cheesy/melodramatic obviously its nonetheless heartfelt and well executed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The voice actress for Shoko is required to well, I can only call it deaf-voice-talk and she pulls it off quite well, it’s never cringy or forced.
Comparatively to other anime dealing at any point with bullying this does fare better and because it’s animated by kyoani, visually it’ll catch interest. The protaganists regret and redemption story still remains a very watchable one/theme.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Putting a voice on Kawai and Ueno will make you rage at them more.
While I didn’t think it was too bad/overly used, you’re going to have to do with the maudlin piano score Kyoani gives it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: At 130 minutes it’s a little lengthy, especially for an anime film, there is the feeling of attempting to stuff in the manga, three subplots at least have been removed/shortened yet at the same time despite the skipping in parts it does still feel long/aimless. Based on that I did feel it flows better in manga format.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: @Mario: I just came home from seeing koe to katachi/silent voice. Can't really say enough to fill a review, but it gets the general 3 1/2 out of 5 from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Warning the next few posts contain words words words:
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I can take or leave Kaiju stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Wheras Mothra was the most fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Aside from that, I've seen a few Godzilla films, Mothra vs Godzilla, shin Godzilla, Garth Edwards Godzilla, 90s American Godzilla and original 50s, the 90s one has aged horribly, the recent American one felt more faithful, the 50s one and the new Japanese one feel most socially relevent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Wait...whah, why'd I get logged out I registered =<
AidanAK47
I previously had no interest in a Godzilla Anime film. But after reading the concept here I am now very very interested: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-03-24/godzilla-anime-film-reveals-full-title-story-new-visual-november-premiere/.113863
SuperMario
@Kaiser: they are still around. And believe it or not the actual band members are Damon Albarn (former lead singer of Blur) taking care of all the music and Jamie Hewlett who taking of the animation. I love alternative music, I can enjoy hip-hop music and I'm a fan of animation => this band basically has everything I personally love
Anonymous956164
@Mario: Kaiser here, posting from public computer. I had no idea the gorillaz were still around, many years ago I would have listened to their Clint Eastwood song, aswell as dirty harry and feel good inc, I also remember the artstyle of their videos catching my attention.
SuperMario
Anyone here listen to Gorillaz? They're one of my favorite band and their new song Saturnz Barz is great. Excited for their coming album now
Kaiser-Eoghan
I guess I'm considering blood blockade also because I'm burnt out o demanding and old films to some extent.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I really enjoyed the first season of Blockade. It's one of those cases where I think the delayed of the last episode killed all the exciment regarding the show. I actually fall behind and then catched up again as soon as the last episode was out so I enjoyed everything so much more
SuperMario
@Aidan: makes me really wonder why some of the studios are very uptight about their show's details. Like, they have to know if it is a short series or not, right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet its not exactly a show that fits into being my thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Blood blockade battlefront is one of those shows that is always in the back of my head, despite negative biasI managed to at least enjoy some of gungrave, I grew up, sort of with trigun, so with blockade having Yuji Nightow involved theres always that part of me that says to watch blood blockade battlefront.
AidanAK47
This is one of the annoying things about previews. You got o the trouble of looking it up and writing on it only for it to get delayed or turn out to be a short series.
SuperMario
ohh, Blood Blockade Battlefront moves back to October airing. I might have a chance to cover it after all. Though look at how it gets delay and the change of director, it yells more concerns than optimism
AidanAK47
Yep, Manga is completed at 6 Volumes. But it's kinda weird that the series managed to cover 6 volumes when it's so slow paced. I normally thought that 5 to 6 episodes was needed to cover a manga volume on average.
SuperMario
@anon954341: ACCA will finish in 1 cour, as the manga is already completed and from what I heard episode 11 & 12 cover the last 5 chapters of the manga.
Anonymous954341
is Acca 13's story going to finish in 1 cour, or is it still ongoing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Honestly do wonder how much longer anime blogging will be a thing and how much they have to compete with popular youtuber's channels.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I once had some idea of doing a forum with a friend, it never went anywhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Aidan gave good advice anon, I still found old posts from when I was teenager archived somewhere online and it made me facepalm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I wanted to throw myself into Mario and your conversation about personalities by talking about myself, force of habit.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Not sure what this rambling is about but good for you...I guess?
