Posted by psgels on 14 September 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Shangri-La



Well, this is going to be my hardest review to write this season: explaining why the heck I considered Shangri-La among my favourites for the past half year. Even though there is a lot to dislike this series for, it’s really a series that proves to be very solid entertainment for those willing to suspend their disbelief.

I think it’s best explained as follows: imagine a series with a straightforward story, a simple and small cast and a slow pacing. Now imagine a series with a huge setting, a large and diverse cast of characters who all have their own motives and stance, a multi-layered story with a fast pacing that delivers buckets of plot twists each episode. Now, which of these two is likely to have more plotholes? And which one is probably going to be more exciting?

That’s basically the thing with Shangri-La. Granted, throughout the series Kuniko does a number of things that are rather hard to suspend your disbelief at (including breaking the laws of physics), and plotholes are also pretty common for those who pay attention. But at the same time, it had just about everything I look for in an anime.

The concept of Carbon Trading might seem weird at first, but it’s a pretty neat idea for this series to work with, and the setting that this series built around this concept is rich and imaginative. There are lots of different parties with all different priorities, morals and values, and the same goes for the cast: there are a lot of characters, and yet there are hardly two characters with the same outlook on life: everyone feels like an individual, and is interesting to watch and develop. My personal favourite was Karin, who gets the most development in this series.

My favourite part of this series was the plot, though. Throughout the majority of the series, you’re never going to know what to expect. Especially a good portion of the middle part of this series is features an truly excellent mystery plot, in which every revelation only makes the setting even more intriguing than it already was. Every character has so his or her own secrets, that together form a multi-layered storyline that just keeps delivering.

Unfortunately, this series plays the “lazy”-card right at its ending, which is without a doubt rushed. I’m not sure why there are only 24 episodes for this series because it definitely could have used two more episodes to wrap up the story better. The story right now just wants a happy ending a little too badly, even though it has to use lots of deus ex machina to get there. A shame.

The visuals for this series are an interesting beast. They range from rushed to absolutely gorgeous. Especially the first couple of episodes suffer from a collection of rushed shots and drawings, but at the same time some episodes feature the single most visually pleasing shots that I have seen for the past half year. The animation also picks itself up very nicely in the second half, and delivers some really good use of CG and shading to make this a very aesthetically pleasing series. The soundtrack of this series is also among my three favourite soundtracks of the past half year (with the other two belonging to Phantom and the Guin Saga).

So yes, you’re going to have to bring a cup of suspense of disbelief when you want to watch this series, and if you’re not trying to turn over every stone in search of a flaw you’ll be rewarded by a great story with a great setting that always manages to bring something new to the table, instead of dragging at the same point over and over. It’s a fun and diverse series, but I can understand why many hate the plotholes with passion.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10

19 Responses

  1. Meep says:

    I’ve waiting for this review since last night, and I’m pretty satisfied with your review. You really enjoyed the series while acknowleding its many weaknesses, something I wish I could have done for Shangri-La.

    You made me appreciate the characters more. You’re right, none of them are exactly alike, and they’re certainly not like characters I’ve seen anywhere else (except Ryoko and Kuniko). In fact, they’re all VERY different, and some of their quirks make them special stand-out characters…definitely memorable.

    My hard time with Shangri-La was suspending my disbelief. I’ve watched a lot of fantasy anime where I’ve managed to get over that, and get sucked into the world the characters live in. But with Shangri-La, it just wasn’t happening.

    Before this turns into another rant, I just wanna say awesome job on your review. =] As always.

    ~Meep

  2. supertauren says:

    The thing about this series is it has most of the elements that I absolutely hate about anime in it. You know, the little kid somehow beating up an adult or the little kid somehow being smarter than all the adults. It’s bullshit, and I hate it. Also, as you pointed out, lots of things in this series just defy common sense and scientific knowledge.

    However, this show obviously isn’t trying to be smart or realistic I think. Once you accept that, this show is pretty enjoyable. I marathoned most of the episodes after reading a few of your reviews for some of the episodes and I’m glad I did because I enjoyed watching this series. Sure there are flaws but it’s entertainment and I was definitely entertained watching this series.

    Maybe it was just the absolutely ridiculousness of this show that made it so entertaining for me. I mean if you just think about the cast it sounds interesting. A boomerang wielding girl, a tranny, greedy genius lolicon, uptight what what in the butt soldiers, crazy evil super computer villain, etc.

    Oh well, I’m sure there are a lot of people that will hate this show and it’s really understandable because there is a lot to hate about this show. But then again, there’s a lot to hate about Picasso, he painted shit, but people still love him and his work.

  3. RE says:

    Storytelling: 7/10
    Characters: 6/10
    Production-Values: 4/10
    Setting: 7/10

    Without Mikuni, this is nothing!

  4. blah says:

    Crap series -> crap ending. How could people expect anything different?

  5. Rex says:

    I will just make this short even though i could write pages about it:

    Shangri-La was an OK series. not good, but not bad either. The setting, the premise, the plot, the characters all felt fresh and interesting. But it had a horrible execution and direction, and was only saved because of the aforementioned positive points.
    This series could EASILY have been a fantastic anime had it been made with a bigger budget or an entirely different team altogether. Had it been made with the same amount of quality as Gonzo’s previous work like “Last Exile”, woah! Just thinking about it makes me dislike Shangri-La even more as it is now.
    But still, it was alright.

  6. skchai says:

    The plotholes come almost entirely from trying to cram a very complex, not-so-light (nearly 600 page) science fiction novel into 25 episodes. So the Atlas, Metalage/Nagiko, Digma stories are told in such a perfunctory way that you can never quite figure out what happened, much less get drawn into them. The numerous deux ex machina similarly having to bring story arcs to conclusion fast without all the development of the novel.

