Posted on 14 September 2009 with categories: Shangri-La



And so this series has come to an end. Unfortunately it wasn’t the epic ending I hoped for though. In this episode, Kuniko simply kills everyone evil, and this episode unfortunately was rushed in order to get to a happy end. I expected better from this series. There were also a bunch of deus ex machinas, like Miiko suddenly popping up from nowhere and blocking bullets that were aimed for Mikuni. It was explained later, but it still feels cheap.

There also was that matter of Kuniko, somehow not becoming Himiko’s reincarnation. Why did Ryouko not know that that was going to happen? Also, Takehito was just pathetic in this episode. What, he just appears and blows himself up? Come on, that deserves more build-up. Everything just went too easy in this episode. It didn’t really build up to Kuniko’s development of becoming a leader, she simply smacked her way through everything because she happened to be a digma (thankfully she wasn’t Ryouko’s daughter, but instead a clone).

But there’s one thing I really liked about this episode: Karin’s end. She really feels like she developed her character and I liked how despite being in despair, she still managed to stop Medusa in time, and it was very nice to see Claris and Jean appear in the end. Her ending was really cute.

But yeah, overall I’m really afraid that this downer ending is going to leave me with a rather negative impression on this series, which is a shame because the middle part of this series really was everything I look for in an anime. Thinking back, I think the turning point was the burning of Tokyo: after that, the stories started to converge with each other, and it lost that bit of chaos that it was so good at in the middle part. In a way the hardest part of a mystery series is its ending: making the revelations count.

In any case, I do hope that this isn’t going to form the ending of Gonzo. Like ‘em or not, they do have the guts to take risks, even when they’re about to go bankrupt. Risks like these are much better than playing it safe. Shangri-La… if it were well executed it would have belonged to my absolute favourites. Unfortunately, the shoddy execution made it less impressive than it could have been. Still, it’s still likely to end up somewhere at the end of my top 10 for 2009, unless the fall season turns out to be really, really good. Which I really doubt until proven wrong.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

11 Responses

  1. Divaa says:

    Lol so my spoiler was right.

    A fucking clone.

  2. Meep says:

    I enjoyed something about this episode…the new musical piece during the brief showdown between Takehito and the creepy black-haired dude. XD I want soundtrack..nao.

  3. DangerMouse says:

    Obviously I haven’t seen the finale just yet but your screenshots show that they really did indeed come through on the production values end for the finale, the screens I’ve seen look really gorgeous. :)

    Meep, the second OST is coming in about a week and a half on the 23rd, the first is already out just in case you haven’t seen it yet. Hopefully they’ll come out with a third OST if they haven’t covered all of the rest of the music on this second one.

    I’m with you, can’t wait to have both OSTs in my hands, the first was a very nice disc. Hope the military action theme (first used in ep1) is on OST 2. :) Hope all the special music from the second half and the finale makes it in too.

  4. Panther says:

    I somehow knew from the very start there would be a Gonzo ending, and yet I still kept watching. y u do dis to me gonzo

  5. Meep says:

    Thanks, DangerMouse! =] I didn’t know about the information regarding the OST, so what you said is good to know. I also hope the finale music is included. T_T I want to make an AMV with that new orchestral/vocal piece in the last episode.

  6. Pafiume says:

    I think the ending was alright, at least. When Kuniko killed Himiko I was like, “Gosh, we’re about halfway through the episode… What else could go wrong?” But nothing did. And for good reason, I guess. But it feels like the aftermath was… a lot. Not that I didn’t enjoy it.

    I was really surprised when Takehito appeared. I liked the way it happened, though. And he didn’t really just blow himself up. He -was- shot, so he would have died either way. If he hadn’t been shot, though, then he probably would have just blown himself up. But I mean, what else does he have to live for? Suicide bomber ftw.

    Anyway, now I’m curious about the novel. One day, hopefully I’ll be able to read it (in Japanese~).

    Divaa: I saw that! I was like, No waaay! And then it happened, and I was laughing to myself.

