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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reaLjustified
Well when the series is two decades old how is it an accomplishment? There are one shots that make me feel more emotionally attached to the story.
Badesh
Hell, Naruto final arc turned out to be one of the most holistic storytelling i've encountered in a while. The character developement ties in so nicely with the whole universe. It's a great accomplishement growing a pop anime into a mature mystic saga. i highly reccomend it even for newcomers. just watch past great ninja war.
Kaiser Eoghan
*last two
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll leave it to someone else to pick the last one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Might add trouble every day by Claire Denis and Livid by Julien Maury.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thanks for that. So now its under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator, haute tension, nekromantik, the tunnel.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah I had forgotten, I'd meant to see Haute tension.
Kaiser Eoghan
Of those I haven't seen nekromantik or dead things.
SuperMario
That's all I can think for now. I'm sure K-off and others will have more inspiring suggestions down the line
SuperMario
For pychological edge: Haute Tension, Lake Mungo, Three... Extremes (actually the 3 shorts are all interesting), The Tunnel 2011 (underaprreciate Aussie found-footage)
SuperMario
For sick minds, Man Bites Dog, a Serbian film, Der Tolesking, Human Centipede (1&2)
SuperMario
Alright, for pure horror pleasures: Necromantik (1987), Green Inferno, Dead/Alive (my childhood's nightmare), Children Shouldn't Play woth Dead Things (more like a guity pleasure)
SuperMario
Haha scary indeed
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The scariest thing about the haunting was that a remake of it exists that betrays the original.
SuperMario
Now, let me check my own horror list for more reccomendation
Kaiser Eoghan
Hahaha! Possession predates urotsukidouji =P in terms of the tentacle monster thing.
SuperMario
And I heard that the Haunting (1963) is good as well. Some david lynch movies (Lost Highway for example) could be claasified as horror too
SuperMario
Shame he passed away early this year. But he did say that the violent relationship in that movie was based on his own divorce.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think Polish directed films are apparently rooted in theater. Though I believe he is a Dadaist.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Apparently Possession and diabal, all of his works are full of hidden political messages.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: That director is genuinely off-the wall insane, silver globe and l'amour braque actually make that look sane.
SuperMario
Possession the movie that Isabelle Adjani stared in? God, that movie exhausted me
Kaiser Eoghan
Innocents was so much better than its remake the others, the atmosphere was a lot lot stronger too, black and white really adds to the mood too.
Kaiser Eoghan
ha! I loved those.
This year I'm looking for silly horror movies predominently.
SuperMario
Let scare Jessica to death; the innocents 1961, Kill List, goodnight Mommy
Kaiser Eoghan
My alltime favourite horror film is Possession.
Kaiser Eoghan
No fuck it, no sequels. Currently it stands at under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator.
SuperMario
Too lazy to check out which horror movies that you've watched, but sure I can reccomend you some, from shitty to pure camp.
Kaiser Eoghan
Actually wait, under the shadow is out next week so that means I only need 5 more.
Kaiser Eoghan
Or maybe a 12 days is more feasible, easier. So that brings it down to six more. Guilty pleasures accepted.
K-Off
Any room for shitty horror in that list?
Kaiser Eoghan
I have to do a 30 days of halloween list soon. Want to limit it to horror films I haven't seen. So far I have the return of the living dead trilogy , dagon, from beyond and the re-animator.
Kaiser Eoghan
I also recently watched stranger things. I felt it did right by its 80s throw back, straight down to the references, score, costumes. Pretty cool monster too and the younger actors I thought were mostly good. Kind of slightly reminded me of the goonies to a small extent. I think it succeeded in being fairly heartfelt. Although I did find it a bit padded.
SuperMario
About the new season, I'm more interested in how these dark horse titles will turn out: Flip-flappers, ClassicalLoid, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Yuri on Ice
SuperMario
@Aidan: I had Stranger Things on my queue list for a while now, but don't plan to watch it anytime soon. Glad you enjoy it.
K-Off
ReZero is the only show I finished in about 2 seasons. Hopefully the Working spinoff is up to par.
AidanAK47
Hoping things change when the first episodes start airing of the new anime season.
AidanAK47
Things have gotten quiet here. I plan on getting my Mob psycho review up today. I have to say that the next season doesn't interest me very much. There's some great stuff coming next year but the fall is looking pretty...meh.
AidanAK47
Finally got around to watching Stranger Things. Good show, I like the nostalgic way they tell the story though at times its too Spielberg/King. I admit that I can't say I was blown away by it. It's good and I will be watching the second season. But it's a tad.. predictable. Those child actors did a great job though.
K-Off
@Bam I'm not certain the email I have is one you actually use, so here it is: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWnGcuVQuXfOJuh80SDgtiZH4X6Zya_XEG2ZOM6u-5k/edit?usp=sharing)
It's pathetic right now, I'm sorting out my arrangements for Seoul first.
K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
Total users: 40

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The Red Turtle Review – 93.5/100

Welcome to my first movie review on World Animation section, the column where I wholly dedicated to indie/ art-house animated features around the world that hardly got coverage anywhere really (but rest assure our since sometimes I will review anime movies as well). And what’s a better way to start this section by reviewing one of […]

Flying witch 09d

Flying witch Review – 86/100

As I mentioned in one of my weekly posts, most of the reason why a slice-of-life anime show don’t work well is not because there’s nothing happen, but more because the cast isn’t interesting enough or the show tends to repeat the things that we already know. I’m happy to say that this is not […]