    Gonzo had a lot of balls going for a self-financed science fictioner when it’s on the brink of bankruptcy. moreover one that lacks the usual surefire anime tropes and tackles complex subjects like carbon trading. On top of this, or to compensate for this, they splurged on Range Murata character designs. But the execution was uneven – not horrible, but bad enough at times to doom whatever chance the show had of commercial success. The crucial first five episodes, which had to draw in a not-ready-made audience, including some of most poorly animated of the entire series, and unfortunately Kuniko and her fellow female characters suffered the most from this, often coming across as boxy and crudely drawn. So much for the otaku market.

    Given the resources (and the future of a company) invested in it, Shangri-La must go down in history as one of the most epic commercial failures in TV anime history. The R2 DVD #1 sold a pathetic

  7. skchai says:

    Oop’s now I realized I enclosed the last part in tags (please delete the repeat posts, sorry):

    Given the resources (and the future of a company) invested in it, Shangri-La must go down in history as one of the most epic commercial failures in TV anime history. The R2 DVD 1 sold a pathetic several hundred its first week, and I just hope this is not Gonzo’s death knell. Saki was the hit of the season but it was a piecework contract with Kadokawa, so Gonzo won’t reap much of the profits. I know a lot of people enjoy bashing on Gonzo, but it is one of the few studios that seems to enjoy taking chances on risky non-genre material (albeit balancing it off with its share of service-oriented shows). I’m afraid that the lesson of this season will be to stick to genre and avoid any complicated.

  8. chounokoe says:

    I must say I nearly completely agree with you on Shangri La, now I could finally finish it after escaping the terror of 56k Internet.
    Nearly, because I liked the final episode very much, because it was so heaviliy Japanese in many terms that it just made my student-heart jump.

    In the end it is sad, that a series like Shangri La, which really tried something different (on todays standards of anime), failed so heavily on a commercial base. I can also only hope Gonzo will not go down with this one, because after this series I have hopes to see something interesting from them again in the future.

    I understand how many people can have issues with this series, because sometimes it just draws on so many strings (Japaneseness, ridiculing clichés, etc.) that you just have to know some stuff to really get what they are trying to imply.
    They had time issues and they had financial issues, but I loved the series and I’m glad there’s someone out there who likes it too.

  9. Solaris says:

    I don’t know what to say about Shangri La. Did i like it or not? At first i liked it, but i must say there are issues here!
    The complex story and the beautiful scenery are indeed a win, but something wasn’t all right.
    Some comments cleared up my mind better.
    Too many deux ex machina and clichees hindered this show’s success.
    I mean, why the hell it takes a bunch of little girls to save the world, handle supercomputers or being powerful expers?
    Why the third AAA character, the only one who could at least balance the man’s pride in this show, was left so much out of the story? Indeed the cast semmed to have been written by feminists: females chars are the only righteous, in the good or in the bad, despite men are all flawed chars, they’re at least traitors or weak, if not puppets in the hands of some leading girl. Aww too bad.
    Anyhow, despite the many flaws i liked this anime and am going to rewatch the entire show for better understanding.

  10. Robhiengler says:

    There is suspending disbelief then there is bullshitting straight off the bat. What I most dislike is the utter pretentiousness and callous disregard for anything factual in the entire series i.e. scientific, mythology, historical.

    Condensing the entire 536 page novel into 24 episodes wasn’t the reason for the major plotholes – the source material itself is responsible as well as the fact that most of the episodes were spent doing nothing, not even developing the characters or filling in the setting.

    This resulted in the story-telling itself “rambling”: the characters being undeveloped and paper-thin as well as their motivations. In fact by the end of it several main characters were utterly superfluous to the story.

    The only redeeming feature was reasonable backgrounds and premise of a dystopian global-warming future.

    Storytelling: 1/10
    Characters: 2/10
    Production-Values: 7/10
    Setting: 5/10

    Note to self: pay more attention to comments under review.

  11. chounokoe says:

    While everyone’s personal opinion is valid and all that, I have to disagree with some of your points there.

    While I can’t say anything about the scientific accuracy of the plot, because I have no actuall interest in that to be honest, there is nothing wrong in using certain mythological items and interpreting them in a new way…or is there?
    Mythological characters, places and items are nothing more than images, which represent certain factors and stances…and this is exactly what Shangri La used them for.

    I would assume you read the source novel if you say it is ridden with plotholes, too, were it not for the fact that you already got the pages wrong (it’s 592 pages…at least in my version).
    You should not really try comparing the finale of the novel and the anime. For anyone who is interested, the basic premise of the novel-finale is as follows:

    —–Spoiler for source-novel—–

    Kuniko is ordered by Zeus’ voice to find the holy items of Japan (sword, mirror and jewel) and learns, that she was created to become one of the possible future emperor’s of Japan.
    In the end she encounters Nagiko in the central controlroom of Atlas, where Nagiko reveals herself to be one of the last people of the Yamato-clan and that she originally started the Atlas project under a different name.
    It was planned to become the new Ame no Mihashira (The pillar of heaven) and to connect the land back to the gods. Kuniko herself is a clone of the Jimmu Tennô, the first emperor of Japan and grandson of Amaterasu. The mummy of that emperor lies at the center of the old palace, on the deepest floor of Atlas (there is no Himiko in the novel). Tarshan gave that plan codenames, for example Ame no Mihashira became Atlas.

    Nagiko summons the spirit of Jimmu from the mainframe of Zeus (through which it controlled Atlas), the mummy revives and announces his plan to destroy Japan, save a small ammount of worthy people with Atlas and form a new homeland, with the 4th holy item, the Amenonuboko (the heavenly spear), which is described as a plasma weapon.

    In the end Hiruko destroys the mummy of Jimmu and takes his spirit into his vessel, to claim his place as a god which was taken from him by birth. But Kuniko and Mikuni destroy him with Ame no Nuboko.

