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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AidanAK47
@Anon1, Think you might just have to go with a torrent. It's pretty hard to find direct download anime these days.
Anonymous870541
the latest episode of rakugo just made my heart sank. i didn't think it would get better than it already is. i thank god that i didn't read ahead
Anonymous870083
does anyone know where I can download the remastered version of the Utena series? without torrent?
SuperMario
the same very thought here Lenlo. What I considered the weakest part turned out to be so layered. Sorry for ever doubting you, Rakugo.
Lenlo
And that smirk at the end, beautiful
Lenlo
The weakest plot point of S1 has just become the best part ever.
Lenlo
OOH MAN. I was not ready. The entire first season was all a setup. I cant. What. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch Rakugo tonight, just got home and im lookin forward to it,.
AidanAK47
I think before grabbing the protest signs it might be worth considering if the thing you are demanding be uncensored is even worth it. Oh yeah, now you can see genitalia in crap sex scenes that were crow bared into the plot. No more need to use your imagination.
AidanAK47
Some protest because they want there porn. That I suppose I can understand even if I think they would be better off buying some nukige. But then there are those who demand it just for the sake of standing against censorship. They don't give a crap about the game or the fact we are getting the exact same thing the japanese got. What? Censorship of sexual organs? DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!
AidanAK47
There are people actively proclaiming they won't buy the game, because they can't see dicks. That is not hyperbole. This is literally exactly whats happening here. And they just act so goddamn self righteous about it. Porn is not the goddamn point of these games. Shouldn't even be in them in the first place.
AidanAK47
So another Sekai Kickstarter is up for a trilogy of Visual novels called A Clockwork Ley-Line. Chipped in my bit as I am going to be buying this regardless but like goddamn clockwork you get the idiots yelling for Mosaic removal. No matter how I try to rationalize it, this just sounds stupid.
Kaiser Eoghan
Just whenever I think Rakugo may be dragging its feet it comes out a gives me three big strong moments in this weeks episode, you will know them when you come to them.
K-Off
Dubbing in more subdued performances work fine. It just becomes unbearable when it involves shouty dialogue, which idescribes most of the Japanese games I play.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I think at the time it allowed Bagel (where did he go?) to find some exploit/gap in the sites security too.
SuperMario
I mean the spoiler code in the comment section. ^^. Like I don't mind if readers give (potential) spoilers but I don't want to ruin the fun of other readers as well
AidanAK47
After all it wasn't a intended feature of the old shoutbox. We were pretty much hacking the thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
I seem to remember all those old html codes stopped working on the old shoutbox too at one point.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was also originally an ability to animate text too of the shoutbox and have gifs appear in the message box but not as links.
AidanAK47
I remember some HTML code worked with the old shoutbox but nope. But I suppose you could change the colour of text to white...though that would effect everything you write.
SuperMario
Btw, do we have spoiler tag here Aidan?
SuperMario
@anon861679: Agreed. They have big ambitions, but they seems unsure on what to do next. I mean engaging your readers to give their thoughts is good, but if it is a mean for you to get inspiration to write essay about isn't that great. Well, give them say 6 months until they can settle down (they just launched this site for 3,4 months only)
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite being fine with anime in English, I've almost always felt that voice acting in videogames isn't as good.
Anonymous861679
Hey mario, that anime feminist blog was well, kind of awful. While they're well intentioned, it felt like they were pushing tumblr stuff onto chan stuff and that always ends up in a smoking mess.
SuperMario
Okay I'm going to erase my memories right now
SuperMario
I swear I'll stay off reddit for good. Have been spoiled by the development of ACCA by one of their "theory". As soon as I realized it's freaking spoiler I stopped but what done is done. Ahhhhhhhhhh
K-Off
Christ Fire Emblem Heroes is pretty addicting, micro transactions are not necessary at all. Though it irks me that I can't get Japanese voices. Dubs just make me cringe every time.
SuperMario
@ckspike: Hand Shakers, the very quality that makes you brain cells die while watching it. Well, I actually think the music is one of the best part of the show, now that you mention it like that...well...*slap my forehead*
ckspike
... my roommate just told me the background music when I'm watching Hand Shakers sounds like a bad porno... Now I can't unhear it. Fuck!
