Posted by psgels on 7 September 2009 with categories: Shangri-La



Haha, what an awesome episode. With such a huge series with so many different subplots and such a frantic pacing, I was really expecting some sort of trainwreck for the final episodes. And yet the opposite turns out to be true, and instead the finale developed into a thriller to stop Ryouko from trying to destroy the world.

And really: it works. Because the rest of the series fleshed Ryouko out so well compared to most villains out there, she’s far away from those stereotypical evil overlords and really stands out as a huge threat to the lead characters. Her mindset is demented, yes. But at the same time as a villain, she’s very competent: she knew exactly how to place the chess pieces right in order to get her way; so far, she only made one mistake throughout the entire series in terms of her own ideals: she didn’t know that the daggers could be removed from the altar, and she didn’t know that they could cut through any kind of steel. And I admit: you’ve got to think pretty far-fetched in order to have seen that one coming if you didn’t know anything about it.

I also love how she also averts one of the tropes that most villains of her kind strangely get away with. Suppose you were working for an evil overlord, and found out that your master was planning to destroy the world, you included. Would you still support this boss? I sure as hell wouldn’t. Ryouko did well to keep all her plans to herself, right until it wouldn’t matter anymore who would find out. I mean, her plan to hold Kunihito’s parents hostages would never have worked for long, but it did buy her the necessary time to take Mikuni away from Kuniko.

And yeah: this episode finally explains what happened to Karin’s parents: they turn out to have been dead all along. Talk about an awesome plot twist here: all the wealth she attained, everything she gained when she created Medusa: it was all just a case of denial in her case.

Okay, so one episode is left. The set-up for the final episode is fairly straightforward: Ryouko wants Mikuni to destroy the world, Kuniko is here to stop her. What I want to see from this series is an ending which is more than “Kuniko and Ryouko have a fight and Kuniko wins”. I’ve seen too many series who have fallen to this trap, but if there’s any series who is able to evade this, it’s Shangri-La. This series really has exceeded my expectations at this point. These past few episodes took it away from its image of “yet another trainwreck” when it showed that it’s very well capable of writing a solid finale. What more could you want?

And yeah. Who cares that Kuniko descended the tube with her dagger? It’s science fiction. Who knows whether that dagger has magical slowing-down powers?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

10 Responses

  1. Tomtom says:

    I was anticipating this episode so much, that I actually watched it raw.. I kind of regret that now (it feels like a spoiler when I understand only half of what went on).

  2. Denizen says:

    I find it a real shame this show never got…more. Because looking at this finale and the build-up it got, it just screams “potential masterpiece” to me. The amount of detail, characterisation, composition – it’s all very impressive, and something this solid is hard for any anime to achieve, let alone a Gonzo production.

    Strikes me as a shame this series will remain a hidden gem. Naturally, it has its flaws and it is its own fault it didn’t make the most of such a brilliant story, but I hold this show in high esteem.

  3. Meep says:

    I feel like ranting.. ^.^;; Sorry..

    Psgels, your praise for Shangri-La has pretty much been my motivation for watching this show. I nearly dropped it early on, but now I am finally up to episode 23 as well.

    Unfortunately, I don’t feel the same way about Shangri-La as you do. D: I really wanted to though. 99% of the time, your reviews that are written positively for underrated anime (or hidden gems)influence me to feel the same way as you do. You’re my favorite anime blogger because of your excellent and mature taste in anime. I feel great when I agree with you.

    But Shangri-La kinda leaves this bad taste in my mouth, the same kind that Code Geass R2 left.. None of the characters in Shangri-La really appeal to me much. The heroine annoys me for some reason. Sayoko, Momoko, Shion, and Karin are a bit too quirky for me. As for Kunihito, I knew which side he’d end up on, so I didn’t have much interest in him. I suppose Ryoko and Mikuni are the only characters that interested me, but after a while, not so much. Miiko was my main surprise, and I admit I liked her plot twist. But that’s kinda it

    I just fall out of my chair every time the flamboyant transsexual character, Momoko (who looked best with her first hair style), uses her whip to save someone. Over-exaggerated moves like that just don’t sit well with me. Though nearly every move by anyone in this show has been like that, whether it’s attacking or saving another another.