    ————–

    The whole plot is quite different to that of the anime from the point where Miiko enters the service of Mikuni.
    But still I liked the anime’s plot quite a lot, the only thing that lacked was a really consistent finale, because Ryouko was just never meant to be Zeus in the first place.
    I do not exactly understand what exactly your problem with the characters was, as I would not call them paper-thin.

    It’s of course up to you, to like or dislike certain anime…but at certain points you make things out to be a weakpoint, when it is just personal opinion.

  12. Robhiengler says:

    chounokoe WHICH POINTS HAVE I MADE THAT ARE WEAK?

    You cannot make that claim then not back it up!

    I would also refer you to my posts UNDER EPISODE 20-24 regarding weakness of characters.

    Well you’ll have to take it from me that the science and economics are utter bullshit, please read every episode post as I have gone into detail. Its just LAZINESS on the part of the writers.
    ———————————————–

    chounokoe/SHANGRI-LA WEAK POINT 1
    First of all Izanagi and Izanami decended FROM heaven via Amenoukihashi (“Floating Bridge of Heaven”).

    The pillar called Amenomihashira was created as part of a ritual so they can mate: it has nothing to do with connecting earth and heaven. So Shangri-La and you AREN’T REINTERPRETING mythology, you got it completely utterly wrong. It’s very basic immutable concepts we are talking about.

    ———————————————–

    chounokoe/SHANGRI-LA WEAK POINT 2

    Emperor Jimmu – First of all his misasagi, or tomb, can be found in Kashihara in Nara prefecture, a short distance from Kashihara Shrine NOT FUCKING CENTRAL TOKYO! Again bare-faced bullshit from Shangri-La. Secondly I doubt he is a mummy. Thirdly you cannot clone women from Male DNA and Vice-versa. Fourthly Jimmu was never a god, perhaps divinely decended but not a god. Don’t they teach you history in Japan?

    ———————————————–

    chounokoe/SHANGRI-LA WEAK POINT 3

    Amenonuboko (the heavenly spear) is not part of the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan and have nothing to do with the enthronement ceremony. They are meant to represent sun, moon and STARS (not wind) or Power, knowledge and wealth. In addition a PLASMA weapon – this is meant to be a DIVINE MAGICAL WEAPON which created the first land in Japan not a scifi toy.

    ———————————————–

    chounokoe/SHANGRI-LA WEAK POINT 4

    Greek References have nothing to do with their Mythological counterparts.

    Zeus – Head God of olympus, but NOT all powerful or all knowing certainly he doesn’t rule the sea or the underworld ever hear of Posiedon & Hades? – how is this related to a DNA computer? What is the symbolism here?

    Atlas – was a primordial Titan who HELD UP the heavens NOT CONNECTED them to earth. Also in this case the tower is more suitably represent the Hakko-Ichiu Monument as mentioned in the anime it was built to rule the world essentially in racial imperialistic terms.

    MEDUSA – a chthonic female monster called a gorgon with snakes for hair. The program was a snake? or not but that’s where the similarities end. Did it represent feminine rage or male castration? – no. Turn anything to stone? – no. It would have been better to call it HYDRA or PYTHON.

    ———————————————–

    SHANGRI-LA OTHER WEAK POINTS

    See Comments under episode 24

    So what’s the DANGER of HACK & SLASHING Mythology – it profoundly distorts any understanding or appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of nations and in this case it was used at the most trivial and superficial level to make it appear that the plot was deeper and more profound than it actually is. My point is have some decency to do it properly and not RAPE and disregard the source material to suit your plot – its not clever and quite frankly insults the intelligence.

  13. chounokoe says:

    So yes, you mainly answered my question about you, wether you like interpretations or not…you just don’t.
    Well that is you’re opinion, but bending the rules of a mythological item does not make it a false representation. It is merely taking it’s symbolic meaning and transferring it to another object, using the name, which calls upon a certain image or convention in the reader’s/viewer’s mind.

    So I also assume you really have not read the source material and preferred to stay silent about it.

    About weakpoint 1:
    Ame no Mihashira, as the name implies, was a pillar erected on the first island, which was meant to symbolize the connection between the new homeland and the heavens from which Izanami and Izanagi descended.
    This is merely an interpretation of the pillars function within the creation myth, as it was a pivotal object in the creation of Japan.

    About weakpoint 2:
    We are not talking about the human (or humans) who was later fabricated into the representation of the Jimmu Tennô.
    Shangri La refers to the mythical figure in the Kôjiki or Nihonshôki. He was a descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu and by her command became the first emperor of Japan. She bestowed upon him the three treasures (the sword to conquer, the jewel to symbolize and the mirror to see her image in himself) and he claimed the throne of Japan, as the link between gods and humans.
    It is assumed that an emperor like that (even without the mythical part) never existed, but that he was fabricated, a collective persona of the first rulers of Japan.

    About weakpoint 3:
    Of course Ame no Nuboko is NOT a mythical treasure, that is the whole point.
    The spear was never mentioned again in mythological records, but in Shangri La’s plot it was left on earth to the clan of Yamato.
    In the creation myth it was that spear which stired up the Japanese ocean and the droplets from it’s tip formed the Japanese islands. In the novel this is an ancient interpretation of a device to reform matter.

    About weak point 4:
    It is not about 1:1 direct compatibility, but about the basic universal concepts that those items represent.
    For example Zeus was a descendant of the first gods, who was made out to rule over humanity, while not being one himself. This category can be translated unto the function of the Jimmu Tennô in mythological records.

    The Atlas who is referred to mostly was (in Greek mythology) a titan who had to keep the heavenly sphere and the earthly sphere from touching, so that Gaia and Ouranos did not return to the mass of chaos.
    Ame no Mihashira was a pillar that represented the connection of the land and the heavens, but also the fact that those two were not one.

    Medusa has several interpretations. I think the one that Ikegami was aiming for was that Medusa angered the god by aspiring to be as beautiful (and thus powerful) as them and was turned into her monstrous shape as punishment.
    Karin tried to break into the divine realm without actually having knowledge about it, but was punished anyway.

