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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Lenlo
I had a suspicion it would happen Amagi. I figured it would be a question of Yuri's character which way he went, even if I suspected this would be his choice
Amagi
@Lenlo & Kaiser: I expected this to happen. I was only unsure because I didn't know how deeply integrated Yuri's gear was. It's the only good way to conclude his character arc and the series as a whole. Kinda hope that all those "die"-death-hints are actually just a metaphor for the death of gears and the commercialised power-augmentation in sports.
Amagi
@Aidan: yeah and they're overinterpreting stuff. When you really love a series and watch it 10+ times you'll notice things nobody else will ever see and things that are most likely not even there or at least not planned. Then they see a sequel or somethign for the first time and of course they won't see the same 100 hints and deepnesses they believe to see in the original
Lenlo
Alright. Personally, I am pumped for Megalo Box's finale. I am so glad I was right in what Yuri did. It was great at building it up. Heres hoping it doesnt throw it away next week
AidanAK47
Like that's what really annoys me about Evangelion fans. The way they talk about the show, they assume that Anno was completely aware of the impact the series would have from the start and planned every intricate detail to perfection regardless of importance. But that's not just untrue by opinion, but is objectively proven untrue.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, There are some legitimate complaints like the audio Muxing not being great. But I hear stuff like the original character in the first season being SO much deeper and think "What?". If it's one thing that really annoys me, it's when people start talking about a show like it's a planned masterpiece.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Risky move there by Yuri in megalobox ep12.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes the voice acting isn't good in both versions, Elfen lied and the original flcl didn't have great voice acting either in English or Japanese.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got into the habit some years ago of watching most anime with dual audio because I used to do short reviews once upon a time and switching back and forth between subs and dub while marathoning a show gave me best of both and I could talk about both the English and Japanese versions when reviewing.
Amagi
I usually don't even watch dubs but considering that there is no other option here (yet) I did it and think it's pretty good, especially Haruko.
Amagi
@Aidan: Was thinking the exact same thing about FLCL. I fail to see how the original is much different than the sequel. For me it's pretty much the same thing - they tried to keep the style but change the frame to avoid copying it 100%. I enjoy the new series and love the characters.
AidanAK47
Dubs pretty good. Watched it dubbed myself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably a good thing then that I haven't seen the original in a long time then, which I thought was alright but got better as it went along. How is the dub? Only the dub is out as far as I looked on Nyaatorrents.
AidanAK47
Alright, finished the 3 episodes out. I enjoyed it. It was a fun watch. But I gotta say that the reaction online is rather annoying. I see the original series getting placed on a higher and higher pedestal. Part of the reason I may be enjoying this series is because I didn't examine the previous series under a mircoscope and pretty much acknowledge that it was just a animators showcase.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Probably not as GREAT as Onizuka though.
AidanAK47
So I started watching the new FLCL and let me say that this new teacher is the greatest teacher I have ever seen.
AidanAK47
Don't think it's on Netflix. Though I think that Stardust crusaders is airing dubbed.
Amagi
Is this series on Netflix? It was always one of the few anime that were very popular in the West while still airing weekly and with subs (and despite the fact that we didn't even have the manga in the West)
Amagi
Man that's awesome. Also I have to admit that part 6 is probably my favorite so it's great to know that they'll most likely animate everything.
Amagi
What the hell
AidanAK47
JoJo's part 5 anime announced and it's about goddamn time.
Lenlo
Id agree to that. Im mostly interested in where it goes after what looked like a pretty final ending. Im guessing timeskip of some kind, or World Line switch
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't think any of the drama in this episode rung false.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pretty satisfied with steins;gate this week, kept things moving and the stilted style of the show didn't get in as much the way of the setpiece that was in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm quite surprised by how I've gotten over a 100 chapters in and Asirpa hasn't been fanserviced explicitly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
HH Holmes had a death hotel actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I think one of the criminals was based on a real person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The author really likes referencing real people to, Bonnie and Clyde , Ed Gein, some American agriculturist and the inventor of some refile .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its very true that golden kamuy does get goofier and thats true for the manga also, though theres a prisoner weirder than the one in episode 11 he does advance the plot further. One of the soldiers gets some backstory too. Sometimes the goofiness works but at others doesn't.
SuperMario
I'm watching the new FLCL and planning to review it once it's done. Maybe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In my quest and love of historical manga I wound up running into this, these guys are translating it over at their site: https://blog.manga.club/blog/mangaclub-blog-vol-10-jose-rizal-serialization/
Lenlo
Not yet, no. Plannin on it this weekend
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three episodes of the new flcl out. I haven't seen it yet and its been ages since I saw the original, has anyone watched any of the new series?
Lenlo
I can understand that. Anything less than a 3 I often dont finish/deem worthy even being talked about. In anime or movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its too hard to give 1/5s or 2/5s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite my complaints I gave it a 3/5.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....feck sorry about that. I didn't think anyone else on here would have been interested =< Thanks for removing it.