AidanAK47
@Anon, Blogs take a lot of work for very little in return. I wouldn't try starting one unless you are ready to make a huge commitment. Besides at your age(Based on that comment) it would be best to not put too much on the internet. The internet never forgets and it can come back to haunt you later in life.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The reason I bring some of this up is because I think that even if someone isn't the most emotional person out there, they shouldn't ignore/bash on certain shows/genres because of that, even if you don't get feelings out of it, the story/drama/characters could still be worthwhile.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do think getting pissed off though is much easier irl than doing it online where it doesn't bother me as much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And it surprises me alot that I followed so many romance manga years ago, enjoyed them, but I've never been a romantic person irl at all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also hate incompetence/failure and am generally not especially patient.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I care about others and appearances mainly to extent it either is of benefit, if I have to or it avoids hassle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
People tend to think I'm cold, articulate, blunt irl too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not a sentimental or passionette/emotional person irl, I don't like wasting time with other peoples shit and don't bother with it, avoid looking at people or touching them physically, talk in long dry speeches and in general come off as a quiet, reserved but snarky/cynical person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably unknowingly come off as different on this site than I would irl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Honestly I'd veer towards depressing or surreal/strange/messed up work more out of just wanting to see weird and depressing stuff happen and little else, just interests me, I can't remember the last time I cried.
Anonymous953782
um i wanted to make my own blog but it wants a email but i dont want my parents finding out
AidanAK47
It is weird how we never clash on what we want to cover on each season. Anyway I need someone to contrast my egotisical self so it's all good.
SuperMario
haha, Aidan: heartless grumpy monster & Mario: sentimental sappy bloke. Readers, you got yourself quite an odd combination of writers here.
Anonymous951955
We'll see; trailers can give false impressions
Anonymous951955
Not that all changes from source adaptations are terrible, but in this case, at least the trailer makes it look pretty bad.
Anonymous951955
It looks not great; I understand the need to change it a bit to suit the format/audience, but at what point does it turn from adaption to "loosely based on"?
HelghastKillzone
I'm glad we're past the phase of moe club shows.
AidanAK47
@Helghast, now that's something I never thought I would hear.
HelghastKillzone
Hell ya. We are in a golden age of anime that is filled with options and quality.
Anonymous951809
What a great week! Iron Blooded Orphans, Onihei, Little Witch Academia and ACCA 13 all had great episodes! I am spoiled!
Anonymous950847
@Anon and @Aikan

The LoGH manga remake has been out. It did not work for me.

I hope he anime goes its own way. I do trust Production IG, so I hope. I think it might not be this year. No lgoic, just a hunch.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Only info I can find is that it's coming out this year and it will be by Production IG. But I think you are right in that if it;s coming this year it will definitely be winter.
Feeling rather cautious about the remake myself. LoGH is dated visually but in a way it is a product of it's time and things you could forgive in the old version wouldn't be so forgivable in the new.
Anonymous949997
Does anybody know when that LoGH readaptation is coming? It's supposed to be this year right? Probably winter right?
SuperMario
But I will give it a full review anyways because all the amount of time I spent in that series should be paid off somehow, right?
Kaiser-Eoghan
But serious Gohands is a studio that had potential its just a shame its wasted on rubbish writers. Although I did like mardock scramble, because cyberpunk =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I met handshakers in public I'd refuse to shake its hand =D
SuperMario
Oh, it's actually just an extra Hand Shakers episode that serves as a prequel story. Not that bad then
SuperMario
Not to disregard Hand Shakers, but the best way to describe how I feel about that series is mind-numbing
Kaiser-Eoghan
They tried with that Military guy and his daughter but not by much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I do agree that there needs to be more to the characters, right now its JUST Tanya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for Tanya, having caught up with it, its a nice trashy guilty pleasure, especially due to the protagonist and I enjoy the setting because I'm a war film fan and like some of the action/politicking. I still do wish it was aesthetically a bit better. The dub isn't that bad and I'd welcome a second season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In an ideal world Kino's journey would have been a good model for what light novel adaptations can be and SHOULD be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we must have more light novel adaptations, I would prefer them to be like Tanya, Muvluv, okay hardly breathtaking, but still better than that thing Aidan linked.
Lenlo
*Sigh* It looks exactly how I imagined it would and its terrible.
Lenlo
Please dont tell me thats an actual title.
AidanAK47
In another world with my smart phone light novel to get an anime.

Oh my god...This literally sounds like a joke title you would see within an anime. Tried giving it an honest chance by reading it and it's just shit. Just pure terrible.