    ——

    My point is, that you should maybe think about the function of certain mythological conventions and beliefs some more. It is not about representing them without change, it is about staying true to their basic meaning.
    Cultural heritage should not be considered a solid object, but a mass which can be reformed and used both in a classical as in a modern sense. If we are not able to do that, then Campbell is actually right and myths ARE doomed to vanish completely.

    If you of course only LIKE the classical approach, then that is up to you alone, but you should really stay open towards the potential of literature and media as it can open some really interesting views.

  14. Robhiengler says:

    Actually I’m fine with reinterpretations or even referencing.
    Let me see Gilgamesh for instance, Ragnarok, Dragon Ball Z, Heroic Age or Souten Kouro.

    The difference is they didn’t slaughter the source material or pretend it to be something it wasn’t did they you ignorant fuck. So do I mind re-interpretations NO? Do I mind shit stories with no regard for the source material they RAPE – yes! That isn’t staying TRUE to the basic meaning is IT now?

    Are YOU a twat who actually doesn’t answer my questions regarding the anime series then makes a defence saying you have to read the LIGHT NOVEL as a pretense to be pseudo-intellectual and actually know anything about mythology – I guess so.

    Is the Novel available IN ENGLISH? If it is provide me a link; that’s why I asked YOU the questions about it. IN ADDITION, MY criticism is mainly of the ANIME or are YOU THAT DENSE!?

    What you’ve just pointed out “BENDING THE RULES” just means you agree they’ve assigned a completely different meaning or symbolism from the original so your statement:

    “certain image or convention in the reader’s/viewer’s mind.”

    IS UTTERLY FALSE! The symbolism has utterly changed or been fabricated.

    For example:

    ———————————————–

    About weakpoint 2:

    The three items were given by Amaterasu to her grand-son Ninigi-no-Mikoto the person in question. I am familiar with the story; more so than you. Ninigi’s his line are cursed with mortality as he rejects Iwa-Naga-Hime, therefore Jimmu was a never god and could never be a god.

    SOURCE: Kojiki 1:41
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/kj/kj044.htm

    Again you also fail to address the point OF THE CRITICISM that Emperor Jimmu’s tomb IS NOT IN TOKYO! Considering this story is meant to take place in a dystopoian future based in this reality!

    ———————————————–

    About weakpoint 3:
    Ancient device to reform matter now is it. I thought it was PLASMA Spear as YOU SAID. So is it science or is occult/magic? It can’t be both. In addition the spear has nothing to do with the concept of divine right to rule. Therefore symbolically is meaningless as japan already exists. Again FAILED to address the POINT!

    ———————————————–

    About weak point 4:
    Actually you’ll find that Zeus wasn’t MADE to rule humanity at all. Again this SHOWS YOUR UTTER LACK OF KNOWLEDGE. Zeus overthrew the Titans and seized power. Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers, Poseidon and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, and Hades the world of the dead (the underworld). Zeus had to also fight creatures Gaia created Typhon and Echidna: so his rule was NOT destined or by divine right either.

    Wasn’t Jimmu Tennô given the divine right to rule Japan ALONE – huge difference. See your comparisons are utterly superficial.

    ATLAS: he was there to HOLD Gaia and Ouranus APART not connect them as his punishment. You do realise that Gaia and Ouranus are primordial deities and as such do not relate to the concept of heaven and earth as in Japanese mythology!? Ever hear of Elysium and Tartarus (Heaven and Hell)? The Gods as well reside in Olympus not YOURANUS.

    MEDUSA: I’m sorry in what way was the program MEDUSA trying to be beautiful? Now you’re grasping at straws here. Karin was trying to break into the divine realm how exactly, in so far as making money?

    ———————————————–

    WEAKPOINT 1

    Ame-no-Mihashira Again you are trying to change your argument. First it was meant to bridge heaven and earth. Now its a symbol of a symbolic connection? Actually I’ll think you’ll find the symbolism that the pillar represents is that “its the centre of the world”: the cosmic axis, which is all the anime got right with regards to ley-lines. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with connecting heaven and earth as you claim.

    Oh I read a lot of literature perhaps you should actually do some reading yourself as you clearly have a utter disregard for science, mythology or history. Maybe look up R.E. Howard and I.P. Lovecraft as examples of how to create a Mythos from pre-existing ideas without raping the source material.

    Additionally Joseph Campbell never said take mythology and rape it at a superficial level so it utterly fails to resemble the original material.

    When did he ever say that “Myths ARE doomed to vanish completely?” Provide your source: That sounds like an outright LIE you’ve provided.

    Joseph Campbell did claim:

    “modern society lacks the stability it previously derived from being educated in the mythology and legends of the Greek and Roman classics”

    and

    there is no effective mythology in modern society by which individuals can relate to their role in the world

    Comments about society, nothing about Myths dying out. Let’s face it with the number of fantasy films its hardly going to happen. Shangri-La for me is the equivalent of the Twilight series – raping a pre-existent mythos and facts so it barely resembles the original source material i.e. utter rubbish.

    Sounds like you’re living in the myth chounokoe that Shangri-La is actually a good piece of literature and not toilet paper.

  15. chounokoe says:

    The fact that you took the liberty of being insulting shows that you’re not exactly what one could call a reasonable partner in a discussion…so I’ll just make it short.

    2: Yes I actually forgot it was Ninigi whom Amaterasu gave the items to. So they were just inherited by Jimmu.
    Yet the fact that his actual tomb is not in Tokyo, the same goes for Himiko in the anime, may be a historical inaccuracy but it is questionable if the tomb that is regarded as Jimmu’s grave today is actually the resting place of that mythical person who is referred to in the Kojiki.