  7. Shounen A says:

    I was actually pretty happy with what happened in the concluding episode itself. Nothing came out completely out of the blue (even the rather implausible way Miko appeared was vaguely preceded by the appearance of Yasuko in episode 15), and the fights Kuniko were in were not dragged out pointlessly. I liked the aftermath as well.

    It was what did not happen in the episode that makes me unhappy: I was expecting some answers that would make sense of a lot of things, but I didn’t get them. I’m just telling myself that this is because a couple of intended episodes were never produced due to budget constraints …

  8. DangerMouse says:

    I agree Shounen A, I liked what they did with the finale and what they managed to fit into it to cap things off. I also like how they used their full runtime with the finale like a mini-movie with no OP like some shows do for their finale.

    Somehow I’m used to this, I feel the same way, a 25th or 26th episode to have included a few more things during the course of the finale would have been wonderful. They also probably would have better addressed the nitpick complaint I read in the other thread of spelling out, by physically showing, which of the various ways they could have chosen for Sayoko to survive her supposed fall if they had the time to spend on something not central to finale.

  9. Robhiengler says:

    Yes Kuniko I mocked your feelings and you failed to defeat me.

    Where to start with this utterly awful series. I actually rank it up there with Ergo Proxy as being the most self-involved utterly random nonsensical drivel. What makes it worse in the utter contempt it shows towards science or economics by completely fabricating known scientific laws and principles in order to suit the plot. It is also awash with pseudo-economic and pseudo-science mumbo jumbo jargonese that even the most low-brow pulp-fiction novel would be aghast at.

    A simple plot is purposefully made confusing: one to make it appear less shallow than it is but also in reality whats clear is the writers have failed to link the super-natural to the scientific world. In fact the overused-cliches of possession, human sacrifices, special powers are all apparent. The worse thing is the utter irreverence to japanese and western mythology, Himiko is not linked to the legend of Izanagi or Izanami (see previous posts) and any similarities are cosmetic at best.

    Plot-elements are also introduced at the last minute to give a sudden unexpected twist. There is nothing wrong with that, but you must at least give a certain amount of foreshadowing and development, so the viewer says: “I should have seen that coming!”
    otherwise all they are, are deus ex machina device in order for shock value, iron out inconsistencies, glaring plot holes and move the story on.

    PLOT in a NUTSHELL:

    - Global Warming caused by CO2?
    - Mass earthquake/disasters destroys Tokyo
    - Carbon Market apparently created to control levels of CO2 – this becomes the world’s main economy
    - Tokyo greenified to reduce CO2
    - Himiko shrine found? centre of geomantic ley lines blah blah blah link to Izanagi Izanami creation myth?
    - ATLAS decided to be built to control the world and save & make Japan Powerful.
    - ATLAS requires DNA supercomputer made from Himiko mummy to keep it stable?
    -DNA supercomputer requires lifeforce of little girls to run.
    - Ryoko is Zeus Avatar
    - Ryoko wants Himiko to be resureected? hence requires clones [Digmas] for Himiko to jump from one body to the next rather like the emperor in SW.
    - Zeus/Himiko wants to control earth
    - Decides to destroy most of earth using nuclear missiles so it is easier to control.
    - Kuniko saves the world – THE END.

    Ryoko = Zeus Avatar interface
    Kuniko = clone of Himiko
    Mikuni = incested offspring of Himiko clones?
    Kunihito = Kuniko’s son wtf!?

    For starters the Carbon market portrayed here is utterly implausible that carbon, an abundant element would be the basis of the monetary system, one that apparently controls CO2 output. It would also lead to an unstable market as carbon could easily be manipulated.

    The main lead: Kuniko is some odd unlikable character who ocillates between happy, hyper, to sad and unsure, and right back to normal as if nothing happened even after seeing her friends had been massacred.

    We are also led to believe she is the leader in waiting of the “Metal-Age” for no other reason than that she is related to granny – born with a silver spoon syndrome. Quite honestly we then look at her assault on ATLAS, which is then abandoned with many deaths – I didn’t really feel like she cared for people any more than Ryoko. In fact she’s uninspirational, unintelligent, uninsightful and gets handed leadership on a plate even though she is quite obviously incompetent. A character that never develops or grows.