AidanAK47
Come on Kaiser, even if I didn't get anything out of it doesn't mean that other people won't. Best not to put a big spoiler on the front page of the site.
AidanAK47
Just deleting a spoiler there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That production company tend to do quite poor trailers that misrepresent their films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would probably punch someone for laughing/talking during a horror film though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Babadook did the grief horror better. Though honestly my favourite horrors this year weren't American ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Upgrade might end up being more fun, which is an action horror comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While terribly schmalzy and lacking a proper ending, quiet place had a better idea and atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end it just felt like comparisons to Rosemary's baby and the Exorcist hurt the film. I just thought it was an awkward mix of commercial and indie horror. Like a lesser version of the conjuring.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I didn't laugh but I also couldn't really feel it/connect with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I also disliked how it answered its questions and story rather than leaving stuff unexplained and the actual exposition in the last act was quite awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw it on Thursday, it doesn't live up to the witch or even it comes at night. On one hand I appreciate limiting the jumpscares and gore, going more for atmosphere and character drama. Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne kind of hold it together for me. But the two kids, like in most horror films were awful.
AidanAK47
Just seen Hereditary. The so called scariest film since The Exorcist.
So scary that people in the cinema were laughing.
Vonter
I've been playing Hollow Knight on Switch. It's perhaps the longest metroidvania game I've ever played. The game has a nonlinear progression with a lot of optional areas, which add wonder to the somber and mysterious tone of the game.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like how much Nagai overstylizes, overdesigns his characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that its abandoned its comedic elements.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Sash: The twin tailed girl got impaled and its gone in a somewhat darker direction yes.
Sash
apparently cutie honey is getting devilman vibes.. haven't watched it though so take this with a grain of salt
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Somewhere in my head is an image of Baraka from mortal combat in the same picture as Himiko Toga.
Lenlo
Hero Aca, still my favorite Shounen.
AidanAK47
Just got the Re:zero Blu-ray a whole ten days before it's officially released. Gotta be the first to see the dub.
Lenlo
Yeah. Her whole scene was terrible. As much as I loved Maho in a pando costume, it should have stopped there. We didnt need the groping.
Kaiser-Eoghan
FERRIS NYAN-NYAN OmO kill it, kill it with muh-fire, kill it with muh-fire.
Lenlo
Also, Megalobox, hot damn. I love it. I love it all. Mmmm I cant wait.
Lenlo
Partly, yeah. Im mid writeup for it. Suffice to say the fan-service was... alittle awkward to me
Kaiser-Eoghan
Filler episode of Steins; gate this week.
Lenlo
I cant wait to see it, ive heard good things
Amagi
Damn I love Megalobox so much it's my favorite series this season.
AidanAK47
I can't wear a suit to work everyday
Kaiser-Eoghan
*wotaku's
Kaiser-Eoghan
You are now aware that you un-intentionally stealth cosplay as watoki's protagonist each time you go to work.
AidanAK47
Pretty sure Psgels is paying to keep the site up but it's not a sum that one would consider significant. Site is dirt cheap.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've thought about using MPC as an extra player, while mainly using vlc, but vlc can be buggy for me sometimes in that it lags and pixelates the video often , I've used MPC on videos that vlc bugs-out on and they work better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Out of curiosity, what videoplayer (example media player, realplayer, winamp, vlc, mediaplayer classic)do all of you use for watching anime?
Lenlo
You silly old people
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol how do you think I feel, I've been at this for 20 years =P
SuperMario
All these "confessions" just underline how old we all are; and still keep on that stupid hobby after all those years :))
SuperMario
I first visited the site around 2009, 2010 but was pretty much a lurker until I started writing for the site.
SuperMario
As far as I know, psgels gave the admin privilege for K-Off and Aidan, and it's K-Off who pays for the site now (other admins pls confirm)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course I have no idea how much it costs to keep the blog up, he could always end up stopping paying for it if he needed to cut costs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually curious in estimating how much longer the blog has left. Obviously psgels must be still paying to keep the site up, but he is, of course only mortal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The blog began in 2005, but I started reading it in 2009, began posting on the chatbox in 2010.
Amagi
I wonder which weekly review was the first one I've read on psgels. I remember .hack//roots but not sure if it was the first one. Could very well be the case, though.
Amagi
Nevermind, despite being an old as shit reader I never actually read the whole text of the about-part.
Amagi
How old is this blog anyway? I am a regular reader since 2006 or something although it was only recently that I started talking here.
Lenlo
Oh I know all about that Kaiser. It was amazing to read about
Raggers
Wow, this is still going? Good on you guys
Kaiser-Eoghan
*wiki article
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Read the cultural impact of the original ashita no Joe on the youtube article, Japanese actually mass mourned him
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some writers just know how to get an un-explainably effective rhythm going.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always struggle with commenting/reviewing mood pieces and slice of life mood pieces especially, even when I finish something in the genre sometimes I'll go "I don't understand why this worked so well for me, why wasn't it boring?"
Anonymous2194677
Microsot E3 Press Conference was nuts, they showed too many games.
Anonymous2189608
Hey guys, I made/edited my very first video about a show I greatly love, hope you'll give it a watch too:

https://youtu.be/PdjwePOIbQA
Anonymous2187735
Yeah, and an NES prequel to Bloodstained Ritual of the Night launched a couple of weeks ago. And while easier than NES castlevanias it's quite fun. Also very cheap only $10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Alas, I've not kept up much with the videogame scene in a number of years. I know there's a spiritual successor to castlevania being made though.
Anonymous2187735
Sorry Nightmare Creatures its what it's called.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually come to think of it, the 64 games probably had more vampires than the others I played.
Anonymous2187735
Have you played the game that inspired this Castlevania? Deadly Creatures?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Never did get round to playing as Henry though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the garden stage being especially frustrating as Schneider because of how slow he moved.
Anonymous2187735
Also that game demands you to play on normal or higher to play beyond that nitro stage.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember having to finish the game in a day because I was saddled with constantly rubbish memory cards for my N64.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry, I post fast and long so some of what I say probably might get missed/skimmed over.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I did mention it, called it the nitro stage.
Anonymous2187735
Still I think despite the flaws it's has become fun for me because I surprisingly get better each time I play it. and last time I make the game chug because of how fast I was progressing.
Anonymous2187735
Yeah. But I'm surprised you don't mention the worst part. The Nitro and Mandragora level. In which you have to go across several rooms without jumping.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I remember the game punishes you for using the item seller guy too much aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the mansion level being creepy back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the werewolf thing was pretty rad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And then there was that crumbling labyrinth stage. I remember on hard mode you have to fight the chainsaw gardener too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The art tower stage is also annoying if you run out of day/night cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also it wouldn't let you finish it properly if you took too long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The N64 castlevanias have so many flaws, weird controls , bad camera , the day and night feature is kind of cool but it also puts a timer on things and certain parts become a pain because of it. They had frustrating bits too like the ice castle part with the weird jump sections and the nitro carrying stage.
Anonymous2187417
Lords of Shadow was another IP the developer had to accomodate into a known IP kinda like Star Fox Adventures.
Anonymous2187417
The other Castlevanias I haven't played are Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness. LoS was ok but very long. and it's interquel Mirror of Fate put me off playing LoS2.
Anonymous2187417
I haven't played that one. Seems like a mixed bag. Like Zelda 2 or Metroid 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've seen playthroughs of simon's quest, but we all know why thats a notorious mess.
Anonymous2187417
Castlevania 64 and Legacy of Darkness are also my guilty pleasures. I think if Konami still made Castlevanias it would have tried aping the Souls type of gameplay.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember some very very silly voice acting and dialogue in symphony of the night.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I preferred when they were just platform games. Later ones incoperated level up elements if I recall.
Anonymous2187417
After SOTN I think the game coming closer to that greatness is Order of Ecclesia if anything it keeps the difficulty of the classic Castlevanias and puts it in the Metroidvania formula. It has a platforming challenge level that's very satisfying to play.
Anonymous2187417
I've played most of them. Castlevania 3 is a very tough game, but that also makes the journey feel long and rewarding. Rondo of Blood feels like the cornerstone of the series since it's the Castlevania that got most of it's sprite reused in later games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminds me, the game, clocktower is vaguely inspired by an old Italian horror film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And symphony of the night.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually feel I should have played more castlevania back in the day, I've played bloodlines, castlevania 4, Dracula X, legacy of darkness, admittedly the last one isn't a good game and is more of a guilty pleasure.
Anonymous2186526
They could still meet Grant in the Clocktower.
Anonymous2186526
I wonder if the second season will be the journey to the castle like in the game. And the third season is entirely in the castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Already a season 3 announced.
Lenlo
Oh god yes. I cant wait
Kaiser-Eoghan
New netflix castlevania episodes out next month.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was going to mention that. Wish more shows would do o.
Lenlo
Yeah, a lot of plot threads are converging and I like it. My favorite part though was Iglesias and their commitment to non-japanese languages. They were good!
Kaiser-Eoghan
*his bit
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Glad that sachio gets hit bit of backstory and that its well connected to the rest of the overall plot.
Lenlo
Alright Megalo Box was pretty good this week. So much to say
KTravlos
Indeed the Alliance system is atypical of mass democracy. There seem to be no organised parties and lists. Instead administrations seem to be formed on a personalist basis(me and my chums). And the Assembly seems to have very weak powers of oversight. A very flawed institutionally system. But I digress . It is still anime and even from Tanaka I do not expect deep discussion of democratic politics
KTravlos
I mean if two of 9 ministers in an administration resigned in any current representative/competitive election system it would be a big news and embarrassment to the goverment. My guess is that they were blackmailed to stay on, or were too afraid of the war party.
KTravlos
busy weeks (finals and deadlines). Watched the latest LOGH:NT episode. It was ok. A bit dry, but so are many of the episodes of NT or the Original on their own. One think it led me to think is that neither the books , nor the OVA, nor NT explain why Rebelo/Lebello and Huang Rui (the two politicians opposed to the Invasion of the Empire) did not resign in opposition. (Turnhit also opposed but..)
Lenlo
I think its cause of Daru's voice. Hes so overt about it and his voice makes it so clear hes not really being serious about any of that, cause it completely changes when hes talking serious subjects
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah I am watching CCS but funny enough I fell behind too, so it might be someone else you're thinking of
Kaiser-Eoghan
Always felt that Daru strikes a hit when it comes to pervy/otaku characters. Most of them tend to be incredibly annoying.
Lenlo
This episode was nice and chill while still moving stuff forward. I enjoyed it. It does seem like we are hitting the main conflict though, with Amadeus and Maho
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I feel with this episode the plot is really moving along now.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Thats the question aint it? How to savem both? We know he does, cause of the original, but alot happens along the way. Its a great ride
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad light novels would make for good fire and burning material =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I think it was you who was keeping up with the new cardcaptor sakura? or may that was bokusenou? I fell behind in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Given Japan is often thought to be a racist society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose though its saying something though, about them dropping that LN author for racism , its probably, considering its Japan, progressive that they called him out for his racisim.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Angel cop's Japanese version I think had some rant about Judaisim in its last episode too I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Honestly I try not to seek out stories about how awful certain creators are if I can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Viz decided not to run Kenshin's followup/side story manga. But oddly they decided to keep going with toriko even though toriko's author also got in trouble for pedophilic charges.
AidanAK47
Looking at that Isekai anime I say we we saved from something truly terrible. Though I find it odd that it was dropped because the author was a racist not because of it well...being goddamn terrible.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I watched a random episode, laughed more than I should have.
Amagi
btw Is anyone besides me watching Tiramisu? Am I the only one that finds this shit funny?
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Featured Posts