Lenlo
I havnt kept up with Academia, for some reason it just didnt catch me as well as the movie first did.
AidanAK47
You know what's funny? I thought little Witch Academia would be the hardest one to blog. Yet halfway into the current season and it's the one I write the most about.
Lenlo
I actually dont read many blogs. Mostly just this place and the occasional pop on reddit
Anonymous859067
I'd like to present to one of my favorite blogs, A work I just created: Greed Island! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tc2r.greedisland
AidanAK47
I go to Reddit anime myself but I don't really like the upvote system. Basically the majority rule opinions get put to the top which more often than not are jokes.
HelghastKillzone
I listen to podcasts on youtube and others places as well as going on Reddit Anime to hear a thousand people yammering away.
Kaiser Eoghan
I irregularly follow the episode reviews on ANN and sometimes read standing on my neck. I fell out of the habit of following random curiousity.
SuperMario
Anime Feminist (animefeminist.com), while sounds ambitious on paper, hasn't been too hot unfortunately. I know they aim to be "big" so they're still figuring out how to do it best. Well, good luck for them!
SuperMario
Oh, I know I've mentioned this site before but you guys should read it (blog.sakugabooru.com), this site is one of the only few blogs that I actively subscribed to read their post. They have some insights to the anime industry that is very informative and inspiring
SuperMario
I also think that this chatbox here plays a great role to keep a fair amount of readers for the site, as many sometimes just come here to give their two cents on certain anime.
SuperMario
I just checked out rabujoi blof for the first time, (https://rabujoi.wordpress.com) and I think they're in pretty good shape. Content-wise are solid (as far as I read), and they update their post pretty regularly (comparing their amount of posts last month (80) to ours (28), ouch)
SuperMario
Just really wonder, what are other anime sites that you guys follow beside this? Well, ANN and RandomC are a given, but I found myself haven't bothered to read ANN's episodic reviews lately (mostly due to time constraint)
AidanAK47
Don't tell me this is gonna be a regular thing.
Lenlo
There we go
Lenlo
Oh god JSON objects. I thought that nightmare was over
SuperMario
Mine is working probably as well. Thanks a bunch K-Off and glad to hear back from you.
K-Off
No problem.
K-Off
I really need to figure out how to get those damn tooltips working again on the sidebar thumbnails. It'd be useful to have the descriptions popup.
AidanAK47
Cleared my cache and it looks to be fixed. Thanks as always K-Off. I would be completely screwed without you around.
K-Off
Alright I think that did it. Let me know if it pops up again. If you still see it, clear your browser cache and let me know if its still there.
AidanAK47
Messages still get sent. You just might have to reload the page. We are working on getting it fixed.
Vonter
AidanAK47 I can't get into Fate since like with Nanoha there's a lot of stuff with those names in it. Zero was the most straightforward, yet the buildup was very dragout but the payoffs where very worthy.
HelghastKillzone
testing message.
AidanAK47
This is what I get for updating the bloody plugin.....
AidanAK47
He finished it and was telling me what he thought of Saber defeating Gilgamesh. Minute he said that I was like "OH GOD..." He watched the Deen 2006 adaption. Sadly it loos like he's not going to bother watching UBW TV despite me showing him part of the berserker fight. With Fate/Extra, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/Oath under the snow and all the rest this problem will happen again.
AidanAK47
You know I wish the Fate series did a better job naming it's series. I was introducing a newbie so I gave him Fate/Zero first. He loved it so I specifically told him to watch the UBW TV Series and don't mistake it for the movie. He then went and watched the movie. I told him to watch the TV series regardless and brought up the MAL page to show him which one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, there's definately no harm in doing further reading on more arthouse stuff before reviewing it/watching/after watching, it extends our understanding and is pretty much required.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Go for it, you might sell me on reading it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah, I generally only write reviews every now and then, and they tend to be kept simple and to 200-300 words. My writing ability only really works when I write in stream of consciousness.
Anonymous855550
Zestiria is such a feast for the eyes... The colors and backgrounds are so vivid and magnificent. Story has improved on the game's weaknesses too!