    3: Why can’t it be both? It is quite possible to explain ancient myths as a simple explanation of more complicated scientific principles.
    The spear is supposed to be used to reform matter through a plasma beam (don’t know in how far that is techno-babble or actually possible), so it is not about creating Japan, but about recreating Japan. That plot was widely dropped in the anime, which was a bit sad, because the reason for Ame no Nuboko to be there became nonexistent.
    In the novel Nagiko wanted to give the rule back to the ancient tribe of Yamato, by forming a new Japan and channeling Jimmu’s spirit into Kuniko, who was to become the new emperor.

    4. I’ll admit that my knowledge of Greek mythology is rather rudimentary, so I don’t know every aspect of it.
    Japanese mythology also proves much more difficult, so it is obvious that some corners have to be cut. Yet it is more about the position of creating order in a world that is perceived as chaotic, which connects Jimmu and Zeus at a certain point.
    In the anime it was a bit less obvious with the mummy being Himiko, who, while supposedly being an important empress, did not play a very prominent role in Japanese history.

    Atlas held them apart, I said nothing else.
    Yet due to the act of serving as a pillar he also connected them.

    Medusa was designed to be strong enough to controll the world via it’s network systems. In the end Karin’s attempt failed and she lost control over Medusa.

    1: I wasn’t saying it was bridging heaven and earth but that it was connecting them in a symbolic sense.

    You assume that a work referring to mythological concepts has to copy their structure to have a right to display them, I don’t.

    Well, I prefer to end it here. A person who was to resort to insult is someone I do not want to discuss with.

  16. Robhiengler says:

    Well let’s not forget you insulted me and essentially everything I wrote by claiming:

    “wether you like interpretations or not…you just don’t.

    so if you’re not going to bother to read my reply and put words in my mouth I call that VERY UNREASONABLE. The other point is I don’t like to be condescended by someone who takes the stance that I must know nothing of Oriental Mythology purely because I have a western name – that is just downright racist.

    2: Questionable by who? I would say there is more evidence to support this than there is for what the anime/book claims to be in Tokyo.

    3: Yes it is Technobabble. Also if you choose to explain the spear in scientific terms then that has to extend to everything occult/magic as well not to mention an explanation for deities. You can’t have it both ways.

    Considering the Japanese monarchy allegedly has a 1500 years unbroken line of sucession where was the present emperor why did they feel the need to get Jimmu back? Why was Kuniko made a girl if she was intended to be Jimmu’s vessel?

    4: So now its about law and order now? I think you’ll find that under whatever ruler you’ll have law and order of some form. Emperor Jimmu’s emphasis is on unification of the world under his sacred rule not on law and order. Strawman argument you’ve put forward, essentially substitute Zeus with any head-deity.

    Himiko was the shaman empress of Yamataikoku; quite honestly she was clearly there for the occult angle – clue is the shaman bit.

    Medusa was created as a market program to make Karin money. Maybe wealth=power? It was only when Zeus hacked it at least in the anime then it tried to take over the world nuclear systems, something which Karin hadn’t anything to do with.

    As regards to Atlas you compared it to Ame no Mihashira: my point is they serve utterly different purposes symbolically and practically therefore you cannot make comparisons.

    and Atlas connects Earth to sky in a very PRACTICAL sense not symbolically.

    You would have been better off calling it Mount Olympus or axis mundi or Jacob’s Ladder.

    ———————————————–

    Finally I don’t assume anything. IF you are going to use mythological concepts then you have to honor the framework of the original material. You cannot just go making up things which go completely against the facts or has such a superficial connection as to be non-existent, ESPECIALLY if your trying to pass yourself off as profound intellectual anime. It really is an insult to the audience.

    If you want to see an anime which does this referencing of mythology acceptably WELL then I suggest you watch Heroic age.

    Also I’m still waiting for your Joseph Campbell source.

    • Reaper says:

      Pardon my french but u are an asshole.

    • cras says:

      I don’t see why the writers can’t use the “names” of Greek Gods for their own purposes. You just don’t like the fact that it’s not according to what we know, well I haven’t even watched the series, but I’m not against having “Zeus” referred to as something else.

      Also, why are you so mad? lol
      This discussion was quite enjoyable until you started being insulting, which make your posts unreadable.