    As for the Plot, the whole reason why ATLAS was built where it was, was because of the Feng Shui ley lines were meant to bring prosperity to Japan. At no point have we seen this was actually the case. In fact there was no scientific reason to believe this would have happened to begin with.

    In addition how did they know that ATLAS would be affected by oscillations. How did they know they would need to make a DNA supercomputer to control it from the Himiko mummy? How did they know they would have to have Lord Hiruko to channel the lifeforce of girl sacrifices to Zeus presumably? Exactly where and why is Lord Hiruko even here?

    As for Zeus-Ryoko easily hacked MEDUSA, then why didn’t it take over the UN nuclear systems itself? Zeus-Ryoko could have taken all three daggers by force and brainwashed one Digma to be a vessel. Karin = Redundant annoying character (probably there because the writers are loli-pedicons)

    In essence the entire series is confused, relationships seem superficial, characters are utterly 2D when you get down to it behind whatever psychotic or sexual deviancy the writers have decided to give to make them seem quirky or interesting.

    The series never lived up to the potential or hype or “epic-ending” that psgel had given it – the only saving grace were some reasonably well animated and illustrated backdrops other than that it is an utter waste of time.

    I know dystopian future sci-fi, occult can be done see the so-so Boukyaku no Senritsu (2004).

    Himiko Izanami Izanagi
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_mythology
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himiko

  10. psgels says:

    Um, Rob: Blogsome has this nasty feature of holding really long comments up for moderation. I’ve been trying to shut it off but to no avail. You’ll just need to be a bit patient for me to notice your comment and approve them.

    As for your ramblings, I’m not going to respond to all of them because we clearly watched this series for different reasons. When I watched this series, I didn’t really care whether the storyline was scientifically accurate in any way. I was just interested in its creativity and characters, which is what made me rate it this highly.

  11. Robhiengler says:

    psgels fair enough about blogsome, I didn’t know that – my apologies.

    Well clearly some people watched the series off the back of your recommendation and hype for the series and that the premise for the series was reasonably intriguing. Really – better than Guin Saga? Unfortunately I’m not someone to preview the episodes before I’ve watched them, nor to quit a series half way in – otherwise I would have given this a miss.

    The point is there is a massive discrepancy between individual episode reviews and what you’ve written for the series overall; the high rating and your positive spin: I wouldn’t be the first person to disagree with your assessment of Shangri-La either.

    In addition people watch anime/films/TV series for the SAME reason – to be entertained by a good story. Otherwise people wouldn’t be coming to this blog looking for reviews/recommendations.

    As for rambling:

    “writing which is not clearly organized, continues for too long and fails to follow a direct course or reach a goal, target or understanding”

    I think it was a fair critique that I made, (i.e. the story line itself doesn’t hold together, some characters are superfluous as are their motivations, nothing is really explained properly or correctly) with logical conclusions: though ‘Rambling’ does aptly describe Shangri-La.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Enka
    (Friday, Aug 29. 2014 04:03 PM)
    … Now Raku has gotten a Chitoge doppelganger in his harem. What. The. Fuck.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 29. 2014 09:51 AM)
    Unfortunately for that upcoming season I will only have the sequel to Yahari to watch then at the time =<
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 29. 2014 09:48 AM)
    @Bam:Its more of a case of a show turning silly and into a guilty pleasure as a result.
    That death ninja show by trigger is upcoming and I don’t think I’ll watch it until the blue rays are out, I’m expecting censoring.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Aug 29. 2014 09:44 AM)
    @Emma: I have a feeling that Tokyo Ghoul might have the same ailment. There is a pinnacle in suspension of disbelief that is clearly tipped when you have buckets upon buckets of blood and contrived tasteless violence.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 29. 2014 09:43 AM)
    There was another video with videogame and other anime deaths/gore too but the only ones that left me depressed where clips from that game the last of us. That one death scene in shiki had me in a mix of laughter and sadness.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 29. 2014 09:38 AM)
    Off topic, but I realized I never watched blood C, another, Higurashi uncensored , I’ve big criticism on those but looking at the deaths uncensored in another and blood C in particular, its taken so far its laughable rather than offensive.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Aug 29. 2014 09:24 AM)
    @Emma: That’s completely understandable, but these two games are made with casual players in mind and are extremely approachable. They are very light on your system requirements so I really suggest you just torrent them and give it it a try (specially Valiant Hearts in your case). I’ll guarantee you’ll get a kick out of them just as much, if not more, than the best LNs that you have played.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 29. 2014 09:18 AM)
    That second one though, the inspiration behind it catches my attention. That light hearted tone with dark themes will need to balance itself out well however.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 29. 2014 09:15 AM)
    I’m not really one for videogames anymore Bam but my brother likes indie games I’ll take note of them and put him onto them then.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Aug 29. 2014 09:10 AM)
    I understand that it might be a little difficult to purchase both if these games, but at least download, play and appreciate them which helps get the word out. I’m sure the game will do a convincing job of making you donate some money to the well-deserved creators (as it did me).