Lenlo
Given enough time, im sure I could write something, but as I writer I tend towards quick, decisive statements of what I think and why. Engineer, so technical documents are like the only thing I know how to write.
Topgavin
@Supermario ah, I'd say I'm the opposite in that I sometimes don't know why I like something so much, and when I read a review about it I can relate my own experiences and put it in my own words pretty well. Can thank Highschool eco for that
SuperMario
But to tell you guys the truth, I never think that I'm cut out as a reviewer (even now), because I'm a type of viewer who more perceive (I know why I like/ don't like stuffs) than express (just can't never explain stuffs well)
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it's depending on what grabbing you really; as I always find shows with heavy symbolisms like Penguindrum or Flip Flappers the easiest to dig deeper. But those are always my kind of show to begin with
Topgavin
I'd find it really hard to write something about a show without reading about it first; watching it one time by myself I usually only notice the big things. Stuff like Flip Flappers I had no clue what half the episode's hidden meanings were, can't imagine reviewing a show like NGE or penguindrum.
SuperMario
that's exactly how I write my reviews anyways
Lenlo
I cant imagine writing a review, id just repeat myself with different words but the same intended meaning over and over again
AidanAK47
Wonder if I should write a review of this. Might be hard without giving too much away.
AidanAK47
(Finishes Sweetest monster Visual novel)
.....well....fuck.
(Buys all authors visual novels on steam.)
Lenlo
Sadly, I doubt Nioh will get a PC port. Sony is pretty stingy on their exclusives, like Bloodborne. But I am so very happy with Nioh. I love technical combat like this
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose this means I'm looking into this rpg maker game thing now isn't it? Might aswell.
Kaiser Eoghan
I remember the word animerican used to describe things like avatar last airbender. Filthy word =P
Anonymous853606
God no. Jiro Taniguchi died.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I have been hearing very good things about Nioh. Really hoping it gets a PC port.
@Topgavin, No real surprises there.
Topgavin
I'm sure most of you have heard, but looks like New Game is getting a season 2 out of all things. Apparently they had good sales, and I can certainly see why. CGDCT with yuri undertones and clean animation is hard to get wrong, let alone not sell.
Lenlo
Just started with Nioh, and oh my goodness do I love it.
Anonymous852887
anyone play resident evil 7? its so good.
AidanAK47
Thought that's because the term American Anime just feels wrong to me on all levels.
AidanAK47
@Anon, they do not. They are cartoons.
Anonymous852775
DO people call D.C. Comics animated movies American anime?
AidanAK47
@Anon, I am certainly interested in seeing the next episode. Those minisodes were pretty good too. One thing I thought the writting faltered on though was the comedy. It really was a little too slapstick considering how serious the drama was.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: ah remind me the time I went to Texas (Corpus Christy) before X-mas time and I was wearing short pants and thongs (nice!!!), then went all the way up to Niagara Falls and I was almost freezing there.
Lenlo
See, I love winter, but its almost non-existent in Texas
Anonymous852268
@Aidan: I agree. I loved To the Moon. It's so good seeing emotional drama that isn't centered around high-school kids. Seeing the ups and downs of a whole long life of a person gives everything that happens way more impact.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: An Australian friend put it as "A sunbaked rock in summer, a giant zoo, that actively tries to kill its population"
SuperMario
Not that I'm enjoying the winter either. Why autumn always go so fast?
SuperMario
Believe me but summer here is way too much. When it's too hot and dry it starts bushfiring really badly. And it's too hot that even a big fan straight in front of you don't do you any good
Kaiser Eoghan
What is this mysterious creature known as summer you refer to? =P My country is grey as a black and white film =P
SuperMario
I'm wondering how freezing you guys have to endure right now, but the place I came today in Aussie just reached 50 degree celsius this noon. So hot I felt myself burning
Lenlo
I think the part I liked the most, was just how satisfying those mud splatter sounds were. I dont know why, but its in my head
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki 6 subs came out at 11pm PST.
Lenlo
Atleast Rakugo didnt get held up. Still amazing as ever
AidanAK47
Well I spent my time waiting for it to come out by playing and finishing To the Moon. Got to say, it takes some real skill to make a game in RPGmaker that can make you really feel something. But maybe I am just a sucker for this kind of story.