AidanAK47
If people in Japan are actually buying blurays thinking its a good show then something is seriously wrong with the world.
AidanAK47
@Topgavin, maybe too many people watched it because it was so terrible. I haven't watched past episode 1 but it doesn't sound like it improved.
Topgavin
Just incase you guys were avidly waiting for the announcement, Hand Shakers is getting a prequel season because it's apparently selling well......
SuperMario
Should be happy for it, though I'm a bit disappointed that I can't be able to cover it
SuperMario
Inside Mari gets live-action series adaptation. Why not anime?? Duh
Spike
Little Witch Academia finally tips it's hand on the overall plot! I'm pretty pleased and think some direction might help bump it up from just being 'good' overall.
HelghastKillzone
@KTravlos Still watching it week by week and I'll write up a review on the second season of Iron-Blooded when it ends.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It is however the kind of anime film that would have the wide audience appeal though, as in anime for people who don't watch anime.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just prove that people has paid attention to anime. That's an encouraging sign actually
Kaiser-Eoghan
Feck, silent voice was booked out when I got there just now....should have booked in advance, showing at 7:00 on Friday booking it now.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: I haven't, but that more because I'm not a big fan of Mecha genre. I believe one of our writer HelghastKillzone still follow the series
KTravlos
No idea, if you are all still watching MS Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans. I am, and while the 2nd Season toned down some of the elements that made the 1st Season good, it is still pretty good with the last episode doing a great job. If it keeps it, it definitely is head to head with Turn A Gundam for my favorite long-form Gundam Series (I am doing Gundam Origins for the original story)
Lenlo
Mhmm. It was one of those shows it weave adult themes into a kids show, so it had something for both. Now I can also appreciate the artstyle that doesnt use hard black outlines for everything.
AidanAK47
If anything I get so much more out of Samurai Jack now than when I watched it as a kid.
Lenlo
Love that dude Aidan. And yes Kaiser, I think anyone get enjoy it now. I love that its back, but even without that its easily standing on its own
Kaiser-Eoghan
How much of this love of samurai jack is a nostalgia driven thing? I'm not knocking that nostalgia but would it be possible to get something out of the show now if I never watched it when I was younger?
Lenlo
Yeah, that conversation was great. Really shows you how messed up hes become. Its also amazing when you realize that was the last set of spoken dialogue in the episode. There was not a single word uttered in the second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The audience who enjoyed samurai Jack has grown up, them bringing up seppuku and blood is possibly a part of that.
AidanAK47
Scene with the coffins was awesome as was the fight in the dark. My personal favorite part of the episode though was Jack arguing with his old design self. And young jack suggesting committing seppuku made my eyebrows raise. I mean..damn.
Lenlo
I agree Aidan. That quick shot of Jack vs the Daughter, with the sudden blood, suprised me as much as it did Jack. I really loved the scene with the coffins. The music nad sound was just great there.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, It was a really great episode. I love the meta of Jack being worn down by the wait and the wait the viewers had to endure for the new season. I is rather odd seeing blood in Samurai Jack though but it does make that particular moment have so much more impact.
Topgavin
April 16th for NZ. It is a lesser known movie than Kimi no na wa though, so I do wonder how available it's going to be in cinemas
Lenlo
This second episode of Jack was really just amazing. Its making full use of the new budget/tech for the art and of the new rating, along with the impact the timeskip would have on Jack. The cinematography was superb as well.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Koe ko machi will creen in Aussie in the beginning of April as well. I'll go to watch it; but I would love to jear your thoughts on the movie.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a preview screening of koe to kachi on Monday night, depending I may go, I may review it or at least talk about it on here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm dying waiting for the Blame! anime film adaptation to come out in May. I've wanted an adaptation for years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I'm too much of a cheap-ass to actually buy anything, don't even use legal streaming for films or anime/manga/comics, pirate almost everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or shelves for that matter.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've fallen out of the collectors thing pretty much entirely. I don't like to advertise any of my interests on my bedroom wall either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some years ago I ended up selling almost all of my anime dvds/vhs and manga, comic books aswell, took down my posters and moved what figures I had left into attic boxes , just no space for it and it was a good way to get some quick extra cash.
Lenlo
I love Rakugo as well, im not meaning to bad talk it at all. I simply also agree with Aiden that slow rolling us with Yakumo's death was poorly done and that its feeling stretched.