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its almost like he could be an antagonist
SuperMario
For me I don't mind if I have to pay to watch the series/ films, but damn it don't restrict me to access it. Entertainment medium is meant to be an exposure (for the lack of better terms), it's supposed to be available to the mass and nobody care for a series that isn't available for streaming. We have way too many other options out there
SuperMario
"Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem". Someone said that and I couldn't say it better
SuperMario
@Amagi: which part of Firework that you stopped? It's the movie that make less and less sense as the story goes on so I feel you on that
Amagi
I really wonder what's up with this guy. Considering the hype and VN screens he gets he seems to be more than just random side-protagonist. Looking forward to the rest of this series.
Anonymous2039704
One of my favorite OPs this season
Amagi
Now I textwalled again and feel bad.
Amagi
In short: be it indie-products or official series or papers, just upload everything on a virtual plattform and you'll get a bigger audience, many of them even willing to pay as long as they get what they want in high quality.
Amagi
Something might only become popular 4 weeks later but it doesn't matter because it's still there and people can watch it whenever they want and the other series don't matter since it isn't a classical rivalry as we know it from tv.
Amagi
"Less people watched the first episode than the 1000th iteration of [insert some "classic" movie old people watch for the sake if it]. With streaming plattforms like Netflix and others series just get dumped and are always accesible.
Amagi
Another reason for why I prefer streams and stuff: TV and quotes are a horror. They often cancelled series after one or two episodes because the quotes didn't live up to what they wanted. Instead of giving a new series some time. It needs time to get a fanbase and people often need weeks to even know about a new series, but nope.
Amagi
In the end such things are usually screened in ~3 places around the country for a day or two. So if you aren't living nearby or have work to do on that day: good luck.
Amagi
Sometimes it isn't their fault though, like when there is an anime or some indie guy from my country is making a movie - and nobody wants to show them.
Amagi
Same here. I really want to give small companies or indie/artists a chance, but it's not always easy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
What baffled me was the British film institute blocking Irish users using their legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Believe it or not I actually WANT to support.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I do pirate alot, in cases where an obscure film actually gets a cinema release I make sure to pay to see it at the cinema, I support all the rare anime screenings too.
Amagi
There is so much stuff I had to pirate or I would have had to relinquish it completely. Even with non-fiction books for my university studies.
Amagi
lmao. But I 100% agree. Maybe you're lucky if you live in the US but otherwise you are often enough f*ed. Bad marketing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Point I was trying to make is that, region blocking is only encouraging piracy more.
Amagi
narf~ couldn't manage to finish that Firework movie, do I miss much? It seems like something that might have a bunch of good ideas for the later part but the first half just bored me and I couldn't get into it for some reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Release your damn indie project on a reputable site or at least offer a paypal option and if its something off-colour in content, send the bloody thing digitally and not as a dvd.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh look, funimation releases eng dub trailer...think I'll...wat....oh wait this video is not available in your region"
Kaiser-Eoghan
"This video cannot be streamed outside of"
"Sorry we do not deliver to Ireland"
"Sorry this film from less than a decade is out of print"
Yeah, fuck legal streaming, just for that I'm pirating you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Truly you have become the most super of Marios.
SuperMario
Finally pulling those reviews out. Guys, if you're expecting for Hinamatsuri and Masotan posts, the former will be done tomorrow and if I have more time I will do the second one too. Enjoy for now
Anonymous2037529
LWA academia is probably the only trigger project i've truly cared about. I haven't watched KlK to completion or luluco for that matter(i got to get around to that) but ive seen everything else and i just don't give a damn about any of em
Amagi
But to say something positive - I liked the second episode of Kamuy way better than the first one. Budget seems to be really bad but the rest makes up for it it seems.
Amagi
I think Luluco was the only one I enjoyed after KlK which already had a bunch of problems - but overall it was far too entertaining for me to seriously care about those.
Amagi
Guess the last 1/3 might be more interesting when they start with the actual world building for once, although they could probably slam the love stuff even more in our faces but who knows. Not fond of any of the latest Trigger anime to be honest.
Amagi
Also they're really overdoing it with all that obvious message stuff and the "love superpower" trope I always hated anyway. Still watching I mean at least it has a plot and tries.
Amagi
I still can't care about anyone or anything in this series I think it's really not made for me. I might have liked Goro but he's too unimportant and the sauros revelation was kind of a letdown since it's the most common twist for these kinds of things.
AidanAK47
Alright Franxx, you are forgiven for episode 14.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Do you ever go to those surprise horror/thriller preview screenings? Where they don't tell you what film it is until it starts?
Kaiser-Eoghan
*worrying about
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its saying something, when I haven't seen eternal sunshine since it came out, but even by re-watching the trailer, the feelings, the whole film comes back. At that point I'd grown out of Jim Carey's comedy, so seeing him play against type was refreshing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Ah, I'm more forgiving then, I'm likely to give higher points for sheer imagination that I'm not as bothered by worry about the story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Any negative argument against mood indigo by him can be countered by the fact it has Audrey Tatou in it.
Anonymous2035464
jhonrhean
SuperMario
and I just watched A Quiet Place. A solid indie horror one. It builds on atmosphere and it does the family chemistry right
SuperMario
I don't like The Science of Sleep to be honest. Tons of interesting ideas and visually creativeness but the story itself is a mess
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Gondry needs to avoid making any more commercial comedies, he also needs to start working with Kaufman again, they brought out the best in each other, although on his own, he can be playful and inventive with his films, such as mood indigo and science of sleep.
SuperMario
But check out his other movie Eternal sunshine of Spotless Mind. It has an inventive mind control/ mind altering concept in there
SuperMario
Jim Carrey is kind of mind controller himself. I couldn't take my eyes off him
SuperMario
@anon2028818: it was indeed season 5. SORRY FOR MY IGNORANCE :)
Vonter
The Jim Carrey movies.
Vonter
Dorei-ku seems like a Kakegurui. You see one episode you've seen all. It'll be better if it was crazier like Mirai Nikki. Mind control IMO could be a very creepy setup if it's watched through the perspective of the victim rather than the perpetrator. Losing notion or reality and control. Could liar liar and Yes man be considered mind controlled stories?
Vonter
Ore Mahou Shoujo, baffles me, since I had to skip another long musical off key number, which makes me wonder where the budget cut starts and where the trolling begins. Also makes me sad, there aren't a lot of female to male transformations since it'll be interesting watching that perspective. Maybe a love triangle from both genders could apply since females are more accepted to be bi, in media.
Vonter
Megalobox could be something really special, but I hope like with Ashita no Joe, the anime isn't solely boxing. Joe, had social commentary, had a personal struggle do to the protagonist origin, attitude and view of life, since he started very immature and rebellious.
Amagi