    As far as the events go, there are too many coincidences, characters change their minds too often in the same episode, and the computer hacking and Medusa attacks in cyberspace is not interesting to watch at all. A lot of that happened in this episode… Like as the coincidence, Kuniko happened to hit her “magical knife” against “bomb and rocket-launcher proof metal” and it was “pulled apart by a schoolgirl(Hanner).” And then at the final moment when Mikuni was about to do what Ryoko wanted, Kuniko comes crashing through the ceiling to stop them at the precise moment. I never feel any suspense or excitement cuz I expect stuff like that to happen, and they do. (Miiko’s case and Kuniko’s friends in detention center as the exceptions)

    All I can say is, I can’t wait for episode 24 to be here so I can be done with the series. As you thought “I was really expecting some sort of train wreck for the final episodes. And yet the opposite turns out to be true,” it unfortunately is a train wreck to me. Shangri-La had a lot of potential with this unique plot, but wasn’t executed well in my opinion. Maybe I should have saved my comments for the final episode, but I doubt my mind would change.

    I want to give thanks to you for motivating me to watch an anime I would have neglected, though. That happens a lot, and in most cases, it’s a rewarding experience for me. ^_^

  4. Shounen A says:

    Reasons why the ending will be much more than “Kuniko and Ryouko have a fight and Kuniko wins”:

    – Takehiko and the Daedalus on the eighth layer.

    – The unknown relation between Karin and Kanaria.

    – Medusa acting on its own to destroy the world.

    – The mother of Kuniko and Mikuni. (“Kuniko, I am your mother.” moment?)

  5. windy says:

    I just loved this show so far, just a shame there’s only one episode left. I found the characters in this series just sublime the plot twist turns out to be amazingly good, actually I really love it when a show comes up with big surprises throughout all the series, and that was especially the case with Shangri-la, which stands among the best shows this season for me particularly for that reason. The atmosphere that was built up here was also really fabulous and changes from all the shows I’ve seen so far, and the bunch of characters contribute to it. Actually , it is one of the rare shows where I liked almost every character in their own way, there happened to be a various lot of them, they’re all different: be it Ryouko Sayoko, Miko, Kuniko, Momoko or even Sion , they all display some psychological insight. I also fond of the dramatic tension this show keeps creating. This season offered pure jewels as well as it created some deceptions: I am just amazed by ” Guin saga”, ” Phantom”, ” Shangri-la”, ” Canaan”, ” Umineko no naku koro ni” and ” Valkyria” but was greatly desappointed in ” tears to tiara” and at some degree ” Basquash”, even if the ep 23 was utterly awesome, the 12 previous eps were really hard for me to watch and ” Konnichiwa Ann”.

  6. Pafiume says:

    Man, I called his mom being a hostage. At least it resolved itself… in and interesting way. Although it kind of just dropped itself, I suppose it makes sense.

    The thing I wondered during this episode: Why did Kuniko leave Kunihito behind? Couldn’t he have gone down with her? He’s AAA as well. It would make sense to me. I guess it was probably because her mode of transportation was a knife clawing down the shaft, but I’d think she’d find some other way to make it work. He just kind of got pushed to the side with everyone else.

    Either way, I don’t care. I’m so excited to see the final episode! I sure hope it gets a good BANG ending~

  7. DangerMouse says:

    “I just loved this show so far, just a shame there’s only one episode left. I found the characters in this series just sublime the plot twist turns out to be amazingly good, actually I really love it when a show comes up with big surprises throughout all the series, and that was especially the case with Shangri-la, which stands among the best shows this season for me particularly for that reason. The atmosphere that was built up here was also really fabulous and changes from all the shows I’ve seen so far, and the bunch of characters contribute to it. Actually , it is one of the rare shows where I liked almost every character in their own way, there happened to be a various lot of them, they’re all different: be it Ryouko Sayoko, Miko, Kuniko, Momoko or even Sion , they all display some psychological insight. I also fond of the dramatic tension this show keeps creating.”