Topgavin
Nevermind, the $30 price tag made that decision for me
Topgavin
Weird how I see $8 movies on youtube as a ripoff yet a $90 series as a bargain. All these $300 box sets made me think it'd be in the hundreds. Wonder if I should get rebellion too
SuperMario
I'm still pretty much a fan of Rakugo this season. It goes much darker than the first season, something I didn't dare to think before consider this isYotaro's story. Would love to see more about rakugo's industry but this season does flesh out a lot of our core characters
Kaiser-Eoghan
I said it before but I'll bring it up again, the slow pace allows for, when big things happen to have a larger impact when they do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*In
**and(not on) waiting for the series to finish
Anonymous935946
Season 1 showed a lot more, different periods and times, the development of Rakugo, the tragedy of Sukeroku & Miyokichi (or at least one version). In contrast, season 2 was basically about Sukeroku's legacy in the form of Yotaro and Konatsu and their kids, and Yakumo's relationship with death, changing from fatalistic to happiness over the course of the series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think it might be 13 episodes, the first season had 13.
Anonymous935946
To be honest, I understand your point: It's hard to actually describe what happened in season 2. I guess I became invested into Yakumo in season 1, and then warmed up to Yota and Konatsu in this season.
Anonymous935946
Yeah, I think they certainly could have compressed the front half of the season. There wasn't too much plot going on, but I enjoyed the characters and their interactions, so I didn't mind the deliberate pacing.
Lenlo
I still really like Rakugo, its really good, it just probably didnt need 12 episodes. That said, really lookin forward to the timeskip
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've never actually seen any of Olivier Asayas' films come to think of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But going back to that dragging on, that did factor in almost making me hold off on waiting for the series to finish before going back. The anon's comment was what got me to watch this weeks episode right now rather than waiting till later.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Rakugo remains at this point still going in too long, but in fairness to the anon, yes the episodes conclusion was effective on emotional level and I bought into the dreamy atmosphere, largely due to the good cinematography the series uses.
Lenlo
Really? Im torn. Im glad they didnt bait and switch us again, but I always liked how grounded Rakugo was so im not sure how ok I am with the supernatural part and some of it felt like fanservice in regards to bringing characters back. The VA though is fantastic as always and I am definitely looking forward to this last timeskip. Cant wait to see the kids grown up.
Anonymous935526
Rakugo was otherworldly today. Not going to lie, was fighting tears back, but failed at the end.
SuperMario
@Topgavin: the bluray goes by region as well so you can only buy it in Australia/NZ region (region 4). For Madoka I still find it easiest to just go to JB Hi Fi and buy it. Sometimes I find it cheaper from JB Hi Fi than even their original distribution company.
AidanAK47
@Topgavin, I ordered my Madoka bluray's from Amazon.co.uk.
Topgavin
Where do you guys buy your merch? Was looking into buying the Madoka blurays but can't find a reliable place to ship to NZ.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: nah, Personal Shopper isn't even a horror. It's just a failed arthouse that have little to say except grief.
SuperMario
...even now. For Raw, I would never expect the positive reactions from mainstream. I think the film really push the tolerance of the voewers, but it was a refrrshing watch.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: now you mentioned 2 films thay I really fond of. I come from Vietnam, so I could easily tell you that the settings are staged. The dialogue is pretty unnatural as well, but the movie grows a lot on me. I still love the striking visual and a long, slow mood the film evoke, and It speaks to one of the theme (women's identity in Vietnam society) that speaks well to me and still relevant...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Is personal shopper really that mediocre a horror film?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got back from seeing Raw a couple of hours ago, though the violence was enjoyable I was expecting it to be more so, it was also surprisingly funny at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did eventually see Scent of Green Papaya, while I did like that a plot actually did appear later on I was mostly content to find it a really pretty looking and generally relaxing film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: =< Sorry that anon post was me, was using the work computer and didn't log in.
AidanAK47
@Anon, don't do that. Don't hint at future events and just let people see for themselves.
Total users: 24

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Hooray, I’m finally back to this section after a while. I originally plan to review a more in-focus groups of animated films, like Korean movies, anthology movies, female-directed films, etc but now I have a different plan. The days that I cover all these will come, I promise. Instead, this time I want to highlight […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy Review – 84/100

Sometimes you dread for the current state of anime: high school settings, cute girls, fan-service jokes, idol madness… that you wish for once to see something different, and out of nowhere an oddball like this just pop up: a wuxia puppetry show influenced by Taiwanese glove puppetry written by Gen Urobuchi. The sheer fact that […]