Megalo Box, Tiramisu (I find this genuinely funny), S;0, GGO which is so much better than SAO, Wotaku, Hinamatsuri, Cutie Honey, LotGH, Hisone to Masotan and so on
Amagi
I really love this season as well.
Lenlo
Also personally I am enjoying this current season a alot. But I also know/like a good bit of the reboots/sequels
Lenlo
Oh man... 2015 winter was good. Forgot thats when those came out
Anonymous2028818
@SuperMario: Wasn't that Natsume season 5?, pretty sure season 4 was several years earlier.
SuperMario
Another strong anime season for me was 2015 Winter, where we had YuriKuma Arashi, Maria the Virgin Witch, Death Parade, Durarara whatever season, second cour of Shirobako, Parasyte and Your Lie in April
SuperMario
Even so, with this season I'm still willing to give some shows another chance, like Caligula or Cutie Honey Universe(!)
SuperMario
For me, the best season in recent years was Fall 2016 when we had Flip Flappers, Sound Eupho 2, Yuri on Ice, Natsume 4, Fune wo Amu, Drifters and 3-gatsu no Lion. But I know that Aidan would disagree with me on this
SuperMario
@anon2028201: it's me who said this season is a mixed bag. It's like you said, this season is too heavily on sequels/ reboots and only some new anime stand out, the rest of the pack is just meh.
Anonymous2028201
To me this seems like a pretty good seasons, but judging some of the impressions, it's a bit more of a mixed bag for most. Just curious, what were the best seasons for recent anime? This one seems good to me, but to early to tell right now
Anonymous2028201
Lovin this season so far: a lot of reboots/reimaginings and sequels, but I'm enjoying them all. MHA S3, LOGH DNT, S;G 0, Megalobox, Golden Kamuy are what I'm watching right now. I hear Full Metal Panic is good as well, but I haven't gotten around to watching the original series.
Anonymous2028258
so i just recently rewatched fullmetal panic fumoffu and i gotta say that this is easily one of Kyo ani's best works. It's such a surprise that this was their first anime; it's a damn good romance comedy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lol I love B-movie type stuff, because the rules are off.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was the only person who watched Mazinkaiser skl and shin mazinger and skullman.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Takeshi Koike really wanted to really sell it as a grindhouse feature and I ate that shit up; I really dug the tone he was going for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was strange seeing that Goemon short, much as I enjoyed it, thats the goriest I seen lupin get.
Anonymous2026379
Megalo box is pure retro while lupin is a mix of old and new...and you're right; people just think they can't jump right into it. But that's why more people should be talking about it; to let the masses know that you don't need a starting point to get into the Lupin franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a massive fan of the devilman manga and I thought devilman crybaby was better than it.
Anonymous2026379
90's-esque throwback feeling shows like lupin and megalo box have been giving me
Anonymous2026379
Luoin part 5 is definitely mixing the best of new and old. Honestly, I've been having a blast with it as well as this generally 90
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the problem is, people see lupin as this long thing they can't get into, when really its so episodic/standalone mostly you can pick up and watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course getting the best bits out of old and new.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*visual style
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a fan of this hybrid old and new style, megalobox does it too, mine fujiko aswell and casshern sins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how well the Fujiko mine show came together in the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll be interested in picking up more facts about thrm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come think of it, Akira Kurosawa did some old western (eastern?) in Russian, that had an Ainu in it.
Anonymous2026379
Asirpa is sooooo adorable.....almost feels patronizing to say that about her due to how badass she is
Anonymous2026379
What makes Fujiko work so well as this sexy icon is that she isn't just sexy: she's smart as shit and uses that sexiness to dominate and control her opponents (similar to bayonetta) rather than be chained by the objectification of her opponents (and the viewers for that matter)
Anonymous2026379
I wonder what other obscure cameos we may get this season. And yea you're right about some of Lupin's potentially sexist traits being assuaged by his level of cool and the genuine respect he shows a good deal of the women he has encountered throughout the series
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yet still a fun film at the same time.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Yea, mamo was a pretty dark element introduced to the lupin franchise; and considering the tone of the gravestone of Jigen, it makes sense he would cameo there
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Help I want to kidnap Asirpa =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm probably as surprised as you, at finding someone to talk to about Lupin on here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: And through comparing/contrasting the jigen grave stone and Fujiko mine, with some of the sillier older ones, it shows the Lupin characters are flexible enough to work both in a darker AND sillier context.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fujiko is precisely how a fanservicey character should work and how built in/essential it is to her haracter, without becoming an irritant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: By all means Lupin himself shouldn't be a character we like, much like Bond, but like Bond theres a coolness to the character that allows us to love him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Another great thing about Lupin is how it uses its 60s cool to get away with what would normally probably be considered fairly sexist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I had a big smile on my face when Mamo made a cameo appearance at the end of one of the recent ones and thats because I remember the Lupin Mamo movie was one of those first anime that I watched about 20 years aago.
Anonymous2026379
not to mention that its one of the few anime this season that actually knows how to utilize dialogue to explore flesh out its characters rather than exposition or contrivance: looking at you darling in the franxx
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser-Eoghan Nice fun facts; but yea Lupin III is a series that has always had an amazing sense of pacing and adventure, traits that are definitely on display this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its a huge franchise too so I'm often never sure where to go next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may or may not know this, but the voice actor for solid snake voiced Lupin in one of the dubs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I watched a few episodes of the Italy set lupin show too .
Its a fun franchise due to its cast but its something I have to follow irregularly, lest it get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fun fact, guy who directed the gold of babylon film was a famous B-movie noir director in the 60s.
Lenlo
Dont trust anything written by the original SAO author. Everything is his fault. Kirito is not in this series.
Lenlo
Even the original SAO author has little to do with it, which is why its actually good
Lenlo
So SAO Alt is basically completely removed from the rest of SAO
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lupin is one of those things I dip in and out of, whatever part of the franchise it is. I've seen birdcage kingdom, Mamo, cagliostro, nostradamus, Jigens grave stone, mine fujiko and the recent Goemon centred special.
Anonymous2026379
it's a damn shame not a lot of ppl are talkig about/watching lupin the third this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
But for all I know with that team behind it, its an improvement, but theres probably not much point in me watching as I dropped the first season after less than 10 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See how he attempts to seduce me into watching something related to sword art.
Lenlo
Huh... I didnt know the writer for SAO Alt was written by the Kino's Journey creator and produced by the Flip Flappers people. Explains a lot