    I totally agree, for me like Last Exile before it this show also has that awesome unique “feel” to it in the way it keeps the plot twists and events coming on multiple fronts with a unique sense of mystery and scale and the integration of it’s storyline with world itself.

    “I find it a real shame this show never got…more. Because looking at this finale and the build-up it got, it just screams “potential masterpiece” to me. The amount of detail, characterisation, composition – it’s all very impressive, and something this solid is hard for any anime to achieve.

    Strikes me as a shame this series will remain a hidden gem. Naturally, it has its flaws and it is its own fault it didn’t make the most of such a brilliant story, but I hold this show in high esteem.”

    I agree with you, as I said before it’s so rare to get a series with this much ambition and while their are flaws and naturally at times you can feel their are parts they could have done even more with, however with how much they are accomplishing it’s indeed a shame the show will likely remain a hidden gem like much of the best science fiction.

    I can’t wait for the finale, I’m with you Shonen A, I think we’re going to get quite the nicely packed episode. This show has been spot on with it’s build up throughout and the various payoffs capitalizing on them so I’m looking forwards to this.

  8. DangerMouse says:

    Oh yeah, another gorgeous looking episode.

  9. DangerMouse says:

    Worth mentioning once again for the series is the music.

    I continue to absolutely love the music of this show, I hope the finale uses it as well as most of the series has :)

  10. Robhiengler says:

    What guarantee does Kunihito have that his mother will not be killed anyway? I’m pretty sure the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

    His sudden change of allegiance back and forth seems rather contrived to allow Ryoko to escape. Now he’s helping Kuniko, when Ryouko sees this surely his mother is dead considering apparently Zeus controls Atlas and Ryoko Zeus. Kuniko Momoko was kidnapped so you didn’t capitulate in fact wasn’t that the reason you attacked Atlas?

    Not to mention ANOTHER glaring plothole, if Zeus was that powerful to hack into MEDUSA, why didn’t it just take control of the nuclear missiles itself rather than bothering to go via a proxy?

    The most hilarious part is when
    Ryoko: “I was going to let you survive…”
    Mikuni: “Yes, I’ll let you survive.
    Ryoko: “shut it you!” *SMACK*
    Mikuni:
    “whoop whoop whoop whoop whoop.”
    three Stooges joke there

    So now they bring in Himiko 3rd century chinese queen of the Wa? By randomly stumbling on a shrine? What was Atlas already planned by this point or not? What has Himiko got to do with Japanese creation mythology?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himiko

    Why would you also ‘decide’ to make a bio-computer absolutely randomly out of someones DNA!?

    In addition now they knew about the oscillations Atlas was predicted to generate before it was built!? Maybe you could have designed it to withstand the oscillations.

    So Karin’s background is completely contrived, her parents die in a plane crash and she was already developing Medusa – for what purpose? and could Ryoko have known?. You would have thought anyone with a child prodigy at that age they would be in a scientific facility.

    Wouldn’t have been easier for Ryoko to brainwash one of the AAA Digimates kill the others collect the knives she blatantly knew they were for (if we were to beleive this is what she planned all along) and use Zeus to hack the nuclear arsenals? End of really.

    Lastly doesn’t anyone wonder how did a bunch of completely useless morons get employed by Atlas in the first place?

