Posted by psgels on 1 September 2009 with categories: Shangri-La

Haha, how awesome! Just when I thought that this show had already passed its best point, it just keeps the surprises coming. Seriously, with this series I was expecting the final episodes to be all over the place, like what it did in the middle part of the story, which had so many different plot twists about so many different characters.

Instead, the past few episodes have been the most solid and focused episodes of the entire series. Because of that, it lost the erratic pacing that I liked so much in the rest of the series. Usually when a series pulls this, it gets rather boring, but this episode really was surprisingly good. In fact, it was awesome, and well for the fact that this series has much more than just that pacing: it still has its great sense of characters, plot twists, visuals, music, et cetera. And the slow pacing leading up to the ending actually improved on them: we now can really focus on the central themes of the series. And hey, this series has completely shifted its style of storytelling before, so for once it doesn’t feel like the creators lack inspiration for the finale.

I really liked the reason why Sayoko was freed by one of Ryoko’s henchmen: he discovered that Sayoko was his older sister he had never known, so he decided to be a good brother for once and let her go. While it seems like a rather flimsy reason at first, the more I think about it the more it fits within this series: it ties in very much with this series’ themes of family bonds: families being torn apart, growing away from each other. You see it everywhere in this series: Sayoko lost her daughter, Takehito having lost his little sister, Kuniko taking her grandmother for granted and getting into a fight with her, Karin and the distance from her parents, and there is of course also my theory of Ryouko, being the mother of Kuniko, Mikuni and Kunihito, which is getting more and more likely, which I’ll get into below.

Most of this episode was spent on Mikuni, trying to decide whether it was worth destroying the world for the sake of revenge. The thing is however, that she’s just a little kid: very easily influenced by the scary Ryouko. Ryouko on the meantime really proved to be an excellent villain here, if you can accept that she’s so screwed in her mind that she’s willing to destroy the world, and it was her who hacked into Medusa earlier.

So in the end she did turn into another villain who’s planning to destroy the world, but in my opinion she stands much higher above the usual villains of this type. In a villain, I’m not looking for someone who necessarily has to be morally ambiguous, like these misunderstood good guys. Those people also have their sets of problems. What I’m looking for in a villain is a personality: a well fleshed out character who isn’t a cheap excuse for a bit of conflicts. Well backed-up reasons are a plus, but not necessarily required: I mean, how many evil overlords in the real world are screwed in the head? The reason why I dislike most villains in anime is because they’re too often just paper bags who are there for the sake of having a villain.

And yeah, I’m getting more and more convinced that Ryouko is the mother of Mikuni, Kuniko and Kunihito. The final twist this episode really was an awesome one: I love it when these character who infiltrate the enemy tell nobody of what they’re doing, not even the viewers themselves. I already found that it was strange that he’d suddenly get so close to Kuniko, I already found it weird for the creators to suddenly start establishing a strange romance between him and Kuniko. Now everything makes sense!

And really, Ryouko looked so much like an angry mother who’s urging her child along when she took Mikuni along with her. She really had that feeling of parental authority when she dealt with her. And besides that, I can’t think of any reason why she would want to obey the successor of Atlas, other than some sort of strange and deranged case of family bonds, in a series which is full of broken up and dysfunctional families.

Out of all the shows that are going to end in the coming month, the ones that are promising some outstanding endings to look out for for me are the new Mazinger, Shangri-La, Tokyo Magnitude and Phantom. These are the shows which were excellently planned across their total airtime, and are promising to close off with a finale in which everything comes together. There are only a few shows of this caliber every season, and I’m glad to see that this season again has a fine selection of them.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

9 Responses

  1. Shounen A says:

    It would be barely plausible that all the angsting by Kunihito was over whether he would become a deep undercover agent and mire his life in deception, but I find it a lot more likely that he was coerced with hostages.

  2. Pafiume says:

    Ya know, I never even considered that Kunihito was actually double crossing them, I just assumed it was some sort of crappy “We have your mother!” type of thing. Which would have made me pretty upset. Either way, though, it’s a pretty cliche cliffhanger.

    I loved the rest of the episode though~ I don’t know who I’m rooting for!

    Also, thank you very much for blogging this, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten into it. And it’s one of my favorite anime in a while. :)

  3. Divaa says:


    I read on some random blog or forum Kuniko is actually a clone. Silly idea huh? I think that would just kill the show.

  4. Wow amazing characters, where can i see this series?

  5. Shounen A says:

    The official Shangri-la website links to sanctioned online broadcast sites (in Japanese). One of them shows the most recent episode for free (old episodes have to be paid for), while the other seems to require a paid membership.