Lenlo
I wish I knew what you meant by shaman girls, and I cant wait
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Oh I know Leskinen. May he find his Japanese Shaman girls one day. But seeing as I know the story I wanna experience it differently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its even set in hokkaido, Korean/Japanese director, Japanese cast, Ken Watanabe is in it: https://letterboxd.com/film/unforgiven-2013/
Lenlo
Also, I love the ED. Really, 2 episodes in, I love S;G all over again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: really? They remade Unforgiven in Japanese?
Lenlo
its*
Lenlo
Like... is good.
Lenlo
But your missing out on the cult of Leskinen. The engrish is actually one of my favorite parts
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Meanwhile I am happily waiting for the dub.
Lenlo
Dangit... I have to wait another week for Steins;Gate 0 now. I cant do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Japanese remake of unforgiven had ainu people in it.
Anonymous2025797
Also I wonder if budget is distributed according to the director, some animes will spend more in the first episode. Some will spend more in the last ones. It's subjective, but if it's like all business it is looking for the better result at the minimum expense. Hence why I believe Berserk was made the way it did.
Anonymous2025797
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ideally a story should be as long as it needs. But reality seems that a number of episodes is decided before production. And so you either have to stretch or cut material. Kinda like that 300 page manga of Les Miserables, is simply unfeasible translating that book into that few pages.
KTravlos
Oberstein was a great character.
KTravlos
I actually feel Aidan can do a good job on it. Sometimes been too exposed to the material may lead to clouded eyes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I'm surprised by how I unexpectedly laughed at wotaku, I do wonder if later on it will include any slight drama elements to sustain interest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
OMO; OBERsteins; Gate =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
From watching episode 2 of golden kamuy, yeah, the source material definitely is lifting this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm going to have to wait and see on steins; gate 0, it is encouraging to here this might be darker , at the same time I remember having to sit through too much goofy humour in the first one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was actually surprised, that, while rare, there were some moments of humour, that lightened it for me.
AidanAK47
Throughout the entire series I expected Oberstein to pull some inevitable double cross. And was shocked when he never did.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree with Oberstein. I think antagonists are es important as the mains in fiction and I loved this guy, he's perfect for series like these.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Galactic heroes was an example of where when watching it, when big death scenes occured, I would make noooooo and shouting noises at the screen while clenching my fist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love characters like Oberstein, shrewd, clever, but done right to where I can believe it, not characters like, say Lelouch .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd be concerned if the new galactic heroes series skimps on the violence, that kind of thing needs to be in there, in most shows/films and shown to be explicit, consequences need to be shown.
Amagi
*about, not with
Amagi
Sadly, most original 2+ cours series I know feel dragged whereas many 1 cours originals could have needed ~3 more episodes. Talking with series that have an actual plot of course.
Amagi
I really like the 13 episodes thingy for originals but I wish there would be more 26 episodes series, especially for adaptions.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I agree. Nothing kills my interest faster than formularic episodes and repetition.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In general I think 50 episodes would be the most I'd watch for an anime, 39 seems ideal.
Amagi
Or worse and the romance drama is the main plot and it's Kiznaiver all over again, while the rest is just flavor to make the romances more forced since they're the MCs are only teens and such. Dunno but I can never bring myself to care about this kind of stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though better 110 episodes of galactic heroes than a long shounen that just repeats itself.
Amagi
Speaking of recent episodes, I unironically thing that FranXX's world (building) is pretty interesting (although I hope those klaxxosaurusses will be more than just random cannon fodder) but I doubt the series will ever get to the main plot again the next time.
Amagi
Same here. It was really the only time I did this. I am usually exhausted by just thinking about marathoning long series. It's the reason why I won't get into FMP for the new series either. LotGH was an exception since I found it easily to watch for some reason.
SuperMario
Man, just image burning through 110 episodes of it and my spirit fades away
Amagi
Watched that whole series ages ago.
Amagi
Just watched the first three Neue These episodes and I surprinsingly liked it. Thought I would hate it due to being an OVA fan, and I still prefer the old designs by far but overall it's pretty good. I think I might even prefer this version of the first battle, but I have to rewatch the old one I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also while I can't remember which episode, Yang picks up a book with the author of the series' name on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Arslan feels so lightweight by contrast/comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think, given your knowledge KTtravlos, that a series review of the new galactic heroes season would probably benefit from you writing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring up the music in my earlier comment, because I can understand your reservations regarding the music choice in the remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And certainly one of those shows, that going back to the first episode after finishing, gives a strong perspective just on how evolving the series was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*despite me not
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite not being monarchist , because the characters were human moreso than cartoon characters I couldn't hate on Reinhard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: I suppose by the time it got to Julian's arc, I was surprised they were still bothering to fight but the fact that they were essentially the last bastion of their beliefs made it special.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Sometimes when I just finish a show, its a case where I HAVE to jump online immediately after and excitedly ramble out an essay on it.
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Featured Posts

Hinamatsuri – 03 [Hobo Life 101]

Hinamatsuri week 3 plays like an extension to Anzu and Hitomi’s stories last week. It’s like two sides of a same coin where you can see these girls grow in a direction you don’t expect (NO innuendo here), albeit at the cost of the central chemistry between Nitta and Hina. Here’s the trick to why […]

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Golden Kamuy – 02 [Nopperabo]

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Hinamatsuri – 02 [This Is How You Have a ESP Battle!]

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Darling in the Franxx – 14[Punishment and Confession]

Last time Darling and the Franxx had it’s best episode yet which raised my opinion of the series and gave me hopes for greater things moving forward. So it’s sad that they follow this up with the worst episode of the series to date. This episode was pure frustration to watch because you knew exactly […]

Megalo Box – 2 [The Man Only Dies Once]

Welcome to the Spring 2018 anime season! I am proud to present to you the Ashita no Joe 50th Anniversary project, Megalo Box. Easily the most stylish anime of the season. Lets jump in! With just 2 episodes, Megalo Box has become my favorite for the season. Everything about it feels like it comes from […]

Darling in the Franxx – 13[The Beast and the Prince]

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A Place Further than the Universe (Winter 2018) Review – 77/100

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