SuperMario
Hey, I would be very frustrating if Hand shakers got delayed. But I agree this delay is caused by Being X. And Scum's Wish, haizzz, this is the show we love to get pissed at. Haha
Anonymous850298
I blame Being X.
AidanAK47
Sigh, Youjo Senki 6 is delayed. Why is it always the best shows that get delayed? If an episode of hand Shakers was delayed no one would give a crap but nope. Gotta be the show you want to watch right away.
AidanAK47
@Anon, in both anime and manga I never liked that character much.
Anonymous849783
Meh, dropped Masamune-kun. Seriously why do they always have to shove in these one dimensional characters with a crush out of f* nowhere. It never made any of these shows more interesting, it's always the opposite.
Vonter
@Kaiser Eoghan - I find it weird having the teacher being so unashamedly evil. In a way I like that, but at the same time I can't relate to the notion of people like that existing IRL.
Kaiser Eoghan
As I continue to watch scums wish, it becomes an anger inducing as much as it is engrossing experience.
AidanAK47
Or the UBW movie over the TV series. You just don't do that.
AidanAK47
That's like recommending someone to watch NGE death and rebirth instead of the TV series.
Kaiser Eoghan
Meh, I just got fed up with the padding in the tv version.
AidanAK47
Jojo has the kind of entertainment that clicks with you or doesn't so I understand if you didn't get into it. Though to give it a fair chance I would recommend trying the first episodes of Battle Tendency. It starts at episode 10 of the first season, you can jump to it. If that doesn't catch you then Jojos really isn't for you.
AidanAK47
Don't listen to Kaiser. The OVA is bad.
Kaiser Eoghan
....found out where a friend had been off to lately, making a movie and he ended up actually making and finishing and I got first dibs. Had a hard time commenting on it as I know the guy personally.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Totally with you on the academy thing.
@Lenlo: If you ever try jojo again and get onto part three go for the ova instead as it trims down an overly bloated arc.
Lenlo
For JoJos, I couldnt get through the first season. It just didnt hook me
Lenlo
What I dont understand is how anything other than Mob Psycho won best animation, cause my god.
Lenlo
I think Erased lost not because of the libido, but because Yuri was "gay" and "progressive" and most important of all, recent. Yuri had just finished airing so it was stuck in everyones heads. Of course it was going to win everything
AidanAK47
Erased truly deserved to win that category and it only lost because people voted with their libido instead of their head.
AidanAK47
If there's one thing that really makes me angry about these awards it's Yuri on Ice winning most heartwarming moment for "The Kiss". Because A) It wasn't a fucking kiss and B) Even if it was that isn't heartwarming. Oh I am sure something is getting warm but it sure as hell isn't your heart.
AidanAK47
Likely the main reason Kira didn't win main villain because Jojo has grown to a episode count which makes people hesitant to pick it up. Not to mention many would lose interest by Stardust crusaders midpoint.
AidanAK47
When it comes to judging quality you have to leave it to the people who have experienced enough of the medium to truly be able to critical judge it. Pretty darn sure most who voted didn't even bother watching everything worthwhile each season and just gravitated towards whatever they were exposed to.
AidanAK47
Lets not forget someone voting multiple times and bot voting. Because yes, people really do that. As you two pointed out, a public vote was never truly going to be a accurate gauge of quality. For you are not only opening the vote to anime lovers but also newbies and those who simply haven't refined their tastes yet.
SuperMario
so they either abstained their votes (which actually was reasonable); voted for something popular or even voted based on what their kids liked the most (which was flat out unforgivable).
SuperMario
This from my own frustration mostly when it comes to awards like this. But I've been following the Academy Awards for way too long now and every now and then you heard something that really disheartened about their voting process. Like for example many of the Academy members admitted that they don't care to watch anything animated because... it's kiddy stuff
SuperMario
TL;DR: my point is I have mixed feeling about the whole Crunchyroll awards. One more thing that I noticed about the nomination is that the pool was dominated by shows from the first half of last year.