    Or you could wait for the DVDs …

  6. reverse says:

    just what the hell happen, awesome episode indeed. it just make me excited to see this show finale. the cliffhanger at the end of this episode is nice too.

    shangri-la has to many up and down, with mostly down but if they could deliver 2 more awesome episode I could overlook some of those down episode

  7. Denizen says:

    This episode was absolutely fantastic, this show has turned out to be amazing.

  8. Alexander Morou says:

    I’ve been watching this show from the start.

    It really makes no damn sense.

    I mean the characters are interesting with their quirks; however, sometimes their motivations don’t make any sense. The story tends to jump around a lot, and they’ll introduce some random strand, that was previously left untouched, to drive the story down another path that was unthinkable before.

    The logic behind aspects of it are non sequitur, it is almost as if they’re trying to do too much at once: worldwide economic distress by a computer that can hack anything without giving reasons as to why it can hack anything (speed alone isn’t sufficient to handle the kinds of computations necessary, it has to have good programs besides raw power, to handle the multitude of security infrastructures that exist around the planet, never mind the throughput that would be necessary to inundate a given target with the commands necessary to overcome its primary control systems. Most country military infrastructures are super computers themselves, and are often nothing to laugh at.); nonsensical techno-babble about carbonic coefficients and adjusting them ‘magically’ alters the economic tide of a given region of the planet; ‘Zeus’ the control hub of the Atlas control center is decades old, yet it was able to easily hack the aforementioned super-computer-terror of the time without difficulty. The main character’s grandmother just happened to be the original CEO of Atlas.

    The drive of the main lead seems to change rapidly, from happy, hyper, to sad and unsure, and right back to normal as if nothing happened even after seeing her friends had been massacred. Strength of character is one thing, but leading a life, mostly running away from responsibility for a majority of the time, and suddenly developing a strong character is confusing. Mi-ko’s possessing seemed random, the vile witch of Zeus’ interface seems to be aware of everything, yet she intentionally kills an integral part of the so called supernatural pillar that makes the Atlas stand.

    How did Digma 2 know how to close the door to the central chamber for Zeus, why do things only get revealed immediately before their relevant in the story (the writers seem to know of foreshadowing, but sometimes fail to use it with enough advance)?

    It just seems like a bunch of interesting ideas slapped together, when summarized, it makes it sound like a bad dream, and you’re calling this good?

  9. Robhiengler says:

    Alexander Morou, absolutely agree with you. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks this is really nonsensical drivel packaged in a shiny wrapper unworthy of viewing.

    The blog author, you say the middle episodes were all over the place, that’s exactly you said about the beginning episodes.
    The only reason why the final episodes might have some sense is because the “end of the world” scenario imposed by the authors means the characters have to do something straight forward and logical i.e. save the cheerleader save the world.

    I was promised a good series, sadly I was very very disappointed.

    For an outstanding series ending try Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Seirei no Moribito, Samurai 7 or Even Full Metal Alchemist – the characters have grown, had a sense of loss, overcome obstacles and developed and where you as the viewer are sad to see the series end. It’s called emotional investment and quite honestly if anyone cared about these paper thin 2D caricatures in Shangri-La then you’ve got some seriously low standards for anime.

    Is Ryouko a well fleshed out villain? Let me see we don’t know her origins or the reasons behind her motivations yet; all we do know is she’s a blase psychopath who couldn’t care less about life, with a penchant for young boys, and a strange need to drink ‘refined’ beverages – in your own words “a paper bag” villain. I mean she isn’t even that manipulative, clever or even very evil, after all I can’t think of one instance where she played the long con to get someone to do what she wanted: she was even outplayed by Kuniko.

    With Ryouko people either typically do something because she’s in power or do something because it moves the plot forward with no explanation. Case in point Titan airfortress from the UN; after all they could have just used a fuel air bomb like the US did in the Maldives, but no Ryouko gets what Ryouko wants. Another point is the whole Japanese government wants her to step down, yet when she says whose going to lead the country if I do; no-one responds – ridiculous – if they got to that point then should already have some idea. The only thing that makes her formidable is this deus ex machina divine luck fate which makes her impossible to kill. Again why or how she has this we don’t know nor does seemingly anyone care either.

    This also brings in the other problem that IF Ryouko is unable to escape her destiny, therefore in effect she has no free will; therefore everything she does is part of her “destiny” and so she is utterly blameless for her actions because it was all fated. Nagiko even had mention “so a mannequin wants to be queen of Atlas” – well Nagiko apparently she never had a choice in this. Therefore she’s just annoying and certainly not the crazed unhinged evil that sends shivers down your spine in mortal dread evil.