Megalo Box – 12 [Leap Over the Edge of Death]

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the hypest episode of the season, as Megalo Box lays everything on the table for next week’s finale. Lets just jump right into it. Megalo Box has a lot going on this week. We saw the return of multiple characters and got updates on their lives. We were shown backstories […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 11 [Pandora of Forgotten Existence -Sealed Reliquary-]

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Golden Kamuy – 11 [Everybody, Get Together! It’s a Murder Hotel!]

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Hisone to Masotan – 10 [Melting in Love]

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Hinamatsuri – 11 [A Man Thirsty for Blood, Violence and Money]

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Darling in the Franxx – 21[For You, My Love]

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Megalo Box – 11 [A Deadmarch]

Incredible Megalo Box… Simply incredible. This week was perfect in every way but one, and at this point that one is easily overlooked. Let’s skip this preamble and jump right in! Megalo Box had a lot going on this week as we see the culmination of a lot of characters big arcs. Starting off, lets […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 10 [Pandora of Provable Existence -Forbidden Cubicle-]

Welcome one and all to another week of Steins;Gate 0! This week we have fluffy, lovable dates, awkward fan service and terrible revelations. Lets jump in! So overall this week felt mostly like a filler episode. I understand that some of the contents were necessary for relationship building and such. That it was a sort […]

Golden Kamuy – 10 [Fellow Traveler]

New episode, new season, new plan, new scenery and possible new set of enemy too. Considered Golden Kamuy’s track record, I won’t be surprised if the new face Kiroranke, at the risk of Asirpa slaps me on my face for saying so. He’s in the interesting position in all this, both an ex-7th Unit Hokkaido, […]

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Violet Evergarden (2018 Winter) Review – 76/100

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