Lenlo
I dont think public voting is the way to go is the thing. Popularity contests are horrible. With popularity contests moe is going to be near the top every time, while shows like Rakugo never really have a chance. And I think there is little doubt that Rakugo was one of the best shows last season
SuperMario
@Lenlo: there is an issue with the first thou, because reviewers like us don't actually represent the whole public opinions. So it's all come down to the very reason they create an award in a 1st place (your second point). But with voting we can't really reason why the winners win the trophy, right?
Lenlo
The problem with awards like that is for them to mean anything they need 2 things. 1) A board of voters who are actual reviewers who have watched a large portion of what was on shelf that season. 2) Reasons for why each thing won its award. An award without reasons means nothing
SuperMario
Other issue about voting for these awards is that the nominating body and the voting body aren't always the same. Usually the voting body is broader and more generic in taste, so I'm not at all surprised when shows like Rakugo couldn't win. Too art-house for their liking. Well, at least it got nominated which for me is good enough.
SuperMario
That's the thing. When it comes to awards, they are more 'popularity' contest than actual quality, since people tend to vote for the safer choice (the one that are both popular and mildly critical success), YOI fits the bill here.
Lenlo
Those awards were not the best and little more then a popularity contest imo.
SuperMario
Actually with that line-up I had no problems with YOI taking the top spot
SuperMario
I actually forgot about the Crunchyroll Anime Awards so I came to check the winner. Guess which show won AOTY huh? Alright, at least it wasn't Kabaneri or Jokers Game
Kaiser Eoghan
But the best one was Mask of Phantasm.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And return of the joker also.
Kaiser Eoghan
It has aged admittedly very poorly, but I always got a great kick out of that old 1994 spiderman cartoon.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think its fair to use the term K-anime or C-anime for the Korean and Chinese influenced stuff, or maybe just anime would be just as appropriate. If some Argentinian guy can write/draw a manga for a Japanese manga magazine (big comic superior thats the magazines name) and have it actually be called a manga, it should be the same for China/Korea.
Lenlo
Mhmm. Marvel had the movies, but DC had the animated series
AidanAK47
Man, I loved the villains of Batman Beyond. Inque and Shriek had such interesting powers. The DC animated shows tended to be the one that didn't treat you like a kid while watching.
Lenlo
Well, they released a trailer for Samurai Jack S5, so its coming. Batman Beyond I also enjoyed
AidanAK47
Ah Samurai Jack. Wonder how that Adult swim revival is going? Batman the Animated Series as well didn't need Batman to crack off jokes every minute to be great.
Lenlo
Agreed. Samurai Jack was one of my favorite cartoons for that very reason. It ran the gamut of genres, each episode being something different.
Also I used Nichijou cause it was the first to come to my mind as a "Kids Show", though Love-Ru works as well
AidanAK47
One thing I think Cartoons could do to move away from the stigma of being for kids is having more genres than Comedy and Action adventure. Or at least stop putting comedy in everything.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Every fanbase has it's fanatics. There are idiots everywhere.
@Lenlo, I thought this might come up though I was expecting more of "placing Berserk and To Love-Ru in the same category" thing. Honestly I don't have a rebuttal for that. What is an isn't anime is really a matter of what anime is to you.
Lenlo
Now Aidan, you say putting Berserk and Scoopy doo in the same category is wrong, but what about Berserk and say.. Nichijou? A similar problem comes up and I think thats more to do with Berserk being a pretty major outlier (And I love it for being so. Have all the original Dark Horse volumes on my shelf)
Lenlo
Really though, reading Reddit arguments about it is so much fun.
Lenlo
I do think that recently, a number of shows have been trying to move cartoon, and animation in general in the west, away from meaning "For Kids".
Lenlo
Im not sure sure about that Anon, look at the Steven Universe and MLP fanbases.
Anonymous840067
Aidan, that isn't true... Anime has a 'special' name because it's fan base is a lot more fanatical than the cartoon fan base.
AidanAK47
Though I think the whole "Its not for kids" is the main push. Looking at my anime collection the majority is rated 15 with a few 12s. It's like the way you have Young Adult and mature, Comic books and graphic novels, or Visual novels and Eroge. They are essentially the same thing but appeal to different audiences.
AidanAK47
Though I think what really pushes this argument is that the term anime at least has a badge of honor. You don't see people demanding a show to be called a cartoon.
Total users: 30

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