    So what happened in this episode: bunch of characters procrastinate about the end of the world and who’s going to become ruler. So Ryouko is now an expert hacker because she ‘interfaced’ with Zeus? In addition apparently that gives her super-fast reflexes and increased strength, agility etc?

Leave a Reply


Mail will not be published
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:51 PM)
    @K-off: Your not wrong, it certainly looks poor but some of the old gonzo animated stuff was far more woeful looking. Stellvia, which was done by xebec was another example of old anime cgi which was quite ugly to look at. Just as I prefer traditional effects in film I also prefer traditional animation techniques to cg.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:42 PM)
    Lately, the use of badly integrated cgi have been making my eyes sore,from the obviously cgi background characters in Asterisk to the overly fluid mech movements in Aldnoah. I still remember the shitty cgi piano hands in Kimi no Uso.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 12:04 AM)
    On the note of good balance between humor and drama- I think BoJack Horseman is an example of a show that executed that almost perfectly in both seasons. You are laughing one minute and amused by the hijinks and silliness and the next minute you are actually moved and shocked by the honest introspection. Too be honest BoJack is more a tragic character then a goofy one, and his struggles are deeper and more existential than they have any business being in a show with anthropomorphic animals.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    The changes in the setting actually made me more excited for season 3 then what I felt the past few weeks, since now the plot needs to move forward from the cliffhanger and hopefully this translates to more cohesion and refocusing on what mad the show great in the first place. I’m pretty sure S3 will also be a blend of episodic and arch story elements tho. Overall a few ups and downs but still a great show.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:52 PM)
    The finale also had some of the most overall arch story elements featured in the season. Earth joining the Galactic Federation is a big deal story-wise from now on. Also the use of a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” (not the Nine Inch Nails one clearly) was a nice fitting yet surprising touch. The throwback to Mr. PB after the credits was a good idea, but felt flat in it’s actual execution.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:49 PM)
    I thought R&M had a pretty good finale. The episode achieved what was missing from most of season 2, and that was a balance of randomness and meaningful bits. What made Rick Potion #9 and the previous season’s finale and general tone great was a sense of humor that was combined with more sincere drama and character developments; a sort of sweet melancholy.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 09:51 PM)
    @K-off, not having too much trouble with the interface but I still cannot create categories.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 08:56 PM)
    Eh, I’ve updated myself now on the onepunch manga and also the manga for yuruyuri, I can cross the shows off my list now. I forgot to mention onepunchs first episode crammed in the first volume.
    I stopped reading though around chapter 30, it was decent fun for a bit but I’ll be continuing with it in small doses.
  • k-off
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 08:19 PM)
    @Aidan Yeah? Well I at least have to hand it to psgels for continuing to pay for the site. By the way, is WordPress still fucked up on your end, or is it fine now?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 04:57 PM)
    @;(: Actually that was probably a bad word choice on my part, I meant that the humour in those episodes didn’t always work so well for me.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gangsta. – 12

Normally one expects a final episode to be well…final. Right from the start you could tell Gangsta wasn’t going to make an effort to form some kind of ending with it wasting far too much time on things that don’t really matter at this point. By episode’s end I was actually questioning whether this truly […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 12

The ending to Gakkou leaves me with a feeling similar to that I felt after watching Madoka’s final two episodes. The ending isn’t inherently bad but I can’t help but feel like I have been cheated. When you tease darkness and provide instead light its hard to appreciate. Contract to popular belief, not everyone loves […]

Gangsta. – 11

Gangsta has a serious problem on its hands. So far the past 11 episodes have been building up something and it’s clear that this buildup will not be utilised in the remaining episode. We got a setting, characters(though aside from the main trio a number of them need development) and an antagonist but we don’t […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 12

  It’s a good thing a second season of Gate was announced as it ending on this episode would be a poor round up to the series indeed. The biggest hanging thread is the Dark elf and her dilemma of returning to the village to tell them that help is not coming or resorting to […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 11

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here. Things are looking grimmer and grimmer for our four heroines as Yuuri can’t bring herself to kill Kurumi, Miki is trapped on the lower floors and zombies have subsequently knocked out the power and overrun the school. Leaving a surprisingly stable Yuki to save everyone’s hides. The zombies […]

Gangsta. – 10

So our girl Erica turns out to be the twin of Delio and I wouldn’t be surprised if you can’t remember who Delio is. He’s the white haired guy who’s a weak twilight that works as a bodyguard for Monroe. It’s revealed that she was abducted when she was a kid and this is the […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 11

If it’s one thing this episode has taught us it’s that you should never cockblock a Goth-loita demi-gods plans for the night. Anime truly is the greatest teacher one could have, even more so than a yellow squid creature that moves at mach speed but not quite on the level of a gangster leader with […]

Latest Reviews

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]


Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]


Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]


Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]


Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]