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Clipboard03

Mushishi – 07

Now this was such a beautiful episode. We often see Mushi portrayed as parasites. In fact, they are pretty much based on the insects and viruses of their world. There probably are enough real viruses and insects living in the Mushishi world, but they just aren’t the focus of the series. Anyway, what they did […]

Clipboard04

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 06 & 07

This is where this arc gets weird. We’re still in adventure modus, however in these two episodes Jotaro not only meets some of the most bizarre Stand users, it’s also done in the most camp way possible. You can see a clear difference with the first two seasons of Jojo: there it was all about […]

Clipboard01

Ping Pong – 05 & 06

Episodes 05 and 06 are dedicated to character-development. It’s here where Ping Pong shows that it also knows its stuff in terms of storytelling; the develoment doesn’t start too early or too late, and these two episodes really added depth to all of the different characters, despite that there were no big matches. I’m currently […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi – 03 – 06

I have not forgotten about this show. Not at all. I just finished marathoning these four episodes, and holy cheeseballs on a stick! this is the best anime in years! This was everything I could have hoped for and blows just about everything else out of the water. Talk about raw, powerful storytelling. I now […]

Clipboard03

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – 03 – 05

Jojo really is not kind to its females. Every time a hint is even dropped to a girl kicking ass here, it comes with this weird plot-twist that undermines any fighting potential of them. In this arc, it’s the rule that says that your stand will kill you if youaren’t strong enough. And so, Joseph’s […]

Clipboard01

Ping Pong – 03 & 04

The opening of Ping Pong wasn’t done in time, so the first two episodes showed a sortof montage as a placeholder. Now we know why, with episode 03 and 04. The creators actually got the single best animator currently in the business to oversee it: Shinya Ohira. This guy understands animation like no other. The […]

Clipboard07

Ping Pong – 02

Yes, I know that more people here were involved in making this series beyond Masaaki Yuasa. It’s written by the creator of Tekkon Kinkreet, Taiyo Mashimoto. That guy is awesome. And the combination between those two makes this series even better. Because here’s the thing: anime is significantly different from manga or light novels. Beyond […]

Clipboard02

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 02

We can never quite get rid of magic fights at a school, now can we, Jojo. Ah well, I forgive it this time, just due to how hilarious it looks seeing these ridiculously bulky men walk around pretending to be high school students. It’s just so over the top, and yet Jojo sets itself apart […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi Season 2 – 02

Oh yes. This is it. This is what storytelling should be about: telling real stories about real people, all with their own problems that need to be overcome. And this show does that time and time again in just one episode. I still can’t believe how authentic this series is. The thing is, when I […]

Latest Reviews

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: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]

Clipboard01

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Come wa Machigatteiru Review – 82,5/100

I like surprises, like when a series comes that just turns out to be good against my expectations. Yahari Blahblah from the outside had all the signs to turn into yet another one of those high school comedies: snarky male lead, pointlessly long title that fails at being witty, various other cliched side-characters. And they […]