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Masky
    (Monday, Aug 3. 2015 11:47 AM)
    @;(: Nah, I meant in general, I didn’t read your posts beyond “You shouldn’t read manga like One Piece from the beginning”
  • Bam
    (Monday, Aug 3. 2015 03:32 AM)
    Man Witcher 3 is one dense game. I’ve put 110 hours in and I’m just over halfway thru. The amount of detail is staggering. I catch myself listening to NPCs for 10 minutes sometimes lol
  • ;(
    (Sunday, Aug 2. 2015 09:47 PM)
    @Masky: Are you talking about me?
    Because if you are, you completely misread all I wrote…
    But if that’s the case I don’t feel like explaining myself considering you probably don’t want to listen anyway…
  • Masky
    (Sunday, Aug 2. 2015 02:09 PM)
    Geez, people really make odd excuses when defending stuff they like ._.
    …I feel like thats probably hypocritical comment coming from me since I’ve probably done that too, but I think I usually go with attitude of “Hey, you’d probably not like it anyway, but I think you are wrong about that thing” xD
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 09:47 PM)
    @Aidan: I would recommend downloading it rather than browser-playing it as my browser kept crashing when I tried to.
    Its quite short but it gives a great teaser and introduction to the game, that gets me excited for it.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 09:45 PM)
    @Aidan: Mangagamer have released the demo for kara no shoujo 2, they’ve also confirmed a release for Autumn. Its probably better to call this demo more of a prologue/compliment to the game with content exclusive to it.
    Demo/prologue here: http://mangagamer.org/kns2/
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 02:14 PM)
    @invicableGod, Yep that comment was spam. Should have got rid of it first time I saw it.
  • Wicked
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:10 AM)
    well, this place changed a lot. Gotta say, I’m not a fan of how they adapted GATE into an anime. It feels too decompressed. Manga did a better job at keeping the tension taut
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:08 AM)
    Also I am not the blog, I’m just a poster… I really hope you have enough sense to tell the difference…
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 1. 2015 01:07 AM)
    @Emo: you’re saying all that like that doesn’t fit your description to a T. Kinda sad actually…
    Well I guess now at least I gave you one more thing to get angry about so your day seems just a bit more active than your last.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 04

Not much to talk about this episode as it was mainly set up to the next. The army’s reputation looks to have risen after driving off a dragon and looks to have caught the attention of our new female character. I was about to sigh when I saw the old anime staple of a bath […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 03

Here it is, a flashback to the beginning of the outbreak. In a market as over saturated with zombie media as ours it’s rather hard to do this kind of story without treading on old ground. The start of the outbreak is the focal point of every beginning for a zombie movie. Rarely is it […]

Gangsta. – 04

I have said it before but these twilight characters rub me the wrong way. This group of superhuman individuals just sticks out like a sore thumb in a grounded setting such as this. They are a Shounen element in a otherwise Seinien show so when they come out and start leaping on rooftops this just […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 03

This episode introduces what looks to be the main trio of girls for the cast. A elf girl, a mage girl and a Goth lolita girl with a giant axe. The Goth lolita, otherwise know as the Apostle of a death god, Rory is so far the most interesting of the bunch. Though mainly because […]

Gangsta. – 03

I really don’t understand Mangalobe’s thinking on this changes, for you see this episode was an adaption of the second chapter in the manga. I don’t see the reason why they felt that they needed to mix around the order of these episodes but I suppose it’s no harm done. To be honest I found […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 02

  So despite saying I would cover Chaos Dragon in my summer preview, I have decided to cover this instead. The reasons for this is simple, the obvious one being that Chaos Dragon is a poorly written, badly animated and jarring mess of an anime. But the main reason is that after the second episode […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 02

This episode was certainly stronger than the first as Itami’s otaku tendencies were cut down and the focus was more on the conflict. The fight itself was brilliantly portrayed as we saw it mainly from the side of the other world. In the beginning when they were marching towards the army they were assured of […]

Gangsta. – 02

As this show continues the Black Lagoon vibes only get stronger but this episode did present an issue. Namely the supernaturally strong dog tag soldiers which can jump ten feet into the air and pull out road signs. In a series that at least started fairly set in reality these elements are somewhat odd though […]

Knights of Sidonia S2: Battle for Planet Nine review – 73/100

The second season of Sidonia makes a number of mistakes that a lot of second seasons do. That namely being that the anime slows down and introduces characters and conflicts that are often resolved in a undetermined to exist, third season. A new antagonist is introduced, whom does very little in the season and only […]

Latest Reviews

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 […]

Clipboard06

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 […]

Clipboard03

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 […]

Clipboard01

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 […]

Clipboard04

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 […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]